high definition tv tuner

wormDecember 21, 2006

With the requirement to go all digital for tv stations by 2009, I'm surprised there aren't more HDTV tuners available on the marketplace to accept digital signals. The only one I can really find is the Samsung DTB-H260F at Circuit City for $179.99. It seems that in two years from now there will probably be a run on the market for these. I wonder why Walmart, etc. don't even carry them yet?

What can people tell me about these units? Is the Samsung unit a good one that will receive digital signals for my TV? I have one TV which is a big screen HD monitor and the rest of my TV's are just plain old regular TV's that are 5 years old or more. Or would it be better to wait until closer to 2009, since I don't actually need it yet?

I sure wonder what will happen to these old TV's. The landfill is going to suddenly be full of them it would seem to me. Seems like insanity for the government to force this type of thing.

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You may want to look into a HDTV instead of just a tuner. Not all HDTV's are thin and lightweight like the LCD and plasma TV's of today. For example, Sony still makes the same bulky TV's (screen with a big back), except that you can buy them at great discounts even though they are HDTV. You have to be careful, of course, and make sure that these are HD TV's before you buy. However, even the HDTV's like those I told you about will be phased out by buyers, but at a later date than the analog TV's.

Keep in mind that a LCD TV that is expensive this Christmas won't cost as much by Spring time. In fact, a 25% price drop will more than likely happen by summer. Some (not all) of the LCD and Plasma TV's of today include a HD tuner. It means that if you live in a place where the local TV stations transmit free digital signals, such a TV can display these digital images without you having to pay for a cable box. You only need cable for the pay-channels. The analog signals are also displayed on these TV's, but analog transmissions are not the best. Even so, you still can improve the roof antenna to somewhat clear the analog signals. You can read about it online at Crutchfield.

To watch movies at home (if you don't have cable, nor over the air digital transmissions), nothing beats a HDTV that has a HDMI port on the back. All you need for this set-up is a DVD/CD player that has a HDMI jack on the back. Just connect a HDMI cable from the DVD player to the TV, and adjust the player's settings to take advantage of the HDTV display. The TV may be expensive, but you can get an excellent DVD player with HDMI fro around $99.00. The cable costs from $14.00 to $60.00 depending on the vendor.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 8:50PM
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I bought a 52 inch HD TV monitor about 18 months ago. It will show in HD, but won't receive free over the air digital signal, so I need a ATSC digital tuner for that. I'm willing to spend a couple hundred because the TV cost over $1000. I'm definitely not going to replace that TV. I also have 4 other 19 to 26 inch TV's in the bedrooms that are perfectly functional TV's. It might be wiser to replace them for a couple hundred each with digital TV's than to buy converter boxes for each one for about the same price.

But there's just something that rubs me the wrong way about having to toss 4 perfectly functional TV's into the landfill because of a government mandated format change. The landfills are going to be filled with these obsoleted TV's. Something about that just bugs the heck out of me. The government mandates emissions levels, and won't let you throw hardly anything in the landfills anymore because of the environment. You can't throw away a lot of electronics, appliances, batteries, old paint and all kinds of stuff. Yet they are forcing people to throw away stuff that's functional. You probably can't throw old TV's in the landfill either. The garbage companies probably won't take them. So, you'll probably see the roadsides littered with old TV's that people throw out to get rid of them like they do lots of other garbage like old appliances and stuff. Seems stupid to me. They should have a much much longer period of time when they can't manufacture analog TV's anymore and when everything goes digital. Like ten years, so most people's old TV's will be gone anyway. But, I guess that's what happens with rapidly evolving and changing

    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 9:24PM
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I do agree with you in relation to all the trash the old TV's will turn into. There will be quite a lot of TV's going to the landfill.

A coworker of mine has a 40" digital TV that like yours has no built-in tuner, so he had to get cable service. The signals he now gets to his TV are not full HD, just close to the HD capabilities of the TV. The company upconverts the signal, though. I just bought a 32" Sony a few days ago, and before buying it I made sure that it had a tuner. I don't plan to get cable any time soon. My wife and I mostly watch DVD's, and maybe the news on the local channels, but that's it.

My son asked for the old TV plus an older DVD player we have, to give to someone who does not have a TV. Now, I was amazed at the price drop of the standard TV's that are HD capable. It seems that most people want the flat screen and lightweight TV's instead.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 10:21PM
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I'm sure this whole thing will cost me somewhere between $1000 and $2000. I'm going to buy that Samsung DTB-H260F Digital ATSC tuner for my big screen. I would imagine that with time the newer DVD recorders will have to have built in digital tuners. Maybe the thing to do is to wait and see what happens with the recoders, and you could use those for the tuner function also. That might salvage a couple of the other TV's also. Some of these TV's seem to last forever. I have a Sylvania 25 inch that must be over 20 years old and it still works great. I still hate throwing it away, and nobody really wants old TV's even for free. Maybe I just wait until the DVD recorders with digital tuners come down in price. I have VCR's on all my TV's now anyway. Those will probably end up in the landfill too. Those other TV's are not that critical to me to have high definition. They're just in the office and bedrooms and only get used while I'm working kind of in the background or while I'm falling to sleep not really watching the picture very closely anyway. The main one is the big screen.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 1:17PM
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