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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I placed an order for a Sony 32HS420 at CC earlier. I would like everyones opinion on how standard definition(digital cable) channels look compared to a 3year old top of the line anlalog tv.(JVC--it was top rated tv 3 years ago when I got it)

98 % of my viewing will be digital cable and tivo. Any and all opinions would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.
 

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I have an 36HS420 with Adelphia and I think it does not look as good as an analog TV. There's a graininess to SD that I didn't see before. It's the price you pay for jaw-dropping HD and DVD cabability.


You may think it looks better than your old set though.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Dunbar
I have an 36HS420 with Adelphia and I think it does not look as good as an analog TV. There's a graininess to SD that I didn't see before.
Were the grainy images on the digital channels as well as the analog channels? Analog channels range in quality - some are grainy and poor while others look quite good, and the better digital channels should look almost DVD quality. Mine do. I use commercials to judge the quality of a particular channel because they seem to have the best picture quality, whether it's analog or digital.


Are you watching the TV's tuner via cable directly from the wall, or using a cable converter box connected to the TV's composite video input? The reason i ask is because analog cable through my Panny's own tuner looks a little grainy, but watching the same channels through my cable box via composite cleans up the picture a lot. Big improvement and pretty good on the better channels. I've seen cable on a 32HS510 and i thought it looked great, very similar to my Panny. I would expect the HS420 to look great with a good cable signal. Several people hear have reported good SD PQ on their HS420s.


An HD TV's SD performance depends on the quality of the cable signal, the quality of the channel itself, and the method of connection. A lot of times it can be cleaned up with better cables, a different configuration, using good splitters, etc.
 

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Just dont expect it to be top-notch. Its going to be converted into 480p, or even some sets 1080i, so pending on the program source itll vary some. To me it all looks like garbage. Just use the heck out of your dvds, and connect it to hidef youll be happy.
 

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Randy, I have a Moto 6200 hi-def box hooked up through component in addition to a coax line directly into the TV. Even the best quality channels still have a grainy texture to them that I didn't have on my last TV. Now that was a 32" hooked up through DirecTV so it's not an apples comparison. But as soon as I turned on my 36HS420 I noticed the graininess and I'm not the only Sony HD tube owner who sees this. So IMO, HD sets don't do as well on SDTV. But that doesn't mean they look terrible either.
 

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Most of the HD sets that I have looked at do not handle SD sources as well as a very good analog set does. Notable exceptions are the Panasonic ED plasma's and large Toshiba CRTs e.g. 36hfx72. It appears that many manufacturers have concentrated on producing the best HD picture possible, but not much effort into ensuring that the upconversion/scalers handle SD signals artfully. The grainy, murky character that you speak of is a hallmark. The Sony sets that I looked at were extremist, they were among the best for HD, but in the lower third of sets I looked at for SD.


YMMV
 

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Ya, I do sort of wish I got a 42" Panasonic plasma now that I've seen what the HD tubes do with SDTV. Problem is, the SD source in retailers is the same one that's been split 100 times for every other TV in the store. So you can't get any kind of gauge on what SD will look like. Some will wow you with HD but forget about seeing anything approaching SD reality.


My main gripe with plasmas was how poorly they handle SD. I still think they are worse than HD tubes, but not as bad as I originally thought. My apartment complex has a plasma in the gym room and SD isn't that bad. I don't feel too bad since the plasma is still 50% more :)
 

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I had a 32HS420 for two weeks before I decided i needed a bigger screen and went DLP. The sony was a really good set. The graininess was a bit distracting at first but I quickly adjusted to it. In fact, I've read a few posts where people say that SD actually looks better on their HDTVs I used to think no way...but now i can kind of see why some people have this opinion. Maybe it was bec I had really low expectations re: SD but I ended up being pretty impressed and certainly could have lived with it.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Dunbar
Randy, I have a Moto 6200 hi-def box hooked up through component in addition to a coax line directly into the TV. Even the best quality channels still have a grainy texture to them that I didn't have on my last TV. Now that was a 32" hooked up through DirecTV so it's not an apples comparison. But as soon as I turned on my 36HS420 I noticed the graininess and I'm not the only Sony HD tube owner who sees this. So IMO, HD sets don't do as well on SDTV. But that doesn't mean they look terrible either.
Coax is the worst type of connection you can use. You might try connecting the Moto 6200 to the TV via Composite instead and see if it improves. I got better SD results this way than i did with coax or S-video when i connected my former 3510HD converter this way. Coax always caused the picture to be a little grainy, but it's clean with composite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You guys all make a lot of sense. Because I dont actually "need" a new tv right now I am going to cancel my order at circuit city. I watch maybe 2 dvd's a month and I am sure I would watch plenty of HDTV as well. However, due to a busy schedule, the majority of my viewing is done thru replay tv. The picture on replay tv is not as good as the original source(although real close...better than tivo)---I would imagine that the Sony hdtv will only magnify this fact.
 

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"Coax is the worst type of connection you can use."


I disagree with this, at least as regards non-digital standard def programming. I think it depends upon the tv and on the source. I get some great pictures from coax, and some mediocre ones, and one or two really bad ones. Depends upon the signal. I have a Toshiba but find it hard to beleive the Sony's would have a worse standard def picture.
 

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I have a 36hs420 and Dish hooked up via rca cable (composite). SD picture quality (PQ) looks fabulous! Using RCA cable takes advantage of the very nice 3D filter that is in the Sony 420 set. PQ via coax cable loses much detail for me. Friend with comcast cable (here in NJ) has bad picture on SD channels regardless of video connection to their brand new Sony analog TV.


It's all about the quality of the source. Good luck.


Rich B.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by arich
"Coax is the worst type of connection you can use."


I disagree with this, at least as regards non-digital standard def programming. I think it depends upon the tv and on the source. I get some great pictures from coax, and some mediocre ones, and one or two really bad ones. Depends upon the signal.
When i tried connecting my cable box and DVR and VCRs to my TV via coax, the picture was markedly worse in all cases with analog cable. All devices look better with a composite connection.
 

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My understanding is that both the composit and coax connectors take advantage of the comb filter in the tv, but the S video and Component connectors do not. Maybe the composit will do a better job in some cases. But it is not true that the coax is worse in all cases. On my better channels on my Toshiba, the coax gives me near dvd quality.
 
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