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uypeterson
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Los Angeles
 
2005-11-10, 19:19

Will you connect a 30" display to your Quad? If so, I would love to know how the EyeTV works with that monitor.
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jcoley2
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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2005-11-11, 13:28

My Quad gets here in 5 days. Was searching web one last time for a good price on a 30" display when I ran across this:

http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPL...SaOprky3cKjuHw

$2099 free shipping seems like a good deal but I had to buy something refurbished, even from Apple, without seeing it. Any one have experience in buying a high-end product from them?

Also, should I wait and use one of my 17" flat screens from another computer and see what Apple releases next in the Cinema display arena?
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Maciej
M AH - ch ain saw
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2005-11-11, 15:34

Generally their refurbed stuff is top notch, I do not hesitate to buy it. However, with something like a display, I really have no experience.
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OldCodger73
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Join Date: Nov 2005
 
2005-11-11, 16:31

I guess one question I have about HDTV is, is there actually enough HD programing currently available, both in terms of amount and quality of programming?

For those of you who have HDTV, are you getting it by way of cable or by satellite? What are the good and bad points of your method of delivery?
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Maciej
M AH - ch ain saw
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2005-11-11, 16:50

I'm getting mine by way of antenna. The university refuses to install a cable card in my room, for HD tv programming so, I'm just getting it right off of the air waves when they broadcast it.

There is plenty of programming, you can get all the major sports events in HD, as well as many movies, and even things like the discovery channel. Its rocks.

User formally known as Sh0eWax
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jcoley2
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2005-11-11, 22:24

I ordered the 30" refurbished from Apple. Will have both Quad and 30" by Thursday, so will report back how EyeTV looks.

Can't wait. . . .
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uypeterson
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Los Angeles
 
2005-11-12, 02:51

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcoley2
$2099 free shipping seems like a good deal but I had to buy something refurbished, even from Apple, without seeing it. Any one have experience in buying a high-end product from them?

Also, should I wait and use one of my 17" flat screens from another computer and see what Apple releases next in the Cinema display arena?
The fact that you don't have to pay sales tax makes your deal all the better.

If you know someone who is a local, state or federal employee, that person could have sponsored your purchase of a new 30" display for $2299. I'm a former city of LA employee, so I have lots of former coworkers/friends who will assist me with the government employee discount prices on the high-end Apple products.

Many refurb deals can be steals. There was one AppleNova poster who works for Dell and he wrote that much of Dell's refurb merchandise consists of customer returns and cancelled orders -- the stuff isn't always defective. Because the items have already been sold as new, when it is returned to the manufacturer, if resold, it has to be sold as refurbished, even if the packaging hasn't been opened. They still have to repackage it in refurb boxes. A local news consumer guru in LA did a story a few months ago about refurbished merchandise, giving a great education on refurbished products. And, I have a few friends who swear by refurbished items.

The nice thing about Apple's refurbished stuff -- they say its been tested and it has the same one year warranty as their new products. The icing on the cake -- you can get AppleCare on the refurb stuff, just as you can with the new stuff.

As for the Apple Cinema Displays, the sizes offered are consistent with those of other computer and display manufacturers such as Dell, HP, Samsung, Gateway, Sharp and Samsung. To my knowledge, only Apple offers the 30" display. But, that may change with the gaining popularity of "media centers" and lower prices of LCD panel and dual-link video cards.

It is highly unlikley Apple will go larger than the 30" form factor for computer use. They may increase the resolution of the panel, but one you've seen how great anything looks on the 30" display, the argument for more resolution beyond 2560x1600 is weak. IBM has an ultra high resolution display, the 22.2" T221. It was designed for medical imaging, automotive CAD and oil exploration, according to IBM. At 3840x2400, it's the highest resolution display I'm aware of, but Apple has the biggest at 30".
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uypeterson
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Los Angeles
 
2005-11-12, 04:18

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldCodger73
I guess one question I have about HDTV is, is there actually enough HD programing currently available, both in terms of amount and quality of programming?

For those of you who have HDTV, are you getting it by way of cable or by satellite? What are the good and bad points of your method of delivery?
You can get HDTV by one of three ways -- over-the-air, cable and satellite.

As far as there being enough programming, it all depends on what you are looking for. At first, HDTV was limited to looking at caterpillars and scorpions breathe. Today, all the popular prime-time shows are broadcast in HDTV. Premium shows like the Super Bowl and the Oscars get the full HDTV treatment. For example, Lost is broadcast at digitally, but the Super Bowl will get 720p on ABC. Jay Leno on NBC is at 1080i. Law & Order is digital, but it doesn't have the crispness and clarity of Leno. Basically, if its a live event, it looks like you're there. If its a regular show, its about as clear as a typical DVD.



Over The Air

This is good old fashioned free TV. In every major city, all broadcast signals should be broadcast in analog and digital. In LA, all of the stations broadcast digitally, even if its 480i. ABC (720p), CBS (1080i), FOX (480p, 1080i), NBC (1080i) and WB (??) all broadcast digitally. According to what I've been reading, the federal government is proposing that analog signals go out in March 2009.

To get those over-the-air signals, you need an HDTV-Upgradeable display with an extrnal tuner, OR an HDTV-Ready (HDTV Integrated) display with a built-in ATSC tuner. Plug in some rabbit ears and you'll get HDTV.

The signals do what they are supposed to do -- deliver crystal clear reception with Dolby Digital sound. No ghosting and no static. Sometimes, the ditigal tuner takes 5 seconds to lock on to the signal and display the images. There is the occassional digital pixelation, but a roof antenna gets rid of that. Super Bowl 39 was fantastic! You will need a good UHF antenna since HDTV uses those frequencies. If you can, get a roof/attic antenna to ensure trouble free, artifact-free reception. The rabbit ears worked great until I got tired of looking at them next to a $2500 TV. Now, I have this gigantic Starship Enterprise antenna on the roof.




Cable

In addition to the local channels being delivered in HDTV, you can get HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, ESPN and others in HDTV. If you have an HDTV-Upgradeable set, you're good to go. The cable box is the external tuner. Just swap out your old analog cable box for an HDTV digital box. When you request the HDTV service, the cable operator activates the HDTV channels. Connect the digital output of the cable box to your Dolby Digital receiver and you're set. The image quality from the movie channels is EXACTLY the same as if you were viewing the DVD. Even the Dolby Digital audio sounds the same.



Satellite

Same as cable, except you have to purchase the HDTV box, unless they're giving them avay these days. You'll either need a new dish installed, or your have your current one re-oriented to the HDTV satellite.





Over-the-air reception is the cheapest way to go, but its also the most limiting. The channel assignments are a bit different. Channel 7 became 7-1. Then, there was 7-2 for a loop of yesterday's programming and 7-3 for the Doppler radar. Channel 5 had 5-1 for the main broadcast and 5-2 for the Spanish simulcast. Channel 4 had 4-1 for the main broadcast and 4-2 for the weather and advertisements.

Cable is the most convenient since it doesn't change any habits if you're already used to cable. Just upgrade your TV and cable box.

Satellite is the most expensive, but it also offers the most variety.

Speaking of expense, in the long run, satellite may be cheaper because cable tends to charge more per month than satellite.




I tried my best to condende the info because there is a ton of it regarding HDTV. The problem is there is too much choice. I studied HDTV inside-out for three years, and its unfortunate that consumers are confused about HDTV. I see it all the time, and the sales people tend to give poor information.

First, there's a trillion different acronyms, display types, screen sizes and resolutions. Then, the broadcasters are doing different things, so image quality isn't uniform among them. Now, there's the upcoming format war between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray (I'm a Blu-Ray guy). Because of the confusion, a lot of expensive mistakes will be made for a long time.
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OldCodger73
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Join Date: Nov 2005
 
2005-11-12, 16:01

Thanks uypeterson for taking the time to give a comprehensive look at the current HDTV situation.

My original post didn't mention off the air reception as that proves problamatic for analog TV because of hills between Seattle and where I live. Is digital less prone to problems like that?
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uypeterson
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Los Angeles
 
2005-11-14, 05:15

How are you receiving TV now? If you're getting it through cable, just swap out your current box for an HDTV box. For my area (Comcast), it was a $5 monthly upgrade.

For satellite, you have to purchase a new box and possibly a new antenna. I think the satellite companies charge less than $10 extra for their HDTV service, you you should check with your specific company.

I've seen HDTV coverage with Over The Air, Cable, DirecTV HDTV and DISH HDTV connections, and the quality of the images and audio is basically the same. The cable box may exhibit some pixelation as the signal locks in, but once the picture has stabilized (2-5 sec), it is crystal clear.

I live in LA and for the most part, it's a big flat bowl, so signal reception is pretty good. I'm not sure how digital compares to analog in hilly areas -- I didn't research that . How is your digital cell phone receition? Chances are, your HDTV reception will be about the same. One thing about digital, once the signal is locked in, the picture is perfect. No ghosting, no static.

If you are having reception problems with over the air, it is important that an excellent UHF roof/attic antenna specifically designed for HDTV is utilized. I needed to replace my very old antenna with a new one, so I told my guy I wanted the best HDTV antenna he had. The setup ran $250. It's huge, but I have zero reception issues.

Before investing in an over-the-air antenna, rent or purchase a TV with a built-in ATSC tuner and plug in a set of rabbit ears. Kinda corny, but it works. Before I purchased my TV, I rented one for a couple of weeks to get a real-world test drive before committing to a potential mistake. Ask others in your area how their digital reception is. If there are signal problems, then it's probably best to go with cable or satellite.

Also, keep in mind that the HDTV antennas do not work well with the analog channels. The digital channels are crystal clear with the new antenna, but the corresponding analong channels are crap. Analog channels travel on the VHF (very high frequency) bands, whereas HDTV travels on the UHF (ultra-high frequency) bands.
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jcoley2
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2005-11-28, 15:30

Quote:
Originally Posted by uypeterson
Will you connect a 30" display to your Quad? If so, I would love to know how the EyeTV works with that monitor.
I hooked up last night using my PB 17". Don't think this will be any different than using the Quad when I comes (if it ever comes )

The first thing I watched was the Giants vs. Seahawks game from my desk (i.e., my eyes were about 3' from the screen.) I noticed (1) this is too close at full screen size and (2) around the players as the are moving real fast, there is some ghost imaging. Other than that, it was ok. Watched Desperate Housewives later and it seemed ok.

Now, when sitting in my lounge chair about 10' away, both the game and the show looked good.

Make no mistake--it is not as good as TV but not bad either. Kinda of like what TV was like 10 or so years ago.

Hope this helps. . . .
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uypeterson
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Los Angeles
 
2005-11-28, 22:53

Thanks for getting back to me on that. I'm thinking of giving the EyeTV a try with a 23" display. Let us know when you get your Quad.
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OldCodger73
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Join Date: Nov 2005
 
2005-12-11, 12:40

OK, even though we watch little TV, weíve decided to upgrade our HD-ready TV to HD, primarily on the off chance that the Seahawks make it to the Super Bowl. Even though I wanted to go satellite with DirecTV, we decided to go cable with Comcast even with their yearly price hikes. The deal killer for DirecTV was the one-year contract and no local HD channels.

As I mentioned earlier, we watch little TV. Some month we donít record any programs for watching later, in others itís one or at most two times a month. Iím trying to figure out for our limited use what would be the best, most economical way to time shift programs. Comcast offers rental of a hard drive based digital recorder capable of recording standard and HDTV for $10 a month. Other choices would be to buy a TiVo and pay their subscription fee or simply buy a digital video recorder. Iím also wondering if using our existing VCR would be an option, until we decide if we do want to upgrade our time shifting capability.

I would greatly appreciate any opinions you might have on our situation. Thanks in advance.
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jcoley2
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2005-12-19, 16:59

Quote:
Originally Posted by uypeterson
Thanks for getting back to me on that. I'm thinking of giving the EyeTV a try with a 23" display. Let us know when you get your Quad.

I have been using the Quad with EyeTV and the 30" for a couple of weeks and would say the following:

1. EyeTV in MPEG-2 up close on a desk (2-3') can be annoying, but across a small room it looks fine. Better for slower moving action (think NOT sports).
2. DVDs on 30" are as good as a regular TV. In fact, awesome.

Hope this helps. EyeTV is an awesome addition to any Mac. I am now using FolderShare to Sync the Eye TV folder to other Macs so I can download the TV shows on my Quad with 1 GB of HD storage and then move the shows to my PB to view on the train.
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ezkcdude
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Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2005-12-19, 23:05

Anyone would be crazy not to consider front projectors. I have an InFocus Screenplay 4805, which can be found for under $1000 at Costco. It's spectacular for watching movies. I also have a $200 Da-Lite Theater Lite portable screen that conveniently pulls up from the floor. I have a Toshiba SD-3950 progressive/HDMI out, and even though the 4805 is not HD, it's a great, great picture. Check out all the positive reviews at http://www.projectorcentral.com. With all the money you save on the display, you could afford a kick-ass sound system.
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