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I live in Metro-Detroit and am debating the purchase of an OTA STB to use with my current Digital Cable. My dilemma is this:


Comcast has recently announced HD Cable by Dec. 2002 for Metro-Detroit. My local discount retailer said that signals from Comcast HD will be downconverted to 720p or have a max rez. of 720p instead of 1080i. Is this true?


Should I buy a separate OTA STB NOW for my local HD offerings or wait and see if Comcast HD Cable will be able to provide me the exact material (Resolution wise) plus some of the premiums like HBO/Showtime in HD????


I am currently using an LCD Hi-Def projector (SE-13HD) with a 106" diagonal 52" x 92", 16:9 Da-Lite Hi Contrast screen. I want HDTV as quickly, but as affordably, as possible. Dish or DirectTV is not an option due to 5 tv's in my home and three 5.1 systems in the house.


Any advice or knowledge about Comcast HD Cable coming to Detroit or other things I should be considering??


Thanks, Brett
 

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The HD box they provide might let you decode OTA signals. Furthurmore, the banwidth on 1080i HAS to be less than 720p, no idea why they wouldn't just pass the local signal along.
 

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It sounds as if perhaps your dealer speaketh through an orifice lower on his body than his mouth.....


720p actually displays more lines in a single frame than 1080i so 1080i-to-720p is more like a DOWNconversion than an upconversion. The only network of which I'm aware that broadcasts in 720p is ABC. And since most HDTV's cannot display 720p anyway the signal winds up getting converted to 1080i. 720p while being a very high definition source indeed apparently is not an "official" HDTV broadcast resolution and that's why most manufacturers don't bother with it. I think Panasonic sets are about the only models that displayed 720p and I'm not sure that their current line still does. Panasonic has sponsored alot of the HDTV on ABC and that's why they're so heavily invested in 720p.


Anyway, I think you're getting bad info from the dealer. As for what to do... it depends on how critical you are. If you can get HDTV via terrestrial broadcast without having to do contortions on your roof or spending a ridiculous amount of money on antennas then I would go that route. That way you have no signal converstion, bandwidth issues, etc between you & the signal, you'll know you're seeing what's available. If that's not an issue to you and you don't feel like shelling out $500-1000 to get up and running then you might just want to hold out until Comcast gets their act together in Detroit.


Good luck!
 

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Brett,

I don't think the 720p comment is right. I currently live in Plymouth, and I get 2,4,7,50,62,PBS(56), and hopefully 20 soon, with an external antenna and my DTC100.

Several factors you may want to consider is how much you'd like to spend, if you can mount an external antenna, will you be wanting to record an HD signal, and what type of programs do you wish to watch.

I will tell you from Plymouth with an RCA amplified rabbit ear, I only was able to pick up 4,7,50,62, and sometimes 56. Channel 2 was impossible, and 62 did have frequent drop outs. This may have been due to a large water tower near my home causing multipathing though. I would recommend a search for antennas on the board, should you consider going ota.

Another thing to think about is timing. When do you want to start receiving HDTV. Comcast IMHO will not be ready until late 4th quarter, or 1st quarter of 2003, if their previous track record holds true. Samsung should be releasing the next generation of their OTA boxes in June, one will be $399 MSRP, and one will be $699 with Firewire output for recording to the DVHS VCR's.

Also, you may want to give satellite another thought, they due make 8 way switches that would allow for up to 8 receivers. Hope this helps.


-------------------------------------Dave
 
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