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Moving from tube TV to flat screen TV

Last response: in Home Theatre
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October 9, 2010 9:30:06 PM

I'm looking at replacing my current tube TV with a flat screen TV. Rest of the entertainment system is just a receiver and DVD player (no blue ray player & no plans to get one). Currently I get old fashioned cable TV from Comcast, with a coax that just comes in from outside & plugs directly to the tube TV.

I'm not particularly interested in high definition TV shows but I would like to be able to still watch TV occasionally. From what I'm reading flat screen TVS don't accept the old-style coax connectors. Do I have to get some sort of converter box? Upgrade to a digital service?

Any info or links would be appreciated. I've been looking around for a while but haven't really found anything that covers this.

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October 9, 2010 9:43:35 PM

HD TVs take in analog and digital signals through coax (not sure if all do, but my TV does and it's a budget brand, so most/all newer TVs should.)

You can watch HD shows for free, but they're from local stations. All you need is any coax antenna and some TV stations broadcasting in HD.

Standard definition programs shouldn't look all too bad on an HD TV as long as you're not receiving compressed video. I have SD DirecTV, and it looks terrible. Cable/SD Antenna TV should just look a bit blurry/pixelated.

I'd recommend a 720P TV for you, as they're cheaper and SD shows would only be stretched to half the resolution than it would if you'd have a 1080P TV, so it should look a little less blurry.
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October 9, 2010 10:55:27 PM

Thanks for the info. I was looking at specs on TVs on BestBuy.com and they don't seem to list RF or Coax as an input. I'm not sure whether that's just "taken for granted" or whether it varies according to TV and I need to look harder.
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a b x TV
October 10, 2010 8:45:14 PM

Pretty much ALL new TV's accept the coax input from the cable company. You will need a cable company converter box to get ALL the channels, which are coded, but most cable companies have a certain number of channels which can be received with no decoder box, just the basic lower channels.
If you just buy a MONITOR with no TV, then it will not have the coax input.
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November 9, 2010 10:30:09 AM

Well, I (finally) pulled the trigger on a Samsung 42" plasma and am very happy with it. It gets a ton of channels and plays DVDs beautifully.

Only thing that surprises me is that you still see some "letterboxing" with black bars at the top and bottom of the screen on some DVDs. I had assumed that the format of the wide screen tv exactly matched the movie format, but it looks like that just varies from movie to movie... some movies there is little or no letterboxing, some (like Star Wars) you get a lot. Not really a problem, just a little surprised.

Anyway, quite happy with the result, thanks for the help & reassurances :) 
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a b x TV
November 9, 2010 12:45:01 PM

You're correct in that it varies from movie to movie. It all depends on what aspect ratio that particular version of the movie was used when the DVDs were created. If you look on the back of many DVD cases, it will sometimes state (along with "Widescreen") what aspect ratio was used. Often you'll see 1.85 (some letterboxing) or 2.35 (a lot of letterboxing).

Given that your new Samsung HDTV is either a 16:9 (1.77 aspect ratio) or 16:10 (1.60 aspect ratio), the larger the difference in aspect ratios between your HDTV and the DVD, the more letterboxing you see.

-Wolf sends
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November 18, 2010 11:31:44 PM

Best answer selected by murdocj.
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