Is HDTV Really Important for a Home Theater?

If you are planning a home theater, you should have an HDTV as part of your setup in order to take best advantage of the home theater viewing experience.

Availability of HDTV Broadcasts
HDTV programming is widely available, with HDTV broadcast, cable, and satellite service increasing in availability across the country. Also, the audio that is supplied with HDTV video is often encoded with surround sound, which takes further advantage of your surround sound receiver.

The Progressive Scan Factor
Another twist in the setup is that even though DVD is not a high resolution format, HDTVs can display what is referred to as a progressive scan signal. This enables you to get the most out of your DVD player (most players can output progressive scan which gives the viewer a smoother film-like image when shown on a progressive-scan capable television).

DVD Upscaling
In addition, most DVD players also have HD-upscaling capability, which takes further advantage of high definition capabilities of an HDTV.

The Blu-ray Factor
Another reason to incorporate an HDTV into your home theater setup is Blu-ray. Blu-ray Disc players are widely available and very affordable. Blu-ray takes full advantage of the capabilities of HDTV, superceding upscaled DVD with respect to image detail, especially when viewing on large a LCD or Plasma TV, or on projection screens. For more information on how Blu-ray can benefit your HDTV and Home Theater experience.

The 4K Factor
In addition to the importance of HDTV in a home theater setup, another factor has entered the picture, 4K Ultra HD TV. Although 4K programing sources are not as common HD sources, and 4K content is not accessible from traditional broadcast sources (for those that receive their TV programming over-the-air via antenna), there is a steady growth of a available Ultra Hi-res content via streaming (Netflix, including forthcoming Roku support), and soon via satellite, as well as a forthcoming Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc format that should arrive by the end of 2015.

Also, all 4K Ultra HD TVs provide upscaling for lower resolution signals – so HDTV content can look better than on an Ultra HD TV (depending on how well the Ultra HD TV performs upscsaling functions).

HD and 4K Streaming
Depending on your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and broadband speed, the ability to access High Definition and 4K via streaming is on the rise. For example, Netflix makes much of its content available in HD, and now offers some 4K streaming of select titles. Also, services such as Vudu and Amazon Instant Video offer a lot of HD content. So, if you have either a HD or 4K Smart TV, or a network media player or media streamer that is connected to a non-smart HD or 4K TV, and you have the appropriately fast broadband connection, you can multiply your HD or 4K viewing options for your home theater setup that can be viewed on an HD or 4K Ultra HD TV.

With all of the above ways to access HD content, if you don’t yet have an HDTV in your setup yet – you are missing out on getting the best possible TV viewing experience.