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TV Sets are HD-Ready...Are You?

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With the holidays and the football that follows, it's a good time to be selling televisions, especially with the technological boom the industry is seeing. And plummeting prices are bringing consumers in.

"In the electronics business, nearly always, the prices come down," said Gene Joyce, owner of Audio Video. "They seldom go up. And certainly with high definition and any type of technology as far as plasma, DLP, LCD or CRT, all of it has come down in price significantly."

But don't worry if you're lost in the acronyms. Most people who visit Audio Video and other stores don't really go in knowing exactly what they want.

What buyers do know is that prices are lower, high definition is more prevalent, and new TVs provide better quality. With those factors, experts are predicting double the digital TV sales in 2005.

So what's the sales pitch?

"The first thing we're going to find out is where it's going to be used," said Joyce, "how frequently they're going to use it, and also a budget certainly, because that would dictate some of the choices."

Here's a list of questions you, the consumer, should have:

- Is the set I'm looking to buy HD ready? Of course, just because you have an HD set doesn't mean you get HD channels. Go through your cable or satellite provider for that.

- What kind of technology does the set use? Insert an acronym here.

- What is the reliability of the set? This is especially important with all the different brands out there.

- Finally, a seldom asked question: Will what I'm looking at fit in my house? Most old furniture doesn't hold the big new sets.