New technology has also made watching free-to-air television more complicated too. The days of simply plugging your aerial into your TV are fading and nowadays set-top boxes deliver standard- and high-definition digital television into living rooms across Australia.
Many Plasma televisions come with an in-built analogue TV tuner, just like the one in your old CRT television. The problem with these is they rarely look good on a flat panel and you really need to have a top quality signal to avoid ghosting, snow or any number of common problems. Digital television is suited for these kinds of displays but is not as commonly included. Therefore, for many, a digital set-top-box or an exterior device with a built-in tuner will need to be purchased as well.
Unfortunately, simply purchasing a set-top box is also not as easy as it sounds. There are two types of digital television one of which is standard definition and the other being high definition. The difference in price between an SD and HD box is quite dramatic.
In this country true high-definition television content is scarce and hasn't quite picked up the way it has in Europe, Asia and America. As such, while those few programs that are shot in HD look amazing, the rest are merely upscaled SD footage and show very little, if any, improvement over their SDTV counterpart.
When looking to buy a television, you need to decide what kind of television you want to watch. There are televisions that come with integrated HDTV tuners but you need to decide if you want to pay the extra cash to get one. If the television you want to buy doesn't have a tuner built-in you need not worry as you can always buy a set-top box later on down the track.