lCD HDTV Sam-sung’s LN52A650
is a stylish 52-inch,
1080p LCD HDTV
that delivers crisp
motion blur and
even lets you grab
stock quotes and
VUDU Download straight to
your set thousands of new
and classic films at up to 1080p
resolution, for just $0.99 to
$5.99. An XL option ($999,
below) offers Godzilla-sized
extra storage. $299, vudu.com
Time to toss those rabbit ears: As of Feb. 17, 2009, America makes the jump to exclusively digital TV.
Expect millions of happy prime-time viewers, with sharper picture quality, enhanced audio, optional
interactive elements and additional free channels ensuring more ways than ever to veg out. (Inside
tip: There’s never been a better excuse to justify a high-def upgrade.) Unfortunately, mass confusion’s
all but given, too, as the 18 percent of 114.5 million households nationwide still utilizing at least one
over-the-air broadcast set attempt to enter the 21st century. Here, FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin
offers advice for surviving the transition, while we suggest a few gadgets to make it pleasurable.
Allows you to wirelessly
stream HD broadcasts
throughout the home as
well as from TV to PC,
laptop or secondary set
for maximum viewing enjoyment. $299.99, slingmedia.com
Analog (antenna-based) TVs will
primarily be affected. Upgrading
requires a $40 to $80 converter
box. Coupons for $40 off are available through March 31 by calling
888-DTV-2009 or via dtv2009.gov.
Digital doesn’t mean high definition.
To enjoy true HD picture quality,
you’ll need a 16: 9 widescreen set
with 720p (progressively scanned
lines) capability, and an HDTV tuner,
often built into these sets.
Cable and satellite
check with their service
provider about potential hardware needs.