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Got a Big TV, Don't know what to do with it

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  • Got a Big TV, Don't know what to do with it

    Howdie All!

    My family just bought a big screen TV but I know we're not getting the most out of it yet. We think we're supposed to get more stuff for it, we just don't know what is good or what is a good value. So, this is where your kind help comes in.

    So, we just bought:

    46" Samsung DLP Widescreen Television (HDMI enabled)

    We have it hooked up to our old antennae on our roof, though I don't even know if it's reading that line at all. The picture comes out pretty grainy and pixelated on most channels, and it makes us sad that we have such a big TV to look at grainy pictures. My brother says we need a digital tuner, though we don't know how much that costs or what is a good brand. And, that's as far as our knowledge stretches.

    We don't want to spend too much more on the TV and probably aren't looking for melt your eyeballs out of their sockets quality. In fact, my dad forbade us from using the new television to play games! (While he uses it to watch bit-torrented chinese dramas off a 5 year old lap top!) So, I implore you for your wisdom in these matters. Thanks in advance!

    |TG-Irr| ThePenguineer ::: |TG-Irr| Pengie the Noob
    TG-Irregulars Commanding Officer
    ||

  • #2
    Re: Got a Big TV, Don't know what to do with it

    Unless the broadcast is in widescreen, your picture will probably look not-so-hot. If they broadcast is in widescreen it will look great. Even better if it's in high-def and you have the correct setup.

    If all you are using is a TV antennae for your signal than you probably won't get high-definition broadcasts, although I could be wrong.

    You may want to contact your local cable provider or satelite provider and see what they can set you up with. Chances are they can come out and install the whole thing for you but it may not be in the budget.

    I pay an extra $11/month for my HD service. To me, it is well worth it. The picture quality is incredible and I oftentimes find myself watching cooking shows or really bad interviews just because the picture is so good.

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    • #3
      Re: Got a Big TV, Don't know what to do with it

      Visit the site below and enter your location to see what kind of antenna you'll need to view the over the air digital channels in your area. Make sure you're tuning into the digital channels and not the regular old analog channels.

      http://antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx

      Does your TV have a built in digital tuner? If it does, you're ready to receive over the air digital tv.

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      • #4
        Re: Got a Big TV, Don't know what to do with it

        To get the most out of it you'll want to do a few things:

        Get an HD service from either your local cable company or DirecTV. Most cable companies offer HD programming now and I know DirecTV has a decent HD lineup.

        Get a good digital OTA (over the air) antenna to pick up local HD broadcast programming. In Rhode Island, there are a number of OTA HD channels to choose from, all of which are free. The site that FriedFish referenced is a good place to go look for these.

        TERK has a nice digital OTA antenna that mounts around most standard DirecTV or DISH antennas if you end up going the sattelite route.
        Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

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        • #5
          Re: Got a Big TV, Don't know what to do with it

          I do believe that it is picking up the signal over the air, as "AIR" comes up on the screen when I switch channels. Plus, we started picking up random channels we had never seen before. So THAT'S where they came from.

          Also, how frequently programs broadcasted in widescreen? For now, we have most things switched to the 4:3 setting to not confuse our brains.

          I will look at the HD services and pass the info onto the parents. I don't know how much they're willing to spend, since they most watch the downloaded chinese TV.

          |TG-Irr| ThePenguineer ::: |TG-Irr| Pengie the Noob
          TG-Irregulars Commanding Officer
          ||

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          • #6
            Re: Got a Big TV, Don't know what to do with it

            I would also recommend component cables (blue, green, orange?) instead of the regualar RCA yellow, red, white cable. Keep in mind the component cable is only video and you will still need to use a cable (digital or analog for sound). When viewing dvds its makes a huge difference and this is one of the few cables used to connect an HD reciever to your TV.

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            • #7
              Re: Got a Big TV, Don't know what to do with it

              Every one of the major broadcast network's major shows are in high definition if you have the equipment to receive it.
              A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

              "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

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              • #8
                Re: Got a Big TV, Don't know what to do with it

                If cost is a factor, you could look in to FTA satellite. I'm not sure how much (if any) HD programming you can get via FTA, but it doesn't cost a dime other than the initial equipment cost and from what I've heard you'll get umpteen gazillion channels. I've been meaning to check it out but haven't had the time or money to spend on the equipment.
                Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

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                • #9
                  Re: Got a Big TV, Don't know what to do with it

                  I bought a 46 in Sony HD rear projection TV last year and at first I was disappointed at the picture quality. Like you I didn't know too much about how to use this equipment to it's maximum capability.

                  Eventually I decided to go with Dish Network Satellite TV. They have a decent line up of HD channels and I liked their installation deal. We ended up with two receivers (1 HD receiver) and a DVR for a minimal extra charge. The equipment is ours to keep with a two year commitment.

                  Dish Network has recently expanded their HD lineup so they offer even more HD selections now. When my commitment is up I'll likely sign up again with them but go for the new HD package. The new HD package includes all of our local channels broadcast in digital or hd (as the situation warrants) eliminating the need for our over the air antenna.
                  sigpic
                  |TG-1st|Grunt
                  ARMA Admin (retired)
                  Pathfinder-Spartan 5

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                  • #10
                    Re: Got a Big TV, Don't know what to do with it

                    Originally posted by Grunt 70
                    I bought a 46 in Sony HD rear projection TV last year and at first I was disappointed at the picture quality. Like you I didn't know too much about how to use this equipment to it's maximum capability.

                    Eventually I decided to go with Dish Network Satellite TV. They have a decent line up of HD channels and I liked their installation deal. We ended up with two receivers (1 HD receiver) and a DVR for a minimal extra charge. The equipment is ours to keep with a two year commitment.

                    Dish Network has recently expanded their HD lineup so they offer even more HD selections now. When my commitment is up I'll likely sign up again with them but go for the new HD package. The new HD package includes all of our local channels broadcast in digital or hd (as the situation warrants) eliminating the need for our over the air antenna.
                    What is the pricing/packages like for Dish? I guess I could look at their site but I would rather get some first hand impressions/opinions. What made you pick Dish over DirecTV? Re-evaluating my TV service has crossed my radar the past couple months.
                    Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Got a Big TV, Don't know what to do with it

                      Directv is the way to go. My other family members have Dish Network and I think Directv is much better, more user friendly that is. Plus the fact is a special deal with Directv - pay for $69.99 for 4 months and you get the premium channel package plus NFL sunday ticket, plus a free portable DVD player.
                      XBOX GT: STEALTH C4T

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                      • #12
                        Re: Got a Big TV, Don't know what to do with it

                        You can pick up "broadcasted" HD channels (CBS, NBC, ABC....) if you have a digital tuner (either built into your set or you can get a external one).

                        The best solution would be getting digital cable with HD or SAT, which = $$$ (I pay over $100 for cable+Internet) Watching World Cup with HD is amazing!

                        The other best way to use yout tv is to get a DVD player with HDMI + if you don't already have it, a 5.1 or higher Dolby Digital or DTS surround sound system.
                        Slow is Smooth. Smooth is Fast!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Got a Big TV, Don't know what to do with it

                          And you could always pay out the nose for a current gen HD-DVD player.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Got a Big TV, Don't know what to do with it

                            Originally posted by Apophis
                            What is the pricing/packages like for Dish? I guess I could look at their site but I would rather get some first hand impressions/opinions. What made you pick Dish over DirecTV? Re-evaluating my TV service has crossed my radar the past couple months.
                            If you are a new subsriber they offer some really good deals to get you in the door. My Brother in law had become a new subsriber a few weeks before and I liked what I saw. What I really liked was they had a three tiered pricing system so I didn't have to pay the full price for channels I knew I wouldn't use.

                            Recently Dish Network has expanded their HD lineup and I like what I see even better.

                            You know I looked at some forums for satellite tv users and both DN and Direct seems to have an equal number of fans and detractors. I looked at Direct TV and at the time I think I wouldve had to pay more money than DN for an extra receiver.


                            Here is a link to their pricing page for HD sets...


                            http://www.dishnetwork.com/content/p...es/index.shtml


                            I think these require a one or two year commitment. For me, I have last year's HD technology and I'll need to plunk down $100 bucks or so to upgrade to one of the newer boxes...and then I'll need to recommit for another year I belive...but the HD receivers retail for like $400 bucks...and I own it after my commitment is done. What I really like about this new deal is that my locals (like WCVB and WGBH) will come in full digital or HD format. I get the locals now on the Dish receiver but only in SD...If I want HD on my locals I need to rely on my antenna...this new package will allow me to do away with an antenna and that makes me happy as I'm out there adjusting it every so often. I looked at getting an omni directional antenna but that means another installation and who knows how good it would do anyhow...

                            let me know if you go With DN...I can get credit for a referral...much appreciated
                            sigpic
                            |TG-1st|Grunt
                            ARMA Admin (retired)
                            Pathfinder-Spartan 5

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                            • #15
                              Re: Got a Big TV, Don't know what to do with it

                              Lots of recommendations for video content, but I'm here to tell you that having a big TV means diddly squat if you don't have surround sound to go with it.

                              Here's my recommendation: http://www.hometheaterblog.com/homet...hts990thx.html

                              You can piece together some older components for less money, but this is everything that you'll need all in one nice little package. AND it's THX certified, which is a good assurance as to the quality of sound that you'll get from this hardware.

                              You can't go wrong with Onkyo.
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