The High Definition Standard

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What is HDTV?

The High Definition Standard

The first high-definition television (HDTV) sets went on the market in 1998, and for several years HDTV was the province of video enthusiasts with money to burn. Recently, prices for HDTV sets have come down to within reach of ordinary families, and more and more people are looking forward to watching the Super Bowl, American Idol or Rachael Ray in stunningly sharp images with brilliant color.

This doesn't always happen. For one thing, some networks and cable providers aren't yet offering HDTV signals. You can't receive a signal that's better than the one being sent out from the source. You may even find that you get a better HDTV signal with an over-the-air antenna than through your cable provider.

When you go to an electronics store to look at HDTV sets, ask for the HDTV expert, and get this person's name and business card. Write down the model numbers of the sets that interest you, and use the Internet to verify any claims about a certain set's resolution.

Talk to your cable provider and make sure your current cable box is capable of receiving and displaying HDTV. Most cable companies will let you exchange your old box for an HDTV-compatible one for free.

   

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