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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.

Take stock and upgrade your sources

You should upgrade all of the sources you care about to high definition. This means upgrading them so that they are capable of delivering 720p, 1080i, or 1080p program material, and buying HDMI cables to connect them to your television (DVI, an older high-def connection standard, is also acceptable. You can purchase DVI-to-HDMI converters to connect older HD peripherals to your new HDTV).

Avoid using high-definition component ports; otherwise, your HD video source will get converted from digital to analogue and then back to digital again in your TV, lowering the picture quality significantly.

Cable TV: cable TV subscribers should upgrade their service to high definition, which usually means paying an extra charge on top of the amount for digital cable. Similarly, if you subscribe to premium channels like Sky, you should upgrade to the HD versions of those as well. High-def versions of channels have different channel numbers from their corresponding SD (standard-definition) ones, so you'll also have to learn a new set of numbers for switching channels.

Digital recorders

If you want to record your new high-definition channels in all their pristine glory, you must also get a new high-definition DVR. If you subscribe to satellite TV, you'll have to get an HD DVR from your provider. Set the output from your DVR to 1080i or 720p, depending on your particular HDTV model.

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