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Need help...new LCD/HD TV

xraychick
08-18-2009, 06:47 PM
We just bought our first LCD/HD TV. It's an RCA 40" model L40FHD41. We have extended basic cable through our local provider. We hooked up the TV and it looks worse than our old tube TV. The analog channels look horrible and the digital channels don't look much better. The audio cuts out on the digital channels and there seems to be a loss of signal or something because large squares or pixels are seen in the picture from time to time.

I don't know much about HD and LCD TVs so I did some research. Am I right in understanding that I need to get HD service and an HD cable box from the cable company? Will this make our picture look like all the TVs I see in the store?

Also, my husband's brother in law said that he never got HD service and an HD cable box from the cable company. He simply got a booster from them and he said it made all the difference in the world.

Can someone please explain to me what exactly I need to do to get a great picture from this TV? We are about fed up with the whole thing as we can't seen to find a straight answer.

Thanks so much in advance!

Lee Stewart
08-18-2009, 07:26 PM
Hi and welcome to HDF :hithere:

Amazing isn't it?

You thought standard definition would look better because of the higher resolution display and Volia' . . . it sucks. :lol:

Yes - it is advisable that if you want high definition then you go to your content provider and get an HD box. You can lease one from around $7/mo for a plain HD box or about $12 to $14 a month for a 2 tuner HD DVR. You won't pay extra for HD channels unless you order a premium channel like HBO or Cinemax.

Who is your cable provider and what part of the country do you live in?

You will also need an HDMI cablle to go with it. Go to www.monoprice.com and buy one there for a few bucks.

xraychick
08-18-2009, 08:11 PM
Thank you so much for replying so quickly! I will get in touch with my cable company. I live in Missouri and it's Fidelity Communications. There's so much more to this than I thought. I should've done better research but I have a feeling once I get it all straightened out I will love it!

What do you know about this booster or amplifier thing? Is that going to help with the picture?

Lee Stewart
08-18-2009, 08:38 PM
Thank you so much for replying so quickly! I will get in touch with my cable company. I live in Missouri and it's Fidelity Communications. There's so much more to this than I thought. I should've done better research but I have a feeling once I get it all straightened out I will love it!

What do you know about this booster or amplifier thing? Is that going to help with the picture?

Here is a link on your service provider. This will give you some additional info about their HD service. That way when you call them you can sound . . . . savy. :lol:

http://www.fidelitycommunications.com/company/contentServer.php?cid=1231792274

Here is the problem with ALL HDTV's . . .

There are designed to have HD content played on them. When this happens they look fantastic. The problem is of course that there is more SD programming than there is HD programming.

Your HDTV like almost all others has a fixed resolution - like 1280x720 or 1920 x1080, etc. Those are the resolutions of HD. SD is 640x480. As you can see the HDTV has a higher resolution than the SD signal. But it has to show that SD signal at the fixed resolution of the display - for instance - 1280x720 (HxV). So it has to "upconvert" that 480 signal to a 720 signal. But there isn't enough info. So there are electronics in the HDTV that guess what should be added to make the 480 into 720. And few guess correctly.:( You have to spend A LOT of money on an expensive video processor to make SD look "very presentable."

Which few people do because they will want to see HD on their HDTV and will suffer with the SD content until it is upgraded to HD which is going on as we speak.

I don't know what the "booster/amp" thing is that he is talking about. Maybe you can reach him and ask him what exactly it is. If it's a box, he should give you the make and model number so you can post it so I can look it up.

In some cases - the cable signal itself is "weak" because of the distance from the TV to the last "repeater" (which keeps the signal at a certain strength) so the cable company will come out - measure the signal strength and if it is weak they will add an amp into the system (usually done at the pole)

But 9 times out of 10 - the SD content is still going to look poor, especially when compared to your old SDTV which was designed to show SD content on it. A 480 TV with a 480 signal.

The amount of money you will spend for an HD box on a monthly basis really shouldn't be a budget buster and once you see HD on your HDTV in your own home . . .

:yippee:

:banana:

:thumbsup:

Then all you have to worry about is learning how to calibrate your HDTV so you can get it looking BETTER than what you saw at the store . . .

And of course - we at HDF can help you with that. :)

xraychick
08-26-2009, 12:23 PM
Then all you have to worry about is learning how to calibrate your HDTV so you can get it looking BETTER than what you saw at the store . . .

And of course - we at HDF can help you with that. :)

So I just got my HD service today. I'm sorry if I sound ignorant but when it comes to this stuff I am. Some HD channels look great while others not so much. The image quality even varies on the same HD channel. Is this normal? And I'm assuming my regular cable channels (analog) are always going to look like crap on this tv because of the resolution and such? Also, how come some shows fill the screen and others do not? I've even noticed that I'll be watching a show that fills the entire screen and then the commercials won't. It's not a huge deal, just kind of annoying and I'm just curious as to why it's like that?

Oh, and of course, how do I go about calibrating my new TV?

Loves2Watch
08-26-2009, 05:46 PM
So I just got my HD service today. I'm sorry if I sound ignorant but when it comes to this stuff I am. Some HD channels look great while others not so much. The image quality even varies on the same HD channel. Is this normal? And I'm assuming my regular cable channels (analog) are always going to look like crap on this tv because of the resolution and such? Also, how come some shows fill the screen and others do not? I've even noticed that I'll be watching a show that fills the entire screen and then the commercials won't. It's not a huge deal, just kind of annoying and I'm just curious as to why it's like that?

Oh, and of course, how do I go about calibrating my new TV?

First, turn your sharpness down to 0, that should help a bit...

DoctorCAD
08-27-2009, 06:00 AM
Look up the model number on tweaktv.com for a good starting point to change the settings. If you can't find the exact model, just use one very similar. I did that with my 40" Samsung and later bought a DVE calibration disk, my tweaktv.com settings were only a few clicks away from "perfect".

Lee Stewart
08-29-2009, 03:44 AM
So I just got my HD service today.

Congratulations! :thumbsup:

I'm sorry if I sound ignorant but when it comes to this stuff I am.

No such thing as a foolish question here.

Some HD channels look great while others not so much. The image quality even varies on the same HD channel. Is this normal?

Yes. It depends how the image was captured. If it was captured with an HD Camera (called HD-CAM) then the image should look stunning.

But if the image was captured with an SD camera and then the content provider ( like History Channel HD) upconverts the SD image to HD - it isn't going to look as good. They also may crop the image (cutting off the top, bottom or a bit of both) to give you the 16x9 aspect ratio.

And I'm assuming my regular cable channels (analog) are always going to look like crap on this tv because of the resolution and such?

:lol: Pretty much. And your channels (SD channels) may also be digital as opposed to analog - and they too will look like crap.

Read your owners manual very carefully (usually in the first few pages). For my Samsung HDTV - they actually tell you that HD on their HDTV is what the set was designed for. Sort of a DISCLAIMER. :lol:

Also, how come some shows fill the screen and others do not? I've even noticed that I'll be watching a show that fills the entire screen and then the commercials won't. It's not a huge deal, just kind of annoying and I'm just curious as to why it's like that?

You are talking about an image with black vertical bars on either side of it right? That is called pillarboxing (as opposed to letterboxing where the black bars are above and below the image - to make a 2.35 aspect ratio movie fit on a 1.78 (16x9) display.

That is a case where they are showing SD content that has an SD aspect ratio (1.33) on an HD channel that has the 1.78 AR. In your travels here at HDF you may see the term; "stretch-O-vision" which TNT HD is famous for. Instead of pillarboxing the image - they stretch the 1.33 AR to 1.78.

Eventually all commericals will be shot in HD so that will go away - couple of years from now.

But we may still see pillarboxing because any movies made before 1953 are not in widescreen. They are in 1.34 AR. So the image will be HD but it won't fill the 1.78 display. Same for TV shows shot on 35mm film.

Oh, and of course, how do I go about calibrating my new TV?

I see some of the other members have joined the thread and have given you some good info.

The idea is to get your display out of "torch mode" that factories preset them to, so when a retailer unboxes one and sets it out for display - it will look very bright attracting the consumers eye. But that hightened brightness destroys the fine detail that HD is capable of.

You need to control the lighting in the room your HDTV is in. best not to have any light hitting the HDTV, especially sun light. It will wash out the image.

When you use those setting at TWEAKTV - your image will not be as bright but you will see more detail - the "high" in high definition.

Lee Stewart
08-29-2009, 03:55 AM
Guys . . .

Need some help here. her HDTV is an RCA L40FHD4 and it is not listed on the site:

http://www.tweaktv.com/tweak-my-tv/

Can someone recommend a TV that is on that site that is close to hers?

Loves2Watch
08-29-2009, 07:22 AM
Guys . . .

Need some help here. her HDTV is an RCA L40FHD4 and it is not listed on the site:

http://www.tweaktv.com/tweak-my-tv/

Can someone recommend a TV that is on that site that is close to hers?

A calibration disc like DVE would be a much better solution as there doesn't seem to be any tweak info about for her particular TV.

batha
09-06-2009, 08:13 AM
A calibration disc like DVE would be a much better solution as there doesn't seem to be any tweak info about for her particular TV.

ummm i think this is a good idea.