Can I watch HD channels on my Standard TV? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-25-2007, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a standard (non-HD) TV but it has component IN connections.

I was wondering, would I be able to hook up an HD cable box to it and watch HD channels?

I know I won't have HD quality (obviously). But I was just wondering if I would be able to still watch those HD channels.

thanks. hope this makes sense
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-25-2007, 02:28 PM
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You can hook up an HD box to the TV... but it will still only be 480i (non-HD). Although, the picture quality may be better, but not even close to "HD quality".
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-25-2007, 04:29 PM
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I did this for a little while, although I'm not sure if it'd work over component. Probably depends on the TV, and how it handles an HD signal.

A lot of HD boxes will also output s-video, though. That's how I did it. I was just sick and tired of the horrible compression that my cable company did to all the SD channels, so I went and lied and said I had an HDTV so they'd give me an HD box. Hooked it up via s-video and got all the HD channels that way. Looked great, although obviously still standard-def. Much better than the SD version of the same channel, though.

The shows will also obviously be letterboxed. For me that was no problem, but some people may not enjoy watching regular TV that way.

I did get an HDTV pretty quick after I got my first HD box, but definitely, you can watch HDTV without an HDTV, just not in HD.
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-25-2007, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Great, thanks a lot guys. That's exactly what I needed to know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by badasscat View Post

The shows will also obviously be letterboxed. For me that was no problem, but some people may not enjoy watching regular TV that way.

That's actually my main reason for doing this. I want to watch my shows in widescreen (letterbox) format untill I save up for a good HDTV later on.

Thanks.
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-25-2007, 07:54 PM
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For widescreen shows, this works fine. The problem is that the broadcast-network HD channels (your local NBC, CBS, etc.) still show a lot of SD material (news, reality shows, most game shows, etc.). They do this by adding extra pixels to fill out 480 lines to 720 or 1080, and then add bars on the sides (usually black, but sometimes blue, gray, etc.) to fill out the widescreen frame. When your STB or DVR outputs it as 480i, it adds the letterbox bars on top and bottom, so the original SD content is surrounded by blank space on all four sides, and is only 3/4 the original size in both dimensions.

Hopefully, either your STB/DVR or your TV has a "zoom" option that expands the image and gets rid of all that blank space. Some units do a better job than others. If it works out OK, it will probably still look better than the corresponding SD channels.
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-25-2007, 09:07 PM
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Yeah, I got my HD STB a few days before my HDTV, so I watched a few HD channels on my SD CRT using S-video. Looked all right, but I didn't see much point to doing it after a while until I got the HDTV.

With the exception of Discovery HD, the content was largely the same as the SD channels (TNT HD had more movies than SD TNT.) This was with TimeWarner without the HD tier.

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