I think the reason HDTV hasn't really shot through the roof is that:
1. It's confusing to your average consumer - My mom will NEVER understand what it is, or why it's better, or more importantly, why she needs it, and many other people feel the same way.
2. Limited Programming - I'm glad that alot people are happy with their 28 HD channels and services, but let's be honest, until there are 100+ HD channels offered though Cable, and Satellite, it's still pretty limited... even though we don't watch any of the 300 we have now.
3. Media - Blu-Ray and HD-DVD are wonderful and everything, but I think this is really going to continue to shy everyday consumers away from making the jump to HD. They want to know "Which is better?" "Which costs more?" "Will I have to get a new TV to use it?" By the time a winner is declared we'll probably seeing new TV's with Ultra-Mega-Hi-HD.
My point is, if you're an early adopter and you want to make a future-proof purchase, a shiny new HDTV is for you. If you think it's cool but don't really see a need for it in your life yet, wait for it... they'll still be around, and probably cheaper to boot.
(And just to clarify; the FCC mandated switch to DTV by 2009 doesn't really have anything to do with HDTV. The tuners found in televisions made after 1998 should be compatible with the change. I'm pretty sure you'll only need a converter box if you have a TV with VHF/UHF and rabbit ears. Please correct me if I've misunderstood how this works.)
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