Seeing is believing. HDTV offers a big, crystal clear picture like you've never seen before and it's music to your ears with its CD-quality Surround Sound home theater experience. But some people are getting their HDTV home only to feel some disappointment.
Not all programs are broadcast with HDTV quality, mostly scripted primetime programs and some programs on pay channels like HBO and Showtime. For now a lot of local programming, such as Action 2 News, will continue to be broadcast in SDTV.
As a result, you get your big, beautiful (expensive) new DTV home only to see a picture that looks like the squarish shape of your old TV and lots of black space along the sides. It's like letterboxed movies, only sideways (the black space is referred to as "barndoors").
The Federal Communications Commission and networks are engaged in a "chicken or the egg" debate: The FCC wants networks to air more programs in HDTV to make people feel it's worthwhile to buy an HDTV set. Networks say until viewers have HDTV sets it's not worth the expense to produce and broadcast HDTV programs.
And we didn't even mentioned the problem with commercials. Oh wait, now we have. During an HDTV program, your TV will switch from HDTV to SDTV mode during many of the ads, which aren't in HDTV format. That can be kind of annoying.
So why invest in an HDTV?