Connecting to HDTV - Quality Questions

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Old 11-29-13, 09:26 AM
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Connecting to HDTV - Quality Questions

I just ordered a LED HDTV on a Black Friday online deal, so I am looking into how best to connect my existing Comcast cable to it.

Right now, the company requires a digital cable box. To my main cable inlet they have a full size cable box, a Motorola Starfone Model SFT2C with a full size remote, each of our additional TV in other rooms also have their own cable box, a smaller box.

The main cable box has coaxial IN, also a phone IN. It has coaxial out, component video and audio out. The other small cable box have only coaxial IN and OUT.

I guess in order to maximize the picture quality, I need to contact the cable company to get HD compatible boxes?

I have searched online and everyone seem to be suggesting to connect with HDMI, if not then S-video, if not then component, and coaxial is the last and worst. That sounds reasonable.

Now my questions.

#1. How is using HDMI between my cable box and HDTV going to improve my picture quality, if the main cable coming into the house is still coaxial? The cable company switched to digital a couple of years ago, before that we just connect to the wall jacks directly and just put their old cable box away. Once they went digital we had to use the new boxes, but it's the same coaxial line that they had since years ago that came from the back alley under my yard and went into my attic and down the wall. That cable has been the same coaxial cable. So how is using any of the better connection going to improve the quality if they are all downstream of a coaxial cable anyways? Or do I need the cable company to come and replace the outdoor cable run?

#2. Once it the incoming cable goes into the attic, there is a splitter somewhere up there that splits into multiple rooms. Three altogether. These are all old coaxial cable as well, one connects to an older LCD TV (with a mini cable box), the other connects to a traditional TV - not flatscreen - with only component and coaxial (also with a mini cable box). If I switch to HD cable boxes, I assume I have to switch all the boxes out at the same time? I have to check with the cable company but I am thinking this would be the case. If I switch them all, how would I use these older TVs? I assume the HD boxes will not have coaxial? So do I need to go out and buy HDMI to coaxial adapter thingies just to be compatible with these older TVs unless I run all new space age cables to these rooms and upgrade those TVs as well?
 
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Old 11-29-13, 09:32 AM
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My cable coming in is coaxial also. What you need is the HD cable box (which is free, well part of the rental deal), and then you need to subscribe to HD service which is $10 more per box.
Then just get an HDMI cable to connect the TV to the Cable box. Easy, peesy, because it's just one cable that gets connected to each other.

You'll see the difference between the HD and non HD.
 
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Old 11-29-13, 09:41 AM
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The HD cable boxes still have the coaxial output on them for feeding older TV's.

You would keep the other boxes you currently have if you are only upgrading one set.

The HD cable box is actually a computer that takes the signal from the incoming cable line, processes it and then sends it out as an HDMI signal.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 11-30-13 at 12:18 AM. Reason: corrected typo
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Old 11-29-13, 10:05 AM
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Mis information here I think..

Your new TV has a digital tuner.. You can plug directly into the coaxial and receive digital TV.. The only thing the cable box does is get you more channels...

Example I dont use a cable box. I pay for basic TV which is 22 channels.. Basically local stations.. I get all the news channels and such in 1080i or HD...

Component is just as good as HDMI. The only difference is hdmi has the sound built into the cable where component you need separate sound cables...
 
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Old 11-30-13, 12:20 AM
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If all you went is basic HD channels then you can just connect it directly like lawrosa said but if you want any pay channels you need their box.
 
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Old 11-30-13, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by MiamiCuse
I have searched online and everyone seem to be suggesting to connect with HDMI, if not then S-video, if not then component, and coaxial is the last and worst.
Best to worst: HD-SDI*, HDMI, digital DVI, digital over-the-air (antenna), digital cable (coaxial), analog DVI/VGA, component, S-video, composite, analog cable, analog over-the-air.

* Not really a consumer format, but found on some camcorders and blu-ray recorders.
 
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