AVS Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure where I should be listing this, so tell me if there's a better forum...


I'm completely new to HDTV, haven't even bought an HDTV yet. I plan to get a 50" Panasonic plasma soon. Trying to decide on a G10 or wait for the 2010's (G25?) to hit the stores.


But my question is regarding what else I need to buy besides just the TV. I've read some on the various options, and it's very confusing for a newbie like me. There's cable, there's OTA, there's TiVO, there's Roku, there's PS3, there's LG or Samsung Blu-Ray. Hard to piece together costs and which is best for the money.


I don't watch that much TV, as I work alot. I'm not much on computer technology either, so it has to be farily simple to hook up. I don't game at all. I do watch Netflix movies (get them in the mail now), and that would be a close second to the time I spend watching cable TV (maybe one movie per week and one hour of TV per week). But I'd like a nice picture when I do watch.


I'm sure there are lots of opinions out there on what's the best option for receiving content at a good price. Can you give a newbie some pointers on what's the best deal going, given my criteria? I have Suddenlink expanded cable service (but not HD), if you've heard of them. They do offer HD. So is just HD cable with a cable box the best route? Or buy a TiVO box to use with the cable HD? Or go with a Samsung BluRay player to get Netflix movies thru that, then go with HD cable? So many choices...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,880 Posts
A lot of people in my area who don't watch a lot of TV are happy with OTA, netflix and a bluray player. Or maybe with a OTA DVR for pausing live TV and time shifting. Simple and the only monthly cost is a netflix subscription. The kind of OTA antenna you would need depends on your TVFool results .


Everyone's idea of must-have programming varies, though. Some people feel they have to have cable or satellite service.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I live in a fairly rural area, so not alot I'll be able to get with OTA. I believe when I checked on the website you mention some months back, I only had three or four channels I would be likely to reasonably get. If I recall correctly. Also, I won't put an ant. up on the outside of the house. It would have to be an inside the attic or on top the system antennae.


What's the cost on a Samsung BluRay player vs a TiVO player right now? And does Panasonic have a BluRay player out that will stream NetFlix so that I can ditch waiting on the mail to deliver a movie? If I get a Panny TV, seems it makes more sense to get a Panasonic BluRay. But only if it streams NetFlix movies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,880 Posts
Don't know. I don't have broadband internet available at my location. Only 3G. So, I'm not familiar with streaming netflix or other movie download options.


But if you're in a fringe area and not willing to install a proper outdoor antenna, you'll have to go with some sort of monthly subscription TV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,738 Posts
Are you still in New Bern NC, as indicated by a post you made a few years ago? Unless there's something about your specific location, it looks like you should be able to get the "big five" networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS), and maybe ION, OTA with a decent antenna in the attic. Maybe even with a set-top indoor antenna, although two of those stations are on VHF which tends to be dicey with that kind of antenna.


Also, you can probably plug your Suddenlink cable directly into the TV and get your local broadcast stations in HD without a cable box, just like you can get most analog cable channels without a box. If you're already using a cable box, you can split the cable before the box so as to feed part of the signal directly to the TV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, still in New Bern. It's been awhile since I checked, but from what I recall I could only expect to get 3, maybe 4, good signals via OTA. I don't want to be limited to just 3 or 4 HD channels. So OTA is not really a decent option. Does that leave me with cable or internet as the two options? I assume so.


What kind of costs, roughly, am I looking at for each option, including both the equipment I need to purchase, and the monthly fees? Does one option offer better picture and sound quality over the other? Again, no more than I watch TV, doesn't make sense for me to go to too much expense. I have a decent surround sound setup, now just need decent TV with good quality picture to go with the sound.


Is there a post anywhere on AVS that lists all the equipment needed for a good setup like I need, and their approx cost? Surely someone has done a cost comparison among the various options, and posted it on AVS.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,565 Posts
You could go with HD cable from the cable company. No contract required. No upfront cost. A netflix capable blu-ray player can be purchased for about $150 with netflix about $10 per month. Again no contract, you can cancel at any time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Didn't know that the HD cable was no contract. Thanks for that info. Sounds like I should at least try that and see how I like it, once I get the TV. If I can discontinue it at any time, I should at least try it for comparison purposes.


I had also considered a BluRay with Netflix ability (does Panasonic make a BluRay that works with Netflix?), or a TiVO with Netflix ability. Sounds like TiVO is coming out with something new on 03/02/10, so may wait a bit more and see what that turns out to be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,630 Posts
Any cable or satellite HD package is going to run you around $80 to $100 a month. Thats the final cost after all the taxes and fees are included. You will need the HD cable box from the cable company to pick up HD on cable. If you watch only one hour of TV a week I would hook up an antenna. The HD OTA picture quality is awesome. The Blu Ray player will give you movies in 1080p or an upconverting DVD player with HDMI will upconvert your movies. Even DVDs at 480p through component cables look awesome on my 50 inch Panasonic plasma.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, sounds like I need to get an antennae and a BluRay player. Still may try cable if no contract required, just to see how I like it. I wouldn't want to pay 80-100/month on going. But for a month or two to try it would be OK.


Now if I get a BluRay player, should it be a PS3 (again, I don't game at all) or a Samsung that will stream Netflix? How does the streaming thing work? I have wireless at home, but upstairs where the TV will be, not sure if the signal is strong enough. It seems to fluctuate alot. Sometimes 5 Mb, sometimes 10 Mbps. Is that enough for streaming Netflix movies?


Thanks for the help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,223 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by jb2c /forum/post/18134493


...does Panasonic have a BluRay player out that will stream NetFlix...?

I believe they have one on the way soon. Not the current models, though.


Also, if you'd really like to have DVR capabilities (for cable and/or OTA), the TiVo HD streams NetFlix, too. You can also pay an upfront lifetime fee for the TiVo service, if you don't want to bother with a monthly one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,223 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi Master /forum/post/18136414


Any cable or satellite HD package is going to run you around $80 to $100 a month.

? You can get Dish's AT120 with HD for only $50.00 a month (before taxes).


You can also choose not to have a commitment (but you will have to pay the activation fee).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,223 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by jb2c /forum/post/18137394


Well, sounds like I need to get an antennae and a BluRay player.

If you'd be satisfied with only the local, HD and SD channels that you'd get OTA, but you don't want to mess with antennas, you can consider just getting Limited Basic through cable. Should run under $20.00. You possibly won't even need their tuner, either - the QAM tuner in your new HDTV should pick up all the local, digital HD and SD channels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,880 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski /forum/post/18137872


... consider just getting Limited Basic through cable. Should run under $20.00. You possibly won't even need their tuner, either - the QAM tuner in your new HDTV should pick up all the local, digital HD and SD channels.

This may (or may not) work. Limited basic in our area has a trap installed on the cable that blocks the HD locals. They are available in analog SD only pm that tier. YMMV. And some cablecos are not very up front about what's on their lowest priced tier. Some will even tell you that an HD tier and a rented box are required for HD locals, even though this may not be true.


If your local HD channels are available without a box, the channel numbers may be weird, off the wall numbers - different on your TV's tuner than the box supplied by the cableco.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,030 Posts
jb2c,


Who is your internet provider? It is my understanding that the cableco's can not shut off their clear qam stations if they are your ISP. One of my friends added a splitter to his internet cable feed and ran the second port to his HDTV with QAM and ATSC tuner. He can watch all of our HD locals without paying fees for cable tv. Of course, he does pay the cable co ISP fees. Might be a viable option for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,880 Posts
Around here, if someone orders internet-only from coxcable, they put a trap on the coax in the outdoor lockbox, to block upper TV channels. You get internet and a very few analog TV chs, but that's it.


Varies by area and company, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,880 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by jb2c /forum/post/18143810


I have Suddenlink. Cable TV, phone and internet. I guess I won't know the anwer to this one until I buy the TV and try it!

First, try hooking the coax directly to the TV. Then run the TV's autoscan menu. After scanning, look at every channel the scan found. There may be lots of encrypted channels the scan found, and are not viewable. But your local HD channels may be in there. Somewhere.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top