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Sports events a driving factor behind HDTV sales  (Source: Vizio)
High-definition console owners makeup 18 percent of HDTV purchases

Most gamers tend to be early adopters of technology. Those who own an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 know full well that a high-definition television is required in order to appreciate the visuals of the latest games to their fullest.

It should surprise few then to learn that of all consumers who purchased an HDTV in the past year, 18 percent of those were gamers buying the set just to connect either an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.

As reported in findings from research firm Frank N. Magid Associates, 25 percent of U.S. households or 28 million now have at least one HDTV set, that up from a penetration of 20 percent in September 2007. 5.5 million homes introduced HDTV during the holiday and Super Bowl season. 3 million homes added  a second HDTV during the same period.

"Consumers who become accustomed to the sleek and contemporary appearance of their first HD set are now looking to bring that benefit into other rooms in their home," says Maryann Baldwin VP of Magid Media Futures.

While a growing number of homes may have televisions capable of displaying at least a 720p picture, some are still feeding their HDTVs standard definition signals. "However owning an HDTV set and actually viewing HD are still two very different pursuits for many," added Baldwin.

70 percent of HDTV owners have some form of access to high-definition content, while the remaining 30 percent cite costs and a limited number of channels available in high definition as reasons for not making the jump.

Three in ten households intends to purchase a new television, many of those HD capable, within the next year. Nearly a quarter of those who do not own an HDTV currently expressed that they feel it is important to be able to watch the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in high-definition.

Magid said that it conducted this online research among 1,235 consumers nationally representative of the U.S. online population, age 21 and over.

"Now that the early majority has joined the ranks of the HD adopters, the demographic makeup of the HD population is looking more like the overall U.S. TV viewing universe," says Jill Rosengard Hill, Magrid VP and managing director.

Product price and mass market adoption of HDTVs are inversely related. Thanks to value-oriented brands such as Vizio, which has overtaken traditional electronics giants such as Sony and Samsung in sales, consumers are finding the jump into high-definition more affordable than expected.

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Kind of ironic...
By homerdog on 4/25/2008 12:50:05 PM , Rating: 2
That I still find a good old CRT best for gaming due to the enigma that is input lag. Perhaps I have really bad luck, but I have come across a grand total of one high def fixed pixel display that did not suffer from a noticeable delay between my pressing a button and seeing the results on the screen. It makes Rock Band impossible.

RE: Kind of ironic...
By homerdog on 4/25/2008 12:58:40 PM , Rating: 2
Oh and I'm talking about HDTVs not computer monitors.

RE: Kind of ironic...
By inperfectdarkness on 4/25/08, Rating: -1
RE: Kind of ironic...
By CCRATA on 4/25/2008 1:53:32 PM , Rating: 2
depends on how close you are sitting to the TV. For most setups 1080P will provide no benefit :)

RE: Kind of ironic...
By barjebus on 4/25/2008 3:38:58 PM , Rating: 2
Somewhat true. I think there's quite a large number of people who use their TV's as computer monitor's as well (myself included). I've got a Samsung 50 inch DLP tv, but it's 720p and doesn't look so hot for when I use it for my computer. Don't get me wrong, it looks good, and games especially look spectacular, but you just don't get the detail for things like small text that you see in a desktop environment.

I'm not totally sure why games look so perfect on it while windows doesn't. /shrug. I personally can't wait to get a 1080p one so I can run it at 1920x1080.

RE: Kind of ironic...
By Hydrofirex on 4/26/2008 3:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
Though I run a 1080p HTPC setup in my living room I don't think this is the norm. I've had every TV in my house networked onto a computer for at least half a decade now and I have to tell you people just don't understand the benefit, let alone that it's as easy as connecting a card you can purchase for under 50 USD. Especially with sites like there is a quickly growing base of content for any connected device.

And yes, your supposition about using a higher resolution display source is correct. SD resolution on a tv does not allow you to productively use it as a desktop. I kept a small LCD next to a recliner with a wireless mouse and keyboard in the past. That separate play window on BSplayer was the best. It was neat having a "hot seat" where you could DJ up music, video, funny internet content, and whatever else you came across.

HD takes the concept to a whole other level. I'm still only using XP Media Center and it's easy to actually use the thing as a computer! Vista is a lot nicer towards scaling up on a display source... I'm definitely looking forward to the Media Center/Home Server (when it doesn't corrupt my backed up data).

You choice:
Spend a few hundred dollars for something that just plays a disc, OR grab a Blue-Ray drive from the Egg and have a whole HTPC instead. And a HTPC upscales EVERYTHING.


RE: Kind of ironic...
By AlphaVirus on 4/25/2008 1:55:00 PM , Rating: 3
90% of the population can't tell the difference between 720p and 1080p.

Of course they can, if given the resources.

But considering most people that buy 720p/1080i are coming from a 480i world, I am sure +90% do notice a difference.

RE: Kind of ironic...
By Murst on 4/25/2008 2:10:21 PM , Rating: 3
yep. 25x16 is worlds better than 1080p. legions of fanbois crying "consoles need better graphix, wii is the suxxorS!" need to recalibrate their statements.

thanks. i'll keep my pc for hi-def. remember kiddies, 90% of the population can't tell the difference between 720p and 1080p.

I'm not sure what CRT TV/monitor you're using, but I doubt its "worlds better" than watching and playing on a 50" 1080p Panasonic.

To each his own though.

Also, where do you get the "90% of the population" comment? Do you have some source to back that up, or are you just pulling numbers out of your ass?

RE: Kind of ironic...
By homerdog on 4/25/2008 2:19:08 PM , Rating: 2
That wasn't really what I was getting at. I was just making it clear that my initial comment about input lag on fixed pixel displays did not apply to PC monitors.

RE: Kind of ironic...
By JazzMang on 4/25/2008 3:28:44 PM , Rating: 2
"68% of all statistics are completely made up"

RE: Kind of ironic...
By omnicronx on 4/26/2008 2:42:31 PM , Rating: 2
Heh i guess that flew over someones head...

RE: Kind of ironic...
By omnicronx on 4/26/2008 2:42:12 PM , Rating: 2
If you are implying LCD PC monitors are not effected, you would be wrong, they just have a much lower response time when compared to the average of 8ms on HDTVs.

I would also like to note that most expensive TV's these days have a 'gaming mode' which lets the signal bypass the preprocessing that makes the 'input lag' more apparent in the first place. Gaming mode along with a low response time results in a much better gaming experience than any CRT TV.

RE: Kind of ironic...
By Etsp on 4/26/2008 2:59:25 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, he is talking about a different type of latency. Some HDTV's have a decoding lag which puts the display behind what is actually happening. The individual pixels are quite fast enough, but the signal to update them doesn't get there as fast as a LCD monitor. This of course is limited to only some HDTV's, as there are many that do not have this type of issue. I am told it's at its worst when using HDMI, but I have not experienced this phenomena personally.

RE: Kind of ironic...
By Hydrofirex on 4/26/2008 4:00:06 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know what any of you are talking about. I play Guitar Hero 3 perfectly fine on my HTPC @1080P, and I got the game for 30 bucks (thank you Ebay) to boot. The game plays just fine: pre-processing, post-processing, re-processing, de-processing and all. There is zilch lag.


RE: Kind of ironic...
By therealnickdanger on 4/28/2008 8:10:02 AM , Rating: 2
If you have a large Best Buy near you, go to the TV area and check out the giant wall of flat panels. Stand back far enough where you can see them all. The BB near me has about 40 LCDs and PDPs on the back wall all playing the same video feed. You'll notice than many displays will lag behind the others or some will be further ahead in the feed than all the rest. It's subtle and nearly impossible to see up close, but stand back and you'll see it.

Every display uses a different form of processing that delays the speed by which content is displayed for you. It's *possible* that the delay at BB could be caused by the splitters and variable cable lengths... but that's not too likely.

This is all meaningless though, since Guitar Hero and Rock Band all have a manual calibration feature to properly synchronize button presses with the on-screen action.

RE: Kind of ironic...
By omnicronx on 4/26/2008 7:30:01 PM , Rating: 2
I know exactly what kind of latency he is talking about, and it is very common for TV's with a high response time to also have a high input lag. I have a 5ms response time LCD, and when I put it on game mode there is no noticeable lag at all. People who complain about this need to get a life, original LCD's suffered badly from this problem, lips would be out of sync with the audio, games would be unplayable, but thats just no longer the case with most TV's. If this was such a big problem then doing other things such as watching movies would result in lips being very out of sync, if you have the audio routed through an receiver especially with HDMI. You get what you pay for, if you put the money in an LCD can be just as good as a CRT for gaming.

RE: Kind of ironic...
By gramboh on 4/29/2008 12:23:34 AM , Rating: 2
Hmm maybe I'm lucky but I don't notice any input lag on my Dell 2407WFP (24in PC LCD) or my Samsung 4665F (46in LCD 1080p TV) when playing FPS like TF2 or CS:Source. I used to play CS 'competitively' so I think I would be able to detect problems in FPS input (e.g. I have to disable mouse acceleration, I can feel it immediately).

RE: Kind of ironic...
By someguy123 on 4/25/08, Rating: -1
RE: Kind of ironic...
By Hiawa23 on 4/28/2008 1:13:42 PM , Rating: 2
The only reason I bought 2 HDTVs were for Xbox 360 PS3 gaming. As far as games go, I must have em in HD for the current consoles. Other than that as far as watching tv broadcasts, or movies go, I am fine with standard definition.

RE: Kind of ironic...
By Locutus465 on 4/28/2008 3:02:05 PM , Rating: 2
lol, not me... I'm totally HD spoiled now!

RE: Kind of ironic...
By i3arracuda on 4/25/2008 1:03:17 PM , Rating: 5
Rock Band has a settings menu that will calibrate the game on your display to compensate for the delay. You need only select the type of panel you have.

RE: Kind of ironic...
By Murst on 4/25/2008 2:11:54 PM , Rating: 3
RB also allows for manual calibration if the pre-programmed stuff isn't working.

RE: Kind of ironic...
By homerdog on 4/25/2008 3:12:11 PM , Rating: 1
Yes, but the image still takes a certain amount of time to be displayed, and no setting in Rock Band will change that. My roommate who can 5 star every song on his 32" CRT cannot even pass some songs on our 47" LCD, no matter how long we spend trying to calibrate it.

RE: Kind of ironic...
By Sunrise089 on 4/25/2008 4:11:28 PM , Rating: 2
Um...isn't the whole point of calibration to fix this problem? My understanding would be the game displays the image slightly ahead of the audio and then detects the "hit" point at the audio note, therefore syncing the visual on screen, the song, and the scoring to the same point in time. If it does not due this, that what does it do?

RE: Kind of ironic...
By homerdog on 4/25/2008 10:49:08 PM , Rating: 2
Yes that is correct as far as I know, but you won't get that visual feedback until the lag has run its course. There is nothing the Xbox can do to change that.

RE: Kind of ironic...
By jRaskell on 4/28/2008 12:37:13 PM , Rating: 2
That is false. Once you know just how much lag is occurring with the 'visuals', you delay the audio by that amount, and shift the window for fretting/strumming by that amount as well and voila, everything is in sync. This is what the calibration routines do. If the game is properly calibrated, there should be zero perceived lag at all, regardless the display.

RE: Kind of ironic...
By homerdog on 4/28/2008 9:57:34 PM , Rating: 2
Calibration can sync up the video and audio by delaying the audio to match the video processing lag. It can also shift the strumming window to match this delay. It cannot eliminate perceived lag. You will not know whether or not you have successfully hit a note until the TV has had time to process and display the image. That can really throw off your timing in fast songs.

RE: Kind of ironic...
By Locutus465 on 4/25/2008 1:30:05 PM , Rating: 4
DLPs are really about as responsive as CRT's, you should give them a look some time... They also generally have better black levels and contrast ratios than most LCD's (though there are higher end LCD's that can approch what DLP's can do).

RE: Kind of ironic...
By FITCamaro on 4/25/2008 8:57:40 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously. I have no problem playing games, including Guitar Hero, on my Samsung 42" 720p DLP TV. I press a button and see the response. And considering DLPs are far cheaper than LCDs and Plasmas of the same size, they will be my HDTV of choice for as long as they're around. The new LED ones with 120Hz are even better.

RE: Kind of ironic...
By BansheeX on 4/25/2008 1:39:49 PM , Rating: 2
OLED will come eventually. Then we'll have HDTV and no input lag. Plasmas don't have input lag either, but most of them use oddball resolutions like 1024x768 stretched to a physical 16:9 to claim HD.

RE: Kind of ironic...
By Murst on 4/25/2008 2:14:15 PM , Rating: 5
OLED will come eventually

right in time for Duke Nuke'em Forever.

RE: Kind of ironic...
By PrinceGaz on 4/26/2008 11:06:11 AM , Rating: 2
I'd be happy with either OLED (with a decent working life) or SED. There hasn't been much news about SED for a while now though.

RE: Kind of ironic...
By mikeyD95125 on 4/26/2008 2:56:58 PM , Rating: 2
My Panasonic 42" 720P plasma doesn't need to be calibrated. It's played right without any adjustments. On the other hand when I go to play on my friends 32" LG the lag is horrible.

RE: Kind of ironic...
By omnicronx on 4/28/2008 1:01:34 PM , Rating: 2
my friends 32" LG the lag is horrible.
That would be the XD engine.. Turning off this feature results in a much better picture (a simple google search for reviews on LG displays will show this). I calibrated my dads 42 LG display and it looks brilliant, and I notice very little lag while playing, as long as it is calibrated correctly. Remember response time also has a big part in the 'lag' on your display. Personally I can't even fathom playing on anything higher than 8ms.(for those with older displays)

RE: Kind of ironic...
By rupaniii on 4/27/2008 11:25:35 AM , Rating: 2
ONLY old 37inch plasmas and 42inch 'wide pixel' vga 720p class plasmas, and Hitachi's absurd 1080HD plasmas at any size, have resolution correction issues.
Othwerwise, all Plasma 50 inch and above rated at 720p are 1366x768, same as LCD.
There was actually a true 720p Pioneer a couple years ago, but for some reason it didn't catch on.

Gaming looks fantastic on Plasma too, but, LCD at 120fps is the way to go now.

RE: Kind of ironic...
By rupaniii on 4/27/2008 11:16:14 AM , Rating: 2
That's odd.
Try the Toshiba Regza and the SONY Bravia.
My REGZA is spot on, i couldn't play Resistance without it.
The Bravia my buddy had, V3000, doesn't seem to have any issue. Also, XBR setup at my local best buy doing the PS3 doesn't seem to suffer. I do have a friend whose Visio seems to suffer from that.

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