Edited by Sarju Shah
Now that you've spent roughly $600 to get a nicely equipped Xbox 360 system, prepare to spend twice that amount to get a HDTV to go along with it. If you're on a budget and don't need a screen the size of Utah, don't fret, because surprisingly, you can still find options that won't have you on an all ramen diet.
Playing your Xbox 360 without an HDTV is like wading in a kiddie pool. You might be technically swimming depending on how shallow the pool is and how careful you are about keeping water from running over the edge, but it's still no comparison to doing laps in an Olympic sized swimming pool. Maybe we're being too harsh. We're not saying the Xbox 360's regular picture is eye-stabbingly ugly, it's still better than a normal Xbox, but the HD 720p resolution offers twice as much detail as a normal resolution television. Once you go HD, there's no going back.
Your mantra into the HDTV world should be, "Give me 720p." The Xbox 360 renders all games natively at 720p, so it's only natural that everything coming out of the 360 looks great at that resolution. Since all of us aren't made out of piles of money, your next best bet is to get a display that supports 480p or 1080i.
Size and your roomBefore we even get to the benefits of getting one kind of TV over another, you have to figure out what size TV works best for you. There's no sense in researching the benefits of a 65-inch LCoS HDTV if you have a room that's 10x10.
We're guessing many of you have dorm rooms or bedrooms to take into consideration, in which case, space is of the utmost concern. You might want to consider getting a large LCD monitor, or even a CRT monitor if space isn't that much of an issue. Generally, 24-inch and smaller sets are great in these situations, but they're too small for a main living room.
If you have the space, go large with a big screen; just make sure it doesn't take over the room. Remember that tube TVs are also fairly deep and get bulkier as the screen size increases. You'll want to pick out a spot that's deep enough for the TV so that it doesn't protrude awkwardly into the room.
If you're mounting the set inside an entertainment center, be sure it fits in every dimension. Also, leave an inch or two on all sides so that the TV has enough ventilation. If you're getting a bigger set, you may want to consider a dedicated stand. Many TV makers sell matching stands that increase the aesthetic appeal of their hefty boxes.
Widescreen TV-viewing distancesWith widescreen HDTVs you can sit as close as 1.5 times the screen's diagonal measurement and still not notice much of a loss in quality, while sitting farther away than three times the screen size means you're likely to miss out on the immersive feel. Here's a rundown of both minimum and maximum recommended viewing distances for widescreen sets.
|16:9 TV diagonal screen size||Min. viewing distance (in feet)||Max. viewing distance (in feet)|