TV & Video

The Source; everything that feeds your TV beautiful pictures

The TV is the anchor around which your audio/video system operates. It's a consistent debate in the audio/video forum; which has the most impact on the audience, a good audio system or video? Either way you go, it's safe to say that given today's technology, both aspects of your home entertainment system have undergone significant changes.

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Since the 80s and Dolby Surround, it was the audio system that was getting a boost from new surround formats. While the TV stayed with the old NTSC video standard it had from the beginning and while screens grew before our eyes, the only visual quality change before HD had been the advent of color. Today's HDTV in 50" range can give you a bright, hyper-realistic picture with solid colors and textures that can easily rival the sometimes overly dark images you see at the theater.

Today we have a dizzying array of options for television. You can choose from flat panel, front projector, rear projector; several display technologies including the trusty old CRT and that's just the hardware used to make a picture. There are different formats and standards with acronyms like EDTV, SDTV, HDTV and 3DTV which have several resolutions.

This section will help you make sense of all the changes and hopefully give you some insight if you're planning on jumping into HDTV technology. But don't forget that our Video section isn't limited to display types; it's also the source for your images. What source we watch from has changed in the last decade with PVR or DVR being the most significant and popular development to really take off in the last decade. It seems like only last year (in fact it was) the DVD recorder was the latest must have item- today their future is in question.

The DVD is on the way out with replacement technologies like Blu-Ray and streaming that promise to bring optical storage into the HDTV formats. DVR can still be a pricey technology as an add-on to your cable box. Alternately, monthly subscription services like TiVo and Netflix may be able to replace the functionality that used to belong to the VCR.

But whether you're using a DIY PVR/DVR system or you're still using your trusty old VCR and DVD player, the TV you pick is the most significant contributor to overall video quality.