© 2008 Jeffrey Jacobowitz


What You Need.


Multi-Channel Sound.

What to Buy.

Where to Buy.

Hook It Up.

To watch HDTV on your HDTV, you need to feed HD (High Definition) programming to it.  Your best choice is an HD satellite receiver or HD cable box.  If you don’t mind using a UHF TV antenna, you can receive HDTV programming over the airwaves.  For movie lovers, you can buy a Blu-Ray DVD player that can play the new HD encoded DVD’s.  


At minimum you need an HD Source, an HD Tuner/Receiver, an HDTV Display, and the Cables to connect the separate pieces.  Once you have the required components, you also need to tune into a high definition (HD) program.





HDTV “Off-Air” Antenna

You need two things to receive HDTV over the air A UHF and possibly a VHF antenna and a DTV tuner.  A DTV tuner, also called an ATSC tuner, is built into all new HDTV’s, many older HDTV’s, and can be purchased separately.  You’ll need a fairly good signal to receive HDTV, but don’t worry about the ghosts you see with analog TV.  It’s non-existent with DTV.  If your signal is marginal, it will just cut out.  To find available DTV channels in your area and to determine the size of your UHF antenna visit anntenaweb.org.


You may find you still need a VHF antenna (used to receive analog channels 2-13) for HDTV.  The Federal Government chose to cater to the wireless companies’ preferences.


Cable Company

Your local cable company, such as Comcast or Time Warner, can install an HD Set Top Box and connect it to your HDTV.  I recommend you get the DVR model that allows you  to record and play back TV programs


Verizon FIOS

Exclusively from Verizon, FIOS is a combination HDTV Source (like cable), telephone and Internet service.  It is recommended if its available and it fits your needs.


Satellite Provider

Receive your HDTV programming from the sky.  Get an HD Receiver with a DVR.

The only two providers are the Dish Network and DirecTV.


HD DVD Player

Blu-Ray DVD players play HDTV quality DVD size disks.  Movies never looked so good.


Video Server

Stores DVD’s as video files on a hard disk.  Many also play Internet video content.


HD Source

HD Tuner/ Receiver

HD Display

UHF Antenna

DTV Tuner


Cable Company

HD Set Top Box


Satellite Service Provider

HD Satellite Receiver


Blu-Ray DVD Player



HD Video Server



DTV tuners are built into most HDTV’s.  Cable and satellite providers also have HD DVR models that can record and playback TV programs.


A high-tech alternative is an HDTV Multimedia PC.  They come with a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) program and DTV tuner for an all out PC based media center that serves up traditional and Internet programming.  You can rip or download DVD’s and store them on your hard disk.  Some standalone video servers also allow video to be played directly from the Internet  No more running to the PC to watch YouTube.


See Multi-Channel Sound for adding spectacular audio.