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A simple guide to receiving high-definition programming

 



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Are you actually watching high-definition programs on your fancy HDTV? Are you sure?
By, Steve Hartfelder Diamond Case Designs, Inc.

Program Broadcast in High Definition
Many analog channels feature graphics indicating the program is 'available' in high-definition. However, to properly view the HD program you need the right equipment and programming package.

A recent report by In-Stat Market Research revealed that there are approximately 17 million homes with high definition televisions that are not actually receiving high definition programming.  To me, this is an astonishingly high number.  I wonder how many of these people think they are watching high definition but really are not?

A common misunderstanding HDTV owners have is that connecting a new television automatically makes the programs they watch high definition.  This confusion can be perpetuated by the fact that many analog channels feature graphics at the beginning of the program indicating the broadcast is available in high definition.   These people may spend days, weeks, or longer wondering why their televisions do not look nearly as good as they did in the store?

To ensure you don’t fall into this group, let’s look at exactly what you need to feed your TV a constant stream of pristine high-definition content.


Cable or Satellite Customers

In addition to your television the two main items you need are a receiver/decoder and a programming package that contains high-definition channels.

The receiver/decoder is simply an upgraded version of your existing cable or satellite box that is designed to receive high-definition channels.  You can get these upgraded boxes by simply calling your cable or satellite provider.  The boxes are available with or without hard drives (DVRs) giving you the ability to digitally record your television programs.

With television and decoder in hand, you simply need a programming package that contains high-definition channels.  Some basic cable or satellite programming packages include a limited number of high-definition channels.  But in most cases, you need to add an “HD” package to get a full compliment of high-definition programming. 

Once you subscribe to your desired programming package, be sure to note the numbers of the high-definition channels.  In almost every case, your provider will actually have TWO versions of the very same channel; one analog (non-high definition) and one high-definition.  You could have all the right equipment and be paying for the appropriate programming but still be missing out if you simply turn to the wrong channel.


Off-Air Antenna Customers


Digital Channel Scan
To ensure your television receives all of the available TV
signals in your area you must get into the sets menu system
and complete a channel scan.

For antenna customers, all you really need to do is ensure your antenna is capable of receiving over-the-air high-definition programming.  This antenna, in turn, would be plugged directly into your high-definition television (which should have a built-in ATSC tuner/decoder, meaning no external box is necessary).  For assistance in choosing an antenna or to see what stations are available in your area visit http://www.antennaweb.org/.

Once your antenna is connected you will need to complete one more important step called a channel scan.  Get into the set-up menu for your television and ask it to do a digital channel scan (see your manual if you need help).  Your television will begin the programming process of tuning in all available stations in your particular area and locking them into your available channel lineup.

After you have completed these steps, your high-definition TV should look just like the fancy model you saw in the store.  The only thing left to do is kick up your feet and enjoy!


Diamond Case Designs, Inc. - 655 N. Shepard St. - Anaheim, CA 92806 - (800) 616-5354 - www.diamondcase.com

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