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Hdtv Support....please  

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm still in basic training with HDTV and could use some feedback before I get further confused. I currently have basic analog cable on my 20 year old Hitachi 50" set. I've been waiting to see the emergence of an integrated (built in) HDTV tuner and I've been looking at the Sony KDP-57XBR2 and the Mitsubishi WS-55859. SONY's tuner "receives all HDTV/SDTV formats ,analog(NTSC) and DIRECTV(standard and high-def) signals plus most unscrambled analog cable channels." MITSUBISHI's sets have "Two(2) 181-channel NTSC/Analog Cable Tuners and one(1) ATSC/QAM Digital Cable Tuner. One has chosen Satellite and the other chose Cable as the future path for HDTV.
Well, I can move up to DIGITAL Cable service or switch to DIRECTV HD , one or the other. I doubt that my cable company will ever offer HDTV since they just upgraded to "Digital", which is NOT HD. On the other hand, DIRECTV offers only a couple of channels in HD. The truth is, most of the HDTV available is OVER-THE-AIR which means that all I need for the majority of HDTV is an antenna, an Off-AIr HDTV receiver, and a HDTV Ready TV. I don't see a need for a built-in tuner with capabilities that I can't use. Is there such a thing as a HDTV tuner for Off-AIR broadcasts only?
And most of all, is my above "thinking" correct or not?
post #2 of 10
>Are there STBs that are OTA only?

Yes ... a few examples include:
Samsung SIR T150
Pioneer SHD 505
Sensory Science HDT100

That being said ... they really aren't any cheaper than OTA/DBS boxes ... and I'm not sure any of them are still being manufactured.

With the proposed DBS merger and copy protection BS, there's a real lack of STBs on the market right now.

STB = Set Top Box = "tuner"
post #3 of 10
Both of those sets will bring in OTA without a problem. I would say, all other things being equal, get the Sony. Here's why:

Chances are any HD channels that your cable company decides to offer in the future will be scrambled, so you will need the cable company's box anyway. If, on the other hand you decide to go with DirectTV a HD set top box will have to come out of your pocket. Thus, with the Sony there will be no additional costs with either provider (beyond what is needed to get the normal service in the first place).

While the ATSC/QAM Digital Cable Tuner in the Mits should be able to receive the HD channels if/when your cable company decides to carry HD it won't be able to access the scrambled channels either way. Since you would likely need the cable company's box to get the scrambled channel the QAM tuner would be redundant.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Okay, I am now focusing in on the next lower models of Sony and Mitsubishi that are HD ready/upgradable. The prices for the non-integrated similar models are more than $1000 cheaper and I'm leaning very strongly towards a tuner that is DIRECTV HD capable as your feedback suggested. My local Mitsubishi dealer is touting that the set you buy today will be upgraded as necessary by the manufacturer in the future at a reasonable cost, mentioning 5C copy protection, unlike other stores, whose latest digital TV's are destined for near-future obsolescence. If an upgrade becomes necessary, such as 5C copy protection, isn't it most likely to be made on the tuner? If that is true, then I figure purchasing a top of the line STB at the time I'm ready to buy a tuner in the future would be the smart move!?
post #5 of 10
Originally posted by lsfrankel
Well, I can move up to DIGITAL Cable service or switch to DIRECTV HD , one or the other.
Another relatively inexpensive option is to get both cable and DBS options if you consider just hardware and not subscription costs. I'd prefer that myself, but urban living doesn't give me a DBS line of sight.

For example, if you bought a new set without a built-in DBS tuner, threads here indicate it's possible to get a vintage RCA DTC-100 for DBS reception for only a few hundred. That would give you access to HDTV satellite programming such as HDNET and HBO that wouldn't be completely available--if at all--on your cable system. -- John
post #6 of 10
Just in the way of clarification, the Sony KDP-57XBR2 does not decode Directv signals, only OTA. You'll need a STB anyway if you want either satellite or cable (or both).
post #7 of 10
If the same TV is $1,000 less without the built-in tuner I would have to say get it without. HD tuners are available for significantly less then $1,000.

On the other hand, as far as HD-ready monitors go, it is looking like have an input on the monitor for DVI and a Firewire port are less so good features then they are becoming necessary requirements.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Say, CardiacArrest, can you clarify your last paragraph for me in layman's terms? The Sony KP-57HW40 is the current front-runner for me especially since the built in tuner offers less than a STB. The price difference is approximately $1400 less. The XBR2 does have some other significant audio features to account for the price spread such as Dolby Digital optical output, decoder, ProLogic and speakers. But I believe I can add those features in the future via various other ways. I still haven't received any info in this forum about 5c protection.
post #9 of 10
Basically, as far as HDTV monitors go, you should try to get one with DVI, Firewire, AND Component inputs. That way you won't have to worry about the copy protection stuff (like all of us poor saps that only have Component inputs).

High Definition set top boxes can be had for $500 or less, and that includes Optical and Coaxial digital audio outputs. So if the inclusion of a tuner raises the price by more then $500 it is simply price gouging.

If you manage to find an HDTV monitor with DVI & Firewire, when you buy your HD STB try to also get one with DVI & Firewire.

The Sony KP-57HW40 has only component inputs, as do the XBR2s.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the Mits have DVI & Firewire either, although I know their new netcommand is Firewire...
post #10 of 10
The Pioneer is discontinued, It was priced above 2k. It does lock on quick and if you can find one used for a about 250-300 it is a good deal.
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