Simple question: Will picture on my HDTV improve if I use an HDMI cable but don't have HD channels?

igna86

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Dec 1, 2012
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My comcast box is currently connected with a coaxial cable to the HDTV I just purchased (Sony W600B). TV looks great when I'm steaming videos through apps like Youtube (shows in HD, SD look blurry/grainy).

I am not very happy with how the picture looks when I watch regular TV. I only have the basic package with Comcast which includes high speed internet but basic channels-so I highly doubt if I have any HD channels.

My question is, will using an HDMI cable (instead of coax) improve picture when watching TV/local channels at all? My old tube TV seemed to have better picture with regular channels....
 

nukemaster

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You may get slightly better picture, but it will be nothing like HD. The image quality may also be better on some channels since some channels have determined that SD content should be encoded at lower bit rates(kind of like how some internet radio stations seem to stream oldies at low bit rates because they thing that older analog is worse then lower end modern digital. Its not true however.).

HDMI can send all supported video formats(including those that are HD.).

Tube TV's had been made with SD and interlaced video in mind and deal with different resolutions better than LCD screens. LCD screen look best at the highest resolution they support.
 

dark_strike

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May 27, 2014
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The problem is Cable, not the connection you have between your cable box and TV. Improving the connection between your box and set will help you get the most out of your box but that wouldn't help the problem you are having. The reason is because cable systems severely compress the signals to allowing room for more channels. Compression reduces resolution (IE your sharpness).

Over The Air signals from broadcasters are not as compressed so they will always look better than cable or satellite.
I hope this helps.
 

igna86

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thanks guys.

Just so I get this right: I will actually get a better picture by using an antenna (or a converter box) vs the standard definition that I currently get from comcast? and this is because over the air channels aren't compressed?

I don't watch a lot of tv and don't want to pay comcast for hd channels. I only want my local but I want them to look good.
 

nukemaster

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OTA channels do tend to have less compression and many can even be pulled down in HD. How many of these channels you will have depends on your area and quality of the antenna you use.

Even within the cable network each channel has its own levels of compression so some may look better. Compression tends to show up as blotches and macro-blocks.

Grain may well have been in the video it self. This is more common on film due to some limits of the medium it self.
 

igna86

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I probably do get some HD channels over the air as I live in a major city (sacramento) and in a residential area. I will give it a try and see if quality improves. Thanks a lot everyone, I appreciate your help.
 

hdtv45

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May 2, 2015
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Terrestrial antenna and homeworx high definition digital converter box HW-150PVR from best buy
and you got crisp clear HDTV channels at no monthly cost on top of it !
 
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