The Great HDTV Come-On

Trying to second guess consumer buying habits can put you in the funny farm. We were positive in the high-definition TV industry that the World Cup would get people crowding stores to grab up new LCD, plasma and projection HDTV sets. But if it weren't for the head butt, retailers and manufacturers would have sworn the competition had been cancelled. How could such smart people have underestimated the draw? The answer requires looking beyond "conventional" wisdom.

We got our 50" set a year ago after our 5-year-old projection system died. We knew what we wanted: A BIG screen; able to see shows in HighDef; capable of the total home entertainment solution we envisioned; and costing something less than our second born.

We visited two big box stores and one big screen specialty store. The clerks threw every acronym in the book at us: true NTSC; HDMI (turns out this is really important!); 720p and 1080p; 16:9 aspect ratio and more (some of them we had even heard of!).

We stood back and stared at screen ... after screen ... after screen.

Boy, were they thinner than our old piece of furniture! Finally, we picked the one we liked the images on. It was "HD ready" (the label said so, so it must be true!).

Heard the price.

Sold the kid.

Bought the set and rearranged the family room for optimum 7:1 sound (can't wait for it to be available).

But right after the techs installed the set, they informed us that to get real HD we'd have to buy a special tuner for only £250 because the set was only "HD Ready."

Well La Di Frickin' Da!!!

Ok ... in for a dollar, in for a dime and for the most part we're happy. Of course, the shows suck but the picture looks great !!!

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