How To Choose a New TV
Types of TVs:
Direct View vs: Flat Panel vs: Rear Projection vs: Front Projection
Rear Projection TV - RPTVs offer the largest fixed screen size, they range from 42 to 80 inches. RPTVs are physically large units, CRT models the largest. Floor standing models require the greatest amount of space of all TV choices. New display technologies have enabled some RPTVs to shrink to tabletop size and a mere 14 inches deep. RPTVs offer the highest resolutions, up to 1080 lines, interlaced (1080 progressive models are still in development).
A majority of RPTVs are widescreen, HD-ready models. Some great bargains exist for older 4:3, non-HD models but those are disappearing fast and with good reason. Those old format analog TVs will soon become obsolete. We recommend spending a little more to get a TV that will last a lot longer.
Choosing an HD-ready model will be the right choice for most people, because your cable or satellite STB will tune the broadcast channels. However, if you want over-the-air programming (OTA) choose one with an ATSC tuner built in. Models equipped with a CableCard slot will allow you to skip your cable company's set-top-box, but you won't have all the interactive features such as movies on demand. For the full set of interactive features or if you use a satellite dish, then you will still need a set-top-box.
Rear projection televisions are still the fastest selling category. They offer the best bang for your buck and the largest screen size, short of a projection TV. Rear projection TVs are offered with several technology choices; DLP, LCoS, LCD & CRT. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. For more detailed information, read our article on RPTV technology choices.
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