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  #1  
Old 09-24-2006, 04:27 PM
Mtlca401 Mtlca401 is offline
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Do I need to get Digital cable to get HDTV?

I know this is probably a stupid question, but the problem I'm having is I have regular basic cable that I use with sage and my roomate just bought a 50" LCD screen and he wants to get HD for it. I don't want to have to get digital cable just to get HDTV because I don't see the point of having digital cable and sageTV.

I suppose that if I were to buy a hdTV tuner card for my pc I would still need to sign up for HDTV from my local provider. correct?
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  #2  
Old 09-24-2006, 05:44 PM
paulbeers paulbeers is offline
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Actually you can't use the HDTV from your cable company. Do a search, you will quickly find out the only option for HDTV right now with Sage is Over The Air reception which requires you to purchase an HDTV tuner (fusion5, cats eye, A180, etc).
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  #3  
Old 09-24-2006, 08:38 PM
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dbfresh23 dbfresh23 is offline
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Actually you can use the HDTV from your cable company. If you have an HD box with firewire ports on it you may be able to get the local HD channels into Sage via firewire. This will only work for local (same channels that OTA would give ya) not premiums.
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  #4  
Old 09-24-2006, 08:46 PM
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Morgan111 Morgan111 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtlca401
I know this is probably a stupid question, but the problem I'm having is I have regular basic cable that I use with sage and my roomate just bought a 50" LCD screen and he wants to get HD for it. I don't want to have to get digital cable just to get HDTV because I don't see the point of having digital cable and sageTV.

I suppose that if I were to buy a hdTV tuner card for my pc I would still need to sign up for HDTV from my local provider. correct?

There are a large number of us (I think) getting HDTV from settop boxes using the firewire port.
Firewire thread
You don't need an HDTV card for that, you only get the in the clear channels (mostly broadcast channels), you do need digital service and dedicated box for the firewire.

With Comcast you do get alot more programming with the added digital channels and the digital channels don't have the analog channel noise issues.

I have an HDTV card but I have too many mt ridges around and poor reception. If that worked for me I would either take off the firewire and use that box as an extra STB to tune digital channels or return it and save the monthly fee on an extra STB.

I love HD You need it too!
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  #5  
Old 09-24-2006, 10:26 PM
Mtlca401 Mtlca401 is offline
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Me and my roomate have been researching this for the past couple of days and tell you the truth a lot of it is still not really clear, but we have found out a few things we could do.

My roomate is still trying to figure out if he wants to connect a computer to his new TV or not. If I build him a computer with sageTV then I could use one of the HDTV PCI tuners which if I understanding correctly that would let us view local OTA channels in HD without having to subscribe to digital or satellite.

If I don't build him a computer then one option could possibly be an HD antenna without having to subscribe to digital or satellite. Has anybody used an antenna and got a good HD picture from it. Second option could be a set-top-box without having to subscribe to digital or satellite.

What we don't understand is if the signal is analog then how is it possible to decode. That's why we aren't sure if you needed digital or satellite to get HDTV.

Am I with these options? Will they work?

I am still doing my research.

Thanks
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  #6  
Old 09-24-2006, 11:18 PM
Mtlca401 Mtlca401 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jds23
Maybe I can help a little. Yes, the HDTV set your friend bought CAN have an inexpensive OTA HDTV antenna hooked up to receive the free OTA channels in your area IF; 1) you have good reception in your area (there are sites on the internet that will tell you which type of antenna to purchase e.g antennaweb.org), 2) your new HDTV has a built-in ATSC tuner (VERY important as some don't), 3) you don't care to get any of the cool features of Sage, e.g time-shifting, recording favorites, skipping commercials automatically, etc., etc., ETC.

Also, I have found that in some situations I have gotten BETTER reception through my built-in ATSC tuner than in MCE2005 and/or Sage, so you might as well start there if it is all the same to you. Just explain to your friend that there will be NO time-shifting! Kind of a big reason to go the Sage way, but that is for you all to decide.

Cool thanks,

So, if I did build him the computer with sageTV(I have been trying to talk him into it because it's just that awesome) and I put the HDTV pci tuner in it then is that all I would need or would I need a antenna or set-top-box to go with it?

I am starting to understand this a little, but I just want to make sure before he starts spending money.
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  #7  
Old 09-24-2006, 11:50 PM
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polen polen is offline
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I have 2 HD cable boxes from SuddenLink, aka. COX, connected through firewires to my SageTV server. I'm lucky because my cable company is not 5C'ing any of my channels, 5C encryption is sometimes enforced over the firewire for premium channels and Sage or any other firewire device will not be able to view the 5C'ed channels. So, I get about 11 HD channels and all the SD digital channels that I subscribe to I even get digital music through this to SageTV. If you go with your cable company, you should be able to take the box back if you don't like it, then try something else.

Viewing HD on a PC is another story. You will need a decent video card, like a NVidia 7600GT to run at the best video renderer, VMR9, or you you can go with a low end NVidia 6200 and run in Overlay video renderer mode. There's many threads here that talk about this.

A friend of my bought an OTA antenna for like $40 at Circuitcity and was able to get our local channels. The quality on OTA digital is either it works or it don't. There's no in between. It's either clear or blank. Problem with OTA is you will need to move your antenna to get different channels, at least he had to. The we site jds23 mentioned, antennaweb.org, will tell you the direction to point your antenna and the distance. If greater than 15 miles then you will need a bigger antenna than the $40 one.

I hope this helps.

-Polen
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  #8  
Old 09-25-2006, 12:33 AM
ke6guj ke6guj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtlca401
Cool thanks,

So, if I did build him the computer with sageTV(I have been trying to talk him into it because it's just that awesome) and I put the HDTV pci tuner in it then is that all I would need or would I need a antenna or set-top-box to go with it?
.
If you put in an OTA HDTV tuner card, then you will need to get an antenna for the HDTV to pull in an over-the-air OTA signal. Your location will determine the size of the antenna needed, and if an internal or external antenna is needed. Antennaweb.org can help you with that.

So, the options for recording HDTV is with an OTA HDTV tuner, firewire capture from an cable HD STB or a modded HD DirecTV box. There are no other ways to currently record HD signals in HD.
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  #9  
Old 09-25-2006, 01:05 AM
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GKusnick GKusnick is offline
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Just to expand a bit on what others have said: if you decide to get an OTA HD tuner for your PC, it doesn't have to be a PCI card. There are some good USB tuners available as well.

Another option, if you just want to watch in real time and don't care about recording in Sage, is to buy a used satellite receiver off Ebay. Many of these receivers have OTA tuners built in, so you can ignore the satellite part and just hook up an OTA antenna and watch broadcast HDTV for free. This option will likely cost less than what you'd pay for an HD tuner for your PC.
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  #10  
Old 09-25-2006, 02:56 AM
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mayamaniac mayamaniac is offline
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since you don't like the idea of paying for HD, then here's what you need to do:

First check to see if your roommates's HDTV has an HD tuner or not. If it does, then buy an HDTV antenna to see if you can get proper HD signals or not. If you don't get good signals off-the-air (OTA), then sorry, you will have to pay for HDTV service through cable or satellite companies.

If the HDTV doesn't have an HD Tuner, then you will have to buy an HD Tuner PCI card for your PC to test if you can get good OTA signals. Buy the HD Tuner from some place that's easy to return and get a refund, incase it doesn't work out.
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  #11  
Old 09-25-2006, 12:57 PM
Mtlca401 Mtlca401 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayamaniac
since you don't like the idea of paying for HD, then here's what you need to do:

First check to see if your roommates's HDTV has an HD tuner or not. If it does, then buy an HDTV antenna to see if you can get proper HD signals or not. If you don't get good signals off-the-air (OTA), then sorry, you will have to pay for HDTV service through cable or satellite companies.

If the HDTV doesn't have an HD Tuner, then you will have to buy an HD Tuner PCI card for your PC to test if you can get good OTA signals. Buy the HD Tuner from some place that's easy to return and get a refund, incase it doesn't work out.

Satellite huh...

I forgot about this but we do have an old dish network or direct TV satellite on our roof. The person that lived here before left it. I'll have to look into that, but wouldn't I need a certain box from the satellite company because it uses an ethernet wire I believe?


oh, btw I hope there is no confusion about us trying to do this with out having to pay for it. We would pay for the HD if we didn't need to sign up for digital or satellite. The thing is our basic analog cable is included in our rent, so to get digital cable means we would be paying for the service included in our rent and the new service. That's why I set up the sageTV on my computer because I wanted digital cable. Plus I think that sageTV is way better than digital or satellite and we're college kids. We don't want to pay an extra $60-$70 bucks just to get HD.



Thanks for the suggestions,
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  #12  
Old 09-25-2006, 01:13 PM
ke6guj ke6guj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtlca401
Satellite huh...

I forgot about this but we do have an old dish network or direct TV satellite on our roof. The person that lived here before left it. I'll have to look into that, but wouldn't I need a certain box from the satellite company because it uses an ethernet wire I believe?
If your poor college kids , I wouldn't recommend that solution. You would need to sign up for satellite servce, $30-50 a month, plus get a HD box $$$, and have that modded, $$$ from http://www.169time.com/

Quote:
oh, btw I hope there is no confusion about us trying to do this with out having to pay for it. We would pay for the HD if we didn't need to sign up for digital or satellite. The thing is our basic analog cable is included in our rent, so to get digital cable means we would be paying for the service included in our rent and the new service. That's why I set up the sageTV on my computer because I wanted digital cable. Plus I think that sageTV is way better than digital or satellite and we're college kids. We don't want to pay an extra $60-$70 bucks just to get HD.

Thanks for the suggestions,
Basic analog cable usually includes all the digital channels in the line, unless there is a filter in your line somewhere. That said, you may be able to get a HD box (with firewire) from the cable company without having to subscribe to digital cable. Many people here are able to access their local HD channels without having to pay for an HD tier from the cable company. Local HD channels are supposed to broadcast in the clear, no scrambling.

IF that isn't an option, then you are just going to have to go with the OTA HD tuner in the PC, PCI-slot or USB. Have you checked with www.antennaweb.org to see if you are close to the HD towers?


edit: you have said that "I don't see the point of having digital cable and sageTV" and "sageTV is way better than digital or satellite", If you are referring to the user interface, UI, in Sage being better, yes it it. But, the more channel choices that Sage has to work with, the better your Sage experience will be. Sage can't replace Digital cable or Satellite service, it just makes it better.

Last edited by ke6guj; 09-25-2006 at 01:21 PM.
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  #13  
Old 09-26-2006, 09:40 AM
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malore malore is offline
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As an analog cable subscriber, my digital cable ready HDTV (without a cable card) is able to get all the local HD channels, a bunch of music channels, and other peoples On-Demand channels.
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