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Old 11-29-2013, 11:18 AM   #1
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Connecting to HDTV - Quality Questions


I just ordered a LED HDTV on a Black Friday online deal, so I am looking into how best to connect my existing Comcast cable to it.

Right now, the company requires a digital cable box. To my main cable inlet they have a full size cable box, a Motorola Starfone Model SFT2C with a full size remote, each of our additional TV in other rooms also have their own cable box, a smaller box.

The main cable box has coaxial IN, also a phone IN. It has coaxial out, component video and audio out. The other small cable box have only coaxial IN and OUT.

I guess in order to maximize the picture quality, I need to contact the cable company to get HD compatible boxes?

I have searched online and everyone seem to be suggesting to connect with HDMI, if not then S-video, if not then component, and coaxial is the last and worst. That sounds reasonable.

Now my questions.

#1. How is using HDMI between my cable box and HDTV going to improve my picture quality, if the main cable coming into the house is still coaxial? The cable company switched to digital a couple of years ago, before that we just connect to the wall jacks directly and just put their old cable box away. Once they went digital we had to use the new boxes, but it's the same coaxial line that they had since years ago that came from the back alley under my yard and went into my attic and down the wall. That cable has been the same coaxial cable. So how is using any of the better connection going to improve the quality if they are all downstream of a coaxial cable anyways?

#2. Once it the incoming cable goes into the attic, there is a splitter somewhere up there that splits into multiple rooms. Three altogether. These are all old coaxial cable as well, one connects to an older LCD TV (with a mini cable box), the other connects to a traditional TV - not flatscreen - with only component and coaxial (also with a mini cable box). If I switch to HD cable boxes, I assume I have to switch all the boxes out at the same time? I have to check with the cable company but I am thinking this would be the case. If I switch them all, how would I use these older TVs? I assume the HD boxes will not have coaxial? So do I need to go out and buy HDMI to coaxial adapter thingies just to be compatible with these older TVs unless I run all new space age cables to these rooms and upgrade those TVs as well?

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Old 11-29-2013, 11:22 AM   #2
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Connecting to HDTV - Quality Questions


If you currently do not have HD service or a HD box, that is the first two things you need.
As for hooking it up, connect via a hdmi cable.

Really did not need a whole book on this, due to this is not rocket science.

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Old 11-29-2013, 12:02 PM   #3
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Connecting to HDTV - Quality Questions


As long as you have rg6(cable) you will be fine. Getting HD requires a tech to come out to house. He will ensure you have the best signal possible for Hd. HDMI are good best prices are on Amazon.
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Old 11-29-2013, 12:04 PM   #4
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Sorry I'm posting on my phone. I'm glad some of my punctuation went thru. Lol
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Old 11-29-2013, 02:40 PM   #5
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Connecting to HDTV - Quality Questions


You only need to get an HD box for your new TV and have HD service turned on for your house. The other boxes can remain SD.

Comcast usually provides the HDMI cable for free.

After you get it hooked up and if you experience picture/sound quality issues, have Comcast send out a tech to check your signals. If you have bad connectors or splitters, the tech will replace them.
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Old 11-29-2013, 02:58 PM   #6
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Connecting to HDTV - Quality Questions


How many times that line is split also comes into play. I always ran the HD to the first splitter and the SD off the pigtailed splitter.
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:48 AM   #7
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Connecting to HDTV - Quality Questions


To answer one of the questions in your original post

Quote:
How is using HDMI between my cable box and HDTV going to improve my picture quality, if the main cable coming into the house is still coaxial?
You can have RG6 ("regular cable") going to the box from the wall just because of the way the compression and whatnot works. The box just downloads the raw info as a block of data, and then converts it. THat conversion makes it so that same information can't just be pushed out the same wire to the TV, it needs a little more bandwidth.
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:34 PM   #8
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Connecting to HDTV - Quality Questions


look up your tv on line there probably isn't a s-video socket on it.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:58 AM   #9
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All I can say is don't buy a cable at a box store, online all the way.
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:56 AM   #10
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Connecting to HDTV - Quality Questions


Component video is a "better" connection to the TV than S-video.

That said, there are a few standard def' stations on some cable systems where composite video (the yellow jack) gives a better picture. This is a case by case, channel by channel, cable box by cable box, TV by TV situation.

The same coax cable coming in from the utility pole can carry HDTV stations' programs equally well. However sometimes higher numbered channels (cable box channel numbers, not the channel numbers in the station logos) can sometimes have difficulty in which case an upgraded coax (looks about the same) would need to be installed.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 06-17-2014 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:34 PM   #11
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Connecting to HDTV - Quality Questions


Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
Component video is a "better" connection to the TV than S-video.

That said, there are a few standard def' stations on some cable systems where composite video (the yellow jack) gives a better picture. This is a case by case, channel by channel, cable box by cable box, TV by TV situation.

The same coax cable coming in from the utility pole can carry HDTV stations' programs equally well. However sometimes higher numbered channels (cable box channel numbers, not the channel numbers in the station logos) can sometimes have difficulty in which case an upgraded coax (looks about the same) would need to be installed.

Wow, old thread.

Can you explain why composite would ever look better than svideo, let alone component? Composit and svideo are both 480i so I can't see it being a scaling issue.

I'm thinking maybe there is something I don't know so figured I'd ask.
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Old 06-21-2014, 08:32 PM   #12
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Connecting to HDTV - Quality Questions


If the original source material was composite, which would include any analog channel still on the cable, the cable box would have converted it to S-video and then into component video before delivering it out those output jacks respectively.

Meanwhile the TV also converts any input it gets from the yellow jack into S-video and then into component video which is then processed internally in the same fashion as source material coming in as S-video or component video..

If the source was composite and the TV did a better job of converting then taking it from the yellow jack on the cable box would give better results than taking it from the S-video jack.
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Old 06-21-2014, 08:38 PM   #13
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Connecting to HDTV - Quality Questions


AllenJ, source material is not in Composite, Component, HDMI, S-Video, S-Cart. It is either going to be the following: 480i/480p 4:3 or 720p/1080i 16:9 or 1080p/24. Now add to that 4K/UHD.

Regardless of the output on the device. Your tv will only display the resolution that the device is capable of. With upscaling on Blu-Ray players and the older DVD players with upscaling to 720p/1080i 16:9. Along with how the device as I stated before, is connected to your tv or projector.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:03 PM   #14
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Connecting to HDTV - Quality Questions


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
AllenJ, source material is not in Composite, Component, HDMI, S-Video, S-Cart. It is either going to be the following: 480i/480p 4:3 or 720p/1080i 16:9 or 1080p/24. Now add to that 4K/UHD.

Regardless of the output on the device. Your tv will only display the resolution that the device is capable of. With upscaling on Blu-Ray players and the older DVD players with upscaling to 720p/1080i 16:9. Along with how the device as I stated before, is connected to your tv or projector.
Yes, source material is transmitted as Composite, etc.

Composite video in the US is 480i only and can be 4:3 full screen, 4:3 letterboxed, or 16:9 full screen (the latter is sometimes called anamorphic).

S-video in the US is also 480i only and can be the same things as composite video.

Component video in the US can be 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, or 1080p. Most TV sets will autoselect which one it is although some TV sets won't accept some of these resolutions.

Blu-Ray disks have enough material to produce a 1080i program with approx. 60 fields (half frames) per second or a 1080p program with approx. 24 frames per second. The 1080p24 comes out only as HDMI; 1080p24 programs (film source) are converted to 1080i30 (or 720p60) if output as HDTV component video.

Intrinsically, video has no aspect ratio. (If you have a CRT TV, you can adjust the controls to make the picture into any aspect ratio you choose or imagine although the content would look strange.) Aspect ratios are associated with video according to standards and conventions, for example 1080i and 1080p are supposed to always be 16:9.

Inside the TV, the source material is converted as needed to fit on the screen, for example some screens are 1344 x 768 (a form of 768p) which means all of the standard resolutions will need some kind of scaling.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:08 PM   #15
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Connecting to HDTV - Quality Questions


My previous TV would only accept 480P, 720P or 1080I via component.
It was a Unity Motion UHD-3200 serial #100.

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