To HD or Not HD – That is the question…

Given the work I’ve been doing over the last few years in the DVR/PVR/Television space, I’m now being (rightly or wrongly) sought out by my friends and family for advice as to what to buy when they’re replacing their Television sets. I’ve written an entry on this previously, but figure it’s probably worth another post as my thinking on the matter solidifies.

I’m of the opinion (which is subject to change pending convincing technical arguments, or a Lotto win) that buying an HD set is a good idea, but not worthy of sinking the kids education fund into at the moment as there are still a number of up and coming technologies (aren’t there always?) which require serious consideration.

So – my current response to inquirers is “get an HD set, and make sure it can do HD, but don’t spend too much as you’ll be wanting to replace the unit in around 5 years when OLED or SED make it to market, and HDMI 1.3 (or whatever supersedes that) becomes commonplace.”

The biggie here is to make sure the screen does what you’ve asked for as sales people seem to be economical with the truth and, while being technically correct, HD ready and actual HD display can be different. To this end, I’ve added a resolution table to the end of my ‘Getting High‘ post which you should check off against to ensure your display will do what you want it to. Once you’ve established the resolution you want to run, for goodness sake – make sure the set includes an HDMI port which inturn needs to support the HDCP content protection ‘standard’ – otherwise you’ll end up with a device on your wall which can display HD content, but no HD content which is broadcast (or purchased as a HD-DVD/Blu-Ray/Whatever) will be allowed to get sent to it. There’s some links in the last sentence there – follow them and get informed so at least you know what you’re talking about when the sales guy in the local electronics store tries to tell you about high-definition.