Basic HDTV Question?

My rear projection TV is HDTV-ready but I was told when I bought it that I would need a separate box to receive HDTV broadcasts and that the boxes cost $500 to $700.

My local cable provider, Comcast, is now offering HDTV in my area and has a Motorola 6500 box that I can rent for $5 a month to receive true HDTV as well as 5.1 Dolby Digital audio. They told me that their box acts as the tuner so that I wouldn't need a separate HDTV adaptor box. Does that sound correct and logical? For $5 a month, if I don't need to buy another box for $500, it seems like a good deal to me...
That is correct, and given the changes sure to be coming, its a wise use of funds. For more detail on the box and the ins and outs of HDTV, go to
Plato set the alarm for 5AM, shower , get a large coffee, gas up the car , bang on Comcast's Door, If they are closed, because its Saturday, bring a Baseball Bat, break the windows if you have to, get in their and grab a box !
Seriously, yes I have have it, HDTV for $5.00 a month is incredible, additionaly they offer fee Video on Demand, Free in the sense if you are for example, a Normal HBO subscriber, You can go to on Demand , pull up an HBO series, like the Soprano's, choose the episode, play it when you want, freeze it if the phone rings , basically play it all you want, or something else, a keen observer can find a titty or two, and enjoy some similar benefits of Tivo, still for the same $5.00 a month. Its HDTV, VOD and DD, thats not Double D breasts boys , thats of course Dolby Digial.
Its a Killer deal and one you would be a fool to be without.
Get the Box ! Enjoy !
Swampwalker, thanks for your answer and for the link to the avsforum... It looks like I'm about to find out what HDTV can do for me.

Frank :)
Plato; swampwalker is correct when cox cable came out in our are some 20 years ago you would just rent there box and they would make there money on programing.Last year my buddy called cox and they wanted 500.00 plus installion,which I thought was insane,I ended up finding a hdtv receiver for 250.00 plus 150.00 for the dish which worked with direct tv. So for 5 dollars a month plus you pay programming is a great deal. good luck Douglas.
Depends on what your local cable company offers. Here in RI Cox offers ESPNHD, HBOHD, INHD1, INHD2, DiscoveryHD, ShowtimeHD, and just recently the local NBC (which is actually not broadcast on the free airwaves yet).

I still use my $300 Motorola HDT100 O-T-A receiver and $60 Radio Shack attic antenna to get the digital HD broadcasts of ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, WB, UPN, and Fox from Boston. Most of the good stuff (Law and Order, Alias, NFL football, etc) is on the networks and Cox's NBCHD is still 4:3 instead of 16:9.
I live in a major metropolitan area where OTA (over the air) HDTV broadcasts have been available for some time. My projector had High Definition and I picked up an 'open box' tuner at Circuit City and a $35.00 HDTV antenna and I have been very much enjoying my High Definition.

I subscribe to Dishnet but I am still waiting for the 921 receiver so I can get HBO. I am a real believer in Satellite TV so I have no plans to go back to cable.
Hey Guys,

Thanks for all the input. It definitely seems like a win-win deal. I had to work today (Saturday) but they have a box reserved for me and I will definitely pick it up Monday morning and see what all the fuss is about. It sounds like my TV viewing pleasure is about to be cranked up a couple of notches.

Darrylhifi, thanks for the inspiration -- a titty or two in high-def sounds sweet. Hey, maybe I can get it close-captioned in braille too. :)

Depending upon where you live, you might still want to keep an eye open for an OTA HD tuner. The CATV box you get gets the HD feed from the cable, not OTA, so you are limited to what Comcast decides to use its bandwidth to carry. While Comcast in my area has a pretty decent line up, there are a host of local stations I can pick up OTA that broadcast in HD. Try plugging your coordinates into (I think, maybe its a .net--if its neither, run a search on antennaweb). They will tell you the on air status, format, distance, and direction to the HD broadcasts in your area, and what class of antenna you would need to pick them up.

I tried HD over DirecTV, but I personally thought it sucked. Channel changing speeds on DirecTV are awful, no matter what box you get, because it has to switch odd/even channels on the LNB and receive a full frame before you see anything. All of the CATV companies I've ever heard of charge nominal monthly rentals and I've never heard of anyone like dglinn's friend and the way they got socked. I wonder if it was a third party installer or whether it was some oddball deal where they were effectively offering to install an OTA HD box. Seems odd.

In any event, go HD, you will not regret it. I gather there may be a new satellite broadcaster (I want to say Zoom?) that will offer nothing but HD, I think twenty some channels. I keep meaning to check into that...

It is to find out what kind of antenna you need. will update you on projected time frame of availability of HDTV.
Guys with all due respect, Comcast Provides CBS NBC ABC FOX PBS HBO SHO MAX ESPN and 2 exclusive HD channels with awsome demo's . The Channels are called IN HD 1 and IN HD 2.
And the lineup will actually expand as the next year passes. Its simple , its quick and it real genuine HDTV>
Its plug and play and a NO BRAINER.

Those that can receive it are fortunate. For those of you who cant, If you have a high definition ready Television definetly go the Dish Route. The future is here and it looks pretty damn spectacular.
As far as an antenna is concerned, my fellow salesman`s hd Toshiba wouldn`t pull in HD with an "HD" antenna. He tried all kinds of things. the only thing that worked was a straightened-out paper clip. we tried at the sore and it worked fine. I told him that he should patent it.
Thanks Guys, it seems that if I go OTA I will only be able to get a few local channels in my area in HD. So I'm going to try the Comcast HD, so I can get some premium channels as well. :)
Some of you guys are lucky. Here on the CD shore Comcast manages to deliver 2 of the 5 major networks only and ESPN unless you premium upgrade. In my book, they gotta do better than that before I shell out for a big $ HD set. Anyone know if i get an HD set with a digital tuner built in if I can avoid the stupid Comast HD tuner/decoder?