May 16, 2024

3 Things You Need Before Buying an HDTV

It’s finally happened — your television has broken, the screen sputtering in defeat. Your wife (or husband) has finally said… “Ok dear. Go buy a new TV. I know, I know, it’s like pulling teeth. But just do it.”

You said, “Yes honey! I’ll go find a TV *sigh*” when inside, you’re secretly thinking, “YES!!!!!! TV TIME!!! Finally. Something for my (wo)man cave! HAHA!”

So anyway, the technology was old and the wires were frayed. It was only to be expected that they’d eventually fail, leaving you in need of another television.

You’re not surprised.

But oh boy are you prepared! You already know which choice to make for a new TV: You want an HDTV.


It’s a promise of clarity and depth (far different than your previous set and its weak saturation). It’s all you need. But there are more to these units than you may have considered. When you’re looking to buy an HDTV, do your research about signals, receivers, and resolutions.

Signal Sources

High definition is shaped by signals. These waves (whether digital, cable, or over the air) create the picture that you see on the screen. Their usefulness can’t be denied. Their availability, however, can. These signals are not found in all locations.
They’re unable to be accessed in certain areas, depending upon providers and population demands. It’s vital, then, that you find out what’s available in your neighborhood. This will determine the different types of equipment you will choose later. Never assume that all options can be considered. They can’t.

Receiver Connections

Once a signal has been discovered, many think the process is done, that a HDTV can then be chosen. This is wrong. A TV can’t recognize waves all by itself; a receiver is needed. Receivers allow the signal information to be translated properly.

However, you must have the right receiver for the signal. You can’t simply select any receiver and expect it to work.

A digital connection needs a satellite dish, cable requires a tuner and quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), and over-the-air waves will need an antenna. Recognize these differences now to save time and aggravation later.

Specification Understanding

No two TVs are the same. This is a truth so few understand. HDTV is thought to be a singular idea, defined by a single set of universal specifications. But each HDTV has different settings and interfaces.

To choose the best HDTV for you, decide what you desire most from a viewing experience. There are TV specs that will match it (and there are, of course, ones that will only disappoint).

Be sure your TV has good resolution. 1080p is generally preferred. If you are a fan of different media entertainment types, choose a TV with different programmable modes. For example, some TVs can be changed into “movie mode” or “game mode” to enhance the viewing experience for the different types of media.

You want an HDTV. You want the clarity it provides. That clarity can’t be earned with impulsive decisions and the wrong equipment, however. You must instead research to learn what you need, what you desire, and what you should avoid.

SO: Don’t let the quest for quality lead you to make a wrong choice. Take time instead to examine all signals, receivers, and individual TVs first.

Now that you know the ropes, are you planning on upgrading to an HDTV in 2011?

6 thoughts on “3 Things You Need Before Buying an HDTV

  1. Hi Ben, great advice you have given your readers. I was lucky and got a 46 inch HDTV for Christmas so I didn’t have to do any research. Now my cable bill is so expensive because I had to buy all the HDTV channels.

    1. I’m still waiting to pull the trigger on a new HDTV.
      My old 38 tube beast is still running fine and I have a 103 inch project in the basement.
      Plus all these new internet connected TVs are becoming like phones were they get upgrade with new streaming features every year. Do they expect us to replace our TV’s every 2 or 3 years!

  2. I’ve been thinking about buying a new hdtv. I’ve done some research and considering to buy a Vizio HDTV. Found your post really helpful for my buying consideration.

    1. When It finally decide on a new Flat panel, I think it will be a Samsung or Vizio
      I think those two brands have the best picture and biggest selection of internet apps.

  3. This is great information and especially for anyone who is planning to buy a TV anytime soon. You should know most of the things you have mentioned on this post before you go for a certain type of TV.

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