Just because its says presented in HDTV

December 20, 2005

hdtvOk 99.9% of you already know this, but we don’t want that guy in Hoboken missing out. To view HDTV your display has to be able to render at least 720p line of resolution (The CEA defines HDTV as an image with 720 progressive or 1080 interlaced scan lines) and your source Cable/Off-Air/Satellite has to be capable of delivering that same minimum of 720 progressive lines of resolution.

Ok it seems as if the last part (the source bit) is where folks are getting confused; allow me to take a stab at this. I guess a few illustrations are the easiest way to make sure we’re all on the same page.

(1) You’ve had basic cable for 10 years and decide to get a new HDTV; you get back from [insert store name here] plug it up and sit down to watch some HD. This wont work, you can’t see “HDTV” on that HDTV, no more than you can see what color shirt someone’s wearing on a B&W television.

This problem is easily solved however, call your cable provider and tell them you want to upgrade to HDTV, they’ll tell you everything you need to know.

(2) You’ve had DirecTV or DishNetwork since Bush senior was in office and your In-Laws bought you and the misses a beautiful new 42” HD plasma for the holidays. Before you get all excited about watching Desperate Housewives in HD you might want to sit down.

Even though DBS satellite is ‘digital’ your receiver may not be HD compatible, quick rule of thumb, if you didn’t specifically shell out the extra dough for a ‘HD’ model plan on it not being so. Again a quick call to your respective Sat provider will have you on your way, and yes you’ll pay more for programming in HDTV.

(3) Satellite, Cable? I use rabbit ears and I’m not planning on changing that. In years past I would have shook my head and walked away, but believe it or not, off air local broadcasts are possibly the easiest and quickest way to start watching HDTV, with one caveat.

If you live anywhere near a major metropolitan area its very likely you can setup a small antenna and start enjoying HDTV in minutes, if and only if your set has a built in HDTV tuner. Yeah that’s becoming the norm but many early sets had no such tuner. So check your manual and make sure yours is built-in, if not you can buy them (external tuners) from many sources.

I once handled a service call with the description of “customer unsatisfied with HDTV” When I got to his home, I walked into the den, he had something on CBS showing and said to me this looks like crap and I paid a lot of money for this set, if this is HDTV I don’t want it.

To which I replied that’s not HDTV, he says is so, it says so right there (pointing to the presented in HD logo) I say, the show itself is being presented in HDTV, but your tuned to a analog simulcast of that broadcast, he says huh? I say it’s like if I take a document and write original on it and photocopy it, is the copy an original now? He says oh I get it. Overly long story short, we sold him a hi-def sat receiver and he was ecstatic.

Whoa rambling again, anyway I know the majority of my readers know the above like the back of their hand, but the last thing I want to hear about is anyone’s disappointment they can’t watch HD on Christmas day, because they weren’t prepared. Happy holidays and happy viewing.



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under HDTV Equipment


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