— -- Everything You Need to Buy an HDTV Guide | Do I Need One? | Which Set's For Me? | Cost and Features | Where to Find HD Programming | All of the Other Stuff | The Ultimate HDTV Checklist | Slideshow: HDTV Sets | Slideshow: Cables and Inputs
There's nothing about HDTV that requires a cable or satellite subscription. In fact, you can watch beautiful, life-like high definition television shows with just a regular set of rabbit ears.
All of the major networks -- ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox -- broadcast their big, prime-time shows in HD and often will also broadcast specials and sporting events in high definition. All you need is an antenna and a tuner to watch those programs. There's no snow, static or ghosting, but if you're in the wrong area, you may not get reception at all.
Of course if you skip out on the subscription option, you'd miss out on all that the high definition channels those pay services have to offer.
HBO, Cinemax, ESPN and the Discovery Channel are just a few of the paid TV channels that broadcast much of their content in high definition. If you ask anyone who owns an HDTV, watching a nature show or a football game in HD makes the high cost of ownership almost seem worth it.
Sadly, it's not all rainbows and sunshine in the cable and satellite space. Many providers want you to fork over extra bucks to get the necessary box and tuner and you'll pay a premium for the HD channels they offer.
Also, the majority of pay TV channels are still not offering programming in high definition, so while you'll pay more and get more HD programming, most of what you watch will still be analogue.
Expect to see more HD channels across the board for both pay TV subscribers and rabbit ear twiddlers in the coming years.
Click on the links below to learn everything you need to about HDTVs and be sure to print out a copy of ABCNEWS.com's Ultimate HDTV Checklist to bring to the store with you.
ABCNEWS.com's Everything You Need to Buy an HDTV Guide
Plasma, LCD, Projection: Which HDTV is Right For Me?
Cost and Features: What Should I Look For?
Where Can I Watch High Definition Television?
Cables, Installation and Furniture: All of the Other Stuff
Slideshow: Cables, Inputs and Outputs