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Old 06-07-07, 11:26 AM   #1
NeilJ
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Question about Built in Tuners

Ok I admit I am totally confused since I began looking for a new TV this week for my Mom. I understand about the switch to digital signal in feb. 2009. My mom currently has basic cable. Her current TV is going out. It is a 27 inch. She wants to move to a 32 or 37. The room the TV is in gets lots of sunlight therefore I am steering her towards a LCD. She does not care about HD but does want to buy the right set for the switch in 09. Here is my problem in looking at them. She wants a TV that will not require a cable box when the change is made in 09. Looking this week I have seen TV's with a built in QAM tuner. My understnading is that if it has that you would not need a box for the change. We also saw an Olevia that she really liked that just said it had a built in HD tuner. Is that the same thing? I do not know what a QAM tuner really is just that I heard that is all you need. Does it come down to if it has a built in digital tuner then in 09 everything will be fine? The other thing is I have been told by different people that you can not watch basic cable, as in non digital, on a HDTV and get a good picture. that it is fuzzy and hard to watch. I have been told by others that it isnt true. Anyone care to tell me their experiences? Thanks for the help!
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Old 06-07-07, 12:10 PM   #2
Gambit
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A QAM tuner and a built-in HD tuner are two different things. If it is a built-in QAM tuner, then that allows you to receive digital cable channels without an external set-top box. Although there are a number of caveats with this.

The built-in HD tuner allows you to receive OTA high-def channels. You would use this with an antenna to basically get your local channels in HD.

Is a QAM tuner all you need? Depends on your cable company. If the digital channels aren't scrambled, yeah, it will work. However, if they are, then it would render the QAM tuner useless and you would still need to get a set-top box. I think another alternative is if your TV and your cable company supports the CableCard that would work too. You probably need to check with your specific cable company on whether QAM is good enough or not.

Are regular (non-HD) channels hard to watch on a HDTV? In the eyes of the beholder. The bigger the screen, the more noticeable it's going to be. And after watching high-def, you definitely notice the difference. Just depends on how much it bothers you. Personally, I try to stick with watching the HD channels as much as possible.
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Old 06-07-07, 12:13 PM   #3
NeilJ
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Thanks for the info! That does help make it a bit clearer for me then. But does a built in HD tuner allow you to receive just digital channels with no box? I am thinking only in the situation of 2009 when signal switches to digital from analog. My mom does not care if she has HD or not. She just really does not want the cable box. I will check on the cable card thing though for sure.

Last edited by NeilJ; 06-07-07 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 06-07-07, 12:53 PM   #4
Gambit
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The built-in HD tuner is only for over-the-air signals using an antenna. In 2009, when everything switches, you will need this tuner as the old tuners will no longer work. Now, if your mom will just be watching cable and never watch local channels using a regular antenna, then you should not be concerned about the built-in HD tuner as you won't be using it.
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Old 06-07-07, 12:59 PM   #5
NeilJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gambit
The built-in HD tuner is only for over-the-air signals using an antenna. In 2009, when everything switches, you will need this tuner as the old tuners will no longer work. Now, if your mom will just be watching cable and never watch local channels using a regular antenna, then you should not be concerned about the built-in HD tuner as you won't be using it.
That is exactly what she is wanting! She only watches local channels via her cable. she does not use an antenna at all. So then in 09 after the switch the built in hd tuner will have her covered then! Actually I guess for 09 a QAM tuner or HD tuner either one will cover her needs. Thanks again for all the info! I love these boards!
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Old 06-07-07, 01:33 PM   #6
Josh H
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Also, the 2009 switch over (if it doesn't get pushed back again) only affects OTA broadcasts.

Cable companies aren't required to switch, though many may. I know comcast in some areas has gone all digital where every customer has to have a box.

In my areas all channels are in digital if you have a box as of May 15th, but you can still get 2-99 or whatever the analog channels are on a normal TV.
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Old 06-07-07, 11:21 PM   #7
Barry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gambit
The built-in HD tuner is only for over-the-air signals using an antenna. In 2009, when everything switches, you will need this tuner as the old tuners will no longer work. Now, if your mom will just be watching cable and never watch local channels using a regular antenna, then you should not be concerned about the built-in HD tuner as you won't be using it.
I recently bought a Samsung HL-S5679W 56 inch.
It has a built in HD Turner.
I only have basic cable like 15 channels.
I now get 5 or 6 HD channels I never got before.
TV says 1080i on few & the others are 720P.
I have no antenna hooked up to my tv & I get HD channels.
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Old 06-07-07, 11:52 PM   #8
Gambit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry
I recently bought a Samsung HL-S5679W 56 inch.
It has a built in HD Turner.
I only have basic cable like 15 channels.
I now get 5 or 6 HD channels I never got before.
TV says 1080i on few & the others are 720P.
I have no antenna hooked up to my tv & I get HD channels.
Most likely your tv has a QAM tuner in it and that is what is being used to get your digital cable channels.
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Old 06-08-07, 08:11 AM   #9
Spiky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilJ
That is exactly what she is wanting! She only watches local channels via her cable. she does not use an antenna at all. So then in 09 after the switch the built in hd tuner will have her covered then! Actually I guess for 09 a QAM tuner or HD tuner either one will cover her needs. Thanks again for all the info! I love these boards!
It really does depend on the local cable company. There is also Cablecard, some TVs have this built-in. It is essentially a cable box inside the TV. But the cable companies fight against using it, so I don't know where it will be in 2 years.

She should prepare for needing a cable box, they want to get rid of analog and keep their box fees.
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