Chicago Tribune Article on HDTV without DISH consideration (1 Viewer)

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RoboChgo

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Feb 13, 2006
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I live in Chicago. I have a Sony WEGA 60" rear projection LCD HDTV and I love it. Got it from ABT 3 or so years ago. I pay TWO cable/SAT bills a month. I have DISH Silver + Center Ice + a VIP622 just for my glorious Sony. I WAS a VOOM customer and thats THEEEE reason I came to DISH. I want the MOST HD for my glorious Sony:D .. plus I really enjoy RAVE and Equator.... I Had COMCAST which WAS Chicago At&T cable and in a nutshell that is the worse Ghetto company on the planet. Bad signal and thug moron installers. I know being the son of an Electriction and being free labor for my dad in the summers how to put cable in and they are all losers, hence my coming over to WOW. Other people I know around here that have comcast have to get thier DVR replaced every 3 months or so.. and yeah all thier stuff on thier drives are gone... ANYWAY yes I hate Comcast.

SOOOO I read this article in the Chicago Tribune yesterday The stuff between the -------- is what gets me!

MY TECH
Lessons on road to an HDTV
Two years of research culminate in the purchase of a 50-inch Panasonic plasma and a few accessories

Alex L. Goldfayn
Published November 13, 2006

In the form of a delivery truck, Santa and his elves arrived early at our house this month.

After two painstaking years filled with research and remarkable self-control, my wife and I finally pulled the trigger on a magnificent high-definition plasma television and all of the accoutrements that go with it.

And now the HD gods are rewarding our patience: During Bears games, it's like we're there, midfield. Bulls games put us courtside, "Lost" places us on a magnificent, nearly three-dimensional island in the middle of nowhere (even though I know it's Hawaii), and on "Grey's Anatomy" the doctors somehow look even hotter.

Several weeks into my new high-def lifestyle, I've decided it was a mistake to deny myself this clear, crisp pleasure for so long. So that you don't make the same mistake, here's the rundown on our sexy system and the lessons learned on my long road to HD glory.



The television

We purchased a Panasonic 50-inch plasma HDTV. To us, it simply had the best picture.

It helped that the experts agree.

The single best investment you can make when shopping for a high-definition television is $26 for an annual subscription at ConsumerReports.org.

The site puts out HDTV guides and reviews several times per year, and its trusted, in-depth analysis surpassed anything else I could find. We would print the ratings tables and go to the store. Almost always, we agreed with the findings.

I also spent a lot of time reading consumer reviews on the televisions I was considering. Cnet.com is a good place to start to see what your peers think of the TVs they bought. (Do a search for the specific model.)

Nextag.com, Shopping.com and Epinions.com are also good sources for reviews from real people.

We went for a 50-inch instead of the more affordable 42-inch TV because regrets abound in these reviews. "I only wish we got the bigger one," people say. Size does matter. So we got the bigger one.

The other finalist for our TV purchase was a Sony 46-inch liquid-crystal-display set. LCD sets only recently reached true big-screen proportions. (Plasmas have dominated the 42-inch and bigger flat-panel market for years.) Thus, the colors and, experts say, the technology are still catching up to plasma big screens. This was apparent in our comparison.

The Panasonic plasma simply had a better picture than the Sony LCD.

This was interesting because the Sony displayed a 1080p resolution (about 2 million pixels on the screen, the highest resolution available), while the Panasonic we bought only offered a 1080i resolution (about 1 million pixels).

Here's what you need to know about these techie numbers: cable and satellite providers currently transmit at 720p. The high-definition DVD players that are hitting the market now--you've probably seen the first batch of HD DVDs in your local video aisle selling for about $25--do take advantage of the 1080p resolution.

But even with a high-definition DVD player, you really can't tell the difference from normal viewing distance. It's like the difference between a computer with a 2.5 gigahertz processor compared with one with a 2.2 gHz processor. There's no discernible difference.

Plus, the plasma had a better picture. So we bought the plasma.

To mount, to stand or to furnish?

Most people don't realize this, but what you do with the TV is probably more important than the TV itself. At least in my home, which has WAF (wife acceptance factor) rules.

We didn't want to mount the TV because it would look funny on the lower third of the wall, which is eye-level when sitting. So, we bought a modern piece of furniture made by JSP Industries (www.jsp-industries.com).

It has a typical stand for the components and a "backsplash" on which the TV is mounted.

The furniture cost more than the TV, but it's the central piece of furniture in our home.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Comcast vs. DirecTV vs. antenna

We'd been DirecTV customers for about six years.

But the company's HD signal comes from two separate satellites and, for some reason, we had trouble picking up one of them.

It's also widely discussed online that DirecTV compresses its HD signal for easier, faster transmission through the air.

Comcast also compresses its signal, but because it travels through cables there is consensus among enthusiasts that Comcast's HD picture is better. So we signed up with Comcast, taking advantage of the "DirecTV Buyback" deal, which means $25 off our monthly bill for 16 months.

Also, there's no question that Comcast's all-in-one high-definition receiver/video recorder is better than DirecTV's. As a TiVo devotee, I can tell you Comcast's Motorola-made box offers a more elegant, easier-to-use interface than DirecTV's unit.

Plus, there's word that Comcast DVR users in December will be able to download the TiVo interface straight through the cable and turn their box into a full-fledged TiVo.

Dish Network also offers service in our area, but I have not experienced its service.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Mac mini

For photos and music, we connected a Mac mini to our TV and audio receiver. Now we can browse through our entire music collection on TV, select a song and see the album cover right on the screen as the song plays.

Photo slide shows set to music are great, too, making a unique way to experience the memories of our lives.

And thanks to the Mac's full-screen Front Row software, there's no mouse or keyboard required. Everything is controlled by remote control.

The remote control

The WAF rules dictate that seven remotes are too many. So I went back to consumer reviews of all-in-one remote controls. The winner for my needs: Universal Remote Control's URC-200 (www.universalremote.com).

It controls up to 10 components and features hard buttons as well as an LCD screen that offers unique, programmable commands for each component.

Retail price on the URC-200 is about $130. Price at Amazon.com: a steal at about $50.

I realize it feels like I've spent nearly 7 percent of my life shopping for an HDTV. But now that I know what I've been missing, don't make the same mistake.

----------

Alex L. Goldfayn is host of "The Technology Tailor Show" on WGN-AM 720 on Saturdays from 6 to 8 p.m.

alex@technologytailor.com

:mad: Comcast has like 10 HD channels and DISH has 30 and in TWO YEARS OF RESEARCH and SEVEN PRECENT OF YOUR LIFE YOU CANNOT FIND THIS OUT???

So for many people shopping for HDTV's and a service this Christmas, this "TECH" reporter more or less keeps DISH out of the picture.

I am going to EMAIL him and try to call his "Show" on the radio and explain if you really want HD, DISH is the place.(Even with HDLITE.. yeah I hate it too):confused:
 
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bytre

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Oct 16, 2003
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Many in the press present only a small slice of the real story. Complain to the editor if that makes you feel better.
 

John Kotches

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Nov 21, 2003
6,765
195
Troy, IL (STL Area)
Two years of research and the author writes this gem:

Here's what you need to know about these techie numbers: cable and satellite providers currently transmit at 720p. The high-definition DVD players that are hitting the market now--you've probably seen the first batch of HD DVDs in your local video aisle selling for about $25--do take advantage of the 1080p resolution.[/b]

Where to begin with this?
 

Claude Greiner

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
13,225
3,769
Detroit - The Paris of the Midwest
What a f**king idiot, he does all this research to find the perfect Television, yet decides to go with Cable.

I can see him switching from Directv to Cable, because the HD programming is about the same within a few channels, but not to even consider DISH Network is just plain dumb.

Its like the customers I deal with who spend $5,000 on a good television but refuse to spend a few hundred dollars on an HD Satellite receiver, and take the Standard Definition receiver for FREE instead.

Other than that, whats the point of doing research these days. Its like buying a computer, whatever you buy today, something bigger, better and cheaper will be available tomorrow. You can't win!
 
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Jeff_R

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
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Sacramento, CA
See any connection to declining sales of newspapers?

Not sure about that, however isn't the Trib still owned by Tribune Media? They are in a big contract negotiation for their digital OTA stations in many markets. The Sacramento FOX affiliate, which was being uplinked, was removed today, signalling that contract talks regarding the digital OTA channels isn't going good.

Could this be an overtly biased article which is intentionally trying to downplay the availability of Dish Network?
 

parrothd

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 20, 2004
60
0
:mad: Comcast has like 10 HD channels and DISH has 30 and in TWO YEARS OF RESEARCH and SEVEN PRECENT OF YOUR LIFE YOU CANNOT FIND THIS OUT???

So for many people shopping for HDTV's and a service this Christmas, this "TECH" reporter more or less keeps DISH out of the picture.

I am going to EMAIL him and try to call his "Show" on the radio and explain if you really want HD, DISH is the place.(Even with HDLITE.. yeah I hate it too):confused:

The article states he wanted the best picture(not HDLite), not the most HD channels.. :)

My chicago comcast service isn't the best, but they did just add a lot of HD On demand, and the channels I have aren't in HDLite. I really did miss not having Rave from Voom, but then MHD was added to comcast a few months ago which has the same stuff.

If dish wasn't HDLite I'd be a dish subscriber.. :)
 
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John Kotches

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Nov 21, 2003
6,765
195
Troy, IL (STL Area)
I actually got a response to my first e-mail calling him on the 720p issue. He said I was right, and I'm not the only one to tell him.

It will be interesting to see if he responds back to this item:
It's also widely discussed online that DirecTV compresses its HD signal for easier, faster transmission through the air.

This violates the laws of physics. The DirecTV signal (and the E* signal) travels at a constant velocity of propogation. The compression is orthogonal (ie unrelated) to the transmission. No polite way to put it, he screwed the pooch on this one.

I sent a much longer response than that.

I also called him on this:
This was interesting because the Sony displayed a 1080p resolution (about 2 million pixels on the screen, the highest resolution available), while the Panasonic we bought only offered a 1080i resolution (about 1 million pixels).

He doesn't understand the difference between input scan rates and a panel resolution. Or if he does, he didn't explain it well to his readers.

I asked for the e-mail address of his editor at the Tribune. He really blew it on this article.

Cheers,
 

Poke

Pub Member / Supporter
Dec 3, 2003
13,886
237
OK
Yeah sad to say but most folks don't know what their buying. Anyway the Dish Rocks and blows everyone else out of the water. Its just that most folks don't know that and when it comes to HD Dish is always the way to go. There is too many sales folks that don't give out the right information and folks get stuck paying for a TV with hardily any HD. Then when they found out about how Dish is the HD Leader but their stuck in a contract with Direct or another carrier. Its always best to find out the information for yourself. Due to just because they sell the stuff does not mean they know what their talking about.
 

John Kotches

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Nov 21, 2003
6,765
195
Troy, IL (STL Area)
Poke:

I'm not going to get into an argument about who has the most HD. For all we know that could change sometime next year. He blew some of his basic technical points which is odd for someone who is supposed to be writing tech articles in a top newspaper.

Cheers,
 
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Poke

Pub Member / Supporter
Dec 3, 2003
13,886
237
OK
Well there is nothing to argue about. Dish has the most HD Channels right now which will not change unless Direct plans on adding about 20 some channels of HD next year. From what I can tell all Direct is adding is more locals in HD not national HD channels. Which would still only give Direct 9-10 Channels is all so unless Direct gets all the Voom channels plus HGTVHD and FoodHD,NGHD,NFLHD so forth. They will still have the same amount of HD content. So overall you get less with Direct or Comcast,Cox whoever than what you get with Dish. So it's not Rocket Science just compare the HD Lineup is all you half to so speaks for itself. :)
 
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John Kotches

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Nov 21, 2003
6,765
195
Troy, IL (STL Area)
Strange....I've got a Panasonic Plasma 1080i HDTV sitting in my living room right now (don't care what Circuit City says.....).

No you don't.

You are confusing an accepted input scan rate with the native panel resolution just as the author of the article did.

The native panel resolution is WXGA @ 1366x768.

But you aren't writing technology articles for one of the top newspapers in the country.
 

John Kotches

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Nov 21, 2003
6,765
195
Troy, IL (STL Area)
Poke:

Leaving HD channel count aside, the guy blew it on several fundamental technical points. And this was after supposedly having two years of research under his belt.

Gotta love it ;-)
 
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