Widescreen broadcast question?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Allen Longcor, Apr 13, 2002.

  1. Allen Longcor

    Allen Longcor Supporting Actor

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    ER is broadcast in widescreen, anamorphic I believe. Now if I had a 16x9 TV, would it fill the entire screen, or would I still receive black bars as I do on my 4x3 set now?

    Now onto HD. Are there any HD broadcasts that do not require digital cable or satellite? Let's say I bought an HD decoder and hooked it up to my normal cable, would I be able to receive any HD content? I'd be very interested in upgrading if this were so because I believe that some local news stations are broadcasting in HD.
     
  2. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Your first question sounds like a tautalogy. It sounds like you're asking "would 16:9 programming fill a 16:9 screen?".

    As for your second question, there are three ways to get HD: satellite, digital cable, or OTA. I don't know what you mean by "hooking up an HD decoder to your normal cable". If you get digital cable that has HD channels, it would replace your "normal cable". If you watched HD via OTA or satellite, you wouldn't be using your cable box.
     
  3. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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    analog widescreen broadcasts are letterbox. if you display this letterbox image on a widescreen set, you need to use one of the widescreen zoom modes to fill the screen, otherwise you will have a letterboxed image within a windowboxed image (black bars on all four sides).

    if you watch the HD broadcast of the same show, the widescreen picture would also fill the screen.
     
  4. Allen Longcor

    Allen Longcor Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the info on widescreen broadcasts Craig.

    The other question reguards HD ready TVs that need a decoder to play HD content. I can't recall any of the brands but they are out there and unless I've completely lost it they do exist. I know that if you get digital cable they provide you with one, but could I buy one of the commercially available units, hook it up to my regular cable line, and receive HD content if it is being broadcast????
     
  5. Allen Longcor

    Allen Longcor Supporting Actor

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    Samsung Over-the-Air Digital Television Converter for HDTV Monitors

    Model: SIR-T150

    Feed your HDTV monitor the full-blown high-definition signal it needs to perform its best. This Samsung model decodes over-the-air signals as well as upconverts 480i signals to 480p.

    Taken from Best Buy. This is what I am talking about.
     
  6. Mike I

    Mike I Supporting Actor

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    You can not buy a set top box and connect it to your cable to get cable HD...The set top boxes available for consumers are 8vsb modulation for over the air signals..Many of the boxes are also Direct tv or dish network satalite receivers...Cable use a QAM modulation and if you want HD over cable you have to use their box if the cable company provides HD..Many are beginning to provide HD but it is not the same as digital cable.
     
  7. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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    the samsung 150 is OTA only, no DBS. it's a good choice if you do not intend to go sat at all. currently availble for $518 shipped at abtelectronics.com, the get a $100 mail in mfr rebate for a net cost of $418.
     
  8. Brucev

    Brucev Auditioning

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    "Mike I" is correct. Digital cable is not HDTV or even DTV. It is a standard NTSC signal that the cable Co. digitizes to save bandwidth. HD channels are just starting to show up. I have two broadcast(NBC, ABC) and two pay(HBO, Showtime) on my cable at the moment. But you still need their HD box to get them.
     
  9. Allen Longcor

    Allen Longcor Supporting Actor

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    Man I'm still confused. Ok my local ABC station broadcasts in HD. If I had that box could I get it in HD? If not, how would I go about doing it?
     
  10. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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  11. Brucev

    Brucev Auditioning

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    Allen:
    A standard HD box like the ones Craig talks about will pick up HD signals from an antenna or satellite like Direct TV. But they will not work with cable or digital cable. You need to get an HD box from your cable Co for that. You will only recieve the channels they transmit over their network. Case in point, all four networks transmit HD signals in my area. But the local cable Co. only carries two of them. If I go with a satellite box I can pick up all four with an antenna. But if I use the cables box I only get two of them. One reason to go with the cable is the pay channels like HBO, Showtime, etc. They do not broadcast an over the air signal. So you will either have to go with cable or satellite package to get them. Now, from your earler post I assume you have cable. If that is the case you will have to contact your cable co. and ask if they carry HD broadcasts. If they do you will need their box. These channels will list as HD-ABC, HD-CBS, HD-HBO, HD-Showtime on your cable listing with their own assigned channels. If it is like my digital cable you will have the standard channel where it is now and the HD higher up(Mine are between 170-190). Now don't confuse digital cable with HDTV. They are not the same thing. As I posted before digital cable is just the NTSC signal digitized. It saves the cable co. bandwidth. That way they can offer more services over their network. In most cases the digital cable package includes extra channels that you wouldn't get with the standard cable package. The HD package(which includes the HD decoder box) is on top of that. Anywhere between another $5 and $10 more a month. My cable co. charges $10 a month for the digital cable package and another $5 a month for the HD decoder rental. For a total of $15 above and beyond my normal cable fee.
    Did that help? Or have I confused you even more?[​IMG]
     
  12. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Allen,

    Channel 30 in Fresno is broadcasting HD, but ATT Broadband does not carry the HD signal. Their digital cable service is only a way of digitally compressing and transmitting standard ntsc channels. They do not offer an HD-capable box at this time and have no definite plans to do so in the future.

    You would need either the Samsung OTA box or one of the DirecTV or Dishnetwork HD-capable boxes in order to get channel 30's HD broadcasts, and will have to use an antenna to receive the signal--you will not get it off cable.

    Depending on where you live you may get a good enough signal from an indoor vhf antenna to get channel 30's HD broadcast, which is actually broadcast on VHF channel 9.

    I live in Fresno, have the Tosh DirecTV box, and get channel 30's HD stuff off a roof antenna. Not all of their programming is in HD, only most of the primetime dramas and sitcoms as well as most of the saturday night movies. When not broadcasting true HD, the HD channel shows an upconverted simulcast of their analog programming, in 4/3 with black bars on the side. "Reality" and newsmagazine shows are broadcast this way. They have an additonal SD (standard definition or 480p) digital channel which shows a loop of recent local news broadcasts, and a third digital channel which just shows a live image from a camera atop one of Fresno's taller downtown buildings.

    Channel 47 (CBS) and 24 (NBC) both applied for extensions from the FCC, so won't be broadcasting HD until the end of this year at the soonest. PBS channel 18 won't be up until May of 03.

    These channels will have thier HD feeds on the UHF band.

    In addition to channel 30, I get HDNet and HBO-HD off the DirecTV satellite.
     
  13. Allen Longcor

    Allen Longcor Supporting Actor

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    Ok I finally get it! Thank you guys for taking the time to explain this to me. Basically I won't be watching HD anytime soon lol. It seems like satellite is the way to go as far as HD content goes. Does satellite also broadcast in dolby/dts sound? Also, does it autosense all those different broadcast modes Steve or do you have to manually change them?
     
  14. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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  15. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Allen,

    DirecTV only has 2 HD channels, HBOHD and HDNet. Dishnetwork has HBOHD and Showtime HD. The local HD channels aren't carried on the satellite. In fact, neither system carries any locals HD or otherwise, for Fresno.

    Any HD capable satellite setup will also be able to tune local over the air digital and local over the air analog tv signals, but need an antenna to do so. There's a separate connection on the back of the box for your antenna. The Dish systems require a plug-in module for local over the air reception, it's built in to the DirecTV boxes.

    True HD is broadcast as either 1080i or 720p, in widescreen. ABC is the only broadcaster doing 720p, which most all boxes convert to 1080i. The Dish boxes will output native 720p, but almost none of the available HD capable sets will show it natively anyway. The 720p from channel 30 converted to 1080i by my Toshiba box looks just as good as most of the native 1080i on HBOHD.

    Some, but not all HBOHD stuff is in 5.1, HDnet so far only had 5.1 when they broadcast the winter olympics. Our one local HD station (ABC channel 30) broadcasts all audio on the HD feed in 5.1, even when it's upconverted analog stuff.

    When I first got my set and box last September, channel 30's HD feed had pretty frequent picture breakups and audio dropouts, but has improved tremendously in the last month or so.

    NYPD Blue had only one very brief picture freezup last Tuesday, and only a couple of audio pops.

    The 2 satellite HD channels are consistently virtually glitch-free.

    The best HD picture quality is consistently on HDNEt, mainly because it's almost all documentaries and sports events that originate as video, rather than filmed material. If all the stores used HDNet for their demo sets, they'd sell out of HD sets in a hurry.
     

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