buy a tv with no hd-tuner? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-17-2007, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
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my friend is looking to buy a lcd flat panel HDTV. he wants to get HD comcast eventually but will probably just have standard cable for a while. What happens if he gets a tv that has NO HD-Tuner? I thought that didn't matter b/c with comcast if you want HD you HAVE to get their silver HD box right? I thought no hd-tuner only mattered if you had a cable company that offered "cable cards" that you could insert into your tv and that would act as a box (since the tv has a built in tuner).

Is an HD-Tuner good if he just wants to order regular cable and then try to get over the air HD channels? (like locals like fox, nbc, cbs, etc?)

i'm confused
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-17-2007, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andross77 View Post

my friend is looking to buy a lcd flat panel HDTV. he wants to get HD comcast eventually but will probably just have standard cable for a while. What happens if he gets a tv that has NO HD-Tuner? I thought that didn't matter b/c with comcast if you want HD you HAVE to get their silver HD box right? I thought no hd-tuner only mattered if you had a cable company that offered "cable cards" that you could insert into your tv and that would act as a box (since the tv has a built in tuner).

Most of the HD-monitors that I see have no tuner at all. So to get regular cable channels, he would still need a STB. If he's OK with having an SD-STB, then the TV without tuners would be OK.
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Is an HD-Tuner good if he just wants to order regular cable and then try to get over the air HD channels? (like locals like fox, nbc, cbs, etc?)

i'm confused

Well, most new HDTVs have both ATSC and QAM tuners. With the QAM tuner, you can usually pick up the local HD channels with just a Basic Cable subscription. No Cable Card necessary.
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post #3 of 15 Old 07-17-2007, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
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ok so what i gather is that if he wants hd local channels w/o paying for expensive hd cable ($65/mo or whatever) then he needs a QAM or ATSC tuner built in. If he buys a tv with no tuner then he gets either a standard def box to watch regular cable or he gets an HD box to watch cable with HD channels. And if he has a tuner and just pays for basic cable ($10/mo) then he will be able to get the local channels in HD (4 or 5 most likely) but no ones like ESPN or Discovery.

is that right?
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post #4 of 15 Old 07-17-2007, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by andross77 View Post

ok so what i gather is that if he wants hd local channels w/o paying for expensive hd cable ($65/mo or whatever) then he needs a QAM or ATSC tuner built in.

Correct, the QAM would be for cable and ATSC for antenna.

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If he buys a tv with no tuner then he gets either a standard def box to watch regular cable or he gets an HD box to watch cable with HD channels.

Correct.


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And if he has a tuner and just pays for basic cable ($10/mo) then he will be able to get the local channels in HD (4 or 5 most likely) but no ones like ESPN or Discovery.

is that right?

That's usually correct. Depending on his cable provider, they may/may not send the local HD channels "in the clear". If they do, then all he would need is a QAM tuner in his TV. For example, in my area with Comcast, I get all of the local HD channels (7 total) plus UniversalHD. I also get a few SD digital channels that are "in the clear" (i.e. ESPN-Classic, G4, etc.).
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-17-2007, 08:32 AM
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I've had a Panasonic plasma TV for almost four years. It does not have a tuner. I have never missed it. I have been a long-term D* customer, and their STB's enable you to pick up OTA programming as well as the satellite programming. I am quite happy using the STB to pick programs to watch and never think about the TV's lack of a tuner.

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post #6 of 15 Old 07-17-2007, 08:51 AM
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The digital tuners in some of this years HDTV models support both ATSC and QAM. I have seen LG models with this capabiliy and there are probably other makes also.
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post #7 of 15 Old 07-17-2007, 10:23 AM
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the FCC has required all HDTV's and all "regular" TV's made since March 1, 2007 to have an ATSC (digital over-the-air) tuner. Screens sold as "monitors" do not have to have the built-in tuner.

If you are ALWAYS going to get cable service with a set top box or satellite service and pay the monthly fees, an ATSC tuner is not required. If you even think you want to watch free over-the-air network television programming, than an ATSC tuner (which probably includes the QAM tuner for cable without a set top box) is required.
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-17-2007, 11:31 AM
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I agree with the previous posts, but would like to add that having a tuner only matters if you are out in the country somewhere with no access to cable and don't want to get a satellite system, or you have access to those sources but wish to rely strictly upon OTA broadcasts to save money or whatever.

So the lack of a tuner affects almost no one these days.
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post #9 of 15 Old 07-17-2007, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by au revoir View Post

So the lack of a tuner affects almost no one these days.

Yeah, just me and about three other people in the whole country.
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-17-2007, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by au revoir View Post

I agree with the previous posts, but would like to add that having a tuner only matters if you are out in the country somewhere with no access to cable and don't want to get a satellite system, or you have access to those sources but wish to rely strictly upon OTA broadcasts to save money or whatever.

So the lack of a tuner affects almost no one these days.

Yes, if your definition of no one is somewhere between 15% & 35% of the TV viewing office.

'Better Living Through Modern, Expensive, Electronic Devices'

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post #11 of 15 Old 07-17-2007, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by au revoir View Post

I agree with the previous posts, but would like to add that having a tuner only matters if you are out in the country somewhere with no access to cable and don't want to get a satellite system, or you have access to those sources but wish to rely strictly upon OTA broadcasts to save money or whatever.

So the lack of a tuner affects almost no one these days.

How do you expect to tune in basic cable channels without using a STB if you do not have a tuner?
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post #12 of 15 Old 07-17-2007, 03:53 PM
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Just buy a tv with a tuner. You will have alot more choices plus you can still get a cable STB and then you can have PIP.

James

Enjoying crystal clear TV for free.

http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html
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post #13 of 15 Old 07-17-2007, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by au revoir View Post

I agree with the previous posts, but would like to add that having a tuner only matters if you are out in the country somewhere with no access to cable and don't want to get a satellite system, or you have access to those sources but wish to rely strictly upon OTA broadcasts to save money or whatever.

So the lack of a tuner affects almost no one these days.

I guess I should have added that HDTV tuners are quite cheap these days, down to $50 or less on EBay.

I am one the people who does not have access to cable and relies strictly on OTA signals due to my location, so believe me, I know what that's like. I also own 3 OTA tuners. I think my situation is pretty rare these days though.

Anyone can sign up for DirecTV or Dish Network and they will GIVE you a receiver that will tune in OTA HDTV broadcasts. The person can then get an antenna and tune in their local stations and watch them in HD totally uncompressed. No tuner required in this situation.

And if the person is able to sign up for cable, I believe the cable company is required to supply the local stations with even the cheapest package, so the person is covered in that situation as well.

So no one really *needs* their own tuner, as long as they plan on subscribing to either cable or satellite, which is about 85% of the population. And if the person does not plan on subscribing to cable or satellite, they can easily buy a cheap HDTV tuner on EBay.

Therefore, a TV without a tuner should not necessarily be a deal breaker, except for a tiny minority of people w/o access to either cable, satellite or EBay.
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post #14 of 15 Old 07-17-2007, 06:45 PM
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Tv's with Tuners in them are becoming so cheap now, that it would actually be kinda dumb to buy a tv without at least a NTSC/ATSC tuner in it.

Alot now have all 3 (NTSC/QAM/ATSC) for a relatively cheap price.

Some people posted in this thread that they have a tv with no tuner in it, and don't miss it.

But they also bought their tv's years ago(3-5 years), and the cost between a tv with the tuners and one without it was WIDE/TREMENDOUS 4-5 years ago.

Nowadays, you can get a 37" LCD TV(Vizio) with all 3 tuners in it for $800+tax out the door.

4 years ago, my Zenith C27V36 HDTV Monitor(27 inch Tube tv) with only a NTSC tuner cost $600+tax. No ATSC or QAM tuner, and it cost $600 at least.

If I paid that today for that tv, I would be a complete fool.

A 32" Vizio LCD TV costs that much now, and it is a full fledged HDTV.
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post #15 of 15 Old 07-17-2007, 07:36 PM
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By definition a TV has a tuner in it otherwise it is just a monitor. And if it is just a monitor it needs a Tuner STB to provide it with VGA Component, or DVI/HDMI video input.
As pointed out; today all TVs have an analog tuner for traditional NTSC antenna or cable conections and a digital tuner that at a minimum supports digital ATSC OTA broadcasts and may also support digital QAM broadcasts from a cable provider.
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