hdtv for poor people

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by davidwes, Sep 9, 2006.

  1. davidwes macrumors 6502

    Dec 28, 2004
    So I am in the market for a new tv. i don't have cable, I just use bunny ears. I was thinking about hdtv for watching dvd's if I could get a tv for cheap.

    Amazon is offering a hdtv antenna. Does anyone know if this is any good?

    Does anyone know of a hd tv set thats under 300 dollars? And if so do i just connect this product to the tv and I get ota hdtv channels? Or do i need another piece of equipment?
  2. Foxglove9 macrumors 68000


    Jan 14, 2006
    New York City
    I've never seen a product like that before. I can't see how it can be High Definition if it's transmitting to the TV through an analog "F" connector? Also it says you can only tune in UHF stations. Not sure if any UHF stations transmit in HDTV? I just can't imagine it is any better than your rabbit ears.
  3. tweakers_suck macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    You absolutely do not need a special antenna to receive digital over-the-air signals. I am using a broken set of cheaply made chinese rabbit ears, $3, and I pickup signal for my HDTV easily.

    I would try a pair of whatever antenna you have first, if they do not work too good then buy a bigger and better antenna. Since the signal you want is digital, all you need is a minimum level of reception. You either have a perfect picture or you have nothing.

    And I believe all digital OTA is broadcast on UHF.
  4. tweakers_suck macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    I am not aware of any hdtv set for under $300. I think you should be able to find one for about $700ish on the lowend side. You should buy an hdtv set that has an integrated tuner, that means that you will only need to supply the antenna. HDTV 'monitors' or HDTV 'ready' mean that you will need to purchase or supply the receiver (additional expense). My brother bought a crt based hdtv with integrated tuner for about $900 two months ago. Samsung I think, maybe about 26 inch?

    They are really coming down in price now.
  5. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    You can't even get a fully functional HDTV for $1500, let alone $300.

    Since it's about video quality, you really don't want to go cheap on the antenna or the t.v. or the decoder, if the decoder isn't part of the t.v.

    This other antenna is more likely to give much better quality and if you can place one outdoors, they had another that was somewhat less expensive.

    I would suggest that you wait until you can afford a t.v. that can at least display 1080i. There are a number of LCDs that will accept 1080i and display 720p because that's the best that they can do.
  6. tweakers_suck macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    Although that antenna looks nice, who cares if a cheap $3 antenna can receive the OTA signal? Again, I would try the cheapo antenna first. There is nothing magically different in digital signals that a small antenna won't work. Unless you are really far away, I'm talking miles and miles away, from the broadcast towers you absolutely do not need an 'hdtv' antenna. HDTV antennas are marketed such that they make consumers believe that it is some special carrier wave and special equipment is needed to receive it.

    If you have a line-of-sight view to the broadcast towers, I would recommend a cheap antenna first. If there are hills, mountains, or long distances, then a more expensive antenna may be required. But I would try the rabbit ears most people have lying around as option 1.

    I'm a little conservative when it comes to money and I always recommend the less expensive option first. You can always buy more expensive equipment if option 1 doesn't work.
  7. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    There's no point in getting a HiDef TV if your main goal is want to watch standard def DVDs.

  8. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    The whole point in HDTV is that it gives you a better picture.

    You'd be much better off to get a standard definition TV for $300 which will give you MUCH better picture than the HDTV.
  9. stillwater macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2004
    Rowley, MA
    That Zenith antenna is a good one if you live close enough to the transmitter.

    It is directional enough to reject weaker reflected signals.

    Sadly, you will have to spend a lot more than $300 for a HDTV with a built-in tuner.
  10. Sideonecincy macrumors 6502

    Sep 29, 2003
    I work at Sears and we carry HDTV antennas in our electronic department. We tried to hook them up to a tv when we first got them in but couldn't get a signal because we are in the bottom floor in the corner...and cellphones can't even get a signal down there. Anyways, we do have a good amount of people come in to purchase the antennas, and they look like normal bunny ears
  11. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Actually the OP would probably benefit from an EDTV 480p capable TV instead of a standard 480i TV... Some of those could be ~$300.

  12. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    A widescreen EDTV (if they come in widescreen) would be a great setup for a $300 price range. Get a nice progressive scan DVD player (which will be cheap) and you're set.

    A Blu-ray or HD-DVD player alone will cost way way way more than the TV right now.
  13. tweakers_suck macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    The people look like bunny ears? ;) :D

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