I need a new TV. I've have my current one for 6 years now and it was secondhand when I bought it. Plus it gets this little green patch now and then (which it's been doing for a couple of years). Not hugely annoying, but everything helps in justifying a new one.
My current TV is a normal 25" 4:3 set. I've worked out that if I go widescreen I need a 31" set to get the same height, which seems perfectly doable. The tricky bit comes in that I'd like HD, as hopefully the new TV will last me at least as long as the old one has. HD's only recently been launched in the UK - Sky brought out their HD service just in time for the World Cup (though I understand lots of people who'd pre-ordered didn't receive their upgrades in time). Telewest also have a recent HD service. Of course NTL, who I have, don't yet (despite them having merged with Telewest) and the Freeview DVB-T trials are only in Central London. Anyway, I won't have HD signal for a while, but I want to be ready when for when I do (and I'll be hooking a media PC up to the screen anyway, so will be able to take advantage of it via that method).
Sky appear to have decided on using 2 HD formats; 720i (1280x720, progressive) and 1080i (1920x1080, interlaced). So having support for those would be nice. In addition I'd like 1080p (1920x1080, progressive), for things like the media box and in case content becomes available in that format (HD-DVD/BluRay?). This doesn't seem like a huge request. Lots of TVs in the UK are marketed as HD Ready. What does that mean?
Essentially it specifies that the minimum native resolution of the screen is 720 lines and that there is a digital (DVI or HDMI) input that can support 720p and 1080i input and copy protection (HDCP). There is no minimum width; the set is allowed to scale the image to fit whatever it has. I've seen HD Ready sets that have a 1024x1080i native resolution - not wide enough for a native 720p image let alone 1080i. However most HD Ready sets seem to do 1366x768 as the native res, so fine for 720p but not 1080i/p. sigh
I managed to find a TV from Philips, the 37PF9830/10, which does native 1920x1080p. Amazon even sell it, though for an eye watering £2,248.28. What does this get you? Integrated Freeview decoder? No. MPEG2/4 playing of movies from flash media? No, just image viewing. A nice big monitor for your computer? No, Philips' website only lists 1024x768 as the max computer res and I've seen reports in forums that 1366x768 is possible, but no higher. There's a 42PF9830/10 (42") that adds movie playing and ethernet, which sounds good but adds who knows how much to the price (I couldn't easily find a UK price). Plus it's probably too large for me even if it was affordable.
My naive hope is that with the Sky push lots of people will have got sorted for the World Cup, or will go HD for Christmas. Meaning that come the new year I might have a better available choice of proper HDTVs and the pricing might be sane. I can dream, right?