What happens if I hook up my non-HDTV ready TV to a HDTV tuner?

I’ve got a 36" Sony Wega. Nowhere in the manual does it claim to be HD ready. If I did hook it up to a HDTV tuner, would the picture be any better, if not full blown HD? Or would it look the same?


I think you would get the hdtv in the “Letterbox” format on your tv. It would be no better than your regular tv image if you have digital cable or satellite tv which is digital, but since the aspect ratio is different for hdtv it would have to be letterboxed.

It would depend on a couple of things. First off all does your TV have Component Input? If it only has S-Video, Composite and/or coax, then it depends on the Tuner. Some tuners only output HD on the Component Outs, in which case nothing would happen on the HD channels. On some (pioneer 3100HD for example) will down convert HD channels to 480i and send it out the S-Video, (possibly also the composite and coax). If you TV has component in, and it can’t handle HD you can usally tell the box how you want the signal sent. You’ll have to set the tuner to send the signal in 480i, or 480p if your TV supports progressive scan. What type of tuner do you have?

What is the model of your TV? There’s a couple different 36 inch Sony Wega’s on the site I was looking at. I assume you don’t have the one with the DVI port, you wouldn’t be asking this question. I believe the other two both have component inputs, I would just hook up the box to the components and see what happens. It’ll either work or it won’t. If it doesn’t, just tell the box to output 480i and you should be fine. To answer your original question, if your TV cannot handle HD or progressive scan, it’s not going to make a difference. The only way you’ll be able to view HD is for your box to downconvert it to SD, and since the programming on HD is usually the same as the programming on the equivalent SD channel, it’s not really worth is. OTOH, I assume the TV can handle progressive scan (480p) in which case it should look better if you can tell the box to output in 480p. Also, I should mention that the TV that I have says NOTHING about HD or Progressive scan, in fact it didn’t even tell me how to let the TV know that it’s a progressive scan feed coming in. Just because the manual doesn’t say, doesn’t mean it can’t handle it. Let us know the model of the TV and the Box (or don’t you have a box yet) and we’ll go from there.