Mmmmm...New Toy!

in General Discussion edited January 2014
My wife and I bought a house last month. Part of our budget was for a new TV and entertainment center.

Because widepsread HDTV is not far away (required as of 2006) I decided to upgrade a bit early.

I got a 32" flat picture tube HDTV from Zenith, with an integrated HDTV tuner. What I can't believe is that the tuner is integrated and Zenith is selling it for under $1,500. Every other set with a tuner is like almost $3000. Usually, one must buy a set top box for about $600.

My one dilema is that of course, the set looks better when taking advantage of digital signal (even if not Hi Def). I don't have digital cable, and I am not so pleased with shelling out $20-30 a month more for it. Since I also have a cable modem and basic/standard cable, adding digital cable would push my Comcast bill to about $110 a month.....I just can't accept that. THAT needs to come down. An antenna is out of the question as I live, I think, a little to far from Philly now to get most of the networks and I don't want to add a massive, rotating FORK to the top of my new house.

Anyway, anyone who is planning on buying a new set, I highly reccomend this thing. Circuit City has them. I wasn't even considering a Zentih, but once you see the picture quality compared to even a Sony WEGA (no tuner included with the Sony), you'll see why.

[ 08-03-2002: Message edited by: SDW2001 ]</p>


  • Reply 1 of 12
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    I'm not aware of any Digital Cable HDTV offerings. Digital Cable is standard definition, just with many more channels.

    HDTV here can be delivered in two ways, via Satellite or via antenna. Most people end up getting an antenna anyway since its pretty cheap.
  • Reply 2 of 12
    superdsuperd Posts: 32member
    I believe that there is one station currently broadcasting in HDTV. King or is it Komo from Seattle broadcasts some of it's programming via HDTV... HDTV will be great when it finally comes but I'm not too sure that buying a TV with a built in tuner now is probably a little premature. Just my 2 cents

  • Reply 3 of 12
    A handful of markets are broadcasting HDTV content. PBS does here in Boston I think, but really, I don't believe it is widespread enough to justify dropping money on an HDTV set unless you've really just got the money to burn.

    Actually, I hate to break it to you, but broadcasters are not required to have High Definition signals by 2006. The year 2006 is actually the deadline for all US markets to be broadcasting digital signals, as the FCC will phase out our old analog spectrum then.

    The upgrade to digital will enable the future transition into HDTV, but I'm afraid programming available for HDTV is going to continue to be limited in 2006, as most of this country won't have HDTV sets, ergo no incentive to rush out and drop a lot of money to broadcast it. I think a good 'case in point' would be America's transition from black and white television to color television...
  • Reply 4 of 12
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Drop you Cable and get a DirecTV HD Tuner for your TV.

    That's a reason why alot of companies aren't adding the tuners. It could eventually limit your choice.
  • Reply 5 of 12
    owl boyowl boy Posts: 61member
    yeah its nifty how HDTV can be broadcated over normal airwaves, also since its digital, that means 1 or 0, on or off. No snowy signals, if you got one, it will be perfect. (In theory I guess)

  • Reply 6 of 12
    macguymacguy Posts: 22member
    In Canada on the bell ExpressVu Satellite System they have 1 (one) channel dedicated to HDTV, where they convert the signal from whatever station they are carrying at the time.

    That's one channel out of like 300.

    I'll be hanging onto my letter box TV for a while longer.
  • Reply 7 of 12
    The MPAA is looking to have HDTV DVDs out within the next 14 months... I think we'll see more HDTV sales when consumers can get something useful to play on the sets. I think this is the key to widescale adoption currently...
  • Reply 8 of 12
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,676member
    Some good points. I should mention that I paid about the same for the set with the tuner in it as one without (when compared to Sony, Panasonic, RCA, Toshiba, etc.) Zenith looks to be the only company that is doing it at this price. They do offer a similar monitor for about $200 less, without the tuner. The picture didn't look as good, even when it wasn't in HDTV mode. The salesman said the set was supposed to have the same tube and internals, but he really thought Zenith had changed it when integrating the tuner. He didn't claim this to be true, but offered his opinion on it (that the sets were not the same). He wasn't a high pressure guy at all, and I flat-out told him I was buying the set with the tuner anyway, so doubt he was lying.

    Also, Digital Cable is not the same quality as analog cable. I looked at the two signals, and on an HDTV set there is absolutely no comparison. One of the things the salesman recommended was that I get digital cable for this reason. He would have no vested interest in selling me that (he obviously can't). I'm not sure what the resolution difference is, but its VERY noticeable (I would say almost shocking).

    [quote] Drop you Cable and get a DirecTV HD Tuner for your TV.

    That's a reason why alot of companies aren't adding the tuners. It could eventually limit your choice. <hr></blockquote>

    Good point, but I knew I wasn't getting any satellite based system, so I wasn't worried about that. I also think you may be wrong about the last part. My set has HD inputs on it, so I think one could connect a DirectTV tuner. Not sure.

    [ 08-04-2002: Message edited by: SDW2001 ]

    [ 08-04-2002: Message edited by: SDW2001 ]</p>
  • Reply 9 of 12
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Digital Cable *is* the same resolution as standard cable, except you get less/no snow with digital cable since the signal is different. They can also cram more channels into it this way.

    It looks better because the fidelity is better, but not because the resolution is more fine. If you had perfect analog cable TV in your house, the picture would look just like a digital cable picture.

    In some cases they even drop down the resolution of digital cable to squeze more channels into your service.

    With satellite or an antenna, you get 1080i, 720p or whatever the station is broadcasting in.

    EDIT: Okay, it looks like one company, AOL/Time-Warner is finally broadcasting HDTV format content over digital cable.

    [ 08-04-2002: Message edited by: Eugene ]</p>
  • Reply 10 of 12
    xmogerxmoger Posts: 242member
    I've heard that the early adopters of digital cable received excellent standard definition quality. However, over the years they've cut the data rate down to squeeze more channels in. That might explain the color banding and occasional macro blocking.

    HD cable is available in select areas now. Charter communications(my local provider) has like 5 cities nationwide that offer HD HBO and Showtime.
  • Reply 11 of 12
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,676member
    Well, in any case the point is: it looks alot better.

    I bought this thing with the intent of it lasting 10 years. I think it will do so. I also have no doubt that in a few years, HDTV over cable will become reality. Even with an analog signal, it looks great. Whe compared to an analog set, it is SO different. What's really great is that I have the tuner integrated when it's needed.
  • Reply 12 of 12
    giantgiant Posts: 6,041member
    Sorry to dispute you (and I know how much you hate me SDW), but HDTV is not going to be widespread by then. There is not enough incentive for companies to pay the much higher price for the equiptment (or consumers for that matter). How do I know this? The lady I drink wine and watch films every other night with one of the owners of a major offline company, and the switch is not even a consideration for them yet. It just costs too much and they get nothing out of it until consumers get into it.

    I use a digital display for films (infocus digital projector), and that's really the only purpose I see for it. Any and all tv signals look pretty crappy, though I wouldn't really watch tv anyway. I will say, though, that nothing beats it for DVDs. I have it connected through VGA and a great sound system. I hardly ever go to theaters anymore.

    The reason I have the projector is specifically for films, and it is much more useful tho have a 9' diagonal screen than 32" or even 60". The extra resolution on a large scale gives you a picture that rivals film (well, it's good enough even if that's not entirely true), except for mpeg compression artifacts, which can be all too noticable sometimes because of the display's cripsness.

    But remember also that even DVDs are 720 x 486, so while you are gaining something by moving up to HDTV, the vast majority of that extra resolution is not being utilized. And that's another reason why it doesn't look like HDTV is catching on soon. NTSC is pretty solid at this point, from television to home movies.

    It is a good purchase, though, if you keep it for the next 10 years. And that sounds like a good deal. If I liked TVs at all, I would be looking at the same one for that price. Enjoy

    [ 08-05-2002: Message edited by: giant ]</p>
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