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  1. After reading alot of articles about HDTV I'm still confused. If I get HDTV service from a provider, not all my channels are HD. And what I have read is that SDTV on a HD TV's looks terrible. Does the HD provider do something to HD signal to enhance the SDTV channels?
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  2. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    I doubt it. Only programs recorded in hd will be broadcast in hd. They probably "upconvert" the sd shows. But that doesn't mean they are reformated to hdtv. That is just like putting in a standard dvd in an upconverting dvd player - you'll get some improvement but it won't compare to a professional bluray or hddvd 1080p movie.
    Donatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
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  3. Thanks for the reply Yoda. Then, if their are only a few HD channels, why spend the (alot of) money to purchase a HD TV and subscribe to a HD service?
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  4. Why HD? Have you seen a good one in action?

    The difference between HDTV and SDTV is like night and day.

    Do you like TV? Is your current TV like some I've seen, kids handprints on the screen, dusty screen so that everything looks soft? Then you probably wouldn't have a use for HD.

    Do you enjoy going to the theatre and watching the movie in widescreen instead of with the ends chopped off, then go HD.Do you want your Picture to be supersharp and vibrant colors? then HD.
    Do you want your commercial made DVDs to look better? Then HD.

    More channels are coming.

    I have Dishnetwork HDTV service with a HD DVR, So I can make better quality DVDs.

    Would you like channels like MonsterHD? All monster movies all the time. or Rave HDTV all HD music concerts. or Universal HD for movies and older TV shows? or World TV movies from all over the world in HD, or HBO,Showtime,Starz in HD. Discovery HD. Or KungFu movies channel as well as in my case the 4 networks in HD. Sad to say being a sharper better picture still doesn't make a duff TV show any better. TNT HD, widescreen and sharper than the regular TNT and so on.

    Edit: Also letterboxed SD content on a 16:9 widescreen HDTV I zoom to fill the screen side to side and top to bottom and I like it better than letterboxed on a regular 4:3 TV set.

    And most important for many here. In the near future all new TV sets will be HD. With a HD you can be sure what you create now will look good in the future.
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  5. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TBoneit
    ...And most important for many here. In the near future all new TV sets will be HD. With a HD you can be sure what you create now will look good in the future.
    TBoneit, I'm glad you like HD (I think it's cool, too), but that's just not true. In the near future all new TV sets in the USA will be DTV!

    That includes SDTV, EDTV, and HDTV.

    Scott
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  6. Easy TBoneit.
    From what I've seen, HDTV is great. What I've heard is SDTV looks bad on HDTVs. Does SD channels look different on HD TVs with a HD subscription? If it SD doesn't look good, I'll wait a while before I take the plunge.
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  7. Hi Beams,

    SDTV looks bad on some HDTVs and ok on others. It depends on a number of factors such as; the size of the TV; the quality of the scaler used by the TV; the quality of the original transmission.

    For example - some cable and satellite providers transmit poorly encoded SDTV which looks awful on a 42in HDTV. However, you may find that over the air SDTV looks fine on a 26in HDTV.
    http://www.the-hdtv-tuner.com
    Putting HDTV in focus
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  8. The Old One SatStorm's Avatar
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    SDTV can be better commercial DVDs in theory. 720x576/480@15.000kb/s! Of course, only rarelly this is the case on commercial subscription services (the typical DVB transmission in Europe is 544x576@3500kb/s average bitrate).
    IMO, is all about the scalers. DVB/S recievers don't have great scalers, so it is up to the TV sets to upscale the signal to their native panel resolution. Don't expect great upascaling with your typical cheap HDTV set, even if the panel is true HD...

    I'm able to grabb the DVB/S transmissions myself and burn them on DVDs (sometimes I need to re-encode them, using filters and resizing, so to much DVD's supported framesizes). When I watch those transmissions direct on my HDTV, they look "average". It's TV's upscaler that takes over. When I burn those to DVDs and I watched them through my DVD player (A pioneer 696) they look (on the same TV...) awsome! It's the built in scaler that do the difference
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  9. Yeah, evidently much depends on the TV itself. I have a relatively inexpensive 32" Panasonic CRT HDTV. Cable SDTV and DVD-Video look great on that one. Some of my friends' HDTVs look rather poor.
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  10. Member lacywest's Avatar
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    Tboneit

    Would you like channels like MonsterHD? All monster movies all the time. or Rave HDTV all HD music concerts. or Universal HD for movies and older TV shows? or World TV movies from all over the world in HD, or HBO,Showtime,Starz in HD. Discovery HD. Or KungFu movies channel as well as in my case the 4 networks in HD. Sad to say being a sharper better picture still doesn't make a duff TV show any better. TNT HD, widescreen and sharper than the regular TNT and so on.
    I've got Directv HD service ... with a HR10 -- [250 GB harddrive] to record to.

    And I use a HD Sony 51" ... and I have an antenna mounted on a 15 foot pole on my chimney ... I pick up a bunch of HD broadcast channels in my area ... from the city of Fresno CA ... my Zip code is 93230.

    Letter box is okay ... but I really like it when the TV Screen is completely filled with no black bars at the top and bottom.

    When I record to my Panasonic EH50 / 100 GB harddrive .... and the source from Directv is HD ... the DVDs I burn look like a Letter Box movie from a DVD Rip.
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  11. What I'm saying about letterbox ing is that SD channels that broadcast LB material, some of the SciFi and Biography channel material for example, I zoom them up to fill the screen and since they were mostly 16:9 the aspect ratio is good and yes they aren;t HD but after a couple of minutes if that long they're very watchable.

    Beams: I myself find that SD doesn't look any worse than before, it just doesn't look as good as HD.


    Cornucopia: You are right I stated my case poorly. Digital does not equal HD. NJ by me has four 4:3 channels on their HD feed and they all look like SD to me. However what I was getting at more or less is if you are doing family videos for distribution to the family, you should be using a good sharp display so as to be sure the video will look good for everybody.
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  12. Member zzyzzx's Avatar
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    Are all HDTV's widescreen?
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  13. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    True HDTVs (not EDTVs or large SDTVs or computer monitors), YES. All 16:9 widescreen.

    Scott
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia
    True HDTVs (not EDTVs or large SDTVs or computer monitors), YES. All 16:9 widescreen.
    My HDTV is 4:3. Does that mean it's not actually HD? No. If it can show 1080i or 720p (mine shows 1080i), then it's HD, as far as I'm concerned...

    http://www.usasupport.philips.com/productDocuments.html?ProductCode=27PT8302/37&subCat...SU_US_CONSUMER


    Also, regarding SDTV viewing on a HDTV, you also have to look closely at your cable box settings. My cable box has the option to override for SD, non-HD signals, and output as either 480i or 480p. Different channels look better or worse with either settings. You may have to experiment to find the best setting for each channel (i've noticed that BBC America (digital channel) looks better in 480p mode, while analog cable channels look better in 480i (and create tons of artifacts in 480p mode).
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  15. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Wow! How weird. Well, I stand -somewhat- corrected.

    However, you do realize that while that TV is 27" in 4:3 mode it's really only 21.5" picture in 16:9 widescreen mode--that's pretty small.

    PLUS, if you watch much Widescreen DVDs or HD material, you'll end up with letterbox ghosting burned in. Sorry for you...

    Scott
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  16. Member edDV's Avatar
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    You can get a 4:3 CRT HDTV.

    I kinda like these for non-theater environments. They display 16:9 HDTV as letterbox or side cropped letterbox. Most only do 1080i and 480p but some can display 720p directly. Here is how mine displays HD.



    For SD they can display interlace (for 480i/576i TV) with 1080i upscale or direct progressive (for 720x480p movie DVD). All in all, a good Swiss Army compromise.

    Plasma and LCD HDTV sets only display progressive. Interlace to progressive conversion of SD material is their weakness.
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  17. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia
    ...
    PLUS, if you watch much Widescreen DVDs or HD material, you'll end up with letterbox ghosting burned in. Sorry for you...

    Scott
    I've had this Philips 27PT830H since 2003 and watch mixed 4:3 and 16:9 in my computer room. No burn in yet knock on wood. It has also held convergence well since factory warranty alignment (long story of challenging Visa payment).

    Side note: SD performance improved dramatically when the cable system was upgraded to state of art. HD over Comcast is excellent here.

    PS: Today these 27-34" CRT monitors are dirt cheap (sub $400) if you can get one. As of last July, new sets are required to have ATSC tuners which add a couple of hundred to that.

    And yes they are heavy.
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    i see posters, making the comment that in the future all TV will be HD

    maybe, maybe NOT

    AFAIK the 2009 mandate doesn't specify everything must HD, it only specifies everything must be digital,

    this is so the bandwidth can be used for more channels of programming, 'the FCC can license more broadcast stations' and collect more FEEs

    there is NO mandate that all this programing must be in HD

    yes it is likely that most of it will be, BUT is not mandated to be that way

    only that all broadcasts use digital technology
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  19. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by theewizard
    there is NO mandate that all this programing must be in HD
    A single ATSC 6MHz channel (same space as one analog channel) can carry one HD + one or two SD (480i or 480p) subchannels. Or it can be configured for up to 5 SD subchannels + data services. The "data services" can include additional highly compressed TV signals in more compressed formats like wmv or h.264.

    Today most television stations are broadcasting one 6MHz analog a separate 6MHz digital channel. In 2009 the analog transmitter will be turned off. On the same day many digital channels will change from a temporary to a new permanent frequency. Digital broadcasting allows closer channel spacing. This allows freeing many former TV channels for other uses. The leasing of these new frequencies will provide income for governments.

    When the analog channel is turned off, most "network" stations will make their primary channel HD (16:9 1080i or 720p). They will also provide one or two SD secondary channels for news, weather or other programming. Other stations will have the choice of HD or SD programming in various mixes.

    Those people without a digital TV with ATSC tuner will need to buy an external ATSC tuner to get over the air reception for their current TV or VCR. The ATSC tuners will be able to tune in all the digital subchannels. HD and widescreen SD subchannels will appear as letterbox on a typical 4:3 analog TV. The external tuner itself will look like a cable box and connect RF, composite, S-Video or analog component YPbPr to existing TV sets.

    Cable and DBS customers will be mostly unaffected by the changeover at the equipment level. Cable customers will continue to have analog NTSC access to lower numbered channels. Over time fewer analog channels will be offered by cable to make room for more digital HD and SD content. One analog cable channel takes the space of two HD or up to ten SD digital channels.
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  20. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by edDV
    ...I've had this Philips 27PT830H since 2003 and watch mixed 4:3 and 16:9 in my computer room. No burn in yet knock on wood. It has also held convergence well since factory warranty alignment (long story of challenging Visa payment).

    ...

    And yes they are heavy.
    I'm glad it's still good for you, but I'd be worried. It even warns against this eventuality in the manual.

    Me, I'm saving up for an HD projector...

    Scott
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  21. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia
    Originally Posted by edDV
    ...I've had this Philips 27PT830H since 2003 and watch mixed 4:3 and 16:9 in my computer room. No burn in yet knock on wood. It has also held convergence well since factory warranty alignment (long story of challenging Visa payment).

    ...

    And yes they are heavy.
    I'm glad it's still good for you, but I'd be worried. It even warns against this eventuality in the manual.

    Me, I'm saving up for an HD projector...

    Scott
    Best thing about a CRT is solid black level in a dark room (unlike LCD). This CRT is also good for DV format editing.
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  22. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Beams
    After reading alot of articles about HDTV I'm still confused. If I get HDTV service from a provider, not all my channels are HD. And what I have read is that SDTV on a HD TV's looks terrible. Does the HD provider do something to HD signal to enhance the SDTV channels?
    You're not confused at all. You're 100% correct. You're wiser than most.

    HD is a flop, by and large. It makes old stuff look like crap, and new stuff really isn't all that special.

    The only advantage of HD is it makes video less soft (HD feeds only, of course), when viewed on a really big monitor, in the 50"+ sizes.

    Older 36" sets looked fine, and that 4:3 area is about the same as the 45"-50" 16:9.
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    maybe this size table will be helpful

    36" 4:3 STD w=28.8 h=21.6 sq" = 622.08

    40" 16:9 HD w=38.4 h=19.6 sq" = 752.64

    50" 16:9 HD w=43.6 h=24.5 sq" = 1068.20

    60" 16:9 HD w=52.3 h=29.4 sq" = 1537.62

    25" 4:3 STD w=20.0 h=15.0 sq" = 300

    26" 16:9 HD w=22.66 h=12.75 sq" = 289

    32" 16:9 HD w=27.89 h=15.69 sq" = 437.6

    basic geometry

    screen diag squared divide by 337 , = x, get the sq root of x,

    sq root of x=y

    16*y =w, 9*y=h

    w*h= area

    for std 4:3 use 25 in place of 337 and 4*y =w 3*y = h

    y number is bigger for std 4:3 tv

    where did i get 337 & 25

    I did the algebra for you
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    since we're into the calculations... if I wanted to get a 16:9 screen that was just as tall as my 27" 4:3, but wider of course, what diag size would it be?
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  25. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Think of an HDTV (or digital SDTV) as having three major components:

    Display Screen
    Choices are CRT, DLP, Plasma, LCD, LcOS, etc. Much is written about the pro/con of different display technologies. Main point is the trend is to progressive display technologies.

    The Tuners:
    Current sets will have an analog tuner (going obsolete) and an ATSC digital tuner for tuning over the air DTV. Some digital tuners also direct tune clear QAM (unprotected digital cable). That last feature is important if you want to get local digital SD and HD channels off cable without a cable box. Some QAM capable tuners also support cable card that may allow you to receive encrypted digital cable without a cable box.

    Video Processing:
    This is least discussed but most important for quality display from NTSC, PAL, 480i, 576i and 1080i sources (almost everything). This includes VCR, most camcorders and all standalone DVD recorders. They all record interlace formats.

    If all you want to watch is the output of a quality progressive DVD player (480p or 720p upscale) or 720p broadcast stations* (ABC/FOX/ESPN) then you can live with a DTV/HDTV with low end video processing. Since most HDTV sets now have progressive display, quality reception of interlace TV, especially SD interlace TV, requires spending the extra bucks for "cinema" inverse telecine and quality deinterlacers (e.g. Faroudja DCDi, Sony WEGA, etc.). It is counter intuitive that SD source requires a more expensive HDTV.


    * or a cable/satellite box set to 720p output.
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  26. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by akrako1
    since we're into the calculations... if I wanted to get a 16:9 screen that was just as tall as my 27" 4:3, but wider of course, what diag size would it be?
    33" 16:9 = 27" for 4:3

    Screen Size Calculators:
    http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-7608_7-1016109-4.html
    http://www.cavecreations.com/tv2.cgi
    http://www.creekstonesystems.com/tv/Default.aspx

    Viewing Distance Calculator:
    http://www.myhometheater.homestead.com/viewingdistancecalculator.html
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    33" w=28.8 h=16.2

    466.56 sq inch area
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  28. Preservationist davideck's Avatar
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    Many people are going overboard when it comes to screen size. They replace a 27" 4:3 set with a 50" 16:9 HDTV and then complain that SDTV doesn't look good. They should back up or scale down.

    At 7 feet, I can still see the scan lines on a 27" 4:3 SDTV CRT. Replacing it with a 32" 16:9 HDTV provides a nice balance between screen size and picture quality. SDTV looks fine. Widescreen DVDs look bigger and better. HDTV looks awesome.

    SMPTE and THX recommended Screen Sizes are too big. IMO, this is a better guide;
    http://www.primediahometech.com/dlpseeit/1105viewing/

    "Screen Height x 5 = Viewing Distance"

    "At 5 times the picture height, the screen may appear a little smaller than some would like, but your eye won't be picking up as many artifacts and noise in the image."
    Life is better when you focus on the signals instead of the noise.
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  29. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    davideck, I want a 27"-36" (4:3) for watching video (or equiv-height HDTV), or a 50-60" tv so I can see what the f--- is happening in video games. Computer graphics have made stuff too small to comfortably see anymore.

    In other words, I agree with you.

    What really crawls up my ass is when people view 4:3 material in 16:9 because they want "full screen" images. I refuse to watch aspect-distorted video. These people clearly don't have any concept of what they're buying.

    For example, I think this guy is an idiot:
    Originally Posted by http://www.cnet.com/4520-7874_1-5140690-1.html?tag=txt
    Don't be thrown off by other wide-screen aspect ratios. When shopping for wide-screen displays--especially flat-panel LCDs--you may see aspect ratios such as 15:9 or 16:10. They are, for all intents and purposes, close enough to 16:9 to be considered synonymous. Unless you're extremely sensitive to geometry, it's doubtful you'll notice the slight stretching or squashing they introduce.
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  30. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by davideck

    SMPTE and THX recommended Screen Sizes are too big. IMO, this is a better guide;
    http://www.primediahometech.com/dlpseeit/1105viewing/

    "Screen Height x 5 = Viewing Distance"

    "At 5 times the picture height, the screen may appear a little smaller than some would like, but your eye won't be picking up as many artifacts and noise in the image."
    SMPTE and THX are assuming optimal theater specification like your local multiplex and are also assuming HDTV resolution. Basically they are saying if you want to match the "theater" experience, then you need HDTV 16:9 and need to sit close to the screen.

    Most people don't watch TV this way. I have my TV "theater corner" downstairs where the sofa can be adjusted for optimal SMPTE/THX viewing distance for 16:9 or 4:3, HDTV or SDTV. I put tape marks on the hardwood floor for various sofa positions. This effort does match the theater experience.

    Most people view from greater distance thus diminishing the HD advantage. In 75% of the home "HDTV Theaters" I've seen, a 16:9 EDTV provides adequate resolution.

    The real estate "theater room" floor plans almost always exceed SMPTE/THX distances because their aim is to sell square footage. I like to challenge the room designers that they haven't allowed for adequate future screen size for that viewing distance.
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