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By Daniel D Briere; Patrick J Hurley

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Composite video cables can offer a much better picture than a standard coaxial “antenna” connection. However, composite video really isn’t the best choice for higher-resolution analog sources, such as S-VHS-C and Hi8 camcorders, DVD players, and videogame consoles. Use an S-Video connection when you can. Figure 3-6: Use composite video for low-resolution video sources. Coaxial cable Coaxial video cable (coax — pronounced CO-ax — for short) is the cable that’s probably either running down from your attic antenna 42 Part I: HDTV Fundamentals or coming into the side of your house from the cable company or satellite dish.

So eventually all new TVs will have ATSC tuners — even nonHDTVs, since the ATSC specification includes standarddefinition digital TV. ߜ HDTV-ready TVs: These TVs can produce HDTV images onscreen, but they don’t have an internal ATSC tuner. You’ll need some sort of external tuner to pick up HDTV broadcasts. We’re going to use the term HDTV as shorthand for both HDTVs and HDTV-ready TVs throughout this chapter — and the entire book. But when you’re shopping, keep in mind that not all HDTVs have built-in tuners.

What size do you need? No, bigger is not always better. You can have a TV that’s too large for your space, or too small for 20 Part I: HDTV Fundamentals your usage. There is an optimal range based on where you intend to place the TV and where you intend to sit. These first two items — size and budget — will do a lot to narrow your choices before you get to any of the technical or usage criteria, so they are important to nail down first. If you want to fill an 8-foot wall with an image, unless you have a bank account the size of Bill Gates’s, you’re not going to do that with anything but a front-projection system.

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