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Old 7th December 2007, 01:27 AM   #1
gychang is offline gychang  United States
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Davis, California
Default flat panel HDTV, what do I need?

I will be getting 40-50" flat panel probably plasma or LCD TV that has a built in HD tuner, and will be mounting on the wall, will have Cox HD cable service.

What cable do I need to get it all setup so I can watch HDTV?. Do I need HDMI cable? Does the cable usually come with the flat panel? or cable TV box?

thanks,

gychang
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Old 7th December 2007, 02:48 AM   #2
JRace is offline JRace  Canada
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Vernon, BC
You will need either:
HDMI
DVI
Component

It all depends on the TV and the source.

And most of the time the DVI/HDMI cables are not included in the box.

www.Monoprice.comhas decent cables for decent prices.

Do you have any source other than the cable box?
And what will your plans for Audio be?
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Old 7th December 2007, 03:24 AM   #3
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Hi gychang,

Concerning your cable, I would stick with an HDMI cable. Component cables will carry an almost-as-good signal for short runs.

I have a 25' HDMI-DVI cable I run from my computer to my projector, and there is no visible signal loss (from what I can tell). I picked this up off of ebay for well under the cost of a tank of gas. There are plenty of other sites out there too that are reputable.

IF you only plan to watch your local HD channels over your cable, why are you getting an HD tuner built in? You may be able save some money by going with an HD monitor (no tuner). Of course, over the air HD looks waaay better than cable.

One other thing to look at is the screen size vs. resolution vs. viewing distance. There are plenty of guides out there that will tell you what the relationship is between these. This way, you dont spend an extra grand on a 42" 1080P TV that you will watch 15 feet away. It's kind of pointless when your eye can't tell a difference between that TV and a 720p version until youre within 6'.

Good luck with your investment!

Jay
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Old 7th December 2007, 10:03 AM   #4
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Keep this thread going.
general advice on going HDTV needed by lots of us.
__________________
regards Andrew T.
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Old 7th December 2007, 11:44 AM   #5
gychang is offline gychang  United States
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Davis, California
Quote:
Originally posted by JRace
You will need either:
HDMI
DVI
Component

It all depends on the TV and the source.

Do you have any source other than the cable box?
And what will your plans for Audio be?

my source wil be cable box, and DVD player.
my audio will likely be 2 channel stereo hooked up to the flat panel.

So far looks like I will need HDMI cable.

gychang
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Old 7th December 2007, 11:48 AM   #6
gychang is offline gychang  United States
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Davis, California
Quote:
Originally posted by utjay2008
Hi gychang,

Concerning your cable, I would stick with an HDMI cable. Component cables will carry an almost-as-good signal for short runs.

IF you only plan to watch your local HD channels over your cable, why are you getting an HD tuner built in? You may be able save some money by going with an HD monitor (no tuner). Of course, over the air HD looks waaay better than cable.

Jay

Jay, I am assuming to watch HDTV with Cox feed, I will need HDTV with a tuner built in, is this correct?

gychang
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Old 7th December 2007, 02:52 PM   #7
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gychang,

Let me back up a minute to make sure we are on the same page and to help some other HDTV beginners out there.

HDTV 101:

To get HD, you need 3 things, none of which can be ignored.
a) HD source
b) HD connection
c) HD monitor

a) An HD source is any audio/video source that has HD audio/video information. These include (but not limited to) HD cable set top boxes, Digital Satellite (DirecTV) HD set top boxes, HD DVD, Bluray and upconvert DVD players, computers, etc.

b) Once you have a source, you need to connect it. There are two ways of doing this. One is to use component cables (they are three RCA-type cables, color coded blue, green and red) and an HDMI cable. Component cables carry an analog video signal up to 1080i or 720p but no audio. HDMI uses a small single cable to carry digital video. In addition to carrying a digital video signal, HDMI carries digital audio. HDMI is very common and is quickly becoming the connection of choice. DVI cables carry the exact same video signal as HDMI. DVI is commonly used on digital lcd flat panel monitors for computers. Unlike HDMI, however, DVI does NOT carry audio and has a different connection. HDMI and DVI are both capable of 1080p signals. Note: stay away from big box stores when buying cables. The quality is fine, but the markups are absolutely insane (5-10x is not uncommon).

c) There is simply too much info to try to fit in here. However, in my previous post I stated that size vs. resolution vs. viewing distance is important. A handy article to this can be found here:
http://www.carltonbale.com/2006/11/1080p-does-matter/
I'll be glad to answer any questions (or at least try to) that you post here concerning the display itself.

There is one scenario where you do not need the 3 things listed above. And that lone situation is over-the-air local HD broadcasts. To receive these, all you need is an over-the-air antenna (nothing really special) and a HDTV with a built in HD (ATSC) tuner.

Going back to your original question, I do not have the cox feed. They probably use an HD digital set top box (like the one I use with a different provider). I would contact them just to be sure, and also ask them what the HD connections are on the back of the unit. It will most likely be component and HDMI. Sometimes you can get a cable company to throw in a cable or two, but dont count on it, and cetainly dont expect them to be of good quality. IMHO, if you spend over $1000 on a good AV setup, dont go cheap on cables to lower the quality. Spend the extra $20 and you'll be glad you did.


Good luck with your purchase,

Jau
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Old 7th December 2007, 03:06 PM   #8
gychang is offline gychang  United States
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Davis, California
Jau:

thanks so much for a quick yet comprehensive message, this is great and very helpful to me.

I have a pretty good overview of what I am against. I may have to use DVI connection since I am interested in connecting to my 2channel stereo receiver, which has only RCA analog input.

gychang
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Old 7th December 2007, 03:28 PM   #9
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Gychang,

I should clarify. If you're hooking it up to a 2 ch stereo, you can use standard 2 channel RCAs in conjunction with an HDMI, DVI or component cable set. If you use the HDMI, you will send audio to the TV, but it will not prevent from using the 2 channel analog out to go to your analog receiver. You can just mute the TV.

Unless you're a videophile, it probably will not matter what cable you use interms of picture quality. They will all look "good" but that is an objective opinion, and some people see different things with different types, grades, and brands of cables.



Jay
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Old 8th December 2007, 08:06 AM   #10
OzMikeH is offline OzMikeH  Australia
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Join Date: Mar 2007
I wonder if Videophiles use phrases that apply to sound to describe the performance of a particular mumbo-jumbo cable?

Audiophile "This cable sound very bright"
Videophile "this cable looks very loud"
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