September 8, 2006
Dear CNET members,
Happy Friday! You're used to reading about computer-related topics in the help and how-to newsletter, so I thought I would switch it up a bit and present you with Brian's question about buying an HDTV (high-definition television). Nowadays, the buzzword is HD, and it's hard to avoid hearing about it--from HD radio to HD-DVD to HDTV--it's everywhere. So I present to you this week's winning answer by Barry, who does a great job of explaining some of the different TVs available today and some of the features you may want to think about for future TV purchases. We didn't get a whole lot of submissions from our members like we normally do, so if you're interested in this topic or are an HDTV buff, swing by this week's discussion to talk shop about all the aspects of HDTV. And if this topic is not your cup of tea, you may be interested in what may happen February 17, 2009, when televisions that rely solely on analog over-the-air television (rabbit-ear antennas) will go dark! Have a great weekend, folks, and I look forward to your participation in our discussion.
Member Question of the Week
We bought a huge DLP HDTV for our basement, and I just love
it!. We're now looking at buying a new TV for our bedroom, but
I'm completely lost this time. I don't want to buy a new HD
digital cable box, and all we want to watch on it is regular
cable programming. So my question is, if I want to buy a
plasma or LCD TV that we can hang on our bedroom wall, what
should I be looking for? EDTV? Would an HDTV set offer a
better picture, even though it's not an HD source? Is there
some other stat or rating I should be looking for? Help!
Brian, buying a new TV right now is one of the most complex consumer purchases a person can make. Very few consumers understand the options and offerings, and salespeople sometimes are not much help either. On top of that are a bewildering number of offerings. There are at least six technologies available for actually displaying the image, at least five relevant screen resolutions, about nine different forms of video input connections, and 18 different broadcast formats approved by the FCC for HDTV (really digital TV or DTV) broadcasting. Consequently, choosing an actual product becomes a confusing task.You mention that you don't want to buy a new cable box, from which I gather that your intent is to actually receive and use only NTSC-standard (analog) signals direct from your antenna or cable with no set-top box or satellite receiver. While I understand that objective, you should understand its important limitations: The U.S. government has decreed that NTSC signal broadcasting will cease on February 17, 2009. Consequently, after that date, a set used as you describe would "go dark" and could not be subsequently used without an external set-top box (STB) of some type. Since that date is relatively close...
Barry W. of North Canton, Ohio
efforts, we're sending him his choice of any
Help.com Learning CD.
Each week we take a look at topics discussed in the forums.
Adding extra internal hard drive and RAM; easy or difficult?
Best regards and enjoy!
Adding an internal hard drive and RAM are probably the most common upgrades done by everyday computer users. However if it's your first time, it can be a daunting task. So is it easy or difficult? Chime in and tell us your first experience doing these tasks; offer a little guidance to our member, who's new to all this.
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Would you suggest buying generic
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Before you work on your computer's innards, what do you do first to ensure that you do not ruin anything? See what members are suggesting.
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Off-topic: Courtesy comeback--random acts of kindness
While it's not tech related, I thought I'd present this post by our member rayliddle to see what our community members have to say and what constructive ideas they might have on how to improve our quality of life. So give this post a read and chime on in with your ideas.
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Off-topic: Steve Irwin's death
Again, this isn't tech related, but definitely something worth mentioning as many people worldwide are saddened by the recent tragic loss of Steve Irwin, the crocodile hunter. See what our members are posting about his lost. R.I.P., Steve.
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Check out next week's question:
Hi! I have decided to build my first desktop computer and have a pretty good handle on all the components except graphics cards. How does one go about choosing a graphics card? I am a middle-of-the-road user. Some of the major applications I use are Adobe Photoshop CS2, Open Office, Firefox (heavy Web surfer), Adobe Acrobat 7, Windows Media Player, Visual FoxPro 9, SnagIt 8, Picasa2, and assorted utilities, such as antivirus and antimalware apps. I have looked at different graphics cards but am very confused about their capabilities. It seems most boards are built around speed, and they all seem to be targeted at gamers; they cost from $300 to $600 and up. I'm trying to get a video card that is geared toward my usage at a reasonable price. I am open to recommendations. I don't believe I need all the bells and whistles. Could someone explain the options and try to determine what I really need? I'm so confused. I will be running Windows XP Pro.
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