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PC Advisor's 10-step guide to digital HDTV

Get the most from your digital home

PC Advisor's comprehensive HDTV guide will show you how to set up your high-definition TV, from getting the best possible picture to making the right connections. Here's what to do once you get that brand new HDTV home.

If you thought that buying a new plasma or LCD high-definition (HD) television was the hardest part of bringing a great viewing experience into your home, think again.

To get the most out of your investment, you'll need to overhaul your video source, the cables you use, your sound system, your remote, and even your furniture.

If you haven't decided which TV to buy yet, we can help you make the right choice. Slip over to PC Advisor's price comparison-shop to get the best deal and the optimum-size set for your home.

High-definition glossary

Let's first look at some of the specifications used to describe high-definition pictures. Video at 720p, 1080i, or 1080p is considered "high definition" because it exceeds the standard TV definition of 480i. But these three resolutions certainly don't produce pictures of identical quality.

720p: Used by some TV channels for their high-def broadcasts, 720p video has a pixel resolution of 1280 by 720, and is progressive-scan, meaning that the technology involves drawing all of the lines of each video frame in sequence, rather than interlacing the odd and even lines of succeeding frames, which can cause a flickering effect in fine detail. Most 720p flat-panel sets have a native resolution of 1366 by 768 pixels.

1080i: Used by most HD broadcast networks, 1080i has a higher resolution than 720p, at 1920 by 1080 pixels but the video it produces is of roughly equivalent overall quality because of 720p's smoother scanning.

1080p: The king of HD signals and the standard for high-end flat panels, 1080p adds progressive scanning to its 1920-by-1080-pixel resolution. It is found in HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc players, and in a few PC media player and game boxes.

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