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When is HDTV not HD?!?

Written By: Gary on July 25, 2005 4 Comments

So I picked up an HD TV cable box today. But I don’t have an HD television. “Why?”, you ask? The better to see it with! My picture for the HD channels are beautiful!!! I feel like I just bought a new TV! My HD cable TV box will work fine on most TVs; probably any TV that will let you hook up a DVD player will hook up to this and give you a much better picture.

HdtvlogoHere’s the thing: it’s got regular “video out” connectors on it (the yellow video or s-video), the same connectors that you use to hook up your DVD player. If you think your DVD picture is better than your regular TV, I’d say you should try this out. I’ve got Comcast in the Detroit area, I just walked in to get the box and came home and hooked it up instead of the old one. It’s only $5 more a month than the regular digital cable box.

How good is the picture do you ask? It almost as good as my DVD player !!! I’m using the s-video connector (the one that looks like the small round keyboard connector for your computer) and I’d say it’s way better than my old digital cable box. I’m sure you’re wondering why and the answer is simple: The television standard that we use has ben in use for over sixty years and that was black and white (color wasn’t tacked on until a dozen years later).

I’ve got ABC, NBC, CBS (although somethings up with it, which is unfortunate since I watch a bit of CBS), 2 PBS, the Discovery Channel, INHD & INHD2 (which carries IMAX programming), TNT, FOX and some other HD channel. If they had USA and SciFi, I’d be all set!

GEEK SPEAK: It would probably be a better picture if I didn’t have it running through my TiVo (but it’s inputs aren’t as high as the outputs of the HD box). The cable box has digital optical audio and coaxial audio outputs (it’s gotta have great sound, but the TiVo can’t handle it). Plus component video outputs. Even geekier: it’s got 3 USB ports, 2 firewire, some kind of smart card slot and it looks like a cable modem built-in. They don’t appear to use the cable modem, I’m wondering what would happen if I called in to activate it as if it was one I purchased.

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4 Responses to “When is HDTV not HD?!?”

  1. Kevin says on: 2 August 2005 at 2:25 pm

    As I’ve been told, the card slot on the cable box is the new system that cable companies are supposed to be migrating to in the near future.

    Cable boxes are supposed to all be standardized to allow for use of this card. You would hook up your box and use this card, supplied by your cable company, so the box recognizes the cable system. Not that big a deal, right? But from further info I’ve heard, these slots are supposed to be incorporated into TVs so that you don’t even need a cable box at all. You slide the card into your TV and voila! You have cable.

  2. cindy says on: 10 April 2006 at 8:01 pm

    I have a question, we want to buy a HD wide screen TV, But from info from some one who not to long ago bought one, said that we would only get high definition on movies that say this, and our cable service does not have HD yet, which would mean we would not even get any of our cable programs in HD form, Is there any way we could make all our cable programs turn into high definition programs, I mean all the channels? Seems like a rip, since I thought HD TV meant every thing you watch on the TV should be HD. Especially when a person pays that kind of money for one.

  3. Gary LaPointe says on: 10 April 2006 at 10:56 pm

    Think of HD as being a really great TV. So your videos and DVDs are going to look better than they would on a normal TV, but only to a certain extent (because they don’t look as good as the TV can). If you’ve got a high quality DVD player that’d look even better than on a normal TV, but the only way you’re probably going to completely benefit is to get something that puts out HD content: over the air antenna or cable or some kind of dish.

  4. learningHDTV says on: 8 March 2009 at 11:45 am

    Cindy, there is absolutely no way to turn all regular channels in HD TV channels. The cable or satellite companies need to create new high def channels in order for you to see the HD content. You will notice if you have an HD reciever that there are for example ABC regular channel (is SDTV) and ABC-HD – your content will only be in High definition on the ABC-HD channel. Until they create high def versions of all the television channels, you will have to watch some of the content in SD.

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