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Old 08-10-07, 09:23 AM   #1
Mankal
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Confused about Tuner box for TV

I have a Sony HDTV compatible KV-36HS500 television that I need to buy a HD tuner in order to get high def. Currently I have regular cable tv (not digital) and was wondering if I get a tuner, can I just plug in my cable line to the tuner and get some HDTV channels like ABC or CBS) OR do I need to buy a separate external antenna?
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Old 08-10-07, 09:33 AM   #2
Brian Shannon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mankal
I have a Sony HDTV compatible KV-36HS500 television that I need to buy a HD tuner in order to get high def. Currently I have regular cable tv (not digital) and was wondering if I get a tuner, can I just plug in my cable line to the tuner and get some HDTV channels like ABC or CBS) OR do I need to buy a separate external antenna?
There are two ways to get an HD TV signal.

The first of which is through a cable or satellite provider.

The second is OTA or over the air, in which case you need a tuner and an antenna. If you were to get an HD Cable box you will get other HD channels but if you want the locals you will need to get a seperate antenna and aim it at your broadcast stations.

Here is more info

http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx
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Old 08-10-07, 09:49 AM   #3
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The way our cable system works is that if you get regular cable with no digital channels, you won't get HD. If you step up to the regular digital cable tier. you get all the free HD channels IF you have a tuner built into your TV. If you want the full HD package, you need either a set top box or a CableCard.
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Old 08-10-07, 01:42 PM   #4
Mankal
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Ok, got it now. With the current cable setup I have I wont get any HD even with a new box. I cant afford to upgrade my cable to digital, so I guess its just regular TV for now
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Old 08-10-07, 02:55 PM   #5
Sdallnct
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Originally Posted by Mankal
Ok, got it now. With the current cable setup I have I wont get any HD even with a new box. I cant afford to upgrade my cable to digital, so I guess its just regular TV for now
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Go to antennaweb.org and see ahat type of OTA antenna you might need. Then hit radio shack, wal-mart, home depot to see if they have an antenna that might work for you.

IMHO, if you can get the locals in HD you will likely be quite happy. In addition OTA HD will be higher quality then HD thru your cable (in most cases).

I have dish network. I picked up an old Voom box from ebay for like $40 and the guy threw in an OTA antenna. Put the antenna in my attic and now get all local in HD for free (after that initial outlay of $40). I enjoy it so much, I see no reason to upgrad to Dish HD at this point. Yea...I wish I got ESPN in HD, but not worth upgrading for one channel.
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Old 08-10-07, 06:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Shannon
If if you want the locals you will need to get a seperate antenna and aim it at your broadcast stations.

Your cable doesn't carry local channels?
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Old 08-10-07, 07:42 PM   #7
Sdallnct
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Originally Posted by mrhan
Your cable doesn't carry local channels?
I believe Brian is saying that if you don't have HD Cable, then getting an antenna and pointing towards the towers + a hd tuner will get HD locals for the OP.

I'm sure cable has the locals in SD. But the OP was asking how to get HD on his set that appears to be HD Ready. And basically he has two options:

1.) Upgrade to HD Cable. In doing this the cable company will get him or rent him a HD tuner (or card if his TV takes one) to hook up to his tv, and he will get HD. In most cases that would include locals on HD. The OP mentioned he did not want to spend the money on this.

2.) Get an ordinary antenna, purchase an OTA HD receiver, hook that up to a 2nd input on your TV and you get "free" local HD. Assuming you are in range, and have the right antenna. I say "free" because there is no cost for local OTA HD, but you do have to buy the antenna and HD receiver.

There are "new" OTA HD receivers out there for around $100 or so I believe. And an antenna can run from $10 to $75 in most cases. However there are some cheap ways of doing it, liking buying used.

I love getting free OTA HD. It is better quality then either cable or dish and since almost every prime time show is in HD + SNL, Late Night, Letterman, many sports, it is awesome!
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Old 08-10-07, 08:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sdallnct

I'm sure cable has the locals in SD. But the OP was asking how to get HD on his set that appears to be HD Ready. And basically he has two options:
In my area you don't need an HD box if you subscribe to cable. The HD signal is carried along with the SD signal and if your TV has a built in QAM it will decrypt the HD signal w/o a box. So, the only reason to get the HD box is if you subscribe to premium channels such as HBO, Showtime, etc. and to get On Demand programming. Otherwise, all the local HD is all free w/ a basic subscription.

I guess if your TV is only HD-Ready you won't have this but I thought most if not all TVs recently built has to have a built in HD tuner. I checked the specs for the OP's Sony and it looks like it was built in 2002. By today's standards that's pretty old.


http://www.docs.sony.com/release/spe...2HS500spec.pdf
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Old 08-10-07, 11:47 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mrhan
In my area you don't need an HD box if you subscribe to cable. The HD signal is carried along with the SD signal and if your TV has a built in QAM it will decrypt the HD signal w/o a box. So, the only reason to get the HD box is if you subscribe to premium channels such as HBO, Showtime, etc. and to get On Demand programming. Otherwise, all the local HD is all free w/ a basic subscription.

I guess if your TV is only HD-Ready you won't have this but I thought most if not all TVs recently built has to have a built in HD tuner. I checked the specs for the OP's Sony and it looks like it was built in 2002. By today's standards that's pretty old.


http://www.docs.sony.com/release/spe...2HS500spec.pdf
Well the OP made two point quite clear

1. He needs a STB. So his TV is HD Ready. There is nothing wrong with that. Just get the STB. I would never upgrade simply to get the built in tuner. His TV probably gives an excellent pic. Just needs a STB.

2. He does not want to pay to upgrade to HD Cable. I don't blame him. Why pay for something that has a worse picture then what you can get for free? Broadcast wise there is nothing better then OTA HD and it's free. Unless you want premiums in HD or just MUST have ESPN HD, I say go the antenna route if you are in an area that can get it.

(edit: I re-read. I didn't know any cable offered "free HD" of any sort. I know mine does not. So he might be able to get a HD STB that gets cable).
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Last edited by Sdallnct; 08-10-07 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 08-11-07, 12:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sdallnct
(edit: I re-read. I didn't know any cable offered "free HD" of any sort. I know mine does not. So he might be able to get a HD STB that gets cable).
Actually, most of them do. It is essentially a rebroadcast of local stations only. QAM could actually be used OTA, although it usually is not.

Are you sure you have tried plugging your TV's tuner into the cable outlet on the wall and done a search for channels? Might be surprised. I know mine here has it, although I have never bothered myself since the antenna works great.
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Old 08-11-07, 05:13 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Spiky
Actually, most of them do. It is essentially a rebroadcast of local stations only. QAM could actually be used OTA, although it usually is not.

Are you sure you have tried plugging your TV's tuner into the cable outlet on the wall and done a search for channels? Might be surprised. I know mine here has it, although I have never bothered myself since the antenna works great.

The plasma I have in the bedroom gets all the HD channels through cable w/o a STB. The main one uses the STB because I subscribe to HBO and like watching the On Demand content.
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Old 08-11-07, 11:29 AM   #12
Sdallnct
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Wow...learn something new. I didn't realize cable offered free HD content. Who would have thought! Well yea...if you can it free, the OP should look into that. Tho and antenna is not that big of a deal, it can be depending on location.
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Old 08-11-07, 01:49 PM   #13
mrhan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sdallnct
Wow...learn something new. I didn't realize cable offered free HD content. Who would have thought! Well yea...if you can it free, the OP should look into that. Tho and antenna is not that big of a deal, it can be depending on location.
Yeah, it's part of the standard feed but if you call the Comcast they insist you need the box.
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Old 08-11-07, 03:23 PM   #14
Mankal
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Wow guys thanks for all the help...You all really know your stuff, but then again this is a DVD talk forum.
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