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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My grandmorther is stil using an antenna for tv. When the air waves switched over she got a digital converter. The converter has a program guide that she has grown to like. It is now time for a new tv and I am trying to find her a tv with the program guide built into the digital tuner. She has no internet or wifi for a smart tv. I am having trouble finding this. If a cheap $50 converter has this feature you would think a $1000 tv would but I'm not having any luck. Is there a keyword i need to search for? I read all about PSIP and how channels are required to post 12 hours of programing through it.

Thanks
 

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The Samsung TVs have a built in program guide and provide program info. Very nice for use with an OTA antenna. Take a look at the F4500 basic plasmas. Very nice TVs and great bang for the buck. In 43 inch and 51 inch sizes, and 720p resolution looks fine with antenna reception. Or if you prefer, step up to 1080p with their F5300 in the 51 inch size.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Kuhs  /t/1519737/how-to-find-hdtv-with-built-in-program-guide#post_24406071


.... Is there a keyword i need to search for? .....
The guide feature is very hard to find from literature, they don't seem to mention it, even the models that have it
I've found if you can get a good view of the remote if it has a GUIDE button more than likely it will have the PSIP guide your looking for. Vizio TVs used to all have nice guides, and were a good bargain for a decent set but I believe the guide was dropped from all Vizio's a year or two back. My several year old Samsung lacks a guide but it sounds like at least some have it, not a lot of other choices though. For my father I resorted to using his old CECB fed to the line input of his newer HDTV, all he used the converter box for was the guide, then to watch TV he'd switch to the TVs HD tuner. I agree seems odd that better sets lack a guide but my guess is they figure everyone has cable or satellite TV and use the guide that is built into their STB. Not a whole lot of OTA people and even less that seem to care about a PSIP guide
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies. Ended up with 46 Samsung led. Tells you what is on that channel but not really a guide. Better than nothing. I will probably hook up the converter box to TV too because it gets a couple more channels.Only one video input so she will have to choose between VCR and cable box lol.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Kuhs  /t/1519737/how-to-find-hdtv-with-built-in-program-guide#post_24406071


My grandmorther is stil using an antenna for tv. When the air waves switched over she got a digital converter. The converter has a program guide that she has grown to like. It is now time for a new tv and I am trying to find her a tv with the program guide built into the digital tuner. She has no internet or wifi for a smart tv. I am having trouble finding this.


If a cheap $50 converter has this feature you would think a $1000 tv would but I'm not having any luck.

Studies show that only about 7%-9% (depending on who's study you believe) of U.S. households get their TV over antenna so i imagine the TV makers know this and choose to leave this little used feature out in order to cut costs. The vast majority of households have cable or satellite so there's little incentive to add the expense of an EPG that drives up the cost of the TV to the many just to accomodate the few.


FWIW most digital converter boxes do not have a program guide. I have a higher-end LG and also a good Radio Shack converter and neither one has a programming guide. Back when they came out i set up a number of people with them in various brands, and i think only one of em had a program guide.





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Thanks for the replies. Ended up with 46 Samsung led. Tells you what is on that channel but not really a guide. Better than nothing. I will probably hook up the converter box to TV too because it gets a couple more channels.

The TV's internal ATSC (HD) tuner will receive all the same channels that her old converter box receives so there's absolutely no need for her to use the old converter box. And the High Def broadcasts will look WAY better in HD through the TV's internal tuner, as opposed to being viewed through the converter box where they'll only be displayed in Standard Def 480i.




Quote:
Only one video input so she will have to choose between VCR and cable box lol.


Wait, i thought she was only watching antenna TV through the Converter Box? If she also has a cable box, at least she can see the program guide on the Cable Box.


If you need to connect a VCR and a Cable Box to the TV but it only has one AV input, you can route the antenna lead through the VCR then out to the TV's RF Antenna input, and tune the TV to channel 3 when she wants to watch a VHS tape. That leaves the AV input available for the cable box.


You can also get an AV Switcher with a remote for not too much money and route the VCR and Cable Box through that, then connect to the TV's singe AV input.


And if she's paying for a Cable Box (which i presume is an older Standard Def box) the cable company would probably let her switch it out for a newer HD box with HDMI so she could use that input instead of the AV input. And most local "HD" channels are included in even the most basic cable service plans.


Just some options to think about as you move granny into the space age
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When I said cable box I meant converter box. She only has antenna.

I thought some tuners are better than others. She gets channel 3 on old conver box but not on new tv. So I was going to split antenna signal to converter box and tv so if she couldn't get signal on tv she could switch over the cable box and maybe get it even if it is standard definition. Splitting the signal may make both tuners worse so I dont know. She has a big antenna on roof but cable is old 2 wire antenna wire. Do you think switching to rg6 cable will get a better signal? Been trying to talk her into cable or sat for years but she just wont.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Kuhs  /t/1519737/how-to-find-hdtv-with-built-in-program-guide#post_24411219


When I said cable box I meant converter box. She only has antenna.

Do you think switching to rg6 cable will get a better signal? Been trying to talk her into cable or sat for years but she just wont.
Yes definitely get a matching transformer and RG6 cable for the antenna or maybe a newer antenna and RG6 cable . We were installing coax with outside antennas in the late 60's when I was with Magnavox .
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Kuhs  /t/1519737/how-to-find-hdtv-with-built-in-program-guide#post_24411219


When I said cable box I meant converter box. She only has antenna.

Well you could have saved me a lot of unnecessary typing if you had used the correct term
forget the word CABLE box, it doesn't apply here.



Quote:
I thought some tuners are better than others. She gets channel 3 on old conver box but not on new tv. So I was going to split antenna signal to converter box and tv so if she couldn't get signal on tv she could switch over the cable box CONVERTER BOX and maybe get it even if it is standard definition. Splitting the signal may make both tuners worse so I dont know.

Yes some tuners are better than others, and that CONVERTER BOX probably has circuitry that makes it more compatible with crappy old antenna wires since it's primary purpose is to connect old legacy tube TVs to old antennas.


Most VCRs give you the ability to use either channel 3 or channel 4 to pass the signal through it's RF output so if channel 3 in her area is an actual antenna channel, then channel 4 should be available to route the VCR through. But if you get the antenna situation working properly then you won't need to use the Converter Box which will free up the AV input for just the VCR.


Quote:
She has a big antenna on roof but cable is old 2 wire antenna wire. Do you think switching to rg6 cable will get a better signal?

An old roof antenna usually works fine to pull in the new digital signals. I've set up more than a few HDTVs or Converter Boxes for people with rusty old roof antennas from the 60's and they work perfectly and give excellent signal strength. I've also advised other people to just re-use their old roof or attic antenna and they're reported that they worked fine too and ended up not having to upgrade their antenna at all. You have nothing to lose by trying the old antenna. You might want to make sure it's correctly pointed to the broadcast towers while you're at it. You can use www.antennaweb.org to find out which direction it needs to be pointed to. In my case my old attic antenna was pointed several degrees in the wrong direction which worked fine when the signal was analog, but when it switched to digital i discovered it was off by several degrees and realigning it to the correct 43 degrees greatly improved my digital signal reception. That antenna has been there since my house was built in 1954 and it pulls in all the UHF and VHF channels perfectly from the towers 29 miles away.


That old flat twin-lead antenna wire from the 1950's apparently isn't very good at passing a digital signal to the TV (from past experience), so yes i'd definitely upgrade to RG6 cable. You'll need to also get a 75 ohm to 300 ohm matching transformer (example linked below) that Tubetwister recommended above to attach the RG6 cable to the two screws on the old antenna. You should be able to find one locally at Radio Shack or Fry's or even Rite Aid or Home Depot etc.

http://www.amazon.com/WINEGARD-TV-2900-82-Channel-Weatherproof-Transformer/dp/B0029U2XH2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393592448&sr=8-1&keywords=tv+antenna+transformer
 

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Count my wife and I as among those who get TV OTA. I had a Panasonic 65VT50 that had a bare bones OTA program guide. Before the VT50 I had a few Samsung PDPs that had excellent guides. I could see up until early the next day what was coming on. Manufacturers are dumbing that feature down indeed. The convertor boxes we have, do have limited program guides. Two of them are BB, Insignia's brand. If anyone is interested in why I don't have cable, it's because we find there's enough stuff to watch for free and we also have Netflix and a library of DVD, Blu Ray movies and PS3/PS4 games not to mention high rez music and CDs. Tallied up, that is more than enough time spent sitting, watching and listening (lol).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbug  /t/1519737/how-to-find-hdtv-with-built-in-program-guide#post_24420942


Count my wife and I as among those who get TV OTA. I had a Panasonic 65VT50 that had a bare bones OTA program guide. Before the VT50 I had a few Samsung PDPs that had excellent guides. I could see up until early the next day what was coming on. Manufacturers are dumbing that feature down indeed. The convertor boxes we have, do have limited program guides. Two of them are BB, Insignia's brand. If anyone is interested in why I don't have cable, it's because we find there's enough stuff to watch for free and we also have Netflix and a library of DVD, Blu Ray movies and PS3/PS4 games not to mention high rez music and CDs. Tallied up, that is more than enough time spent sitting, watching and listening (lol).

You can count me in the OTA crowd too. I found cable to be a waste of money given my other forms of home entertainment.


The EPG on the the Samsung F8500 is stellar. Had the F8500 had the cinematic PQ of my ZT or ST, I would have kept it in a heartbeat.
 
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