What's HDTV Mean to My Existing A/V Devices?

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

I am under the impression that HDTV will become common place and they
will stop boardcasting regular signals at some year down the road. I
am wondering what this means to all the existing A/V devices that I
have. I assume the "stop boardcasting regular signal" only applies to
people who use antenna to receive signals. This will not affect people
who get signals from cable or DirecTV (I am using DirecTV). With this
understanding, I have these questions:

- Can I still use my old and still good 32" TV? Do I need any adapter
or converter to receive regular signals from DirecTV or cable?
Obviously, I will not be able to see HDTV quality in my old TV. How do
I watch HDTV shows in my old TV (in reduced quality)? Do I need a
converter? Do you expect the converter to be expensive (like above
$100)? Will the cable box or the DirecTV receiver automatically
downgrade the signal to show it in an old TV? Will the converter in
the TV side or in the cable-box/receiver side? Obviously, having the
converter in the cable-box/receiver side is more convenient; then, I
don't need to have one converter in each A/V device.

- Let say I somehow get enough money to buy a HDTV set in two years
or so. Can I use it with a DVD-player that I will buy before the end
of this year (2004)? Do I have to get a HDTV-compatible DVD-player in
order to watch DVD or VCD or DVD-R in a HDTV set? Is there such a
thing called "HDTV-compatible DVD-player" available now?

- What will happen to my PVR device (Beyond-TV with PVR-250 tuner and
encoder in a 1.5 GHz PC)? I assume the existing PVR device and the PC
will not work with HDTV signal and have to use a converter to
downgrade the signal, right? What kind of computer and PVR component
will be able to handle HDTV signal? I assume this kind of devices and
computers are not available to consumers, right?

- Are these questions already answered somewhere else? Which keyword
to use to search for this info?

Thanks.

Jay Chan
10 answers Last reply
More about what hdtv existing devices
  1. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    On 12 Jul 2004 11:57:39 -0700, jaykchan@hotmail.com (Jay Chan) wrote:
    - snip -
    >- What will happen to my PVR device (Beyond-TV with PVR-250 tuner and
    >encoder in a 1.5 GHz PC)? I assume the existing PVR device and the PC
    >will not work with HDTV signal and have to use a converter to
    >downgrade the signal, right? What kind of computer and PVR component
    >will be able to handle HDTV signal? I assume this kind of devices and
    >computers are not available to consumers, right?

    Current computers can handle HDTV. You need a graphics card that
    supports IDCT to help with decoding. With a cheapo Radeon 7500 on a 3
    GHz Celeron, I get about 55% load viewing European HDTV, which is
    1920x1080, e.g. a lot more than what's mostly used in the US
    (1280x768). Very good picture quality. Recording on the PC also works,
    no CPU power necessary for that, because the digital satellite signal
    already contains MPEG2.
    The problem is that you need a HD DVD or blue ray recorder to store
    entire movies, so you have to wait for this to become available. You
    can however downscale the recording to normal TV resolution an
    reencode, if you don't mind the computing time.

    Cheers


    http://www.codecpage.com
  2. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    The government or any of the TV stations haven't said what will happen when
    the HDTV deadline arrives. I suspect with the cost of HDTV's that at least
    for 10 or more years they will be broad casting both. Otherwise you can
    purchase conversion boxes that will down res. the HD broad casts to standard
    TV quality. This is what I plan to do and I like the TV's I have now and see
    no need what-so-ever to spend any money for a device that will in a short
    time give Hollywood all of the control over what we can and can't record for
    later viewing that they could ever want.

    As far as I am concerned it is a scam to get people to pay money for
    something no one needs. The only need is by Hollywood that is just frothing
    at the bit to control video recording. With HDTV soon the only thing you
    will be able to record is commercials.

    John
  3. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    > Current computers can handle HDTV. You need a graphics card that
    > supports IDCT to help with decoding. With a cheapo Radeon 7500 on a 3
    > GHz Celeron, I get about 55% load viewing European HDTV, which is
    > 1920x1080, e.g. a lot more than what's mostly used in the US
    > (1280x768). Very good picture quality. Recording on the PC also works,
    > no CPU power necessary for that, because the digital satellite signal
    > already contains MPEG2.
    > The problem is that you need a HD DVD or blue ray recorder to store
    > entire movies, so you have to wait for this to become available. You
    > can however downscale the recording to normal TV resolution an
    > reencode, if you don't mind the computing time.

    Good to know that many existing PC components can handle HDTV. I will
    need to go back home and check the specification of the nVidia
    GeForce2 video card to see if it supports IDCT (I cannot find that
    info in nVidia web site). I have a feeling that my PC that is P4
    1.5GHz may or may not be able to handle it if yours is already
    reaching 55% load.

    I don't really care about if a DVD-recoder can record HDTV movie in
    one DVD or not because I don't record long length video. As long as I
    can record 30 minute video onto a DVD, I will do fine. The question
    that I have in mind is for DVD player -- especially if a currently
    available DVD player can read a DVD-R or CD-R that has HDTV video on
    it. I guess this should be fine, right?

    Thanks.

    Jay Chan
  4. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    On Mon, 12 Jul 2004 22:09:45 +0200, codecpage
    <nospam-codecbox@email.com> wrote:

    >On 12 Jul 2004 11:57:39 -0700, jaykchan@hotmail.com (Jay Chan) wrote:
    >- snip -
    >>- What will happen to my PVR device (Beyond-TV with PVR-250 tuner and
    >>encoder in a 1.5 GHz PC)? I assume the existing PVR device and the PC
    >>will not work with HDTV signal and have to use a converter to
    >>downgrade the signal, right? What kind of computer and PVR component
    >>will be able to handle HDTV signal? I assume this kind of devices and
    >>computers are not available to consumers, right?
    >
    >Current computers can handle HDTV. You need a graphics card that
    >supports IDCT to help with decoding. With a cheapo Radeon 7500 on a 3
    >GHz Celeron, I get about 55% load viewing European HDTV, which is
    >1920x1080, e.g. a lot more than what's mostly used in the US
    >(1280x768). Very good picture quality. Recording on the PC also works,
    >no CPU power necessary for that, because the digital satellite signal
    >already contains MPEG2.
    >The problem is that you need a HD DVD or blue ray recorder to store
    >entire movies, so you have to wait for this to become available. You
    >can however downscale the recording to normal TV resolution an
    >reencode, if you don't mind the computing time.
    >

    There are currently available D-VHS (digital VHS), these are quite
    capable of recording HDTV. I bought a JVC version which supports
    firewire in, so far given my cable companies boxes, this is the only
    route I found so far to record HD, but thankfully my cable company
    recently started providing boxes with firewire out. I bought mine when
    Best Buy was blowing them out for 250usd, got the floor model with
    no manual, so not sure if they will aquire HD broadcasts via rf.
    Not only will they record & playback HDTV video, but they also record
    surround sound. To my my knowledge this is the current top end
    recording device currently available on the consumer market.

    One need not wait for the blue rays to arrive to record HDTV.
    A pitfall I found (I have the JVC HM-DH3000U) is that the timer
    can not be set to record from I-link (firewire) input, perhaps the
    the newer model (HM-DH4000U) adressed this problem, though
    I recieved no responce from JVC product support when I sent an
    email inquiry about this. So you have be there to start a recording,
    but you can use the quick timer.

    D-VHS tapes are slightly more expensive, but you can drill a hole
    opposite the S-VHS hole on S-VHS tapes & use them. D-VHS
    tapes will provide longer record times.

    The future Blue ray's may also be filled with various copy protection
    scheemes that may prevent recording of some broadcasts.
  5. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    "John Doe" <john_doe@nospam.com> wrote in message
    news:CzJIc.1990$54.22535@typhoon.sonic.net...
    > The government or any of the TV stations haven't said what will happen
    when
    > the HDTV deadline arrives. I suspect with the cost of HDTV's that at least
    > for 10 or more years they will be broad casting both. Otherwise you can
    > purchase conversion boxes that will down res. the HD broad casts to
    standard
    > TV quality. This is what I plan to do and I like the TV's I have now and
    see
    > no need what-so-ever to spend any money for a device that will in a short
    > time give Hollywood all of the control over what we can and can't record
    for
    > later viewing that they could ever want.
    >
    > As far as I am concerned it is a scam to get people to pay money for
    > something no one needs. The only need is by Hollywood that is just
    frothing
    > at the bit to control video recording. With HDTV soon the only thing you
    > will be able to record is commercials.
    >
    As far as I know, there is no deadline for HDTV. There is one for
    BROADCAST stations that use public airwaves to change over to
    digital broadcasting. Also, AFAIK there is no requirement for
    Cable providers to switch to digital. HDTV is digital, but digital
    is not necessarily HDTV. It isn't even necessarily all TV because
    the broadcasters will be allowed to multiplex other types of digital
    information onto their digital broadcast signal.

    So, what does that mean? If you have an analog TV and you want
    to view "over the air" signals, you will need a Digital to analog
    converter to make the"over the air" signal into something your TV
    can accept. If you have cable, then it will be up to them as to
    whether they will continue to provide analog signals to the home.
    Even if they drop analog service, they will still digital cable set top
    boxes to subscribers and those may continue to have analog outs
    for a while.

    Those of us that are old enough remember when UHF TV first
    appeared. There were units you could use to pick up UHF
    signals and convert them to channel 3 or 4 so you could use
    your old VHF only TV to watch these "new" UHF stations.
    At the same time, there was a mandate to require all new TVs
    to have UHF inputs. I'm expecting a similar scenario for Digital.

    David
  6. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    On 13 Jul 2004 08:20:19 -0700, jaykchan@hotmail.com (Jay Chan) wrote:

    >Good to know that many existing PC components can handle HDTV. I will
    >need to go back home and check the specification of the nVidia
    >GeForce2 video card to see if it supports IDCT (I cannot find that
    >info in nVidia web site). I have a feeling that my PC that is P4
    >1.5GHz may or may not be able to handle it if yours is already
    >reaching 55% load.
    This card should be able to do it, but the player software also has to
    support the card. Consider a cheap Celeron 2.4 if you still get too
    slow. Clock speed id the only thing that counts here.

    >I don't really care about if a DVD-recoder can record HDTV movie in
    >one DVD or not because I don't record long length video. As long as I
    >can record 30 minute video onto a DVD, I will do fine.
    The European format fits about 35 min onto one recordable DVD.

    >The question
    >that I have in mind is for DVD player -- especially if a currently
    >available DVD player can read a DVD-R or CD-R that has HDTV video on
    >it. I guess this should be fine, right?
    If you mean computer DVD drives, those should be fine. Stand alone
    players will not work.

    Cheers


    http://www.codecpage.com
  7. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    On Tue, 13 Jul 2004 19:45:05 +0200, codecpage
    <nospam-codecbox@email.com> wrote:

    >On 13 Jul 2004 08:20:19 -0700, jaykchan@hotmail.com (Jay Chan) wrote:
    >
    >>Good to know that many existing PC components can handle HDTV. I will
    >>need to go back home and check the specification of the nVidia
    >>GeForce2 video card to see if it supports IDCT (I cannot find that
    >>info in nVidia web site). I have a feeling that my PC that is P4
    >>1.5GHz may or may not be able to handle it if yours is already
    >>reaching 55% load.
    >This card should be able to do it, but the player software also has to
    >support the card. Consider a cheap Celeron 2.4 if you still get too
    >slow. Clock speed id the only thing that counts here.

    p.s. with my Radeon 7500, a Cyberlink decoder from an ATI CD does the
    job, while the very same version number of Cyberlink PowerDVD itself
    does not. In fact, that broke the ATI decoder installation completely.
    I recommend to use a DVD player that comes from the card manufacturer
    (mostly included in retail versions). That should work best.

    Cheers


    http://www.codecpage.com
  8. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    > >Good to know that many existing PC components can handle HDTV. I will
    > >need to go back home and check the specification of the nVidia
    > >GeForce2 video card to see if it supports IDCT (I cannot find that
    > >info in nVidia web site). I have a feeling that my PC that is P4
    > >1.5GHz may or may not be able to handle it if yours is already
    > >reaching 55% load.
    > This card should be able to do it, but the player software also has to
    > support the card. Consider a cheap Celeron 2.4 if you still get too
    > slow. Clock speed id the only thing that counts here.

    Now I think of this, I probably will get a new PC by that time
    considering the fact that my PC is more than 2 years old now. It will
    be a 5 years old PC by the time I am ready to do anything with HDTV.
    Seem like this will not be an issue for me.

    > >I don't really care about if a DVD-recoder can record HDTV movie in
    > >one DVD or not because I don't record long length video. As long as I
    > >can record 30 minute video onto a DVD, I will do fine.
    > The European format fits about 35 min onto one recordable DVD.

    OK, that will be tight. But will still be good enough.

    > >The question
    > >that I have in mind is for DVD player -- especially if a currently
    > >available DVD player can read a DVD-R or CD-R that has HDTV video on
    > >it. I guess this should be fine, right?
    > If you mean computer DVD drives, those should be fine. Stand alone
    > players will not work.

    If I understand this correctly, I assume this means that a current
    standalone DVD-player only expects to see a few standard DVD formats
    (resolutions) that it doesn't expect to see the higher resolution in
    HDTV video. I can understand this... This is probably still OK to buy
    a current standard DVD player now considering the fact that a
    DVD-player (not a recorder) is quite cheap as long as I stay away from
    major named brands.

    Thanks a lot for taking the time to explain this to me.

    Jay Chan
  9. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    jaykchan@hotmail.com (Jay Chan) wrote:
    > I am under the impression that HDTV will become common place and they
    > will stop boardcasting regular signals at some year down the road.

    There are dates for over the air broadcasters, but they include
    conditions under which then can be postponed. I'd guess they will
    almost certainly be postponed.

    > - Can I still use my old and still good 32" TV? Do I need any adapter
    > or converter to receive regular signals from DirecTV or cable?

    I'm not clear what you are asking here. You already use a converter
    for DirectTV, and may be using one for cable (particularly if you have
    "digital cable" service).

    > Obviously, I will not be able to see HDTV quality in my old TV. How do
    > I watch HDTV shows in my old TV (in reduced quality)? Do I need a
    > converter? Do you expect the converter to be expensive (like above
    > $100)?

    A converter (technically, a tuner, decoder, and scaler in one box)
    is necessary. They exist today, starting around $300, and are likely
    to fall in price. A tuner by itself (not very useful for many people)
    can be under $50. Also, most of the high definition satellite
    boxes for DirectTV, Dish Network, and VOOM also include an over-the-air
    tuner (the decoder and scaler is already necessary for providing
    the picture from the satellite signal).

    > Will the cable box or the DirecTV receiver automatically
    > downgrade the signal to show it in an old TV?

    All the current ones do.

    > Will the converter in the TV side or in the cable-box/receiver side?

    Yes. Most STBs (set-top-box--what these converter boxes are usually
    called) do it all and provide a display signal, but there is also a
    standard for putting most of the electronics in the TV with a dongle
    to allow for cable-company specific demodulation and decryption.

    > Obviously, having the
    > converter in the cable-box/receiver side is more convenient; then, I
    > don't need to have one converter in each A/V device.

    But then you'll need one cable box for each A/V device! (Not strictly
    true, but practically true)

    > - Let say I somehow get enough money to buy a HDTV set in two years
    > or so. Can I use it with a DVD-player that I will buy before the end
    > of this year (2004)?

    Pretty much all high definition displays can accept standard definition
    signals.

    > Do I have to get a HDTV-compatible DVD-player in
    > order to watch DVD or VCD or DVD-R in a HDTV set? Is there such a
    > thing called "HDTV-compatible DVD-player" available now?

    High Definition DVD is in the works, but not available yet.

    However, there is a high definition VCR standard (D-VHS), and there
    are DVDs with high definition movies using a proprietary standard,
    Windows Media Video High Definition, which basically requires you
    hook up a moderately high performance computer to a high definition
    display. The most well known title in this format is Terminator 2
    Extreme Edition, which has the high definition version as an bonus extra.

    > - What will happen to my PVR device (Beyond-TV with PVR-250 tuner and
    > encoder in a 1.5 GHz PC)?

    It will still work on standard definition analog video.

    > I assume the existing PVR device and the PC
    > will not work with HDTV signal and have to use a converter to
    > downgrade the signal, right? What kind of computer and PVR component
    > will be able to handle HDTV signal? I assume this kind of devices and
    > computers are not available to consumers, right?

    There are already over-the-air HD tuners for computers. Now,
    this is a fun area to experiment with, since you can get into it
    relatively inexpensively. The thing is, HD already is compressed
    using MPEG-2, so you don't need to encode the digitized video merely
    to get managable bitrate video into your computer. So there are HD
    tuner cards which just have the tuner and demodulator on board,
    no need for compression or decompression hardware. I suggest
    you go to the AV Science Forum <http://www.avsforum.com/> and go
    to the Home Theater PC section where you can read on the trials
    and tribulations of receiving and viewing HDTV on your computer.

    Sam
    who used a Divco FusionHDTV card to record and watch HDTV on my HTPC.
    (Unfortunately, I've recently moved and can't get reception in
    this apartment.)
  10. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    Thanks for clarifying many issues that I asked in my original post.
    Seem like most of my existing A/V devices will be able to work in HDTV
    environment even if they cannot take advantage of HDTV quality -- that
    is provided that I get a set-top box that can do the conversion.

    > > Obviously, having the
    > > converter in the cable-box/receiver side is more convenient; then, I
    > > don't need to have one converter in each A/V device.
    >
    > But then you'll need one cable box for each A/V device! (Not strictly
    > true, but practically true)

    I don't quite understand. If I want to record HDTV video in a regular
    DVD recorder, I will need to have a converter for the DVD recorder if
    the set-top-box doesn't have a converter, right?

    > There are already over-the-air HD tuners for computers. Now,
    > this is a fun area to experiment with, since you can get into it
    > relatively inexpensively. The thing is, HD already is compressed
    > using MPEG-2, so you don't need to encode the digitized video merely
    > to get managable bitrate video into your computer. So there are HD
    > tuner cards which just have the tuner and demodulator on board,
    > no need for compression or decompression hardware. I suggest
    > you go to the AV Science Forum <http://www.avsforum.com/> and go
    > to the Home Theater PC section where you can read on the trials
    > and tribulations of receiving and viewing HDTV on your computer.

    Good to know that most recently sold PCs will be fast enough to handle
    HDTV signal if it is properly equiped with A/V device. Thanks.

    Jay Chan
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