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My new 51" HDTV has a grainy screen.

Old 03-08-05, 03:48 PM
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My new 51" HDTV has a grainy screen.

I just bought a new 51" HDTV on Friday. My local cable company can't come and hook up a HDTV box until March 19th. Right now my picture is grainy but I have digital cable on it right now. My question is will the picture become cystal clear when the HDTV box is hooked up to it?
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Old 03-08-05, 03:49 PM
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On the HD channels, it'll look great. Otherwise, welcome to cable.
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Old 03-08-05, 03:58 PM
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Yep. HD done right will look incredible.
Anamorphic DVD's with good transfers will look pretty darn good.
Analog cable channels, especially if you stretch the image to fit your screen, will look anywhere from 'Meh' to 'Crappy.' VH1 Classic, on my tv from my provider, looks like it was filmed in scenic Aspen.
Theoretically as the resolution changes from HD/1080i or 720p or even 480p down to 480i, your viewing position should move farther away from the screen. The higher the resolution, the closer you can be to the screen and still see a 'good' picture. And of course a big screen tv will magnify any flaws in the image [again, basically because you are proportionately 'closer' to the image.]
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Old 03-08-05, 04:02 PM
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Thanks for the info guys. Would a s video cable and a signal booster help any at all? Thanks again for any help you send my way. I never knew this sort of thing would happen. Everything looks so sharp and clear in the showrooms at the store.
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Old 03-08-05, 04:35 PM
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Well, when you go HD, you're going to need either component cables or DVI/HDMI [if your cable box and tv have them active.] You could go s-video, but I've heard that the jump from regular cables to s-video is not that great, and if you're going HD, S-video cables won't be enough for that. Since they're bringing the HD box in a couple weeks, I'd probably skip the s-video, since that would be a short term stopgap measure, and go ahead and get a couple sets of component cables [one for HD cable box, one for progressive scan DVD player, assuming you have one.]
And you're right, in the store they generally look incredible--they have the TVs all on torch mode so they can be seen in the bright showrooms, and I believe they are not showing 'live' content like you or I would have access to, but probably either recorded or satellite HD content to show how good the tv 'can be.'
Odds are your TV is perfectly fine [although I would try to find a setup disk, like the Avia, Sound and Vision, or Digital Video Essentials and set up your picture], it's just that your input, ie, digital cable, is crap. Just because it's digital doesn't mean it's 'excellent picture,', that just refers to the method of encoding/transfer, I believe. Cable has limited bandwidth, and they have so many channels and so much traffic they can only dedicate so much to each channel. And of course the network itself may or may not have 'great' quality content they're sending out--for instance, if HBO HD showed Tod Browning's "Freaks", even if it were 'HD', you'd still be watching a 60+ year old movie that will show some age, and any HD upconversion they did would be limited by that.
Unfortunately, even after all that, it won't look like it does in the showroom. You could leave it on Discovery HD and be impressed, or turn to, say, WB, [at least from my cable provider] and be frightened by the amount of snow and lack of quality on the picture.
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Old 03-08-05, 04:45 PM
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Side note: how come VH1 Classics is always the channel to bring up regarding "compression"
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Old 03-08-05, 04:49 PM
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heh
I don't know
I bring it up because it's my 'power on' channel, and sometimes my 'background noise' channel, so I see it more often [if not 'longer'] than any other.
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Old 03-08-05, 08:43 PM
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Thanks again for all of the help. You answered a lot of my questions on this matter.
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