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Just got HD cable box and have some questions. (1 Viewer)

Brian Price

Stunt Coordinator
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Jun 30, 1997
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A good friend of mine just picked up his new HD cable box from Time Warner. He has a sony HD ready 36" tv and the HD cable box is a Scientific Atlanta Explorer 3100HD. Is there anything that lights up on the HD cable box that shows you that the show you are watching is HD? Just trying to help him figure out how he can tell. Also, our cable company has HBO HD and Showtime HD which I assume are broadcast in HD all the time. Does anyone know if the regular HBO channels broadcast in HD? Any advice here would be a great help. Thanks.

Brian Price
 

Andrew Pierce

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 22, 2002
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189
Location
Minneapolis
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Andrew Pierce
I suppose on a 36" it may be harder to see, but there is a BIG difference, it can't be THAT hard to see. The HD channels are not always HD, but the regular channels never are. If you've got a 16:9 widescreen image, it is almost certainly hi-def, however there may be some 4:3 windowboxed high definition content as well. You'll want to use the component input on your tv for HDTV content and hook up the S-Video for regular (split the audio to both inputs or just route the audio through your receiver). If the video comes through on the component input, but the svideo input is black it's definately hi-def, since the S-Video out on the cable box is off when processing a 1080i signal.
 

Michael Lomker

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 17, 2002
Messages
164
In Minneapolis the HD channels typically have an "H" at the end of their names in the program guide. Andrew is correct about the S-video not working (the program guide will also cut out the picture on an HD channel....whereas it'll be put in that little PIP box on regular channels).

You'll undoubtedly want to use S-video on the non-HD channels because the upconverted video looks terrible out of the 3100HD.
 

JonBouche

Agent
Joined
Feb 12, 2002
Messages
38
I have TWC in NC. There is not anything that indicates that it is a HD program on the box. My tv, which is a Mit's, shows a 1080i signal and the program will be displayed in the 16:9 format.

As far as HBO and Showtime HD, a lot of the programming is not in HD. Typically, the primetime shows are in HD, but the rest of the day is hit or miss. Those signals are upconverted, but remains in a 4:3 format. The balance of the HBO and Showtime channels do not broadcast any form of HD. You can view it, but it will upconvert the signal just like the other channels.

If it is true HD programming, there will be no doubt what kind of a signal you are getting. The results are obviously far superior to normal programming that is upconverted. The issue to be considered is watching 4:3 programming that is upconverted for extended periods, in order to avoid any burn-in. My tv will not allow me to change the format mode when receiving signals through the HD input, so if it's not being broadcast in 16:9, it will lock in to 4:3, so I don't want much of anything not being broadcast in HD through that input. I have a s-video connection for normal tv viewing, so that I can control the screen format to stretch it to 16:9.
 

Jeffrey R

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 5, 2002
Messages
199
I believe that a show broadcast in true HD should be 16:9. But don't expect perfection from these new HD cable boxes or from the broadcasters. My buddy has the first generation cable HD box, the Scientific Atlanta 2000HD with Time Warner cable, and depending on the specific HD channel and program on, it puts out different formats. Some broadcasters are putting out 1080i, some 720p, some 480p, you get the picture. You just have to deal with it. But, when an HD program comes on, let me tell you, it looks amazing. I am waiting for my 3100HD from Time Warner and can't wait.
 

Eric T

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 1, 2001
Messages
266
I have a 3100HD with Time Warner. The picture on the HD programs is incredible, even better than DVD, and you get DD 5.1 audio to boot. They've been showing Final Fantasy lately and it looks and sounds great.
 

Jim Ferguson

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Sep 9, 1998
Messages
83
Brian,

It's a decent rule of thumb, but there's no technical reason that there couldn't be an HD show of 4:3 material. For example, if they were to show Casablanca or The Wizard of Oz in HD it would need to be shown in 4:3 since that is the correct AR of the movie.
 

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