The HDTV Picture Show

Chances are you bought your HDTV with one purpose in mind: to watch movies, sports, or the many network and cable TV series like Lost and The Sopranos that look stunningly good in a widescreen, high-definition format.

But an HDTV can function as more than just an instrument for passive entertainment. With its high-def display, that new set can also be used as an all-purpose screen for viewing slideshows of photos taken with a digital camera. And if you haven't yet experienced how good home videos shot with an HD camcorder can look, you're in for an eye-opening experience.

With HDTV sales booming, it's not surprising that manufacturers are offering digital cameras and camcorders with features aimed at easily viewing snapshots and videos on high-def screens. At the same time, TV companies are making sets more multimedia- friendly, outfitting them with connectors and capabilities that enable easy high-rez digital photo and home-video viewing. Unfortunately, it's not always clear which features and jacks on a TV serve this purpose. We'll take a look at what these connectors are and what they do so that, if you plan to use your HDTV for viewing slideshows and home movies, you'll have a better idea of what to look for.