HDTV Component Connection

stegkands101

Auditioning
Joined
Dec 19, 2006
Messages
5
Real Name
Frank Garofalo
Hi guys,

I just bought a 32 inch Samsung LCD and the SD channels look like crap. I knew this was going to happen but was wondering if a better cable might improve the picture. Currently I am using the coaxial that my cable provider gave me. Any suggestions?
 

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
5,182
Hi Frank. Welcome to HTF!


I'm afraid you are among the group of people "Most likely to return their HDTV".

Standard def video is a 1940's television standard designed for a 9" black-and-white tube. The same RF signal coming from your CATV coax will work on a 1940's television.

Most people return their HDTV's because they look great in the store and nobody tells them they need a HD source. The physical connection cable - makes no difference at all with SD video.

You have some options:

- Call your cable company and find out about "basic" HD service. (My company tried to sell me a $69/month package, but I now get 'basic' cable with 7 HD stations and a PVR for $24/month - no contract).

- Look into Dish or DirectTV for their new-customer signups that include HD channels.

Give it a shot, and let us know what happens. (You are not alone in this problem and your story will help others.)
 

Philip Hamm

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 23, 1999
Messages
6,874
A better cable will not help. I'm assuming you already have an HD source and are just unhappy with "regular" channels? If not, you need an HD source. I recommend local over-the-air HDTV broadcast with a good ol' antenna if you can do that.

Calibration of your monitor, if you haven't done so already, may help a great deal with SD channels. A miscalibrated or uncalibrated monitor will make the already limited SD picture look truly awful. Many DVDs these days, particularly animated Disney / Pixar movies, come with something called "THX Optimode". It's a pretty good basic calibration tool. There are other tools you can buy as well, from DVDs to uber expensive equipment. Calibrating your monitor is the place to start.
 

stegkands101

Auditioning
Joined
Dec 19, 2006
Messages
5
Real Name
Frank Garofalo
Thanks guys. I called my cable provider and they're coming out with a digital box next week. Currently they only offer 9 channels in HD but hopefully they'll be adding more soon. I bought the hdtv primarily for dvd's and my 360 so not being able to watch standard def media is not a big deal at all. However, I am going to look into calibrating the set to see if i can improve the quality of these non HD stations a little. Thanks again for your help. Ill let you know how it turns out.
 

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
5,182
I predict you will LOVE the color and detail of those 9 channels.

call the cable company and see if they offer a PVR for your HD box. If you have never used a Tivo/DVR/PVR - it will change the way you watch television.

I'm getting about 8 channels of HD with a 16 hour PVR for $25/month from my cable company.
 

Philip Hamm

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 23, 1999
Messages
6,874
I'm getting all the broadcast networks from two different markets, but with no DVR, for $0 monthly.
 

stegkands101

Auditioning
Joined
Dec 19, 2006
Messages
5
Real Name
Frank Garofalo
Hey guys, ya i got the HD box and everything looked great for a couple weeks, especially the football. But I'm having problems with the picture now and I'm not sure what the cause is. I am pretty sure it is the display but wanted to make sure. For whatever the tv can no longer render uniform blacks. All blacks appear with grey blotches scattered seemingly at random. I discovered that these grey blotches only appear after the display has switched from a bright image to a dark. The grey blotches are actually outlines of the previous bright image. For instance the Discovery HD channel was showing a shot of the moon in one scene. The next scene was of a dark forest but I could still see the outline of the moon right in the middle of the screen. The problem is very noticable when i toggle between aspect ratios. The 4:3 is sometimes bordered by a solid white stripe on one side. Am I having these problems because the diplay is defective or is something wrong with my cable box or component cables? My 30 day warranty is going to run out this week and I am thinking about switching to DLP as this is the second Samsung LN-S3251D I have had problems with (the first one had dead pixels). Please Help!!!

***Also my speakers are no where near the display.
 

David Norman

Premium
Joined
Oct 12, 2001
Messages
6,733
Location
Charlotte, NC
Doubt if the cables are the problem or you'd probably see problems all the time.

Cable Box maybe, but unlikely though if you have a DVD hooked up to the TV you should be able to switch and see if have the same issue or if you can borrow a neighbors box for a couple hours you can rule that out quickly.

I'd guess most likely it's the display. If you switch to DLP you are looking at moving up in size as well which isn't a bad solution if your room can handle it. Smallest DLP I know of is 42. Plasma basically starts at 42 though there is still the Panasonic 37in which I think has basically been d/c and often costs as much or more than the equivalent 42in model.
 

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