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Old October 17th, 2007, 01:52 PM   #1
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Best Buy will stop selling analog tv's.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The nation's largest consumer electronics chain says it has pulled all analog televisions off store shelves. Flat panel and high-definition screens have taken their place.

Beginning in February 2009, broadcasters plan to stop transmitting analog signals, although people with older sets can still get programming via special converter boxes, set-top box or direct satellite.

The Minneapolis-based chain says it told its stores to stop selling the products at the beginning of the month.

More than 60 million U.S. households currently rely on an antennas or analog cable. Cable operators are required to guarantee their customers will receive broadcast channels until February 2012.

After the first of the year, the government will be making available coupons that can be used to buy converter boxes. Best Buy will sell coupon-eligible converter boxes starting early next year.


It has begun...
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Old October 17th, 2007, 03:54 PM   #2
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For Sony it started more than three years ago.

The San Diego Union Tribune, 2005-12-04:

Quote:
TANGJEONG, South Korea – One look at Samsung's new joint venture with Sony to make liquid crystal displays is enough to see how the tables have turned for these two Asian electronics giants.

Sony has but a tiny presence in the 50-50 joint venture, called S-LCD Corp. – just 20 people tucked away in offices in a corner of the complex. They mainly oversee coordination with Sony's Tokyo headquarters.

Sony's reliance on Samsung to produce the display panels shows how far behind the Japanese company, once the industry's king, has fallen in the booming flat-panel TV market – and why it has been bleeding red ink while the South Korean company's profits soar.
The San Diego Union Tribune, 2006-01-20:

Quote:
The shutdown of the Rancho Bernardo cathode ray tube factory had been widely rumored over the past few years as flat-panel sets wrestled more U.S. market share away from old-style picture-tube TVs.

The closing of the factory – where massive conveyors haul heavy glass screens over enclosed machines making 27-inch and 32-inch cathode ray tubes – marks the end of an era for Sony in San Diego.
...
In October, Sony announced that it would stop making 34-inch and 36-inch cathode ray tube sets at its production facility in Pittsburgh by this spring, eliminating about 300 jobs.

Clancy said a Sony glass factory outside Pittsburgh, which provided screens for both San Diego and Pittsburgh, will probably close in June.
Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 2006-07-19:

Quote:
The plant, located in East Huntingdon, manufacturing Sony's massive SXRD and Grand Wega high-definition rear-projection televisions, is now Sony's only television production facility in the country, following changes at a San Diego plant earlier this year that continues to make computers.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 04:12 PM   #3
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Apples and Oranges

BestBuy says it will stop selling ANALOG television sets. Because, ANALOG broadcast over-the-air will be terminated in 2009. Television sets receiving analog signals could be CRT or LCD.

Sony says it will stop manufacturing CRT television sets. Sony made CRT TVs capable of receiving ANALOG and/or DIGITAL signals.

They say different things...

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Old October 17th, 2007, 05:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mark Bournes View Post
It has begun...

Great... now I can finally justify a "High Def" television, and watch football with all those smeary lines, little blocks of artifacts, and really crappy contrast ratios... can't wait!
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Old October 17th, 2007, 06:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bert Smyth View Post
Great... now I can finally justify a "High Def" television, and watch football with all those smeary lines, little blocks of artifacts, and really crappy contrast ratios... can't wait!
Every advance has its price !! :)
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Old October 17th, 2007, 09:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bert Smyth View Post
Great... now I can finally justify a "High Def" television, and watch football with all those smeary lines, little blocks of artifacts, and really crappy contrast ratios... can't wait!
Football looks great in HD on our Panasonic rear-projection HDTV; I haven't tested our newer LCD display yet.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 09:57 PM   #7
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I love the last line in the first post...

Quote:
After the first of the year, the government will be making available coupons that can be used to buy converter boxes.
So, we're going to have welfare for televisions now?

EDIT:
I guess so...over $1 billion worth of "welfare"...here's the information:
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/pre...ule_031207.htm

Last edited by Bryan Gilchrist; October 17th, 2007 at 10:04 PM. Reason: Added information
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Old October 17th, 2007, 11:27 PM   #8
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Hey Kevin. well that's good to know. I'd love to HD for a TV set, really. My wife and I love watching movies at home, and its not the price that holds us back. I've been to four different friends places to watch a football game in "High Def" (Bert, ya gotta see it man, its AMAZING!!) and every time, on various sets (Plasma, Rear-projection) it all looks like crap. Whenever there is fast motion, the image either blurs/smears, or gets all these jaggedy artifacts in various areas of the screen or both, and always, the contrast just sucks. This is supposed to be an improvement? One of my buddies was actually really honest about it when watched a Saturday game at his place on his HDTV, and then a Sunday game at my place. He admitted the overall image quality was better on my set. Not talking about resolution here. When the shot was static, unmoving with not much moving in the frame, his looked great. Then the camera's panning and the players are running around, the afore mentioned problems start up.
At my mom's place, same deal; "you've just got to watch a movie on our new Sony Grand Vega" or whatever its called. We watched Ice Age, and any scene that had low light/shadows, it was just impossible to tell what was going on.
This has just been my own personal experience, and when I go look at the widescreen TV's at the major chains, I don't see anything that would convince me to upgrade. Most of the people I know seem to go gaga over the big screen, and seem to be oblivious to the picture quality. What's weird, is that it seems to me that the nicest looking pictures were the original Pioneer plasmas that came out years and years ago. They were super expensive.
I'd love someone to steer me in the right direction. Someone who's noticed what I'm talking about, and found a set that doesn't have those kind of problems, because I'd love to upgrade. So far, I've been pretty appalled at what gets offered for a couple of grand. I am totally open to input though... Show me the light, I wanna believe!!
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Old October 17th, 2007, 11:59 PM   #9
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I helped a friend with his purchase of a new HDTV a few months ago and I can tell you where the problem lies. The artifacts you see are primarily the fault of low bandwidth broadcasts. The broadcasters got greedy and decided that it is better to cram in more channels than have HD that looks as good as analog SD. I can not fathom why they would ever do that assuming that they are not mentally deficient or damaged. The broadcast quality of most HD is noticeably worse than analog SD. There, I've said it.

I watched movies on my friend's 60" plasma and SD DVDs look better than broadcast HD if there is any significant movement or dark scenes. The compression artifacts are so bad that they are distracting. We watched one of the Harry Potter movies and it had lots of dark scenes that were ruined.

The other part of the problem is with LCD sets. They seem to suffer from what used to be 16-bit color on computers. It looks like there is a low color bit depth that causes something that looks a little bit like fine macroblocking. These effects on LCDs can be seen in a store that is playing an HDDVD on multiple sets simultaneously. The LCD screens all exhibit some degree of this effect while the plasma screens look nice and smooth without losing detail.

BY FAR the best set with the best content I have seen was a 1080p Plasma screen with my V1U connected via HDMI. It was essentially flawless. HDV is so far superior to broadcast HD that it makes me a little sad for consumers but happy to have such great cameras available. Of course, it might be difficult to justify $8000 for a 1080P plasma screen, but they really do make HDV shine.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 01:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault View Post
The artifacts you see are primarily the fault of low bandwidth broadcasts. The broadcasters got greedy and decided that it is better to cram in more channels than have HD that looks as good as analog SD. I can not fathom why they would ever do that assuming that they are not mentally deficient or damaged. The broadcast quality of most HD is noticeably worse than analog SD.
That is certainly true of cable and satellite. That's why I watch my HD over the air. They keep the bandwidth pretty high. I'm watching a 2002 65 in RPTV and I can certainly tell the difference between SD and HD. OTA bandwidth stays up around 19.2 mb/sec whereas sat and cable are often down around 12 due to what Marcus says about cramming in more channels.

Keep in ming that a lot of the sets you see in the stores are set on 'torch mode' where they have stuff like contrast and brightness turned up to ridiculous levels.

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Old October 18th, 2007, 01:42 AM   #11
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I would love to watch HDTV over the air (antenna) because it looks great. Unfortunately all my antenna experiments faired due to the elevation of my home. Over the air HDTV is not well known but is a great freebie if you live near a major city. Good resource for learning about it is at
http://www.myfreehdtv.org/body.html

I am hoping that the new AT&T fiber opitc system being installed in my area will produce good results.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 01:50 AM   #12
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"OTA bandwidth stays up around 19.2 mb/sec whereas sat and cable are often down around 12..."

12?! Wow, I underestimated their foolishness. They are destroying their own industry.

I forgot that I did see some OTA when I was on the mainland. OTA is not common here due to broadcasting problems caused by the mountainous terrain. It is available, but the signal is often blocked by topography. I recall that the OTA I saw was good, but it was also on a plasma screen. It was not quite as good as my V1U footage but it was still better than SD. What impressed me was the better color than the SD signal. The house where I saw the Over The Air HD was outfitted with an antennae in the attic that was tuned by a technician with a signal meter.

I really can't believe that I am lamenting the end of analog TV. I am probably what most would call a techno geek. I haven't had a land line for over ten years. I bought my own first computer 20 years ago and now build my own. I prefer fuel injection and cars with an ECM over muscle cars with carburators. Despite all this, the poor quality of digital broadcast keeps me preferring analog cable TV...
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Old October 18th, 2007, 06:49 AM   #13
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Quality

Let's not forget that it also depends on what you buy... the old saying "you get what you pay for" is very much true when it comes to HD TV sets. You can't expect a $500 set to perform like a $5K one! I have a few friends who jumped in too early and got cheap stuff, just because it was HD... now they regret it.

And then there is the difference in technology. So far nothing has matched the quality of CRT-based rear projection TVs, especially for the choosy people like we are over here on this forum. CRTs are the only source of picture that can cut off completely the light, resulting in perfect black - everything with a backlight just can't do it 100%.

And while progress is being made every day, there is still a good way to go.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 09:33 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ervin Farkas View Post
Let's not forget that it also depends on what you buy... the old saying "you get what you pay for" is very much true when it comes to HD TV sets. You can't expect a $500 set to perform like a $5K one! I have a few friends who jumped in too early and got cheap stuff, just because it was HD... now they regret it.
If you don't have data you don't have data. Good interpolation schemes can improve situation only this much.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 09:51 AM   #15
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I'd love someone to steer me in the right direction. Someone who's noticed what I'm talking about, and found a set that doesn't have those kind of problems, because I'd love to upgrade.
Maybe we just got lucky and bought a set with good internal circuitry or maybe I'm not picky enough about image quality, but our Panasonic rear-projection HDTV from about 3 years ago seems to do fine with everything from VHS videotapes to HD broadcasts from Comcast cable. And the 1080p LCD display I bought a few months ago at Sam's Club looks great for everything we feed it from our Sony Playstation 3, especially digital photos and Blu-ray discs.

I have seen bad artifacting on a flat-panel HDTV connected to a satellite dish network, but that same set did a decent job of playing a standard-def DVD. So with HD it looks like there are too many variables to say one solution is going to work well for everything, but for my wife and I using HDTVs has been a positive experience. One recommendation I've heard which might work for you would be to buy an "EDTV" plasma display, which is just 480p resolution but may have fewer artifacting issues than some of the newer high-def sets.
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