Originally Posted by sebenste
Today I was at a friend's house in Belvidere. He just bought a 50" plasma TV from
Samsung. He had an HD box brought to him yesterday (Saturday) from Insight Communications (cable), who set everything up using component cables. My friend will be upgrading to HDMI cable when he buys it online this week, $200
cheaper than the Monster cables Best Buy tried to sell him.
So, I went over there today to watch the Bears, and he and his neighbor just got it hung up on the wall. Looked nice...I don't know what cable box it was, but it had a DVR on it; the cable guy said it held 70-80 hours of programs, so you folks tell me. We popped on channel...oh, what was it, nine hundred something, and...
It was widescreen, I'll say that much. But it "looked" letterboxed; in reality, the picture appeared to be "crushed", and the resolution was anything BUT high def. I tried to hit the hd zoom button on the remote, to no avail. Anyone have a clue as to why that is happening?
Well, during halftime, I took my little portable, set-top, $10 unamplified rabbit ears and UHF loop and laid it on the floor below the TV; this was at street level and his place is just north of I-90. I learned how to search for over-the-air DTV channels and analog channels during half time, and let it scan. Curiously, it got WIFR-DT, WREX-DT and WTVO-DT...but not surprisingly, no WQRF-DT. Sad, because I wanted to compare it with Insight, which occasionally had some pixellation/macroblocking. I am hoping it was the cables that were used for the temporary method to get the picture from the box to the TV.
Then, after a fun Bears' win, we dropped down a channel and hit WIFR-DT from Insight. And again, it was letterboxed (when I say letterboxed, it is true widescreen, all the way to either end...but why it is unnecessarily squished, I don't know). But then, I manually tune to 23-1. Fills the entire screen with the proper aspect ratio, doesn't appear to be 'squished' like it was from Insight; the colors were sharper and the picture was MUCH crisper.
I hope I just needed to learn how to get the aspect set straight, and I hope component cabling was responsible for the relatively low-def looking signal
(crisper than 23 analog via Insight, but still not as good as OTA digital).
But I also have to believe that OTA still is the best-looking HD; as even if sent uncompressed, processing at the plant has to hurt the picture a bit.
And I wonder why my friend's display is squished vertically via Insight? How can he correct that?
P.S. Noted the macroblocking on WIFR, but it wasn't bad OTA; it was considerably worse on Insight, whereas the WQRF-DT feed showed a little macroblocking, and only
on the cable feed.