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Re: Cable
Old 01-05-2007, 06:34 PM   #21
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Re: Cable

Hey dex , if it wasn't for my cable I couldn't get "Dexter", my favourite show of the year.

By the way, do you live in Miami?
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Re: Cable
Old 01-06-2007, 06:16 PM   #22
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Re: Cable

Quote:
Originally Posted by My Dream
Just so I don't missunderstand, all you need is a HDTV, and a compatable TV antennae outside or inside your home to receive 1080 lines of resolution? Do you need a seperate receiver, or any other external components? Does it matter whether you're located in the US, Canadan, etc?

Thanks REWahoo.
You also need the tv stations to broadcast in HD.

As of this time in my area, only two do so.

Digitals inevitable, but not necessarily HD. A fair number of markets may see a lot of digital SD, at least for the short term.
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Re: Cable
Old 01-06-2007, 06:32 PM   #23
 
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Re: Cable

I live in Minneapolis and get about 8 HD channels over the air for free! - No cable here! - The best thing is that the over the air pictures are usually much better than cable.

Most all stations now broadcast 2 signals - 1 High Def and 1 Std Def.

I have 1 TV with built in HD tuner - Most new ones have this. And an older one (2 years) that I needed a separate tuner. Hint: If it says HD ready you need a separate tuner.
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Re: Cable
Old 01-08-2007, 03:27 PM   #24
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Re: Cable

Here in the state capital of California, we get two HD channels broadcast and not all the material they broadcast in HD is originally HD content. They might have added a third by now, havent looked in a while. Any which way, i'm too far away to get the signals without an antenna the size of rhode island.

In summary, the original program material must be HD, it has to be transmitted/broadcast in HD, you have to have an HD tuner or tv set with a tuner built in, and your HD tv has to support the specific HD broadcast resolution. There is also no "good" or "bad" picture with digital. You get a digital lock and the whole thing or you get nothing. One nice benefit to over-the-air HD, if you can get it.

Do also note that while HD televisions will take an analog tv connection from your old tv antenna, non-HD cable and non HD satellite but that many of the available HD televisions display the old style 240/480 line analog/SD signals poorly. Its not uncommon for someone to buy the latest and greatest HD television only to be disappointed with how lousy the non-HD picture looks when they get it home.

Consumer reports has a category for this phenomena when they rate HD tv's, showing display quality in standard def. Since many channels, and a fair bit of the programming on even the HD channels is SD, getting a set that does as good a job displaying that material as your current crappy tv is a good idea.

Since I have the current CR buyers guide for '07 right here, on a quick look it appears that only a couple of lcd's rate "very good" for SD content display and no plasmas were rated better than "good". None are rated "excellent" and most are rated "good" or "fair". For LCDs the toshiba 37" 37HLX95 and the 32" sharp aquos lc-32da5u were rated "very good". Other toshiba and sharp lcd models didnt rate as well, so its not brand specific.

Buyers remorse can be fairly strong here. I used an early plasma set with some good results with DVD's and satellite, but it looked awful with cable. I also bought and returned an LCD set because it looked fairly lousy with satellite SD signals.

You can use an external scaler or upconverter/line doubler but they're often expensive. I used an inexpensive Viewsonic VB50 box that took in a coax or s-video signal and produced a db-15 output at a selectable resolution (800x600 or 1024x768) to a computer monitor or HD set with a db-15 input. Its not a great line doubler but it made the cable tv signals look substantially better on the plasma. Kind of a hack though.
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Re: Cable
Old 01-08-2007, 08:08 PM   #25
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Re: Cable

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Guapo

[snip cautionary info]
Thanks for providing the info. For what it's worth, while not negating one bit of your excellent info, for me (specs were provided above) I am ecstatic with the quality, built in HD tuner, LCD, availabilty of programming over the air (10 HD and 20 digital), as well as performance on DVD and older media like videos. It is still stunning to me, so I am a happy convert, with zero buyer's remorse. I admit I did not research carefully before buying, and so might easily have fallen foul of some of your cautions (too low res spex, unavailable HD on air in my local area, etc), but God watches out for drunks and fools!

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Re: Cable
Old 01-08-2007, 09:19 PM   #26
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Re: Cable

Theres a lot of marketing hype and a lot of confusion around HD. I've explained it to my dad about 5 times and he still doesnt quite get it.

If you live in or near a major metropolitan area that has good HD service, dont have a tivo (which you'll have to replace with an HD capable unit, probably for a good chunk of change) and really understand what you're getting into, its really easy to blow 2-3k and end up with not much to show for it.

I saw a stat recently that something like 75% of the people who own a high def set either dont have it hooked up correctly or dont have a high def program source and are therefore still watching SD...and dont even know it.

The good news for me is that my local Sams Club resells all their returned products in-house. About two weeks after christmas and two weeks after the superbowl, the aisles are full of marked down returned tv sets. The bad news for me is that I cant think of any possible way to justify another new tv to my wife.
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Re: Cable
Old 01-08-2007, 10:49 PM   #27
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Re: Cable

We dumped cable, but since we watch a lot of movies around here we have a Netflix 4-at-a-time subscription that comes to $25/month, and then we also have a Spiritual Cinema Circle subscription for about $25/month.

With that, we're saving about $10/month from what our extended cable service was costing us, but our enjoyment of "TV time" has gone up considerably. We only watch when there's something we intend to watch, rather than simply having cable on because it's there.
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