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Been out of HT for a while, but I am back and could use some help/suggestions


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#1 of 21 OFFLINE   Peter f

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Posted December 28 2005 - 05:10 AM

Hi All! Well, i have been involved in other interests for about 4 years but am now getting back into HT and need some suggestions/ help with the new TV i just bought... some of these questions may seem basic, i reviewed some of the other threads...but some of them are quite long and was hoping to get some basic answers to some questions. Just took delivery of my Sony KDSR60XBR1 SXRD, which replaced my Sony 41" RPTV (cira 1998). Since this is my first HD set, i have a few questions first of all, Comcast (my cable supplier) is backordered on the HD boxes, i am on a waiting list...(not sure for how long) right now i have the digital box connected to the TV via RCA connection (not even S-Vid on current box!)..still the picture i feel is excellent considering the source. My current DVD player has component out, but I was wondering if there was any benefit to getting a player with HDMI output, would this display benefit from this or is the progressive scan pretty much the best i am going to get until HD-DVD or Blu-ray debuts? Is there anyway to get HD programing while i wait for comcast? (short of getting DTV)...and here comes a dumb question....what are the HD Antenna's for? Would this be a way to recieve some HD signal? anyway, thank you for reading and i will post a review of this set once i have had a chance to live with it for 30 days or so thanks! Sony KDSR60XBR1 Yamaha HTR5130 Outlaw M200's (3) Klipsch Reference Tivo Series 2 80 Slingbox Triple 20 Salamander

#2 of 21 OFFLINE   Dick Knisely

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Posted December 28 2005 - 05:50 AM


Short answer is yes and probably you have two sources. The cable company won't mention it but In all likelihood there are HD signals on the cable service you have. Assuming your TV has ATSC/QAM/NTSC Tuners, then what you need to do is split the cable coax between the wall jack and the cable box. Run one side to the cable box and the other directly to the RF input at the TV. Then run the TV's channel scan setup and see what it finds. The likely outcome is that it will find all the analog channels (1-99) plus some digital channels, including your local stations' digital broadcast transmissions. This will include HD programs they are broadcasting over-the-air.

However, if you have a TV antenna you're likely to get even more digital TV. How much depends on lots of factors but again you don't need anything special to try it. Best case is if you have an outside, mast mounted TV antenna you can use. Connect it to the TV and let it scan to find both analog and digital signals. There are a number of sites that have more info. Start with www.dtv.gov which also has a link to a site that will tell you what statiions are in your area, which are digital and what you can expect to get with what kind of antenna.

Enjoy!Posted Image
I am not young enough to know everything. -Oscar Wilde-

#3 of 21 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted December 28 2005 - 05:50 AM

Your Sony comes with a built in HD tuner and a CableCard slot. Try hooking your cable directly from the wall to the RF coax connection on the back of the set (see pg. 24 in your manual), then run the channel search. Often people find they can tune cable HD using just the cable compatible HD tuner in their sets. If you can do this, you may be able to forego the box for now. If you want pay-channels, you can get the box or a CableCard for them (see pg. 32 in your manual). Note: Without a cable box, you cannot get interactive menus or OnDemand programming, you need a 2-way interactive box for those.

#4 of 21 OFFLINE   Peter f

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Posted December 28 2005 - 06:10 AM

Excellent responses...thanks guys!!! I actually thought of the splitting the cable and did send one to the TV (for watching another program while tivo was recording) and i did notice on the channel scan that it did find several local HD channels (8 and 9XX channels), but thinking i did nto have "a box" i did not even try one to see if there was a signal! Now i cant wait to go home and check it out thanks again

#5 of 21 OFFLINE   John Morton

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Posted December 28 2005 - 06:23 AM

yes, thanks!

#6 of 21 OFFLINE   Dick Knisely

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Posted December 28 2005 - 06:48 AM

Jeff -- in my case (Cox) I get a bunch more digital stations off the antenna vs. the cable. The cable companies have "must carry" requirements that put the OTA channels there whether analog or digital (therefore HD sometimes). But they don't have to pass through everything.

Examples:

Off the antenna I will get 2 digital channels for each OTA network stations. One is a wideband channel carrying the normal programming in SD or HD. The other is a narrow band channel used for weather scan, news feed, etc. The PBS stations use their digital broadcast assignment to carry 3 independent (SD) programs during the day and with 1-2 active channels at night with one of them normally being HD.

Off the cable I'll get the OTA network station but not the 2nd narrowband weather channel each of them is sending. Likewise for PBS I'll get only the base broadcast which at night is the HD transmission.

So, if an antenna is an option you may find there's a bunch more out there. But either way, the football bowl games in HD are pretty awesomePosted Image
I am not young enough to know everything. -Oscar Wilde-

#7 of 21 OFFLINE   Peter f

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Posted December 28 2005 - 07:43 AM

I will have to go home and decide once i see if what ones are coming now off the cable before i decide on an antenna or not...i am guessing i would not need it once the cable box arrives... would it be worth it to get one of the better antenna's or are they pretty much the same? I live in a semi rural area...not sure what i could pick up without a putting something huge and ugly on the roof anyway

#8 of 21 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted December 28 2005 - 07:53 AM

I have Comcast. I've seen and heard (from members here) that all Comcast channels except pay channels are available to a QAM tuner equipped HDTV. Comcast doesn't do much to scramble the HD signal. Now the local networks may be available via antenna, but my Comcast carries all the locals plus INHD1/2 (w/ NESN), ESPN, DiscoveryHD and TNT-HD, which are not available via OTA. Given I'm a Boston sports (Red Sox and Bruins - via NESN) nut, I'd never be satisfied with OTA only. YMMV.

#9 of 21 OFFLINE   Peter f

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Posted December 28 2005 - 08:06 AM

Thanks again Jeff.. QAM Tuner? is my SXRD so equiped?

#10 of 21 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted December 28 2005 - 08:28 AM

Yep, it sure is.

#11 of 21 OFFLINE   Peter f

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Posted December 28 2005 - 08:40 AM

Great...thanks again

maybe i wont have to visit Tweeter in the mean time to see my TV in HD

Posted Image

#12 of 21 OFFLINE   Peter f

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Posted December 29 2005 - 01:56 AM

Ok, after getting home and scanning all the channels loaded in the TV off just the cable. I found i had...

ABC (2)
NBC (2)
FOX (1)
PBS (4)

all seemed to be HD, am i correct that even though its an "HD" channel that whatever is broadcasted still needs to be broadcasted in HD? What i mean is on the stations above it seemed some of the programming was HD and some were not.

Was watching E-Ring last night and that was certainly HD Posted Image but it seemed that other programs on the same station were not...but it could have been me...i dont know

anyway, i also seemed to get several on demand movies as well...not sure why...but they were not always there.


will seach again for the TNT-HD and Nesn channels tonight

thanks again everyone...huge help as usual from the HTF!

#13 of 21 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted December 29 2005 - 02:40 AM

Peter, here is the channel lineup for Comcast in E. Hampstead, NH (Zip Code 03826):

Comcast Channel lineup

It looks like all your HD channels (orange) are in the 800's (similar to Mass), except for a few spanish channels in the 700's. Just like Mass, NESN will be on INHD2 (882) only when they are televising HD hockey and baseball. The rest of the channels are just the 800 plus original station number (4 = CBS, 25 = Fox, 33 = TNT).

#14 of 21 OFFLINE   Peter f

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Posted December 29 2005 - 05:03 AM

thanks Jeff! one more dumb question...these HD signals i am getting from the coax cable...will i get the same or a better quality signal once i do get a box connected via HDMI input, or will the quality be the same now as when i am connected HDMI thanks!

#15 of 21 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted December 29 2005 - 06:22 AM

Probably the same. I can't see there being much difference between a coax->box->HDMI->screen and a coax->tuner->screen connection. Both are digital all the way. In fact, I can't see the HDMI on the box being much cleaner than the component outs on the box. I've see the same set using both and damned if I see the difference, certainly not obvious to my eye.

#16 of 21 OFFLINE   Dick Knisely

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Posted December 29 2005 - 06:42 AM



Exactly correct. The cable channel guide may identify which are HD and you can always look it up online in various places. In fact, one such site is linked to www.dtv.gov right at the main screen.
I am not young enough to know everything. -Oscar Wilde-

#17 of 21 OFFLINE   John Morton

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Posted January 02 2006 - 02:46 AM

I am looking to purchase the same TV, or a smaller size, but same model line. I have Adelphia cable (Macedonia, Ohio). Does anyone know if I would have the same luck in receiving the HD chanels without a cable set top box? Also, rumor has it Adelphia is selling to Time Warner. If that happens, can anyone comment on what I should expect? Great thread....great info...thanks all.

#18 of 21 OFFLINE   Dick Knisely

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Posted January 02 2006 - 09:21 AM


Almost certainly. The reason is simply that there's an FCC requirement that the cable companies carry the local stations. Since the broadcasters are being forced to go digital, the "must carry" requirements carry forward. So, yes, I'd expect any local station's over-the-air broadcast to be on the cable whether analog or digital. So, if you've got a TV with the built in tuners (not merely "HD ready") you should get the local digital broadcast and if they're in HD at that time then you'll get HD.
I am not young enough to know everything. -Oscar Wilde-

#19 of 21 OFFLINE   Peter f

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Posted January 03 2006 - 07:20 AM

Been enjoying the non-converter box HD signal for almost a week now...picture it amazing. Especially sports (football)...made me watch games i normally would not have just to see the resolution...Posted Image

anyway, as said before this only works if the set has an internal QAM tuner...we tried to do the same to my friends "HD READY" Mitsu (adelphia) with no such luck...but seeing the SXRD in HD made him call and get the HD converter box coming from adelphia...why he did not already have one..i dont know.
Aldelphia is not backordered like Comcast is Posted Image

thanks again for all the help...Comcast says the box will be here this Saturday..then Gregg comes to calibrate the week after that!

thanks to all who responded

#20 of 21 OFFLINE   Dick Knisely

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Posted January 04 2006 - 02:29 PM


Posted Image Yep ! I'm not sure why but the absolutely best HD program material I've seen on my TV are network football games. Next best are some nature programs on PBS. Part of it may be the fact that there's so much real detail in the scenes that can now be displayed. Part of it may be that the networks are sending the best equipment and crews. Don't know but it certainly is great.
I am not young enough to know everything. -Oscar Wilde-




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