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To HDTV or Not to HDTV?

Cliff posted more than 12 years ago | from the but-there's-plenty-of-time-until-2006 dept.

Television 478

fishrokka asks: "I'm considering buying an HDTV, but before I jump in I wanted to get Slashdot's opinion. The demos I've seen at stores look great, but is it worth the extra money? I would love to hear some real-life experiences..." I have yet to actually go out and see a demo of HDTV, but from what I hear, it's markedly better than the current analog technology. Although there are HDTV broadcasts to be found today, the FCC deadline for adoption of the format is not until sometime in 2006. Are the current HDTV implementations worth the pricetags, especially when one can limp along with their existing TVs for another 4 years?

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HDTV is worth (1)

Bhang (45228) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757404)

is worth it, only if you are upgrading tvs. if you arent in the market, dont bother.

Re:HDTV is worth (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757409)

Wow, the first post is somewhat on topic. Oh yeah, 2nd post!

Stores are frauds (1)

madcoder47 (541409) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757406)

I dont know WHAT they do to those TVs in stores, but they always look so much better there than they do once you lug em' home. Must be the lighting...

2-1'st (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757408)

sup w00t

Large monitor? (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757410)

What would make me buy an HDTV today is if it had a VGA Input. At the very least I could have a Star Trek style main viewer in my apartment!

Re:Large monitor? (2)

.@. (21735) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757534)

They do. You can. And those that don't can be made to have one with a VGA->component adapter.

Re:Large monitor? (1)

Bruhman (309257) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757565)

Yep. Have you guys seen Tech TV's the Screen Savers? That big 36" Monitor they have is just an RCA HDTV. It has a VGA input with a max res of 800x600. They have the Name covered up but It looks just like the one I saw in Radio Shack.

Re:Large monitor? (2)

.@. (21735) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757577)

I've seen it up close; I've been on their set (I've done a few segments with them this year). It is indeed just an HDTV.

fuck (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757411)

you, pam.

Not! (-1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757413)

Theres no way in hell the government or fcc is gonna make me buy a 19" hdtv for $1299 while the same size analog is 1/10 the cost. Aren't dvds even below hdtv quality? Theres going to be 100 million angry people in 2006 when the old tvs no longer work.

BLING BLING (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757414)

YO DAWGS! I gotz da mothafuckin skillz to make da mothafuckin Benjamins! Da mothafucking Benjamins pay da mothafuckin billz!!!!

W3RD UP SLUTMUFFINS!!!

you might understand this (-1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757425)

HOW TO BE A NIGGER

- Slink around, shuffling your feet and bobbing your neck like the lazy retard
you are.
- Walk down the middle of the street because you don't know what a sidewalk is
for.
- Hang out at carwashes and mini-marts because everybody knows these are the
best places to be a dope, I mean dope.
- If you're a nigger bitch, shit three nigger babies into the world before 17
years of age. This assures that welfare money will support you, so your
nigger men have more time to commit crimes. Oh yes, make sure each nigger
baby has a different father.
- Bastardize the English language in the name of nigger culture. Make sure
that several terms have multiple meanings and others have ambiguous meanings
and that only 50% of nigger words are even complete words. Real niggers will
know what you're trying to say.
- As a culture, make sure there are always more bucks in prison than in
college at any given time.
- Hang out in packs of 10 to 15 and make sure everyone acts as annoying as
possible. This helps to promote nigger individuality.
- Always talk loud enough so everyone in the 'hood' can fucking hear you, and
if they are niggers, they will know what your saying, bro.
- Wear clothes that are 10 sizes too big, making sure the pants hang off your
ass. Also huge pants facilitate stealing (let me translate that: "it be
easier to lift dat 'box at the Kmart, homes"). If you have to hold them up
while you walk, it only looks badder.
- Park at least 5 junk cars in your yard while being careful not to use the
driveway. It's OK to abandon them in the street as long as it's in front of
someone else's crib.
- Exaggerate every motion, every tonal inflection and grab your dick a lot.
Have red carpet, blue walls, brass and overstuffed furnishings (all rented),
purple bathrooms and keep all windows covered so that no light can enter and
no cops can see in while you...
- Do drugs, sell drugs, make drugs.
- Turn your backyard into a junk yard. If you don't have a backyard, turn
your mother's into a junk yard. Eliminate every blade of grass.
- Travel around leaching off relatives, friends, salvation armies. Abandon
your children with them also.
- Smack your kids and yell at them a lot. Make them feel less than human and
that they have no future, which they don't because they're niggers like you.
- Drink cheap wine and malt liquor every day, forgetting that "malt liquor" is
just fortified cheap beer.
- If you're a nigger buck: fuck anything that moves, no matter how ugly she is.
After two eight-balls, even the ugliest, fattest nigger bitch will look good.
- Be charitable and covet fat, ugly white chicks. After all, they're niggers
too. They can't help being so undesirable to white men that they have to
fraternize with black dudes on a 20/20 trip. And white ho's are a special
trophy too, especially the not so ugly ones.
- Spray paint everything in sight with scribbles that mean nothing to White
people but mean things to fellow niggers (except niggers from another hood
who will probably try to kill you for tresspassing on their turf)
- Use the term "motherfucker" in every sentence. It's one of the most
versatile words in the nigger language, being a noun, verb, adjective and
complete mini-sentence in event you run out of thoughts.
- Stop in the middle of the street, blocking all traffic to converse with
fellow niggers and have complete disregard for everyone else.
- Delay everybody at the checkouts while you and 3 other dudes fumble around
for the $1.42 for the bottle of Magnum.
- Clog isles at Kmart with strollers, bastard kids and your fat selves. If
you're a cashier, never look at or be cordial to a customer and always talk
to other niggers while you ring up the customer.
- Overcharge customers at Taco Bell and pocket the difference.
- Drive your car while slouched so low that you can barely see over the wheel
(gangsta drivin').
- Get a job under affirmative action. Then sit around all day pretending that
you earned the position and that the other co-workers respect you. Whenever
you fuck up, scream "racism!" & hope you get enough Generation X liberals
in the jury.
- Never, I mean NEVER, take any responsibility for your actions. Always blame
others including Asians, Latinos, Mexicans, and especially Whites for your
sorry ass stupid lives.
- Advertise your "nation" (gang) with a bewildering array of colors that mean
nothing to any one but other nig's. Oh yes, if another nig violates your
"nation" i.e. garbage strewn empty lots and burned out tenements, shoot
their ass.
- Look for identity in murderous criminal gangs when you can't find it in
broken nigger homes because your mother was a 15 year old cokewhore and your
father is in jail doing 5 to 15 for pistol whipping a mini-mart cashier.
- Be all concerned with east/west connections, cellular phones, beepers, drive
by's and other trivial bullshit that Whites will never understand anything
about (what's to understand?)
- Lament ghetto gang life while at the same time...
- Listen to rap "music", which glorifies "gangsta" life, crime, drugs, murder,
early death, oppression of women. Rip off other legit music to fabricate rap
music which probably takes an engineering degree to "write" (because of the
technical know-how to operate the machines) while not requiring any music
talent at all. Then get some young criminal scum to perform it, after
changing his name to something stupid like Snoopy Dog. Spell the name of the
group with phonetics and use a number in it because nig's really like that.
At least rap is an opportunity, e.g. for young black criminals to further
their criminal careers. Rap needs only four things to be successful:
a producer, a promoter, a front-man flunky, and MTV to shove it down our throats.
Be sure to say absolutely nothing important during the 5 pages of
dialogue in a given rap joint other than "look at how much of a nigger I can
be." Then roll a joint in the joint and think about the joint while stylin'
to the joint.
- Show other lame-ass races the black race is unique by having a
culture/lifestyle that results in diseases/poverty/birth rates for blacks
consistently rising while it falls for the others.
- Fear and loathing of dogs is set in the genes for nig's. Of course bigotry
against blacks is set into the genes of dogs. So be sure to get a dog, tie
it up in the cold and mud and neglect it until it dies. Then start all over
again.
- Always have ten excuses involving hospitals for why you can't pay your
bill. When or if you finally settle up, pull out a big wad of bills out of
the welfare check to do it. Cash must be used because you long ago fucked
up your credit and checking account.
- Cram 5 generations into a two room government apartment and still be able to
neglect your kids.
- Die young. The #1 cause of death for nigger males between 15 and 30 is
murder.

Re:you might understand this (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757438)

Yo, dawg, why you be playa hatin? Yore cracker ass dont need to be frontin like dat. You want a cap in yo ass, dawg?

Re:you might understand this (-1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757468)

yo yo yo muthafucka! motherfuck dis motherfuck dat shit shit suck my dick smoke weed kill whitey fucky stank ass ho bitch be trippin in dat crib.

Re:you might understand this (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757472)

W3rd up dawg! Yo' white ass be talkin in my VERnacuLAR now.

GameCube supports HDTV, hah, (2, Insightful)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757417)

GameCube supports HDTV.

Me?

I'm still using a shoddy Zenith 19in with only RF plugs.

My computer moniter is bigger then that. :(

Thus, the TV in card I am using. :)

Anybody know of a TV In card that supports HDTV signals? Seriously, I have a 36inch monitor and a fscking 19inch TV set and things aren't likely to change soon! Nifty to be able to view HDTV on my computer though. :) (heh, at least its already progressive. :) )

Re:GameCube supports HDTV, hah, (1)

His Nastiness (542696) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757456)

Hauppage makes a card with HDTV support. Cost about 300 dollars want to say I saw it at Officemax or Officedepot. Check their site.

Re:GameCube supports HDTV, hah, (1)

JonathanF (532591) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757475)

I believe Hauppauge does have an HDTV tuner for the PC:

http://www.hauppauge.com/html/products.htm#digital [hauppauge.com]

You might not like that price though!

Re:GameCube supports HDTV, hah, (1)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757587)

Uh, NO WAY IN HELL!

I paid $20 for my generic TV-IN card.

Same generic BT chipset, ALOT cheaper price! :)

Computer swap meets are nice. :)

Does HDTV come from my standard cable box? Or does it require a special connector? I have digital cable yet it is through an RF box (thanks AT&T! Bleh).

Getting nuts though, heh, recorded analog, encoded to digital in MPEG2 format, displayed on an analog TV screen, bleeeeh. The quality loss has got to be horrid.

Oh wait, it IS!

Heh.

Not as bad as the 100ft RF extension cable I have going to my computer though, hehe. Hey, it works, uh, kinda. Well, most of the channels are viewable. :)

Re:GameCube supports HDTV, hah, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757478)

I believe you want the ATI RADEON 8500 DV. It uses the special connector (DVI?) specifically to hook up to HDTV sets. My thought is that you could buy some sort of set top HDTV receiver to hook to the card.

Re:GameCube supports HDTV, hah, (2, Informative)

qqtortqq (521284) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757530)

DV is firewire. You would need a TV to firewire converter, which are about $400-500 last i checked, but to recieve the signal in the computer, all you would need is a firewire card.

The FCC and their mandates can go climb a tree. (0, Flamebait)

Bob_Robertson (454888) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757418)

Please insert here the usual factual, rational and well considered argument that the FCC only hinders real innovation without adding any benefits.

The FCC: Another monopoly, another failure. No surprise.

Bob-

Re:The FCC and their mandates can go climb a tree. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757552)

Ok, why not consider a counter example that nullifies your asssertion?

By standing back and "letting the market decide", the FCC essentially killed mediumwave AM stereo broadcasts. With six competing systems, and no FCC mandate, consumer equipment manufacturers were forced to play Russian roulette when chosing which system to support. Most chose not to support any form of AM stereo. As a result, the market was fragmented, consumers were unable to experience AM stereo, and AM stereo became an obscure novelty rather than a major component of the mediumwave broadcast business.

The FCC's flub also hastened the demise of music on the AM band, something which AM stereo was designed to prevent. Now in the USA, the AM broadcast band is music-free. Once mighty music powerhouses such as WOWO and WWWE are mere shells of their former selfs, now "Stepford" stations for the endless blather of AM talk radio.

What counter argument? (2, Interesting)

Bob_Robertson (454888) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757589)

Sterio AM didn't survive because people didn't want it. This is a "failure"?

I am looking forward to the discussion on HDTV to see if anyone has a good reason to go buy it. Is wiz-bang enough, like sterio AM wasn't, to support the cost to producers and consumers to re-tool?

Since the FCC is using force to make people change, the only producer/consumer decision is "when". This is a failure, it reduces real choice into someone elses idea of right and wrong.

If you wouldn't stand that choice being made for you about religion, why do you support that choice being made for you about TV?

Does the preference for Windows make the (percieved IMHO) monopoly status of Microsoft right? Does your preference for the mandates of the FCC make their use of force right? Maybe in your eyes it does. Die, infadel, in the holy name of Alah!

Unfortunately, there is no way to be sure what wireless communication technology would be like without the FCC, because they have so hamstrung and restricted innovation for so long. However, I have in my pocket a Japanese cell phone from 3 years ago, so small, light and useful compared to the "American" versions of a technology the Americans invented.

One reason is because of the frequency restrictions that the FCC, in their infinite and perfect judgement for the betterment of mankind, placed on cellphones.

You may disagree with what specific technology is best, in fact I enjoy such discussions. Just be glad you're disagreeing with me, and not the FCC, because if you disagree with them you go to jail.

Bob-

I think it's a bad idea... (2, Redundant)

Lobsang (255003) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757419)

First of all, what are you going to watch there? HDTV requires a LARGE amount of bandwidth and most broadcasters would just rather have 12 regular channels than 1 HDTV channel in a sat transponder, for instance.

I'd wait...

Re:I think it's a bad idea... (5, Funny)

liquidsin (398151) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757492)

No...THIS is a bad idea!

...I wanted to get Slashdot's opinion.

Re:I think it's a bad idea... (2)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757566)

Well, I would say that a very high quality picture is a good idea, but I agree that the economics are all wrong.

Cable and Satellite have demonstrated that people want more channels, and it will be tough arguing that 30 over-the-air channels is not in the public's and in the broadcasters' interest, despite the interest of those with $3000 TVs. And Americans in general will choose quantity over quality every time.

HD programming will be available, but my guess is that it will be sold as a luxury service, and even then subsidized in that it won't be priced proportionally to the bandwidth used.

Another thing - Analog TV will not go dark in 2006. The sets/converter boxes aren't being mass-marketed now and it's almost 2002. Your congressman will listen to the little old ladys on social security that worry about their TVs being turned off. I'd even be surprised if it goes dark by 2016.

My advice? Save your cash until the open question of whether HD will be mass-marketed is resolved. Unless you want to go all the way and build the cost-is-no-object dream system, and are willing to put up with scarce programming in the meanwhile.

You can call me Bill...not anonymous coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757422)

I forgot my login.

At any rate, I don't see HDTV catching on. My guess is that the prices are still too high. The FCC will have to move back the digital deadline again if the prices don't get below $499/unit in a hurry.

oh my my my!
http://www.geocities.com/lilmacumd/escape.html

Re:You can call me Bill...not anonymous coward (1)

Transcendent (204992) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757544)

Just like no one thought that CD's would catch on...

Not worth it Yet. (5, Insightful)

msolnik (536110) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757424)

I bought a HDTV last year. Yes the picture is great but the price/performance is definitely not worth it. I have digital cable and some other HDTV supporting stuff but currently its not worth it. I get 15 HDTV channels. I would say wait for 2006. Everyone will need one then and prices will drop drasticly. Plus the current tvs havent really been tested a lot. Once they all start hitting the market they will be tweaked much better and I would say the picture will increase in quality 2x.

Don't Buy Yet. Coming from an HDTV owner spending 5K for a TV isnt worth it yet.

Re:Not worth it Yet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757431)

>>Are the current HDTV implementations worth the >>pricetags, especially when one can limp along >>with their existing TVs for another 4 years?
Does this mean I'll be forced to buy a new TV in 4 years. I better start saving now.

Re:Not worth it Yet. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757497)

I would say wait for 2006. Everyone will need one then and prices will drop drasticly.

Yes, high demand has always decreased price.

Re:Not worth it Yet. (-1, Flamebait)

vandelais (164490) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757502)

"Don't Buy Yet. Coming from an HDTV owner spending 5K for a TV isnt worth it yet."

Fuck you. It's always the early adopters who pave the way for the rest of us. Just because you are obviously too stupid to make a decision that's right for YOU, don't tell other people to make a decision that is right for you too to try to make up for said stupidity.

If you want one, buy one. Period.
If you don't want one, don't buy one. And stop bitching.

Re:Not worth it Yet. (5, Informative)

jesup (8690) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757518)

Digital cable is LOWER resolution then even normal cable. In fact, because the displays are large and sharp, digital cable often looks far worse on an HDTV than on a smaller regular TV.

Quality will improve, but not dramatically - the limits are size and (for RPTV's) gun size.

Prices have already come down lots - I paid $5k, but that was 2 years ago for a top-of-the-line Pioneer Elite. Now effectively the same TV (minus lacquer) is $2500.

HDTV ready (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757561)

Just get an HDTV-ready television. You won't get an HDTV signal unless you buy an adapter (which is expensive right now) -- but when HDTV is more widely used (even if you have HDTV right now, what will you get, four stations that broadcast on HDTV signals?) you'll have the screen resolution and performance that HDTV will require.

A few months ago, I laid out a few grand for a 65" widescreen Hitachi HDTV-ready box. Beautiful picture. Excellent television. And in a few years (2006) when HDTV is the standard and most other signals have been knocked off the air, you'll be able to pick up a converter box for next to nothing. Hook it up to your killer widescreen TV and enjoy! In the meantime, you'll be able to enjoy the sweet picture of your television when you watch your DVD's and stuff.

FYI: If you want a bood price/performance range, get the 50" Hitachi widescreen HDTV-ready which even a few months ago was around $2100. It could be even less now if you shop right (got mine at Circuit City). Spend that $2100 on a beautiful box today and in a few years, spend another $100 on a converter. There's no sense in spending $5,000 for an HDTV box now -- or four years from now. That's *way* more than is necessary.

Re:Not worth it Yet. (2, Insightful)

putzin (99318) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757569)

Like most others, I would suggest waiting. Maybe not till 2006, but give it maybe one more year. Widescreen TV's can be had at 42+" for less than $2500, and if you're like me, then open box at Best Buy can be your friend. I got my receiver (which is also a DirecTV receiver) for $400 open box. With the stereo setup and all, I spent less than $3500 for one hell of a system.

The good stuff is that the over air broadcasts are not as intermittent as some would say. I live 25 miles from Chicago and never lose signal. There isn't much original programming, but I caught an HD Cubs game last summer and was blown away. Waiting for the superbowl now. I figure it's about a year away from being good, 2 from being available over cable, and 3 from being almost mainstream.

The bad parts are the lack of HD format programming, and the totally anti-HD stance from Hollywood and most of the TV and cable industry. When the copy protect issues are resolved, you can bet Hollywood will jump all over this.

I enjoy it. Even the regular letterbox shows that are upconverted are good for now. And it will get better. Be an early adopter and show support. Dollars speak louder than anything anyone can say.

It looks great.... (2)

bubbasatan (99237) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757428)

but unless you have to be an early adopter for some reason or another, I would hold off for a while. The HDTV ready TV's are still way too expensive to only be HD ready. You still have to buy the HD reciever. And the true HDTV's (with built in HD receivers) are even higher. If you just want a quality big screen, those are cheaper than they've ever been and not a bad option for limping along for a couple or few years. In a couple of years, as there actually a fair number of HD broadcasts available, the HDTV's will be more reasonable (hopefully) and (hopefully) more advanced, so why pay a premium for what will be commonplace before too long? You can't beat HD quality, but a nice FD Trinitron Vega is close enough for now.

Game Consoles And HDTV (2, Informative)

SirDrinksAlot (226001) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757429)

Game consoles will enjoy HDTV, that will be another positive reason to get one. XBox games support it and i think so do some PS2 titles via the composit connection.
Mini Dish receivers now have HDTV support as well. Most new stations and some old ones have HDTV support as well.

HD Stupidity (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757430)

HDTV seems like its one of those rushed standards. I'd give it about 2 or 3 years to shape up before I even tried with HDTV.

Rushed? (3, Informative)

CaptainSuperBoy (17170) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757462)

Try, 20 years in the making.. if you asked a 'pundit' or a 'visionary' in the early 80s, whether we'd have HDTV yet in 2001, they'd laugh that you were being so generous with your estimate. HDTV has been a 'couple years' down the road, for the last 10 years.

Anyway, it's not rushed but I'm not buying the damn thing until cable/satellite providers adopt it.

Re:Rushed? (1)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757584)

True, but there's still been a delay in getting the sets out while they diddled around defining a DRM spec for the firewire cables. That's something that people didn't anticipate even a few years ago.

Re:HD Stupidity (1)

SuzanneA (526699) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757482)

Quite the opposite really, HDTV (in one form or another) has been around in spec-land for around 20 years already, the FCC and the standards bodies have been dragging their feet on adopting a standard, and getting the system onto the market. The 'HDTV' standard itself has been on paper since 96.

The Japanese gained access to HDTV (Hi-Vision) early in the 80s, a system that had already been in development for a few years. So, the HDTV concept dates back over 20 years.

If the FCC and ATSC (+ other standards bodies around the world) had acted faster, HDTV *might* have been standard in the US today. Personally, I also believe that if HDTV had been pushed earlier, DVD might have been easier to sell to the general population - there are a lot of people that really think that VHS is 'good enough', give them a vastely superior broadcast system, and perhaps they'd have been more quick to adopt DVD (or perhaps even LD would have been more popular).

XBOX or PS2 Video Games? (5, Informative)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757435)

If you have an XBOX and you are rich, the benefits of having HDTV may be of interest to the gamer looking for a higher quality image.

For those who are looking to buy the Linux upgrade for their PS/2 consoles, an HDTV might be a worthy replacement for their trusted monitors...

'the Playstation 2 is capable of displaying NTSC 640x480 interlaced resolution on a 4x3 composite screen, which does fall under HDTV standard.'

For more info about HDTV and Consoles click here [consolewire.com] .

nice (-1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757458)

Spending $2000 on a tv to play a $200 game console. Some great logic there. For that price you might as well look into some hologram projection system like that old sega acrade game with the time traveller being a cowboy and what not.

Re:XBOX or PS2 Video Games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757520)

If it outputs 4:3, won't you have those annoying grey bars on the sides of the screen.
Only 16:9 fills the entire screen... i think

Funny Timing: (1)

mESSDan (302670) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757436)

I think it quite funny that this shares the front page with "A New Year's Idea: Pay For Some Freedom".

The other article is about giving a little bit of your cash to help people in Open Source out, and how and where you can.

This one is about spending a couple of thousand dollars on fixing something that isn't broken, in this case; television.

This is NOT meant to be a troll, I just felt it was a funny slashdot choice.

FCC deadline in 2006 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757439)

Although TV networks are required to broadcast in HDTV in 2006, and return their current spectrum allotment back to the government at that time, there is a very powerful "if" in that clause.

Essentially, if more than 5% of households haven't upgraded their televisions to HDTV, then the networks get to keep both.

I'd be willing to bet my house that over 5% of households don't have VCRs, and they cost less than $100 and have been around for over 20 years.

HDTV will never become mainstream in this country. Already the networks are realizing that there is a lot more potential in delivering 5 or 6 different, analog-quality compressed video streams in that HDTV spectrum than to actually deliver HDTV.

Re:FCC deadline in 2006 (2, Interesting)

SlashChick (544252) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757485)

"I'd be willing to bet my house that over 5% of households don't have VCRs, and they cost less than $100 and have been around for over 20 years."

Hand over the house keys, my friend. [tvhistory.tv]

Re:FCC deadline in 2006 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757517)

Uhhh, the chart you linked to shows that in 2000, 15% still did not have VCRs. He can probably keep his house.

Re:FCC deadline in 2006 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757575)

Can someone please find this innumerate fuck, slap his sorry ass around, permanently revoke his Slashdot membership, and throw him in a dumpster?

my first impressions... (5, Informative)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757440)

I first saw HDTV on a large runco projector... they brought in a studio-quality deck to play the source material since there were no on-air broadcasts at the time (we in dc were one of the first cities to get on-air broadcasts - they had demos of this in national airport).

The HDTV picture I saw was on a large screen (8 foot by 4 foot?), and was film-quality perfect. Lots of detail, no scan lines. Kindof what you'd expect for a $30k TV. But the coolest part was a much smaller normal-definition projection TV that was in the foreground... it was perhaps 3 feet wide, and despite the much smaller picture, it looked worse than the blown-up HDTV picture. It was amazing.

Of course, take this with a grain of salt... I don't own a TV.

Re:my first impressions... (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757495)

Imagine that, a vendor run demo that is "Perfect"...I am so glad that these demos allways reflect the final shipping product!!!

I'm Sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757572)

Is there anything more sad than when someone feels it necessary to say they don't own a tv like it's some sort of badge of honor?

Re:I'm Sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757582)

Of course there is: When someone is such a stupid TV addict that they take another person's not owning a TV as some sort of personal offense.

Directv (2, Informative)

enrayged (67136) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757441)

Right now Directv is supporting HDTV on a few channels (HBO comes to mind) and at one of my local electronics stores has an RCA HDTV with built in Directv receiver... also progressive scan DVD players may look decent on one... now if I only had the $2,999 to get one...

HDTV is Very Good and Getting Better (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757442)

Right now PBS, CBS, and ABC transmit the majority of their new programming in HDTV. The quality is outstanding, epecially some of the PBS stuff.

The major issue is can you receive the HDTV broadcasts? Some cable companies are beginning to retransmit HDTV channels and there are a few on DirecTV but your best bet is over the air. This link http://www.antennaweb.org/antennaweb/ will tell you what kind of antenna you will need depending on how far you are from the transmitters.

Good luck. If you can get the major networks over the air, you will not regret it.

Maybe the broadcasts aren't available, but. DVDs.. (2)

Migelikor1 (308578) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757446)

My area has only got a couple of HDTV stations, and they aren't very good ones. (ie no guns and animal channels like TLC or Discovery.) However, DVD playback on HDTV sets is amazing. The discs carry enough data to take advantage of the high resolution, and it shows. If you've gone into a Blockbuster in the last 2 years, you'd see the greater presence of DVDs, especially with nifty stuff on them. That's a pretty good reason to adopt early, especially if you're the home theater type.

Not true. (4, Informative)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757473)

DVDs do not display at a higher res on an HD box than on a normal TV. It's just they usually use the current 480 resolution better since the widescreen image isn't only using half the screen.

Also, you can use a progressive scan DVD player on DVDs. This basically doubles the lines on the screen to get rid of interlacing that causes scan lines and flickering.

Problems with HDTV (5, Insightful)

Pinball Wizard (161942) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757447)

Although broadcasters will be broadcasting HDTV by 2006, there is a catch. HDTV can be broken up in to several different, lower quality channels. Its much cheaper for networks to do it this way, so what do you think will happen?


The other big problem is that by 2006, the majority of us will still have plain old nonHD-TVs. What incentive will there be for the networks to provide a high-quality signal?


I don't think its realistic to expect networks to broadcast high-quality TV for free when they can split the signal and make more money, especially when the consumer demand is not there. The only hope is to have pay channels like HBO - I think thats the only real HDTV you will see.

Local stations and HDTV (2, Interesting)

bakkajin (226147) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757588)

I work in the news dept. at a tv station in a smaller market. We were meeting with one of the big-wigs from corporate and someone asked about the transition to HDTV. If I remember right he said that there is a loophole that unless a certain percentage of the market has a HDTV, you don't have to broadcast in HDTV.

When we are supposed to go HDTV, we will have to buy a new transmitter(I think) which will cost a chunk of change.

Having said that, most of our equipment is already set up to go HDTV, and our sets were designed with that in mind.

2006? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757448)

I could've sworn it was supposed to be earlier.. Or did they push it back because of manufacturer whining?

Honestly, though, as others have noted - if it ain't broke, don't bother. My ol' philips magnavox has been kickin' along for a good five years now, and I have no intention of replacing it unless it breaks (Or the deadline comes, in which case..)

I honestly don't know anyone who has a newer HDTV capable TV yet..

EDTV (1)

cisco_rob (443705) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757451)

I bought into something a while back (about 8 mo.) From samsung called EDTV. (enhaced definition.)

Instead of the 720 progressive scan lines required by HDTV, EDTV must be capable of 480p. While it doesn't carry the buzz word "HDTV" it is still a very nice looking flat screen 27", and I got it for $799 U.S.

I can notice a marked difference between regular analog TV and EDTV. While HDTV does look better, it is a good medium-range for someone looking for higher resolution, but prolonging the HDTV purchase until the networks go full high definition, however little publicity it has gotten..

Progressive DVD's + HDTV == Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757452)

Back when I was flush with .com stock, I got a nice big HDTV and a progressive scan DVD player - and it looks great! If you've got the bucks to blow, and you watch a lot of movies, it's a great way to go.

On the bright side .... (1)

Niet3sche (534663) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757461)

HDTV displays are *AWESOME*! I saw a display in a large geek-friendly store (known for returns sitting on the shelf), and an american football game was on, and it looked like you were just watching the game through a picture-frame.

Simply amazing.

HOWEVER ... the U.S. is so slow to adopt HDTV that if you get an HDTV-ready TV or one with the receiver already in place, it may well be a couple of years before you can use it. There are, though, some stations already broadcasting using the format. Were I to buy a TV right now, and were I looking in the mid- to high-end market (i.e. $2000 range), I'd personally get an HDTV receiver built into the TV.

Just my $.02. :)

Re:On the bright side .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757550)

I agree, you can get a panasonic or other brand in the $1400 range for a 43 inch without the reciever but the recievers that I have priced are in the $800 range, maybe you guys have seen them for less. So you are looking at $2000 just to get started. I live in Dallas and although a couple of stations are broadcasting, there still seems to be very limited adoption it and this is a medium to large sized television market. I'm still on the fence. If I have the cash and get the impulse I will probally buy one but I'm not going to finance it, it just isn't worth it at the moment. Maybe in a couple of years.

It depends. (5, Informative)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757463)

I just bought a Pioneer 64" TV. It's 16:9 and HD capable. It replaced a Sony 53" 4:3 I've had about 4 years.

First off widescreen rocks. It's great for movies, and go ahead and get a good progressive DVD player to make them look even better (on most sets).

As for HD, it depends. I'm in Raleigh, NC and have Time Warner digital cable. They offer HD cable boxes here, if you can get to the right person. Luckily, I did. The local network stations all have HD digital feeds on the cable. So, first off I get better quality signal than the normal analog cable streams (When they advertise digital cable, they never mention that the broadcast channels are still analog...sigh). I also get the HD stream when shows are done in HD. This includes CBS, ABC, FOX, NBC, HBO, and PBS (Nature shows are excellent in HD).

Now..as for which shows are in HD... NBC just does Leno. CBS does a LOT of their primetime stuff. FOX does some widescreen, but almost none or no actual HD. ABC does a few shows. HBO does many movies in HD, but unfortunately a lot of their original shows (Oz, Dennis Miller, etc) are not. Band of Brothers is though.

I'm also very lucky to have WRAL, the local CBS affiliate. They are the leading station in the country for HD. They broadcast all of their local news in AMAZING high definition. Kudos to them for all their hard work in driving this.

If your cable company doesn't do HD you can go over the air (OTA) using an antenna. That varies by area and distance. My friend did that for like 2 years until he recently got his cable box. It worked well, just wasn't as convenient. He got all the same network affiliates I do now, but no HBO or PBS. If you have DSS you can get a HD DSS receiver and they do HBO, HDNET (HD demos and movies), and I think one PPV.

I'm very happy with my setup. Once you start watching HD shows you'll really become a snob. :)

Re:It depends. (1)

ozzmosis (99513) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757570)

> This includes CBS, ABC, FOX, NBC, HBO, and PBS (Nature shows are excellent in HD).

I bet real sex and shock video [hbo.com] are also =P

Warning sarcasm alert (3, Informative)

discovercomics (246851) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757573)

I'm also very lucky to have WRAL, the local CBS affiliate. They are the leading station in the country for HD. They broadcast
all of their local news in AMAZING high definition
/*Begin sarcasm (särkzm)*/
[sarcasm]
Yep thats why I want to get a HD reciever...So I can watch the local news in glorious high definition
[/sarcasm]
/*End sarcasm (särkzm)*/

Yeah I know that wasn't the point of the comment..NetJunkie gave a balanced overview of the situation..it boils down to what the stations AND cable company in your area are doing..
Personally I'm holding off until the local affiliates decide what they are going to do...If they opt to split the stream most of the time what signal if any is left that is HD and if they do split the streams how does that affect cable companies and must carry rules.

Back when the cable companies were first pushing their product I seem to remember that one of the selling points of cable was a picture superior to over the air broadcasts...But now when you try to use that same logic to get national feeds from a satellite service like dtv or dish the responce is that the over the air signal is of high enough quality to prevent you from being able to legally obtain a network feed off of the satellite...

Ah, the age-old question... (5, Insightful)

SlashChick (544252) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757464)

My parents bought a big-screen (52") projection TV in 1986. Mom was the one who ended up buying it, because Dad insisted on waiting for HDTV.

They still have that TV. It does everything they need (it has S-video inputs, for instance), and still looks like a lot of the models in stores today. Will they upgrade to an HDTV? Sure. But not for a couple of years.

Take my mom's advice: Buy something you like now if there is something out there that is significantly better than what you have. You can always upgrade again later. ;)

why bother for a while (0)

rewtbeer (301781) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757466)

dont even bother for another 2-3 years. hdtv is still way too expensive, and very few stations are broadcasting on hdtv.

ask slashdot.. hah... more like ask the short bus

It's All About The Technology... (2)

ijx (66809) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757470)

A lot of the new HDTV's nowadays are utilizing new, exciting, but not consumer-proven technologies.

Plasma screens, massive LCD's, etc. seem to be the HDTV kings right now, but all these hi-def gadgets have a major problem - price. While memory is getting cheaper and cheaper, these haven't had the kind of production surplus necessary to drive these prices down to reasonable levels. Even in Japan, the home of HDTV, these products cost more than a pretty penny. Then again, considering the recession...

Point being, unless you have a really, really compelling reason to leap, don't. I know you're dying to hook up your freshly unwrapped GameCube and play it in full digital glory, but it really doesn't make sense right now. If you're definitely looking for a new TV or whatnot, consider a home theater projector. They run about as much as a lower-end HDTV would cost you, but you can use them as a monitor or a massive movie wall.

Of course, the more people buy into Plasma and so forth now, the faster prices will drop... Hmmm... Go Now! Buy buy buy! Then maybe I'll be able to afford one in a few years when they're more practical. ^_^

Only if money is no object. (5, Insightful)

.@. (21735) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757474)

HDTV is worth it, but you can't balk at spending USD$5000-$10,000. If you're going to "go cheap", you're better off waiting.

I currently enjoy quite a bit of HD content on my 56" 16:9 rear-projection set (Panasonic PT56WXF95A, which does 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i). I get my HD content OTA (over-the-air), using an imported British UHF indoor antenna. The SF Bay Area has about 10 HD OTA stations currently, and more on the way (see this page [metronet.com] for info).

At the minimum, you need a set (and I strongly recommend a 16:9 set that's at LEAST 40", and a direct-view set if you go that small. Anything bigger and you should get rear- or front-projection. My set was $3500 new), a tuner (I use a Panasonic TU-HDS20, for which I paid USD$1000), an antenna (I got mine for USD$40).

To this, you may want to add satellite (DirecTV or Dish Network) for additional HD content (such as HD-HBO), or cable...there are a few test markets in which the cable companies are testing HD content over coax. Digital cable is NOT HD. it's not even 480p. It's just digitally-compressed analog.

Further, you'll want a progressive-scan (480p) capable DVD player (I use a Toshiba SD6200 and Sony 7000, around USD$1700 all told. The Sony isn't progressive, though.)

Finally, you can enjoy things like the XBox, which can output 16:9 480p for games.


Of course, with all this visual quality, you're going to want a sound system to match. That means at least 5.1 Dolby Digital, and preferably THX. You're looking at a base of USD$2k for a system and speakers.

Additionally, you're going to need to get your set calibrated if it's a rear- or front-projection unit. A good ISF calibration on all inputs can run USD$1000 and take two days. And you'll want the correct lighting and light control in your viewing area, which may cost you an additional $500-several thousand in screens/lamps/etc.

Last, you may want a "toy" or two. My current toy is a standalone DVD recorder, the Panasonic DMR-E20 and a Data Video TBC1000 timebase corrector for videotape->DVD transfer. That was another $1200.



Is it worth it? Every single penny. Is it something you should jump into if the money I just described makes you nervous? Not yet.

Digital vs Analog (1)

acoustix (123925) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757479)

One thing about digital technology that pisses me off is when I see or hear an advertisement like: "This product offers digital quality audio/video..."

What the hell does that mean - digital quality? It all depends on the sampling rate of the digital recording. I've heard many analog recordings that sound just as good or better than some digital recordings (although it is becoming more rare now).

I have asked many companies and consumers about the meaning of "digital quality" and no one can give me a definite answer.

Now to the actual subject. I have seen a HDTV demo and it was much cleaner overall. I especially can't wait until most programming is in 16:9. That will help tremondously. I have only seen Mitshubishi (sp?) and Pioneer models but both were stunning!

4th Gen Is The Charm? --Or--Don't Wimp Go Fer It! (2, Insightful)

TheSauce (243403) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757480)

At this point there are a bunch of things you need to answer internally before deciding to DTV your world:
1. Are you in a major DTV region? (Or are you stuck in Denver where there is none?)
1a. If not, do you want to pay for 2 WHOLE Channels on DirecTV or 3 on DISH--both in a lowball ATSC standard (540P?)
2. If you are in reach of a major city with fair DTV coverage, do you know anyone who can get the channels (I'm in Southern Orange County...and I get all but one LA station with a couple of Double Bow Tie RS Antennas and an amplifier on a Second Gen Tuner.)
3. Do you give a rat's arse about primetime content or HDNet's Hockey Coverage (Thank-you for carrying a whole second channel part-time, DirecTV...Magnanimous of you.)
4. Can you cope with knowing that in a year and a half the quality of whatever you buy will double and the price will halve--at a minimum.
If you answered yes to most of those or enough to convince your wallet, go second and a half gen now... otherwise wait for the 4th Generation with better res, lower prices, more content, real multipath abbeyence... et al.
PS. NBC has One Whole Primetime Show! Whooohoooo!
This site might help you:
http://pub1.ezboard.com/fdigitaltelevisionhdtvfo ru mhdtvdigitaltelevisionnewsforum.html

I recently took the plunge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757481)

I took the plunge mainly for console gaming

I went out and found the smallest, cheapest widescreen projection HDTV I could and bought it. It was a Panasonic 47". It's amazing.

Getting HDTV for watching Television channels is just silly, there's only 2 here in NYC. But the component video/s-video in ports (of which there are 2 Comp/3 s-vid) are just awesome for gaming.

Xbox supports HDTV (up to 1080i) and allows me to play with progressive scan mode turned on making the games look sooooo much better than before.

The S-Video out on my Geforce3 allows me to use the TV as a giant monitor (although I've yet to get it to look good enough to play a game on), it's definitely good enough for chatting or browsing the web. I picked up a wireless keyboard and mouse for just that occasion.

My TV was $1700 + delivery of about $70, and it was definitely worth it for the geek in me to watch widescreen DVDs and play games like Halo, Gran Turismo 3 and Super Smash Brothers Melee in all the glory that is widescreen progressive scan.If you have the money, go for it.

Questions about HDTV (2, Interesting)

Notre97 (245681) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757486)

I've also been looking into HDTVs. And here is a question I've wanted to ask somebody, and hopefully there is someone here that might be able to answer it.

Which looks better, 720p or 1080i? I've noticed that a lot of HDTV don't do 720p and "upgrade" any 720p signals to 1080i. How does this affect the image quality?

As far as I can find, he best HDTV (well technically it's a "monitor" b/c it has no built-in tuner; you need to use a cable box or VCR or something) I've seen is from Princeton [princetonhdtv.com] . Thier AF3.0HD [princetonhdtv.com] looks to be the best one out there. And you can find it for less than half of the $4000 MSRP online right now. CNET has a good review of the Princeton Ai3.6HD [cnet.com] . (I think the main difference is the aspect ratio between this one and the AF3.0HD).
If anyone owns one of these tell me what you think.

Re:Questions about HDTV (3, Informative)

.@. (21735) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757512)

My set can do both 720p and 1080i. 720p is better, hands down.

Not worth it for cable. (1)

TurboRoot (249163) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757493)

HDTV is not worth it if you plan to just watch cable. I have a Sony i1080 57", and I did not buy it to watch cable..

Now, when I pop in a DVD using the component out cables, the quality is awesome! :) It is DEFINETLY worth it for DVDs and games.

Just plan to have a lot of equipment with component out, you can even buy component out adaptors for the PS/2. And despite what the techies say, it does help in reality. :)

Been playing a lot of Final Fantasy X on this screen, and it is badass :)

Progressive scan on the cheap (3, Interesting)

FauxPasIII (75900) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757499)

I got myself setup with an HDTV system for under $600. I got a Princeton Graphics [princetongraphics.com] monitor and a cool chinese import DVD player from Project Design and Trading Company [project-design.com] that has VGA output. So I have a high-resolution non-interlaced signal. The player, the DVD-368PS, also has normal progressive scan signals if you decide to upgrade your TV later to a 'conventional' HDTV.

DEFINITELY (1)

lnevo (10937) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757504)

My Dad has a 61" HD TV and its awesome. Definitely takes some investment in getting access to everything you need, but highly worth it. Television in HD is not even in the same league as regular broadcast or satellite. If you're going to buy a good televsion, its gotta last you a good 15 years. I would certainly spend the extra now then have to spend it again in 3-4 years.

Lee

My HDTV (4, Interesting)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757506)

My cable company has been offering 4 HD channels (HBO East and West, SHO East and West) for free for some time, and when I decided to add a computer to my entertainment center, I took the plunge and bought a 35" Zenith HDTV/VGA monitor. It was a discontinued, slightly battered store demo, for "only" a thousand dollars. I grabbed it.

Well, I must report that HDTV is certainly all it is cracked up to be. Although the 4:3 ratio monitor squishes some display modes a bit when it letterboxes them (I suppose to get better vertical resolution), the difference in picture clarity is phenomenal. I'd have to say it equates with the difference between VHS and DVD.

The only that really irks me about the Zenith monitor is its inability to handle VGA at 800x600, despite its being able to display much higher HD resolutions. I think Zenith might've improved that in their newer models, though.

Some HDTV Links (1)

Adversive (159469) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757508)

I've been shopping for a large-screen rear-projection HDTV for a while now. Here are some of the resources I've been using to help me decide:

Frequently-asked questions:
http://www.avsforum.com/hdtvfaq/HDTV-FAQ.htm [avsforum.com]
http://www.nwlink.com/~rxg/hdtv.html [nwlink.com]

Reviews, tips, tweaks, etc:
http://www.hometheaterspot.com [hometheaterspot.com]
http://www.avsforum.com [avsforum.com]
http://www.keohi.com/keohihdtv/index.htm [keohi.com]

HDTV is really hitting it's stride nowadays (5, Informative)

jesup (8690) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757509)

I got an HDTV almost 2 years ago, when the amount available was pretty low other than Jay Leno and some football and a few other specials. Even so, it was stunning. Nowadays, it's not even that expensive, and some cable companies are starting to carry it.

Now, there's a wealth of HDTV material available:

- Most of HBO, including Sopranos and Band of Brothers (wow).

- Some of Showtime (increasing)

- HDNet on DirectTV (Marc Cuban of broadcast.com and Dallas Mavericks fame - sports/etc HD channel that will carry much of the winter Olympics in HD).

- PBS (several Nova/Nature/etc shows a month, plus many stations show repeats of HD material)

- Almost all of CBS including CSI, District, Alias, etc, also US Open tennis, football playoffs, etc

- Much of ABC including movies of the week, The Practice, etc

- NBC is starting to get on the bandwagon after being first with Leno; they now have Crossing Jordan and more are coming. - Fox isn't interested in HD, but they do some in 480p widescreen like Ally, X-Files, etc.

CBS lets viewers not in range of a station or in the area of ones they own (most big cities) view the HD feeds from either NYC or LA via Dish Network.

Dish Network has 24-hr PPV in HD; DirectTV has partial-day. Dish has a 24-hr HD promo channel.

Comcast and Time-Warner are starting to roll out carrying HD HBO/Showtime and local HD channels (most of Philly has it now).


HD is here to stay and has come WAY down in price. It looks even better than in the showrooms - they turn the brightness up too high; they often try to sell it using DVD's (which look great but not near as good as real HD material); they don't bother to converge the sets, etc.

Prices are way down - I've seen $13xx in Best Buy for a small 4x3; and $1800 for an open-box 38" RCA CRT HDTV, 16x9, with HD DirectTV built-in.

Don't forget to get an HD receiver; $400-600 currently, but if you're a new DIsh Network subscriber it can be cheaper.


In short: Buy one. Subscribe to HDTVmagazine.com ($35 lifetime; daily email newsletter with the day's HDTV lineup, upcoming news, reviews, etc). You will enjoy it for a long time to come, and you'll have lots of excuses to have people over for parties (starting this winter with playoffs and the Olympics).

Formats (2, Informative)

lostchicken (226656) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757515)

HDTV 'ready' TVs are almost always 'ready' to push 3 native resolutions: Standard NTSC (480i analog), 480p (4:3 MPEG2 at 480 lines progressive) and 1080i (16:9 MPEG2 at 1080 lines interlaced).

When you see that your local TV stations are broadcasting in digital TV, they are more than likely broadcasting in 480p, or 480p converted to 1080i.

This gives NO image quality improvement over a perfect NTSC image, like what you would get from a dish, becasue those signals started out as NTSC on BetaCam, or film.

But that doesn't really matter, because the FCC is gonna make all those stations broadcast in HD anyways, right? Wrong. Most large-market stations are already broadcasting in the FCC mandated 480p. No 16:9, no HD, very little improvement.

Then there's the black sheep of the DTV world, alone crying for public approval. 720p is quite possibly the best image quality on HD. Even ABC uses it for their rare HD broadcasts.

The bad news, only one TV will show it to you without a res change. Have you ever seen a notebook trying to display a screen res other than the native? 720p on almost all HDTVs looks like that.

If this confuses you and me, Joe Slashdot, think about what it does to the poor Joe Technophobe, or TV exec. We should all wait until the industry figures out what to do, and I can see ALL images the way they were supposed to be seen.

DVD's look much better on an HD capable set (2, Informative)

sven7 (35290) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757516)

I recently replaced our older 27" Toshiba with a 36" Sony WEGA XBR, HD capable set. The difference in resolution is obvious and amazing. If you get an HDTV then make sure it has a high quality line-doubler that utilizes the 3/2 pull-down method. That feature will make it look like you have a progressive scan DVD player, since it will in essence be showing your DVD's at their recorded 480p(rogressive) resolution rather than the 480i(nterlaced). What you should do is take a couple of favorite DVD's to the store and watch your favorite scenes (that you've seen over and over again) and see of you can see a difference. It also helps to calibrate the display settings on a TV since most of the time their cranked way up in the stores to make them look "better". A DVD that has worked for me, for this purpose, is the AVIA Guide to Home Theater.
I think the enhanced DVD picture is worth the HD price tag, but shop around to get the best deal. I was able to save $500 because I waited for a sale. Also, make sure you get in house delivery because they're heavy. Mine weighed in at 250lbs and there was no way I was going to be able to lift that from "curb-side". Some of the resellers on the Web only offer curb-side...

Hope this helps.

Sven

Re:DVD's look much better on an HD capable set (2, Informative)

jrp2 (458093) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757591)

Dead on. A few months ago I bought a 38" 16x9 tube TV from RCA, built-in HDTV (not just "ready"). I plugged in an antenna for a couple days to see what HDTV is all about. It is just the same old crap in high-res. Yeah, looks good, but I hate regular TV and this is no better.

DVDs, especially since my recent progressive scan purchase, are simply awesome. No (or very minor on super-wide ratios) letterboxing, beautiful picture......unbelievable.

Then there is DVD-Audio..... I can't say enough about how cool that is.

Fuck (-1)

The WIPO Troll (267426) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757522)

Someone tell me to fuck off!

I'm scared! (4, Funny)

wfmcwalter (124904) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757523)

I'm scared to look at an HTDV.

Everyone I know who has done so has, to a man, come back to me and said "It's amazing - you don't know what you're missing!"

Yep, that's right, I don't know what I'm missing. I know my NeverTwicetheSameColor TV sucks, but I'm not sure just how bad. If I find
out, it's liable to be an expensive revelation.

Ignorance is bliss

You don't need an HDTV! (1)

Bobzibub (20561) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757528)

You need a very large tft monitor, something like this:
http://samsungelectronics.com/tv/tft_lcd/
Imagine you're improved productivity with one of these babies!

Or maybe just a $400 card:
http://www.telemann.com/products/dtv200.html

It's for the DVD's (1)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757532)

There isn't too much reason to get a HDTV as far as broadcast channels go. But it sure makes DVDs look great. I'm surprised more slashdotters haven't mentioned it. Oh, I forgot, they're all running ripped VCDs ;)

Fuck off! (-1)

The WIPO Troll (267426) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757535)

Someone tell me to fuck off again!

get a projector (2, Insightful)

ulupoka (264211) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757539)

don't buy a tv. buy a digital projector. you won't have to worry about burn in abd u can get a very large screen like 100". go to projectorcentral.com and www.avsforum.com to find a good one in your price range.

Go for the Big Screen... (2)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757542)

I was also trying to decide 50 inch HDTV or 60 inch projection. I went for the 60 inch Projection.

1. Letter box was actually Bigger on the 60 inch.
2. DVD looked the same on both. (I didnt have progressive scan, so cant tell ya..)
3. TV I watch was all NTSC, waste for the HDTV.
4. Money, 2500 for the 60 inch, or 6500 for complete 50 inch HDTV setup.
5. Normal TV is larger on the 60 inch. It was either squished, stretched, or had wasted space on the HDTV.
6. I watch a 27inch in the bedroom while im on the computer or jay leno when im going to sleep. The 60 inch was for movies and some TV, but wasnt my main tv.

1 Drawback with the projection, the kids watched too much disney channel, and the logo started to burn. Lucky I caught it in time, its very very light and I dont see it unless the screen is the same color. But make sure you dont have logos on for days.

-
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me. - Hunter S. Thompson

your answer (1)

tvinfo (546499) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757543)

do you want wide screen ,,,do you want rear projection,,,do you want the best possible picture when watching dvd's ? a 4x3 shaped hd ready rear projection looks better for standard deffinition television than a 4x3 tube tv, but a 16x9 hd tv gives up a little quality for regular tv ... the best suited for dvd watching is a 16x9 shaped tv wether it is a rear projection or tube, i would say to go with a rear projectin 16x9 hd ready tv.... some choices::sony kp51hw40 51" of hd 16x9 oh yeah for 2499.99 mitsubishi 46" wt46809 16x9 hd ready for 2199.99 mits 55" 16x9 ws55809 hd ready for 2799.99 the best but costly the pioneer elite PRO520HD hook up your box, man what a monitor. weighing in at 5300.00 big ones for a 53 incher yep 100/in its jus the over all best tv for a 4x3 i would say sonys XBR weaga tv's the kv36xbr450 36 inch for 2349.99 or the kv32xbr450 32 incher at 1989.99 . both are great tv's.

Depends on what your watching (2, Interesting)

Lissst (451356) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757551)

If you have, or planning on having a good DVD collection, it's worth every penny!

I got an HDTV about a year ago and yes the prices have dropped, but then again I've been watching high quality movies for about a year now.

If your looking at watching regular tv shows with the HDTV, you won't get any better picture. One day HDTV will be nice on regular television, but the DVD really shows what HDTV can do.

Also I'm not sure if the rest of the HDTV manufacturers do this, but the Mitsubishi brand has a lifetime commitment to send a tech to your home and upgrade the software or hardware in your HDTV to be compliant with the new HDTV standard once it comes out.

Yes and No (5, Informative)

rocur (183707) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757559)

First, check out HDTV Galaxy [hdtvgalaxy.com] for lots of good information.

I bought myself the Toshiba 34" wide-screen direct-view (tube) monitor and the matching HDTV/DirectTV receiver for Christmas. Total cost around $3000 from Best Buy (you can save at least $500 if you buy off the web, but do you really want to mail back 200 lbs of glass if it doesn't work?)

If you only watch TV and your existing set works fine and you either get satellite or good cable, it's probably not worth the money now. If you just have bad cable, get DirectTV or Dish. If your TV set needs to be replaced but you are happy with your existing TV, get one of the new true flat screen sets (flat as in flat picture tube, not plasma); for $500 you can get a really good picture. On the other hand, if you watch a lot of DVDs, an HDTV set coupled with a progressive-scan DVD player must be seen to be believed. From a normal viewing distance it's hard to tell it's not film. Absolutely gorgeous.

As for actual HDTV content, DirectTV currently carries both HBO and HDNet in 1080i, Dish (I believe) carries HBO and Showtime. HDNet is a startup HD-only channel that carries a mix of movies and "non-mainstream" sports (this week it seems to be mountain biking) and will be carrying several hours/day of tape-delayed Olympic events. The image quality varies from great to amazing, all 3 providers claim to not broadcast any up-converted materials.

As for over the air broadcasts, most major markets seem to have digital broadcasts from PBS, ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX. However, this doesn't mean that they are broadcasting HDTV, most of the shows are simply up-converted from NTSC. Many of CBS's night-time lineup are in 1080i, some of ABC's is in 720p (NYPD Blue and Alias). NBC claims Jay Leno is in 1080i, but that doesn't seem to be true in Boston. Fox is all 480p

Bottom line, if you watch a lot of movies on DVD (or just want a cutting edge toy), you can't beat an HDTV monitor. If you just watch TV, there isn't enough on yet to make it worthwhile.

HDTV ain't in Hicksville yet... (1)

ndnet (3243) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757563)

I doubt anybody, even the reps at the local cable company, have heard anthing about HDTV. I've never seen a demo, not even while I lived in Pittsburgh.

That said, I'd wait. They will come down in price by then, have a stable feature set, and will be easier to use with 'vintage' VCRs, game consoles, etc.

Personally, I'd like to get a better video capture card and a big monitor. Throw on some SNES emulation, make a nice little menu, and the set top box from heaven. Oh, and an integreated MP3/CD/DVD/PSX Player.

Then again, why don't I just wish to be ruler of the world, or as rich as Bill Gates. At least that way I have a chance of my dreams coming true. O_o

I OWN A HD TV (1)

drkrool (443139) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757564)

We bought a 61" Widescreen Mitsubishi HDTV about 6 months ago and it's great. Watching DVD's on a HDTV is like watching a movie in a theater. I would recommend buying it if you own a DVD player with progressive scan. There is no real HD signal in my area yet, but still, I have a reason to brag about and a lot of friends who want to come and watch DVD's.

I love having a HD TV.
:)

Seeing is believing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2757579)

A few weeks ago I saw an HDTV at a local Costco. It was magnificent; looked like a Kodachrome transparency (this old man's Gold Standard.) There was a coax coming down from the ceiling tiles. I figured they were feeding it a cable signal, and that's cool, although I thought the programming was a little too colorful/sportsy/girls, as if it might have been a taped program to entice the TV-buying male demographic.

Last weekend it was still there, only the ceiling coax was gone, and the picture quality was as shitty as any of the big screen projection TVs they were running on display.

So, buy if you want to, but bring a clear head as well as your wallet.

Not all TVs are created equal! (1)

rufusdufus (450462) | more than 12 years ago | (#2757593)

I have shopped around for HDTVs for quite some time now, and have not decided on buying one. Mainly because of the high cost and lack of much content.

The main note I have to make is that most of the so-called HDTVs are crap. The only ones I've seen that are quality are also very expensive. If you can't tell the difference, heck, buy the cheap one. But if you can't tell the difference I say, why bother? It gives you bragging rights perhaps, buy you are not a "video-phile" and don't really appreciate the benefits anyway.

The main complaints I have with them is the lack of actual resolution (dont believe the ads, *look* at it), bad viewing angle, and abominable "back-lighting" that leaves a halo on the picture.
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