For television programming, you
can simply use an antenna to get High Definition (HD) over-the-air
(OTA) broadcasts. For OTA broadcasts, you will need a TV equipped
with an ATSC tuner. An NTSC tuner only receives the older analog
TV signal, which is due to be phased out by 2011.
A majority of people get their television programming from cable or satellite providers. Cable and satellite providers are increasing their HD programming. Your provider will have to rent you a set-top-box (STB) in order to receive digital HD programming. In some cases you have to pay extra for the digital service and/or the STB. In the near future, all broadcasts will be in HD and cable and satellite providers will have to provide this service.
In order to receive digital HD television, you must have one of the following: a TV equipped with an ATSC tuner, a CableCard slot or a set-top-box. In the case of cable and satellite service, you will still need a STB even if you already have an ATSC tuner.
There are a myriad of other programming sources which are covered in other articles on this website. For more detailed information on VCRs, HDVCRs, DVDs, DVRs, Video Disks, HD-DVD and other sources, see our sections on home theater components.