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first time digital display user looking for basic tips...

Discussion in 'Televisions' started by sans, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. sans

    sans Regular member

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    so heres my story in short. moving into a new house. love the spacious living room. its BEGGING for a great big widescreen tv on the wall. heres the problem. i know NOTHING about these new tvs. im generally a pretty savvy person in terms of electronics. but here, i am clueless.

    i live in a small city. there is one cable provider (charter). from tvguide.com i see that there are very few HD channels.. a dozen or less. ESPN is one of them.
    i am a huge sports fan and the main reason i want a large high quality tv is to watch football and baseball.

    so before i get into "what brand and model of TV should i buy" i need to know...

    1. is my cable company's lack of hd channels limiting the potential quality i can get from a new hd tv, and if so should i consider a mini dish provider
    2. do widescreen tvs always distort a tv channel that isnt formatted for 16:9 aspect ratio or is there a way to change that setting
    3. im planning on moving across the country within the next year or so. do you guys know if there is a way for me to rent a tv such as what im looking for? is this common?

    all your help and comments are greatly appreciated.
    matt
     
  2. diabolos

    diabolos Guest

    About the programming in your area, heres a great site (all you need is a Zip-Code):
    http://www.titantv.com

    The real advantage to all of this is that we are shifting from analog to digital. The quality of digital is leaps and bounds beyond the best analog has to offer. Even at standard quality (480i) the picture is sharper and clearer than its analog counter-part. The best digital and HD picture is available via an off-air out door antenna (http://antennaweb.org) ! Yep thats right. The off-air signal isn't compressed like cable. For that resone I favor DBS services to cable (since satalite companies usually give you the option of hooking up a out-door antenna for digital/HD local channels!) I won't bore you with allot of facts (because I know allot about the subject) but here is a place I have found to be acurate and knowlegable on the whole subject (becuase there the ones responsible for it).

    http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/digitaltv.html

    Now, as far as TV selection. There are two types of big screens. Projection and Flat Panel. Projection TVs come in a veriety of technologies. They are: CRT, LCD, DLP, and LCos (A.K.A. HD-ila by JVC and SXRD by Sony). Projection TVs start at 42" and go up to 65" (unless you own a front projector which can produce HD images up to 300"). Flat Panel tv's will be either LCD or Plasma (for now). LCD start at about 13" and go up to about 40". Plasma starts at 37" and goes up to 50". Newer Plasmas by LG and Pioneer are available in 60 and 70 inch models!

    More info:
    Plasma TV:
    http://www.plasmatvbuyingguide.com/bigfaq.html

    LCD vs DLP:
    http://www.projectorcentral.com/lcd_dlp.htm

    LCD vs DLP (Sound and Vision):
    http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article.asp?section_id=2&article_id=837&page_number=1

    LCos:
    http://www.projectorcentral.com/lcos.htm

    A great source for info on everything above:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

    The answer to question 2 is yes, but if the TV is good you won't notice it. You may actully preffer it. The 16:9 format is much more natural to your eyes than the 4:3 format is! All widescreen (16:9) TVs use one of two scaling schemes. They will either strech from the middle (Fullscreen or fill-screen Mode) or they will strech from the sides (Panaroma Mode or Zoom).

    Question 3. I have never gone there but I have heard of this place called Rent Way.

    Ask and you shall receive.
    Ced
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2005
  3. sans

    sans Regular member

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    thank you very much sir!
     
  4. sans

    sans Regular member

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    question about this site-

    The best digital and HD picture is available via an off-air out door antenna (http://antennaweb.org)

    it only has a few channels listed for me (again,im in a small city) - CBS, PBS, ABC, and an NBC station. is this normal?
     
  5. diabolos

    diabolos Guest

    Yea. You get the best picture, but not the greatest selection. Thats why I recommend satalight with an outdoor antenna. You will pick-up exactly what you would if you where watching normal tv with an antenna. But if you have a digital tuner you can also watch the digital channels. If you also have satalight then you arn't missing anything and everything is digital, with some HD programming too. Most of the "digital cable" (in my area) is just analog with some digital channels added on which discusts me.

    The coolest thing about the switch to digital for people with antennas is that a broadcaster can now broadcast more than one channel with the space that they are allotted to broadcast in.I would think you could also pick up FOX, and maybe the WB aswell via antenna. The only channels you can pick up with any antenna are the local channels! TVtitan.com will let you know what is available in your area as far as digital, analog, the cable company, and satelight (like tv guide). Antennaweb.org simply lets you know how much of whats available you are able to pull-in (for free) using an antenna.

    Ced
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2005
  6. sans

    sans Regular member

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    yeah well like i said i live in a small city and its really not by any large cities.i live in northern michigan.
    so im getting the idea that this antenna is not going to cut it for me? should i start looking at digital satellites? again, i want to watch a lot of sports...
     
  7. sans

    sans Regular member

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    cmon guys i need your help. will i be getting hi def from this antenna? im confused as heck...
     
  8. diabolos

    diabolos Guest

    It sounds like you want satallight. What are you confussed about? You can get HD programming via Off-Air antenna (if its offered in your area), Cable (if they have an HD service available), or Satallight (if they have an HD service available).

    Currently, in my area, I can watch all my local channels in digital standard-def (480i) but I can only watch HD (720p, 1080i, and 1080p) durning primetime houres. Your area will be different.

    Ced
     
  9. sans

    sans Regular member

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    according to titantv.com there is no HD service available via antenna in my area. i am not surprised.
    so i will probably have to go with Direct TV or Dish TV to get hi def service. the cable company here only offers a very few channels in HD.

    now to try to find an HD tv!!!
     
  10. diabolos

    diabolos Guest

    Wow. That sucks. I live in the south-western Ohio area (near Kentucky). This is a good time to get satallight though. Both companies are giving there DVR boxes (minus HD, and only one per subscriber) away for free.

    My favorite HD tv manufacters are (by technology):

    Plasma: Pioneer

    LCD (flat panel): Samsung

    CRT: Sony

    LCos: JVC (HD-ila) and Sony (SXRD)

    DLP: Samsung

    LCD (projection): Sony

    CRT (projection): Toshiba

    Ced
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2005
  11. sans

    sans Regular member

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  12. diabolos

    diabolos Guest

    I would go with the [bold]Toshiba DLP 52HM94ST5284[/bold] but it is a big tv (by my standards).
     
  13. sans

    sans Regular member

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    cool. i trust your opinion but out of curiousity why do you say that one? and are tvs near the industry standard, or are they relative crap because its a rent to own place?
     
  14. diabolos

    diabolos Guest

    From what I've seen and sold, the Toshiba is a good quality DLP based projo with a sharp picture and a dramatic contrast ratio, its black levels are deep and dark. There is also a stand that is specialy made for it that looks really good and has plenty of space for tv components. It looks to be last-years model but it should serve as a fine temp tv.

    I have heard (not seen) good things about the Hitachi tvs also. Out of the Mitsubishi tvs I would only pick the [bold]Mitsubishi HDI WS-55517[/bold] I sold there DLPs last year and can tell you that they where the fastes selling and most returned DLPs we offered. They have an optional protective screen that actualy adds glare to the picture. Without the cover the picture seemed bleched compared to the competition. The worst thing though is the flimsy speaker grill that screems "This is a cheap product" everytime it falls off when only a little pressure is applied.

    But in the end its up to you, so I would go to the store and find-out which one is right for you. In any-case would will want to stick with decient cables for your DVD player and Satallight receiver.

    Ced
     
  15. sans

    sans Regular member

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    wow. rentacenter is a big fat ripoff. they want $40/wk for 122 weeks for that toshiba model. im gonna pass on that and try to figure something else out.
     
  16. sans

    sans Regular member

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    where do you guys get your tvs? is ebay a safe place to buy? they seem to have some great prices.
     

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