channels and a number of specialty channels are available in HD, and the
number of hours per day that HD is available is increasing all the time. If
you’re not watching programming broadcast in high definition, your HD set
cannot provide true HD quality!
DVDs are another great source for HDTV. Standard DVD players display
480i, while “progressive scan” players show 480p. Two new formats deliver
1080p: HD DVD and Blu-ray.
Getting the picture you saw at the store
To get the picture quality you paid for, be sure to use high-performance
video cables. Not all cables are created equal. Only two types of cable deliver
HD signals: component and HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface).
Component is a three-wire video cable capable of up to 1080i. The video
signal is in three separate components, which are translated in the TV. HDMI
is a high-bandwidth ( 10 Gbps, or 10,000 times faster than broadband Internet)
digital format for delivering video up to 1080p, along with audio. While it may
look simple, and is very simple to connect, it represents cutting-edge technology.
Even though there is much going on within better-quality cables that you can’t
see, the construction and materials make a large difference. Look for silver-plated copper conductors for the best result.
Optimize your HDTV and turn your room into a home theater
The biggest impact you can make after getting an incredible picture
is adding big sound to that big picture! Speakers come in many shapes and
sizes. Listen to them with a multi-channel receiver capable of digital surround
sound, such as Dolby Digital 5. 1 or DTS. Look for helpful features such as
component video switching or, even better, HDMI switching. Beauty can also
be in the ear of the beholder. You are the one investing in and living with your
system—select the one within your budget that sounds most pleasing to you.
Getting the sound you heard at the store
Invest in quality cables for your receiver, components and speakers.
Digital coax and Toslink (fiber optic) are the only types of audio cables that
can deliver digital, multi-channel surround sound. Don’t forget to choose a
high-quality speaker cable to maintain the performance throughout. Look for
audio cables featuring solid-core center conductors.
Getting it home and making it work
For those ready to dive into the do-it-yourself pool, enjoy the satisfaction
you can receive from putting your own sweat into your system. However,
in order to get every bit of performance available, even if you are handy
around the house, you will benefit from having your system professionally
installed. Remember, the pros do this every day, and with that comes many
an advantage. A