The Ten Worst HDTV Scams, Lies and Video Ripoffs Explained

May 4th, 2008 · 32 Comments · Blu-ray Players, LCD Flat Panel, Microdisplay Rear Projection, Plasma

Last week the HD Guruâ„¢ posted his top 10 HDTV Scams, Lies and Video Ripoffs. As promised, here is a more in-depth look at the issues.

1-HDMI

The worst connector design since S-Video and the most unreliable interface ever foisted on the buying public. It began with Hollywood’s solution to a non-existent problem, to create HDTV video/audio stream that is not possible to copy. Of course there has never been a copying problem with HDTV but that did not stop the MPAA from getting together with Intel to create a system called HDCP that rides along an HDMI connection. A consortium of companies created the HDMI standard. In a nutshell it is an uncompressed digital stream with a copy protection scheme (HDCP) that requires authentication between the source and display. The problem: it does not work reliably. There are untold combinations of sources, switches (Audio/Video receivers) and displays that won’t work together, resulting in either no picture or an image of just snow (indicative of failure of HDCP authentication). Some combinations will work sometimes and other times not, requiring a power off/on of the components and crossed fingers.

The problem has been complicated because many equipment manufacturers did not have the ability to test their respective HDMI circuitry. The reason? HDMI/HDCP test gear was priced in the six-figure range. Furthermore, interoperability was limited to the participants in industry test sessions called plugfests, so only a limited amount of gear has been checked for interoperability.

What has further complicated the problem is the standard for HDMI keeps changing. First there was 1.0 then another followed by another. Now we are at 1.3 but there has been talk of another standard (1.4?) just around the corner. Some equipment makers and the HD Guruâ„¢ feel there should be no more changes until everyone and everything achieves full interoperability. Until then HDMI problems will continue to haunt dealers, installers and consumers.

To make one other item clear. When it works, HDMI/HSDCP is the best connection between a source and display, though the connector is not exactly robust and cannot be locked into place.

2-120 Hz HDMI Cables

The HD Guruâ„¢ has written about overpriced HDMI cables. The situation is getting more extreme. Amazon sells a 6 ft. HDMI cable for $1.98 while Best Buy sells HDMI 6-8 ft cables from $59.99-$219.99 making its most (8ft) expensive cable 100 times the price of the cheapest Amazon 6 ft HDMI cable, and there are even costlier HDMI cables available from other sources.

The super priced HDMI cables are claimed to handle “faster speed” signals and to be able to handle the requirements of 120 Hz signals, and therefore are present and “future” ready.

The rip-off? There are no 120 Hz signals today or planned in the future. All 120 Hz HDTVs today or tomorrow accept signals no higher rate than 60 Hz. The need for a cable that handles 120 Hz HDTV signals is like putting 200 mile per hour rated tires on a Hyundai: you will never need it.

Keep in mind there are only three possible states of signal through an HDMI cable. They are a) perfect b) intermittent/ sparkles 3) no picture at all. If you get a continuous image over HDMI, it’s as sharp and clear as it gets, no matter how much you spent on a cable or its rating.

So it does not matter what you spend on cable, as long as the cable you buy gives you a “perfect” picture. However, if you’re running your HDMI cable through a wall, it’s a good idea to make sure the quality of both the connector and the termination is high. While all properly made HDMI cable will pass the picture, long term reliability will, in part, be determined by the robustness of the cable’s construction.

3-Off Brand (So-called “Third Tier”) Model HDTVs

Buying no name brands will save you money, but they may be nearly as expense to repair as to replace after the factory warranty expires. With some brands there is no after warranty service (i.e. Polaroid). The HD Guru™ highly recommends checking with the with the manufacturer’s US office to learn what the costs are for in-warranty service (such as: who pays shipping to and from the factory during the warranty period, what is the cost if you need a replacement box and what are the charges for post-warranty service) before you make the purchase. Read http://hdguru.com/your-new-disposable-flat-panel-hdtv/107 for more information.

4-Flat LCD HDTVs 26” and Smaller

With the price of LCD flat panels continuing to drop, the image quality of LCD HDTVs in the 26” or below size has actually diminished! In earlier years, top of the line panels were available in this size range. But today’s pricing pressures force set makers to step down performance to keep the price low. If you want the best LCD glass within an LCD HDTV—one that features superior contrast ratios, off-axis viewing, signal processing and 10 bit color (1024 shades of gray versus 256) you need to consider a 32” or larger set. If you must get a set 26” and below, compare off center viewing, color, upconversion of standard definition sources and motion smear. You will find the range in performance from fair to really poor.

An added caution: a number of 26” and below size sets are not in the industry standard 16:9 aspect ration (1.78:1) but are instead 1.6:1. Check the native resolution. For example, if its 1440 x 900 stay away. If you were to purchase a non-standard aspect ratio set, when you view 16:9 content, you will have to contend with a portion of the image always cut-off or (on some models) always seeing black bars at the top and bottom of the HD image.

5-1080p HDTV below 42” (diagonal)

Most buyers don’t realize how close you must be to a 1080p set to notice the full benefit over a 720p display. To see all the resolution of smaller HDTV you need to be really close. For example a 32” set requires a maximum viewing distance of 4 feet 2 inches. I do not know anyone who sits that close to a TV. Don’t waste your money on resolution you will not see. Check my HDTV distance chart for the maximum distances for 1080p and 720p displays. It’s at http://hdguru.com/hdtv-seating-distance-chart/6/
Just click on the highlighted HDTV Viewing Distance Chart.

6- X.V. Color

Also known as xvYCC color, X.V. comes from a source device, as meta-data sent along with an HDTV signal over an HDMI cable to a display to provide a wider color gamut. In other words, more colors than are possible with HDTVs that display (or attempt to) the colors available within the HDTV standard. X.V. color is an optional part of the HDMI 1.3 specifications.

The reality is that LCD displays with normal CCFL backlights (as opposed to LEDs) can’t reproduce a true red (it’s orange) let alone a color gamut way beyond the HDTV standard. Furthermore, there is no broadcast, cable or satellite x.v. color source. Neither are there Blu-ray discs that have been mastered with x.v. color. I doubt you will ever see it on broadcast or cable.

It may come someday to Blu-ray discs, but unless your source material was mastered with a wider gamut, and your Blu-ray player and display will reproduce a very wide color gamut (the only technology that comes close is Laser and its coming later this year) the difference with it or without it is quite insignificant. The only source today that can provide an x. v. color source are specific HD Camcorders. Bottom line, until laser TVs and xv color HD discs appear, it is a pretty worthless extra cost feature.

Far more important are displays that closely match the HDTV standard for primary (red, green and blue) and secondary (magenta, yellow and cyan) color points. Measurement data can be found in some home theater magazine reviews.

7-Deep Color

This feature should be named Deep Baloney. It is also part HDMI 1.3 optional features and it allows content to be encoded with video from 10-bit up to 16-bit color. The higher the bits the more shades of color are available. Now for the reality.

First, every video source (cable, satellite, broadcast and disc) are 8-bit color. Second, all digital displays interpolate the 8 bits to the display native bits, meaning the best LCDs internally change 8-bits of data to 10-bit color depth, some plasmas go even higher (12-bit or higher). Many new sets can accept the higher color depths (if they were available) but will still interpolate the information to accommodate the displays native bit depth.

So if you did have a 12-bit source, and an LCD HDTV with an 8-bit panel would accept the higher bit depth data (if it features Deep Color) but will still display it as and 8-bit image. So there are two basic problems with Deep Color: first nobody is using it (and I am doubtful it will be available from any source anytime soon). Second, the digital display (LCD, Plasma or DLP) will only display the amount of color depth it is capable of displaying. In other words, “Deep Color” is another worthless feature.

8-Line Conditioners

They are supposed to clean up dirty AC power from your outlet and claim to make the image sharper and provide better color. Horse Hockey! Stores sell these devices to connect to your new HDTV for hundreds of dollars (or more) to make up for the low profit margin on HDTVs. I have not seen any difference in image quality when I have connected a AC line conditioner to HDTVs, however, to give the manufacturers of these products the benefit of the doubt I do not have dirty AC (perhaps someone next to a factory or in a third world country does, or only watches TV with the vacuum cleaner running). Today’s digital HDTVs are quite immune to noisy AC power.

In place of a line conditioner, simply purchase a surge protector or if you have a DVR, a combination surge protector and uninterruptible power supply. The former will protect your HDTV and other equipment from potentially damaging power surges and the latter will keep recording your program should you lose power for a few seconds or several minutes.

9-Fake HD Cable and Satellite Channels

So you have a new HDTV and you want to receive as many HD channels as your cable or satellite provider offers. Well be careful. A number of HD channels are mostly fake. They contain standard definition fare that is upconverted and stretched. These channels include: History Channel HD, TNT HD, USA HD, A&E HD and Lifetime HD.

The broadcast, cable and satellite industries are unregulated when it comes to “quality of service.” They can take and standard def programming, then upconvert it and call it HD.

A number of HD channels are fake for most of the day. Instead of widescreen high definition content they contain standard definition fare that is upconverted and stretched, making the programming appear soft and distorted.

10-Dynamic Contrast Ratio Measurement

Almost every HDTV manufacturer publishes a contrast ratio number. TV Salesman explains the bigger the ratio, the better. If all other image criteria are equal, the display with the better contrast (brighter whites and darker blacks) would have the best picture and with it the best “perceived” sharpness. However, this specification has morphed beyond a useful measurement into a new, meaningless number that manufacturers call “dynamic contrast ratio”. With the recent arrival of 2008 models, it has ushered in the era of “dynamic contrast ratio” boasting up to “one million to one (1,000,000:1). The reality? Not only is the dynamic number meaningless, it reminds me of something Dr. Evil of Austin Powers fame would be promoting.

The way “dynamic contrast is measured is a two step process. First the HDTV is fed a completely black signal (0 IRE). The level of black is measured. Next a test signal with a small patch of full white (100 IRE) is generated and the white area is measured. The ratio between the darkest and lightest signal is what is claimed to be “dynamic contrast”. How does this relate to what you see when watching a TV program or movie? It doesn’t! We don’t watch content consisting of an all black screen, we see an image that has portions that will be dark (at times) light or something in the middle. An accepted contrast ratio standard measurement is called ANSI contrast, but HDTV manufacturers don’t specify ANSI contrast, they just specify contrast so we really don’t know how they measure it.

The same display that may provides a dynamic number may spec its normal “contrast ratio as 1/30th-1/100th of the “dynamic contrast” ratio number. Bottom line, disregard the dynamic contrast ratio, it is meaningless.

One last note. Black level is part of the equation, but you can’t perceive black level in stores like Best Buy and Costco where the ambient light level is many times higher than a the room in your own home where you view your new HDTV. Unless the dealer has realistic ambient light levels (that match the level of your home’s viewing environment), you may not notice that the blacks on the store’s demo set are really gray, until you take the HDTV home.

Copyright ©2008 Gary Merson/HD Guru™. All rights reserved. The content and photos within may not be distributed electronically or copied mechanically without specific written permission.

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32 Comments so far ↓

  • Rob

    I don’t know what HDMI cable you are using but the ones I’ve used stay fairly snug. They’re held in place by friction, same as USB plugs,RCA plugs, etc. I see no point in a locking mechanism.

    The 1. HDMI compatability issues mentioned are really not much of a problem these days unless you’ve got some old, first generation, out of spec, equipment. Someone buying HD equipment today is unlikely to have to worry.
    (I know becuase I’ve hooked up dozens of HDMI capable TV’s, receivers, Blu/DVD players for clients)

  • bud Dee

    directv took away my distant networks programming claiming I lost mygrandgather rights when I movedBUT I moved four years ago! Why now? read all the fcc stuff and it does not say what directv is mtrying to push down my throat. are they above the law?

  • Matt Barnes

    I was wondering if Anyone knows if it REALLY makes a difference in the picture between an 8-bit and a 10-bit panel?

    Thanks,

    Matt

  • Integrated

    I agree with HD Guru on most of these tips.

    However, re: HDMI cables do your yourselves a favor and consider the gauge of the cable for lengths above 12ft. This is due to the signal attenuation that any electrical conductor exhibits. Basically, above 12ft get at least 26 AWG(gauge) cable, above 25ft at least 24 AWG(gauge) cable, above 100ft at least 22 AWG. Finally, if running cables in the wall make sure it is in-wall rated(CL-2 or CL-3 rated) because they are easier to install, usually more robust construction and will pass inspection.

    Also re: line conditioners, they definately make a difference. I agree with the fact the noise filtration feature of these conditioners are as useful in newer(newer than 1980s) homes, but practically everything else is highly beneficial to AV gear. I have designed and installed countless, residential and commercial AV systems and thanks to the use of quality line conditioners our clients systems have a longer operational life and offer an improved picture(not as dramatic of difference but noticeable to non-experts) and audio(dramatic difference in clarity and accuracy) quality. Of course not all client opt for line conditioner and they pay the price when their TVs die after 3 to 6 years (assuming quality TV) and they get reduced performance from their audio amplifiers.

    http://www.furmansound.com/video.php?id=4
    check this to learn more about quality line conditioners to measure all others by.

  • John Smith

    HDGuru… you have your head somewhere the sun doesn’t shine. Way to explain to people how to be cheap. I’m sure every store sells these devices just to scam you. And by the way 120Hz isn’t for the broadcast, wiseguy, its mostly in LCDs to prevent distortion, pixelation, whatever you want to call it, when there are quick moving images. And guess what… IT DOES HELP! Line conditioners undoubtly work.

    FOR ALL YOU PEOPLE BEGGING THE “GURU” TO HELP YOU PICK A TV. GET SOME HELP. He is probably a crazy quack who got screwed at like Best Buy one time, and has a vendetta against them. If you want real information go to a small mom and pop, or small electronics store. You will find people with good information who HAVE to know what they sell because its how they put food on their table. If you go to a big box retail store, you will find teenage kids making minimum wage with no info because they don’t care to help you.

    Use some common sense people. A TV is still a TV. They just perform MUCH better. Don’t make it rocket science. Go, look at the TVs, see which one you like better…..

  • Bunk

    The follow-up to this article must be…Don’t buy a plasma because it will get damaged due to burn-in caused by station logos after only 10 hours of television viewing.

  • R Collins

    Line conditioners DO WORK!!! I had a cheapo surge protector on my upstairs TV, a 32″ toshiba. And downstairs i had a Panamax Line conditioner on my Sony XBR 5. Over the summer we had 5 brownouts, and big surprise, the toshiba bit the dust. Sure, I had to reset the Panamax a couple times, but long story short, my XBR lives and i am not out $4000. It’s time to get less cynical guru, line conditioners work

  • AJ

    Okay, this guy is dead wrong on many issues, but I will only address his HDMI statement. He seems to think HDMI quality makes no differance.

    Try running a 50′-75′ HDMI cable through your wall that cost $50. Now good luck getting HDCP to work both ways on that $50 cable. A $300 HDMI cable could probably handle it, but whatever, its not my house or my walls that im running cables in.

  • prudent buyer

    Let’s introduce some facts to go with the author’s opinions.

    1. Studios and artists are entitled to be paid for their copyrighted work. Without copy protection, piracy of copyrighted material would be easily possible and would have far-reaching effects.HDCP is a necessary reality.

    2. HDMI is the highest quality interconnect method possible right now.

    3. The HDMI standard, like all standards is a living document and will be subject to periodic revisions. The upgrade to V1.3b introduces 1080p, deep color and one-bit audio (lossless) that improves an already good standard.

    4. The test equipment for HDMI compliance is indeed in the six figure cost range, but is not required. There are Authorized Test Centers (ATCs) that grant the compliance certification. Vendors, like anyone else can purchase any other equipment that they wish to verify interoperability with. The plugfests referred to occur about every six months and involve 5 full days of interoperability testing. There are 100 or more HD vendors present. Each slot is one hour long, so there are many opportunities to verify interoperability with a variety of products. The last plugfest in April showed that great strides are being made in this venue and the latest information is that the interoperbility problems referred to in the article are in the past.

    5. There are physical constraints limiting a cable’s performance. When you consider that the fastest HDMI signal is faster than 3 Giga-bits per second, these physical limts become important. Much attention must be paid to ensure a cable’s materials, design and construction are up to par. I still do not recommend spending hundreds of dollars on any cable.

  • James Palmer

    It’s definitely weird that HDMI doesn’t have a locking feature. It just flops out when you move the TV.

    And HDMI is flimsy, agreed.

    A slight push against the wall can snap the connector off the board inside your TV :(

    But, for ease of connection and explanation for the great unwashed it’s hard to beat.

    I have only once tried explaining component to a customer…
    3 Different colors? Three cables?
    Eyes glaze over… 0.0

  • Josh

    5-1080p HDTV below 42” (diagonal)

    Most buyers don’t realize how close you must be to a 1080p set to notice the full benefit over a 720p display. To see all the resolution of smaller HDTV you need to be really close. For example a 32” set requires a maximum viewing distance of 4 feet 2 inches. I do not know anyone who sits that close to a TV. Don’t waste your money on resolution you will not see. Check my HDTV distance chart for the maximum distances for 1080p and 720p displays. It’s at http://hdguru.com/hdtv-seating-distance-chart/6/
    Just click on the highlighted HDTV Viewing Distance Chart.”

    Excellent article, but I take issue with this point. I *am* looking to buy a 32″ 1080p LCD TV, and I *will* sit close enough to it to notice the difference between 720p and 1080p. My room is small, and from where I’ll be sitting, even 37″ may be too big.

    So please don’t make a blanket statement about 1080p TVs below 42″ like that. They *do* have their uses, and there *are* people out there that they’re made specifically for.

  • bruce

    what should buy a 50″ DLP, or a 50′ Plasma. in the $2000.00 or less price range

  • MisterX

    Amos, nice link on the Surge vs Line conditioners, although its very technical it does a damn good job explaining the differences. Painting everything with a wide brush is stupid and insulting to people in the HT industry.
    Sure not all Line Conditioners make a difference.
    Some 720p tv’s do look as good as 1080’s.
    Some 120hz tv’s look better than thier 60hz counterparts.
    Not all Hd programming looks good, your dead on there. It cost broadcasters more $$$$ to broadcast in widescreen HD, which is why stations like ESPN give you crap in the daytime and a beautiful picture during thier national broadcast in the primetime. FYI there are 120hz blu-ray players in the works.

  • John Doe

    Easy Brian, you sound like you work on commission at Best Buy.

  • Brian

    Hands down, one of the most un educated, worst written articles I have read

    IE ” have not seen any difference in image quality when I have connected a AC line conditioner to HDTVs”

    Wow so you mean all that scientific research you did, by looking at it. Nice worthless article. I dont read blogs, b/c people who are educated write journals and published articles, not some two cents jerk off that doesn’t even half of what he talks about

  • ED

    apparently a so called expert is trying to tell me that panel bit depth is only for error in dithering.8bit 10,or 12 bit or 16 bit panels are not for displaying a greater graduation of color.this is very different from the way the are marketed and sold.

  • brian

    Questions

    I just bought a toshiba 46 inch lcd model 46LX177

    i bought lcd because most of the younger more techie guys i know said it was better than plasma and also becasue i have a very bright room with no window coverings (i like the views) and i didnt want the light to reflect on the screeen

    i also had to have directv installed to get hd

    The picture on some channels of hd is great, nhl network for instance. but a lot of channels suck, hbohd for instance. some scenes of a movie are nice and clear but night scenes particularly are grainy.

    is this normal? i have never seen an hd signal outside of a store until i got this tv.

    i can return it if i want for a plasma ( panasonic i guess)

    any ideas feedback?

    thanks

  • ACIDBLUES

    Hey I work for a Electronics store and I must saya few things first off. Hdtv looks best over the air broacast. Contrast ratio and 120 hrtz are propaganda. 1080p kinda a joke. This is what I say to all my customers about 1080p and I hope this makes sense to you.
    Think of two honda civics, one has 500 horsepower and the other has a hundred horsepower they both recieve 87 octane,should they performe exactly the same since both of them are receiving the same quality of gasoline. Of couse not.
    Now with your new tv. Just because it says 480p or 720p or even 1080p who cares. Its all about whats under the hood and thats whats going to make the difference not the 87 octane. I have a fujitsu plasma 480p that when you sit 8-10 feet away and compare it to any top of the line 1080p LCD you will be amazed that a 480p can give you a better picture. Oh and by the way that plasma is 8 years old.
    Line conditioners do make a differnce and they do not last for a long time. If you get one dont use it for the first 3 weeks. after that plug it in. Trust me if you dont see a difference and I think you will, return it and you will get a full refund.

  • draiken78

    I agree with you dobyblue.

    While I absolutely hate the black bars on the side of my screen, at least the picture is an actual improvement of the standard def broadcast. Once they strecth the picture, it looks much more flawed and nothing looks right at all, defeating the purpose of watching it in HD in the first place!

  • dobyblue

    A&E is one of the worst culprits.
    I don’t mind if you don’t have an HD source for broadcast, but don’t you dare stretch the 4:3 source for me because I can’t undo it!!!!

    Idiots.

  • draiken78

    pnaw10

    Great point about the switched cable. Personally, I’m all for it, as should anybody who gets HD programming from their cable company. More than likely, they have to have a cable box for every one of their HDTV’s in order to get the HD channels anyway. Besides, eventually almost all TV’s in people’s homes will be HDTV’s anyway.

  • pnaw10.com

    @Dave – Agreeing with DavidB, yes, you would complain to the networks for “stretch-o-vision,” not to the cable company.

    However, you also need to consider — how much of the programming aired on cable is actually new enough to be available in true HD? For example, Lifetime shows reruns of Frasier and the Golden Girls, two shows which were taped years and years ago. These shows were originally shot with analog, standard def cameras on analog, standard def videotape back in the 80s and early 90s. No amount of “digital re-mastering” could ever bring these shows into true HD format.

    On the other hand, I *would* expect brand new shows (like Monk on USA or Dirty Jobs and Mythbusters on Discovery) to appear in true HD. There’s absolutely no reason they shouldn’t be.

    As for cable companies compressing signals, that’s just a product of the fact that cable companies have to squeeze so many channels down the same line, along with high-speed internet and digital phone services.

    Some cable companies are now working towards offering “switched” networks — instead of sending ALL the channels to every customer ALL the time (allowing the TV or cable box to choose which channel shows on your TV), a switched network means the cable company only sends the signal for whatever channel you’re watching at a given time. The theory is that, if there’s only one video channel coming down the line (as opposed to hundreds) that one channel will get more bandwidth, reducing the need for compression.

    The downside to “switched” cable is that is requires EVERY customer to get a cable box for EVERY television they own. It won’t work with standalone, cable-ready TV’s.

  • Art Feierman

    Greetings Gary,

    I’ve looked high and low for an email address for you, with no luck. I’d appreciate it if you could drop me a quick email with your contact info. I have a couple of things I’d like to discuss with you.

    thanks -art

  • Amos

    http://www.processingtalk.com/news/pob/pob103.html
    “Surge protectors vs Power conditioners”.

    THIS IS THE WEBSITE I WAS REFERRING TO.

    THANKS

  • Amos

    HD Guru PLEASE HELP ME!!

    I’m planing to purchase a Panasonic Plasma (46PZ85U) this Friday to replace a Toshiba HD 42″ rear Proj.

    My question is about weather I spend some extra money on a Power Conditioner or a Surge protector?
    I currently have a Monster Cable Surge protector that I’ve had for 7yrs(purchased from BestBuy for $80)- IS IT TIME TO REPLACE IT?

    Your comment doesn’t mention weather there are any benefits to having a Line Conditioner, aside from the fact they don’t improve picture quality; IS THERE ANY ADVANTAGE IN IT’S SURGE PROCTECTION ABILITY?

    I have pretty decent equip.(Pioneer Elite receiver, PS3, Toshiba DVD, and Boston Acoustic surrond sound). What would be a better investment overall? I’m willing to pay around $200 for decent protection, can you give me a suggestion?

    There are Surge Protectors on the market for little $$ to above $200. Conditioners sell from low $100 to $1000 plus.

    The above website has a very interesting article on “Surge protectors vs Power conditioners”.

    It seems that from this article it would be better to buy a “conditioner” than the surge protector.

    My concern is not so much weather I’m going to get a more vibrant picture from my TV, but rather what truly give’s my expensive gear the most protection from electrical disturbances.

    So can anyone help me make a better informed decision?

  • carl taylor

    Help me out, please. If all today’s 120 hz tv’s accept a signal no higher than 60 hz, why even offer a 120 hz tv? i have seen the blue ray with a Sony xbr4 using motion flow (their 120 hz) and it does look good. Is this the only use?

  • draiken78

    In all fairness DannyM, we are paying quite a bit for our HDTV’s and cable or satellite service. In order for us to improve the service we are paying all this money for, we need to voice our opinions.

    Otherwise, nothing will change and we will simply be stuck with what they give us rather than getting what we want.

  • DannyM

    Good God people.I remember when I got 3 channels in black and white and it was free.And you liked it. Trying to buy HDTV is worse than gettin’ a root canal.

  • draiken78

    DavidB,
    I believe you are correct in saying that it is the networks that are at fault for the fake HD and stretch-o-vision. However, the cable and satellite companies aren’t completely without fault either. They are the one responsible for compressing the the signal that is given to them, causing a further loss of picture quality.

  • DavidB

    Guru…
    Is it your contention that fake HD is the fault of the “broadcast, cable and satellite industries”? It was my understanding they are simply passing along the stretch-o-vision that those particular networks are providing to them, not upconverting and stretching it for them. So, our complaints should be to the content channels (TNT, History, USA, etc.), not to Comcast or Verizon or DirectTv or etc.???

  • Dave

    Who can we complain to regarding fake hd?

  • Adam

    Thank you!

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