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Direct TV - HDTV Receiver Necessary?

by lbuccino / October 11, 2005 9:53 AM PDT

We just bought the Panasonic 42" plasma in EDTV (TH42PD25). It says it has an HDTV Cable Tuner and an HDMI Input.

My husband and I are having a debate - he says we should just get the regular Direct TV Receiver because since we don't have an HDTV - that's the best signal we're going to get anyway. I thought that if you had a built in HDTV cable tuner - you could convert down the HD signal to the highest possible pixel ratio your TV will support (which in any event is better than the regular Direct TV signal).

Does anyone have the final word on this? Which receiver do I need to get from Direct TV to get the best possible picture?

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Not necesary ... but will improve your picture.
by TiVolution / October 13, 2005 1:23 AM PDT

A regular DirecTV receiver gets you standard def (~480i but varies by channel on DirecTV.) A DirecTV HD receiver will get you 720p or 1080i (depending on source) which you can scale to Enhanced Def on your TV (480p, aka "DVD Quality") which is about twice the resolution of SD. On a 42" screen you'd notice the difference.

Note - that this requires you to subscribe to DirecTV's HD package. Another option, if all you want are the network channels in HD, is to hook up an OTA (over the air) antenna to your TV since it has an built in HD tuner. In fact, you may want to try this anyway.

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by stewart norrie / October 13, 2005 9:07 AM PDT

EDTV IS DEAD , My advice is to take the set back and get a true hdtv set You may have to spend a few bucks more but its worth it, Then get your Dish hi-def satellite system I have basic+the hi-def package + Voom for $45.00 per month also the dish system has a over the air hi-def tuner, throw up an outside antenna and injoy all your local stations in stunning hi-def and dobly digital sound free EDTV is like buying a 56 volkswagon when you can buy a cadillac for $5.00 more also You should buy some home theater magazines and bone up on hi-def otherwise these dealers are going to rip you off more stewart norrie

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by TiVolution / October 17, 2005 12:37 AM PDT

I disagree with you emphatic "EDTV IS DEAD" statement. By your logic, then 780p and 1080i are DEAD too. People should only buy 1080p (until the next standard comes along that is.) Technology is always evolving and choosing a lower cost/last generation tech can sometimes be a very prudent choice. For example, how about if the person primarily watches DVDs? Then EDTV is perfect as it matches the resolution of DVDs and you don't get much benefit from HD. Also, the difference between EDTV and HDTV isn't $5 it is a lot more and budget is always a consideration in purchasing audio/video equip. Also, while you can see the difference between EDTV and HDTV is not like a Volkswagen vs. Cadillac (except maybe in the fact that the EDTV may run a lot longer just like the Volkswagen does vs. the Caddy.)

So, I say there is room for other decisions here besides those that are right for you.

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Not a Goof Up...
by lbuccino / October 17, 2005 4:06 AM PDT
In reply to: "GTOOFED" UP?

TiVolution - Thanks very much for the clarification. I am *not* returning my EDTV. My husband and I were mainly looking for a flat pannel TV that we could watch casually but we didn't need top of the line. Also, the HDTV version of our TV was $2800 when we got ours for $1500. Not a $5 difference for casual TV users. CNET gave our Panasonic EDTV a very high ranking -- frankly, I think it was a good deal for what we need. I agree - there will always be bigger and better. But for now, EDTV is fine....

Still just looking to know if I should get an HDTV receiver?

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Get an HD Receiver
by TiVolution / October 17, 2005 4:35 AM PDT
In reply to: Not a Goof Up...

You should get the HD receiver ... your TV was designed to take high def signals and you'll want the extra clarity. Even though you can't display the full resolution of the HD signal, it will be twice as good as standard def.

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Re: Getting a HDTV Receiver
by usmcrara / November 15, 2005 1:16 AM PST
In reply to: Not a Goof Up...

I personally dont think you need to bother with getting a HDTV receiver if you have EDTV and only casually watch tv. However if you subscribe to Directv and are using a standard def receiver u might as well be using a high def one. You will see picture quality improvement and get other features not available to older standard receivers. Directv will be turning off its Mpeg-2 for High Definition sometime in the near future but they most certaintly will replace your receiver with one of thiers. HDTV receivers can be had for cheap and you wont regret the decision.

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by stewart norrie / October 19, 2005 4:43 AM PDT
In reply to: "GTOOFED" UP?

I made my statement about e.d.t.v on my own experience, and mabey your rite? I bought a KP65WV600 Sony 3 ton 3 tube rear projector about 2 years ago and only paid $2500 for it, then a year ago I had it calibrated and the picture is awsome, The reason I said 720 is no good, When I watch lets say n.a.s.c.a.r in hi-def the picture will switch between 480, 720, and 1080 depending on the cameras and I see a huge difference between 720 and 1080, anyway good luck stewart norrie

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Choices, Choices
by usmcrara / November 15, 2005 1:26 AM PST
In reply to: "GTOOFED" UP?

I agree with tivo. Just because something doesnt seem right for you then dont knock it. EDTV like other technology is excellent for those not needing more and wanting to save money. There were many technologies that have come and gone that were superior but because of lack of support and market penetration they languished. Standard Definition (analog sets) will always be around and have the highest poliferation worldwide. EDTV/HDTV will take years, even decades to get the same penetration/adoption as SD. So in the meantime I say buy and use what works for you.

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Everyone is different
by masterying01 / October 17, 2005 6:44 AM PDT

someone pointed this out already. everyone is different. it really depends on what you like to watch. if you watch qvc or pax all day which doesnt even prodcast in hd, you will notice no different.

your tv has a built in tuner. plug an antenna into it and look at a high def picture. if you think the picture is good enough to the point where you want to pay $11.99 a month for HDTV plus a $199 hdtv reciever, then go for it. if you and your husband loves sports, i'd say definitely go for it. other then that, see the difference for yourself by hooking up an antenna dn judge for yourself. eventually, you'll want to get it. its just if you want to get it now or later.

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by 3luke3 / October 18, 2005 1:02 AM PDT

I've never heard of a wife that actually wants to buy more electronic/audio/video equipment than the husband. You are a rare breed : )

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Full Explanation
by Jbmeth007 / October 18, 2005 12:09 PM PDT

In order to view over-the-air (OTA) HDTV broadcasts, you need to be within the reception area of a TV station broadcasting HDTV signals. Your plasma TV requires an HDTV tuner and an external antenna to receive the broadcasts. The latest Panasonic plasma TVs have built-in HDTV tuners, so only an antenna is required. If you have an earlier model without a built-in HDTV tuner, you'll need a separate set-top tuner. Your cable or satellite provider may also offer HDTV channels as a part of their service, eliminating the need for a separate tuner.

While all current Panasonic plasma TVs can accept a 1080i HDTV signal, their ability to fully resolve all the details in such a broadcast is dependent upon their resolution. An HDTV-capable plasma TV has higher resolution capability than an EDTV model, which allows it to display more of the detail in an HDTV broadcast. EDTV plasma TVs must convert HDTV signals into a lower resolution that's compatible with the display capability of the plasma panel.

What is HDMI? Is it compatible with DVI? Your model includes an HDMI interface

HDMI, which stands for "High-Definition Multimedia Interface", is the consumer electronic industry's first connection capable of transmitting uncompressed digital audio/video signals. Components featuring HDMI can transmit both digital audio and video over one convenient cable, replacing the tangled mess that resides behind many home theater components. HDMI also offers improved quality over traditional analog connections thanks to all-digital transmission. Digital sources like DVDs and HDTV programming can now be transferred digitally from source to display without analog conversions that can degrade the original signal.

Unlike the HDMI interface, DVI only handles digital video. Through the use of an adapter, a DVI device can be connected to an HDMI device, but only video content can be transmitted. The audio signal would have to be transmitted through other methods such as analog RCA outputs or an optical digital output.

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? re Full Explanation
by lbuccino / October 19, 2005 3:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Full Explanation

I still don't understand what anyone means by an antenna? Like rabbit ears? I'm sure that's *not* what you're referring to (and everyone is now laughing at me) but for what its worth, we have decided to the get HDTV Recv'r so the issue is moot.

Re HDMI - does that mean I don't need the three part component cable for my Sony surround sound system? Is there another type of component cable I should buy?

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by masterying01 / October 19, 2005 4:06 PM PDT
In reply to: ? re Full Explanation

the antenna's everyone is referring to are rabbit ear antenna's. it can be indoor, or outdoor, or antennas from a long time ago, they are all capable of pulling in hd signals as long as you have a hd tuner.

hdmi is an all digital signal which is technically suppose to be better then component cables because component cables are analog cables. i'd definitely use HDMI for your reciever because you'll probably be watching tv a lot more then watching a dvd. component cables for your sony surround sound is probably the best type of cables your dvd player is capable of so you really dont need anything else. i personally dont think monster cables are that great for their price, i'd recommend any kind of component cables as long as they're not generic. Best buy carries acoustic research ones which should work just fine.

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antenna - last question...i promise
by lbuccino / October 20, 2005 10:22 AM PDT
In reply to: antenna

So, I'm going to buy component cables for my sound system and an HDMI cable for my direct tv reciever. However, do I really need to buy the HDMI cable or will Direct TV have them? I'm assuming I should buy one but just thought I'd ask.

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by hywdx80 / October 20, 2005 1:08 PM PDT

Mostlikly direct tv will not include an hdmi cable. Don't buy your cables at best buy, circuit city etc... They are around $100 when you can but the same cables online for $40.

As for the antenna, it looks like something like rabbit ears but the signal will be excellent. get a terk indor hdtv amplified antenna.

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Direct TV HDTV
by ajzahn / November 11, 2005 10:31 PM PST
In reply to: cables

To answer your question about HDMI cables with Direct TV Receiver, YES, they include a HDMI cable. BUT... I have been a Direct TV subscriber since 1999, and just purchased a 50" Plasma HDTV. I am VERY DISAPPOINTED with Direct TV now!

First, they make you sign up for the HD service (10.99 extra per month) for two years, and if you cancel, they charge you $300. for cancelling the service.

Second, they only have about 10 channels that broadcast HDTV.

Third, if you are a sports fan and subscribe to one of their sports packages, they don't offer the HD broadcasts unless you buy the "Superfan" package, that costs an additional $99!

Fourth, I have been reading that the current version of HD receivers will be obsolete when Direct TV upgrades their system to offer more HD channels, so you may have to fork over more money for hardware upgrades shortly.

And... to top it all off, if you aren't satisfied with the service, tough, you have to pay the cancellation fee... they don't have any trial period for their service.

I used to be a satisfied Direct TV customer, but not anymore...

Good luck!

AZ from NJ

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by stewart norrie / November 12, 2005 3:32 AM PST
In reply to: Direct TV HDTV

I had direct t.v. for 7 years and after I bought my hi-def television I called to order a hi-def unit and they wanted $300 for the upgrade so I called dish network and they charged me $45.00 for the 811 system and on top of that they gave me $45.00 credit on my billing FREE. I have basic+hi-def package+ VOOM for $45.00 per month and with the over the air hi-def tuner and a cheap outside antenna I receive 19 local channels 9 of which are in hi-def also the 811 has d.v.i output and optical audio output I really like this set up good luck stewart norrie

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by usmcrara / November 15, 2005 1:42 AM PST
In reply to: Direct TV HDTV

I have been a Directv subscriber since 2001 and generally have been pretty happy. I think thier customer service is very good and has always taken care of my needs, provided rebates and discounts for outages etc. I prefer directv picture quality and sound to that of cable/ota/internet tv. Directv receivers can be acquired/bought for really cheap and most certaintly they will replace your receiver for little to no cost once the Mpeg-2 Stream is turned off for high def. If you dont have hi-def then it wont matter and you could continue using your old directv hi-def receiver on a SD tv so it wont totally be a waste. Hopefully DTV will be offering many more HD channels when the new sats are up and broadcasting in Mpeg-4 to justify the 10.99 package price. But who knows maybe they will offer freebees to current and new customers for trying. Stay tuned I say. One last thing dont always go on price. Picture Quality, choice of equipment, range of programming, installation and service fees should all be considered as part of the provider choice you make including customer service and satisfaction.

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Direct TV Comes Through!
by ajzahn / December 2, 2005 4:05 AM PST
In reply to: Directv

In my last post, I discussed how disappointed I was with Direct TV's HDTV package. I was so frustrated, I called them to cancel my service, despite the cancellation fee. I have found out through the excellent people working in customer service that the Philadelphia HDTV market just came online on November 13, however, to receive the local Philadelphia HD broadcasts, it requires a 5 LNB dish and a H-20 satellite receiver. Since I have a DVR, they still are working on a equipment fix to enable HD local reception on the DVRs.

I explained to them that I was extremely frustrated with the fact that I could only receive a few channels, and they actually deducted the cost of an off air HD antenna, which flawlessly interfaces with the DVR.

Since I only live 25 miles from Philadelphia, I am now able to receive ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, UPN and WB channels which all broadcast in HD.


After I hooked up the antenna, I was very disappointed with the very limited programming that is being broadcast in HD.

If you want to get a HD off air antenna, there is a website that you can input your address, and you will be able to see what channels that you can receive that are broadcast in either analog, HD or both, the distance, direction and the color code of the antenna required to receive the broadcasts.

We are still early in our pursuit of the ultimate TV picture, but what I can get in HD is INCREDIBLE, and definitely worth the cost!

AZ, New Jersey

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Yet Another DirectTV Question
by RJRayRay / April 23, 2008 12:13 AM PDT

So, let me ask you guys/gals another question...and sorry if it's already been asked. I have Direct TV...have the premium package. Now I just bought my first Plazma TV for the basement I just had finished...and obviously want HD on the TV down there.

What is the process? Do I just call DirectTV and ask them for an HD receiver?...and will they charge me extra a month just for the HD service? I realize they'll charge me extra a month for the new receiver itself...but will there be extra charges for the HD channels, or do they come with the deal?

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Here is a little chat on the subject down below.
by ahtoi / April 23, 2008 2:00 AM PDT
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Leasing Charge?
by RJRayRay / April 23, 2008 2:09 AM PDT

Thanks. Is it normal for them to charge a $99 leasing fee for the DirectTV HD receiver? That's what they just said on the phone. IS THAT NORMAL!???

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Is it normal?
by ahtoi / April 23, 2008 2:55 PM PDT
In reply to: Leasing Charge?

I don't know; As I remember it, everything was free with 2 years commitment. I do remember it would cost me $100 for the DVR (plus monthly fee). If you are still committed to them, then your leverage may have been decreased.

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