New HDTV owner, need cable advice...

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Tom Fudold, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. Tom Fudold

    Tom Fudold Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello all, I recently took delivery on a Toshiba 57H83, I love it. The DVD's and Xbox/Gamecube Progressive stuff is simply amazing. I have calibrated it as best I could with Avia/Video Essentials. Now... regular TV... I need help.

    I live in Michigan, we have WideOpenWest as my cable provider. I have an analog and a digital box for cable. I originally hooked up the digital box and used the SVHS out for my signal to the HDTV. Not good... I was getting that banding line rolling up the screen, using a $100 SVHS cable!

    I then just went the coax route, and the signal actually looked cleaner. But, still bad. Now, I understand that this is a problem with HDTV's from what I've been told, but is there anything I can do? When I watch the Mighty Lions (joke) playing, the yard lines looks SO blurry, and out of proportion. I have the sharpness almost off, the contrast down, and the brightness down. Some channels, like TechTV look pretty good, but the CBS, FOX, ABC, those are really poor. I actually went to 4:3 mode with the gray bars, and that was a little better than the Theater Modes... but not by much.

    My main question is this, would something like DishPlanet, or DirectTV help with normal non-HDTV signals? Should I consider going satellite, or will that not really help? WideOpenWest states they will be offering HDTV decoders and service in the near future, so I'm leaning toward just waiting on them.... any advice? Does Comcast have a better signal? Am I the only one who really sees normal TV as just poor?

    Any advice would be great, thanks all.

    Cheers... Tom
     
  2. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    You're not alone - probably the biggest wake-up call for new rptv owners is when they get it home, hook up the cable and say to themselves "It looked SO much better at the store" without realizing the stores usually feed all their sets a hi-def signal.

    IMO, "digital" cable is a worse option than plain old standard cable. In most cases, it's the same source material that is digitally compressed (enabling the addition of extra channels/features) and then decompressed in the digital cable box. In my experience with digital cable, the compression artifacts, haloing, banding, etc. was deplorable. Even on a 27" direct-view set, I could see artifacts, so it's a given that it will look even worse on a 57" set.

    Picture quality will probably be improved by switching to satellite (I can't offer any firsthand experience, since my apartment faces the wrong way and I've been forced back to cable [​IMG] ).

    As for the banding line rolling up the screen, that sounds like a ground loop problem. Others can probably offer specific advice on how to troubleshoot that, but I'd try disconnecting other gear and just hooking up the TV and cable box and see if that helps. You can also probably search the forum for "ground loop" and find some good advice.

    I am a huge advocate for satellite TV, and it pains me to no end that I have to use cable once again. I think a lot of cable companies say they'll have HDTV support "soon" but my gut instinct is "soon" probably isn't soon enough for most people. Screw the cable company - get satellite!

    [​IMG]

    -Jason
     
  3. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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