Can anyone explain the HDTV channel thing?

Doju

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 16, 2008
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I have a standard definition TV with standard definition channels. I just bought a 46" 1080p TV, and I'm wondering how I get the HD channels?

Do I have to put new cables in with an electrician? Call my provider?

Any idea who offers the best HD channels in Canada?
 

pkoch1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 3, 2007
527
0
Boston
I have a standard definition TV with standard definition channels. I just bought a 46" 1080p TV, and I'm wondering how I get the HD channels?

Do I have to put new cables in with an electrician? Call my provider?

Any idea who offers the best HD channels in Canada?
You need a special cable box that outputs HD stations and can connect to your TV via HDMI or Component cables, or you can get an HD antenna (~$40) and get HD stations over the air.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,753
146
HDTV is typically only obtainable through your cable provider. You will need a digital box. You can buy a TIVO and get a cable card, but be aware that some of the channels aren't yet available and may never be available on TIVO because still, the cable company controls your ass. ;)
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,753
146
Maybe the OP got a hidef TV that lacks an HD tuner, in which case, he will also need an external digital tuner.
Umm in 2009 if he actually bought a TV lacking an HD turner then I pity him.
 

cube

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May 10, 2004
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It's possible. Are there many 1080p 46" tvs without an HD tuner?
Assuming he bought it new:

In USA, if it's called "TV" as opposed to "monitor" it must have a tuner.
And now, if it's a TV, it must have an ATSC tuner.

I think it Europe there's still a lot of TVs without DVB-T. And DVB-T supports HD only in a few countries (MPEG-4).

In the rest of the world there's many without digital TV transmissions, so there are many new TVs without digital tuner.

digital tuner != HD

We don't know where the OP is from.
 

McGiord

macrumors 601
Oct 5, 2003
4,533
287
Dark Castle
If you live in the USA, you can get HD channels for free, from over the air signals.

If the a TV stations broadcasts in channel 4, then you can see the HD version in channels 4.1, or 4.2, etc..

Your TV has to have a tuner like mentioned above. Have a good TV antenna connected and run the TV auto-setup or channel search function.

If you have cable or satellite TV, and you don't have an HD package you might need to subscribe to the HD channels.
 

cube

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What if the OP has analog cable and the TV has only one antenna/cable input, as usual?
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,910
2,515
St. Louis, MO
What if the OP has analog cable and the TV has only one antenna/cable input, as usual?
Then he's not going to get HDTV if he has analog cable.

What you do is get an HDTV digital cable box from the cable company. The cable goes into the box, and then the box connects to the TV with component or HDMI.
 

swiftaw

macrumors 603
Jan 31, 2005
6,311
21
Omaha, NE, USA
I guess the question is, how does the OP currently get his TV? Over the Air using an antenna, or via a cable box?

If the former, you should be able to get HD channels OTA, although you might need a different antenna. If the later, you need to call your cable company to add their HD channels package. If you only have an analog cable box they'll need to send you a new box, else they just have to turn on the HD feeds on your current box.
 

cube

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Then he's not going to get HDTV if he has analog cable.

What you do is get an HDTV digital cable box from the cable company. The cable goes into the box, and then the box connects to the TV with component or HDMI.
It's cheaper to keep the analog cable and buy an external HD tuner for the antenna, leaving the internal digital tuner unused.

So, the design of most TVs is FAIL. What brand makes TVs with dual antenna inputs and dual spectrum configs (it can still have only one tuner) ?
 

cube

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If you only have an analog cable box they'll need to send you a new box, else they just have to turn on the HD feeds on your current box.
My point was if the cable goes directly to the TV, not via a decrypt box that is connected to a video input of the TV.
 

pkoch1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 3, 2007
527
0
Boston
What if the OPs TV gets stolen?!

I say we wait until the OP comes back and let him/her answer our questions instead of throwing a whole bunch of what-ifs out there.
 

cube

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May 10, 2004
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No, *I* want to know who makes TVs with dual antenna inputs. It's not a hypothetical question.
 

Zombie Acorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
1,307
9,128
Toronto, Ontario
It would help if we knew what type of service he was using, satellite or cable, satellite you may have to get a new dish depending on what you have now, plus a hd dvr box with the appropriate connections.

Cable is usually the same way minus the satellite.
 

Luigi239

macrumors 6502a
Jan 25, 2007
529
0
You have two options.

The first one is to call your cable company and ask them to provide you with an HD cable box and HD programming. You will either be able to pick up the box or they will come out to your house. Either way, you take your existing cable connection and hook it up to the HD box, and then hook the box up to your TV using the cables that they should provide you. You will then have HD channels.

The second option is to buy a regular television antenna (some are as cheap as $10) and hook it up to the back of your TV. This will let you get all of the free HD channels over the air. I get all of my programming this way, and get about 7 regular channels in HD, and a bunch of sub-channels for about 20 channels total.

I'm guessing the option that you probably want to go with is calling you're cable provider though. Enjoy your new TV :)
 

cube

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May 10, 2004
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Okay, answers to questions (thanks a lot guys)

I live in Canada.

The TV is a Sony Bravia 46" 1080p (http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_...t Panel&psid=FROOGLE01&sid=IDx20070921x00003a)

I have cable.
Your TV has only one RF input.

You didn't say if you have cable directly into the TV (RF) or through a video input from a cable box.

If the RF is free, you just plug there an antenna.

If it's occuppied by the analog cable you have 3 options:

1. Switch to digital cable with your cable provider (assuming they offer all your local HD channels. If they don't but they have some other more, you might still want to do it, plus connect an antenna to the RF for the missing HD channels)
2. Keep on using the analog cable and buy an external HD tuner which you'll connect to a video input.
3 Buy an external analog tuner which you'll connect to a video input and connect the cable to it. You connect an antena to the RF input of the TV to watch terrestrial HD.

If the TV allows to memorize and switch between cable and antenna settings, the fouth option would be to get an RF switchbox.
 

cube

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May 10, 2004
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If the TV allows to memorize and switch between cable and antenna settings, the fouth option would be to get an RF switchbox.
I think you're out of luck if your RF is occupied. According to the Sony online info, after selecting cable or antenna, you have to perform an Auto Program.
 

cube

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May 10, 2004
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The Sanyo in my bedroom has an analogue antenna input and a digital antenna input .. both coax.
This dual RF input feature has become rarer nowadays. I would like to know which brands have 2009 models with it.
 

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