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I have Time Warner Cable Digital, and High Definition cable in Bellaire. The picture on the high def stations is fabulous. NTSC via digital cable is improved, but can't hold a candle to the hi def stuff. There are more Houstonians posting on this topic on www.***************.com than here. Don't know why.


Here's the scoop, though. I had 5 service calls in 2 weeks to get my setup working properly (helped in large degree by posters on another forum). TWC, due to the increase in requests, is contracting out the installation. This is a problem. The first guys here were nice, but clueless. to get everything you'll need the latest DCT-2000 box with software that's 7.xx (my initial box was 6.73 and I couldn't get Fox). You'll also need the latest hi def box. You'll probably need to get amplification on the cable in the attic (heat seems to degrade the signal by late afternoon and amplification is required to keep it steady -- be sure you have an outlet handy). You may get occasional signal dropouts (picture goes black for a frame but sound remains).


For all this, you get CBS (with a constant hi def demo IF there's nothing hi def on the network feed), NBC, ABC, FOX, PBS (sometime in September) plus HBO-east, HBO-west, SHO-east and SHO-west -- all for $3.73 per month on top of the digital cable which cost the same as my analog cable did. NBC and ABC are not broadcasting a lot of hi def, though (however NYPD looks great). Sometimes the movies on the HBO & Showtime channels are upconverted. But, when stuff is broadcast in hi def, it's really wonderful. We've ended up watching a couple of movies that we wouldn't have ordinarily watched -- just because they looked so good. I may even watch a football game with my SO IF it's in hi def.


I hadn't investigated satellite because I live in an area of huge trees and already had upgraded cable in the area. TWC is really trying to do right by its new digital/hi def customers. Two TWC employees post on the Spot Forum from time to time and have been of great help in working out some of the "early-adopter" problems.


Surfing is somewhat slow on digital cable, primarily because the blasted remote doesn't allow you to hide those channels in which you have absolutely NO interest whatsoever.


I have a Panasonic 50" Plasma display and I use the Justify mode when watching NTSC programs. This doesn't distort to the degree that Zoom does. I also adjusted my black bars to grey, thanks to a poster on avsforum. I haven't decided whether or not to get any sort of scaler to improve NTSC -- still waiting on the perfect scaler I guess.

Good luck with your decision.

Leslie


[This message has been edited by leslie (edited 09-01-2001).]
 

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I have many LD and DVD movies. Most are widescreen format but not all. Considering the available HD sources available today, is it better to go 4:3 and compress widescreen or to go 16:9 and squeeze SD? I spend much more of my time viewing locals than watching movies.


I have been reading many of the recommendations on this forum and I was intrigued by the iscan/HDTV combo. Should I look at cheaper HDTV's for use with an iscan or should I get a good quality HDTV that performs well? Isn't it more convenient to have just one remote for the TV to control everything? I need various inputs to cover my current setup (DSS,SVHS,LD, DVD) which may force me into an iscan. Do the current generation sets perform well enough to eliminate the need for an iscan? I am considering a Toshiba depending on the best answer to the first question http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif . Has anyone bought the Toshiba's? Comments?


I live in Houston so I am debating between TWC and DirectV (I already have Directv-> non-HD Sony ). I like Directv better than cable now (I get SVHS from my Sony which looks much better than analog cable). I have heard that channel surfing is REALLY slow on Digital TWC. Is this true? It seems that I can upgrade to a HD receiver for directv offering and pick up local stations OTA, or I can get TWC (which requires 2 STB's for ~10$/mon). Anybody care to comment on which is best?


I have read many comments about poor results when viewing SD on HDTV's. I don't have any issues with DSS unless it is raining. Will the media that I use be of high enough quality to avoid poor results on an HDTV (VHS, SVHS, LD, DVD, DSS)?


I spent sometime yesterday looking at various HDTV's. Why is it that the Sony XBR seems to have the best picture? I can easily see the lines from the aperture mask but the picture seemed much better than all the others (RCA, PAN, SAM).


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Without the continuous evolution of technology, engineers would be lost.
 
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