Be careful of minimum term contracts with providers that have a small number of stations and little that you will want to watch. Also not high all def. programming is of equal video quality. If I had it to do over again I'd stick with basic service for now. At its best, my guess is you will like the picture quality.
you will enjoy the HD picture, non HD if digital will be ok but flaws will be pretty noticable and if you get cable god forbid you will have to watch analog signals because they will make you pretty angry.
If you intend on watching alot of broadcast programing then go with Satelite as all there channels are digital.
DishNet has way more HD channels then DirectTV...go online and check out channel line-up, if you go with cable do make sure they have extensive digital channels. For a quick example my bottom 100 channels are not digital and even on my 30in HD they suck, on a screen your size I cant even imagine how bad they will look.
Time Warner is the cable company in my area in Los Angeles.
My cable HD picture on a 100" screen is soooo much better than my standard def stations that I rarely watch SD anymore. I'm using the HDMI out, but component is good too. I highly recommend you get HD. Yes, some stations are better than others, but the difference from SD to HD is much greater than that between stations.
In NYC I used Time Warner cable and now I have Cablevision.
In both cases, I have paid a few extra bucks to have the HD boxes, and used component video cables to projectors which are older and lower resolution than your machine.
In my case the results have been consistently amazing which has always made me wonder why so many people fuss over big screen plasmas.
A 1080 set up must obviously be even better.
In the true spirit of being an audiophile, I am less concerned with the content than that quality of the picture.
As for Mr Jones, it sounds like his cable provider has less content than major metropolitan areas.
But whatever the case, I find I can watch the most boring shows in HD and they are just riveting.
Good luck. Have fun.
Cwlondon....I was thinking along the same lines as you as far as the plasma thing goes. If I can escape with a $1k projector with a 165 inch diagonal screen that plays a hi def picture, I'll feel like I've just pocketed a $10k savings by not having to buy a big plasma display.
Do HD cable boxes have a digital audio output that will play back in 5.1 or DTS?
My experience is similar to that of Cwlondon, using Time Warner cable in Minneapolis (now taken over by Comcast). Content is pretty good, offering all the commercial broadcast networks plus TBS, National Geographic, Discovery, public television and a few others. Premium channels like HBO have HD programming, too. Sound quality is a big bonus, with most of the HD programming in Dolby Digital. Many of the commercials are in HD and Dolby, as well--kind of fun on a 120-inch screen--but I skip 'em anyway, since the digital recorder box allows you to record the program, and begin watching 15-20 minutes later. This way you can fast-forward through all the commercials and still finish by the end of the program hour.
I will watch most programs on my old analog big screen tv. I just want to take advantage of the hi def capability of my projector for whatever programming that comes in hi def. If it comes in hi def, I'll play the projector. If it comes in standard definition, I'll just play the tv. Thanks again fellas...I'm going to order the service tomorrow.
Living in Los Angeles, you probably have the ability to receive OTA (off the air) signals, assuming you have a 'clear sight' (unobstructed) shot at the transmitting tower. This is still the best source for HD Television.
the second best source is Dish Network as they are using Mpeg4 technology.
No matter what, go ahead and get the HD signals any way you can. Monday Night Football and Discovery Channel (also, HDTV) are reasons enough.
Go to www.antennanet.org and follow the prompts for the kind of antenna you might need for your particular home's location. Also, they will give you compass headings to point the antenna.
Unclejeff, cable is my only option for hi def tv. The building I live in is no longer allowing roof access to mount an antenna and Time Warner is the cable company for my area.
Okay, Mitch...here(hear) it comes: Nope: Your landlord, Condo Assn., City, county or even State has NO SAY(!). FCC has mandatated that all must have equal access to all(!) signal sources. This is a Federal law: If you want it, you can get it.
FCC over rules all (except in cases of Historic Presevation buildings...):okay. let's say you live at the base of a mountain with the most meanist of Condo-type rules. No antennas. Nope. you can erect a 40+ foot antenna and, being Federal rules, they can't say no....assuming there are no alternatives. If you could have gotten the same signal from an antenna mounted to a 4x4 coming out of a concrete-filed bucket, then you could not use the above-mentioned antenna.
Of course, the problem is this: you don't live in a rent-controlled City so, once you 'mention' your rights, you get the 30-day notice and you are SOL.
...I'm too old to fight any more. I'll go with cable and to heck with it. The horrible thing about my situation is that I already have a satellite dish up there, the SOB's won't let the guy go up there to exchange it for an HD dish.
OK, now THAT is BS... Sum bishes... carp sukin madre lookers...
A71spud & Unclejeff,
I spoke to an attorney that lives here about the ability to get HD without buying an HD television. I told him for about $1k he could get a projector like mine and have HD from cable. He came over and saw my setup with the the projector and HD dvd and was amazed at how good the picture was for so little money. I also explained that he could get HD from cable also on the projector. He has a satellite dish with DirecTV and I explained that they wouldn't allow anyone on the roof to exchange the old dish for a new HD dish. He went down and had a talk with them. My neighbor then went down to Fry's Electronics and bought the same model of projector that I have.
I now have a new DirectTV HD dish....and so does my neighbor. The HD picture is stunning.
Huge thanks to all of you guys on Audiogon.
Really, it is not about the hassle(sp?), but more on the results.
Continue to be some of the good people.