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#277851 - 11/05/09 09:50 PM need recommendation for a 42" TV with cablecard
Zarak Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/09/03
Posts: 1852
Loc: PA
I'm thinking of getting a replacement for the bedroom TV, a 13 year old 25" CRT.

I have a chest of drawers it would sit on top of and can get as big as a 42" without it hanging over. I don't want to have to rent another cable box to get HD, so I'm thinking I want something that can do cablecard.

I believe plasma is better than LCD, but that might just be my perception. Based on that assumption, I'm leaning towards a Panasonic.

Any advice would be appreciated. The little bit of looking I've done doesn't seem to make it easy to see if a TV has cablecard in it or not.

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#277853 - 11/05/09 10:07 PM Re: need recommendation for a 42" TV with cablecard [Re: Zarak]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3466
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
Most TVs don't have CableCARD slots anymore, for what ever reason. But the TiVo HDs do, and make watching TV all the more enjoyable.
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#277855 - 11/05/09 10:24 PM Re: need recommendation for a 42" TV with cablecard [Re: ClubNeon]
Zarak Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/09/03
Posts: 1852
Loc: PA
How about tru2way

It looks like it launched a year ago. Anyone know if this made any headway in the market? I'd have to check if Comcast offers this and what the charge is. I'd like to avoid an additional monthly fee for this second TV.

A Windows 7 machine with QAM would work, since I'm ok with only having broadcast channels in HD on this TV (I can stick with downstairs for sports).

If I thought it would work from where I live, I would consider an antenna and OTA HD for upstairs. I believe cablecard is free in my area though, which is why I started with that as an option.

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#277916 - 11/06/09 12:23 PM Re: need recommendation for a 42" TV with cablecard [Re: Zarak]
Zarak Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/09/03
Posts: 1852
Loc: PA
Actually, I was thinking about another idea. Since TV's come HD Ready, can it be as simple as just plugging the cable directly into the back of the TV? I only need to box for encrypted channels, but if I am ok with just broadcast channels in HD and everything else SD, would this work?

For a secondary TV that doesn't get watched as much, I can live with broadcast only HD.

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#277937 - 11/06/09 05:04 PM Re: need recommendation for a 42" TV with cablecard [Re: Zarak]
alan Offline

connoisseur

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3267
Loc: Toronto/New York/parry Sound
Hi Zarak,

You can certainly try it; it may just work, unless the local cable system shifts its HD channel allocations, in which case you'd need the outboard box or a cable card set.

It used to be the FCC required cable operators to supply the basic network signals, albeit in standard definition if you simply connected the cable with no box. I don't know if that has changed.

CableCard was intended to be the great upcoming technology that would get rid of the rental outboard box, but there were problems initially and it never really caught on. Or maybe it was the cable lobby and all those nice cable-box monthly rental fees (likely the latter. . .)

And I agree with you opting for a plasma--no color shift or loss of contrast with off-angle viewing. The Panasonic plasmas I've looked at are excellent.

Regards,
Alan
_________________________
Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert (Retired)

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#277939 - 11/06/09 05:11 PM Re: need recommendation for a 42" TV with cablecard [Re: alan]
Zarak Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/09/03
Posts: 1852
Loc: PA
I'll have to try hooking cable directly to my downstairs TV to see what if any HD I get.

Any specific differences I should look for between the Panny plasmas? 720p is fine for this TV, as it will be 42". Other than the input/outputs it has, is there a big PQ difference between the different models?

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#277974 - 11/06/09 10:31 PM Re: need recommendation for a 42" TV with cablecard [Re: Zarak]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10634
Jason, in the December issue of Consumer Reports the Panasonic TC P42S1 is the Best Buy pick in the 42" 1080P plasmas and the TC P42X1 is the 720P Best Buy with not quite as good HD picture quality, but a price around $300 less.
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#277982 - 11/06/09 11:07 PM Re: need recommendation for a 42" TV with cablecard [Re: JohnK]
oldskoolboarder Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2185
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
Sadly, no more Cablecard TVs. Sad because I liked the idea, but the cable companies want you to rent a box.

Check deals of the day on Gizmodo. They have 42" 720p and 1080p LCD and plasmas for sub $1K. Most of them are Panny's (my favorite), Samsung, and the like.

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#278138 - 11/08/09 05:24 PM Re: need recommendation for a 42" TV with cablecard [Re: oldskoolboarder]
Zarak Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/09/03
Posts: 1852
Loc: PA
I tried hooking my main TV directly up to cable today. I do get some HD channels. However, NBC HD is channel 10.1. I have to make sure the remote knows about the . or go to 10 and then go up 1.

My issue is, what are the channels? I've done some online searches but not much luck so far. Anyone know a good site that list the QAM channels for different areas? (Comcast Philadelphia area for me)

I'm flipping thru trying to figure it out, as a lot of channels aren't labeled and there is no guide.

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#280041 - 11/21/09 07:13 AM Re: need recommendation for a 42" TV with cablecard [Re: Zarak]
Zarak Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/09/03
Posts: 1852
Loc: PA
I think I'm going to go with the TC P42X1. Best Buy has it on sale for $600. It is 720P, but for a 42" secondary TV I don't see the need to spend extra for 1080, especially since I don't expect to have more than a 720P input (cable) as a source going to it. Any Blu-Ray would still be done on the downstairs TV.

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