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rgr said:
I'm planning on buying a widescreen tv (Samsung HLR5678W it looks like) that will allow HD. I have a TiVo S2 standalone. Comcast San Francisco tells me that I'll need a new cable box and that I can choose between a 2000, a 5100, and a 6412 by going down to the cable store and swapping out my existing motorola digital box.
Technically you do not need to swap boxes although you may wish to do so. Everything that worked before still will. You only need the new cable box if you're going to pay for the Comcast's HD upgrade to get HD premium channels. However, since your TV is Cablecard ready and has ATSC/QAM/NTSC tuners you have lots of options other than a new box. The cablecard is a direct substitute with advanatages and disadvantages--other threads have discussed it here and Comcast should have info on their web site.

Because the TV has all the needed tuners you can split the cable and hook up the TV directly. Let it scan the cable for stations and see what it finds. It should come up with all the analog stations (typically 2-99) plus some/many over-the-air digital broadcast stations in your area (see www.dtv.gov for more info on what's in your area). If the digital stations are broadcasting in HD then you'll get it -- with no cable box at all. However, you won't get any premium channels this way or any cable-only digital channels (HD or SD) without a cable box of some kind.

Third option is true over-the-air for HD via an antenna. If you already have one then I'd hook it up to the TV and see what it finds.

In short, there are several options for programming including HD that don't involve a new box but ultimately that may be your best option.

rgr said:
I think the 6412 is a DVR as well - any problems using that for recording HD and using my TiVo for regular non-HD recording?
Should be possible but the hookup is going to get complicated if you want TiVo to be able to record anything except the basic analog channels. With only one cable box (DVR or not) you're only going to have one source for the digital channels and any premium channels you get.[/quote]

rgr said:
Thoughts on what I should expect for picture quality from the TiVo on the big tv?
TiVo and standard def TV aren't going to look as good. The TV is going to show every flaw better and bigger than ever. I find it acceptable but others might not.
 

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ZikZak said:
Digital cable is of lesser video quality than analog signal.
Huh? :confused: Not on my cable service and I can't think of any reason this should be true if the cable company is doing its job correctly.

rgr said:
When you say that "TiVo and standard def TV aren't going to look as good." - do you mean as good as on a conventional (non-HD) tv? I know not to expect them to look as good as the HD signal, but with digital cable I'd not expect them to look worse than on my current 4:3 tv.
How it looks has lots of variables but, yes, it can appear "worse" than on the old TV, especially close up. If you're across the room so the apparent size of the screen approximates the old TV it might well look about the same. The new TV is going to blow that 4:3 480i image up to 16:9 if you select that and to the native resolution of the screen. What it looks like to you afterward is a function of how good the original was, how good a job the TV does processing the image, how close you sit and your own perception of what's there and the mental comparison to what was there before. I see the flaws but it looks okay to me, others seem to find them more bothersome.
 

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ZikZak said:
Why do you think that "digital" always has to be better than "analog?" Because it's newer?
I didn't say that.

Just as fair would be my quoting you: Why do you think that "analog" always has to be better than "digital?" Because it's older?

ZikZak said:
Digital cable is MPEG compressed. MPEG compression is lossy and necessarily reduces the picture quality (e.g., TiVo). The purpose of digital cable is not to improve your picture (in fact, it degrades it) but to allow cable companies to send more channels using the same bandwidth.
I know how it works. Yep, a bad digital signal is worse than a good analog one -- not much of a surprise there. But a digital signal is not necessarily worse than an analog one nor is it necessarily any better. Analog vs. digital, per se, is meaningless. Both can deliver a superb image and both can deliver junk. Each has its own set of vulnerabilities in transmission, characteristics and techniques.

Your welcome to your opinion. But I'll stand by my statement that on the cable system I'm using the digital channels are better--cleaner picture, complete absence of ghosting, less video and audio noise. The analog channels all suffer with those problems at least some of the time. Second, I'll take the OTA digital channels delivered by my antenna over the matching analog channels any day of the week. Again, less audio/video noise, clearer picture, less multipath induced problems, etc.

Out of context, analog vs. digital is unimportant. Both systems can deliver the image just fine -- in the end which one is better is determined by the specific implementation of each at transmitter and receiver plus the impact the transmission environment has on them.
 

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kbmb said:
Tivo needs to either come out with their own HD box, or get their software on the Comcast box ASAP! I need my HD!-Kevin
:eek: No... strike the second part of that! I need my HD too and I'm not on Comcast! ;)
 
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