Thread: Is HD worth it?
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10-16-2006, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by RC51 View Post
Second long post. on current HDTV equipment.

Plasma and some LCD have finally attained 60,000 hours of projected use ( make sure yours does)
Contrast ratios of 5000-10000 for Plasma and up to 3000-4000 for LCD is a must and available on newer big models. ( great blacks are very important. Smaller LCD such as 26-37, 1200-1500 contrast ratio might be good enough for now.

DLP sets have developed a sales problem. The projector lamps don't last long, you might have to change the lamp every year at a cost of 375-550 per fix. Once off the warranty your dead.
Future Shop has STOPPED selling these completely due to problems.

Going forward, SED sets will be available in about 6-8 months.
It's a cross between CRT and LED. Flat sets but instead of a CRT tube the picture is created by a ton of LED's.

Announced just this week is Flat Laser tv. Promissing 1/2 price or about 1000.00 for a 50 inch and some of the best specs yet in the industry. A few big manufactures have already signed up for production. Production is said to start in about 12 months.

So buying now should be thought of as a temporary HD set. I would NOT shell out 4000-5000 for a current ultra high end set, knowing just what's around the corner.

Next you must think of the sound. Budget some money for a good 5.1 or better setup with subwoffer. It makes a huge difference to the whole expierience. You'll see

TRY to make sure the new set has HDMI inputs and not just component. Yes you can get HDTV from both but HDMI connections are 3-5% better picture quality ( from expierience)
Make sure all your new stuff is HDCP compatible. If you miss on this part you WILL regret your purchase. This is the latest industry standard for copy protection and if one of your pieces does not comply it won't WORK at all.

Last is the HD receiver ( cable or SAT). Like everything in HD tech right now they just keep getting better and better. My advice is to rent for the next two years or so, then take the plunge to buy. My feeling is a good PVR in HD with an added two years of upgrades will do just fine at the time.

HD DVD and Blue Ray are in a huge war, just wait till the dust settles, keep using your regular DVD player for now.

On a completely different subject, just a heads up on MP3 player headphones.
One of the best purchases I have ever done was getting myself a pair of higher end ear cannal headphones with foam tips. I chose Westones but Shure makes great ones also.
I tell you this because it was like going from regular tv the HDTV. It's a huge impact on the sound.
I have completely stopped using my 8 speaker car high end stereo. It may not be legal but I just can't go back from the sweet sound from my MP3 and the Westones. Most people have an MP3 now and I just can't let this subject go by without my 2 cents on upgrading the headphones, it just had too much of an impact.

This is the thing that sucks about technoloogy, everything is always getting better, faster and cheaper. Seems like no matter how long you wait you're going to regret buying something 6 months later. When do you stop waiting and just take the plunge? With the RDS announcement I'm putting my deadline on a HDTV at Oct '07.

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