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Why consider buying a new TV?

DStv will be introducing widescreen as well as HDTV channels in 2008. This can be viewed much better on the newer types of TVs now available.

Widescreen and HDTV-ready TVs have been available for a while and prices have been dropping steadily. Price drops will continue but the drops will become ever smaller as the technologies have now matured and competition is ensuring that retailers take smaller margins. So � waiting some more will save you money but future price drops will become ever smaller.

The balance between waiting for the price to come down further and being able to enjoy the technology now is one that everyone has to decide for themselves � but sales trends show that HDTVs are becoming one of the most popular �big-ticket� items � meaning that for many people that balance has now been reached.

So what is widescreen TV?

Widescreen is normal TV � it�s just wider.

Almost all new television material is being made in widescreen format. Most of the current TV we see is the centre cut piece of the originally widescreen picture.

If the widescreen sides are moved together it is clear that widescreen is 1/3 wider compared to the picture shown in standard TV (tan coloured part). This means that 33% of the context of what you are looking at in the middle of the screen is goes missing when you only see the normal picture � you could be missing the last defender or supporting player or the distance to the try-line.

This example shows that the �normal� picture not only does not show who is being talked to but also does not show who is eavesdropping�

Widescreen is definitely a huge improvement on normal TV.

� and what is HDTV?

HDTV is basically high quality widescreen. When viewed at a distance the difference is not as apparent�

HDTV picture:

SD (Standard Definition) widescreen TV:

But when you see the picture at more-or-less the size that it will be displayed on your screen the difference is unmistakable�

HDTV:

The bottom line is that HDTV looks really good � but you have to have the right equipment and view it from the right distance otherwise it looks very much like normal widescreen.