Over The Air vs Cable

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by DanI, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. DanI

    DanI Auditioning

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    I have some questions that I hope you guys can help me with.
    I live in an area (just outside Detroit) with good coverage of OTA (Over The Air)HDTV. My HDTV ready TV (Sony 53HS10) is 4:3 and has only one HD component input. This input will display 16:9 and has worked great for anamorphic DVD's.
    The other two component inputs don't have this feature.
    Also there is no DVI input.
    I hate monthly payments so I only have basic cable without a cable box, and internet access. Now for the questions. I want to get a
    LST-3510A OTA tuner. Can I hook it up to my basic cable? Are there any useful signals in the basic cable? The LST-3510A has a built in DVD that upconverts to 1080i. Will that be what I plug into my 1 and only input? Will I now have digital cable yet only pay for analog? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Don't let the single HD input on your TV hold you back. Get a switch box or get an A/V receiver with HD quality component video connections, preferably 75 Mhz although with very good cables you can get away with 35 MHz.

    I would take a chance on a USD $30. Radio Shack or similar audio/video switch box. Although unrated for impedance and bandwidth, others have gotten away with it.

    The over the air HDTV set top box is not used with cable TV feeds. HD channels on cable require a different tuner box and the box that the cable company supplies is the right kind.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/whyten.htm
     
  3. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Most cable companies send their HD signals in scrambled QAM format. You would need either their cable box or a TV with the new CableCard feature. You would also have to subscribe to the appropriate level of service.

    -Robert
     
  4. Hank_P

    Hank_P Second Unit

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    Dan,

    I will try and answer some of your question, but again, I not that familiar with the LST-3510 that well, but you will not have "digital" cable to what you may be expecting. The QAM signal is "unscrambled". The digital channels above 100 would be "scrambled" and you would need a Cable Box to decode those (these include the HD channels). I think this is what you are asking? I don't think you are gaining anything significantly by running your cable through LST-3510. You would be able to get the HD OTA via an antenna though. If I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will chime in.


    "Enhanced Connectivity Receives ATSC and QAM (unscrambled) signals and connects to HDTV and analog displays and other devices via RGB, component, s-video, DVI, composite jacks and RF jacks. "
     
  5. TimB

    TimB Agent

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    DanI,

    I am also in the Detroit area, and yes, OTA is great out here. To chime in a little bit...

    The only way to get "Digital" Cable (not HD Cable) is with either a Digital Cable Box, or a Smart Card Device.

    HD Cable (if Comcast) is available in three different ways. QAM unscrambled (ABC, NBC, etc), secondly through the HD Digital Cable Box (ABC, NBC, PBS HD stations plus HD HBO's, etc). The third, being the Smart Card, is not really out yet, but last time I checked it's "coming soon".

    With the LS-3510A (which I have also been pondering) you can only get the DVD upconverted through the DVI cable. Since you do not have a DVI input, then you will not be able to use that feature. However, it should output the HD 1080 out of component. To combine DVD and OTA HD into one input on your tv, it's a great thing! The LST-3510 will also do the unscrambled HD QAM through the tuner, however with comcast's offerings I would recommend going with the OTA instead. OTA offers WB and UPN in this area, comcast does not yet.

    For your basic cable, simply plug that into the coax input on your TV.

    Hope this helps!
     
  6. DanI

    DanI Auditioning

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    I think I get it. The LST-3510A can use QAM. Maybe I should ask my cable company if they scramble their basic digital cable. I am not interested in any premium channels. I know the basic analog signal is not scrambled because that is what I am using. Are both signals in the wire?
    Is the interactive guide scrambled?
     
  7. DanI

    DanI Auditioning

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    Tim

    My cable company is WOW. Maybe I can do both OTA and Cable.
     
  8. TimB

    TimB Agent

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    DanI,

    From what I know the only way to get HD through WOW is to use their HD box. From what I have heard, they do not do QAM, so plugging it into your LST-3510 won't do anything as far as HD is concerned.

    Might try calling WOW to see if they are passing QAM through for HD. Though, like I said, in this area the best for HD is either OTA or Satellite. I say satellite as well because the satellite can also incorporate OTA signals.
     
  9. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Dan,

    Going with OTA HDTV will not affect your basic cable at all, it will be the same as you're used to. Put your address in www.antennaweb.org and see what you can get at your location. You could be in a reception hole.

    I recently got an antenna and an OTA HDTV receiver and it is FANTASTIC!!! You won't believe the picture! Once you've paid for the hardware, the perfect HDTV reception is 100% FREE!!! I love that.
     
  10. DanI

    DanI Auditioning

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    O.K. Time for an up-date…
    I bought an LST-3510A OTA/DVD. $399.00. And watched the Super Bowl over the air for free. The picture and sound were perfect.
    However I have major “Blinking” issues during commercials.
    Especially, action/graphic commercials. Whenever there is a bright flash or graphic, The TV blinks, as if changing channels. It Then displays what mode it is in (“DTV 1080i”)
    This could happen 4 or 5 times during a 30 sec. Spot.

    It also “blinks” when playing DVD’s, except the mode display is “DTV 480p”
    On DVD’s it is very predictable. I can advance one frame at a time and when I get to the “BlinkFrame” BAM! What’s wrong?
     
  11. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    My X1 does that too. I think I need to upgrade my firmware. My brother brought over an ultra high power EIKI projector for the super bowl and it didn't blink at all. Same OTA STB, same cables.
     
  12. DanI

    DanI Auditioning

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    Another Update...
    I called LG support and the Lady there
    told me that it shouldn't do that.
    Well of course it shouldn't... but it does!
    She suggested that I take it back and get another one.
    I'm afraid it will do the same thing.
     
  13. DanI

    DanI Auditioning

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    Another UP-Date...
    I took it back to Best Buy and exchanged it for another one.
    And the new one does the same thing...
    Also LG has not answerd any of my E-mails.
    Can anyone help me stop the "Blinking"?
    Or does anyone have good contact information at LG.?

    Dan
     
  14. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Get in touch witn Sony, it's probably a TV issue not a tuner issue.
     
  15. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Does it do the blinking on all HD channels or only the Fox channel? If the latter it's most probably the tv station's problem, not a problem with your equipment. When switching to locally originated commercials an HD broadcaster goes off the network HD feed and onto their own upconversion equipment. If your blinking problem is only on the Fox station there's every chance there's something wrong with their equipment.

    HD is still new, and local stations often have glitches that can lead one to believe there are problems with the viewer's gear. Audio synch, for example is a very frequent station originated problem.

    Since the superbowl game itself was ok, and the blinking only happened during commercials, I really doubt if it's the fault of your receiver box or tv. If the box or tv were bad, this would have occurred during the game as well.
    The station does not change the outgoing scanrate or anything else during commercials vs network feed that would trip up your equipment, but their HD encoder may very well be having problems doing the upconversion of locally originated programming.
     
  16. DanI

    DanI Auditioning

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    Steve

    It does it on all HD channels and on DVD'S.
    The LST-3510a is a combo Set-Top-Box/DVD.
    And not during the switch to commercial, but in the actual commercial. Always during a "Highlight" or a "Flash" or when somthing dramatic happens. On DVD's it is VERY predictable and repeatable. Even in slow motion, when I get to the "Blinkframe" BAM! The TV displays "DTV FORMAT: 480p" or "DTV FORMAT: 1080i"
     

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