TVs & Home Theaters

General discussion

HDTV's and non high def picture

by larrym64 / January 13, 2008 8:32 AM PST

I have gone through 2 HDTV's in recent times because the non high def picture looks worse than my 20 year old tuber tv. Since everything is not high def any suggestions for me as to what I can do differently would be great. The last one I returned on 12/24 was the sony kdl46w3000. I was assuming that it was not the tv because on other sources it was beautiful. Any help with this would be greatly appreciatted as I am ready to give up on HD for a while?

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YOU ONLY HAVE UNTIL FEB. 17, 2009 TO WATCH ANALOG...........
by Riverledge / January 13, 2008 9:42 AM PST

SO I GUESS you can go HDTV-less for 13 months. There is little one can do about non-HD content broadcast in HD format. SD usually looks crappy, although some HDTVs do a much better than others in reproducing it.

Ball's in your court.

Best wishes,

Riverledge.

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LARRY YOU MUST FEED THE BEAST
by stewart norrie / January 13, 2008 10:24 AM PST

Its like buying a new car and not wanting to put gas in it. to truly enjoy a hi-def set a hi-def satellite or cable system is a must not only tons of hi-def channels but also awsome programming go for it done be so cheap steweee

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Stewee is correct
by Dan Filice / January 13, 2008 10:35 AM PST

Are you just plugging a HDTV into an analog cable? As Stewee suggests, you need a good HD source, like either HD cable or HD satellite. If you don't have either, you need one of the two. Stewee draws a good analogy about having a new car and not wanting to put gas into it, but the analogy can go one step further. Having HD is like having a Ferrari and not wanting to put gas into it. The "gas" of course is your HD source. I would be very interested to know how you had your Sony connected. That is a great TV. I saw someone returning a Sony LCD at Costco this weekend and I wondered why. Was this you?

Dan

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Not entirely true...
by wroane / January 17, 2008 2:47 AM PST
In reply to: Stewee is correct

I have a Toshiba 32" LCD, and most of the SD channels are not too bad. I have my set hooked up to the coax line directly with basic service only, and am receiving 8 HD channels without an HD package. It depend on if your provider sends the signals thru or not, and if your set has a good QAM tuner.

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HELLLLOOOO...
by grc24 / January 13, 2008 11:12 AM PST

It's a "High-Def" TV. (HDTV) They're made to watch "High-Def."(HD)programming. If all you want to do is watch "Standard-Def." (SD) TV. Don't buy a "High-Def." TV. (HDTV) A High-Def TV doesn't make Standard-Def TV better. Actually, it makes it looks worse, which you have experienced first hand.

Good Luck,

grc

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HDTV
by larrym64 / January 14, 2008 9:06 AM PST
In reply to: HELLLLOOOO...

Just to answer some questions. I did have a high def signal first with dish and then cablevision. I used an HDMI cable to connect them. I realize that the set is for High def and not regular but as I said in the original post not everything is high def yet and when the switch comes it will be to digital not high def. No it was'nt me that you saw at costco returning a TV. But any suggestions that anyone is aware of that makes non high def content passable would be appreciatted. I am considering the sony 46 xbr4 and the samsung 71 next. Thanks to all for the input.

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You've realized
by dinox64 / January 14, 2008 9:35 AM PST
In reply to: HDTV

The curse of Hi-Def. Not all the shows you like are broadcasted in it. Which happens to be the majority of programming. Some people see fit to pay a premium for less than premium service and a few extra channels. Well, for me to pay a premium I want premium service. Not just a couple of extras. Who cares if the news is HD? Or some ******** detective,coroner,forensics,biologists,cop all wrapped into one B.S. show? Football is a short season. So,unless you're watching DVDs everytime you sit down,I don't see the value. Then, that is only me. I can wait,until then DVDs are awesome and I challenge any one to a side by side comparison at 2 and 1/2 times the screen size to differentiate displays from my EDTV to HDTV while the movie is playing. Yes playing, because that's how you watch a movie,not in freeze frame.

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You can't please everybody.
by grc24 / January 14, 2008 12:03 PM PST
In reply to: You've realized

I only pay $10.00 for my HD channels. All 40 of them. Not including the locals I pull in w/ an antennae nor the pay-per-view channels that are HD as well. I DO have an HDTV, therefore, I understand that I have to subscribe to HD content and pay an additional $10.00/month to appreciate my HDTV. I knew that going in to buy an HDTV. There isn't much of a point in buying an HDTV if you don't. Unless you have a dedicated theater room used to watch movies only. Then you do want the best, but those people have more than one set in the house that they can watch plain ole' TV on. That's my opinion though. Why do people feel like they should be angry at the HDTV they just bought because TV Land re-runs look like crap??? That is not what they were intended for. DO NOT buy that SONY XBR to watch SD programming. You won't be happy. You've already brought back two others??? Why would this one be better than the other two? PQ may be better, but will you be happy when Three's Company ( That was filmed in the 70's.) still looks like crap??? I doubt it. We'll see you back here again with the same complaint...

grc

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that's actually a reasonable point.
by bean99 / January 14, 2008 2:10 PM PST
In reply to: You've realized

i've found the perfect tv.

no motion artifact.
the colors are perfect.
never had to calibrate it.
the blacks are truly black.
no halo effect.
no pixelation.
no fan noise.
it's a pretty big image.
everything looks clear, and dvd's look great on it.
i can watch every single channel available and every single show available (old seinfelds, mtv, espn, cnn, pbs, you name it) and they look great.
don't care if the kids bump it or hammer on it.
it never causes any problems.
never had to call the company on the phone.
never had to have a tech out to the house.
and the price was right-- got it for free in fact.
it's an old 32 inch toshiba tube tv.
and man it works great.

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CRT and HD
by Savik2 / January 18, 2008 1:18 PM PST

Apparently there are a few manufacturers making CRT TVs that are HD-compatible - very expensive, but I reckon worth every penny, especially considering the average life-span of a plasma screen (5 years). All the CRT sets I have in my house are at least 10 years old - one is even 25 years old, and still going strong!

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Ha!
by SuzyFiero / January 19, 2008 3:19 AM PST

That's TOO funny...and how true!

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had the same problem..
by rester / January 18, 2008 10:45 PM PST
In reply to: You've realized

my zenith lcd tv stopped working.circuit city said the power supply was shot and not available any more,so go to the store and pick up a new conpatible model under my extended warranty.a ebayer had 20 listed for around $49.00.but they could only use original factory parts.i tried two different brands ,i'm using dish and air ant.no hdtv,the were both two extreme on there adjustments,to everthing,.after getting through to a samsung level two tech.he knew the problem right away.get a lcd tv,not hdtv,so i went back to the store and got a sharp dtv,that was the only one they had in stock after xmas that was not hdtv,brought it home and plugged it in and bravo i was back in tv heaven.perfect picture on dish and air even air hdtv.to bad the sales staff at the stores were a little more on the ball.lol.

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HD Equipment
by kuliddar / January 14, 2008 11:30 AM PST
In reply to: HDTV

I think what many don't realize is that going HD is a whole different ball game than SD. Getting an HDTV is great but you need a lot more than just the TV to enjoy HD. Cables, HD Set-top box and Blu-ray (or DVD upscaler if you don't want BR) are all things needed to truly enjoy this technology.

Although I don't want to start an LCD vs Plasma debate here it seems to me you should try a plasma instead. I have a panasonic 42px75u and the SD feeds are not that awful. In the end I think it also has to do with who is your service provider. I had "digital cable" before the HD terminal and SD channels are still fed "digitally". Perhaps that makes the difference...I can't say.

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my plasma
by woodygg / January 14, 2008 11:59 AM PST
In reply to: HDTV

looks fine in SD - sure, not quite as good as my old tv, but who cares? i watch as little SD as possible. it's a small price to pay to get the amazing HD picture. it certainly is 'passable' as is...

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HDTV still using an analog signal? Maybe that's the problem
by fuelmagic / January 18, 2008 4:57 PM PST
In reply to: HDTV

When I bought my first HDTV 2 years ago I had to change the input sources to make standard def TV look good. Don't use RF cable (the coaxial antenna cable) from your cable box, satellite box or DVD player. They carry analog audio and video mixed together and don't have the capacity to properly fill your HDTV screen. Use the SVHS output or if you have one an RGB output plus separate audio to bring life to standard def programs. My Samsung DLP TV is much more watchable with the standard def stuff than the old tube TV was. It just needs more signal than the old ones, that's all. The digital televisions are really computers, aren't they? Garbage in, garbage out.

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the simple answer
by froasier / January 18, 2008 5:10 PM PST
In reply to: HDTV

It depends mainly on the quality of scaling/image processing in the TV. I'm not sure which specific TVs have good scaling, but that's what you have to look for.

I would also suggest getting something other than broadcast TV to make use of your HD display; computer (directly connected or with networked media receiver), upconverting DVD player, HD-DVD/BD player, or game system.

If you just care about watching TV and/or you're satisfied with SD for now, you might as well just wait--TVs will only get better and cheaper.

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HDTV and regular broadcasts
by abcharlie / January 19, 2008 4:25 AM PST
In reply to: HDTV

It sounds like most of the people replying work for the TV makers, the way they try to justify garbage. In HDTV should not make regular broadcasts look like crap.
It is only if the manufacturers got lazy and did not bother to optimize the display for regular def. Yes, they have to work a bit harder, or extra noise will creep into the regular signal. But that is a matter of putting in a tiny bit of extra effort to clean up the regular signal for display on the high def screen.
A regular def. TV averages the signal to the TV screen which gets rid of the noise the HDTV makers are putting in. Now most may be too lazy, especially when they have a hoard of people who justify their incompetence, and it also persuades people to go out and buy cable/satellite, so making them this way may be done on purpose.
Ie, you are right, that there is no reason whatsoever that your signal should look worse on the HDTV, and returning it is the only way that manufacturers are going to have their feet held to the fire, and become competent at their jobs.
Unfortunately I do not have any suggestions as to competent manufacturers.

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HD TVs and feeding with standard broadcast
by dia1943 / January 18, 2008 4:28 PM PST

I am in the UK and Take Sky Satellite HD and PAL 625 line transmissions. I have owned a Pioneer PDP 506XDE (50") for over two years and it gives superb quality pictures from normal transmissions and even better using HD. It's the best piece of kit that I've ever owned.

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HDTV & non HD picture
by anniemcd59 / January 18, 2008 11:23 PM PST

I agree some non-HD pictures are worse than others. It depends on the set as someone else posted, some decode better than others. I have Comcast with a motorola box.You could try to get into the settings menu. 1.shut off box.2.press and hold menu button, a screen will pop up. 3. change setting from 480i to 480p. That may help alittle.
Hope it helps..

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HDTV's and non high def picture
by sparky134 / January 18, 2008 11:24 PM PST

you are right in most cases, you might try a hitachi brand, some of them up convert any signal they recieve to 1080i. I am not where mine is, so the model #is not at my dispoal right now, but i bought a 50" plasma (hitachi)and havent recived my hi def equipment from dish network yet( i have just been to busy to get it done) so I watch sd programing right now and the picture is fine

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Problems
by Dr. Planarian / January 18, 2008 11:26 PM PST

First of all, do not confuse digital v. analog with HD v. standard definition. HD signals are all digital, but standard def signals can be either digital or analog. It is ANALOG SIGNALS that will go away next year; some (if not most) TV will still be at standard definition after the switchover.

Secondly, I notice that you had a Sony in the W3000 series. My TV, a KDL52XBR4, is somewhat similar. I too was horribly disappointed in its SD performance out of the box until I discovered that its default settings were not optimal for viewing SD pictures. A simple tweak to the defaults of the DRC mode and palette settings, including turning DRC mode completely off (it comes preset to Mode 1) GREATLY improved (I mean a really HUGE improvement!) the quality of the picture for standard definition programming without adversely affecting the HD picture quality from any source at any resolution. Also, turning all motion enhancement off brought about an improvement, but not as great as the DRC thing.

(I do not know for sure that the W series sets have these adjustments. I'm glad my set does, though).

I also use "Full Pixel" in my display resolution settings.

I also have my home theater system, audio and video from all sources, fed via HDMI cables through an Onkyo receiver that upconverts everything to some extent. I must say, though, that my Sony BDP-S300 Blu-Ray player does an absolutely FABULOUS job upconverting standard definition DVDs (I also have a Toshiba HD-A30 HD-DVD player that does an OK job upconverting but nowhere nearly as smooth as the Sony).

Please understand, however, that because your screen is so much larger and sharper you notice shortcomings in standard definition broadcasting far more emphatically than you do on a smaller-screen standard definition set, or on the usually blurry SD projection sets. You are not actually getting a worse picture, just a much bigger one where the lower resolution is much more apparent, PARTICULARLY when compared to 1080i signals from the HD Theater stations (or the magnificent 1080p pictures from Hi-Def disks) and whatnot.

New stuff often makes content designed for the old stuff less satisfactory, simply because the new stuff is so much better and it suffers from the comparison. What're you gonna do?

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Didn't realize this was such a significant problem
by Rollbar / January 19, 2008 2:23 AM PST
In reply to: Problems

The A3000 does a pretty good job with SD and though it's obvious when we are watching a SD signal, it's just not all that bad.

Gary

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HDTV and non high def content
by larrym64 / January 19, 2008 10:29 AM PST
In reply to: Problems

Dr. Planarian thanks for the suggestions. I am leaning towards the 46" XBR4. I realize it is not the TV but the signal. The other TV I returned 3 years ago was for the same reason was the sony 34xbr tube set. At the time I did not know about calibration and the other adjusments that could be made. I am not looking for the picture on SD to be perfect just watchable so I don't get a headache. I plan on watching as much HD as possible but not everything is HD yet. I have also found that all HD is not equal. Another question I have is what is anyone's experience with verizon FIOS, just curious as it is now available in my area. After almost ten years with DISH I had a very bad experience with them and now am a cablevision customer with no longterm commitment.

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Analog SD on an HD Display
by hoopitup2000 / January 19, 2008 5:54 AM PST

If you are using Analog Cable TV, the snow that is more than likely in the signal will look much worse, because your HD set has to convert "EVERYTHING" it receives into digital.(DIGITAL SNOW REALLY LOOKS BAD!) Your only choices are to:
1. Sit furthur from the set(1 or 2 feet can make a huge difference)
2. Buy a smaller screen size.
3. Switch to satellite, or fiber optic cable TV if available(NO SNOW)
There's still no substitute for true HD, but it's still a waiting game for that great picture on every channel.

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Also, this is why a SD TV looks better
by Dan Filice / January 19, 2008 6:15 AM PST

A SD TV is 640X480 pixels, so a standard-def broadcast signal will match this resolution and look good. A new HDTV will either be 1366X768 or 1980X1080, so when the HDTV displays a standard-def signal, it needs to fill in the missing image information with something. This is where some TVs do a better job than others when handling the resolution change. But, the quality of an SD signal also depends on the broadcast system (cable or satellite) as this can had terrible compression artifacts to the image. This is separate from how the TV handles the conversion process.

Also, and this is BIG, a lot depends on how you have your TV settings adjusted. As Dr. Planarian notes, he changed the settings on his Sony and got a much better SD image. I would venture to say that many people take their new TV out of the box, plug it in, then complain when things don't look stellar. People need to read the TV manual first before they turn their new TV on.

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Local broadcast in large US metropolitan area
by TOBYTWO / January 19, 2008 8:00 AM PST

In regard to HD reception, I didn't notice this in any post.
In LA area of the US, HD can be recvd. for free with a UHF antenna on channels 2.1 thru 69.1. This includes all major networks, Local Networks, as well as paid/subscribed free public broadcast on channels 28.1 and 50.1 from transmitters in Santa Barbara to San Diego.
A HDTV has the tuner, mine has two, you must install a UHF antenna with appropriate Cable (rg-6, i think) to the tv to rcv. the signal.
I get a beautiful picture on my 1080p 62in monitor. I use Directv for addtional 70 channels in HD. I never watch any program in standard broadcast anymore. I also record each program and then I can zip through the commercials.
Enjoy HD, it will only get better, Toby

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MY HDTV RECENT ADVENTURE , MAY HELP YOU??
by LOWRIDENPAN / January 21, 2008 1:45 PM PST

FOR ABOUT THE LAST 1 OR MAYBE 1 AND HALF YEARS I HAVE HAD A 44IN. PANASONIC LCD,ON THIS SET ALMOST EVERY KIND OF PICTURE LOOKED REALLY GOOD AND OF COURSE ALL HD WAS UNBELIEVEABLE I EVEN HAD MY PC CONNECTED TO IT!! NOW MY SON IS A BIT OLDER SO I THOUGHT TIME FOR A BIGGER SET AND THE OLD 44 IN. WAS LIKE NEW SO HE GLADLY SWIPED IT FROM ME AND NOW IT'S AN X-BOX TV ANY WAY I BOUGHT A 50 IN. SONY BRAVIA THIS SET WAS SUPPOSED TO BE TO NEW TECH FOR THEM AS FOR THE INTERNALS, I GOT IT HOME AND THE PICTURE WAS CRAP ON HD ON ANY SOURCE ,THE COLOR DIDN'T WANT TO ADJUST RIGHT SO FOR A WEEK ALMOST TWO EVERY DAY I WAS CONSTANTLY TRYING TO GET THIS SONY SET UP BUT THE TV BEAT ME I GAVE UP CAUSE I NEVER HAD THAT HARD OF A TIME WITH ANY TV ,SO I WENT TO A FRIEND AT ANOTHER STORE GOT A BIGGER BADER AND BETTER TV AND DEAL FOR THAT MATTER. I NOW HAVE THE NEW PANASONIC 61 IN.LCD FOR A BIT LESS THAN THE SONY BUT THE PICTURE HD AND NON HD ARE BACK TO BEAUTIFUL AGAIN ,I SHOULD HAVE NEVER LEFT PANASONIC AS I HAVE THE BEST LUCK WITH THERE SETS.PEOPLE ONLY MY OPINION ,EVERYONE LIKES DIFFERENT BRANDS FOR MANY DIFFERENT REASONS ,BUT YOU HAVE TO TEST THEM FOR YOUR SELF, THANKS FOR MY RAVINGS T.F.

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Digital TV - is it better?
by fishandgrapes / January 22, 2008 12:23 AM PST

Well, I'm holding off hi-def for a while until I see how far the broadcasters will trade quality against the number of channels squeezed into expensive spectrum. It's been taken too far with DAB radio, which can sound awful.
At the moment, a good analogue picture in UK on 625 lines is in the opinion of more than just me, superior to the digital terrestrial version. Analogue might sometimes have background snow, but it does not suffer from the weird grainy quality of digital: fast moving pictures with a lot of detail, such as team sport, can look as though there's a swarm of bees buzzing about anything that moves. Sometimes facial features move out of sync with the owner's heads, and there's a kind of overlay like bathroom glass. Yes... my 625 signal is perfect, I can see the mast! At the moment the hi-def digital sets in the shops look really good, but when the scramble for channels starts, what then?

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