By now nearly everyone has heard something about the digital TV transition set to take place on Feb. 17, 2009. That’s the day when all full-power broadcast television stations in the United States will cease broadcasting on analog airwaves and begin broadcasting solely in digital.
That’s less than a year away — so now is the time to start thinking about how the switch will affect you. Will you choose to get a converter box or will you take advantage of this opportunity and step up to the amazing picture of a high definition TV with a built-in digital tuner?
While the change to all-digital TV might sound a little scary to some people, the fact is that digital broadcasting will benefit everyone, bringing improved picture and sound quality, as well as additional channels and interactive video and data services. The best news is that it’s actually very simple to make the switch from analog to digital TV at home. Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to enjoying a high-definition digital experience in your own home.
If you’re looking to get the best high-definition picture, you’ll need an HDTV set capable of 720p, 1080i or 1080p picture resolution. You’ll also need a high-definition source such as an HD cable box or satellite receiver and be watching a high definition channel that will show 720p or 1080i resolution. To receive 1080p resolution, which is the clearest, most detailed picture available today, you’ll need a Blu-ray Disc player. If you’re a little confused, don’t fret. The salespeople at almost any store that sells HDTV will be glad to help you out.
Making the Right Connection
It’s important to remember, however, that when you buy an HDTV, one of the most important components may not be included. To get all that high definition picture and sound from your HD cable box or satellite receiver or Blu-ray disc player, you will want to purchase an HDMI cable to connect your high-definition source to the TV.
Widely regarded as the best high-definition connector available, HDMI cables give you the very best sights and sounds, and because they carry both audio and video digital signals they’re also the easiest way to hook up to your HDTV.
Not All Cables are Created Equal
There are many different choices when it comes to buying HDMI cables, but like you wouldn’t put economy tires on a sports car, you will want to make sure you go with the highest quality cable available to get all the performance from your high definition gear. This doesn’t have to mean buying the most expensive cable, but you will need to find one that can support the large amounts of data coming from sources that have the new HDMI 1.3 format, 1080p, and the new HD audio formats used on Blu-Ray discs. Even if you haven’t converted to Blu-Ray just yet, planning for future technologies is advisable when it comes to purchasing HDMI cables.