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Got TV, Now What???

SweetMeef
09-23-2004, 12:59 AM
Hey guys, found this forum today and have been browsing it a bit learning more about HD.

Yesterday I bought a Panasonic 32" HDTV Monitor (CT-32HXC14). Today I bought component cables (Y/Pb/Pr) for my dvd player (Toshiba SD-K510) and S-video cable for my cable box (Scientific Atlanta Explorer 3100).

My question is - is this the optimum setup for dvd/cable for this TV, since I currently do not have HD cable (I'm currently using standard premium digital cable from Charter?)


The following is info about the ins/outs of my hardware and how they're set up:

DVD:
Video Out includes: S-Video, Analog Video (yellow), and Component Video (Y/Pb/Pr) -> Currently running the Component cables to "Component Input 1" of the TV.
Audio Out includes: Analog Audio (red/white), and "Coaxial Bitstream/PCM Digital" (orange) -> Currently running Analog Audio cables to Aiwa 5.1 CH receiver.

Cable Box:
RF Cable In and Cable Out connections, S-Video out, Analog Video out (yellow), IR (no idea what this is - looks like a headphone jack); Audio out includes Analog audio out (red/white) and Digital Audio out (black).
Currently running RF cable from wall into RF Cable In input, and S-video cable out to TV "Input 1" since cable box doesn't have component outputs; Analog audio also going to TV "Input 1"

TV: Rather than listing the 7 inputs, Click Here (http://www.circuitcity.com/rpsm/oid/96193/originURLEncoded/http%253A%252F%252Fwww.circuitcity.com%252Fccd%252 Fcategorylist.do%253Fcmpstr%253D%2526bMore%253D%25 26N%253D20012866%252B20012867%252B312867003%2526No %253D20%2526catOid%253D-12867%2526link%253Dref%2526PAGE_ACTION%253D%2526c% 253D1/rpem/ccd/productDetailSpecification.do#tabs) to see the specs of the TV.
Some high points:
Has DVI plug (unused), 2 Component inputs (1 used for dvd), 3 S-video inputs (1 used for cable) and 1 Analog input.

I'm hoping the current setup is optimum for dvd/digital cable, but wanted advice from you guys (who know WAY more than me) on where to go from here.
Some points to address:
Are the cables I'm using fine (not brand but type)?
Is my dvd player significantly limiting the picture (don't think it's progressive scan)?
I read in the forum that with promotions/technological advancement, a HD receiver is not necessary since you only need it for HD Cable/Satellite, and most providers include it in their hardware (i.e. Cable Box). So, am I fine not having a HD receiver, and if/when I upgrade to HD cable, will they include everything I need to have Optimum HD picture quality with my new TV?


I appreciate the replies and advice. If I've made a huge mistake, let me know - I have 28 days to return the TV to Circuit City. I'm not incredibly interested in the 16:9 TVs and think that for the price ($750+tax) I've bought a good TV.
Thanks again,
-J

maximus
09-23-2004, 02:26 AM
:) Quite the detailed and well laid out post :)

Are the cables I'm using fine (not brand but type)?
Yes some people suggest using the S-video for digital cable as the TV's comb filter cleans up the signal a bit. Using component bypasses this filter and...garbage in garbage out. However using component for your dvd player is the best hookup to use.

Is my dvd player significantly limiting the picture (don't think it's progressive scan)?
Possibly, although the TV converts the signal to 480p. In most cases a good progressive scan player will outperform the TV's 480i to 480p conversion. Good progressive players are cheap now and you could always take one for a test-drive to see if there's a difference.

So, am I fine not having a HD receiver, and if/when I upgrade to HD cable, will they include everything I need to have Optimum HD picture quality with my new TV?
Some companies provide a DVI or component video cable and some do not, although they should, depends on your area and provider.

If I've made a huge mistake, let me know
Sounds to me like you're doing it right, however HDTV 16:9 IS awfully beautiful. ;)

maximus
09-23-2004, 08:16 AM
Yes some people suggest using the S-video for digital cable as the TV's comb filter cleans up the signal a bit. Using component bypasses this filter and...garbage in garbage out.

Incorrect, sorry. :o
I should have said some people(myself included) get better results from digital cable through the ant/composite input as the TV's comb filter cleans up the signal a bit. Using component/S-video bypasses this filter and...garbage in garbage out. However some people get better results from digital cable using S-video as compared to component, I guess component video resolution and clarity bring out all the crap in the signal as well.

SweetMeef
09-23-2004, 09:31 AM
Thanks for the helpful info - I tried being as detailed as possible.

So, would I be better off using Analog video (yellow) to run from the Cable box to TV given the comb filter rather than S-video, or is that just a "try it out and see" trial-and-error thing?

Also, out of curiosity, any ideas what the "IR" plug is on the back of the cable box (next to the S-video out.) And, what is "HPJ" - the input/output(?) that I have on the front of the TV between the operational buttons (vol, ch, etc) and Input 4.

Lastly, given my former post, will I ever need to buy a HD receiver or will I be covered by the cable/satellite provider such that I'm getting the full benefit of the HD TV with the best HD quality picture?

Again, much thanks for helping the newbies out.
-J

maximus
09-23-2004, 04:35 PM
So, would I be better off using Analog video (yellow) to run from the Cable box to TV given the comb filter rather than S-video, or is that just a "try it out and see" trial-and-error thing?
I would check both connections over several channels and see if there is a difference, if not then sticking with S-video would be fine.

Also, out of curiosity, any ideas what the "IR" plug is on the back of the cable box (next to the S-video out.) And, what is "HPJ" - the input/output(?) that I have on the front of the TV between the operational buttons (vol, ch, etc) and Input 4.
The IR plug is basically a link cable that transmits information and commands between devices, if you hooked up a vcr to the 3100 you could control the vcr through your 3100.
The HPJ input/output I'm guessing would be a headphone jack.

Lastly, given my former post, will I ever need to buy a HD receiver or will I be covered by the cable/satellite provider such that I'm getting the full benefit of the HD TV with the best HD quality picture?
In my situation my cable provider supplies digital cable boxes for a low monthly fee, however I had to buy the HD digital terminal as they do not supply these. Some providers do supply HD boxes for rental and proper cables to get you setup for HD. For cable HD it all depends on your provider, for satellite HD you have quite a few options, but either way you will need a new HD capable STB and component video cables for receiving high def. Using the newer DVI/HDMI hookups in some cases provide 'best quality' over component but sometimes have been known to provide a lower quality picture too.