This is an HD TV question. Sigh.
A few years ago, we purchased an "HD Ready" TV. We were told to buy an antenna that would receive signals. The antenna didn't help. Found out it needed a converter box. I haven't bought one as of yet, too expensive. When I do the conversion, I will have to time it for when my son visits because he has sufficient knowledge to do this.
When we got HD hooked up through our converter the cable guy told me that in order to record in HD you have to have a HD recorder (like a DVR or TIVO). We didn't get one of those right away but I still taped on our VCR and could play it on other tv's but it won't record in HD. We now have a DVR and can record in HD, but can only watch it on the tv that the DVR is hooked up to. These are little things that the tv salespeople don't tell you when you buy your HD ready tv's. Hope this helps you.
Thank you, that was very helpful!
My husband the electronics friend sez:
To receive HD broadcasts on your HD-ready TV, you have 2 choices. (1) Buy an HD tuner, connect it to your TV with appropriate cables, connect the antenna to the HD tuner, and you will be able to receive available "over-the-air" HD channels for free. You may need to turn the antenna to pick up some stations, depending on your home location relative to the broadcast antennas. If you buy an HD tuner that also receives QAM signals, you can also connect your cable service (if you have it) and probably receive at least the network HD channels sent unscrambled over the cable for free.
(2) Rent an HD converter box from your cable company, connect it to your TV with the appropriate cables, and you will be able to receive whatever HD channels the cable company provides, provided you pay for that tier of service.
Tapes (or recordable DVDs) you record off the air are standard definition, because they are dependent on the tuner built into the VCR (or recordable DVD deck), not the TV. Some very new VCR/DVD combination units have digital tuners, so they will record in standard definition even after all the analog broadcast channels are converted to digital. HD is a sub-set of digital; that is, all HD channels are digital, but not all digital channels are HD.
Almost all new model TVs and related video equipment (such as DVD recorders) now come with both analog and digital tuners by law, to help in the transition to all digital.
Hope this helps, Holly!
Susan in Omaha
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