Poor picture quality on my new LCD tv

algoooJanuary 2, 2008


I recently purchased a Toshiba 42" LCD TV (42HL167), and while most of the channels look fine, some of the local SD channels (channel 4 in particular) look terrible and have intermittent sound (no sound most of the time on ch 4).

I live in Nashua, NH and have standard Comcast cable that I have connected to the tv from the wall jack.

I understand that some HDTVs do a poor job of displaying Standard Def signals and my new tv is probably one of them.

Before I upgrade to digital cable or HD cable, I'd like to find out if either option will clear up the local SD channels.

Has anyone purchased a HDTV that had poor reception, but was cleared up by upgrading their cable to digital or HD?

Thank you,


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Why wait to upgrade to HD cable ?

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 6:10PM
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Because I wanted to be sure that HD cable (or lack of)was causing the problem--I guess I didn't want to upgrade only to find that I still had a problem.

Since writing my post, I did a search for new channels (something I should have already done, but forgot). Several digital channels were found (some in HD), and I now have clear reception for all the channels I care about--only further up in the digital range.

I will eventually upgrade to HD cable, but since my new tv is HD ready (has a tuner), I'm not in any hurry to pay the cable company for a tuner and the service to use it.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 8:45PM
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I think that Time Warner cable (and maybe others) HD box upgrades are FREE which includes LOCAL HD programming. They figure you'll probably want to upgrade (price) the other channels movies, ect....

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 11:23PM
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HD may not make a lot of difference on a 42" screen. I have a 42" HD plasma (do not have HD TV service). I tried the neighbor's HD-DVD player, and the difference is negligible. However, on his 100" projection wall-screen, there IS a noticeable difference. His 50" plasma is also gorgeous with an HD (over-the-air antenna) TV signal.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 5:19PM
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Just an update,

After doing a little research, I found that if the lower channels are noisy (my case), then the problems likely to do with the connection, whereas if the upper channels are noisy, then the source is weak.
I checked my basement to see how the cable was run, and found two coupled cables that provided much more cable than needed. I replaced one the cables with a much shorter cable (single cable was too short), installed a coax connection in the wall near the tv (cable in the livingroom used to wrap around three walls)and now the reception is much, much better for all channels.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 11:31AM
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If you are not using a digital or hd cable box and you are going into the tv via coax, you are wasting the features of your tv. the coax connection on your tv is the lowest quality picture and sound. rca, svideo,component, then hdmi (in that order) will provide better picture. The difference between HD channels over comcast and std def is like night and day!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 1:10PM
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Even if you use a digital or HD cable box, you still have to connect it to a coax cable since that's what's coming into the house. It's only between the box and the tv that you have the option to connect an HDMI cable. My tv is HD ready, meaning that if I connect it to an HD source, it will display HD without a separate box. I'm simply connecting the coax directly to my tv's tuner, and eliminating the middle man--the cable box's tuner.

After shortening the cable to my tv, the reception is fine. I'm even receiving some HD channels, and you are correct, the difference between HD and SD is like night and day.

I also have a smaller HDTV (27")in my bedroom and it receives many HD channels. In the livingroom, I get a "HD signal too weak" for most of the HD channels. I'm thinking about adding an amp to see if that helps.

Maybe I'm cheap, but I just don't want to give the cable company any more money than I have to. I already feel that I'm paying way to much for standard cable.

In any event, I'm very happy with SD for watching tv--for now. It's only when I'm watching movies that I care about HD, which is why I have my 1080p upconverting DVD player connected to my tv via HDMI cable. While that's not true 1080p, it still looks pretty darn good, something I'm happy with until the BlueRay/HD DVD dust settles.


    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 8:46PM
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I have been looking at this particular set, nice features. I'll second the fact that Comcast sucks, however I did get a technician to come out and upgrade my signal no charge. $1119 is the best price on this set, seems like they increased 10-20% this week.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 10:43AM
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