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HD TV - Is it for me?

Television viewers across Ireland can now enjoy the benefits of high quality images and more immersive audio thanks to the increasing availability of HD TV.

The growth of this market has really accelerated in recent years, thanks mainly to the drop in cost of suitably equipped TV sets as well as more HD TV channel providers entering the marketplace.

What’s the fuss about HD TV?

When it comes to high definition television, you may be wondering what it offers over normal standard definition digital TV? Technically speaking, HD TV offers a much higher quality image, and is actually five times sharper than the images found on traditional TV sets.

This means you see a clearer, sharper, more vibrant image on your TV, however, there is a catch. To gain the true benefit of your TV set, the channel must also be broadcast in high definition, and this is where HD TV providers come in.

Possible Providers

In Ireland, there are three main providers of HD TV channels, including Sky, Virgin Media and eir. The number of channels on offer from each provider can vary from as little as 10 to over 50, but it also depends on the package you have with them and what you are willing to pay for.

Sky’s digital TV bundles provide the option of purchasing a HD channel package add-on. This is the same for eir Vision TV.

Meanwhile, Virgin Media’s TV plans offer some HD channels as standard - the number of channels you can get will depend on the specific plan you go for.

Benefits and drawbacks

The advantages of HD TV are manifold, and a better quality image is just the tip of the iceberg. For audiophiles, standard definition broadcasts are often just mono or stereo audio, whereas HD video signals include 5.1 surround sound as standard.

For sports fans, watching fast-paced football matches or Formula 1 racing in high definition means more detail is captured and at a smoother rate than standard definition can ever hope to offer.

Finally, HD TV sets are far more energy efficient than older standard definition TV sets, meaning that their operating costs are lower, as well as also being more environmentally friendly.

The main drawback of high definition, traditionally, was the cost. Whilst some HD channel packages may still be pricey, HD ready television sets have really dropped in price over recent years, as have the cost of HD channel packages overall.

If you want to avail of HD TV, Switcher.ie can help you compare all of the latest digital TV deals.