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Hdtv & hdmi

Old 12-21-09, 10:08 AM
  #1  
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Hdtv & hdmi

This is totally new territory for me - but, since we already own one, and expect another to be delivered shortly after Christmas, I gotta start thinking about what I want to do, or, what Janie will let me do........ we got a couple really good deals on New Sony LCD/HD TVs, even with 120hz technology. I'm talking less than 1/2 MSRP, delivered. Current models, one built in Nov 09, the other Dec 09. It was tooooooo good of a deal to pass up, one 32", and one 46"

The new generation LCD TVs have a remarkably better picture than their ancestors, the CRT's. We already prefer to watch TV in the bedroom, on the 32", than in the family room on the 36" CRT, which is only a few years old, and a decent TV(It will be relegated to basement duty, once the 46" Sony gets here.) Even without being hooked to HD, it is a remarkable picture. Our local cable provider is currently 100% digital.

But, alas, our local cable provider is also sending HD stuff thru their wires, which is supposed to be even MUCH better.

Which brings me a new decision opportunity.

Is it really that much better, and is there really enuf HD stuff on the air to justify the move?

Soooooooo, if I decide to go the HD route (probably) what do I need to do? Do I just hook everything up with the existing coaxial Cable; or, do I need to get HDMI cables for connections from the HD Cablebox, to the TV?

If I need HDMI, does it really make any difference if I spend $9.99 or $99.99 for a cable? If they are all gold plated, and will not be subject to any stresses, or contact, does it really make any difference?

How many do I need to just hook up a TV to a cablebox?

How does this relate to bicyling, you ask?

The 36" CRT gets moved in front of "The Beast" (Schwinn Airdyne) in the basement, to keep me company for the next 3,000 or 4,000 miles.

Decisions, decisions, decisions!!!!!!!
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Old 12-21-09, 12:03 PM
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Get the cheapest HDMI cable. All this gold plating and whatever is just marketing bull****. The quality of the cable matters little for digital transmission. I used the cheapest, thin headphone extension cable for digital audio without problems.

I buy cables from http://www.ramelectronics.net/, they have cheap but good cables.

The HD video delivered by "100% digital" cable companies is usually over-compressed to save spectrum and full of compression artifacts. If you want real HD get a BlueRay player or download HD movies from the net. Still the HD channels look much better than standard TV but nowhere as good as Blue Ray.

You hook up the coax cable to the cable box then connect the box to the TV (and your audio system). You can use regular RCA (Red, White, Yellow) or SVHS cables but they're analog so if the box has HDMI then definitely use it.

HDMI cable carries both digital video and digital multichannel sound. So you need just one HDMI cable to hookup a cable box to a TV. You may need another HDMI or a SPDIF (digital audio) cable if you want to feed the digital audio to your AV receiver. If you have multiple HDMI sources and your AV receiver supports HDMI switching you will, of course, need more cables.

Adam
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Old 12-21-09, 12:09 PM
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You can user either component or HDMI for HD video but if you want HD Audio you will need to move to HDMI and have a AVR that can support it. For standard 5.1 sound you can use optical or coax. As Adam says don't waste your money on expensive cables, I use $10 cable from monoprice.com and they work great.

The hookup will be your ste top box to the TV by HDMI or component. If you use a sound system you will go HDMI to the TV and optical to the AVR or you can go HDMI to the AVR and HDMI from the AVR to the TV.
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Old 12-21-09, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by stonecrd View Post
You can user either component or HDMI for HD video
HDMI (or DVI) will give you much better image quality because it's digital. Component is analog and it won't be as sharp, pure and defined and may require more expensive cables as analog signal is more prone to interference, noise and level loss plus there is conversion required to go from digital to analog and that in itself causes degradation.

I'd go with HDMI, period. Also, with the HDCP protection crap you may not be able to get full 1080p through analog. I didn't follow this development lately so I'm not sure where it's going to end up, but go digital.

Adam
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Old 12-21-09, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
Get the cheapest HDMI cable. All this gold plating and whatever is just marketing bull****. The quality of the cable matters little for digital transmission. I used the cheapest, thin headphone extension cable for digital audio without problems.

I buy cables from http://www.ramelectronics.net/, they have cheap but good cables.

The HD video delivered by "100% digital" cable companies is usually over-compressed to save spectrum and full of compression artifacts. If you want real HD get a BlueRay player or download HD movies from the net. Still the HD channels look much better than standard TV but nowhere as good as Blue Ray.

You hook up the coax cable to the cable box then connect the box to the TV (and your audio system). You can use regular RCA (Red, White, Yellow) or SVHS cables but they're analog so if the box has HDMI then definitely use it.

HDMI cable carries both digital video and digital multichannel sound. So you need just one HDMI cable to hookup a cable box to a TV. You may need another HDMI or a SPDIF (digital audio) cable if you want to feed the digital audio to your AV receiver. If you have multiple HDMI sources and your AV receiver supports HDMI switching you will, of course, need more cables.

Adam
Shielding is actually important...

Why buy a cheap cable that is only rated for 60Hz. You might as well take the TV back and buy a crap 60Hz TV to go with a crap 60Hz cable. Stick with Monster Cable and their lifetime warranty. Yes, they are more expensive, but they are the only cable certified by both THX and ISF. If there was no difference, than why can't every other cable be certified like that?

Also the top line Monster, 1000 Series I believe, has lifetime UPGRADE policy as well. Whenever a new innovation comes out Monster will upgrade you to the new 1000 Series cable.


But then I guess some people will say just go buy the cheapest tires cause they are all rubber...
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Old 12-21-09, 05:47 PM
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Or what is better than everyone's opinion is just trust your eyes. Go to a Best Buy, Sears, or whatever. Wal-Mart or Sam's Club will probably just look at you crazy...

Ask them to see 2 TVs with the same settings hooked up to 2 blu-ray players. Hook one up with a Monster and one with their store brand. If you can't see a difference, go with the cheap store brand or x-brand online. Best Buy will probably be the most accommodating cause they seem to have cables everywhere. I guess it depends on the attitude of the person you ask haha
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Old 12-21-09, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by stonecrd View Post
You can user either component or HDMI for HD video but if you want HD Audio you will need to move to HDMI and have a AVR that can support it. For standard 5.1 sound you can use optical or coax. As Adam says don't waste your money on expensive cables, I use $10 cable from monoprice.com and they work great.

The hookup will be your ste top box to the TV by HDMI or component. If you use a sound system you will go HDMI to the TV and optical to the AVR or you can go HDMI to the AVR and HDMI from the AVR to the TV.
Component is digital. HDMI is not physically robust. After years of fiddling with S-video, I decided to use component.
http://www.bluejeanscable.com/articl...icomponent.htm

Yeah, most cables will work fine. I am using the ones that came with
the cable box.

So... the poster can get either, as long as the distance is too long.
Which is not often an issue.

And to answer the real question, yes, you need new wire to get hi def.
It doesn't have to cost a lot.

I don't know about your cable company, but after the gee whiz wears off,
I realised it was the same dorky programming I avoid carefully. However, there
is the occasional movie or nature show that is nice.

IMHO, you're gonna wanna blu ray...
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Old 12-21-09, 07:59 PM
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Monster Cable is overpriced and not worth the money, stay away. For digital transmission on short runs shielding isn't that important as for analog and cheap cables are plenty enough. There is absolutely no need to to pay extra for Monster Cable.

Oh, and component video is analog, not digital and HDMI is just fine.

S-video is not capable of HD. I fyou want HD then S-video (SVHS) is out of question, you need to use analog component video or digital HDMI or DVI.

Adam
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Old 12-21-09, 08:02 PM
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Thanks, I think I will wait to see what (if anything) comes with the HD box, and then go from there.

Distance is not a problem, as two or three feet is about the maximum needed.
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Old 12-21-09, 11:52 PM
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I'm getting over-the-wire HD content with the coax cable plugged straight into the TV, no cable box needed.

As I posted in this thread:
Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
I got a high-def TV a little over a week ago. It's actually the first TV I've ever bought for myself, too, after one hand-me-down, a few years of using roommates' TVs, and a birthday gift back when I entered college. Digital tuner, yadda yadda etc.

I plugged the coax cable from the wall into the TV and had it auto-program whatever channels it could find. Imagine my surprise when, beyond the 70-odd standard cable channels, it found another couple hundred digital channels.

Now, not all of them are actual HD -- just the big networks, PBS, Versus, and maybe a couple others. There are also a buttload of music channels. And, I can't find any TV listings that have the same channel list and numbers (none list NBC at 117.777, as an example), so I went through the new channels and wrote down a list of what they are and which are HD.

But I'll be damned if I'm going to willingly buy a cable upgrade package that, fundamentally, doesn't give me content that's any more desirable apart from a prettier picture that I can already see.

I have to admit, though -- HDTV (and Blu-Ray, and high-def gaming) is at least as awesome of an upgrade as 5-channel+ surround sound.
My setup is different than before, too. I used to send my peripherals into a manual switchbox, which went into the DVD/VCR player's auxiliary input and then into the old TV. Now everything goes into the new TV (PS3, Wii, PS2, DVD/VCR composite, computer HDMI) and the audio goes via an optical cable into my home theater-in-a-box AV receiver.

And +1 to not spending a hundred bucks on a friggin' bundle of wires -- get some cheap HDMI cable and you'll be fine. Unless you have huge distances to cover and a couple thousand watts of sound system to drive, it just doesn't matter. Even 720p football games will look so much better than before. And if you want real true-life visual and audio clarity, get out of the damned house.
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Old 12-22-09, 12:24 AM
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Around here, Comcast charges an extra $10-15 a month for more than a couple HD signals, and $7 for an HD box. It's not worth it to me. But I do use a splitter to plug the box into the TV as well as the cable box to get local broadcast HD channels. I've got the line split again for my cable modem, no problems. Use 1ghz+ splitters. You can find them for cheap if you have a local surplus/junk store.

If you have a box with HDMI, plug that in and forget about it. Use http://www.monoprice.com/ , they're like the bikesdirect of cables, with even less assembly required.

Originally Posted by ChrisENC View Post
Why buy a cheap cable that is only rated for 60Hz. You might as well take the TV back and buy a crap 60Hz TV to go with a crap 60Hz cable. Stick with Monster Cable and their lifetime warranty. Yes, they are more expensive, but they are the only cable certified by both THX and ISF. If there was no difference, than why can't every other cable be certified like that?
Monster Cables are cheap cables. They just have obscene margins. Ask anyone with a Best Buy employee discount, they can get Monster Cables for like 80% off.

If an HDMI cable is certified "category 2", it can carry 1080p video at 60hz over its entire run. If the cable is category 1, it can carry 720p/1080i at 60hz. That's all you need. Get a shielded cable if you're worried about interference.
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Old 12-22-09, 10:32 AM
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I am also in the market for a HDMI cable to hook up a Bluray Player to a 120Hz LCD HDTV. I need a longer 12m/40ft cable. I have seen 10.2 gbps and cheaper lower gbps cables at Fry's. Is the higher bandwidth needed for a Bluray Player?
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Old 12-22-09, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rishardh View Post
Is the higher bandwidth needed for a Bluray Player?
I don't think so. If I end up with a 40' cable run, I'll try the cheap stuff, and if the picture cuts out (and I can't imagine that it would), then I'll look for a fancier label.
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Old 12-22-09, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
HDMI (or DVI) will give you much better image quality because it's digital. Component is analog and it won't be as sharp, pure and defined and may require more expensive cables as analog signal is more prone to interference, noise and level loss plus there is conversion required to go from digital to analog and that in itself causes degradation.

I'd go with HDMI, period. Also, with the HDCP protection crap you may not be able to get full 1080p through analog. I didn't follow this development lately so I'm not sure where it's going to end up, but go digital.

Adam
I agree if you can use HDMI it is better than component, if you must use component it will work and you won't suffer dramatically on PQ

Originally Posted by ChrisENC View Post
Shielding is actually important...

Why buy a cheap cable that is only rated for 60Hz. You might as well take the TV back and buy a crap 60Hz TV to go with a crap 60Hz cable. Stick with Monster Cable and their lifetime warranty. Yes, they are more expensive, but they are the only cable certified by both THX and ISF. If there was no difference, than why can't every other cable be certified like that?

Also the top line Monster, 1000 Series I believe, has lifetime UPGRADE policy as well. Whenever a new innovation comes out Monster will upgrade you to the new 1000 Series cable.


But then I guess some people will say just go buy the cheapest tires cause they are all rubber...
Chris, go over to AVSFORUM and post this and see the response. Monster cable is the biggest scam out there, if you want to seem some details about cables go to http://www.bluejeanscable.com/articl...nformation.htm. I am not saying sheilding is not important but for paying for expensive cables does not make sense unless you are running >50' and then you still don't need to spend a fortune on Monster.
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Old 12-22-09, 12:49 PM
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I recently got a new set. didn't go with the cable box and HD upgrade. we get hd on some channels like the major networks. we had a crapp walmart crt that was only 13 inches and the remote died so we were changing the channel 1 click at a time and only in one direction! so really any tv would be a major step up. everything was fine until comcast wrote to tell me that we need to get the cable box _no charge_ in order to keet the current channel selection we have 1 step up from basic. without the box everything goes to basic in january or february. not sure what to do about the other 3 tvs we have ...
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Old 12-22-09, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by rishardh View Post
I am also in the market for a HDMI cable to hook up a Bluray Player to a 120Hz LCD HDTV. I need a longer 12m/40ft cable. I have seen 10.2 gbps and cheaper lower gbps cables at Fry's. Is the higher bandwidth needed for a Bluray Player?
Take a look at this list, the longest Category 2 cable is 25 feet. But for a blu-ray player, you should only need 1080p at 25hz. I'm not sure if BD players upsample if the TV can't take a 25hz input. (120hz TVs can take a 25hz input.) Category 1 cables can handle 1080p at 25hz.
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Old 12-22-09, 01:47 PM
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I went down to see my buddy at Sears this morning. It's been snowing since last night, so there was nobody else in the TV section of the store.

He humored me, and hooked up a 12' Monster HDMI, $99 at Sears, and a $19.95 Belkin, and swapped them back and forth between two TVs.. We saw absolutely no difference in the two. He said he has done this before, as people balk at the high price of cables needed.....

The Belkin (made in China) can be had at any number of places, for $10.

If I have to buy one, it looks like it will be the cheap one..... no difference in picture sure doesn't justify ALL that added expense.

However, the Monster had a "new technology guarantee." If they come out with a better, or newer model, they exchange it for free (if I pay to ship the old one back.)
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Old 12-22-09, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by CaptainCool View Post
Take a look at this list, the longest Category 2 cable is 25 feet. But for a blu-ray player, you should only need 1080p at 25hz. I'm not sure if BD players upsample if the TV can't take a 25hz input. (120hz TVs can take a 25hz input.) Category 1 cables can handle 1080p at 25hz.
I picked up a 40 feet cat2 6.75 Gbps cable for $30 and Fry's. I am getting my TV on Thursday and wanted to route the cable through the walls and be ready for it. I think I will wait for the TV and connect it outside and see if there is any data loss issues before running them through the walls.
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Old 12-22-09, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
However, the Monster had a "new technology guarantee." If they come out with a better, or newer model, they exchange it for free (if I pay to ship the old one back.)
What that tells me is that Monster has a huge profit margin to begin with. I mean, really, if a cable works now, how can another one work any better?
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Old 12-22-09, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
He humored me, and hooked up a 12' Monster HDMI, $99 at Sears, and a $19.95 Belkin, and swapped them back and forth between two TVs.. We saw absolutely no difference in the two. He said he has done this before, as people balk at the high price of cables needed.....

The Belkin (made in China) can be had at any number of places, for $10.
$19.95? $10? My set runs great with $3 HDMI cables from Ebay (SH included)!
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Old 12-23-09, 04:06 PM
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The TV service provider will determine what you may have to buy - maybe nothing. Around here, Comcast usually gives cables with their required settop boxes, including HDMI if the box has it.

Comcast is on a program to require all users to use settop boxes, and encrypting all but the local stations and most basic service level. Only the most basic service level allows direct connection of the cable to the TV, and you are limited to the local channels and a few more. Around here, that's channels 2-29 & 75-99. They may be a combination of analog, digital and HD (locals only). For the next step of digital service (non-HD), they give a DTA ("digital transport adapter") that deencrypts your standard digital non-HD channels onto RF channel 3 or 4, and you set your TV to channel 3 or 4, about the lowest quality way to do it. If you want to see the HD on the cable, you have to rig up a switch to select direct cable or DTA into your TV.

HD/DVR/HDDVR subscribers get a more advanced settop box, usually with several output options. Some older boxes don't have HDMI, so if you want the best quality available and your TV has it, ask for a box with HDMI. Some older boxes have an older digital interconnect, DVI, which can be adapted to HDMI. Analog Component works very well, but does have limitations. S-Video and composite are non-HD and are a last resort nowadays.

+1 on using Monoprice for cables.
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Old 12-28-09, 10:55 AM
  #22  
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Thought will give an update. The 12m/40ft hdmi cat2 6.75gbps cable works great. No data loss. The picture i get through the 1080i sattelite box and the 1080p blueray player is unbelievable. Looking at HDTVs in the store I knew I will get a fantastic picture but the setup at home exceeded all my expectations. For comparison I got a short 10.2gbps cable and could not see a difference.

Got the LED TV wall mounted and routed the cables through the walls over the weekend. I even hooked up my PC to it. Now everyone is happy at home. Mainly cos I did not spend the cash on bike stuff I am guessing
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Old 12-28-09, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by rishardh View Post
Looking at HDTVs in the store I knew I will get a fantastic picture but the setup at home exceeded all my expectations.
It looks damn good, doesn't it? Most setups in stores have the HD signal split across the whole wall of TVs, so they look pretty good, but still not perfect. Having it in your own house, to me, makes it even more "real".
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Old 01-11-10, 05:45 PM
  #24  
willtsmith_nwi
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
This is totally new territory for me - but, since we already own one, and expect another to be delivered shortly after Christmas, I gotta start thinking about what I want to do, or, what Janie will let me do........ we got a couple really good deals on New Sony LCD/HD TVs, even with 120hz technology. I'm talking less than 1/2 MSRP, delivered. Current models, one built in Nov 09, the other Dec 09. It was tooooooo good of a deal to pass up, one 32", and one 46"

The new generation LCD TVs have a remarkably better picture than their ancestors, the CRT's. We already prefer to watch TV in the bedroom, on the 32", than in the family room on the 36" CRT, which is only a few years old, and a decent TV(It will be relegated to basement duty, once the 46" Sony gets here.) Even without being hooked to HD, it is a remarkable picture. Our local cable provider is currently 100% digital.

But, alas, our local cable provider is also sending HD stuff thru their wires, which is supposed to be even MUCH better.

Which brings me a new decision opportunity.

Is it really that much better, and is there really enuf HD stuff on the air to justify the move?

Soooooooo, if I decide to go the HD route (probably) what do I need to do? Do I just hook everything up with the existing coaxial Cable; or, do I need to get HDMI cables for connections from the HD Cablebox, to the TV?

If I need HDMI, does it really make any difference if I spend $9.99 or $99.99 for a cable? If they are all gold plated, and will not be subject to any stresses, or contact, does it really make any difference?

How many do I need to just hook up a TV to a cablebox?

How does this relate to bicyling, you ask?

The 36" CRT gets moved in front of "The Beast" (Schwinn Airdyne) in the basement, to keep me company for the next 3,000 or 4,000 miles.

Decisions, decisions, decisions!!!!!!!
Going with an HD TV will future proof you. You'll be ready for a Blue-Ray player. Get a cheap HDMI cable ... www.monoprice.com. It's probably the same stuff.

As far as cable HD goes ... my guess is that the quality is not as good as broadcast. The way it works is that the receiver converts everything to either 1080i or 720p. Broadcast HDTV is 1080i for CBS and others, ABC and ESPN use 720p. I'm not sure about everyone else but you get my point. The cable box will convert half of your channels from one standard to another and you can be assured that it it will be downgraded considering that progressive and interlace are two incompatible ways of displaying images.

There is enough HD content out there to make it worth it. You will prefer it after a while. And the industry seems set to complete the conversion. For example, MSNBC and Comedy channel just went HD. I don't have it on Comcast yet, but it's coming. And it won't be much longer until this is the expectation.
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Old 01-12-10, 11:53 AM
  #25  
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Go to monoprice.com ... they sell good cables at a low price ($5 or so for the shorter lengths). If you need a run over 30ft then I'd consider getting bluejeanscable's top option (longer runs can require a thicker wire).
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