Foo - What's the scoop on digital TV?
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05-30-05, 03:07 PM
[/B] I don't know squat about digital TV....so I'm wondering if I will have to get a new set when the digital stuff shows up on my channels.....what can you all tell me about it thanks.
Well, if you have one of those old tv's with the knobs that change the channels and no cable access in the back, then yeah. You'll have to get a new tv. But if your tv is cable ready, you're fine.
I didn't really notice a difference in the look of the shows when we went digital. But I did like that I was able to get my cable modem and increase my internet speed about 200 fold!
Usually digital content is provided by a cable or satellite provider to a dedicated set-top box. I've heard that there's a standard to be applied so that TVs can tune to the digital channels... I don't know if that's likely to happen industry-wide. I prefer to think of the TV like a computer monitor... a dumb device that displays what I feed it from an external source.
Be aware that digital TV isn't the holy grail although it could be. Many of the channels are horribly over compressed so that more can be crammed onto the satellites and the artifacts are irritating (like: faces that float in a scene, odd motion during panning shots or mosaic patterns in what should be black backgrounds). BTW, this isn't a limitation of the cable system... my local cable provider can send 45Mbps per channel (that's not TV channel that's cable signal channel) into my house... that's like 5 DVD-quality signals at once.
05-30-05, 04:41 PM
Pretty mmuch if you can tune into channel 3 or 4 or have line-=in capability (depending on what the set-top box supports), than you can use digital TV.
Older sets won't be able to show off as much of the quality. It's not end-all-be-all (HDTV is supposed to be that, but station compliance is still being sandbagged).
You can find decent sets really cheap. I paid $230 for a 27" samsung flatscreen that's got excellent quality....it can also do line-out in stereo to a receiver in the case your set-top box doesn't have functioning line outs.
The only real bonus digital cable give IMO is the greater number of channels. If you or a family member is a TV junkie, then by all means go for it....if you guys aren't then it may not be that great a bargain.
My sister has a 20 year old tv, she uses an adapter on the back of her tv to put the cable(has the UHF connection) and has Dish network satelite. Like catatonic said "if you can tune channel 3 or 4" you'll be fine.
05-31-05, 09:20 PM
Digital TV buying guide from howstuffworks.com (http://money.howstuffworks.com/tv-buying-guide13.htm)
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