Why do we still have SD (Standard Definition) TV channels?

RolandL

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I replaced a cable box and noticed all the extra channels I was getting. But when I clicked on them, they were all SD. How many people still do not own an HD TV? Do they watch SD on their HD TV's? The picture is so soft I don't know how they can watch it.
 

Alf S

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I watch "METV" and "AntennaTV" channels all the time on my 4K TV. It's not that bad. It's actually pretty clear for the most part. But yes, it would be nice if the channels would fully convert to HD. Maybe it's a cost issue.
 

Steve Armbrust

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My wife watches a lot of what I call "crap," i.e. reruns of NCIS and NCIS-LA, and she claims either not to notice or not to care about the difference between HD and SD, even though she watches on a nice Samsung HD set. So every month or so, I adjust the DVR so it records every episode of those shows from the SD channels where they're rerun. I let them build up until there are 30 or 40 of each stored on the unit. Then she can watch and delete (or not) as she sees fit. If I had to record the HD versions for her, I'd have to record a lot fewer episodes more often, and monitor more carefully so the hard drive wouldn't fill up. She's happy, since she doesn't have to do any of this "complicated" stuff herself, and I'm happy because I don't have to work hard at it, and there's plenty of room to record the shows I want to see in HD.
 

Alf S

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My wife too doesn't care what the channel looks like, SD, HD, to her it's all the same looking and doesn't care one bit either way. As long as she can watch the show she likes, she's fine. Same with my mom and my wife's parents.

I bet there are a lot of folks still out there who just don't care. Same with DVD, Blu, 4K. If a movie is for rent in DVD, it looks "good enough", no need to upgrade to new equipment to see it in, for example, Blu.
 
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Jimbo64

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I can't watch SD on my 4K tv either cable or DVD. I tried to watch "Seven Brides" on DVD the other night but it was almost painful.
 

RolandL

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I recorded the 2006 The Illusionist not knowing it was SD. Very difficult to watch.
 

Alf S

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Was it "difficult" because it was harder to follow the storyline because of the image quality or perhaps something else? I've never found it difficult to watch any movie on DVD or SD TV. Odd you had such a difficult time.
 
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RolandL

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My wife watches a lot of what I call "crap," i.e. reruns of NCIS and NCIS-LA, and she claims either not to notice or not to care about the difference between HD and SD, even though she watches on a nice Samsung HD set. So every month or so, I adjust the DVR so it records every episode of those shows from the SD channels where they're rerun. I let them build up until there are 30 or 40 of each stored on the unit. Then she can watch and delete (or not) as she sees fit. If I had to record the HD versions for her, I'd have to record a lot fewer episodes more often, and monitor more carefully so the hard drive wouldn't fill up. She's happy, since she doesn't have to do any of this "complicated" stuff herself, and I'm happy because I don't have to work hard at it, and there's plenty of room to record the shows I want to see in HD.
Do you zoom in the image so it fit's the TV screen?
 

Alf S

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I can't watch SD on my 4K tv either cable or DVD. I tried to watch "Seven Brides" on DVD the other night but it was almost painful.
Seems a bit extreme. I haven't encountered any DVD's that I'd consider remotely "painful" to watch.
 

Rob_Ray

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I watch DVDs almost every day and don't find them painful to watch at all. I also watch classic shows like OUR MISS BROOKS on ME-TV. To me, the main focus of my viewing is the content more than the picture quality. I spent too many years watching battered 16mm prints, panned and scanned, cut to fit time slots and interrupted by commercials to worry about whether or not the picture is HD.
 

Mark_B

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The SD channels are there for 2 reasons. All the cable providers can then charge a HD fee and the hotels and motels can just pay for SD and deform the picture with zoom and stuff because their too cheap to pay for HD. I may be wrong, but other than the sub channels for the broadcast TV I doubt there are any SD stations left. My cable company shows the HD on the SD channel but shrinks it so it will fit in a letter box screen.
 

jcroy

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On some cable/satellite providers, they are really lazy (or cheap) when it comes to out-of-country channels.

The folks I'm currently living with subscribe to some hebrew (isreal) and german channels, which are not in HD resolution at all. (If I had to guess, these hebrew and german channels might very well be in HD in their domestic locales). I couldn't find any HD versions of these same channels on the provider's current lineup.
 

skylark68

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Only thing that bothers me about a lot of over the air television channels is old TV shows that were 4:3 are now 16:9 and completely messed up. Then I've seen 16:9 squeezed as well as 4:3 squeezed where I can't even tell what the aspect ratio is. Comet was bad about that early on although they've improved somewhat.
 

atcolomb

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I noticed Directv is broadcasting some programing in 4k? I current have a Sony 2k tv which has a great picture but now i see a nice Sony 4K tv that just came out and tempted to get one. Saw the 4k tv at Best Buy and did it look nice!
 

BobO'Link

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My wife couldn't care less about image quality and only complains if she can't see the picture at all. I've seen her watch a program with an image so "snowy" you could barely make out what was happening - and she didn't complain, simply saying "thanks" when I fixed it for her.

I, too, watch for content over quality and grew up in the age of fuzzy broadcast, edited films, non-OAR, 16mm dups for local TV, etc. If something exists in a higher quality then I want it, but if all that's available is a lousy PD dupe from Mill Creek I'll take it. I also do not watch "broadcast" or "live" TV at all any more. I cut the cable in my den/viewing room and watch physical 99% of the time with the other 1% streaming a few random shows to sample and see if I want to spring for physical copies. She can't be bothered with physical media or a DVR at all and is happy to be held hostage by broadcasters.
 

TJPC

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I have two Magnavox DVD recorders which deform the picture if recording from an HD source. (It gives me a letterbox picture in the middle of the screen). Luckily the majority of my recording is of classic movies in the academy ratio. Luckily as well, my cable company gives me both the SD and HD versions of TCM. I end up with a generally excellent picture in the proper aspect ratio.

We tend to get behind in our TV viewing. When the PVRs get above 75% full, I switch each program over to SD recording. Right now, for instance we have the entire seasons of Scandal and Madam Secretary on tap. I do not do this for all shows, but just the ones we intend to watch an immediately erase.

With digital broadcasts, I find that since even SD programs are letterboxed, we can zoom in, and after a few minutes do not notice any loss in quality.
 

Thomas Newton

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I replaced a cable box and noticed all the extra channels I was getting. But when I clicked on them, they were all SD. How many people still do not own an HD TV? Do they watch SD on their HD TV's? The picture is so soft I don't know how they can watch it.
For ATSC broadcast TV, where bandwidth is limited, it's a way to get more sub-channels. E.g., instead of two HD sub-channels, a station could broadcast one HD sub-channel and three SD ones. That choice might well carry over to cable re-broadcasts of that station's material.
 

Tony Bensley

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We're no longer getting cable, but I noticed that even with recent SD broadcasts, the visuals would often look pretty shabby (Worse than decent DVD transfers!) from within about 3-4 feet of our 32 inch 720p screen. Thankfully, I'm usually about 12-15 feet back!

These days, we use Netflix, whose usual 720p resolution matches up perfectly with our current set's capabilities.

CHEERS! :)
 

Tony Bensley

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