Sorry, I'm confused... HDTV

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by TreyP, Feb 2, 2002.

  1. TreyP

    TreyP Stunt Coordinator

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    OK, I hear all about how this HDTV is supposed to be the best picture quality you can get right now. Well, I'm confused as to how everything comes into play. In the next couple weeks (after I get my tax return), I plan on buying a TV that supposedly has HDTV (RCA MM32110). But someone told me, that in order to utilize the HDTV, I also have to have some other reciever or something like that. [​IMG] I also got an XBox, and XBox is supposed to be HDTV ready or whatever, so do I also need this reciever to get an HDTV picture when playing games? Also, what does watching DVDs have to do with HDTV? I'm totally confused. I may not even know what I'm talking about here.
     
  2. Atho

    Atho Agent

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    You can recieve HD sources (progressive-scan DVD players, X-Box, etc) no problem.

    You need a HDTV decoder if your HDTV is "HD-Ready" which all of them are at the moment with the exception of a 3500 Sony.

    The decoder is only needed to revieve HD TV signals, so if you don't plan on ordering HDTV right now you don't need it. It costs about 500 buks.
     
  3. TreyP

    TreyP Stunt Coordinator

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    So, when you say

     
  4. MichaelGomez

    MichaelGomez Stunt Coordinator

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    I might be wrong but I don't think that you need the decoder to pick up over the air (antenna) HDTV broadcasts.

    Also, There was a reader complaint in this months issue of Home Theater that mentioned something about DISH Network, DirectTV and some other people that are trying to change the outlook of HDTV. Apparently this makes current HDTVs obsolete.

    Maybe someone can shed some light on this subject?

    Mike
     
  5. Stefan A

    Stefan A Second Unit

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    Here is your answer. DVD is not HDTV. Progressive scan has nothing to do with HDTV. XBOX does not need a decoder to get HD images. To receive HDTV, you need: a HDTV, a Set top box (which converts HDTV material into HD), and a HDTV signal. HDTV doesn't just automatically come into your TV. You can pick up the signal through a standard antenna (rooftop, attic) from over the air TV, or through satalite tv. Once you have the signal coming into your house, you decode it with the set top box. Then, the decoded HD signal goes to your TV, which has to be HD ready.

    Hope that helped
     
  6. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    an HD Ready television set means, last I heard, that it has wide-band analog inputs, and is capable of scanning either 1920x1080x30i or 1280x720x60p. Many HD Ready sets may also scan 860x480x30p, 860x480x60p, 704x480x60p, or 704x480x30p. (Note: the 704x480 is the nominal NTSC active picture frame. Because of the non-square pixels, this translates to 640x480 in the computer world.)
    HD Ready has nothing to do with actually being able to receive the digital signals from over-the-air broadcast or digital satilite. An HD Ready set requires an external decoder to receive any MPEG-2 stream from anything else.
    To receive those, you need an outboard set-top box, either from your digital sat company, or for over the air, a PC-HDTV tuner card for your computer, or something else in the same vein to a.) receive the 8-vsb broadcast signal, b.) decode the stream from MPEG-2 Transport to MPEG-2 User, and c.) decode the MPEG-2 User stream into something your video monitor can display.
    Leo Kerr
    [email protected]
     
  7. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Okay, I'll try my hand at explaining it as well:

    An HDTV-ready set is essentially a giant computer monitor. It is a video box that is setup to accept specific video formats and display them... The set itself, unlike a regular TV, does not have a "tuner" built into it in order to receiver over the air HD stations.

    Just like having an external box to receiver Satellite programming (because your TV doesn't have a tuner built in capible of decoding the DSS disgnal)-- you need an external box to actually tune in the HD stations and feed the picture to your set.

    It's a glorified cable box, essentially, and just think of it like a cable box (although it receives HDTV over the air, not via cable).

    So the extrnal box that people have told you about does nothing but tune in HDTV broadcasts over the air, and feed the picture signal to your TV. If, for example, you got one of the new D-VHS machines that can play Hi-Def tapes- you could hook that up to the set and watch Hi-Def tapes without any other hardware (in other words the tuner box would not be involved).

    The "box" in question is just a tuner- and has nothing to do with how other sources (DVD, X-Box, Sat, etc) will connect to your set.

    I've been out of the loop for a while, so I might be wrong-- but the issue of "obsolete" HDTV's isn't exactly true. Although I don't know if anything will actually change, the proposed changes were in the broadcast standards-- which would make current TUNERS obsolete, but the video standards would stay the same. So the only thing that would change would be how the material is broadcast- so the only change necessary would be a tuner upgrade. Hopefully someone who follows the industry more closely can clear this issue up a little.

    As far as HDTV and DVD: DVD is not a high definition source, so NO you will not get HD picture quality from DVD. If you purchase a nice progressive scan player (or a nice line doubler)-- you will be able to feed the set a pretty nice signal from DVD- but it will still consist of 480 lines of resolution, where HDTV has 1080.

    I'm not well versed in Xbox technology- and while I think they have support for HDTV in the sense that they provide compatible connections, and can support resolutions of 1080i... I've aften seen it refered to as "pseudo-HD"- so I assume it is just auto scaling the 480 signal to 1080- offering very little addition in terms of clarity- and rather offering compatibility--- so long story short, don't expect video games to look as good as a solid HD broadcast. Maybe try reading the Video Game section here for more concrete info.

    Hope that makes sense, the posters above all contained good info- but didn't seem all that well explained.

    -V
     
  8. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Currently (early 2002) the vast majority of "HDTV sets" cannot receive HDTV unless you have a separate tuner box (sold separately) or subscribe to cable or dish TV in which case they provide the tuner box. (But the "HDTV sets" have a standard NTSC tuner to receiver ordinary shows).
    What people ahve been saying about obsolescence is that Hollywood our enemy, in an effort to prevent piracy, is pressuring the feds to disallow the transmission of HDTV in a fashion that today's "HDTV sets" can get any kind of HDTV video feed. Instead only a 480p version will come out the component video jacks of the tuner boxes. Otherwise Hollywood threatens to not provide shows we can watch. Another way of reducing the quality of the signal going to today's TV sets is to transmit as content every other 1080i interlaced field twice and filter the higher frequency content causing side by side pixels to blur together; the TV is still getting 1080 HDTV as a signal but the content as finally seen has much less sharpness.
    The 480p is the same format as 640 x 480 regular VGA for a PC except that mixtures (called Y, Pb, Pr) different from RGB are conveyed to and expected by the TV, and also the TV (also all CRT computer monitors) neither knows nor cares that each scan line may be subdivided into 720 parts instead of 640.
    The kind of HDTV tuner box and HDTV set Hollywood is insisting on will a sealed video signal path where everything is scrambled to preclude recording. The picture tube(s) or LCD/DLP/plasma panels will be the same, most of the electronics will differ from today's sets. No such sets exist yet. Hackers will still sooner or later be able to decrypt and record the material.
    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  9. TreyP

    TreyP Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks everyone, its a little more clear now. I also read this article, and it explained things a lot.
     
  10. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    BTW, the MM32100's don't have a built-in HDTV decoder. Only the 38310's do (the 16x9 tubes).

    The MM series have VGA connectors, so you can put a CPU on them (but it's limited to 800x600 - basically 600p). The other VGA is for the HD decoder and many don't have VGA out but rather use component out.

    You will probably want to pair it with the RCA DTC-100 and you MUST have that to see OVER THE AIR (OTA) HD from your locals, and you need that PLUS the oval dish to get DirecTV HD (if you use DirecTV that is).

    480p is not typically what people call HD. Rather the common reference usually means 1080i. 1080 lines of resolution.

    The DTC-100 will give you the local DIGITAL channels, they will look good (like satellite) but will not usually be Hi Def.

    You will need to find out which shows are in HD. Much of CBS primetime is (King of Queens/Raymond night is). Leno is. One of the daytime soaps is. NOTHING on FOX is.

    1080i (scanning as fast as 540p) looks much better than 480p. Think about the 540p vs 480p thing there, that's 60 more lines on screen in the same amount of time, and 1080i has 600 more lines (more than double) than progressive scan DVD (480p) with 60 more on screen than 480p at any given time.
     
  11. ColinW

    ColinW Agent

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    For what it's worth, I own an MM36100, and I am very pleased with it. The picture quality is excellent, although it is no "true" HDTV. RCA claims that this set can display the same resolution in the 4x3 format so that the picture will be close to HDTV. I think they said 960 lines of resolution although I am not positive.

    There are tons of inputs on the TV and you can hook all sorts of things to it. The VGA connections are handy if you are using a DTC100 or hooking up a PC. The set is basically a large computer monitor and works very well at that. If you are looking to play games on it you will love it!

    Colin
     
  12. TreyP

    TreyP Stunt Coordinator

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    OK, I probably won't use the VGA ports unless for the converter, cause I have no plans of hooking my pc up to it. I noticed it has a USB port, but I have no idea why I would use that. It has 3 s-video inputs, and just one set of component inputs. I want to use both my dvd and xbox for the component inputs. Is there a way to be able to get both of them into compenent without have to divert one of them to an s-video (without unplugging them every time I want to use the other)? And I'm starting to lean towards getting a 36110 instead cause it will probably only be a couple hundered bucks more, but I beleive it still has the same features as the 32110.
     
  13. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Old fashioned US TV is called "NTSC" for national television standards committee. The replacement standard is called "ATSC" for advanced television systems committee. See www.atsc.org for lots of details. Basically ATSC is a FAMILY of digital TV formats, including SDTV (standard definition TV) and HDTV (high-def TV). HDTV may in turn be 1080i (1080 horizontal scan lines, interlaced) or 720p (720 horizontal scan lines, progressive-scan).
    Basically what you need to receive HDTV broadcasts is an ATSC compliant tuner. This will take care of all the details for you. Basically modern TV sets are sold like audio "separates": in general you get a monitor and a separate tuner. I use an Electrohome Marquee 8501LC as my monitor and an RCA DTC-100 as a tuner, both for over the air (OTA) and for DirecTV.
     
  14. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    The reason an RCA MM36100 cannot be considered a true HDTV is that it cannot display all 1080 interlaced lines of resolution within a 16:9 window. It is strictly a 4:3 set.
     
  15. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    The USB port is just for a marketing bullet. I believe it only passes the signal along at this point, like a hub.

    Those types of things get included for marketing and for potential future use on later chassis based on the current chassis.

    The TV itself has no USB capabilities.

    BTW, the MM series are one of the few good things RCA has made lately. The DTC-100 is another pretty decent one.
     
  16. Scott Page

    Scott Page Stunt Coordinator

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    Trey,

    If you are really interested in HDTV, and DVD watching, you may want to rethink buying a 4:3 set. HDTV is a 16:9 format as are most DVDs. The widescreen format most closely resembles the aspect ratio that you get in the theaters. A 4:3 TV doesn't do much to recreate the "theater" experience, but is just a bigger TV.

    If you want off air only HDTV, then look at the Samsung SIR-T150 reciever box. It is cheaper than the boxes with Dish or Direct TV capabilities, but better than the RCA product.

    Keep in mind that the coming new TV standard is Digital TV (DTV) and NOT High-Def TV. HDTV is just one of the possible broadcast resolutions included in the DTV standard which includes Standard Def resolution as well. Some salesmen may misrepresent a TV as being HDTV capable when it is only DTV capable. Just because a TV is digital capable does not mean it is HDTV capable. Some sets out this year have the HDTV decoder built in. I would avoid these as the encription scemes required by Hollywood, seem to change every few months which could cause big problems if your decoder is part of the set and not easily upgraded.
     

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