When it comes to HD, there are tons of misconceptions out there. Before deciding on an HDTV there are several things you should consider before purchasing one. Keep in mind that if you have cable or satellite TV and have a receiver and don't decide to opt in to your provider's HD service it can potentially do a couple of different things to your picture. It can cause the TV to come in several different colors and you may not get the feeling that the picture "jumps out" at you, which is part of what you should expect. Lastly, it can cause your picture to crop either on the sides or the top or bottom depending on the format the station is broadcasting. But here are some other things that you should know and consider. Some of these things that are about to be revealed probably won't be revealed anywhere else.
1. Do I even want HDTV and how do I know it's for me? This one is easy. Go into an electronics retailer and look at an HDTV and then a Standard Definition television set and see if you can tell the difference. You may want to check this multiple times as there are multitudes of differences between certain types of HDTVs. If you can't tell the difference it's probably not for you. The biggest difference is in the picture but some of it is in the audio as well.
2. How much will I have to spend for my new HDTV? Beyond the cost of the initial TV there may be some other fees which could be taken as a surprise with upgrade fees and monthly service fees. On a monthly basis, the two big satellite companies, DirecTV and Dish Network charge $10 a month for HD service. The amount which cable companies across the nation vary along with the number of HD channels you will get. The best thing to do is go to the company's web site to see about pricing and what else it entails. Some cable and satellite operators also have a section where customers can interact with each other and it may not be a bad idea to browse that to see about potential problems that you may run into.
What is the next thing that they won't tell you? In order to get more than your basic channels such as your locals you will probably need to get the HD package with your cable or satellite provider. If you are dealing with a satellite TV provider it would be a good idea to find out what is included in the free professional installation. If they tell you everything and everything don't believe them, ask for a supervisor or that information may be on the company's web site. But either way you need to find out the specifics of what you need to pick up your satellite or cable provider and how it will affect your bill
3. How much HD do I want? Just the simple act of buying an HDTV can cause you to spend hundreds of dollars that you don't need to. At retail, you could also buy a blu-ray DVD player and surround sound.It is probably a good idea to call the manufacturer of your DVD player and find out how well it works with HDTV's. If they say no guarantee it may be a good idea to have your DVD player relocated somewhere else or it may be worth it to upgrade to a blu-ray Not too mention you could end up spending hundreds of dollars needlessly in cables. At retail they are typically $65-$135 depending on the length of the cable. A simple trip to Amazon.com and you will find HDMI cables for under $10.
Even better yet if you need a Service Call from your local cable or satellite provider, chances are they are going to give you an HDMI cable for free. But one note on that. While HDMI is typically considered best experience with some TV's it does not work well with all types of HDTV's. You have two other options. One is S-Video and Digital Optical and the other is Component or RGB (Red, Green and Blue) cables. If you are worried about price the RGB cables are probably going to be cheaper.
4. How big of a television do I want and where do I want it? Bigger is not necessarily better. Hopefully common sense tells you that you can not get a television bigger than your room. Just think about the basics of what you are putting your TV on, what it can handle and how far away you will be sitting from your TV. Ideally, for best experience the further away you sit from your TV the bigger the TV you want.
Another consideration is do you want your HDTV mounted? If the answer to this question is yes then it is recommended you have a professional mount your TV for you. That way if something goes wrong they will be obligated to fix it. If you screw up the installation or do damage to your wall then it is on you. You can check to see if the technicians from your satellite or cable TV providers are qualified to hang HDTV's (don't ask if they can do it. No promises they have been trained and can do whatever they want.). One thing to take into consideration is that this often can involve putting cables into walls, through walls and sometimes into basements and fishing cables back up. But the bottom line is if that's something you don't want to deal with or you don't want hanging cables you probably don't need a mounted television.
The four above things need to be taken into consideration before buying an HDTV. Enjoy the show.
Before you start shopping for a flat screen TV, learn the truth about what's needed and what may be a needless expense.
Can I use a monitor as an HDTV? Yes, but you will need to make a few adjustments.