The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-24-2008, 01:20 PM
Batfish Batfish is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
SD signal on HD TV?

I currently watch Dish Network standard definition programming on my old 25" CRT TV.

If I splurge for a new 42" LCD HD 1080p but don't pay for an HD receiver and HD programming will I be improving my viewing experience. Or will I just be viewing crappy pictures on a bigger screen?

The advantages I anticipate are a bigger easier-to-see screen that hangs on the wall allowing me to dump the old clunky entertainment center.

But will the HD highlight flaws of the SD signal, or will it look okay?

Thanks.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 12-24-2008, 01:29 PM
hekk hekk is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Batfish View Post
But will the HD highlight flaws of the SD signal, or will it look okay?

Thanks.
It depends on the TV and what connection you use from your receiver, but 9 times out of 10, the signal will look crappier.

You could also, of course, use an OTA antenna to get HD local channels on your new TV. That way you could enjoy HDTV at least part of the time.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-24-2008, 02:18 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Depends. Some signals look better, and some look worse. And it depends on the TV and how it's set up. On my TV, analog signals tend to look really crappy, and the digital ones look much better. If that holds for you, then you should be OK once we switch over to all digital. But HDTV is soooooooooo much better than SD, that you really should avail yourself of the benefits. If you have cable or dish, the added expense is quite small.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-24-2008, 02:52 PM
sharding sharding is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
But HDTV is soooooooooo much better than SD, that you really should avail yourself of the benefits. If you have cable or dish, the added expense is quite small.
Also, depending on where you live, you may be able to get at least your local channels in HD over the air for free. It's less convenient, though, and the cost of an antenna might be equivalent to the charge from Dish for a year or more's HD programming (no idea how much Dish charges for that, but if you live on the fringes of the broadcast coverage area, you might need a substantial antenna to reliably get HD over the air).

IMHO, if you're going to buy an HD TV, you really should spring for HD programming in one form or another. Compared to the cost of the TV, it's a drop in the bucket.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-24-2008, 03:13 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tysons Corner, VA, USA
Posts: 9,641
I will just add that SD != analog. A digital SD signal can look pretty good on an HD set. An analog signal, not so much, although it does depend on the electronics in the TV.

However, I would not recommend buying an HD set if you aren't going to view any HD content, certainly not a 1080p. No point. It won't look much better than your current analog set, and you should still be able to continue to receive an analog signal from Dish, although you might need an additional set-top box (not sure what Dish's policy will be; for example, at the switchover Cox cable will require a converter box for analog sets even if they are cable-ready).

If you want a digital set but don't want to pay for HD content you could go with a a 720i, although my sense is that the market is shifting over to 1080p as the mainstream choice.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-24-2008, 03:24 PM
ZenBeam ZenBeam is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: I'm right here!
Posts: 8,450
There is also Enhanced Definition TV (EDTV) assuming they still sell those. And do they make standard definition flat screens? If all you want is a bigger screen for SD cable, there are cheaper alternatives to 1080p.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-24-2008, 03:31 PM
xanthous xanthous is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharding View Post
IMHO, if you're going to buy an HD TV, you really should spring for HD programming in one form or another. Compared to the cost of the TV, it's a drop in the bucket.
We just upgraded our SD service to HD (got an HDTV for Christmas), and our monthly bill came down by $30! We have it all (phone/internet/TV) bundled through Verizon (FiOS), and apparently this "bundle" is cheaper than the previous "bundle" we had. Whodathunk?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-24-2008, 07:28 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
If you want a digital set but don't want to pay for HD content you could go with a a 720i, although my sense is that the market is shifting over to 1080p as the mainstream choice.
I've never hear fo 720i. Can you expand on that?

You're right that the TV manufacturers are trying to move the market to 1080p, but unless you have a ginormous TV set, or you plan on sitting about 2 feet away, your eye will not be able to tell the difference between 1080p and 720p. 1080p is, in sets at 50" or less, an absolute waste of money. Don't fall for that marketing gimmick.

Last edited by John Mace; 12-24-2008 at 07:28 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-25-2008, 10:25 AM
Batfish Batfish is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Thanks everyone for your replies.


oh yeh.... Merry Christmas!

Last edited by Batfish; 12-25-2008 at 10:26 AM..
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.