I'll exclude DTV converter boxes from this rant because at least there are preventing landfills from getting an avalanche of otherwise good-working TV's.
Call me crazy if you wish, but I've always thought that using a set top box is like wasting my TV's by not utilizing their full capabilities. I mean, the main thing that distinguishes TV sets from plain monitors is that TV sets can tune TV channels while monitors can't. Even audio is not a distinction big enough since many monitors do come with speakers, plus some people don't use the audio on their TV's either (using home theaters, etc.)
So, if you set up your TV, leave it stuck in the same channel or none at all (Video/Line Input), aren't you just downgrading your TV to a plain monitor? That's why I never want to use a satellite TV service and I only use Cable TV as long as the company supports just plugging the cable line to the back of the TV and tune channels with the TV - the way things are meant to be.
Now, the main reason why I'm venting here: Tonight I bought a new Toshiba 32-inch TV for my living room. After going through the initial setup, I can't help but notice that analog channels are received just fine, while reception of digital channels sucks! I'd be happy blaming the cable company (after all, none of them tell you that you can get the digital and HD versions of the local channels on a TV with a QAM tuner without a cable box), but I can't blame my cable provider. The TV tuner on my computer with NTSC, ATSC and QAM tuners (just like the TV I bought today), receives digital channels perfectly fine.
It hit me then that since most people are willing to downgrade their TV sets to just glorified monitors by using cable or satellite converter boxes, that TV manufacturers might not care anymore about having good quality tuners on their sets. If the picture looks good and some sound comes out, the TV is probably good to go for them.
Am I the only one who thinks like this?
As for the Toshiba TV, it's going back to the store tomorrow.
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