hdtv on older tv sets

jerry_njSeptember 25, 2013

Can I receive and watch HDTV programs (delivered by cable) on an older TV that is not HD? Here I mean watch absent the HDTV quality improvements. Of course I need a HDTV to watch in HDTV.

Case in point, if I understand correctly my Comcast cable service delivers a number of programs in HDTV for the package I pay for. When I try to select any of the HDTV channels the cable box simply returns the TV to whatever I was watching in non-HDTV before selecting the HDTV channel.

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From simply a technical point of view, a standard definition (SD) TV will display a high definition (HD) broadcast but at standard definition resolution. In a nutshell, yes.

If you want to watch HD broadcasts, you need a HDTV.

Why Comcast switches you back to the SD channel is something you'd have to ask them.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 8:33AM
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i have the standard comcast tuner on a non-hd tv and i can watch any of the HD stations/channels just fine. i watch palladia, velocity, and a few other HD channels ALOT. i even watch the HD feed for cbs, abc, nbc cuz its 16:9 and shows up as letterbox on my old std 4:3 tv. i think the hd stations look better than the nonhd stations on my 36" sony sd crt.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 9:35PM
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Okay, then you have a set top that will pass HD to your SD TV. One of my set top boxes will, and one will not. I think I have already discussed this but repeat here in response to your reply.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 9:50PM
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My town has 2 merged cable companies. Comcast owns both now. Each had different brands of equipment. My box is Cisco. Not sure what you mean by the word "pass" thru. All channels above 24 are scrambled by cable co. Espn is 25. If I plug cable directly into tv, I cannot get 25. I must use cable box.std CBS is 4. HD CBS is 432 or similar. I can watch both channels using cable box. But the hd feed is 16:9 and the pic is better on my 36" sony sd CRT.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 8:18AM
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Well we only have 1 tuner and the rest of the boxes are simple dta devices. Am too cheap to actually have multiple tuners. I assume your point is you have 2+ tuners? And 1 will show hd on sd tv and the 2nd will not? Now that sounds like a cable co issue. I sorta asked Comcast if my sd tuner would show any hd content and they said no. I than asked if I could pay extra for he tuner and use it on Ed tv and they said sure, for extra $7 each month. You know, Comcast gives all customers free hd content but u must pay extra to rent hd tuner.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 10:35AM
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joe, yep that's the "game"..don't you love 'em NOT?

This surfaced with me when I moved from Digital 80+ channels down one step to Digital Economy 40+ (I think) channels. This also dropped the "on demand" feature and other stuff for which I had an elaborate set top box, the one that will deliver HDTV. I suppose I was and am paying "extra" for the features in that box. The other box will simply tune channels, no handle HDTV.

The interesting thing for me is this set me off looking more into what some of the new technology in Smart LCD TV, Blue Ray, Netflix which opened some options which may see me "cutting the cable" out of my life, good bye Comcast.

I have home computers and get Intenet via DSL from my local telephone company, so no need for Comcast there. I also have a home network with a wireless (WiFi) and Ethernet network.

I also note all my TVs are old Vacuum picture tube sets, the newest being a Sanyo (Walmart) Flat screen, the last one of that type Walmart sold before they moved completely to LCD TV.

Next I learn I can buy a LCD (LED) high resolution (1080p) Smart TV for under $200 and it will support services such as Netflix which is a way to receiver TV and other "streaming" video over the Internet. Better yet the Smart TV also has WiFi, so I can put it anywhere in my home that I have electricity, no need to run a TV cable. Better yet, Netflix at about $8 a month will, I believe, provide me with all I get from Comcast ($50) and a lot more, so the investment in the Smart HDTV is paid for in about 5 months with the money I save by dropping Comcast.

Not full story, I had only 1.5 mb DSL Intenet, and while that will work for SDTV it isn't fast enough for HDTV. So I contacted my telephone company (gota love them too, NOT) and learned my package of service options have all been replaced and I could in fact for about $20 more get unlimited long distance and telephone based answering along with all the other features I had plus a move to 8 mb DSL, enough to support the highest HDTV (1080p). And in the deal, I get higher speed (5 times as fast) Internet access for all my computer connections.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 5:39PM
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200$ LCD? Must be 32" max? I do see a few 39" units for $300. Son has 65" LCD. $1700? Wow. Lots of money in my world.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 3:35PM
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The under $200 I mention is for a 24", but a true HD, has 1080p lines. It is available on line (Amazon for example) and at Walmart. The "smart" TV which has WiFi capability is $198 (so over my limit when tax is added) and a dumbed down version that does not support WiFi is $178, so it is under $200 with sales tax.

A 65" TV isn't in my future, ever. And $1,700 is big money here too, at least for TV.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 8:46PM
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I watch a lot of live sports. College football and basketball. Most of espn stuff is crap but they do have much stuff I like. There is no other way to get free, Internet provided content like that when u bypass the cable co. Is it important to u? Than u gotta pay.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 11:16AM
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