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Do PS3 Owners Need an HDTV? |

I’ve had my HDTV for two years now (see the picture of my set below), and I’m really enjoying it. Every time a program comes on TV that’s not in HD, I’m disappointed. Last season my cable company didn’t have a channel that carried Smallville in HD, and I was miffed. Watching the Olympics, my wife once complained that the event she wanted to watch was on a “regular” channel. The HD experience is one you need to experience, not one that people can tell you about. And in my view, you really need a larger set to get the full impact. None of this 34″ widescreen HDTV stuff! Sure you get the benefit of a widescreen display, but at 34″ and most viewing distances, an EDTV (Enhanced Definition TV, between SD and HD) would be just as good.

So if you were to ask me if a future PS3 owner should own an HDTV to use it with, of course my answer would be “yes”. Am I biased? You bet. But it’s from experience. My friend Todd has an Xbox 360 and it’s fun to play games on his 32″ SDTV. But he brought the 360 over to my place once, and it was like a white chocolate Easter bunny versus the white chocolate chunks from Laura Secord. (Hmmm, I guess that analogy only makes sense if you’re a white chocolate lover like me, and you know how great the chocolate is at Laura Secord stores. Ah well. Insert your own analogy expounding a big difference, if you like.) We play GRAW in four player mode, and it’s hard to see what you’re shooting at on a 32″ TV. We each get one quarter of the screen, of course, which makes it rough on a small SDTV. The HDTV makes all the difference. Not only is the image much bigger, it’s also more detailed. An SDTV gives you “Is that Todd in the distance there? Do I need to shoot? Yeah, I guess. Okay, line up on those two pixels there and pull the trigger. Nope – missed. Move over another pixel.” While with an HDTV it’s more like “Ha! Got Todd! Now where’s Steve? Ah! Right behind me!

But I guess if I had to get all technical on you and answer the question in this article’s title, that is “Do PS3 owners need an HDTV?”, the answer is “no”. You do not need an HDTV to use and enjoy a PS3. You will covet one. You’ll think “How did I ever manage with a cruddy old SDTV?”. You’ll sell your left lung for one because they’re so cool and nice to play games on. But technically, if you’re gonna get right down to it, you don’t really need one. Just don’t tell anyone I said that, okay?

GameSpy – Do Gamers Really Need HDTV?

  • I agree!

    After getting my Xbox 360, I was pleased with the graphics on my SD and all, but I knew an HD set would be 100x better. I finally purchased one and my jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe how razor sharp everything was. Best thing I did.

    You won’t need HD to enjoy your PS3 or 360 but you better not look at one hooked up to a HD set cause you won’t be able to go back and play on an SD set again. If you’re getting a PS3 or 360…please start planning to buy a HD set in the very near future – and skip the ED.

  • Guy

    I have to agree with you aswell. My cousin played his 360(Fight Night Round 3) on my Sharp CRT and it was good and all but just normal. He purchased a I think Bravia V32XBR1 or Sharp or whatever and the graphics made me faint. There was so much more depth, better colours, sharper image, crystal clear and amazing beautiful. I could not believe the difference. It was beyond night and day. It was evolution. This excites about the PS3 as it is supposed to be the most powerful console(graphics and CPU wise). Playing KillZone on a HDTV will be a huge treat(HD gaming on a HDTV is very worth the money).

  • Matt

    I personally think that if you buy an HDTV under 37″ you are wasting your money. The 16×9 aspect ratio eats up screen size. A 32″ HDTV screen is about the same screen size as a 25″ 4×3 aspect ratio. If you sit really close to a 32″ than it will be ok but at 8′ you are to far away to enjoy the higher quality that HDTV affords.

    Save up and buy a 37″ screen or larger. Buying a smaller tv to get into the HD era is just stupid in my opinion.

    The difference between HDTV and SDTV is huge. I strongly believe that you will not fully enjoy a 360 or PS3 until you get one.

    Since the screen is only half of the experience, I also STRONGLY suggest getting a 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound system. Full immersion can only happen when you can tell what is going on around you without looking at it. Developers are putting so much emphasise on sound that it has become as/ or more important than visuals.

    The sad part about HD gaming is that a huge portion of gamers will never experience what HD gaming is all about. Their parents will own the HDTV and they will get limited action on it.

  • Guy

    Well I am not a HDBuff with the surround sound and all that shit. However, my room is not that huge so 32” is fine for me. However I do plan on getting a large screen sometime in the future.

  • Ooh, you’re missing a lot of fun if you don’t have surround sound.

  • Surround sound is so necessary, I didn’t understand until I went and played doom on original xbox at a friends house, as I was walking through a room, all of a sudden I heard something breathing behind me and I thought it was his dog, I turned around in real life, saw nothing, turned around in the game and an imp or whatever had materialized right behind me and scared the crap out of me.

  • Guy

    I have surround sound, but I do not know how to hook it up. However, I plan on getting a 32” Bravia V32XBR1 for my bedroom and a 40” or up HDTV hooked up to the surround sound(panasonic surround sound). However don’t worry, I will get the full experience when the time comes. Patience people, PATIENCE.

  • Matt

    Hopefully you have a Dolby Digital Receiver. If you do you need an Optical cable or a Digital RCA jack (the package will tell you what it is for). This is the 5.1 sound that people talk about. Each speaker is sent its own different sounds.

    The other type of surround is Pro-Logic or some other stereo signal split into a 5 speaker sound stage. The front speaker signals are split with some cross overs to isolate the voices to act as a center channel. The rear speakers are surround speakers because the usually have wind or some other atmospheric sound coming out of them. This is a very crappy type of surround sound (If this is what you are using go out right now and upgrade. A Dolby Digital Receiver is very cheap today and is worth the money ten times over.

    Dolby Digital 5.1 will do more for gaming than an HDTV.

  • Dolby Pro Logic basically works like this:

    It starts off with two signals: left and right (stereo), which have been matrix-encoded to contain 4 channels of sound.

    It processes those two signals, and whatever it finds in common between the two, it uses for the center channel. It removes that commonality from the two and uses the resulting signals for the left and right. So if you have a mono soundtrack, you’ll only get sound from the center channel.

    At the same time, the difference between the two channels is used for rear surround, with a limited frequency range. The same signal is used for both the left surround and the right surround.

    Pro Logic II uses similar techniques, but works much better. You can even use it on a non-encoded stereo signal to get some interesting results. Pro Logic II even has a game mode. Supposedly Pro Logic II is quite good.

    But nothing is as good as actually encoded discrete signals, which is why DD 5.1 and DTS 5.1 are superior.

  • Thunda Hammer 14:15

    Hey what do you mean by SD TV (What Does the ‘S’ stand for)?
    Also COuld I play the PS3 on any size T.V’s and any time of TV (not Including black and white of course)

  • SDTV is regular standard definition (SD) television. It’s what everyone has been watching and buying for years. And yes, the PS3 should work with any TV.

  • Thunda Hammer 14:15


  • LP


  • Glenda Rowland

    My grandson has a ps3 he plays at home on a 20″sdtv. I bought him a ps3 for my house . I have it hooked up to a 42″ Sharp Aquos. He will not play at my house (so I just wasted my money) because he says playing on the bigger screen ruins his ratio or something like that. I don’t know anything about this technical stuff. Also the screen goes black and fades in and out and he can’t see to play his game. Help !!! Everyone seems to like the hdtv to play on better. What can I do? He says playing on my tv messes up his shooting ratio-getting to prestige or something like that. Do I need an hdmi cable or can I make some kind of adjustment? Help.

  • HDMI cable would get you a better picture at least and they are cheap.

    Not sure about the screen going black and fading in and out..

  • josh

    i tolly agree but one problem i’ve got a sdtv but i cant hook my ps3 up. can someone please help?

    • It should have come with some RCA Cables so you can connect it to the SD set.