Recently TV’s have got wider and thinner and some would even say… ‘sexier’, but have they got any better?
Sure, the latest trend is HDTV (High Definition TeleVision), promising stunning picture quality, but at a much higher price than regular CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) Televisions.
Buzz words like plasma, rear projection and LCD will roll off the salesman’s tongue as you walk into your local electrical store, before being asked to choose from a variety of screen sizes, shapes and brands. It’s enough to make you give up before you even start looking!
So Do I need a HDTV for my PS3 ?
PlayStation 3 comes with a cable that will let you use a regular television, so you don’t ‘need’ one, but be prepared to be very disappointed with the picture quality.
The PS3 isn’t cheap, whereas the PS2 is, so just be sure you are happy that you will hardly be able to see any difference between the games on either system on an old fashioned TV.
The biggest problem for those people who were among the first to buy a HDTV was that there was almost nothing to watch on it that showed off the very high detail levels that can be produced by these TV’s. Normal television channels can look even worse on a high definition television because they emphasize every tiny imperfection. Digital TV looks better, but again can look terrible when you are watching fast moving or very detailed scenes. Ideally, you will need to subscribe to a range of dedicated high definition channels.
So it all sounds negative at this point, and until the launch of the Sony PS3, it was.
Now things are different. All of the PS3 games are high definition, pushing your HDTV to produce amazing details, sharp images and a range of colours not even possible on your home computer monitor.
A recent PS3 firmware update now upscales regular DVD’s and makes them look amazing when played on a HDTV.
The PlayStation3 has a BluRay player built into it. Blu Ray movies are now coming down in price, and there is now a huge selection of movies to choose from; all recorded in high definition. Personally I would recommend that you rent Blu-Ray for now, until their price falls a little more.
The PS3 also allows you to surf the internet, which is a completely new experience on a 32 inch screen sitting in on a comfy chair. Many HDTV will allow you to split the screen, allowing others to watch TV while you surf the net.
So the choice is now more difficult.
If you are happy with a small screen and don’t need TV channels, then the alternative is to hook your PS3 up to a computer monitor. You will need a special cable, and a monitor with a digital input, but this will work fine. If your monitor doesn’t have speakers, then you will need to buy some.
If you want a screen larger than 22 inches, then definitely get a HTDV, but make sure it has at least one HDMI connector on the back and has a resolution of 1080i or 1080p and a screen refresh rate of 8ms or less.
By Jim Bolland