By Andrew Eisner

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In a previous article we listed several things to consider and problems to avoid when buying and using HDTV. In this article we’ve updated some of the tips and added some new ones. Here's the list of some common mistakes for buyers and owners of HDTV sets.
1. Keep chemicals away from TV, ammonia in Windex can damage coatings. Liquids sprayed on the screen can seep in between the bezel and panel and cause all kinds of problems. Best to use a damp cloth preferably not wood-based paper products like newspaper or paper towels which can create tiny scratches.

Andy’s Screen Cleaner: If you want to save some money on expensive “glorified water,” mix equal parts distilled water and 99% isopropyl alcohol and use it to clean your screens and other electronic devices. *Note, some claim that even a weak alcohol solution can hurt your screen.

2. Don’t buy a Plasma TV if you’re going to be watching it in a brightly lit room with a lot of windows. Unlike LCD TVs plasma TVs have thick glass panels which can create lots of glare. On the other hand, don’t be afraid of Plasma “burn-in” which was a more common problem on older Plasma TVs. Most of today’s Plasma TVs have circuitry to prevent burn-in or ghosting.
3. Don’t pay too much attention to those formulas that use room size to determine screen size. Buy the biggest TV that fits with your furnishing. Also keep in mind if you don’t have an upconverting receiver or upconverting DVD player, a lot of programming that comes from DVDs and standard def programming shows up on your screen with big black borders around it so a bigger TV might be better if you’re going to be watching a lot of standard def programming.
4. Don’t turn down a great deal on a 1080i TV. Even though we recommend buying a future-proofed 1080p TV, Bruce Berkoff of the LCDTV Association points out that it is difficult to tell the difference between 1080i and 1080p on a set capable of displaying all the pixels. He adds, “If a TV is rated at 1920 x 1080 resolution it shouldn’t matter if the program is in 1080i or 1080p.” Currently none of the programming coming in over the air, on cable, or satellite is 1080p. More so, you can’t really tell the difference on anything smaller than a 37 inch TV or if you sit far enough away from a larger set.
5. Don’t leave the brightness up too high. Many TVs ship with the brightness setting 21 in “showroom” mode. In a normally lit living room a lower brightness level is perfectly adequate and saves energy too. If you want to get the most out of your HDTV set, you should consider having it calibrated by an expert like someone from Geek Squad or do it yourself with a DVD like Digital Video Essentials.
6. Don’t get fooled into buying expensive add-ons from the salesperson at your local big box retailer. Most HDMI cables work just fine for most programming. The one reason to spend the extra money is for a high speed (Category 2) capable cable used for “Deep Color,” and lossless audio.
7. Pay Attention to Audio. You may think the sound on your TV is just fine but if you haven’t heard 5.1 (or more) surround sound on a quality audio system you haven’t experienced HDTV. Some things to keep in mind when shopping for an audio system are; be cautious when buying speakers from a brand not necessarily known for speakers like some major consumer electronics brands (you know who they are), make sure you listen to the speakers before buying them, don’t hide the speakers in furniture, and make sure the receiver has enough ports for future expansion.
Retrevo Helps You Avoid All Gadget Mistakes
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Actually, DISH Network does have some PPV in true 1080p format. FYI.

Yes, but with the

Yes, but with the compression being used, that 1080p signal is no where near the quality of blu-ray 1080p.

PLASMA TV comments in bright rooms

The comments that all Plasma TV's have a glass front and reflect windows etc, is not quite true, most perhaps but not all, my Pasasonic TH50P has specially treated glass which all but eliminates reflections and works wonderfully in my bright daylighted room...... info

I have a 50-inch Plasma as

I have a 50-inch Plasma as well and the anti-glare screen works wonderfully. Plus the viewing angle on Plasma beats LCD any day. The author of this article didn't get their facts in other areas as well. Upscalling has nothing to do whether or not you have black bars at the top and bottom of your screen. That depends on the format of the tv (widescreen vs full screen) adn the format of the input signal (widescreen vs full screen).


Burry Screen

I made the mistake of using a screen cleaner and now have hazt patches on it. Any ideas on how to get them off?