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Thread: Need some advice about high definition tv subscriptions

  1. #1

    Need some advice about high definition tv subscriptions

    I finally took the plunge and bought a 50" plasma and I was wondering about high def availability from local providers. I've checked the Bell and Videotron web sites and to me it seems that Bell has the better HD packages. But living in an apartment, I was wondering if anyone here has found a way to get around having to attach a dish to the building which I'm not allowed to do. Do you know if Bell will mount a dish on a balcony, like on a cement block or something as a base for the dish?

    In the meantime I'm able to pick up a number of over the air HD channels and the image is, for lack of a better term - fucking awesome! Unfortunately CTV doesn't have an OTA HD channel in Montreal and I really am looking forward to watching the Olympics in HD, not to mention hockey. In the meantime I'm downloading everything I want to see in HD from the web and waiting for a deal on a Blu-ray player.

    So any advice anyone can give me will be much appreciated!

    Techman
    And the Lord said unto John, "Come forth and receive eternal life." But John came fifth and won a toaster.

  2. #2
    Hi Maria! I watched the game on saturday in standard def and it was still great. Can't wait for the HD! Right now I have an upconverting DVD player and the image is superb but nowhere near real HD. My Blu-ray will wait until the Xmas sales start though. For now I'm going through my vast DVD collection and seeing them as if I hadn't watched them before.
    And the Lord said unto John, "Come forth and receive eternal life." But John came fifth and won a toaster.

  3. #3
    THANK YOU BURKIE !!!
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    Techman,

    I have Shaw Direct formerly Starchoice. They have a very good choice of HD channels and would would not hesitate to recommend them. Whether you go with Bell or not, any satellite service will require a clear line of site towards the west, if your balcony is oriented that way and your landlord allows it, you should be fine but if it's not then cross satellite off you list. Be sure to get HD Net if you do go with satellite, it's the only 100% HD channel and (at least on Shaw Direct) has an amazing picture and sound.

    Maria,

    Not sure exactly what you mean by "I'm curious to know if it will be able after to read the movie I rent last week-end and didn't work on it..." but all Blu-Ray players are backward compatible which is to say they will play regular DVD and Blu discs. They will not play HD-DVD which have been discontinued for over a year now but you still see a few for sale or rent (look for a RED jewel box)

    One problem with Blu-Ray discs that has recently come to light is the need for an internet connection to support the BD-Live features which can only be accessed over the internet. One disc I recently bought (Crank 2) is known to completely freeze some players that do not have external storage ie. USB key or a hard drive like a PS3 but are connected to the internet. This is because when the disc is inserted it looks to update the BD-Live content but because it has no where to write to, it causes freezing. The solution is to always keep a USB key inserted in your player or to simply disable the players access to the internet.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]The hockey game most enjoyed by Canadians from coast to coast since 1972.

  4. #4
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    I also have a 50" plasma (Panasonic) and the HD package (via Bell Expressvu) is the only way to go. Sure, it's a bit pricey, but if well worth it. Why have an HD TV if you don't have the programming?

    I believe that as long as the dish itself is pointing south (and there's no interference), it will work. It's unfortunate that the building owner won't let you put a dish on the building. Everyone i know who lives in an appartment has never had this problem, as long as the dish stays on the building if they ever move away. Can't you put it on the roof & have the cable running down to your appartment?

    As for the Blu Ray player, i've read on many sites (including TERB) that one of the best blu ray players on the market (+value wise) is the PS3 by Sony. For the price of a Blu Ray, you also get one of the top gaming systems on the market.

  5. #5
    Techman, Bell is currently working on a cable system like videotron has and there will be

    no more need of a dish. Ask them about it, it might be ready.

  6. #6
    Hi Techman, I have recently switched from Bell to Videotron cause i lost my patience with the blackouts in heavy cloud cover. As far as the Bell's installation policies of their dished, I can't help you on that. but i can tell you this much: I've installed dishes on anything from chimneys, to balcony railings to grass in backyards, and front. Anything solid, that will not budge to wind. if bell won't do it, call an independant, they'll fix u up. good luck!

  7. #7
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    if you have a choice between a hard line & satellite, i'd choose the hard line. satellite is vulnerable to weather conditions more than a hard line. i use videotron and have had no problems so far.

    yes, sports look great in hd but my faves are discovery hd & nat'l geo hd.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Maria Divina View Post
    Oh! I'm really happy to read this!!! The movie I rent is "12 rounds" and the Blu-ray freeze on the warning of legal pursuit... I came back to my rental place, and the clerc there told me I have to make the upgrade of my machine to make it able to read it, and give me another copy just in case, but the other copy did the exact same thing... Unfortunately, I don't have a direct connection to internet on it, and the way to go, will be to script the update on a CD and to insert it in the Blu-ray to install it...and it is suppose to upgrade it this way.. I did go on the Pioneer website, and effectively, following the instructions there, I could verify the version of my program, and it is a too old version I got .... I think this is someway bizarre to upgrade something to watch a movie at home, but that's where the technology is now...

    I'm not a big TV listener, so to have around like 20 channels in HD is much enough for me (plus all others non-HD...), and of course, the sports really deserve to be watch in HD .... Of course, Discovery and National Geographic are great to watch to in HD because of their nature too....but movies for me now, is Blu-ray... Ordinary talk-shows in HD look like is too much to be able to see all the details and the defaults of production (lights and all others settings...) and of the complexion of the skin of the people... (don't like to see all the wrinkles and the traces of acne of people on TV... )

    So, this morning, I will put a USB key to see if it works now, but anyway, I will do my update later.... Thank you...!!!

    ;(... Don't have any USB plug on it... .......Don't have any choice to upgrade it finally!!!
    Bonjour Maria,
    Effectivement Un peu bizard que ton lecteur blueray ne joue pas les blue ray.

    Par contre pour le mettre ajour, c'est la norme aujourd'hui avec les gadgets electronique.

    Pour mettre a jour, tu n'as pas besoin de brancher ta machine a internet. Prend le numero de model de ta machine et fais une recherche sur le site du fabricant pour un "upgrade" (mise a jour). Telecharge le tout sur ton ordi et ensuite tu brule ca sur un dvd ou si ton blue ray a une entrée ou tu peux mettre une clef usb, tu transfer le fichier sur une clef usb et la met dans ton lecteur blue ray.

    Verifie si d'autre disk blue ray fonctionne sinon, tu as un probleme avec la machine je crois.

    bonne chance.

  9. #9
    That's always been a problem with the Blu-ray format since it came out. The format is still in flux and no standard has been settled on. Becaue of this there are many older players out there that can't play a lot of the recent disks and many are not upgradeable to the latest standard. The Blu-ray live function requires a USB flash or hard drive to be attached to the player, as well as a high speed internet connection, to download the 'live' content. You also need a router and many people don't have one so that's another expense.

    Doc, yes the PS3 is one of the most upgradeable players on the market but it has certain issues with audio output. But I have no intention of playing games and I have a personal boycott against everything Sony ever since their anti-piracy root kit adventure.

    Right now I'm using my upconverting DVD player and the image is amazing even with downloaded divx content. I watched the latest Startrek and Transformers over the weekend and they looked amazing. Other than the visuals, neither movie really impressed me though.

    And thanks for all the input everyone! I really appreciate it.

    Techman
    And the Lord said unto John, "Come forth and receive eternal life." But John came fifth and won a toaster.

  10. #10
    The new PS3 slim supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio bitstream output to your receiver. The old PS3 did not so it had to decode it internally before sending it over to your receiver via LPCM. The later has never been a problem for me except for the fact that the receiver displays "Multichannel" instead of the actual audio codec (Dolby TrueHD or DTS HDMA).

    And please, if you buy a new tv, perform a basic calibration on it or have it calibrated. You never get optimum quality out of the box.

    Also, don't pay the ridiculous prices stores charge for HDMI cables. A 20$ HDMI cable does the exact same job as a 100$ cable.

    If you ever need help for installation, calibration or need cables, let me know. My rates are very reasonable.

  11. #11
    Maria, si ton lecteur "joue tous les autres Blu-ray" et que celui qui "freeze" provient d'un club vidéo, c'est possible que le disque soit tout simplement égratigné et/ou défectueux. Quoique sur les Blu-ray lal couche de protection est passablement meilleure que sur les DVD et c'est plutôt rare.

    Il est également possible, comme mentionné plus haut, que ton lecteur tente d'accéder à du contenu BDLive par internet. Des fois c'est long... Normalement, il devrait y avoir une option dans le menu de ton lecteur pour l'accès à internet. Quelque chose comme "automatic, manual, OFF". Si tu le met à "manual" il va te demander si tu veux accéder au contenu par internet. Ou tu peux tout simplement le mettre à OFF.

    Faire la mise-à-jour du "firmware" de ton lecteur est également une bonne chose.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by JustBob View Post
    The new PS3 slim supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio bitstream output to your receiver. The old PS3 did not so it had to decode it internally before sending it over to your receiver via LPCM. The later has never been a problem for me except for the fact that the receiver displays "Multichannel" instead of the actual audio codec (Dolby TrueHD or DTS HDMA).

    And please, if you buy a new tv, perform a basic calibration on it or have it calibrated. You never get optimum quality out of the box.

    Also, don't pay the ridiculous prices stores charge for HDMI cables. A 20$ HDMI cable does the exact same job as a 100$ cable.

    If you ever need help for installation, calibration or need cables, let me know. My rates are very reasonable.
    I didn't know that the new PS3 supported bitstream output. That makes it a more interesting possibility but I don't plan on playing play games so I don't know if I should spend the money on it. And I still hate Sony.

    I've done a basic calibration on it already but I'm borrowing a spider and calibration disc this week from a client and will do a better job on the weekend. If I feel I need help I will be sure to get back to you. Thanks!

    You really have to feel sorry for people who spend hundreds of dollars on monster cable or some other high end brand. I can't imagine spending 200 bucks for a HDMI cable but some people really don't know any better and believe what the salesman tells them. I get my cables wholesale. Cost me 8 bucks for my HDMI cable and I ordered a DVI to HDMI cable for my PC today and it will cost me the huge price of $18 dollars for a 20ft cable.

    Here's a great link on youtube to a Marketplace segment on high end cables:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIf8HLZK6a8

    Anyone setting up a new HD set should watch this before buying their cables.
    And the Lord said unto John, "Come forth and receive eternal life." But John came fifth and won a toaster.

  13. #13
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    I buy all my cables and accessories from Monoprice.com, they have by far the best price/quality products you will find anywhere.

    http://www.monoprice.com/home/index.asp
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]The hockey game most enjoyed by Canadians from coast to coast since 1972.

  14. #14
    I've been reading a lot of good things about monoprice.com on a couple of home theater forums I belong to. Seems like they're the best place around to buy cables.

    By the way...anyone have a recomendation for a Blu-ray player that plays back x264 encoded videos
    Last edited by Techman; 09-29-2009 at 08:39 PM.
    And the Lord said unto John, "Come forth and receive eternal life." But John came fifth and won a toaster.

  15. #15
    THANK YOU BURKIE !!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Techman View Post
    By the way...anyone have a recomendation for a Blu-ray player that plays back x264 encoded videos
    Only one that I know of, it's the Goldmund Eidos Reference Blue Blu-ray player which can be yours for only $135,000 USD.

    Actually if you mean MPEG-4 AVC or H.264 they all do. Take a look at this site, it has lots of good information on Blu-Ray hardware and software.

    For player specs see here: http://www.blu-ray.com/players/
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]The hockey game most enjoyed by Canadians from coast to coast since 1972.

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