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5 HDTV Myths

5 HDTV Myths

There is a lot of confusion these days regarding the differences and attributes between Plasma, LCD and LED televisions. The below information will help walk you through the important information to help you make an educated decision. These five HDTV myths will be a brief over view and we recommend that you see us in store to walk you through it in person.

Myth 1: You need cable or satellite TV to watch HDTV programming

Fact: While you'll have better selection and smoother integration with related components, such as Personal Video Recorders (PVRs), you can receive free over-the-air high-definition broadcasts with televisions that have an ATSC tuner (which is fairly common these days) or by picking up an external antenna. Depending on where you live, there are likely several over-the-air local TV stations broadcasting HDTV programs, especially in major Canadian cities, as well as access to U.S.-based stations including ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and PBS.

Myth 2: You need a 1080p television

Fact: Many networks are broadcasting in high-definition clarity, be it using a 1080i ("interlaced") signal, where 1,080 lines of resolution are drawn but alternate quickly between even and odd lines, or a 720p ("progressive") signal, where fewer lines are drawn but refreshed in sequential order for a clear picture -- and you might not be able to tell the difference between the two. But TV networks are not broadcasting in 1080p quality (1920 by 1080 pixels), where all 1,080 lines are drawn progressively. For that you need a Blu-ray player, HD video game console (Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3) or some newer camcorders.

Myth 3: You need an extended warranty on HD TV's

Fact: You finally save enough to treat yourself to a beautiful new HDTV, but the sales rep tells you to dig a little deeper for an extended warranty to protect your investment. Should you? No, says Consumer Reports. "Generally, extended warranties aren't worth it," says James Willcox, senior editor for electronics at Consumer Reports. "Our surveys have found LCD and plasma TVs continue to be very reliable, with only about three per cent of these sets requiring a repair." If a repair is required, it usually occurs during the first year of ownership and is thus covered by many manufacturers' warranties. Some retailers, such as Costco, will add an extra year to the manufacturer's warranty.

Myth 4: Plasma TV's don't last as long as LCD TV's

Fact: The longevity of a new plasma HDTV has been in question for a few years, but the latest studies are proving the technology was built to last. In fact, many manufacturers are saying plasma TVs will last quite a bit longer than a comparable-sized LCD television. At a recent LG media event in Toronto, the life of the new LCD TVs on display was quoted at roughly 60,000 hours (which translates to about 40 years at four hours of viewing a day), while the plasma TVs were quoted at more than 100,000 hours.

Myth 5: You need expensive HDMI cables

Fact: You're staring a two different HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) cables at your local big box retailer: one is $20 and the other is $200. Which one should you go with? While home theatre enthusiasts agree this cable type is preferred -- as it offers the highest-quality uncompressed audio and video signal in one cable -- there isn't much of a difference.

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