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HDTV quality  

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I am new to the HD area and have a few questions. I just had my Sony kdp-57xbr2 put in action a couple of days ago. I have the dish network and am getting local channels with an off the air antenna.
After much research on this very fine site and others regarding HD quality and different formats, I'm still very confused. When I set up the TV I was very excited since it was Wednesday and I can watch west wing in what I thought would be HD, I assumed that since I saw the letterbox before on my regular TV. Instead, I have letterbox both on the top and the sides. The picture quality is not that great either. I noticed other programs that were in widescreen came out that way too. Only some programs on PBS and the tonight show came out filling the whole screen and looked incredible by the way.
Oddly enough, fox which is not transmitting in HD had a good picture compared to NBC.
Picture quality off the satellite is not that great either and some are just really bad.
I'm concerned about the letterbox and the burn-in problem. This is something that may be a Sony problem, but digital feed for the local channels, I can't change the ratio aspect, it's always in Full and always have the letterbox on the sides.
I also thought the letterbox can be gray instead of black, maybe that was TV's other than Sony.

I really apreciate any feedback as you can tell I'm still a newbie, have a great day!

post #2 of 7

Unfortunately, letterbox does not mean HD. There are a few shows broadcast in letterbox, West wing and ER for sure, that are not HD. Some of the Fox things are widescreen but 480p not the 720p minimum for HD. On your satelite only 509 and 199 will be HD. With the possible exception of a badly processed movie on either of these HD channels you will know HD when you see it. I assume that you have a HD receiver for both DTV and OTA. Art
post #3 of 7
If he's got Dish instead of DirecTV, then it won't be 199 (HDNet) and 509 (HBO).
post #4 of 7

Out of all major networks, CBS has the most extensive HD programming. If you already have OTA set up and you can receive CBS off-air, try a few excellent shows such as CSI and The Agency on Thursday nights. They'll blow you away (they did to me the first time I watched).

If you can not get CBS OTA then try to get Local Network from Dish, you can get CBS HD off the satellite for $1.95 or the entire local network package, including CBS HD, for $4.95 a month. AFAIK, most NBC shows are not HD except Jay Leno.

Hope this helps,

post #5 of 7
Also go to http://hdtvgalaxy.com/ to see what is on in HD for the week. NBC doesn't have much, just Leno (M-F), Crossing Jordon (Sunday), and sometimes a movie. ABC has a lot with Tuesday: Dharma & Greg (8-8:30pm, 720p & DD5.1), Spin City (8:30-9pm, 720p & DD5.1), Blue (9-10pm, 720p & DD5.1), Philly (10-11pm, 720p & DD5.1) and Friday: Once And Again (9-10pm, 720p & DD5.1). CBS has the most: Monday -- The Young And The Restless (12:30pm ET; 11:00am PT), The King Of Queens (8-8:30pm, 1080i), Yes, Dear (8:30-9pm, 1080i), Everybody Loves Raymond (9-9:30pm, 1080i), Becker (9:30-10pm, 1080i), Family Law (10-11pm, 1080i); Tuesday -- TYATR (12:30pm ET; 11:00am PT), JAG (8-9pm, 1080i), The Guardian (9-10pm, 1080i), Judging Amy (10-11pm, 1080i); Wednesday/Thursday -- TYATR (12:30pm ET; 11:00am PT); Friday -- TYATR (12:30pm ET; 11:00am PT), Everybody Loves Raymond (8-8:30pm, 1080i), Ellen (8:30-9pm, 1080i), That's Life (9-10pm ET, 1080i); and Saturday -- Touched By An Angel (8-9pm, 1080i), That's Life (9-10pm, 1080i), The District (10-11pm, 1080i)

Also check http://www.antennaweb.org to find a list of the affiliates in your area broadcasting DTV.

You should also be able to get HBO-HD and Showtime-HD through dish, I believe.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot for all the input. It seems I had false expectations as far as high definition.
My TV has a built in HD decoder, so I just had the OTA connected to it. Iget all the local channels.
I heard about CSI and The Agency being in HD. I like both shows, so it will be a treat, I was disappointed neither was on last night. However, I think I'll start watching shows I didn't watch before just because they're in HD :)
Is it normal for the West Wing to have letterbox both on the top and the sides?
Also, How worried should I be about burn in? It seems that much of anything I watch on this TV will have letterbox on the sides.
Again, thanks so much and I'll check the websites you mentioned.

One more thing, the Avia DVD, I read about it here. I'm planning to get that and see if it'll help color adjustments. Thanks again so much.

post #7 of 7
You're fortunate, Maz, in being able to use DBS for HDTV reception. In my city location, unless I could convince my coop management to install roof DBS and add special building wiring, there's no way to use satellites here. We had PBS OTA briefly (until 9/11) in NYC, but lost it along with NBC, ABC, and a few other just-emerging DTV stations. Now, while Time Warner Cable could restore this HDTV via fiber links pending OTA station rebuilding, they've made no such commitment.

For the added (or substitute) cost of DirecTV it appears you could get the 24/7 HD-NET from DirecTV and well as HBO (see schedules at hdtvgalaxy.com). More upconverts than true HDTV, but you have access to HDTV Showtime as well. -- John
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