Unlike an iPod or a cellphone, an HDTV includes numerous and sometimes very advanced adjustments that can directly improve its performance. Using those controls properly can have more impact on picture quality than any other factor.
Photo by Tony Cordoza All diagrams by Dimitry Schidlovsky except for the LCD which is by Mark Schrieder. Given that cathode-ray tubes (CRTs) provide the best pictures, why are so many companies moving away from tubes and into new technologies? Because that's how they can make the thinner and lighter TVs everybody's clamoring for.
The hottest-selling HDTVs right now are big-screen rear-projection sets, a category that's still dominated by the relatively cheap, time-tested cathode-ray tube (CRT). But the new "microdisplay" TVs are gaining fast.
Riding the bus to school was always a drag, so it felt great to be able to slide behind the wheel of my new car and drive there on the morning of my 16th birthday. Each day after that I'd wake up late, then get halfway home before all the losers who didn't have wheels even got on the bus.
When I first started writing about TV - instead of just watching it - I had the privilege of attending an eye-opening demonstration of high-end projectors. The corporate host had set up a series of these light cannons in a room and proceeded to show the same scene from Shakespeare in Love on each one.
Did you know you can get a plasma HDTV for $1,800? That's right - TV technology that a few years ago cost more than a Hyundai is now within reach of most middle-class American budgets. Prices for entry-level big-screen HDTVs, including those flat-panel plasmas and LCDs as well as advanced DLP and LCD projectors, are falling at near-terminal velocity and have yet to hit bottom.
Photos by Tony Cordoza To break an awkward silence at a business dinner a while back, somebody went around the table with the question, "What's the one thing you'd want if you were stranded on a desert island?" When my turn came, I replied, "A plasma TV." Everybody was incredulous, but I had my reasons.