After months of John and I drooling over the big flat panel TV's when we walk into Costco, I finally took the High Definition (HD) plunge. After surprisingly little research (because of being overwhelmed by confusion), I decided to just look for something that accepted HDMI and supported all popular formats (1080p/i, 720p/i). I was originally looking at a Philips but after reading this article I decided to go with a Vizio. This 47"er was exactly what I was hoping for.
I got the beast home and was immediately dissappointed. It's huge. It's beautiful. No doubt. But it turns out that my Cox Digital Cable box actually converts an incoming analog signal into digital only so that it can infuse the guide/info/feature s and send an analog signal out to the TV. The TV, in this case, is too good in that it highlights all the defects of the inferior picture and looks like surprisingly poor quality. Fortunately, a dood at work led me on to over-the-air HD. I promptly went to Radio Shack and purchased a cheap antenna fully expecting it to pick up nothing in my basement rec room. I, and Becca, was pleasantly suprised to see all the major stations displayed in High Definition - a beautiful thing. Over-the-air HD is looking so good, I find myself watching junk I don't even like;)
Now, I find myself in a bind. The over the air HD is sweet, but I'm paying for a bunch of channels that look like junk on my TV. I've got to figure out whether to make a convincing argument to pay Cox yet another $5 a month to get the true digital/HD signal or make a convincing argument to drop it all together. Already, we've had some weather come in that has shown the weakness of the air broadcast, but its cheapness is appealing. When we do move to our final destination, we won't be fortunate enough to have a rec room at all (and we'll be <5miles from the broadcasts) so I don't expect the air broadcast to have the same weaknesses. Still, for now, I'm leaning toward paying Cox for the upgrade.
All and all, the move to HD is incredible. Most people I've talked to say that once you routinely watch shows in HD you'll never go back. So far, I'm inclined to agree.