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Old December 1 2009, 05:26 AM   #1
Ro_Laren's Avatar
Location: The Badlands

My father just bought a new HD TV (a 32" panasonic) and it is kinda fuzzy. He didn't buy the TV because it was HD, but only because he got it on sale for a good price. This is the only HD TV in his house (there are four other non-HD TV's) and I think it is the least crisp TV in his house. Is that just because he doesn't have HD cable? Or could it be because he got a lemon? Aren't some of the big networks like NBC supposed to air shows in high def? Or can that only be seen if you pay for HD cable???

What do you think- is it a lemon or is it just because he needs to pay for HD cable for the TV to not look fuzzy.
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Old December 1 2009, 05:35 AM   #2
Rķu rķu, chķu
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Location: Mr. Laser Beam is in the visitor's bullpen
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Re: HD TV's

If he doesn't have a digital cable box (or CableCARD), he's going to need an OTA antenna to receive in HD. Does he have any of these things?
"A hot dog at the ballpark is better than a steak at the Ritz." - Humphrey Bogart
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Old December 1 2009, 05:47 AM   #3
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Location: Virginia USA
Re: HD TV's

There's lots of different cable companies in the US with different policies on what, if any, they charge for high definition channels and which high definition channels the customer gets with which programming packages.

If the subscriber connects the coaxial cable to one of the RF inputs on the back of a HDTV manufactured for sale in the US they can view high definition local stations through most cable systems, although many other cable channels will be unavailable with that configuration.

The cable company's rental converters typically come in three configurations. Analog converters use the old style analog signals from the cable system and output analog (standard definition) output to the TV. Standard definition digital converters use the cable system's digital signals, but still output analog standard definition to the TV. High definition converters have the additional ability to use the seperate high definition channels from the cable system and forward that programming to the TV through HDMI or component cables. The high definition programming might be duplicated in standard definition on a different channel (example: CBS affiliate in cropped SD on 003 and the same CBS affiliate in HD on 703). Some systems might have another duplicate in analog for the older analog converters and subscribers who are still using analog "cable ready" TVs.
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Old December 1 2009, 02:40 PM   #4
Scout101's Avatar
Location: Rhode Island, USA
Re: HD TV's

If you have regular cable, that TV is going to look worse than the old tube TV over standard def. it's showing you all the imperfections, and having issues when it's not getting enough to resolve. It's enough that you can watch SD stuff, but it's not going to look better than a tube tv.

Unless you plug in a HD source, or get an over-the-air antenna and check for HD signals that way, no way to tell you if the tv is ok or not...
Perhaps, if I am very lucky, the feeble efforts of my lifetime will someday be noticed and maybe, in some small way, they will be acknowledged as the greatest works of genius ever created by man. ~Jack Handey
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Old December 1 2009, 08:07 PM   #5
Alpha_Geek's Avatar
Location: Central VA, US
Re: HD TV's

Can you get over the air HD signals where you are?

Here's a halfway decent way to find out:

That site will tell you what's required to get signals from your TV market area.

You can see more info at:

-and a movie-

This site may also be useful:
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Old December 1 2009, 08:54 PM   #6
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Re: HD TV's

I have a 32 inch Samsung hdtv, I get basic cable(the cheapest package available) and the only channels that are hd are the local ones, the regular cable channels look awful but there's nothing I can do about it. I cant afford the outrageous price my cable provider(Comcrap) wants for hd channels. Doesnt matter to me much though b/c I watch more dvds than tv...
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Old December 1 2009, 10:35 PM   #7
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Location: San Diego
Re: HD TV's

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
If he doesn't have a digital cable box (or CableCARD), he's going to need an OTA antenna to receive in HD. Does he have any of these things?
Not quite true... if the cable company carries OTA channels in HD then they will probably be in ClearQAM, so long as the HDTV has a built in digital tuner he should get it... and I'm pretty sure they are mandated to have the digital tuners at this point, though I'm not sure if the ultracheap ones do ClearQAM, or if they just do whatever the OTA one is called... ATSC?
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Old December 1 2009, 10:52 PM   #8
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Location: Central VA, US
Re: HD TV's

Yoda, you're right. Not all HDTVs have ClearQam.
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