Tips of the Day
Did you know Samsung 2008 model TVs have a special “blue only” mode? This lets you use the THX Optimizer or color test patterns from discs like DVE without the need for special color filter glasses.
When shopping for an HDMI receiver watch for the key words like: "HDMI repeater", "HD Audio LPCM 7.1-channel reception","HDMI processing". Also if the specs mention Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master audio decoding, then you know my definition the receiver supports HDMI audio.
You do not want on that only specifies "HDMI Pass Through" or "HDMI switching". The most basic of receivers simply pass video along and do not process the audio, which sort of defeats the purpose.
Nearly all Blu-ray players now decode TrueHD, and the few that don’t can bit stream them over HDMI 1.3 to a receiver.
Considering a new HDTV? Think about a big brand name (Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, Pioneer, Toshiba, etc.) and not a budget one. The big brands tend to have better features even in their budget lines, and come with better warranty service then the "value" brands.
Costco extends the manufacturer's warranty automatically to 2 years, while Sam's Club offers very inexpensive extended warranties to its customers. Both Costco and Sam's Club have more liberal return policies then normal electronics stores. Both also offer complementary help lines for HDTV installation questions. So if you already have a membership to either warehouse store you might want to check out their HDTV selection before buying from a big box electronics chain.