Saturday, April 26, 2008
HDTV receivers are the most necessary of these less obvious gadgets. High Definition Television receivers are necessary in order to view HDTV programming regardless of whether you get that HDTV programming from a TV service provider or over the air. In the case of getting HDTV programming from a TV service provider, you'll probably be supplied with the receiver that you need in order to watch that programming. If you want to watch HDTV over the air, you'll have to find a stand alone high def receiver. Either way, the receiver is a gadget that you need to consider in order to watch TV in high def.
Another source of HDTV programming can be found in the form of high def DVD's. High Def DVD's are optical discs that are the same size as normal DVD's, but they can store the huge amount of data needed to produce a full length movie in HDTV format along with all of the bonus features that you would normally expect. There are a variety of gadgets that can play high def DVD's, but that's actually a problem because there are two different high def DVD formats that can't be played on each other's players. That said, high def DVD players can be bought in stand alone models, but can also be found in other gadgets like video game systems and laptop computers.
Video game systems are also gadgets that can be used to complement your HDTV set. That's because two of the biggest video game platforms on the market- Sony's Play Station 3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360- can both display their graphics in high definition resolutions. This ability adds a lot of realism to the video gaming experience when you consider that the picture will be much more detailed than you're used to with a video game and that the viewing area is also much wider. These two gadgets can also be used to watch movies in high def. The Xbox 360 can play one of the high def DVD formats with the addition of a special disc drive, and the Play Station 3 comes with a built in drive capable of playing discs in the other format. The Xbox can also download high def movies from the Internet and the Play Station 3 is expected to have that ability soon.
There are also stand alone gadgets available that promise to make HDTV that's been downloaded to from the Internet available on an HDTV set as well. One is the Vudu, which actually upconverts standard def programming that's been downloaded and the other is the Apple TV which can wirelessly retrieve HDTV programming that's been downloaded form the Internet to a computer and then display it on the HDTV set.
All of these gadgets can contribute something to a home theater system.