Tube TVs: Pretty much gone the way of the dodo
While standard-definition TVs have not yet completely disappeared from retail,
that day is not far off. Certainly, choices are very limited, and manufacturers
we consulted are not offering new models for 2011. Still, standard-definition
tube TVs can still fill a role -- as an inexpensive TV for a child's room,
for example, though you can now find LCD HDTVs of similar screen sizes at
or near the same price. But, at smaller screen sizes where HD isn't as important
a consideration, tube TVs offer some picture advantages, including wide viewing
angles and deeper blacks than LCD. Here are some other things to consider.
- All new televisions are now digital
TVs. All new televisions now have digital tuners. That means your TV
will be able to receive digital television signals along with unscrambled
HDTV signals over the air or with a cable box. However, any HDTV signals
will be down-converted and displayed at a greatly reduced resolution.
sound quality. The quality of the built-in speakers matters greatly
if you won't be feeding the TV's audio to an external sound system. If
you do plan to use an external sound system, make sure the TV you select
has an audio output, and a digital audio output is a must if you want to
hear surround sound.
- All standard-definition CRT TVs are
4:3 format. High-definition content comes delivered in 16:9 format, as
do DVD movies (many DVD movies are still offered in a 4:3 format -- those
are typically labeled "fullscreen"). Viewing 16:9 content on
a 4:3 television means that it will be letterboxed, resulting in a smaller
image size, perhaps too small on a small-screen TV. However, smaller 4:3
televisions are fine if you are not watching very much widescreen programming.
- Other technologies
offer more choice. As the number of still available standard televisions
dwindles, other technologies, especially LCD, become more attractive.
The price gap between budget LCD TVs and standard TVs has almost completely
closed. Most LCD TVs have more features as well, starting with the ability
to display HDTV programming in high-def.