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Well my wife and I finally took the plunge after having an HD ready display (A Sony 53" RPTV) for the last 4 years we bought a HD-PVR to get HD through our cable company.
I must say that HD looks fantastic Shaw now has 21 HD channels and soon more are going to be added. I know that sat has more but the quality is better with cable and we get all the magor HD networks and two 24hr movie channels. Both my wife and I couldent help but say WOW when we saw a baseball game on HD, It looked so real we were almost enticed to watch it (I say almost) as we are not big sports fans.
I cant wait for Lost to start and my wife wants to see ER to see how that looks.
All in all I'm happy with it and love the PVR features particularly the ability to instantly shift and pause playback of any show we are watching.
 

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Re: Finaly got HD

love the PVR features particularly the ability to instantly shift and pause playback
Eventually you'll never watch anything live. Even if a show starts at 8:00PM, I never sit down until 15 minutes after. You can gain soooo much time because of the PVR.

You'll know you're fully acclimatized when you lift up your hand to push replay when you're listening to your car radio and you want to hear what they said again, only to realize that its live. You'll think, "how archaic to listen to something live - they should make everything like a PVR"....:)

brucek
 

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Re: Finaly got HD

Enjoy the HD, Tony. ....At least check out a Edmonton Oilers game this fall. You won't beleive the difference!
Thanks guys, I will have a look. Oilers are of all the sports available are one that I do watch from time to time.
 

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You're totally right Brucek. When the wife and I made the move to Digital Cable a few years ago it came with a DVR. And We've now gotten to a point where we come to an hour long show a little late so we can skip commercials and see it in 42 minutes. And when we go to visit one of our parents, sitting in real time TV is almost unbearable...

Tony... Welcome to the DVR land. HD version.
 

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Re: Finaly got HD

Eventually you'll never watch anything live. Even if a show starts at 8:00PM, I never sit down until 15 minutes after. You can gain soooo much time because of the PVR.
Not only that Tony, but you won't want to watch Standard Def anymore either!
 

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I have a small 30" HD CRT and I still can't bear to watch Standard Def. I've had my ExpressVu HD PVR for almost 2 years now and will never go back to non-PVR watching. I hit pause on my show and go do something for 10 minutes and when I come back I'm able to fast forward through all the commercials.

I've hear mixed reviews on the quality of cable vs sat HD. One thing that sucks with satellite is the fact that some channels don't come in and if you have a massive thunder or snow storm you may not get anything.
 

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I've hear mixed reviews on the quality of cable vs sat HD. One thing that sucks with satellite is the fact that some channels don't come in and if you have a massive thunder or snow storm you may not get anything.
Cable companies usually use less compression on HD programming, I have a friend that has sat and his HD shows do not look as good as the same HD channels I watch using cable.
 

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My experience with cable has been fairly poor, in a big thunderstorm, it would also go out, (perhaps they get there programing by satellite feeds?) the hd quality was poor to average, the dvr box was also poor, terrible interface, really didn't like to record what i told it to.

Ive now had directv for the last few days, the hd quality is definitely above cables (still average mind, once you have seen hd-dvd most things look average), the box, in my limited experience so far, is a more pleasing experience.

Ill be sticking with satellite, i think it goes to show how varied cable can be, with so many providers, its not an easy comparison.

edd
 
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I've had a Series 1 Tivo since 1999. When I got my HDTV set, Comcast set me up with a dual-tuner HD-DVR box. Now the older Tivo is on my bedroom TV with analog cable, and I'm totally spoiled. I haven't watched a commercial intentionally in years. You reach a point where you no longer get jokes around the office such as "can you hear me now?" because you just don't watch ads.

The Motorola box Comcast provided works great *now*, only after I placed a (somewhat noisy) fan on the box's vent slots directly above its passively-cooled CPU. Before the unit would frequently shut down or reset, despite numerous attempts to relocate the box. With the fan, the box hasn't acted up in a few months now.

Being able to watch a prerecorded HD program, while the box is recording two other HD shows all at the same time is just awesome.

MatroxDweller mentioned hitting Pause for a few minutes to build up a commercial-skip buffer (my personal term). I do that often, or I might hit the Record button and go watch something else previously recorded, all to avoid suffering through Valtrex and tampon commercials.

As for quality - I have Comcast cable, and compared to DirecTV (Sam's club's HD sets, and a local bar has Dish) it does seem the cable version looks superior. Sporting events really are the best for showing off or comparing the quality; fast motion tends to reveal compression artifacts, plus the realtime effects (line of scrimmage superimposed on the football field, for example, or high-framerate slow-motion replays within seconds) are impressive in HD. It's easy to "convert" a sports fan of the benefits by inviting them over to watch a game in HD :)
 

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Watching some of the Red Sox vs. Indian's series in high def at some points I could swear I was actually there. They really have the crowd surround sound down pat.

One of the first things I noticed when I got HD was the clarity of text on screen. SD text is jagged where as HD text is sharp and smooth. I don't just mean the text you see during credits or commercials either. The last name on the back of a jersey is actually readable when the player only takes up a 5th of the screen.

The second thing I noticed was the colour quality is greatly improved. Sports again show case it but other HD shows like the CSIs appear much more vibrant than their SD broadcast.
 

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I've had Charter Cable HD and DISH Network HD, and the DISH Network HD was better by far. That said, picture quality can vary tremendously from channel to channel and program to program. Discovery Theater and HBO HD are consistently great. I still haven't jumped into high definition discs, but I'm not optimistic that they will be better than good HD programming.
 

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I still haven't jumped into high definition discs, but I'm not optimistic that they will be better than good HD programming.
Just better not be any normal viewing distance macro-blocking ever visible when playing High Definition Media (HDM). The sound quality also should be better for audiophiles with lossless, or DD+ using 1.5 Mbps, or even the core 1.5 Mbps dts from any type of dts encode. I am very happy with the sound even when lossless was not implemented, since then normally 1.5 Mbps DD+ advanced codec is used. A few titles without PCM or TrueHD losseless have dts-HD MA lossless and with that situation most of us get the core legacy dts part at 1.5 Mbps with is still very good. Perceptually lossless to me. :bigsmile:
 
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I've had Charter Cable HD and DISH Network HD, and the DISH Network HD was better by far. That said, picture quality can vary tremendously from channel to channel and program to program. Discovery Theater and HBO HD are consistently great. I still haven't jumped into high definition discs, but I'm not optimistic that they will be better than good HD programming.
I also had charter HD about 3 weeks ago on the same tv which was isf calibrated for that receiver and just recently moved and got dishnetwork HD and dishnetwork does have better picture quality, better colors,allot less microblocking overall better and about 3x the high def channels.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
This is defiantly a local cable company problem as I have cable HD and its far better quality than any other methods I have seen other than OTA.
 

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I'm in Southrn Ontario Canada, so we have Bell Express Vu satellite, Rogers cable and Star Choice as the major providers. For the most part the quality on all is about the same. Where the consumer sees the difference is with support and service up-time.

Unless there's a major snow or thunder storm satellite stays on 24/7. Cable isn't subject to the signal being blocked by clouds but there are the occasional network outages caused by who knows what (cars running over boxes, employee error, etc).

Te one thing I've noticed about Rogers cable is they run American channels through some other Canadian network which replaces all the commercials with Candian content. It normally doesn't matter except for the Super Bowl when you actually want to see some of the commercials.

I have found Bell's and Star Choice's satellite service to be fairly good. The wait times aren't too bad with Star Choice but could be improved a little bit at Bell. Roger's on the other hand needs major improvement. I have waited for an hour on the phone, on hold, for a simple problem. I usually find the bigger the company the longer you wait on hold and the more automated attendant hoops you have to jump through.
 

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ALmost forgot to mention. I get zero macroblocking with Bell. There are certain HiDef channels that don't tune in or cut out sometimes also (satellite unavailable). They are just the Equator, Collector and Rush channels. They play a 4 hour loop and suck pretty bad anyway so I don't care.

When I had Star Choice there was quite a bit of macroblocking, and with Rogers there was a lot when switching channels and only a minor amount when staying put.
 

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This is defiantly a local cable company problem as I have cable HD and its far better quality than any other methods I have seen other than OTA.
I had Charter HD in St. Louis....I'd have to think they had their act together being such a major city. Maybe you just had bad luck with your satellite experience.
 
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