Friday, September 21, 2007

Misc Things to know about HDTVs

Facts about HD Programming
Sometimes you will get black bars on the side of the TV - that's just how it is.
Not everything is filmed in HD, even if you are watching an HD channel. When something isn't in HD on your TV you'll a square image and black bars on the side. I reccomend NOT adjusting the picture so that you get rid of the black bars! By the time you adjust the picture, you will forget to readjust the picture when actual HD show air.

Hooking up your TV isn't hard. Simply match the colors!
Sometimes I wonder if people like the attention of being so stupid. How hard is it to match the green, blue, and red cables from the DVD player to the back of the TV? Repeat for cable box, game console, and your done. It's even easier when you use an HDMI Cable, it's just one cable for audio and video. All it takes is patience with looking at the user manual.

What's the best cable I could use for my TV? Here's the cable hierarchy:
HDMI (Looks like USB) > Component Cables (Green, Blue, Red) > S-Video > Composite (Yellow)
If your DVD player, cable box, game console, etc has an HDMI output, use that instead of the yellow composite cable. If HDMI is not available on your unit, check to see if it has component output on it (green, blue, and red plugs) and use those instead. HDMI and Component cable interfaces provide your TV with the best signal possible since they are both capable of transmitting HD resolution. S-Video and Composite cables are not HD connections and using those when you can use HDMI or Component cable connections will result in a grainy picture with only a fraction of detail an HD source has. HDMI in theory should be better than Component since HDMI transmits its signal digitally while Component does the same job using an analog signal. In practice, however, HDMI only gives you a slight amount of extra detail which would most likely be discernible to some. The advantage of HDMI is that it does help keep cable clutter down since its slender design transmit both high quality video and sound in one simple cable.

Guard yourself against the Peer Influence
Who cares about what your neighbor Jim said. Peer influence is one of the greatest things that drive people to do stuff. Because of the lack of knowledge typical consumers have, they say things that aren't necessarily true, "Oh honey, we don't want to go with plasma because Jim said that plasmas go out in 5 years." or "Oh honey, we don't want that Pioneer 720p plasma because its only 720p. Let's get the Vizio 1080p LCD because it has higher resolution."
Your neighbor Jim might act like he knows a little especially if he became a recently new owner of a HDTV, but he's basically spewing you the dumb-downed version of stuff that the kid at BB or CC told him, and even that info in itself isn't that great. TV Resolution isn't everything, contrast levels and color saturation are just as important!

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