DTV is a joke! Please tell me I'm wrong.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rod U, Nov 22, 2001.

  1. Rod U

    Rod U Auditioning

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    Ok, so I bought into the whole digital TV hype, purchased a 16x9 PT47wx49 HDTV, $50 TERK dish clip on antenna, along with the new Samsung SIR-T150 ota decoder, and hooked it up via component cables. Everything works, but that's the problem!

    First of all, there are hardly any shows in high-def on TV (big 4 networks), unless you like crime dramas or stupid Jay Leno. What happened to hi-def NFL football on Thanksgiving?!?!? Hello!?!?!?

    Second, the decoder box has a manual switch ON THE BACK of the unit for outputting in either 1080i or 480p. Well, since 99% of material is in 480p, it makes sense to use that setting for the best picture, instead of upconverted 1080i. But when a hi-def show DOES come on, I have to open my cabinet, get a flashlight, reach around and switch the decoder to 1080i!! What a pain! WHy can't this be an automatic switch done by the decoder, or at least a button on the remote?!?!? Mind you, this decoder box is NEW and is getting GREAT reviews.

    Third, when viewing different stations in 480p mode, the picture fills the screen differently between each station! So while CBS (for example) picture fills the screen nicely, FOX might have ugly vertical black bars on the left and right (not 4x3 bars, but thin overscan-type bars). Great! So if I watch a 2-hr Fox show, I can now expect black bar burn-in on my new projection HDTV!!! I thought digital TV was developed with standards over many years?!?! And this is what we get? At least with NTSC TV, you can expect the picture to fill the screen on EVERY station!

    Fourth, even though I'm getting consistent middle-of-the-road digital reception on all 4 available stations (the signal meter is dead center from weak to strong), I routinely experience short audio drop-outs, and pixel-corruption in the video. Usually it occurs in short bursts, but sometimes certain quadrants of the video screw up and can last for a minute or so! And this is on a cold clear night with no obstructions for miles around!

    Fifth, I have dish network, so getting a DIsh Player 6000 was my first inclination. Ahhhh... but guess what, you then have to buy ANOTHER dish and point it in a different direction for the hi-def satellite! No way, Jose! I don't want my house looking like Sanford and Son's home! Plus, I don't want to run more coax wires into the house, drill more holes in the floor, etc. etc. I know Direct TV fits their hidef on the same satellite, so now I have to consider switching to them!?!?!

    Sixth, even if I DID go satellite HDTV, I can only expect to receive a demo channel (woopee!), HBO (or Showtime) movies and maybe pay per view?!!? No thanks, I'd rather rent the movies on DVD and watch them on my new progressive player! Where are the big 4 networks in Hidef on satellite? Where's the discovery channel hi-def? Where are my local channel in hi-def? Why is this taking so long to deliver!?!?

    Seventh, when viewing the major network channels, I not only get to see the networks channel logo superimposed on the screen, but I ALSO get to see my local broadcaster's network ID splattered all over the screen as well!!! And usually it's even bigger than the main network's logo! So, we get a better 480p picture, but have to stare at 2 network logos the entire time!!??! ARRRRRGH!!!! What's the point?!?!

    With all these issues, I have to ask the question... are we any better off with DTV today?!?!? I CAN tell you this, that $650 samsung's going back to Best Buy where it belongs! At least until the nincompoops driving this digital "revolution" can get their act straight. I don't mind paying an arm and leg for equipment that works as advertised, but so far, it's a gigantic mess!!!
     
  2. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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  3. Andy L

    Andy L Stunt Coordinator

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  4. Andy L

    Andy L Stunt Coordinator

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  5. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    I didn't get my HDTV until three weeks after Thanksgiving last year. Thanks for the clarification, Andy!

    - Steve
     
  6. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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  7. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    HD/SD digital tv is still in it's infancy, and thus is costly and glitchy.
    I'm gonna play old geezer here and bring up a similar situation that occured 40 years or so ago--it was called color television.
    The first color tvs were sold back in 1954, had 16" round picture tubes, and cost $1000 (at a time when a fully loaded Cadillac could be had for about $5000). With luck, one could see maybe one or 2 color shows a month, for the first 4 or 5 years thereafter.
    It took fully 10 or 12 years before the majority of tv was broadcast in color, and even longer than that before the majority of homes had color sets. Picture quality was glitchy at best, frequently pretty horrible. The sets were difficult to tune and adjust. Many tv buyers put off purchasing color sets for a decade or more with the standard excuse that they were "waiting for it to be perfected". There are those that could argue that the ntsc system never was perfected. It wasn't uncommon for the system to screw up so badly that the stations had to stop the regular program and put up a "please stand by" message until whatever technical glitch was fixed.
    HD, from a technical standpoint, is more of a challenge to broadcasters than color was, so it's no wonder they're having a few problems. I've seen the pixelation, sound dropouts, etc. from time to time, but given the fact that the technology is in it's infancy it works amazingly well, and even though I only get 3 hd channels, HBO, HD-Net, and a local ABC affiliate, I can watch something in HD almost any time I turn on the set--a far cry from having to wait months for a single color show to come on as was necessary for years after color was introduced. The first serious attempt to broadcast a regular weekly tv series in color was, I think, Bonanza, which started at least 5 years after color tv was introduced.
    I sorta doubt if it's really reasonable to expect perfect HD all the time on all channels only a couple of years into the transition to digital broadcasting, but progress after only 3 years is still way ahead of the last major revolution in tv broadcasting. In the meantime, that shiny new 16/9 set will produce a stunning progressive scan dvd picture, so it's not a total loss by any means.
     
  8. Luke_Y

    Luke_Y Second Unit

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    Rod U, The people here can help you with most of those problems.
    As far as the lack of programing, I hear it is getting better everyday. Someone post him the link to an online HD programing guide (I can't find it).
    Switching the box from the back would be a pain. I would exchange it for one of the box recomendations that I'm sure will follow.
    With the aspect ratio problems you should get some solutions. I think some set their TV for one mode on interlaced programing and it switches automaticly when it is fed a progressive signal. Something like that, I'm sure someone will clarify it.
    The pixilation and audio problems are likly related to signal strength and the cause is probably the clip on antenna. I am shure you will get some antenna recomendations.
    The dishes. D-TV would solve the 2 dish problem with 1 eliptical dish and may give you more options in the receiver area (not shure about that). But... Dish Network has a bit more HD programing available I think. Hard to decide. Either way you go, you should be able to combine the signals on your existing coax run and not have to run more.
    Network IDs and logos. Sux! No help there I'm afraid.
    Anyway, don't give up. Most of your problems CAN be solved. If you don't get recomendations on the Antenna or set top box browse around the forum or search on that topic. If you can't find what you need post a question about it specificaly.
    And... WELCOME TO THE FORUM [​IMG]
     
  9. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    Rod:

    Everything you said (and more) is exactly why I chose not to go the "HDTV route" for now. I have a new analog (after mucho deliberation) set and I couldn't be happier. Going analog is not only better from a programming point of view, but it is also less complicated for the average user.

    Lots of friends and family are getting "big TV's" in what seems to be record #'s as of late; everyone I talk to either just bought a set, is planning on getting one, or knows someone that just got one. Why? Due to analog (& HD)set prices dropping like crazy (thank you very much HDTV technology).

    I help install big screens and/or HT's for my friends & family, and lately, very frequently. Here are the most common (J6P) questions I get ALL the time:

    * Q. I have $1000-2000 and wanna get a Big TV, what can I get?

    Me. What do you want?

    * Q. Well, if I get an HD set now, will I be able to get lots of HD programming to watch? And how?

    Me. Let me see, there's Jag & Leno, so, "lots" - no. How - getting a Satellite(s) will give you most options (HBO & SHO), and still LOTS less than analog programming.

    * Q. That's too much of a hassle. Can't I just use my Cable company for HD?

    Me. Last time I called and asked my cable company for an HD roll out schedule, I got some pretty interesting answers - you should give it a try and see what they tell you.

    * Q. But those demo HD demo channels in the stores look SO good.

    Me. I agree, especially that nice snake/nature scene they keep looping (exciting stuff!). Just so that I understand what you want, you just told me you don't want to get satellite service?

    Q. Right.

    Me. Well, what do you/your family plan to watch on your new TV?

    Q. Daily programming (Nick, Soaps & Friends) during the week, the big games on Saturdays & Sundays, and a DVD or 2 over the weekend.

    Me. Analog set fits your usage perfectly.

    * Q. If I get an analog set, won't it be useless once HD is "completely rolled out"?

    Me. HD will "completely roll out" by the time I'm collecting my S.S. (I'm 30 BTW). Analog sets will still work via down-conversion, and the down-converted channels should look better than the analog ones (we have now) did.

    * Q. But I keep hearing "obsolete" from the salepeople.

    Me. (In a re-assuring tone) You wanna hear about "obsolete"? Premiuim HD channels are very likely to be encrypted in near future and most (if not all) HD sets (sold to date) are the ones that will be suffering from partial obsolesence.

    * Q. Cool. I see that Mits/Sony set you recommended is on sale. You free this weekend to help hook it all up?

    Me. No problem.

    I'm not ragging on HD, I think it's a wonderful technology. The image quality is unbelievable! But politics has totally ruined HD for the near future (2-3 *more* yrs IMO). I can't wait to get one, once the B.S. is all worked out.

    What good has come from all this HDTV hype & and super-mini roll out?

    (1) Home Theater is now on the minds of MANY people. The more the better.

    (2) Quality Analog sets have significantly dropped in price.

    Rich B.
     
  10. DanP

    DanP Agent

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    JAG and Leno.. Is that all? Hmmm, my eyes must be deceiving me then.

    Lets see, over the last year and a half I've seen things like U.S Open tennis, The NCAA Final Four, The AFC Playoffs, The Masters Golf Tourney, SEC College Football every Saturday this fall, Major League Baseball this past Sept., NHL Hockey every couple of nights this season, oh, and The Super Bowl..to name a couple sporting events in HD.

    Some of my favorite weekly shows like NYPD Blue, The Practice, Alias, Spin City and movies like Forrest Gump and Saving Private Ryan, on ABC. All of CBS's scripted shows (including my fav.. C.S.I.) are in HD. Oh, and let us not forget glorious nature documentaries on PBS in HD also.

    Then when I can find time for DVD's, well, theres nothing like an anamorphic disc as viewed on an HDTV. And as you pointed out, HBO and Showtime HD for movies as well.

    It is true though, that you wont find much of any of this on cable tv except in a few selected cities. But then again I dont mind having satellite tv and a conventional antenna.

    I dont disagree however that the same "masses" that would rather have 500 plug-n-play channels of "whatever" on their cable/DBS systems regardless of the picture quality, as opposed to about 50 channels of truly high quality video (nevermind HD), probably have no need to bother with HD at this time.

    As with so many other things, different strokes for different folks I guess.
     
  11. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    Dan:

    Regarding Primetime show selection, I am caught off guard. I didn't know that so many were available now. Good to know. NBC does seem to be behind the other networks.

    As for the masses, I tried "educating" many friends and relatives in the beginning. They didn't want to hear certain things, often due to $. So I changed strategies to that of fully supportive. I feel it is more important to get as many people into the hobby of HT (even if it is an affordable version) than for all of them to go hog wild (break their budget) and get HDTV & all.

    The 2 BIG hangups they seem to have are definitely $ related:

    Getting satellite and a $500-750 HD tuner box ("what do you mean the tuner isn't built into the TV?").

    Rich B.
     
  12. Richard_Huntington

    Richard_Huntington Stunt Coordinator

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    This guy posted this piece in no less than three forums so far. I think he just feels like he got burned and wants to vent. [​IMG]
     
  13. DanP

    DanP Agent

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    I hear ya Rich. I dunno, I just so fell in love with the "purty pictures" that I just did whatever it took to get as much of the HD programming as possible. Even to the tune of 3 seperate HD receivers!
    But yeah, it's definitely not ready for the faint of heart yet. Nor for the faint of ...money, either! [​IMG]
     
  14. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    '
     
  15. Steve Tannehill

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    Richard_Huntington, do yo have anything constructive to add to this discussion?

    - Steve
     
  16. Danny Bonnell

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    Richard B-

    I am in the same boat as you..I currently have a 60" 4x3 RPTV, and have been browsing the sales here during the holidays. No doubt you can get a KILLER deal on an HDTV. Last night at Circuit City, they dropped the price of the new Sony 57" HDTV (the one getting the rave reviews) from 3100.00 to 2880.00 with little haggling.

    I have a DTC-100..but there are no affiliates here that carry HDTV stations, nor will they for at least 18-24 more months..that came straight from Time Warner Cable.

    I do have a killer surround system, along with a Sony 9000 DVD player..so I don't feel that buying a HDTV would be a waste..especially given the price.

    This may be a stupid question...but I am wondering..when the shows such as Raymond, Leno etc are being broadcast in H-D...does it mean I can get them even though no affiliates in my area carry HDTV? Do I just need a set-top decoder?
     
  17. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

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    I'm in the market to buy a set myself and it makes total sence to buy a HDTV ready tv now !!..Why ?..well, you have the "ability to upgrade" and second a progressive scan DVD player will be awsome to watch !!! and third the price diference is only a couple of hundred dollars between a non upgradable and one that is !!!...that should be reason enough...[​IMG]
     
  18. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I was perfectly happy with an analog rptv and interlaced dvd player up until a couple of months ago--with no local HD channel up and running and only 2 on Satellite it just didn't seem to justify the expense to go widescreen HD.
    Then my trusty Panasonic A-320 started glitching badly so it was time to buy a new player. I found I could not get an interlaced player with the video adjustment features of the A-320 for significantly less than one of the new JVC progressive scan units, so I bought the JVC.
    Soon I was consumed by the thought that this player would look so much better on an HD-ready set that could take advantage of the 480p output.
    Within a couple of weeks I had a nice new widescreen HD ready set and life with progressive dvd was GOOD. In my opinion, the improvement realized from watching progressive scan anamorphic dvd was enough to justify the tv purchase, no need to get an HD box for only 2 satellite channels.
    Then I remembered reading in the local paper that one of my local tv stations had been doing experimental digital broadcast of color bars. I called the station, an ABC affilliate, to ask when they'd be officially up and running.
    The nice lady said "oh, we're already showing all our primetime dramas and comedys in HD, as well as the Saturday night movies and World of Disney on Sunday night.
    So another trip to the store for a Tosh box and elliptical dish to upgrade my DirecTV system. To my relief my long unused existing roof antenna gets me a perfect lock on the local HD signal.
    While I still don't get as much HD programming as I'd like, the deadline for the rest of my local stations to go digital is next spring. They are only allowed one 6 month extension, so by this time next year I should have a lot more HD programming to choose from.
     
  19. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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  20. Rod U

    Rod U Auditioning

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    "This guy posted this piece in no less than three forums so far. I think he just feels like he got burned and wants to vent." -- Mr. Huntington, with all due respect, I only posted this thread in ONE other forum, and only because it's a forum dedicated to my HDTV, so I value those folk's responses. And I don't feel "burned", just disappointed. You can't be burned if you can take the product back...

    Thanks to everyone for the inciteful comments and suggestions, and I'm glad I'm not the only one who's been frustrated by the somewhat clunky adoption of the great new DTV standard.

    One *positive* aspect from my DTV experience occured when I brought up a local channel on satellite alongside the same channel (standard definition) coming through the DTV decoder using picture in picture. The DTV signal, though no more detailed than the sat version due to being SD, was markedly more accurate in color, contrast, brightness, and hue than the satellite image! I'm curious if my Dish Player 500 decoder box is not outdated, and if a new Dish Player 6000 might decode the sat programs better? I read in some forum that the newer hi-def capable decoders produce a better image than older decoder boxes, even on NTSC material. Can anyone verify this?

    Speaking of hi-def content, are there any plans to put the Discovery Channel in hi-def on satellite in the near future? I think many of their programs would look really good in hi-def!

    One other problem I'm having with the Samsung SIR T-150 decoder is with the audio. When the standard RCA's are used, I get nice clear Dolby Pro Logic sound. But when I switch to the coaxial AC-3 connection, it reverts to a stereo soundtrack! I've tried changing the decoder from PCM to AC-3, but my receiver only interprets stereo. Is there a problem with the decoder, or the dtv signal? Or is it just a very few programs have a fully dolby digital soundtrack, and all others are downconverted to plain stereo?
     

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