We've pointed you to a lot of articles about buying an HDTV but here's the first one we've found that is mainly aimed at gamers. Obviously gamers are looking for some features a regular HDTV buyer isn't looking for and this article at Mercurynews.com does a decent job of breaking down HDTV buying for gamers:
Here's some other information gamers should know. If you're going full-tilt and buying a 1080p TV for a PlayStation 3, you should make sure it has at least one HDMI connector, or a plug that can take an HDMI cable for faster video transfer between the game console and the TV. An Xbox 360 does not support HDMI, which carries audio and video over the same cable. If you're connecting an Xbox 360 to the TV, use the component input cables (red blue green with red and white sound), not the standard AV cables (red, white, yellow). Sony says HDMI gives you deeper color reproduction.
Some brands such as Samsung can automatically set the right resolution and video source when you start a console. And, in game mode, the Samsung LCD TVs can adjust their "refresh rates,'' or speed at drawing a picture, to keep up with a fast game. But the plasma advocates say that plasma screens are inherently much faster than LCD TVs. Hence, plasmas can be better for gaming on a 720p TV.
While this article could probably be more in-depth, it's a good starting point if you're a gamer and not sure what you need in an HDTV.
For you professional shoppers out there you already know next Friday is Black Friday, the absolutely craziest day of the year to Christmas shop. So just in time for the Black Friday, Vizio has announced some great pricing on Plasma and LCD HDTVs. According to Vizio's Press release:
The Vizio brand continues to grow in product line, performance reputation and market share. Holiday shoppers aren't only looking for the lowest price -- they want a high quality flat panel high definition TV at the best price. This matches Vizio's theme, "Where Vision Meets Value." Vizio's holiday line-up starting Black Friday includes:
Hi-Def: Makes regular TV look like crayon drawing smeared with Vaseline. Once you watch it, you cannot watch normal TV. My non-Hi-Def TV consumption has dropped 74% since I got an HD set. If the picture gets any better, I will watch no normal TV at all.
And my favorite definition:
HMDI: A special kind of Hi-Def cable that costs $100, because it is made of Leprechaun veins. There is no other explanation for it costing $100.
Here's a decent video for someone who wants to know a little more about what to look for when buying an HDTV. The video also gives you a nice little background on the Government's Digital TV mandate that goes into effect in 2009.
There's been a lot of buzz over the new DirecTV Plus HD-DVR. We're not sure if it will win over the DirecTV TiVo die-hards but we'll see. Here a review over at DBSTalk.com that has some details and quite a few images to check out. The review starts with the specs:
Here is a brief summary of the HR20 features
-) High Definition TV Output (via HDMI and Component)
-) 2 Sets of RCA (Red/White/Yellow Outputs) - 1 S-Video
-) 1 Optical Digital Output
-) Dual SAT Tuners
-) Dual ATSC Tuners (functionality is disabled at this time, see notes later in the review)
-) Wired RJ-45 Ethernet Port
-) External SATA Connection
-) 300gb SATA Internal Hard Drive
-) RF Remote Compatible with the Included RC24, and the soon to be released RC32RF
Estimated Recording Space (Not a cumulative value)
~ 30 Hours of MPEG-2 (OTA) HD
~ 50 Hours of MPEG-4 HD
~ 200 Hours of Standard Definition (SD)
The review goes on to say:
This unit supports the standard HD video outputs:
480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i
You have CROP, PILLAR, and STRETCH mode for those resolutions as well...
You have a choice now....
You can fix the resolution to one setting (Everything output at 720p->Stretch) or.... you now have the choice of a NATIVE resolution mode.
When in NATIVE resolution, the unit will change to the appropriate resolution....
When surfing it adds about a half second/second delay while the unit changes resolutions
You can configure the unit to only allow certain resolutions, but you can't set it to see just certain modes (pilllar, stretch, crop)
Overall, this is a small but decent review with a ton of images that you'll want to check out.
It's just amazing to me how TV manufacturers seem to make HDTV buying so confusing with all of the terms and jargon we don't understand. One question that really confuses consumers is "Should I buy a 1080i or 1080p display"? While the are several articles on the web that answer that question, I really like this article at HomeTheaterMag.com that starts out:
There has been a lot of concern and confusion over the difference between 1080i and 1080p. This stems from the inability of many TVs to accept 1080p. To make matters worse, the help lines at many of the TV manufacturers (that means you, Sony), are telling people that their newly-bought 1080p displays are really 1080i. They are idiots, so let me say this in big bold print, as far as movies are concerned THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 1080i AND 1080p. See, I did it in caps too, so it must be true. Let me explain (if your eyes glaze over, the short version is at the end).
For clarification, let me start by saying that there are essentially no 1080i TVs anymore. Unless you bought a CRT based TV, every modern TV is progressive scan (as in LCD, Plasma, LCOS, DLP). They are incapable of displaying a 1080i signal as 1080i. So what weâ€™re talking about here mostly applies to people with 1080p native displays.
If there's an HDTV in your future, be sure to check this really informative article out.
We all know how HDTV has changed how we view TV but it's amazing how HDTV has also changed how TV is created. Check out this news report that shows how TV personalities have to prepare for high definiton TV, which even shows someone getting their makeup airbushed on. Wild!:
We've seen a lot of buyer's guides out there for HDTV but this is the first one we've seen that has PS3 owners in mind. PS3Land.com has a simple article that helps prospective PS3 owners pick out the right HDTV. The article starts out:
If you truly want to enjoy your PlayStation 3 this November, you’ll want a high definition TV. The games will still look impressive on standard TVs, but to appreciate the jump in visuals from the PS2 and Xbox era, you should look to invest a fair amount in a brand new flat panel.
In this guide, I won’t be talking about rear projection or DLP. My main focus will be on affordable LCD and Plasma TVs. After all, you’ll be spending a lot on the PS3 alone, and for many, that 40” is just out of the question.
I’d just like to make you aware that this guide may be skewed to the European audience. As you’ll see later on, there are some specifications or requirements that may not be the same in North America, for example. However, in general you should be able to get a good idea of what to look for in an HDTV.
Nothing special here but you may want to take a peek if you're interested in gaming with a PS3 on HDTV.