HDTV Buying Tips and App Options

As I write in this week’s The Box cover story for The Press newspaper, “Choosing the television that’s right for you can be as bewildering as trying to fathom the programming strategies of TV networks.”

Among the considerations is the high-end option of apps, or widgets, such as those analysed in this CNET.com update of what’s available.

Bear in mind these vary from one country to the next, with NZ being among the more poorly served. However, Samsung and Sony are leading the charge to reverse this with their new models.

Indeed, among Sony’s BRAVIA Internet Video latest channel additions are MoshCam and UCTV.

MoshCam has a large collection of complete live concerts, including acts like Janes Addiction and Jack Johnston; UCTV (uctv.fm) offers a range of interviews and fly-on-the-wall docos with musicians and producers as well as music.

Both show the potential of the platform with longer-form material. Sony’s also planning local channels and is soon to launch a Billabong sports channel.

Meanwhile, Freeview general manager Sam Irvine reminds me that arguably one of the best features of most new TVs is their integrated Freeview|HD receiver, as it cuts the clutter of free HDTV reception.

“Nearly every new TV now sold in New Zealand, whether LCD, plasma or LED, comes with Freeview|HD built in. The great thing about this is it takes the hassle out of setting up — all you do is plug it into a UHF aerial and there’s no need for other boxes and wires.

“And you can now get MyFreeview|HD digital Television recorders for under $400, so all those people still using analogue VCR’s, DVD and HDD recorders should be thinking about future proofing themselves.”

The validity of Irvine’s sales pitch is borne out in the latest Freeview uptake figures, which show a big hike in Freeview|HD homes.

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