Forums: Television Hardware: My rant on set top boxes

 
  • Avatar of RCC2K5

    RCC2K5

    [1]Jul 16, 2009
    • member since: 08/24/05
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    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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  • Avatar of agent_0042

    agent_0042

    [2]Jul 18, 2009
    • member since: 04/24/05
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    I don't get it. Forgive me if I'm being totally ignorant, but if I don't hook up either local-monopoly cable (sorry, but shudder) or satellite to the TV, then how am I supposed to watch the channels that I like such as Sprout, Noggin, or Spike TV? And since my TV doesn't have a digital tuner, I have to have a converter box as well to get digital channels not carried by the satellite.

    I'm sorry about the bad experience with the TV you got. I'm still using an old bulky non-HD model myself.
    Edited on 07/18/2009 2:43pm
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  • Avatar of RCC2K5

    RCC2K5

    [3]Jul 18, 2009
    • member since: 08/24/05
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    agent_0042 wrote:
    I don't get it. Forgive me if I'm being totally ignorant, but if I don't hook up either local-monopoly cable (sorry, but shudder) or satellite to the TV, then how am I supposed to watch the channels that I like such as Sprout, Noggin, or Spike TV? And since my TV doesn't have a digital tuner, I have to have a converter box as well to get digital channels not carried by the satellite.

    I'm sorry about the bad experience with the TV you got. I'm still using an old bulky non-HD model myself.

    Cable companies align their channels the way they see fit. From those channels you list, I can watch Spike TV without a converter box, just by plugging the cable TV line from the wall to where the antenna goes on the TV. And that's the setup I like. Noggin requires a cable box and Sprout (if offered in my area) also requires a cable box. A channel that requires me to pay for a converter box and hence, to downgrade my TV to a mere monitor, is a channel I don't want to watch.

    I've decided not to buy another TV until I can research some info on tuner quality. I don't want to pay a restocking fee again.
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  • Avatar of agent_0042

    agent_0042

    [4]Jul 18, 2009
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    I'm still not sure I'm following your twist of thought. What difference does it make, other than some principle you've decided to adopt, if it does become a "mere monitor"?
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  • Avatar of RCC2K5

    RCC2K5

    [5]Jul 18, 2009
    • member since: 08/24/05
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    agent_0042 wrote:
    I'm still not sure I'm following your twist of thought. What difference does it make, other than some principle you've decided to adopt, if it does become a "mere monitor"?

    that I paid for a TV and I want to use it as a TV, not a monitor.
    Edited on 07/18/2009 11:35pm
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  • Avatar of agent_0042

    agent_0042

    [6]Jul 18, 2009
    • member since: 04/24/05
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    Well, I paid for a mouse for my computer, and yet I've noticed a distinct lack of cheese-eating, squeaking and cute little whiskers. I'm highly disappointed.
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  • Avatar of EJamison

    EJamison

    [7]Jul 22, 2009
    • member since: 07/09/05
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    My TV is always on Ch3 because it's always connected to my VCR. I use the VCR either as the tuner or to switch between my 2 TiVos.
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