HD Broadcast with basic cable?

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dmw6455

Thread Starter
New Member
May 25, 2006
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I have a Sony 40" LCD with built-in HD tuner. I also have Comcast standard cable. It appears that I am receiving HD channels even though I don't have a cable card installed or have a set top HD box. If I tune in to Fox for example, I can receive (2) versions of the channel. I get channel 2 and channel 2.1. The former is standard analog and the latter comes through in widescreen and I believe 720p. Is this really HD? It seems sharper, but maybe it is not true HD.
 
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bhelms

Retired & lovin' it!
Lifetime Supporter
Feb 26, 2006
7,795
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Central PA
That would be HD as far as Fox (and ABC) broadcasts it. In my limited cable experience I haven't heard of any cable cos sending HD that isn't part of their digital tier which would require the decoder and/or cable card, but it's certainly possible! Where are you located? Perhaps others can check and report in. What other HD channels are you getting? CBS, NBC, PBS should all be in 1080i.

I have that same TV - love it...! Unfortunately I'm stuck with DBS for most of my HD programming, much of which is in "HD-Lite". I do get PBS-HD OTA and it looks great on the Sony in 1080i.

Welcome, BTW...!

EDIT: What the others below are saying is true with our local cable as well, as I just found out, but we only have 2 "local" channels currently broadcasting in HD. Several others have digital SD subs. These all appear in the basic package...
 
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dmw6455

Thread Starter
New Member
May 25, 2006
2
0
More on my HD broadcast with basic cable

I am in Northern California. When the TV set up process occurred, it first added all the analog channels--2 through 82. It than started adding all the digital channels--2 through 100+. I seem to get multiple variations of CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC and PBS among others. I also now receive many other channels including music only channels etc. When the "supposed" HD channels are tuned to they come through in resolutions that vary from 480-1080, at least according to the caption that momentarily appears. When it is an analog channel the caption refers to the broadcast as NTSC. Channel 2 which is Fox comes through as 2 and 2.1; channel 5 which is CBS comes through as 5 and 5.1; channel 9 which is PBS comes through as 9, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3 and 9.4. Most of my standard cable channels all come through in analog. I believe that I now even receive a ESPN HD channel. Hope someone else knows what this all means???
 
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dishrich

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
3,290
342
Springfield, IL
Many cable co. are now sending out their HD local channels (as well as SD digital subchannels & other digital channels that are part of broadcast basic cable) unscrambled, which means that all you need is a digital cable-ready TV &/or box. A cable-card TV is considered digital cable ready, but because the signals are not scrambled, you don't need the cable card to view.

Matter of fact, with some of these same co., if you have cable modem service, you could actually downgrade to NO TV service at all, but you still would get these unscrambed digital channels, since they are carried in the same part of their bandwidth as the cable modem service, which their cable modem-only traps do NOT trap out. (but there are some co. that DO trap out their digital TV services with these same traps - depends on your system)

On Insight here, we get all local HD channels, as well as 2 digital subchannels (PBS Create & local weather radar) & even all Music Choice channels, w/out needing a cable card, nor do you even need basic cable service if you have cable modem service.
 
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Rob O

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Jan 7, 2006
33
0
N. Central MA
If I'm not mistaken, Comcast sends all of the local OTA stations that broadcast an HD signal on the basic tier unencrypted, in addition to all of the OTA SD programming. You don't need to subscribe to any extended basic or digital programming to get them. All you need is a TV with an HD tuner or a set top HD box from Comcast.

To get all of the other HD channels (ie, ESPNHD, TNTHD, DiscoveryHD, etc.) that they carry encrypted, you do need to get a minumum digital package.
 

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