If you are planning on picking up an HDTV in the near future, HD Guru's list of the 10 worst HDTV ripoffs for 2008 is required reading—pure and simple. Chances are, many consumers have already heard about the issue with HDMI cables—which is probably one of the biggest scams of all time (right up there with Q-Ray ionized bracelets and the Ionic Breeze). Other scams, like the one involving contrast ratio specifications are also making their way into the public consciousness.
However, there are still plenty of pitfalls that the novice consumer needs to avoid before making the commitment to drop a serious amount of cash on a new HDTV. The list summary is as follows:
•Fake HD and Cable Satellite Channels: Did you know that a number of HD channels broadcast a lot of "fake HD?" Anyone who has ever watched some of TNT's HD broadcasts can attest to that.
•Dynamic Contrast Ratio Measurement Specification: The contrast ratio number is basically meaningless.
•Line Conditioners: They do nothing to improve the HDTV image.
•Deep Color: No deep color sources makes this a worthless feature.
•x.v.Color: Until Laser TVs and xv Color HD discs appear on the scene, this feature is not truly useful.
•1080p HDTVs below 42" (diagonal): If you own a HDTV under 42", chances are you won't recognize the quality difference over 720p—unless you are standing really close to the TV.
•Flat LCD HDTVs 26" and Smaller: The image quality of LCD HDTVs in the 26" inch range or lower is generally poor.
•120Hz HDMI Cables: As mentioned before, expensive HDMI cables are a huge ripoff. Case in point, decent HDMI cable for less than $2. I bought a few myself and they work fine.
•Off Brand Model HDTVs: No-name brands may cost you more down the line.
•HDMI: Horrible connector design can prove problematic. Always pretest your connections.
So there you have it. If you do your homework, you can save yourself a lot of problems (and money) down the line. For a full explanation on the items in this list, check out the HD Guru link. [HD Guru]