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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: January 12th, 2011 10:01 AM CDT

What's a TV Buyer to Do?

Is the answer 720p, 1080i, 1080p? It depends upon what you want
HDTV
HDTV definitely results in a better image, but what resolution should you buy when considering 720p, 1080i or 1080p?
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By Barry Hochfelder

According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), more than 50 percent of U.S. households now own a digital television.

"With 50 percent of U.S. homes able to experience the reality of digital television, we have crossed a critical threshold," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA, prior to the Consumer Electronics Show last January in Las Vegas. "2008 will continue to demonstrate the growth and success of DTV, with nearly 32 million units forecasted to ship. Consumers are particularly keen to add HDTV to their homes, with high definition expected to account for 79 percent of total DTV shipments in the U.S in 2008."

According to new CEA sales projections, manufacturers will post 11 percent revenue growth, to more than $25 billion, from sales of digital televisions in 2007. CEA also forecasts 13 percent revenue and 17 percent unit sales growth for digital television in 2008.

So you're ready to joint the 50 percent, upgrade your current digital set or just buy a new television for another room. You stroll into Best Buy looking for a new, flat-panel high-def TV. The kid there says, "This is the best we have. It's 1080p." Sounds good, you say, I'll take it.

You've certainly bought a very good television, but is 1080p necessary? Well, not for broadcast television. No one is broadcasting in it because the bandwidth just isn't there. That's a lot of data to send out. Some 1080p-encoded titles have, however, been released on HD DVD and Blu-Ray discs, so with the proper player, you can make full use of your new television. For the gamers, X-Box 360 and Sony Playstation also take advantage of 1080p.

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