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Old 01-26-2008, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Does a HDTV provide a better picture quality on a Standard Digital Cable box. I am looking to purchase a HDTV but probably won't make the switch to HDTV until somewhere in the future. If it doesn't make a difference to SD cable then I may wait. How about watching a standard DVD player any difference or do I need a HD DVD player.
Thanks
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:42 AM
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SD programming doesn't look too hot on HDTVs, nor do standard dvd players. Digital SD looks decent enough though. If you're not inclined on buying an HD player, you can always get a DVD upconverter. Though for that, I'd advise you to wait until you could afford a ps3 or something which upconverts DVDs AND plays Blu-Ray movies. HD-DVD seems to be a dying format, so I'd hold off on that.
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Old 01-26-2008, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I do have the digital SD receiver right now. So I need to decide whether to stick with my CRT or buy the HDTV. I would switch to HD cable when I can find a receiver at a decent price. They want $600 for one from my cable co. which I don't want to pay without seeing if I really like it 1st. Thanks for your input.
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Old 01-26-2008, 02:16 PM
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Personally I think the best HDTV for SD is one with a high contrast ratio. That's why I picked a Panasonic 720p LCDTV. I think it has great PQ with SD material. Better than my old Sony Wega tube TV it replaced. I wouldnt suggest a HDTV with poor contrast ratio for SD material though. I remember testing a <1000:1 contrast ratio tv with SD and the PQ looked awful. HD looked ok, but not SD. That's why I like my Panny. I think it's ~5,000:1 contrast ratio.
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Old 01-26-2008, 02:22 PM
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SD DVD looks very good. Video processing matters.

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Old 01-26-2008, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wadennis View Post

Does a HDTV provide a better picture quality on a Standard Digital Cable box. I am looking to purchase a HDTV but probably won't make the switch to HDTV until somewhere in the future. If it doesn't make a difference to SD cable then I may wait. How about watching a standard DVD player any difference or do I need a HD DVD player.
Thanks

If you aren't going to subscribe to an HD service or buy an HD DVD or Blu-Ray player then I would wait. Why buy it now when you cannot take advantage of it. Prices will get lower and technology will improve as time goes on. Standard definition program will not look that great on an HD set, especially if you plan on stretching the picture to fill the screen. Otherwise, no channel you currently get will fill the HDTV screen normally.
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Old 01-26-2008, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wadennis View Post

They want $600 for one from my cable co.

What? Something isn't right.
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Old 01-26-2008, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wadennis View Post

Does a HDTV provide a better picture quality on a Standard Digital Cable box. I am looking to purchase a HDTV but probably won't make the switch to HDTV until somewhere in the future. If it doesn't make a difference to SD cable then I may wait. How about watching a standard DVD player any difference or do I need a HD DVD player.
Thanks

I think its subjective.... The beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I purchased a LCD in December. My initial plan was to just use SD cable (no box, straight from the wall) until FIOS comes into my area this summer. I found that my SD content to be very qood on my LCD (Sharp). However, it will vary... Some channels will be very nice and crisp, others will be fuzzy and can display grain. All in all, PQ was very acceptable and I did receive all locals in HD.

However, to really make these babies sing, you need to feed it the best signal with a digital/HD package. Friday, I gave in and updated to HD cable service with TW until Verizon FIOS is ready. I would say before the HD upgrade the PQ on SD cable was a 6 out of 10. Post upgrade...
9.5 to 10 out of 10.

Either way, I do think you would enjoy the change.

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Old 01-26-2008, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Correction. It is actually $448 plus taxes(12%) Still pretty steep see if I like it. The other option is to switch to satellite but it doesn't really fit too well with the # of tv's in the house.
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wadennis View Post

Correction. It is actually $448 plus taxes(12%) Still pretty steep see if I like it. The other option is to switch to satellite but it doesn't really fit too well with the # of tv's in the house.


Why do you have to buy the box from the cable company? I've never heard of this before, usually you just lease them for $10/month or something. Cable companies typically do not allow purchased equipment on their system and there is usally no way to buy one.
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:55 PM
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My guess is he's from our great white neighbor to the north....Canada?
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
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You are right. I am about 500 miles of you in Winnipeg,Manitoba Canada. The cable company does not lease the terminal box. They want you to buy it.
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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You are correct. I am in Canada and the cable company only sells the terminal box
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:49 PM
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Wow, that really sucks.

Anyway, I guess I don't see the point in buying an HDTV without any source for an HD signal. Your smaller, SD CRT will have a better picture with SD cable. And prices will drop and technology will get better buy the time you are ready to dive in fully.
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Old 01-26-2008, 09:31 PM
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Try a 854x480 front dlp projector, like the 4805.

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Old 01-26-2008, 10:04 PM
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In the US, all cable companies must provide the major channels in hdtv in the clear. So, if you connect the raw cable feed to your HDTV, you will be able to tune in a small number of HDTV channels (most HDTV's made in the past couple of years have built in cable HDTV tuners). You do not need to pay the cable company a cent to do this. If the laws are the same in Canada, you might be able to get HDTV right now. Don't bother to ask your cable company or a store...even in the US they don't know this and they will tell the buyer that to receive any HDTV on cable, they need to upgrade their cable service.

You can probably find out on the internet...or if you have a friend with a recent HDTV set, you might talk them into connecting the cable directly to the TV to see if it's true in Canada. (note..connect the cable directly to the TV input...not thru the cable box.
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:56 PM
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[quote=Shin CZ;12939341]SD programming doesn't look too hot on HDTVs, nor do standard dvd players. Digital SD looks decent enough though.

I think that depends on which HDTV monitor you have. SD analog looks as good or better on my Bravia KDL-26S300 as it did on my Sony WEGA set (which had by far the best analog video of any monitor I've owned.)

I just have the cable directly connected to the TV (no friggin' cable box),
and the 7 HD channels and dozen or so SD digital channels look great. The analog SD channels don't look quite as good, but they are still very nice. I've noticed that the Bravia filters out a LOT of the video noise on the analog channels. And yes, my cheap $50 SD DVD player actually looks better on the Bravia than it did on the WEGA.
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wadennis View Post

Does a HDTV provide a better picture quality on a Standard Digital Cable box. I am looking to purchase a HDTV but probably won't make the switch to HDTV until somewhere in the future. If it doesn't make a difference to SD cable then I may wait. How about watching a standard DVD player any difference or do I need a HD DVD player.
Thanks

Do you live in a major TV Market? If so for about $15 you can walk into any Radio Shack and get a set of rabbit ears. I live in a suburb of Dallas and the Antenna Farm for all the locals is 30 miles away yet I get a wonderful selection of HD programing for free. I don't have HBO or The History Channel in HD because I just have analog cable, but with my Rabbit Ears I get ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS, CW and MYTV in HD. Most only offer HD for News, Sporting Events and Prime Time programing. Still I giggle when I watch The Cowboys in HD via the local MYTV Affiliate on my little $10 set of Rabbit Ears while the guy next door with the $120 cable bill, but no NFL Network goes to a bar. There is a bunch of good HD programing out there and when the strike ends it will get better.

An Up-Converting DVD Player is only a good investment if it has better chips than your HDTV. In many instances that won't be the case; do you honestly think a $75 DVD player has a better set of chips than your $800 HDTV? I will say that there are good up-converting DVD Players such as those by Oppo (around $150) , that may make your DVDs look better than a regular progressive-scan DVD player. Of course most Blu-ray Players and all HD DVD Players do an excelent job at up-converting regular DVDs.

I do think you would be wise to look into HDM (High Definition Media) and the benefits that can come from Blu-ray and HD DVD. I've already seen some come in and suggest that everything is over for HD DVD and as an HD DVD supporter it pains me to say that they may be right; the Warner announcement was a crippling blow. So if you can only buy one HDM Player you might want to look into getting a Blu-ray Player. Be aware of the fact that not all BD Players know what to do with all HD Audio Formats such as TrueHD and also be aware of differing Profiles and that certain features on some disks will not play on all BD Players.

At the same time Universal and Paramount are standing firm in their commitment to remain HD DVD exclusive. So if you plan on getting everything you can in 1080p you are going to need both a Blu-ray Player and an HD DVD Player or a Dual-Format (BD & HD DVD) Player. If you love films I would advise you to look at the films you like, figure out what studios make most of those films and purchase an HDM format accordingly. On the BD side the PS3 really is your best bet and it will run you $399, it comes with Spiderman 3 on BD in the box and you can get 5 extra free BDs by mail until January 31st.

If you are like me and you watch a great deal of Paramount and Universal flicks or if you are just on a slim budget HD DVD might be the choice for you. HD DVD Players deliver great 1080p content, all HD Audio Codecs, PiP, Network Features and they up-convert regular DVDs beautifully. Right now you can get HD DVD Players starting at $129 and all current models include 300 and Bourne ID on HD DVD in the box and you can mail off for 5 free HD DVDs until February 28th. Aside from the aforementioned Rabbit ears HD DVD is the most economic way to get HD input on your HDTV right now.

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