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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old July 18th, 2005, 11:40 AM   #1
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ED vs HD

Just got an EDTV 42" Plasma wondered if I could still get HD cable service? Will it work, obviously if it did the picture wouldn't be AS great, but would it work?
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Old July 18th, 2005, 01:06 PM   #2
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Marco, I have a friend who had HDTV service for a long time while he still had a Sony Wega 36" tube SD set. While not true HDTV, the image from the HDTV channels was clearly better than the other channels. It may be worth checking out.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 05:36 PM   #3
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Well the real answer is to look at the specs and it should clearly state what the screen can handle. But I'd be very surprised if it didn't work fine with HDTV. I have a 37" Panasonic EDTV and it tunes in HD channels fine. They also look noticeably better than SD broadcasts or DVD's.

I looked at a lot of different screens before buying this model, and actually liked the picture better. True, you could see more detail on the true HD models, but at typical viewing distance a lot of this was lost. And for DVD's I think the image was better because the screen doesn't have to scale them to 1280x720. But putting these issues aside, I just didn't feel the quality difference was reflect in the big price difference for the HD model of the same screen size.

Do you already have standard cable service? A little secret that the companies don't tell you is that you will probably already have a bunch of HD channels available. Are you using a cable box? If so, try disconnecting and plug the cable directly into your plasma screen (assuming it has an ATSC tuner). Now just let it do the regular "channel scan" using the menus (where it locks into any signal it finds).

I'll bet you find some HD channels you never knew existed. There should be some sort of info button on your remote which will identify the format of the current channel. I get both 1080i and 720p broadcasts for all the networks, PBS HD and several other things which vary from day to day. For awhile I was getting full spectrum of maybe 40 HD channels, then most of them disappeared. And I only subscribe the normal SD basic cable service.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 06:00 PM   #4
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I agree the ED TV I got seemed a lot better picture than the lower end HD I was comparing it to. Mine is a 3000:1 Contrast as well.

Well thanks for the quick replies. Yes I currently have Cox Digital Cable, I wasn't yet planning on going for the HD service, I just wanted to know if I'd even be able to use it in the future. Thanks a bunch.

My new question is why when I put a "widescreen 16:9" DVD in - it still letterboxes it?!!! I have tried everything to get the movie to go full screen but nothing works SHORT of zoom which is kind of against the point. I have tried 6 dif. movies now, none of which will go the full screen. If I put it (the TV) in 16:9 and then zoom once or twice on the DVD player THEN it full screens but I lose like 10% on each side! ARGH! In 4:3 it works at full screen and accommodates for the aspect nicely. What am I doing wrong? OR is it the native resolution of the ED vs. the resolution of the DVD?
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Old July 18th, 2005, 06:09 PM   #5
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Look at the setup or system menu of your DVD player. There should be an item that lets you specify your screen type. These normally default to 4:3. You need to find this menu and change the screen type to 16:9, then the DVD player will no longer letterbox the movie but will send the anamorphic video directly to your TV.

Needless to say, you should also look in the fine print on the DVD box to make sure it is anamorphic 16:9. Sometimes they just say "enhanced for widescreen TV's"...
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