To HD or not to HD...

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ChePibe, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. ChePibe macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2005
    My old 27" tube is on death's door, and I will need a replacement shortly. I'm sad to see her go, but such is the way of the world.

    I'm presently considering purchasing one of the TVs below:

    Toshiba 30" Widescreen HDTV (CRT)

    Toshiba 27" 4:3 Standard TV

    Samsung 27" 4:3 Standard TV

    The obvious problem is this - is NOW the time to go HDTV?

    HDTV seems less... "standard" shall I say. There seems to be a great deal of confusion over the format and not all channels are "HD". Furthermore, the technology still seems to be developing, as some TVs have "expansion slots" while most do not. Many users report that non-HD channels look "grainy" on the TV and, as most channels are not HD, this is not a great alternative.

    Recent announcments point to the new DVD formats being incapable to play from anything but an HDMI source only serve to make me more hesitant.

    That said, standard TV is certainly on the way out in the relatively near future. Any standard TV purchased today will be useless within five years. But will an HDTV suffer the same fate as the format matures and new connections are created?

    I have enough money to buy any of the TVs above, and I'm limited by space to one of those options (or something similar, post your suggestion). Flat screens and projection TVs are simply out of my budget so thanks but no thanks.

    What would you do? Go all out, get the HDTV, and hope all works for the best? Or stick by the standard TV and wait for the HDTV format to fully mature?
  2. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    Now is as good a time as any to go HD. For any 4:3 broadcasts you watch, you'll either have a stretched picture or (as I do) grey bars on the sides of the screen... after a while, you don't even really see them, and more and more channels are either HD already or are showing shows that are letterboxed.

    Make sure that whatever you buy has HDMI input(s). Blu-Ray and HD DVD will both require HDMI in order for the HDCP protection scheme to work.
  3. SharksFan22 macrumors regular


    Dec 29, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    HDTV is definitely an amazing jump in quality. I too waited for a long time before I bought a set in October -- I wish I'd bought it sooner!! :D
  4. ChePibe thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2005
    I understand that there will be a big jump in resolution and, therefore, quality, but has the format matured enough that should I buy a TV today with an HDMI input (and, of course, component, RCA, and coax) I will be able to use it through the lifespan of the HDTV format? How likely is it that another type of connection will be standard in a few years and my HDMI connection will be useless?
  5. Cfg5 macrumors regular

    Nov 27, 2003
    hd is just an excuse for movie/tv studios to put rediculous drm in their products.
  6. DISCOMUNICATION macrumors 6502a


    Jul 7, 2004
    Cambridge, MA USA
    Don't worry

    Well the computer industry is working on a new connector to replace VGA, DVI, and HDMI, but development was just announced recently. And it will be years before we see or have any use for this connector in the consumer realm. Who really needs 4000+ lines of vertical resolution besides digital projection in movie theaters? HDMI will be the standard for a while and what ever is coming down the line will be backwards compatible. As a matter of fact graphics card manufacturers like ATI are going to start replacing DVI ports with HDMI this year. The only thing most people are waiting on now is more 1080p sets. The transition from NTSC to ATSC has been so slow I doubt the FCC is going to force another standard on broadcasters anytime soon.
  7. Bubbasteve macrumors 65816


    Dec 23, 2004
    Charleston, IL
    I second HD... it's pricey but the picture is absolutely stunning
  8. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    It depends how ahead of the times you enjoy being. If you like having the greatest new gadgets and you like HDTV go ahead and buy one. Otherwise I'd recommend buying another cheap 27" TV and waiting for the price on HDTVs to drop.
  9. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    When buying a TV, keep in mind the possible Digital Switch looming on Jan. 1, 2007 (for US residents). If you are buying a HD TV, I think you should be set, but just keep it in mind.
  10. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    We just got my first LCD HDTV last month, and I love it! We got a 720p 27" Toshiba unit and hooked it up to our DirectTV HD TiVo and wow! it is really a huge step up, when you are watching HD material. We got this unit from a "rewards" program, so I didn't pay for it or choose it, but it suits us fine as a replacement for an older 20" Panasonic CRT.

    One thing to note, besides what Clay mentioned that in viewing non widescreen 4:3 material you will either see black bars on the sides of the picture, you should also note that you really should be looking for 32" or larger to replace a 27" CRT if you want the same picture size for standard 4:3 material. You'd get the same widescreen 16:9 picture size using a 24" unit.

    The HD CRT unit like the one you looked at are good compromises in that they have all the benefits of CRTs (high contrast, reliability, low cost) as compared to the plethora of newer TV display technologies (LCD, plasma, DLP, projection LCD, ...)

    As long as you get an HDTV with plenty of inputs and at least one HDMI/HDCP input, you should be "safe" for the near future.

    The real question is what programming source will you be using now to justify the additional $400 to spend on a TV. If you watch lots of widescreen anamorphic DVDs, or your cable/sat co. offers lots of HD, or you live in a big city with HD off the air and watch network TV you will be happy about your choice for going HD now. If none of those apply, wait.

  11. cycocelica macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    Redmond, WA
    HDTV is just now taking off. I would definitely buy one now as more channels will begin to switch soon (or so i suspect). Plus the difference between HD and standard is amazing! Especially sports games.
  12. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Like w/anything tech related the longer you wait the better, and less expensive your options become. As others have said unless you feel a compelling reason to get an HDTV now I'd wait a few more years for them to become cheaper and for HD content distribution (both TV channels and Hi-def DVDs) to become more mainstream. No need to pay a premium on the TV now when the bulk of the content is still a few years down the road.

    IMO, 5 years from now a significant portion of the TV's in homes will still be analog, 4:3 sets. Nothing "useless" about them unless you rely on rabbit ears and don't buy a digital tuner box before the analog b'casts are shut off. Of course the same thing can be said for people that have only purchased "HD ready" TV's too.

    The switch to 100% digital won't happen until Feb. 17, 2009, and if you already subscribe to cable or satellite you probably won't even notice because you'll have a digital signal box already.

  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    If you can afford it, buy HD. I don't even know why you'd consider non-HD other than financial reasons, and you have already stated that there are no financial reasons why you can't buy one...
  14. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    I would say hold off until the 1080p sets get more wide spread and cheaper in price.
  15. Stella macrumors G3


    Apr 21, 2003
    Here in Canada, HD TVs are already really quite cheap. There isn't much difference between the price of a regular LCD and HD LCD.

    I see your from the u.s, so I doubt the prices are that dissimilar...
  16. XNine macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2005
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    Go Hd.


    Do not get a flat screen. No LCD, DLP, or Plasma display will be better than a CRT. Big? Yes, they are, but not only are they cheaper than flat panel displays, their life cycle is a probably about 4 times longer.

    That's my next big purchase (and then at some point a new Mac).
  17. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004

    I've got this TV. It has been really great for me. It supports 480p/1080i and has a few other key features. It has an HDMI input and is HDCP compatible, meaning I don't have to buy a new TV to watch HD movies whenever they come out.

    We don't have HD sattelite at our house yet, but it's nice to know that we're ready whenever we decide to upgrade.

    I'd really suggest going HD rather than SD. It's kind of "future proofing" now that you're practically forced to buy a new set.

    Also, if you have a Circuit City nearby, check them out as well. We got a great deal: 10% off other home theater accessories (TV Stand, Home Theater DVD/Speakers) when you buy a TV over $400.

    I'm sure for most HD TV's the prices are similar, but MacNut was specifically talking about 1080p sets, which are still expensive no matter where you go.

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