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I'm looking to purchase an HDTV tuner for my 55" HDTV Samsung TV. I'm assuming only a few channels will come up in HDTV mode or possibly some shows such as CSI.

My questions are:

1. Will I now be able to watch my DVD's in widescreen without the letterbox? If not, how come? Do I need to purchase a progressive scan DVD player to enjoy it?

2. I have Directv, will the sunday football games appear in HDTV.

3. I have both cable and Directv in my home, which should I hook up the tuner to?

Thanks, as usual. . .
 

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To answer your questions:

1. Having an HDTV tuner doesn't affect watching DVD's. Your DVD player is separate from the HDTV tuner, and therefore, w2ouldn't make a difference whether you had an HDTV tuner or not. A progressive scan DVD player is a step closer to HDTV quality, and a worthwhile investment.

2. You can only watch HDTV channels, if they are offered. Direct TV does broadcast HDTV signals for select channels.

3. That depends on whether you prefer Direct TV over cable, and whether or not one offers more HDTV programming over the other.

I hope this helps. :2:


2003 SS MDX
 

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Discussion Starter #3
How come I can never watch a DVD in a widescreen format without the friggin letterbox?!
 

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"HDTV"

I know that in most of the Chicago area you basically cannot get any HDTV over cable.

With Dish Network you need the special "High Gain Oval" antenna, $150 cartridge for your reciever and you still only get ONE HDTV station, same deal with DirectTV -- http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/imagine/HDTV.jsp

Over the air you can watch quite a bit of CBS stuff, less on NBC & Fox, about the same on PBS, even less on ABC, bits on pieces on WGN/WB. Best results are with a special HD antenna, but if your within 15-20 miles of the transmitter even regular roof antennae are OK...

I found this site a great resource:
http://www.hometheaterspot.com/htsthreads/postlist.php?Cat=&Board=UBB4

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,4918633~root=chicago~start=26~mode=flat
 

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Most DVD are widescreen but some offer both widescreen and full screen. For instance, Monsters Inc gives you the option of either wide screen(letter box) or full screen(I believe..I will check). If you have the inputs for ColorStream or component video do it. Also because your tv is large I would suggest a progressive scan DVD. I have a 50" and looks great. I am not sold on the whole HDTV thing yet. I purchased an HDTV ready set only because the picture is way better than normal rear projection. Your DirectTV should be giving you some very clear pictures. Put quality cables whenever possible of the DirectTV unit. One more thing, I find the picture a little better in the widescreen format than the full screen format when it comes to DVD's.IMO.
 

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The basic problem with "widescreen DVDs" is that there are still several formats. Some will fit a widescreen perfectly, others still letterbox (but far less than on a normal TV). You can use a "stretch mode" to fill the entire screen. Picture quality/shape is affected, but may not be a huge disadvantage. My TV has several stretch modes, so can pick the one I like best. Also, some DVD players have "stretch" modes built in that often do better than TVs. Check if yours does.

As mentioned above, DIRECTV will require an oval dish, and a special tuner. Some tuners are over the air only, while the DTV ones do over the air and DTV. Few channels available yet...............but increasing
 

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DVDs break down like this:

There are two widely used aspect ratios for movies, 1.85:1 and 2.35:1. There are some movies filmed in other ratios, but they are few and far between.

When these movies are transferred to DVD it can be done anamorphic or non-anamorphic. An anamorphic transfer uses all of the lines of resolution on the picture, its basically native widescreen. A non-anamorphic transfer has the same aspect ratio as a normal 4:3 TV, but just has black bars at the bottom and top. Thus it is only using part of the resolution for the picture (The black bars are actually part of the picture). So anamorphic = good. non-anamorphic = bad.

Your HDTV is basically the same aspect ratio as a 1.85:1 film (a little different, but overscan takes care of it, I wont get into this)

If you have an anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer you will see no black bars. If the 1.85:1 movie is non-anamorphic you will still see black bars, as they are actually part of the picture.

A 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer you will see some black bars. THis is just because the film is still wider than your widescreen TV. This is normal. Obviously if the 2.35:1 transfer is non-anamorphic you will see bars also.

Some TV's will let you select how you would like to display the non-anamorphic (4:3) picture. You can stretch it to fit the width of the TV, which distorts it. You can put bars on the sides to watch it. Or you can zoom in on it to get the bars out of the picture.

On a widescreen TV non-anamorphic transfers will always be displayed at a reduced resolution or distorted.

hope this all made sense. Probably not. Getting an HDTV tuner has NOTHING to do with watching DVDs
 

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Hi All:

___My HD from your HTPC to your HiDef display is about the best out there and you can record OTA HiDef as well … At just $329, it is the best deal that I know of. As for the Dish 6000 OTA HiDef antennae, I saw one at a Sears of all places about 6 months ago for just $99.00!

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email protected]
 
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