Do I need HD cable service for a new HD TV? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 47 Old 03-24-2012, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
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We just got a new Philips 46" HDTV, and the picture is not as sharp as I had expected.

We have Comcast cable (regular, not HD), so the question is do I need to pay the extra $10 for HD service to get a good clear picture?

Aslo, I just noticed the refresh rate is 60HZ, is that decent?

Thank you
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post #2 of 47 Old 03-24-2012, 05:30 PM
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If you have "regular cable" and you're using the CableCo Box as the tuner, you're only going to get SD (plain ol' standard definition like you always got).

If the TV has a QAM tuner, you can connect the cable line directly into the TV and you MAY be able to get some channels in HD (typically your HD locals).

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post #3 of 47 Old 03-24-2012, 05:32 PM
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Yes, you need an HDTV signal either from an antenna or cable/satellite provider. So call Comcast to get the HD upgrade,
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post #4 of 47 Old 03-24-2012, 05:35 PM
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If you want just local channels (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, etc.) in HD, you can connect the cable directly to the HDTV and do a digital channel scan.

For national HD channels, like TBS, USA, ESPN, HGTV, CNN, etc., you need a cable box from Comcast. Most people who get a new HDTV usually upgrade to HD service, because the HD picture is about 5 times better than what they were watching on their old TV.

60Hz is Ok for content that does not move too fast like movies, TV dramatic shows and sitcoms. For live sports 120Hz is considered much better.

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post #5 of 47 Old 03-24-2012, 07:44 PM
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We have Comcast cable (regular, not HD), so the question is do I need to pay the extra $10 for HD service to get a good clear picture?

Yes, if you want a good clear picture on all channels.
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post #6 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys.

So it appears the bigger the screen, the worse the picture will be without HD cable service which is an additional $10/month. Boy, the cable companies really have us over a barrel these days.

I had a pretty good picture on our old 27" Sony tube TV, and figured the 46" would offer an equivalent picture without needing the additional HD service; however, the picutre on the 46" appears blurry at times.

I'm wondering if the picture on a 42" would be any better than the 46" with just regular digital service?
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post #7 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 07:51 AM
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It's like zooming a bad .jpg image on your computer. There's a limit to how big you can zoom it and still find it acceptable.

You can go back to a small screen or pay for HD quality service. Or put up with SD service that usually looks like crap when blown up on a big screen.

It's not the cableco's fault you bought a bigger screen but didn't upgrade to service suitable for that screen size.
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post #8 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 07:55 AM
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Get HD from your cable company. If you are not happy you can switch back. Going to a 42 inch screen will not solve the problem. HD Tv's do not handle standard definition well in my opinion. I think you will be amazed at the picture quality on your 46 inch when you feed it a high definition signal.
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post #9 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 08:08 AM
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The free local HD channels do not cost you any more money as stated by Ken H above. Paying extra for these channels will not change their picture quality since what you receive is exactly the same signal.
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post #10 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 08:12 AM
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Actually - I got a 32 inch hd set to replace my 27 inch SD CRT when it died because of picture quality concerns on SD programming (Dish).

But OTA HD looks good

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...

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post #11 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
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We just got a new Philips 46" HDTV, Model number 46PFL4707/F7, and am feeling a little buyers remorse.

First, it's an edge-lit LED, and secondly it only has a 60HZ refresh rate.

We only paid $700 at COSTCO, but am now wondering if we should have paid a little more for a TV that had a backlit screen, and a 120HZ refresh rate.

Looking for some insight here; thank you
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post #12 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 09:37 AM
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This is just me, but I would rather pay a little bit more to get what I want. Personally, I like plasmas more but if I were to go LCD, it would be the full array and not edge lit. Just my .02
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post #13 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marc515 View Post

We just got a new Philips 46" HDTV, Model number 46PFL4707/F7, and am feeling a little buyers remorse.

We only paid $700 at COSTCO, but am now wondering if we should have paid a little more for a TV that had a backlit screen, and a 120HZ refresh rate.

Looking for some insight here; thank you

COSTCO has a great return policy. Try out the TV for a few weeks, compare the picture with others before deciding to return. Be sure to keep the box and everything that was inside. COSTCO checks everything before accepting a TV return.
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post #14 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marc515 View Post

We just got a new Philips 46" HDTV, Model number 46PFL4707/F7, and am feeling a little buyers remorse.

First, it's an edge-lit LED, and secondly it only has a 60HZ refresh rate.

We only paid $700 at COSTCO, but am now wondering if we should have paid a little more for a TV that had a backlit screen, and a 120HZ refresh rate.

Looking for some insight here; thank you

The lighting is more of a set specific issue; meaning some edge lit sets look fine, others not so much.

60Hz refresh is more universal; meaning if you watch a lot of live content with fast moving action, like sports, you may notice image artifacts and blurring more than on a 120Hz set.

A little mentioned fact about HDTV technology is how viewers perceive it differently. People can react individually to display issues, like you're concerned about. Some people may see your set and think it looks poor, while you may think it looks great, or vice versa.

As noted, try it and see what you think.

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post #15 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marc515 View Post

We just got a new Philips 46" HDTV, Model number 46PFL4707/F7, and am feeling a little buyers remorse.

First, it's an edge-lit LED, and secondly it only has a 60HZ refresh rate.

We only paid $700 at COSTCO, but am now wondering if we should have paid a little more for a TV that had a backlit screen, and a 120HZ refresh rate.

Looking for some insight here; thank you

First you need to give this TV a chance. Feed it a high definition signal. Then if you are not happy return it as a previous poster indicated. With standard definition you can pay three times as much for the TV and you will notice little if any improvement.
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post #16 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 10:48 AM
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marc515 -

I don't see that you've posted the model number of the TV you have... You need to determine if your TV has a QAM tuner. If it does, you could hook the cable line directly in to the TV and scan to see what you get. You should at least get a few HD channels, so that will give you the opportunity to see the picture quality that you've been missing all these years with your old Sony . . .

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post #17 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 11:39 AM
 
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My friend bought 42" in Phillips 3 years ago and paid $800 for it. It lasted 2 years. My cheap-ass Sanyo I bought at the same time is still working.
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post #18 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marc515 View Post

So it appears the bigger the screen, the worse the picture will be without HD cable service which is an additional $10/month. Boy, the cable companies really have us over a barrel these days.

Why do you object to them charging you more for a better product? They're paying for the infrastructure to deliver HD to your home.

NOW: my post on AVS Forum.
NEXT: someone else's post on AVS Forum.
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post #19 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by scowl View Post

Why do you object to them charging you more for a better product? They're paying for the infrastructure to deliver HD to your home.

I dont object paying for a better product. I was just surprised that the picture on my new tv was so poor with digital Comcast. I understand if I want a perfect picture I would need to pay the additional cost, but all I was looking for the the same picture that was on my old 27" Sony
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post #20 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by scowl View Post

Why do you object to them charging you more for a better product? They're paying for the infrastructure to deliver HD to your home.

Yeah... Like don't you remember in the early 1960's how we had to pay extra to receive Color broadcasting? Didn't we?? Ummm... Oh!!! Nevermind . . .

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post #21 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 02:39 PM
 
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Yeah... Like don't you remember in the early 1960's how we had to pay extra to receive Color broadcasting? Didn't we?? Ummm... Oh!!! Nevermind . . .

First of all ALL TV was free then. Second you did need to by a new color TV to see color. Thirdly receiving OTA TV today requires purchasing a converter box if you have an older TV. Fourthly my cable company doesn't charge for HD they charge for the box.

If all TV providers would dump not only analog but SD then there wouldn't be any extra charges of HD because that would be all they offer. And the sooner the better.
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post #22 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marc515 View Post

So it appears the bigger the screen, the worse the picture will be without HD cable service ...

I'd say that your statement is true if we use "picture will APPEAR TO be". It is questionable how much worse, however.

I've looked at many different models owned by friends showing SD signals on HD sets, and would opine that there is significant difference in the scaling by different manufacturers. My wife and I actually find that _MUCH_ SD content looks quite good on our rear-projection 720P Sony.

I've seen a friend's Panasonic which was terrible scaling the SD. Both were connected to Charter cable.

YMMV.
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post #23 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marc515 View Post

I dont object paying for a better product. I was just surprised that the picture on my new tv was so poor with digital Comcast. I understand if I want a perfect picture I would need to pay the additional cost, but all I was looking for the the same picture that was on my old 27" Sony

You have a fixed pixel digital TV and if it is a 1080p model then it has 1080 pixel rows each of which has 1920 pixels. When it receives SD definition TV which at best is 720x480 the TV has to Invent the content of the over 1 million pixels additional required for your display. This causes the picture to appear washed out and/or grainy. HD TVs are at their best when they are receiving true HD resolution content which is in either 720p or 1080i format.
You are receiving the entire picture as provided by the broadcaster or provider. For local broadcast channels your cable company is not allowed to degrade the PQ in order to conserve the bandwidth of a broadcaster's primary (-1) channel.
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post #24 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Ah yes, the picture is much improved on the local channel news programs, but still not the quality I was expecting from an HDTV.

I'm also noticing the light from the edges, especially on the right side.

I think I may return this and get theToshiba, as the overall picture quality of this Philips is not what I was hoping for.
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post #25 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 03:51 PM
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Philips no longer sells TVs in the U.S.; any TVs you see in the U.S. with the Philips brand will be made and sold by the Japanese company Funai, which has a license to use the Philips brand here.

http://displaydaily.com/2009/03/12/w...cinema-219-tv/
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post #26 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I'm watching the evening news in HD and while the picture is much improved, it is still not that great overall, and I've seen better HD pictures.

I can also notice the lights from the edge lights, especially on the right side

I think I am going to return this and get the slightly more expensive Toshiba.
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post #27 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marc515 View Post

So it appears the bigger the screen, the worse the picture will be without HD...

More or less, yes. Taking an SD image and blowing it up will make it look worse than on a smaller screen from the same viewing distance. The solutions are a better picture (HD) or move far enough back that it looks Ok.

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post #28 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 07:06 PM
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Marc - short of going to HD service with an HD box from your cable company - what you could do FOR NOW is to get a splitter. From the wall jack, have the splitter - one cable out from the splitter goes to the cable box, the other cable to the TV's coax input. On your TV, do the channel scan, and you should find at least your local HD channels. Have the cable box use some other output besides the coax cable to the TV. I think you will be much happier with an HD cable service upgrade, in the long run.

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...

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post #29 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post

Yeah... Like don't you remember in the early 1960's how we had to pay extra to receive Color broadcasting? Didn't we?? Ummm... Oh!!! Nevermind . . .

And if you're using an antenna today, you're not paying extra to receive HDTV broadcasts, either.

If you're a cable or satellite subscriber, that's another matter. But if you resent the extra charge by your cable/satellite company that much and live in an area with decent off-air reception, putting up an antenna for the free signals is a viable alternative.
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post #30 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 07:19 PM
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Topics merged.

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