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Novice HDTV Questions


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9 replies to this topic

#1 of 10 OFFLINE   Mark Harrison

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Posted January 24 2001 - 05:03 AM

1) Is HDTV possible through Broadband cable lines?
2) Can I only receive HDTV using a satellite dish?
3) If I watch standard programing on a 16x9 TV, what size will the picture be and will it harm the TV?
4) Do All letterbox or widescreen DVD's FILL UP the entire screen of a 16x9 TV?
5) My goal is to have the sharpest and largest possible image for the money (similar to a typical movie screen but naturally smaller). Should I get a 4:3 HDTV ready set that is really big i.e. 51"s OR should I get a 16x9 format?

#2 of 10 OFFLINE   Steve_Howard

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Posted January 24 2001 - 05:33 AM

1) Yes. Time Warner has it up and running in various cities around the country. It will take awhile for full implementation. A few others have it as well. I'm not sure about your area of the country.

2) No. You can receive HDTV broadcasts over the airwaves with an antenna. You still need an HDTV capable set-top box and the majority of these are also satellite boxes. For instance, you can buy a Toshiba DST-3000 DirecTV box, hook it up to an antenna and receive your local HDTV stations without activating the satellite service.

3)16x9 televisions have different modes for watching NTSC broadcasts depending on the manufacturer. I believe they all let you watch a standard 4:3 image centered with gray bars on each side to fill up the space. There is a danger of damaging the TV if you watch this mode excessively. Most manufacturers also provide a stretch mode that leaves the center of an image unchanged and stretches the outer edges. There is no danger of burn-in with this mode because the image fills the screen. There are other modes that fill the screen such as a zoom mode which is self-explanatory.

4) Most of them will, but not all. There are a few troublemakers out there.

5)You're going to have to answer this one. You need to consider how much 4:3 viewing you do vs. DVD and HD. You will get many different opinions here. I would go to your local Home Theater store and spend a couple of hours viewing both types and see what fits.

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#3 of 10 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted January 24 2001 - 06:16 AM

Quote:
4) Do All letterbox or widescreen DVD's FILL UP the entire screen of a 16x9 TV?

1.85 widescreen movies will almost fill the entire screen, with only a small sliver of a black band (or less, depending on your overscan).

2.35x1 widescreen movies will still have black bands on a 16x9 set.

- Steve

#4 of 10 OFFLINE   RobertR

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Posted January 24 2001 - 06:18 AM

Quote:
4) Most of them will, but not all. There are a few troublemakers out there.

That's not an accurate answer. It's true that many widescreen films have an AR of 1.78:1 or 1.85:1, and will "fill up the screen" on a 16:9 set. However, a VERY large percentage of widescreen films on DVD have ARs ranging from 2.1:1 to 2.6:1, with the majority of "scope" films being 2.35:1. Such an AR will NOT fill up the screen (they will show the "dreaded" black bars), and it is NOT an indication that the studios that put them out are "troublemakers". Quite the contrary, they are respecting the original artistic intent.

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#5 of 10 OFFLINE   DanP

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Posted January 24 2001 - 03:26 PM

Depending on your point of view, I suppose non-anamorphic discs might be considered troublemakers to some people with widescreen sets. Obviously then, regardless of the aspect ratio it's not going to fill the screen from side to side, without manipulation, whether it does from top to bottom or not.

Dan

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#6 of 10 OFFLINE   Steve_Howard

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Posted January 25 2001 - 01:17 AM

Ok, guys. The term "troublemakers" was a lighthearted comment. Mark posted that he was a novice and I was attempting not to go into aspect ratios. Robert, can you give me a break?!?! I believe that I gave a simple, accurate answer. Period.

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#7 of 10 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted January 25 2001 - 03:08 AM

We're all trying to help, Steve. It's nothing personal. And thanks for answering Mark's questions...we are going to have a lot of people getting into HDTV over the coming months, and many of them will be asking the same questions, over and over...we'll probably have to put together a FAQ!

- Steve

#8 of 10 OFFLINE   Steve_Howard

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Posted January 25 2001 - 03:56 AM

Steve,

A FAQ would probably be a good idea. My aspect ratio comments were not directed at you by btw.

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#9 of 10 OFFLINE   RobertR

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Posted January 25 2001 - 04:12 AM

My remarks weren't meant to give you a hard time personally, Steve. I was just trying to clear up some possible misconceptions. All of us were novices at some point, and HTF is a valuable resource for sharing knowledge.

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#10 of 10 OFFLINE   Steve_Howard

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Posted January 25 2001 - 04:35 AM

That's fine, Robert. No hard feelings. My experiences have been different from yours.

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