PIP is a selling feature only. It impresses people.
I had my older HD TV set up with antenna and satellite input and could watch from two sources - PIP. I think I did it twice. Why would I want to watch a little bitty picture in the corner at the same time as a large HD picture. Duh, nope. And swapping back and forth just didn't turn me on. For that I can use the recall/back function on the remote.
My new Sony 55'' SXRD does not have PIP. And I don't care.
As far as getting two pictures on your TV, you called it. You need two seperate sources such as broadcast antenna and cable, or cable and DVD, or whatever. I suppose some people will get two boxes for this function. But these people usually have more money than sense.
None of the setup/connection guides that came with my TV, or my Cable HD box have a connection guide that works.
My new setup is Comcast's Motorola set top box (STB) with HD and DVR. I have a new Samsung HDTV with PIP.
I have the STB connected to the TV via an HDMI cable. The DVD player connected via 3video+2audio cables. Both work fine.
No basic antenna or coax cable connection into the new HDTV. In fact, I removed the splitter that used to send a separate signal to the VCR for analog recording (set up before digital cable boxes could be programmed.) That was the second signal for my old PIP TV
The PIP won't function without two sources - so what's the point of getting PIP on an HDTV unless you're going to get two HD STBs? I guess I could watch a DVD & broadcast TV at same time, but that's pointless, when you can pause a DVD. (haven't tried)
I know better than to send both the HDMI AND a coax cable from the STB to the TV -- they'd only get me PIP with both pictures being the same. wouldn't they?
Is my only choice to split the signal before the STB and send one non-digital, non-HD signal directly to the TV... limiting my PIP viewing to one input being basic analog? Are there people getting two HD boxes? I'm starting to re-think my decision to get an HDTV without a built in cable card - at least I could have watched two HD channels.
In fact, many of the my new HDTVs functions dont work without an antennae or coax cable connected. For example, the timer doesn't work - because the only options are that it turns on and uses antennae or cable input signal. It won't default to the HDMI input at startup.
My STB remote has a PIP function, but Comcast literature says its reserved for future use - although they instruct users to use the PIP SWAP button for monitoring two programs so both are recorded by the DVR. So, if the box is monitoring two signals simultaneously, shouldn't it be able to broadcast those two signals? Am I missing something? I can't get an answer from either the TV manufacturer or Comcast.
Can anyone shed some light on this issue? Is there some way to connect an HD/DVR STB to an HDTV with PIP that I am missing?