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HDTV Help-NEED non-widescreen HDTV

by xphylee / September 28, 2009 3:49 PM PDT

Hi. I'm new to this and on somewhat of a budget. I have HD digital cable but not a HDTV. The problem is I have an entertainment center that restricts anything but a very small widescreen, which I really don't care for anyway. The opening is 31 to 32 inches wide. I have a 32" 20 year old Sony Trinitron that works fine for the most part but would like to take advantage of the HD programming for clarity and sound. Does anyone know if and where I purchase a HDTV that is not widescreen? And if so, where should I look and what should I look for in the TV? Any suggestions would be great! Thanks.

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Your not going to find one.
by givemeaname / September 28, 2009 9:31 PM PDT

Widescreen is it for HD.

Get a new tv stand, you can get some real nice ones for about $200. Try ''

or take the top off what you have now, then get some nice trim wood and matching paint or stain to give it a finished look.

And who talked you into getting the HD package without having a HDtv??? Unless you just got HD package installed and then planed on getting a HDtv within a month or less.

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by xphylee / September 29, 2009 5:38 AM PDT

Actually, no one talked me in to it. My cable comes with standard digital HD programming. Appreciate the feedback though.

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Was your Sony HD?
by ahtoi / September 29, 2009 3:43 AM PDT

I only remember Sony is the only company that made a 4:3 screen HDTV. But by definition HD is 16:9, so..even with 4:3 screen, you are not going to see HD without the black bar. So let's think of other solutions. Good luck.

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Thanks You
by xphylee / September 29, 2009 5:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Was your Sony HD?

Thanks for the input. However the stand is connected to the stereo stand as well, a rather large one. It's all one piece. The other main reason I don't like widescreen is that everyone I know who has one still gets programming with the black squares at top and bottom on some programming so it seems redundant to buy one. I appreciate the input.

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Better get used to it.
by minimalist / September 29, 2009 9:35 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks You

Because eventually broadcasters will phase out their 4:3 SD signals and you will get black bars on the top and the bottom for all channels on older TV's.

There are three common aspect rations:

1. 1.33:1 (old SD standard sometimes called 4:3)
2. 1.78:1 (new widescreen HD standard sometimes called 16:9)
3. 2.35:1 (which is the standard most big movies use, although some smaller releases also use 1.78:1).

So you'll never have one ratio. The 16:9 (or 1.78:1) screen proportions of HDTV's are a happy medium between all the competing standards. Many people, including me, believe it is better to see the whole picture the creators intended instead of cutting off portions to "fit" a given TV. Luckily for those that have to have their screen filled all modern HDTV's have the ability to zoom in and fill the screen. Whether you cut the image off or the cable company does it you can be missing large portions of the action on the screen. Go here to see comparisons of how much you miss:

If you are going to keep a 4:3 TV you might as well drop the HD channels though. You won't be getting anything for your money until you move up to an HDTV.

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4:3 HD sets don't exist. You really only have three choices:
by minimalist / September 29, 2009 4:28 AM PDT

1. Keep your entertainment center and see if you can find an SD Tube TV that fits the opening (pretty rare these days).

2. Find a 16x9 HD TV that fits your entertainment center opening. But do understanding that 4:3 signals on a 32" 16:9 TV look significantly smaller than they do on than on a 32" 4:3 TV.)

3. Ditch the entertainment center and get any 16:9 TV you want.

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20 year old Sony
by Dan Filice / September 29, 2009 5:18 AM PDT

Being that your Sony is 20 years old, it isn't HD. Does it have Component Video-In connections? If so, I'd be interested to know what happens when you connect your HD cable box to your TV using Component. Probably nothing, but if it worked, it wouldn't be HD and the image would have large black bars on the top and bottom and you'd see a band-aid strip of image across your TV. The problem with finding a flat-screen 16:9 TV that will fit in your Ent. Center is that it could only be 32" wide and on a 16:9 TV that could fit in that opening, would be a horrible experience. Your image would only be about 20" tall or less.

Be creative. Get a larger HDTV, and on the back you will find threaded holes for mounting the TV on a wall hanger. Put two metal hanging strips vertically down the opening of your TV cabinet and make sure they are the same width as the mounting holes on your TV. Then mount your new TV on these stips over the opening of your existing cabinet. Not very elegant, but a solution.

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