over-the-air HD set top box for HD Ready tv (Merged)

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Phil Dally, Feb 27, 2005.

  1. Phil Dally

    Phil Dally Stunt Coordinator

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    I have an HD ready television and was wondering if there was a tuner (or something like that)I could purchase to let me get high definition without getting hd cable or satellite service. Of course I would need an antenna.

    The Best Buy ad says an HD ready would need an "over the air HD set top box". Any idea what this is and where I would find one?

    thanks
     
  2. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    Since this is basically a forum area that deals with audio, I can tell you that an "HD Tuner" is part of the video equation in home theater. If your TV is HD ready, it means that it needs a separate "HD Tuner" in order to receive High Definition picture signals. The sound would be received here too but the audio would most likely be processed by your audio receiver. Some TVs have a built in HD tuner and in this case only an over the air antenna would be needed to receive HD content. The quality of the content though would depend on your location and the signal strength from the station transmitting the signals. On your TV the "over-the-air set top box" would basically contain the "HD Tuner" and the antenna connections. The tuner would plug into either the component or HDMI/DVI interface on the TV. Separate HD tuners are available from Circuit City and Best Buy. I have also seen them at Wal-Mart.
     
  3. Phil Dally

    Phil Dally Stunt Coordinator

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    excuse me chuck, what did you just say?

    I'm sorry, let me be more clear. I have an HD ready Television. What do I need, besides rabbit ears or other antenna, to get HDTV without getting sattelite service or cable service. Where would I go to get it, and what would I ask for?

    sorry, wrong forum disregard
     
  4. Phil Dally

    Phil Dally Stunt Coordinator

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    I have an HD ready tv. According to the Best Buy ad, an HD ready tv needs an over-the-air HD set top box to get HD TV, along with an antenna of some type (rabbit ears, etc.).

    I do not want to subscribe to a high defenition cable service or a sattelite service, But I want HD TV.

    Where would I go and what would I ask for to achieve HD TV from my HD ready Television?
     
  5. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    Chuck had it right and was agreeing with what you saw in the BB ad, plus giving you some more details. You need a tuner for the HD, also known as a set top box or STB. The lack of a tuner is essentially what separates an HD Ready TV from an HDTV. If you buy an STB, you would hook it to the video inputs of your TV by component, HDMI or DVI cable. You would also hook up the red/white composite connections from the STB to your tv to get audio if you used DVI or component connections for the video. If you used HDMI, the connection would also include the audio portion.

    If you wanted to listen to your HD programming in 5.1 sound or through your AVR surround sound processor (and who wouldn't) you would also have to hook the audio output of your STB to the AVR with either a coaxial or optical cable. This way the digital 5.1 "HD sound" that you receive over the antenna would be properly processed and available through your surround sound system.

    Finally, the STB only works if you are able to get a good HD signal over the air and with an antenna. Plug your address into www.antennaweb.org to get an idea of what you can receive and what kind of antenna you will need. For example, I am about 20 miles from most of the local stations in my area. I can get them all with a set of rabbit ears in my basement HT room, but I sometimes have to adjust the ears if I change channels and sometimes I get quick signal interruptions. I could probably solve this by using an attic or more powerful antenna, but am choosing to wait until DirecTV (which I use for the rest of my programming) offers local channels in HD. You likely have several options of how much you want to spend on an antenna vs. how good a signal you can get. Make sense?
     
  6. DanielKellmii

    DanielKellmii Supporting Actor

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    I just bought one. BestBuy carries a DVDplayer/HDTV receiver. Look for it on the web. They should have one in the store as well. Otherwise, try Radio Shack. Don't cheap out on the antenna. I did and when I exchanged it for the good one, it really helped. Of course, the kind that you hang on your house works the best.
     
  7. James Phung

    James Phung Second Unit

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    You should be able to find an HDTV Tuner pretty much anywhere that sells an HDTV. Best Buy and even Walmart has them. There's a $200 hdtv tuner from walmart that many people recommend as a good cheap tuner.
     
  8. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    Walmart also has a HD receiver, US Digital, just under $200 that doesn't require a subscription to anything else. Be sure to check antennaweb.org for your area antenna requirements. Have fun!
     
  9. SeanA

    SeanA Second Unit

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    Do a search for Samsung SIR-T451 and LG 4200 (I think). These are probably the top 2 choices currently for over-the-air reception. I have the Samsung and am perfectly happy with it. I can pull in all local digital broadcasts with an indoor antenna. I love NOT paying the cable or satellite companies outrageous rates !!!
     
  10. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    The new standard for digital broadcasts is known as ATSC (Advanced Television Standards Committee). Perhaps a search for "ATSC tuner" on froogle, or some other marketplace search engine, will show what's available. In my experience, most stores will only stock a few models, if at all, preferring to push various satellite dishes instead.

    I have not had any experience with the Humax tuner, but if you're determined to spend about $200, it might be a more sophisticated alternative to the USDigital tuner available at Wallmart. It can be found here.

    (The US Digital tuner lacks DVI or RGB outputs.)
     
  11. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    You want an HDTV OTA (over-the-air) STB (set-top-box). Go to www.antennaweb.org to get a rough idea of what kind of antenna you need (you might be fine with just a simple antenna like a Zenith Silver Sensor). Go to www.titantv.com and create a login to see listings.

    Over-The-Air free HDTV is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
     
  12. Phil Dally

    Phil Dally Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks to all who have responded to my question.

    The receiver at WalMart...It is from Direct TV. Can I use it without subscribing to Direct TV? The package seemed to say yes, but the store clerk, (the electronics manager) said that I would have to subscribe.
     
  13. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    It's actually from USDTV, a proprietary OTA pay service. I don't think you need to subscribe. However, you can get better STBs for the same price or damn near the same price by shopping around on the internet. Look for Samsung models.
     
  14. Ralph B

    Ralph B Supporting Actor

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    if your gonna buy a tuner for an extra $100 get the LG LST-4200A. its heads and tails above the rest. $100 extra may sound like alot but if your gonna spend $200 for the US digital ge the LG for $100 more. the US digital has a horrible picture IMO. the colors are way off and the quality of the unit is not close to being worth $200. the samsung also is a cheap unit. the remote is non responsive and terrible. the picture quality is ok. tuner is just ok. but better than the US digital.

    the LG unit has an excellent picture and way better than my comcast motorola dct6200. I use my LG for cable HD tuning. it also does cable analog tuning and OTA if you choose that route. it a quality unit all around and after spending time with all the others at home the LG was the last unit I tried at home and the extra $100 was a no brainer. better picture, functional and better quality bar none! plus analog and QAM cable tuner. how can you go wrong ?
     
  15. Jeremy Swenson

    Jeremy Swenson Stunt Coordinator

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    i have that new humax hfa 100, i like it alot, way better than my old samsung 160, for 200 it is pretty cheap as well and has hdmi
     
  16. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    You got that right.

    Until this week I was using my old RCA DTC-100 ATSC/DirecTV tuner with my CRT projector......

    In an attempt to make my life more simple and 'portable' I purchased one of those Costco special Samsung 56" integrated DLP RPTVs. Pretty amazing...just hook up the rooftop antenna and wonderful images arrive on screen. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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