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Discussion Starter #1
The wife and I are discussing the possibility of dropping our cable. We've considered the other services but don't like their required commitments. The only problem is that I have an older style plasma television which doesn't have a tuner. We are considering it even if it means we have no television whatsoever.

Does anyone know if you can buy a separate tuner for picking up signals and passing it on to what is essentially a monitor?
 

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does it have a coax connection? if so you can get a indoor HD antenna and use that but im guessing it doesnt have one. you could prob trade TV's with someone that has cable/sat service that wouldnt need a tuner.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
does it have a coax connection? if so you can get a indoor HD antenna and use that but im guessing it doesnt have one. you could prob trade TV's with someone that has cable/sat service that wouldnt need a tuner.
It does have a coaxial connection; however, it doesn't have a tuner, so attaching an antenna wouldn't help. I love my plasma. I'm definitely not interested in getting rid of it. I'd just as soon just have it to watch DVDs and have no television whatsoever.

This might be what you are looking for:
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-DTBH260F-HDTV-Terrestrial-Receiver/dp/B000JV6TQY

I am sure there are other out there. This was just the first one that came up in a google search. I have no idea if it is any good. Never used one.

peter
Interesting. That does look like what I was looking for. Does anyone have any experience with units like that?
 

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I believe the government is helping to subsidize the costs of the HDTV converter with coupons for those with regular TV's with no HDTV tuner like yours. You should can check it out here: http://www.dtv2009.gov

Once you have one of them, you'll be able to watch over the air HDTV. I cancelled my cable subscription too and now just watch free over the air HDTV...waste of money in my opinion, but of course that's coming from someone who had no cable growing up. The over the air stuff is pretty good! The only downpoint I've found is either: the picture and sound are perfect, or it's non-existent at all.
 

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I recently bought a HD LCD. I also got the full cable package with all the high def. Before this TV I didn't watch a whole lot, mostly movies. Shortly after getting my first couple bills I realized I don't watch that much TV and decided it was not a bill I needed.

Long story short, I have a HD DVD player so I canceled my cable. Well, I kept the basic package. $20 a month for local chanels + Discovery and I still get some on Demand channels. I bought a HD tv antenna so I can get the locals in HD off air (mine has the tuner built in). I am happy with me decision.

I know that you can buy a tuner for your TV. Do some google resarch. You can pick one up at your local Circuit City or Best Buy. All you need is a HD tuner and a HD antenna to recive your locals in HD.

I am very happy with this setup. However, if I watched a lot of tv I would go with DirecTV. I don't, I like to watch a little discovery and the news in the evenings and mostly watch movies. Having a HD DVD player is awesome!

Good luck! :beer:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I believe the government is helping to subsidize the costs of the HDTV converter with coupons for those with regular TV's with no HDTV tuner like yours. You should can check it out here: http://www.dtv2009.gov
The issue isn't HD. It's all TV. The early plasma televisions don't have a tuner at all (i.e. no capability to automatically receive a signal or change channels). They essentially act as monitors ready to receive input. I believe that was the way it was, because the audience was mostly commercial for booth displays and what not.

My plasma is HD ready though and I've enjoyed the HD programming through cable as limited as it is.

...I know that you can buy a tuner for your TV. Do some google resarch. You can pick one up at your local Circuit City or Best Buy. All you need is a HD tuner and a HD antenna to recive your locals in HD...
I couldn't find anything or get any information from Best Buy, but I'll try again.
 

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what everyone is talking about is the digtal tuner for analog tv's it might work for you though, ill check tomorrow at work to see if ti has a remote yuo use to change the channels thru the converter or you still need to chnge the channels with the tv. you would think i would know this as im a home theather installer but not to many people are adding a analog tv to their 10k home theather systems
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I understand. It's sort of a weird situation. But, I love my plasma (I've had it 5 years) and it works great. Plus we don't want to spend the money to replace it.

It should be an interesting personal plan if we decide to do it and can pull it off. We figure if we don't have any TV that we would supplement any watching we did with DVDs. We have small personal collection that would probably grow. But, there's always rentals including possibly free rentals from the library (our old local library did this, but we don't know if this one does). We could buy or rent TV series shows that we really want to see and still come up ahead of the game.
 

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Shoot, you can watch most TV shows online now anyway, so you could always just connect your computer to your TV and watch most of your favorite shows from your computer, or download the weekly shows to your iPod/iPhone and connect that to your TV and watch your favorite shows....More I think about it, the more I think it might be a good option...
 

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Dude if you could get a good TV signal here I might just try it. Then agian I don't watch much local stuff. The TV is more for the kids and they have a couple favorite channels. We have the basic Dirrect TV and now that I have worked the listings to remove all the stuff like home shopping, Spanish language TV, all News repeated several times an hour, and such there is a short list of channels we would actually watch. My girls watch a lot of their favorites on the internet and somehow are ahead of the game (mostly anime) when it comes to the New stuff on TV. Heck if it was not for the music channels (read radio over TV) I most likely would not need it at all but having the country station over the surround sound while working here alone is nice. I think I am going to run the idea of getting rid of the paid TV by the wife and see how it goes.
 

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Whatever you do, keep in mind that after Feb. 2009 anything w/analog tuning will not receive local broadcast tv. Buy for the future....
 

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what everyone is talking about is the digtal tuner for analog tv's it might work for you though...
Well, kinda. What you need is a ATSC external TV tuner to recive HDTV signals over the air if your tv does not have one built in. Not to be confused with DTV. HDTV is part of the ATSC spectrume so just be sure the box you get is not simply a DTV tuner but a HDTV tuner. The External ATSC HDTV tuner and a HDTV antenna is all that will be needed to recive HDTV over the air. If your TV had the ATSC tuner built in, all you need is the HDTV antenna.

About.com said:
ATSC digital set-top receivers are devices that receive and decode digital television signals for output on a high definition TVs (HDTV) that don't have built-in digital tuners.

Most people use a cable/satellite box to serve this purpose. However, some people don't subscribe to cable/satellite, or they don't want to pay for the upgradeable HD service/box to receive local channels.

Also, one quick note...I saw earlier some talk of coaxial connections. To recive HDTV you will only be able to do so with a component connection (red, green, blue colored connections), HDMI or even a DVI connection. The preferance would be HDMI if your TV has it.


Here are some examples:

1. Viewsonic HDTV Video Tuner - Model HD12
The HD12 is the more sophisticatd one of the two Viewsonic ATSC receivers. The lower priced model is the HD10. Here are features for the HD12 according to Viewsonic:

Receives ATSC and NTSC TV signals
Compatible with all 18 ATSC signal formats
Compatible with VHF and UHF TV signals
Video connections include DVI (HDCP), component, composite, S-video and VGA (RGB)
Picture-in-picture capability
Displays content in 4:3 and 16:9
Output resolution in 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i



www.Newegg.com



2. Humax HFA100 HDTV Tuner
The HFA100 is an over-the-air (OTA) digital TV receiver, which means it isn't something you would use to receive cable or satellite programming. It will receive and decode all 18 ATSC digital formats. Here are some more details according to Humax:

Video connections include HDMI (1), Component (1) , S-Video (1), composite (1)
Audio outputs include RCA stereo L/R (1), Optical Dolby Digital
Output resolution in 1080i, 720p, 480p, 480i
On-screen guided set up and Electronic Program Guide



3. Samsung SIR-T451 High Definition TV Tuner
The SIR-T451 is a nice looking ATSC receiver. It is an over-the-air (OTA) digital TV receiver, which means it isn't something you would use to receive cable or satellite programming. Here are details according to Samsung:

Decodes all 18 ATSC Table 3 broadcast formats
Audio output in Dolby Digital 2.0 or Dolby Digital 5.1
Output in 1080i, 720p or 480p
Video connections include DVI (1), Component (1), Composite (1)
Audio connections include RCA stereo (R/L), Dolby Digital Coaxial and Optical



This next one would be a good option if you have a little older TV that only has DVI connection (no HDMI)..

4. RCA ATSC11 High Definition Tuner w/ DVI
The ATSC11 is is an over-the-air (OTA) digital TV receiver, which means it isn't something you would use to receive cable or satellite programming. Here are some features according to RCA:

Receives all 18 ATSC signal formats
Output resolutions are 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i
Onscreen program guide
V-Chip parental controls
Video connections include DVI (1), component (1), S-Video (1), composite (1)
Audio outputs include digital-audio (1 optical, 1 coaxial), RCA stereo l/r (1)




The following one would be for somebody that has and anolog TV...

5. Sylvania 6900DTE ATSC/HDTV Broadcast Set-Top Box Receiver
The 6900DTE is a nice box capable of digital-to-analog conversion, which means a person could watch a digital signal on an analog television with this box. This is a good box for those not wanting to buy a digital television, but continue receiving OTA signals once the digital transition is complete in 2009. Here are some other features according to Sylvania:

Receives ATSC HDTV Digital broadcast signals
Output in 16:9 and 4:3
Electronic Program Guide (EPG)





Anyway, sorry bout the length but hopefully this answers all your questions :beer: :beer:
 

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Great post, good info Scott. I was an early adopter in the HD world (6+ years ago), my 55" has no internal ATSC tuner, or HDMI inputs for that matter, just the "lowly" YPrPb component (but I got 3 of 'em).

Mine came with the guarantee that a "promise module" would soon follow, with the capability of off the air HD reception. At a reasonable price. Yeah. It was finally available, at around 2k. Since I already had 4.5k in the set, I passed:shaking:

I do get decent HD over cable, lots of channels, and the TV was tweaked a bit (not to ISF or Mr. Bob's standards, but very close:D), so I'm OK with it for now. I built my own red push attenuator, man, what a difference that made...
 

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my 55" has no internal ATSC tuner, or HDMI inputs for that matter, just the "lowly" YPrPb component (but I got 3 of 'em)....
Well, mine has an ATSC tuner and 3 HDMI but only one component connection :thefinger:

Yah, those things used to cost way more then they do now! $2k! wow, think they are $150ish now
 

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sucks when you buy a expensive TV and its outdated, we did a install the other day and the guy had a 65"ish sony that he bought 3 years ago for 5k$'s and the sales guy told him dvi was goin gto be the hd connection of the future
 

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Yeah, it sucks when next years model is bigger and cheaper. I just looked at my receipt and it was 4.5k:shocked:
The promise module price included a service guy coming out and doing the install. It was a huge box that hung on the back and wired to the tv internally, so it was not user installable (by mere mortals that is. I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express). That's ok though, when this one craps out I'll probably go with a bigger dlp.
You guys should thank me since I think I single handedly paid for the R&D for that model so the rest of you could enjoy the cheaper bigger sets:thefinger:
 

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...and the sales guy told him dvi was goin gto be the hd connection of the future

Hahaha, I hate to say it. but, until you posted that I had forgoten that when DVI came out I also (as a sales person) told people it is the way things will go!! :innocent:

It is risky trying to call the future with technology! You never know whats around the corner. Man, I think those DVI cables were about $200 at the time! Hope I didn't roaly screw anybody, lol
 

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EDIT: to clarify about the coax comment I made. I went a reread the original post I saw that in and I had misread it. sorry guys....

To be fair, if you had a built in ATSC tuner then you would be able to connect the antenna to the tv by any means available (including coax) to recive the HDTV signal over the air. If you had a external HDTV tuner then that would need to be connected to the TV by HDMI, DVI or component (red, green, blue connections). :beer:
 

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Hahaha, I hate to say it. but, until you posted that I had forgoten that when DVI came out I also (as a sales person) told people it is the way things will go!! :innocent:

It is risky trying to call the future with technology! You never know whats around the corner. Man, I think those DVI cables were about $200 at the time! Hope I didn't roaly screw anybody, lol
They can still use the cables on computers, does that make you feel better:D
 
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