Audio buff with HDTV questions..

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by JeremyR, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. JeremyR

    JeremyR Supporting Actor

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    I've always been more knowledgeable about audio equipment than video equipment. Yesterday I purchased this TV:

    http://www.jvc.com/product.jsp?model...thId=78&page=2

    Probably not the greatest equipment, but in comparing the picture to most other HDTV tube TV's at the mom and pop store I go to, I couldn't tell much difference between it and the Sony that was far more expensive. I'm sure the Sony is better, but this TV was mainly to satisfy me until I get a big enough basement that I can upgrade to a nice LCD projection, DLP, or whatever is hot at that moment.

    I've got an XBOX 360, as well as a 1.5 year old Sony 5-DVD changer with Progressive scan Auto, Progressive scan film, and progressive scan video. None of which means much to me, so I'm using the Progressive Scan Auto connected through the component video. I know it's doing something, because when I turn progressive scan on the DVD player, the picture goes fuzzy for a second, and then comes on looking very nice. The only thing I don't quite get, is that the TV says it does progressive scan, but I assume I still want to have the DVD player do the progressive scan, because that certainly seems to improve the picture on the TV when it's on, compared to when it's off. I also still don't quite get, why on widescreen movies, I still have narrow black lines across the tops and bottoms, and why i still have settings like "full, panorama, etc" when I thought a widescreen movie would simply fill up a 16:9 widescreen picture.

    My 360 is of course hooked up to it as well using the HDTV pack, and looks extraordinary compared to my 16 year old 27 inch trinitron I was using before. Wow... XBOX 360 in Hi-Def is awesome. Really no issues here.

    I've had DirecTV for 4 years, and inqired about a HD DVD from them. They wanted 300 bucks, to which I laughed hysterically. I called Comcast cable here locally, and they offered a very nice deal, including a $25/month discount for people leaving a dish to come to them. You simply pay $10 a month for the HDDVD box, and that includes the service. DirecTV wants to charge you for the box, and then charge you the $10/month for HD programming, and $5 for the DVR use per month. Ridiculous if you ask me. I called them to cancel, and they basically said they'd give me the HDDVD box for free ($19.95 shipping), and install the new dish and HDDVD box, and offer their programming for a pretty competitive price to Comcast, except that Comcast includes Encore/Starz in their basic package. Does anybody have any recommendations? I also don't understand the HD packages they offer. You pay for the HD service, but then do you have to pay more money to get HBO and Cinemax HD? Or do those come as part of the HD package? Thanks for any help.
     
  2. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    Widescreen movies come in a variety of ratios, such as 1.66:1, 1.85:1, 2:1, 2.2:1, 2.4:1, and 2.75:1, while a 16:9 screen is 1.77:1, so not every movie will "fill your screen". In general, however, the various zoom and stretch modes are most useful for viewing 4:3 ratio TV and film, which would have to be displayed with black pillars on each side. That's fine, but if you have, say, a non-anamorphic widescreen DVD, it will be a small rectangle in the middle of the screen, with bars all around!

    I think you mean HD DVR, digital video recorder, set-top box like a TiVO, not HD DVD, which is a disc format like DVD. If you are in the United States, I would suggest getting some kind of antenna so that you can recieve the free ATSC digital television broadcasts, some of which are in High Definition.

    If a TV "does" progressive scan, that normally only means that it can show a progressive picture if one is fed to it, not that it de-interlaces a video source to make a progressive scan image. Most HDTVs will accept 480p from a DVD player or similar, or as a digital broadcast format, and display it as 480p, but all other input scan formats are automatically converted to 1080i (not really necessary, but it makes things easier for the set designer).

    Does that clear up anything?
     
  3. JeremyR

    JeremyR Supporting Actor

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    That definitely clears up my questions on the DVD. It's a confusing thing if you are completely clueless. My TV displays both 780P and 1080i, and I assume the 1080i is better, or at least it looks better to me than the 780P on my XBOX 360, though the difference seems negligible so I have it on 1080i.

    One other question, if you look closely at, for example, the XBOX 360 game at 1080i on my TV, I can see faint lines travelling slowly up the screen. I don't have HDTV yet, so I haven't had a chance to look at it. It's not noticeable really, and I do have to sit rather closely to the television, and it is only slightly noticeable when the screen is just on one item, like a load screen on a 360 game. Is that something that is a setup issue, or a quality issue of teh TV, or is it normal? As I said, I can't see it when the game is playing, then again, I've only played one game on it. Maybe I should stick in a different one, and I wouldn't see it at all. The game I've noticed it on is Elder Scrolls:Oblivion.
     
  4. Rob Zuber

    Rob Zuber Auditioning

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    That's a lot of questions. [​IMG] I also recommend trying out an antenna. Depending on how far away you are from broadcasters, you may be able to pick up all the networks (ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, PBS) in high definition. I happen to be close to broadcasters, so I get all those channels using a cheap $20 indoor antenna.

    You can go to this site and enter a zip code to find out your distance from broadcast stations:

    http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx

    Try googling for some HDTV FAQs. Here are some:

    http://hometheater.about.com/cs/tele...ahdtvfaqsa.htm

    http://www.cnet.com/4520-7874_1-6310141-1.html
     
  5. JeremyR

    JeremyR Supporting Actor

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    Sorry.. I'm a bit overwhelmed, I know I'm rambling. The picture looks great, so I probably just should drop it and enjoy. I've done some reading, and it all seems a bit greek to me. If it was Audio stuff.. I'm cool, but the video terminology just doesn't mean much to me.

    I'll try some more searching. I did decide to go with Comcast for my Hi-Def programming so I'm pretty pumped about that though I've heard very bad things about their customer service. The antenna idea is a great idea, my only thing is that it seems rare that I'm actually home to watch something at the time it's on, and so I really need the DVR to do the recording for me in hi-def.
     
  6. Hayes Preston

    Hayes Preston Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry I can't help with your XBox question, since I am not a gamer.

    However I shall try to shed some light.

    Hi Def Broadcast resolution as definied in the HD spec is either 720p or 1080i. Your TV (per your link) has a native resolution of 1080i, that means that whatever signal you send it, the TV will convert it to a 1080i signal. Your TV can accept a 720p signal (since broadcasters have the choice between 720p and 1080i) however it does internal scaling to convert the signal to it's native resolution. The TV will do this with any signal.

    I have Comcast with HD DVR and have found their service to be fair to good, they have been improving. The basic HD package in my area has the following channels in HD: NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, PBS, WB, DiscoveryHD, INHD1, INHD2, UHD, TNTHD

    HBO, Cinemax, Showtime and Starz all have HD channels but cost extra, just like regular cable.
     
  7. JeremyR

    JeremyR Supporting Actor

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    I see... so it doesn't probably matter much, though when I select the XBOX360 to output 720P resolution, if I hit display on the TV, the TV shows 720P in the info display. If I set it to 1080i, then it shows 1080i in the info display. Doesn't that contradict what you're saying here a little bit? Sorry I'm so dense. :)
     
  8. Hayes Preston

    Hayes Preston Stunt Coordinator

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    Your TV is telling you what type of signal it is receiving, so no not really contradicitory. The general rule of thumb is to set the output of your sources (cable box, game, DVD player if applicable) to the native resolution of your tv. So, since your TV is 1080i, I would set the output resolution of all your sources to 1080i.
     

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