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Digital Holiday Trends 2007: High-Def Home

Hot gift ideas this year start with portable devices in the first part of our coverage -- media players, mobile phones, and portable navigation systems.

But this is also the season of high definition -- digital cameras sport multi-megapixels, flat-panel widescreen televisions are finally dropping to a price point where you're ready to buy, and you can step up to shooting your own home videos in high-definition. But with these new opportunities come a sometimes bewildering variety of choices and associated technologies that require some serious thinking before you can make the best decisions for your needs.

So here's some trends in these areas, and some sample products that illustrate them (click links for full articles):


Digital TV -- High-Def and the Analog Sunset



    Digital Cameras and Accessories -- Beyond Megapixels



    Video Camcorders --Memories in High-Def


These summary articles link back to my Digital Media Galleries for more information and related products, and to this blog for postings on these topics and specific topics.

Summary of high-def holiday trends below



Digital TV -- High-Def and the Analog Sunset

The biggest news in television for 2008 is the impending "analog sunset" -- As part of the transition to digital TV (DTV), traditional over-the-air analog television broadcasts will be turned off on February 17, 2009, and your rabbit ears will only be able to pick up static. This is a government-mandated change, which frees up portions of the spectrum currently used for analog broadcasts to be auctioned off to raise an expected $10 billion.

Digital Cameras and Accessories -- Beyond Megapixels

While cameras in cell phones have become ubiquitous, and are great for informal shots, there's still plenty of reason to use a digital camera for higher-quality shots. Today's consumer cameras have plenty of resolution, friendlier interfaces, and amazing assists for automatic focus, exposure, face finding, and red-eye reduction. Choosing a camera has become an issue of comfort and style -- Beyond the basics of lens and resolution it's really an issue of finding the right size and shape and interface controls for you.

Video Camcorders --Memories in High-Def

High definition is not just for watching -- Smaller camcorders and falling prices have brought HD gear into the hands of consumers. But this is only part of the overwhelming profusion of choices now available for shooting video -- There are three ranges of resolutions (Web/mobile, standard-def, and high-def), and at least four recording formats (tape, DVD disc, hard drive, and memory cards).

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