As many of you may be aware, on February 17th, 2009, federal law mandates that television broadcasters end their analog broadcasts and use digital broadcasts only. There is a misperception that this means everyone will need to have an HDTV by that date. While it will certainly be more convenient if you have an HDTV by that date, if you have an older “standard” definition TV, it will continue to work if you get a digital-to-analog converter, or if you have cable or satellite TV.
Regardless, many people will still think they will need an HDTV by that date – or at least they’ll use the excuse to get one! So 2008 will probably see unprecedented sales of HDTV’s, especially toward the end of the year as people wait until the holidays to get one. While TV manufacturers will probably have enough supply to meet demand, there exists a possibility that there may be a run on HDTVs this holiday or post-holiday season (January/February 2009). While you may be able to find an HDTV, you may not be able to find the one you really want. For this reason, as well as a few more I will talk about, my suggestion is to not wait until the holidays to purchase an HDTV.
For example, another reason is that you will also probably want to purchase other devices to go with your HDTV. For example, in order to get the best quality out of your HDTV, all your source devices (cable/satellite receiver, DVD player, A/V receiver, etc.) will need to be HD sources. If you don’t want to spend money on all these things at one time, you should purchase the HDTV first, then save the device purchases for the holidays.
As you will read in my Tech Toy of the Month article, the ability to rent movies over the Internet via the Apple TV will require the use of an HDTV. Technically, you could get an adapter for your older TV, but why spend the money on an adapter when you could just put the money towards a new HDTV? As the Apple TV will probably spur the sales of HDTVs as well, the possibility of not getting the HDTV you really want becomes more likely.
Finally, if you need help getting your new HDTV setup, it may become very difficult to find quality help during the holiday or post-holiday season, again because most people will probably put off their HDTV purchase until then. The early bird gets the worm in this case. Speaking of getting help with your HDTV, please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions on HDTV or home theater.