Due to its high resolution format - 1080 lines versus 525 for a regular tube TV - an HDTV provides a much sharper picture than a tube TV.
And because HDTV programming is broadcast in Dolby Digital audio, you also get a richer, more lifelike sound.
An HD TV consists of a receiver (or tuner), a monitor (or screen), and speakers. The receiver amplifies and sends the HDTV signal to the monitor and speakers, where it's converted into images and sounds.
Here's what you get with HDT TVs:
High resolution picture - HD TVs give you a super sharp image, resulting in a clearer, more realistic picture.
Widescreen picture - you get a full-width picture (16:9 aspect ratio), just like you see in the movies.
Digital audio - HDTV audio programming is in Dolby Digital format for a three-dimensional surround-sound experience.
Tube HD TVs - These TVs are similar to regular tube TVs and are the least expensive HDTVs. Tube HD TVs are available in flat screen or curved screen, and in standard screen format (4:3 ratio) or widescreen format (16:9 ratio). Tube HD TV screen sizes vary from 26" to 34," and they cost $300 to $1,500.
Projection HD TVs - These large-size TVs project a picture onto a front or rear screen, are available in regular or widescreen format, and can produce a picture up to 10 feet wide. Projection HDTV screen sizes vary from 46" to 150," and they cost $1,000 to $11,000.
LCD (light crystal display) HD TVs - These TVs produce a sharper, brighter picture than tube TVs or projection TVs, and are thin and lightweight so you can put them almost anywhere in your home or office. LCD HD TV screen sizes vary from 15" to 65," and they cost $200 to $13,000.
Plasma HD TVs - These TVs have the most lifelike picture of all the HDTVs. Their slender design allows them to be placed almost anywhere, even hung on a wall. Plasma HD TV screen sizes vary from 32" to 84," and they cost $500 to $30,000.
Check It Out
If you're in the market for an HD TV keep in mind that prices can vary widely between retailers. That's why we recommend checking out models and prices online before you buy one.
Before we make a major purchase we go to BizRate.com to check out products and compare prices.
Shopzilla will give you independent price comparisons, detailed product information, and unbiased customer reviews for all the newest models. After just a few minutes of browsing their site you'll be able to make an informed decision about which HD TV is best for you.
You'll quickly find the model that best meets your needs, where it's available, and where to get it at the lowest possible price. Whether you want to purchase an HD TV online or at a local store, BizRate.comwill point you to the best deal and the most reliable retailer.