Woohoo! I've got HDTV! Finally.
Ah, where to begin. When I talked on the phone with Mediacom they said there would be a new outlet installation, but there wasn't, which saved me $13. I was surprised that the cable guy actually took the time to feed the cables down the tubes of my audio rack. Also interesting was that he ran the component cables from the cable box to my AV receiver and from it's monitor out to the tv. I did not have anything else hooked up via component to my receiver, so I thought it was weird he didn't go directly to the tv. I went straight from the cable box to the tv with a Monster Cable after he left. The cables seem pretty nice, not just regular cheapos. He brought an optical cable as well and hooked it up to my receiver. I replaced it too.
Took a little bit for him to get through to dispatch to activate the box and after he did, he said the guy on the other end didn't send the right signal and there would be a 10-minute download while they re-did it. Eventually it got done and we had picture. He called in to activate Showtime for me, and it turned out I could add Showtime, Cinemax, and Starz and my bill would be $4 less each month. Weird, but I'll take it!
Discovery (non-HD of course)was the first channel up. Looked like the same ol' cable I've always had. The red push that I had read about was very apparent though. Turned on KCCI-DT. There was only SD programming on, not bad though. Went up one to HBO and it looked good too. The cable guy hands over the remote and takes off.
Just to double check everything, I pulled up the 5100 faq to see how to do the service menu thing. Whoops. My tv type was set to 4:3 Pan & Scan and the output was set to 480p. I was surprised that the 480p looked that good. The damn cable guy was gone too. Oh well, guess I'll have to email them. Set my tv type to 16:9 and turned the 1080i on. Haven't checked the firmware version yet.
The picture on HBO and Showtime HD was very good, other than the red push. A little dark too, but the clarity is great. I'll definitely be re-calibrating with my AVIA disc. KCCI and HBO have been Dolby Digital 2.0 so far, but Showtime was in 5.1 so that's cool.
Just watching a little KCCI in high def now. It's fun and a good picture, but not really my type of programming. Can't wait for ESPN HD!
I'll try to watch a movie on one of the premiums tomorrow and come back with a better review. It's hard to critique too much when you aren't used to something. Be back tomorrow.