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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok,


Call me stupid. I just purchased my first HDTV, a Hitachi 57XWX20B. This model has the ATSC and NTSC tuners, as we all know. Now I bought this model under this theory for the future of HDTV. Every television being made in 5 or so years from now will have an ATSC tuner in it, correct? We will not need STB's for these new models.


Will the cable companies and satellite companies still force us to use their equipment, or will I still be using my ATSC tuner for OTA only even then? Thinking that I will not have to use "their" equipment, I went ahead and bought the XWX, as the tuner is supposed to be software upgradeable, it only cost me $590 more than the SWX, and...I hear the new SWX models this summer are going to have the ATSC tuner in them as well. All you smart people think this over and give me some discussion on my curious thoughts.



SF
 

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Tvs with NTSC 'cable ready' tuners have been available for years, but STBs never became obsolete. Now with ATSC tuners you can get local digital OTA signals but you cannot receive satellite or digital cable channels. STBs will continue to thrive.

(I have a 57XWX20B too, great set)
 

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Satellite will still need an external STB, except for the few TVs with satellite tuner built-in. As for cable, there was a recent agreement between the major cable companies and electronics companies on a standard that will eventually result in "digital cable ready" TVs. The new sets would not require a STB for digital cable, just an access card similar to the ones on satellite that enabled the programming you subscribed to.


As for your XWX, you would certainly still need an STB for any scrambled programming, e.g. HBO, since your set will only decode unscrambled QAM/8VSB signals (not having this new std with access card mechanism for dealing with encrypted signals). Probably channels such as ESPN as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Let me rephrase the question. I know satellite will always require a box or some sort, I am more interested in the cable companies.


Are we ever going see the day with ATSC tuners, like we see today, where you screw in the coaxial cable and instant cable television appears? Why would the cable companies need to scramble a signal when everyone has the ATSC tuners in their set? Doesn't make sense to me. Are you guys saying the tuners in these sets which will be mandated by the FCC this year in 36 and larger are going to be obsolete? I just can't see that happening.


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Quote:
Are we ever going see the day with ATSC tuners, like we see today, where you screw in the coaxial cable and instant cable television appears?
Yes, that's what the agreement I mentioned will bring about in a couple years or so. Screw in cable, plug in an access card of some sort, no STB required.

Quote:
Why would the cable companies need to scramble a signal when everyone has the ATSC tuners in their set? Doesn't make sense to me.
They need what's called "conditional access", controlled with encryption, and communication of keys between the set and the cable head-end. Basically they need it so that only the people who paid for HBO would be able to tune to HBO. If they didn't encrypt, who would pay for premium channels or higher priced programming packages?

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Are you guys saying the tuners in these sets which will be mandated by the FCC this year in 36 and larger are going to be obsolete?
They will be able to tune in free digital TV over the air for many years. They just won't be able to fully deal with digital cable, until the "digital cable ready" sets I mention come out. I guess it depends on how you define "obsolete".
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Stephen or Whoever,


What are my chances of getting an upgrade from Hitachi when these Digital Cable Ready tv's start production? Slim, I'm assuming. Thanks!

This forum rules!


SF
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by soonerfann
Are we ever going see the day with ATSC tuners, like we see today, where you screw in the coaxial cable and instant cable television appears? Why would the cable companies need to scramble a signal when everyone has the ATSC tuners in their set? Doesn't make sense to me. Are you guys saying the tuners in these sets which will be mandated by the FCC this year in 36 and larger are going to be obsolete? I just can't see that happening.
It isn't just a matter of encryption; digital cable normally uses a different modulation scheme (QAM) from that used for OTA ATSC (8-VSB). The sets won't be obsolete, but sets lacking the new digita-cable port will usually require an STB to receive digital cable.
 

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Soonerfan: None is more likely than slim.
 

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I would think the new set of TV's will have the 'new' Cable port, I would think that because they agreed to a standard, they would start putting it in the TV's. DVI came in pretty quick.


The mandatory boxes and the new port will make the future of TV like TV is today. That is to say, if you have cable, you hook up cable and you watch, if you want HBO, you pay a price and maybe get a cable box or whatever, if you do not have cable, then you have an antenna and you can still watch HDTV because of the mandatory boxes. It'll be just like it is today.


Your kids won't even know the PAIN we went through. :D
 
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