HDTV (and progressive scan DVD) questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dan Hinson, Jul 14, 2002.

  1. Dan Hinson

    Dan Hinson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Real Name:
    Dan Hinson
    Greetings to all.

    My wife and I are planning to purchase a widescreen HDTV sometime in the first quarter of next year. Along with the new TV, I will be looking to replace my current DVD player with a progressive scan DVD player. I already have a surround sound system with a DTS/Dolby receiver, so I am already set in the audio department.

    In regards to the HDTV: I have noticed that some shows (such as CSI on CBS) are advertised that they are broadcast in High Definition. I was wondering just what other TV shows or channels are broadcast in HD? Are HD signals being broadcast over cable? Over satellite? What kind of receiver will I need to receive HD signals, either over cable or satellite? (Some HDTVs, such as RCA’s P61310 61”, have a built in DIRECTV and HD tuner. Is this tuner only for satellite reception, or also for cable reception?)

    Also, I am curious to know if I will be able to tape TV shows on my regular VCR. I realize that I cannot tape a “digital” signal, so I was wondering just how this is accomplished if I simply want to tape a show off of cable (or even satellite).

    In regards to a new DVD player: I have read that for viewing non-anamorphic DVDs, a player with “scaling” is a good idea. Can anyone give me some input regarding this feature?

    Many thanks.
     
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 1999
    Messages:
    6,499
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Dan,
    I'm not an expert on the topic, but I'll fill you in on what I know. Hopefully someone with more specifics will come along and fill in the details- but this should get you started:
    Well, the bottom line is this: If you mix anamorphic and non anamorphic content on your set, you'll have to change viewing modes (in the case of nonanamorphic- you'll need to zoom, "scaling" the image to a larger space). Some people prefer the player do this job because then they can leave their TV in one mode and have the player do the rest.
    The best part is, most DVDs are flagged as letterbox- so the player will autodetect and zoom for you-- and so you won't have to figure out what modes to use- leave your TV in full (or wide or normal or whatever your brand calls it) and the player jumps through all the hoops for you and you just watch the the film.
    The Panasonic RP-91 is a player that offers this feature. I've had great experiences with Panasonic players, so while I've never owned an RP91, I wouldn't hesitate to suggest it. Do a search on this forum for RP91 (or RP-91) and I'm sure you'll be swimming (if not drowning) in information in no time.
    Hope that helps
    -V
     
  3. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 1998
    Messages:
    2,404
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Currently all VCR's, when taping off the air, use their own tuners. "Recording from the TV" is actually a misnomer.
    Currently there are no modest priced VCR's that can receive and tape HDTV in living high definition. (I don't know of any at any price with HDTV tuner built in) If you get an HDTV set top box tuner, it almost certainly has a composite output jack from which you can tape the HDTV show (converted to regular NTSC) on any VCR, or use the S-video output jack to tape using an S-VHS VCR (also converted to regular NTSC).
    HDTV on cable is rare because there are a finite number of channels on the cable system. Cable operators are reluctant to commandeer some of those channels for HDTV (few viewers). If and when they did, you will need an HDTV set top box or an HDTV set with built in HDTV tuner.
    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  4. Louis C

    Louis C Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    Messages:
    739
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Cox cable says they will be offering HDTV to cable subscribers soon.
    This link also has some general info on HDTV you may appreciate...
    http://www.cox.com/Future/hdtv.asp
     
  5. Dan Hinson

    Dan Hinson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Real Name:
    Dan Hinson
    Great responses, guys. Many thanks.

    A few more questions:
    Do many HDTVs come with built-in HDTV tuners?
    How far away can one be from a broadcasting source and still get a digital signal?
    If close to the broadcasting source, would one need a large antenna to receive a signal?
     
  6. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 1999
    Messages:
    6,499
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    I would imagine not- I have heard of guys getting some results with rabbit ears.

    -V
     
  7. AndrewA

    AndrewA Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 2, 2000
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Dan,

    I've had my HDTV set (2 actually) for a little over a year now and a progressive scan dvd player for almost a year, so I think I can answer a few of your questions.

    My HT set up has:

    isf calibrated mits-65908 display
    zenith dtv1080 STB
    panasonic rp-91 dvd

    First off HDTV's

    Plenty to chose from, each set has their pros and cons, do a search on this forum and you'll find people who loves a ceratain brand over the other. When it comes to a built in tuner, "HDTV Ready" DOES NOT have come with it. The price difference between sets with a built in tuner and an "HDTV Ready" varies between $500 to a $1000 depending on the set.

    Is it worth to get one with a built in tuner? I don't personally think so. I'm a DirecTV subscriber and I find that Set Top Boxes (STB) offers more flexibility. For example, my current STB can integrate all signals, OTA, Digital OTA, cable (which I don't have), and DirecTV.

    All the programming regardless of the signal input is displayed through one menu and guide system. Pretty neat actually.

    I live in Atlanta and our digital programming is pretty good, though not all programs are 1080i or 720p, the local stations do have the capacity to broadcast hdtv when available (I live about 20+ crow flies miles from most of the towers). From what I hear Texas has good digital broadcast sources (Austin and Houston).

    Currently non of the Satellite providers offer local hdtv programming. You can only pull the networks (CBS, NBC, ABC, WB etc...) through an antenna. I used to have a radio shack double tie antenna which worked fairly well indoors, but I decided to put up an outdoor antenna and the only time I loose signal now is during really bad storms.

    DirecTV offers HDNET, HBOHD and ShowtimeHD
    Dish Network offers HBOHD, ShowtimeHD and DiscoveryHD
    All the above channels need a subscription to HBO and Showtime packages and a separate DiscoveryHD package. HDNET is free with your regular subscription to DirecTV. I don't know much about cable sources, since non has offered any in the past two years, I've pretty much ignored them.

    If you've decided on an HDTV, I don't need to tell you the pq of all the available HDTV programming out there. Decide on the sat or cable provider depending on your taste, and check on which local stations are broadcasting digital signals, where their towers are at and the distance in relation to your house, there are several sites that will let you know the kind of antenna you need.

    Get a good HDTV display, skip the built in tuners and get yourself a good STB, get the right antenna.

    OK DVD Players...

    As mentioned above I own a Panny RP-91, its been very good to me, but I have to admit it's in the shop right now, it needed a new spindle, anyway, it's actually a good thing of sort, hear me out:

    Since my player is in the shop I forced myself to take my old Pioneer DV-14 from my bedroom to my HT...now I love my RP-91 even more!

    I guess I've taken for granted how good a progressive scan player can really be. I played an often watched movie on my older machine and could not believe the difference, the RP-91 has spoiled me!

    Colors are brighter the black levels better, over all pq is really improved between a 480i and a 480p player. Don't think twice about it, get yourself a good progressive scan dvd player. As for "scaling" non-anamorphic discs, I've watched "Abyss" plenty of times on this player, and I almost don't mind (ALMOST) that it's not anamorphic...of course I think most with agree with me that "Abyss" is at the top end of the scale of non-anamorphic transfers, some non-anamorphic titles are less than stellar, but the RP-91 makes it bearable.

    As for recording...as mentioned in earlier posts, there are D-VHS decks out, I'm not really all that interested on those components so I can't judge their worth or capabilities, I do own a TIVO DirecTV box that's connected to my secondary system, and absolutely love it. It does not record HDTV signals, it doesn't even receive it, but hey...one of these days. I'm sure a HTDV STB with a recording device and HD is in the pipeline, but then again there's still the issue of copyright protection (which is a can of worms I'd rather not open).

    Good luck on your purchase and have fun with your HT!
     
  8. Dan Hinson

    Dan Hinson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Real Name:
    Dan Hinson
    AndrewA, many thanks for the great info and advice.
    If I may ask, what type of set-top box do you have, or what kind would you recommend? Also, what about cost?
    P.S. I used to live in the Norcross/Duluth area.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. AndrewA

    AndrewA Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 2, 2000
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Dan,
    I own the Zenith DTV-1080. I've been relatively happy with it, though many have complaints, including myself.
    The set has issues in the panoramic modes, the picture's really weird and unwatchable, I usually watch shows in regular mode and never use the panoramic, so no complaints for me there. There were issues whenever a Dolby digital signal is received, audio drop outs galore, but from what I can tell, this has been addressed since there are almost no more audio drop outs.
    There are other software issues this set has, I won't list them all since it's well documented in this forum...Zenith's promised a software update, but we've yet to see it.
    From what I heard you can't get this STB anymore, since Zenith is about to release a new model this Sept or Oct.
    With all the issues that his STB has, I still rather like it, nothing major that bugs me too much.
    Check out the forum for a what STB goes well with which display.
    PS: We've moved out of Atlanta to Duluth
    Andrew[​IMG]
     
  10. Dan Hinson

    Dan Hinson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Real Name:
    Dan Hinson
    AndrewA,
    Thanks again. I feel like a dunce seeing as how you mentioned in an earlier post that your STB is the Zenith DTV-1080, and then I asked what kind you have. I seemed to have missed that. Duh!
    In any case, I have yet another question (it never ends…).
    You mentioned that your Zenith DTV-1080 could “integrate all signals, OTA, Digital OTA, cable, and DirecTV.”
    Is this typical for most STBs (to be able to integrate all of these different signals)? If not, what is considered the “typical” STB?
    (FYI: We lived in an apartment in Norcross for a while, and then in a House in Duluth. Man, do we miss the metro-Atlanta area! We really enjoyed the AMC Theaters in Lawrenceville, the Gwinnett County Mall, the Fox Theatre, the Braves, Einstein’s… We were there in ’96 for the Olympics and attended several events. We moved to Texas in ’98 due to a change in employment for my wife.)
     
  11. Vlad D

    Vlad D Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    1,076
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Vladimir Derenoncourt
    Dan,

     
  12. AndrewA

    AndrewA Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 2, 2000
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hey Dan,

    What Vlad said...it is almost typical, but you certainly want to check the specs of any model you consider.

    Please note though, any broadcast in 480i (95% directv or dish or cable signal) will look really bad in relation to any 1080i and 720p signals...of course this is relative. When you buy an HDTV display with this in mind, and the fact that only 1080i's, 720p's and 480p's sources will make your display look stunning, you won't be dissappointed.

    I've heard too many friends and family complaining that the "regular" displays look worse than a non-hdtv set...I beg to differ, but it comes down to perception and information.
     

Share This Page