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HDTV Beginner need help!!!  

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I have just entered the world of HDTV, at least my "HDTV Ready" 50" Toshiba Projection Television/Monitor is on it's way from the warehouse to my house. Boy am I confused!!!!

I purchased this set to "be prepared" for the future. Here is my current set-up and I would like some suggestions on how to proceed to get the best value now and in the future:
- Standard cable service that is not going to have digital service until the next 4-6 months.
- DVD player
- VHS/VCR

I guess my questions are as follows:
1. Using standard cable connection will the quality of the picture be similar to what I am experiencing on my current 25" Sony Trinitron? What differences can I expect? Any short-term improvements until a digital signal?

2. I assume the DVD quality would be improved on the new HDTV monitor. Any suggestions to improve this in addition to a progressive scan unit.?

3. When my cable company does have digital service, is there anything additional I need to do to get the HD benefits?

4. If I don't want to wait until I get Cable service what are my options? I live 45 miles from the nearest local broadcast.

4B. If going to satellite what are the pro/cons of Direct TV? I had heard that Direct TV type of services do not broadcast standard stations ie ABC, NBC, CBS, etc...

I know these are pretty basic things to you guys, but I feel confident this forum can help me get started and I appreciate your feedback and information.
post #2 of 2
[quote]Originally posted by golfzlife
[b]1. Using standard cable connection will the quality of the picture be similar to what I am experiencing on my current 25" Sony Trinitron? What differences can I expect? Any short-term improvements until a digital signal?

Since the picture will be bigger, everything on analog cable will probably look WORSE to you.

2. I assume the DVD quality would be improved on the new HDTV monitor. Any suggestions to improve this in addition to a progressive scan unit.?

Maybe consider an HTPC. See the Home Theater Computers Forum. If you're handy with computers and don't mind the possibility of some frustration getting everything to work you can build your own. Or you can buy one that already works here:

http://www.avscience.com/cgi-bin/quikstore.cgi

3. When my cable company does have digital service, is there anything additional I need to do to get the HD benefits?

Contact the cable company and verify that they will be providing
HDTV when they begin digital service. And if so, whether their digital set top box is all you'll need.

4. If I don't want to wait until I get Cable service what are my options? I live 45 miles from the nearest local broadcast.

A subscription to DirecTV or the Echostar dish network, with an STB that has HDTV capability. With a large outdoor antenna you can probably receive over the air DTV signals from 45 miles away.
All DirecTV HDTV STBs have built-in ATSC tuners for receiving local DTV stations. There is an ATSC tuner module available for Echostar HDTV STBs.

4B. If going to satellite what are the pro/cons of Direct TV? I had heard that Direct TV type of services do not broadcast standard stations ie ABC, NBC, CBS, etc...

DirecTV offers HDNet (mostly sports) and HBO-HD. dish offers HBO-HD, Showtime!-HD and an HDTV demo loop. If the proposed merger of the two companies is approved, it has been stated that the newly formed service could ofer 12 more HDTV channels. Both companies now offer "local-into-local" service in selected markets, but only for standard-definition signals. (No LIL HDTV.)

You will get the most from your new set by having it calibrated by a qualified service technician. Here's a good place to find one:

http://www.imagingscience.com/

Although there are qualified technicians who have not trained with ISF (they're just harder to find.)

Good luck!
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