Christmas is almost upon us and we all know what that means: hours upon hours of classic Crimbo telly with a healthy frosting of the latest flicks! As the winter nights draw in, what could be better than snuggling on the sofa in front of a roaring fire to watch a seasonal classic in dazzling HD? Want to watch everything from Home Alone to Harry Potter in clear, crisp and vibrant high-definition? Never fear, for digitalchoices.co.uk is here with a host of helpful hints on getting your HD sorted in time for the festive fun!
If television is the cake, HD is the icing. With HD TV your picture will be much clearer and sharper than anything available through a bog-standard signal. Superior sound quality will make the phrase 'home cinema' take on a new depth of meaning. Simply put, HD TV is like the Death by Chocolate of television.
If you (and your TV) are ready for high-definition, you just need to decide on where to get your HD fix. Sky and Virgin Media both have fantastic package deals available in the run-up to Christmas. These heavyweight providers offer a huge selection of channels in glorious HD, so whether you want to nurse your Boxing Day hangover with crystal clear nature documentaries or the latest Hollywood blockbusters, there will be stocking fillers aplenty to keep your festive spirits up.
All ye potential HD subscribers take note: for Virgin Media customers, the last order date for guaranteed pre-Christmas delivery and HD set-up is the 9th December 2011. For Sky customers who don't want to miss the last sleigh to a seasonal smorgasbord of HD channels, the deadline is 11th December 2011. As reason enough to subscribe to one of these network operators, Sky Movies HD viewers on both Sky and Virgin packages can digest Christmas dinner watching a superb selection of the biggest and best British films, including Oscar-winning drama The King's Speech and box office smash Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1.
For users who don't want to be tied into a monthly fee, Freeview HD offers a more modest selection of HD channels including ITV 1 HD, BBC One HD, BBC HD and 4 HD. Likewise, Freesat HD offers these four HD channels and adds NHK World HD to the mix. All these channels are sure to have their own spectacular seasonal schedules to enjoy in beautiful high-definition.
To check whether your home qualifies for HD TV services, you can use this simple and comprehensive coverage checker
Television and Receiver
Before rushing out and spending on a service subscription, make sure you have a television set that is able to receive and interpret a HD signal. Although many digital televisions are prepared for HD, this is not always the case. Basic models will only understand a standard definition digital signal and the picture quality on these models will be much lower than on HD TVs.
To check whether your television can make use of HD signals, follow these three simple steps:
1. Look for the specific model number on your television set. This can normally be found on an identification plate at the back of your television.
2. Once you have found the model number, enter it into your favourite search engine and you will find the relevant specifications online. Alternatively, look for a "HD Ready" logo on the front of the television set or in the owner's manual.
3. Note that unless your television has a Freeview HD receiver built-in, you will need to purchase one of these, a Freesat HD set-up or a commercial HD box before you can start enjoying HD TV.
If you need to replace your television to receive high-definition signals, make sure you select a model that fulfils your personal needs. There are a number of different labels that can be applied to HD televisions so it is important to check the specific model number against a detailed specification, as described above, before making any purchases.
Remember that 1080p, i.e. 'full' HD, is different to 720p or 1080i.
720p offers a lower resolution than full HD, while 1080i displays pictures in an interlaced format that leads to poorer handling of motion, particularly noticeable during sports or animated films.
Unfortunately for the consumer, HD television is currently broadcast predominantly in 720p and one of the only accessible sources of 1080p pictures is Blu-Ray discs. Full HD televisions will scale down to display 720p images, so you need not worry about buying top-end kit that is incompatible with the current standard.
Tempted to upgrade your television set in time for Christmas? The last date for Amazon orders which qualify for their FREE Super Saver Delivery is the 18th December 2011, so make sure your research is done and dusted in time to get your order in.
Digitalchoices.co.uk is a leading provider of information about digital products and services. Whether you want a HD coverage checker, a buyer's guide for digital televisions, or a comparison tool for different service providers, Digital Choices has the knowledge you need.
Digitalchoices.co.uk can be contacted by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
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