Free digital broadcasts. These are available in just about all major TV
markets. All you need to receive these signals is an antenna attached to a TV
with a digital tuner or a digital set-top box. If you live close enough to the
transmitters, simple “rabbit ears” will do the job. If you live farther away, you
may need a larger rooftop antenna, sensitive enough to pick up digital signals,
or even a signal amplifier. You can find out what type of antenna you need at
www.antennaweb.org. Just enter your address and it will tell you the direction
of local TV stations and what kind of antenna you need. Note: Changes are coming for people who use an antenna for TV service. See story on page 54.
Digital cable service. Cable is available in many—but not all—markets. In
some cases, you will need to pay a premium for a high-definition set-top box.
Typically, cable offers channels with standard-definition programming and an
additional set of channels that carry the HD versions, as well as a wide range
of on-demand HD programming, such as movies.
Also, if your TV has a QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) tuner,
you can receive HD channels directly from the cable to the TV. However, you
won’t get much variety, nor will you be able to view premium channels without a set-top box or cable card.
Satellite service. These digital services, such as DIRECTV, are available even in
areas where there is no local broadcast or cable service. In general, you will
pay a premium for high-definition service. All satellite TV channels are broadcast in digital format. Also, satellite TV services offer local channels in many
markets and more national HD channels than cable, and feature a big selection of regional sports networks, sports packages and pay-per-view events.
Which service is right for you? The free local broadcasts are the most
limited, as you will have access only to a few unscrambled stations. A limited
portion of the programming will be in high def: generally prime-time programs,
movies and some sporting events. You can find an offering of HD channels in
your area at www.whereishd.com.
High-definition DVD player. This choice was simplified after the industry settled on Blu-ray Disc technology as the way to deliver high-definition movies.
You can buy a stand-alone Blu-ray Disc player, or you can buy other devices that
include a Blu-ray Disc drive, such as a personal computer or a Sony PlayStation 3.
Simplicity™ wall mounts for flat-panel TVs
increase the aesthetics of any room by
mounting TVs nearly flush to the wall like
a work of art. Solid construction safely
supports even the largest flat-panel TVs.
Three-step do-it-yourself installation is a
snap. Simplicity’s patented fingertip tilt
offers easy, tool-free viewing adjustments.
Simplicity wall mounts are available in
warehouses and online at costco.com.
HOW HIGH TO MOUNT YOUR HDTV?
The height of your flat-panel TV will greatly tilting or full-motion mount will allow flexibility
affect your viewing experience. Mount your TV in viewing angles and seating positions.
so that, while sitting, your eyes are level with
the middle of the screen. Resist the urge to TIP SPONSORED BY
mount your TV at the same height as a picture.
You don’t want to strain your neck looking up
at a TV that is mounted too high. Purchasing a