Should You Buy a Digital TV?
Yes, HDTV is still coming, and it'll likely make your TV obsolete by 2006. If you're in the market for a new set now, here are your choices.
You can dip your toe into the HDTV pool with Samsung’s 15-inch LTM 1575W LCD monitor ($2,000). When you’re ready to dive in, you just add the HDTV tuner.
Resolution: 480 interlaced lines, meaning half the screen is refreshed at a time
Pros: Can’t beat the price. In the future, you’ll get analog versions of HDTV with a decoder
Cons: As soon as one of your friends goes digital, you’ll notice how lame your picture is
You’ll pay around: $1,200 for a 32-inch monitor
Resolution: 480 progressive-scan lines, which allows the entire screen to be refreshed at once
Pros: Much better resolution than an analog TV, half the price of an HDTV
Cons: As with analog, you get black bars onscreen; it’s not true HDTV
You’ll pay around: $2,000 for a 32-inch monitor
Resolution: 720 progressive-scan or 1,080 interlaced lines
Pros: The best picture (a lot of) money can buy. Tip: If you can’t afford an HDTV yet, consider an HDTV-ready monitor — you can add the tuner later
Cons: Bring a credit card or two You’ll pay around: $4,000 for a 34-inch HDTV
WHAT’S PLAYING IN PIXELS
There’s more HDTV programming than you think: Two-thirds of the nation’s 1,200 stations will be serving up digital fare by the end of the year. A sampling:
Alias, The Practice, Drew Carey Show
Everybody Loves Raymond, JAG
The Tonight Show, Crossing Jordan
Cloud: Wild Stallion of the Rockies (April 21), Frontier House (April 29-30)