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  1. #1

    A huge negative about HDTVs

    I did a lot of research before getting my HDTV and I have heard these statements before but didn't realize how bad it would be. I read reviews from HDTV owners that non HDTV broadcasts (480i/p) look worse on an HDTV. Trust me this is very much true. The Non HD channels look so bad that I cannot even make out an athlete's name or number on the back of his jersey. Everything is blurry and the edges of just about everything have distortion around them. Keep that in mind when you are shopping for an HDTV and the store has an HD channel demo that looks so beautiful but when you watch regular channels they are so awful that you can barely watch anymore. There are only about 15 HD channels now and the chances of them broadcasting something you really want to watch are slim.

    If you are considering buying an HDTV for the first time I highly recommend that you wait for more HD channels because now the non HD quality channels look worse than the quality from an antennae broadcast from the year 1980. I just wanted to warn you guys and I am surprised not everyone is mentioning this. Oh and just so you know I use monstor HDMI cables for my Comcast HD DVR box and my new DVD player with HDMI upconversion.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by lexington
    Oh and just so you know I use monstor HDMI cables for my Comcast HD DVR box
    Being that HDMI is an all digital signal, it doesn't matter on the cable you used. Either the signal gets there or it doesn't. And even with non-digital signals, there is still no factual proof that cheaper cables deliver lower quality picture than monster cables noticeable to anyone, unless your environment has a lot of distortion, from which the higher shielded cable would win out.
    --

  3. #3
    I only stated that to make sure noone wasted their time replying that I needed to use better wiring. However it looks like that failed since you replied off topic about something I already know The point of this topic is that non-HD channels look horrible on HDTV.

  4. #4
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    I don't expect HDTV to go anywhere for at least another 5 years. They need more market penetration before channels decide they want to broadcast in higher quality.
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  5. #5
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    Get an HDTV Satellite Reciever or Cable Receiver and it will work fine on all channels.

  6. #6
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    European TV looks fine on an HDTV. But that's mainly because of the use of PAL rather than NTSC which is better quality. It used to be terrible over here watching live events from the USA, fortunately now we get an HD feed from most places which is downscaled to PAL resolution for broadcast (unless it's on an HD channel of course).

    This does present a problem for companies marketing HDTV over here because the jump from PAL to HDTV is not as big as NTSC to HDTV so the difference isn't quite as big.
    Steve

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vortex-Steve
    European TV looks fine on an HDTV. But that's mainly because of the use of PAL rather than NTSC which is better quality. It used to be terrible over here watching live events from the USA, fortunately now we get an HD feed from most places which is downscaled to PAL resolution for broadcast (unless it's on an HD channel of course).

    This does present a problem for companies marketing HDTV over here because the jump from PAL to HDTV is not as big as NTSC to HDTV so the difference isn't quite as big.
    Yer, and with RGB added to digital PAL transmissions years ago and games consoles already making use of 60Hz RGB PAL since the Dreamcast was released, its even harder for viewers to establish a huge difference.

    I have had an HD ready 32" LG Flatron since November last year and its not all that impressive impo, I have watched numerous WMVHD trailers etc on it.

    This is the sole reason I refuse to pay for SkyHD, there just isnt enough of a difference to justify £300 for an HD box and then a further £10 a month for the subs.

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  8. #8
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    I've also got a 32" HD Ready LCD. I've used the Xbox 360 to download some HD trailers etc and to be honest nothing has been that impressive. I've already pre-ordered the HD-DVD drive for the 360 so will see how that looks though.

    I've also got a Samsung DVD player which I use to upscale standard DVDs to 720p, and while there is a slight difference it might all just be in my head wanting it to look better because I spend money on something to upscale it!

    Your signature just reminded me of another problem! When I was shopping around for a TV I went to places like Comet and Dixons to look at the range of TVs (not that I would ever buy from these stores!) and while they might of been using an HD source for the video, the set up on each TV was terrible. One clip was of Liverpool with the CL cup, and on some TVs their shirts looked pink rather than a nice red. If these idiots can't set up the TVs correctly in store no one will want one!
    Steve

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vortex-Steve
    Your signature just reminded me of another problem! When I was shopping around for a TV I went to places like Comet and Dixons to look at the range of TVs (not that I would ever buy from these stores!) and while they might of been using an HD source for the video, the set up on each TV was terrible. One clip was of Liverpool with the CL cup, and on some TVs their shirts looked pink rather than a nice red. If these idiots can't set up the TVs correctly in store no one will want one!
    Lol pink - stupid Dixons staff!

    I know what you mean though, it is the same in all these "common" stores. I bought my TV from Richer Sounds in Chester as they had a limited amount in stock last year for 699 whereas everywhere else was 999 for exactly the same TV. But when I went to pick the TV up from the store, every TV in there was running a super high quality feed, obviously they had spent hours setting them up and used the highest quality cabling etc, it makes a huge difference when you see them setup properly, you can really gauge for yourself which TV is best then.

    But I suppose in the likes of Dixons and Comet, they are just salesmen, whereas in the likes of Richer Sounds they are specialists.

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  10. #10
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    I run all channels (HD or not) via the HDTV cable to my TV.

    Picture looks slightly better than before on non HD channels and absolutely fabulous on HD channels.

  11. #11
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    When i watch HDTV it looks good, but say i watch "normal" tv channel 11 (fox) it looks crappy... But if i use the dog ears it looks decent.

    I also have comcast... (time warner) i use HDMI to my TV. Maybe its comcast...
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  12. #12
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    Well hate to also tell you that HDTV's will drop 30% in price at end of year also so enjoy that HDTV on standard def does look crappy why because the signal is that much crappier. I know here I work at Cox Communications and we are testing about another 30 channels we hope to release soon. So the channels are coming just slowly but sure the price drop of TV's should help produce more channels though.

  13. #13
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    I bought the Panasonic PT56HX41 pictured below back in 2000 for some great price of $1200. Only me and the Circuit City guys were watching the Super Bowl in HD in January 2001. I have had so many great years of use and Comcast has provided great HD channels that I have been really pleased. Even when viewing the non-HD channels, this HDTV is still quite good. So I am happy.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by lexington
    I did a lot of research before getting my HDTV and I have heard these statements before but didn't realize how bad it would be. I read reviews from HDTV owners that non HDTV broadcasts (480i/p) look worse on an HDTV. Trust me this is very much true. The Non HD channels look so bad that I cannot even make out an athlete's name or number on the back of his jersey. Everything is blurry and the edges of just about everything have distortion around them. Keep that in mind when you are shopping for an HDTV and the store has an HD channel demo that looks so beautiful but when you watch regular channels they are so awful that you can barely watch anymore. There are only about 15 HD channels now and the chances of them broadcasting something you really want to watch are slim.

    If you are considering buying an HDTV for the first time I highly recommend that you wait for more HD channels because now the non HD quality channels look worse than the quality from an antennae broadcast from the year 1980. I just wanted to warn you guys and I am surprised not everyone is mentioning this. Oh and just so you know I use monstor HDMI cables for my Comcast HD DVR box and my new DVD player with HDMI upconversion.
    I have noticed this too. When i first got my HDTV i plugged it into my cable and the picture was bad. You had to stand 10 ft away to see the tv clearly. But now i have satelite so it got better. If you are going to buy a HDTV you might as well get HD channels.

  15. #15
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    Ok I agree with you to a large extent on standard definition channels. Generally the picture qualitys worse because of the high resolution so the picture is stretched on a large tv, much like looking at a small resolution picture and zooming in to make it bigger.

    I myself do not actually have an HD display, I have a EDTV Plasma Display by Samsung I bought maybe 3-4 years ago. At the time it was a luxury but now because of price drops they are becoming quite a bit more affordable. I use Dish Network for satellite services, now the local SD channels look like crap I agree, they are watchable but still not that great. Larger networks like Spike TV, CNN, etc. seem to look pretty good despite being SD, even Discovery Channel looks great for an SD channel. Mainly because EDTV has a lower resolution than an HDTV but higher than a standard CRT set. I believe it's 480 Progressive.

    HD channels look wonderful on my tv, as EDTV are HD capable, i'm able to get a 1080i signal and down convert it. Picture is very crisp and clear like you are looking out a window. I agree though the ammount of channels don't make up to completely justify spending the money, however very soon it will be. With the release of Blu-Ray and HD-DVD it will make sense for watching your movies in high definition, a lot of the new game systems support HDTV as well now. So in time your HDTV will have a lot of use as demand rises while prices lower.
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  16. #16
    I have an 42' Samsung DLP + HDTV PVR with Bell ExpressVu in Canada. I don't know about you guys but the picture is fantastic. Sure, it's stretched on normal channels if you don't adjust the aspect ratios. My receiver does the work of switching the asepect. On standard channels the picture isn't stretched, its just a bit smaller but looks great.

  17. #17
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    Sure, it's stretched on normal channels if you don't adjust the aspect ratios. My receiver does the work of switching the asepect. On standard channels the picture isn't stretched, its just a bit smaller but looks great.
    When people here talk about the image being stretched they are not talking about the aspect ratio, they are talking about the resolution of the image being output. SDTV (whether that is NTSC or PAL) is much lower resolution than the native resolution of an HDTV and as such has to upscale the image to fit the screen. This leads to a drop in quality. A bit like like taking a low res photo on something like a cell phone and making it full screen on your PC. It might look great on your phone, but not on the PC! (Although the TV does have software to try and fill in the gaps made by blowing up and image so it's not quite the same thing).
    Steve

  18. #18
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    Comcast has a button on their remote so you can stretch and unstretch the picture. I can also do it via the TV, but it's a little more involved.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by lexington
    I only stated that to make sure noone wasted their time replying that I needed to use better wiring. However it looks like that failed since you replied off topic about something I already know The point of this topic is that non-HD channels look horrible on HDTV.
    No they don't - at least, not in my area. The non HD and non digital channels look fine all of my HD sets.

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirius
    No they don't - at least, not in my area. The non HD and non digital channels look fine all of my HD sets.

    Sirius
    I agree My non-HD channels look fine.

  21. #21
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    I have a LCD HDTV it auto switches the stretching when viewing HD vs non HD.
    Its like the opposite of the old "full screen" DVDs

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Stephen)
    I have a LCD HDTV it auto switches the stretching when viewing HD vs non HD.
    Its like the opposite of the old "full screen" DVDs
    The switching is 4:3 to 16:9, not HD to Non-HD.

    I was just looking at playusa.com earlier and was amazed to see "Fullscreen" versions are still being made. Has widescreen not taken off much over there?
    Steve

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksgaservices
    Well hate to also tell you that HDTV's will drop 30% in price at end of year also so enjoy that
    Wow, I'm happy to hear this! Do you have a source for this info?
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  24. #24
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    LCD TV Prices Set to Fall Next Year

    By BetaNews Staff, BetaNews
    September 1, 2006, 11:33 AM

    Both LG and Sharp announced at the IFA electronics show in Berlin this week that the cost of LCD flat-panel televisions will fall dramatically in 2007, with prices dropping 20% to 30%. The companies attribute the expected savings to overproduction and lower manufacturing costs.

    Falling prices could help LCD technology better compete with plasma televisions, which have been more popular for larger displays due to their lower price tag. "Last year we saw about 30% price reductions for plasma and a little bit more for LCD," said LG head of marketing Young Chan Kim. "Next year, in 2007, we expect about the same."

    http://www.betanews.com/article/LCD_...ear/1157124839

  25. #25
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    Mon$ter cable is way overpriced and over-marketed and their cables isn't better then most lower cost cables out there. Many of the big-box stores promote them heavily due to high profits they bring. I use lower priced with my system and get just a good picture from the HD channels. The non-HD channels will look lousy until they migrate to HD.

    Quote Originally Posted by MStar
    Being that HDMI is an all digital signal, it doesn't matter on the cable you used. Either the signal gets there or it doesn't. And even with non-digital signals, there is still no factual proof that cheaper cables deliver lower quality picture than monster cables noticeable to anyone, unless your environment has a lot of distortion, from which the higher shielded cable would win out.
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