What's the point of IDTV?

Discussion in 'General TV Discussions Forum' started by NicolasB, May 10, 2004.

  1. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    In what way is having an integrated digital tuner in a TV superior to using an external set-top-box?

    I can sort of see the point in something like a plasma or LCD screen, in that the eventual display device is inherently digital, and you might therefore avoid some A/D, D/A conversions - but CRT televisions are analogue devices, so there has to be a D/A conversion anyway.

    Maybe some of the internal processing (e.g. 100Hz stuff) requires an external analogue signal to be converted to digital and back...?

    Other things being equal, it would seem to be preferable NOT to include the digital tuner in the television, because then you can make some money selling it second hand if you upgrade the box but not the TV. :)
     
  2. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    There are a load of advantages.

    1) Turn on the TV and there it is!!!

    2) One less remote

    3) Saves RGB Scart for DVD player

    4) Usually better picture quality
     
  3. Digiman

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    I agree. I love that snowy ghosting effect. Why can't they make an analogue computer for my monitor too?

    Seriously, probably the best idea is to have an idTV and set top box, reception allowing. You can then record and watch any of the extra channels if you want and, I believe, the picture quality is far better. Plus the above of course. I find I always end up watching the set top box, except when recording, so I don't want to pay for something I dont use and maybe switched off during the life of the TV.
     
  4. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Oh, hush. :) You know perfectly well I'm not talking about digital vs analogue, I'm talking about having a terrestrial digital decoder built into the TV vs using an external terrestrial digital set top box. :p

    Why would an IDTV have better picture quality than an external Freeview box, though? Surely interference inside the SCART cable can't be that much of a problem?
     
  5. supersonic87

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    A set top box transfers the digital to signal to be outputted in analouge, the (analouge) TV then converts the signal to digital to be processed and then outputted in analouge. An IDTV can skip the first two stages as the TV gets a digital signal, processes it digitally, and outputs it in analouge form, therefore skipping an uneccesary D-A A-D conversion.

    Rich
     
  6. Paul Atreides

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    If it's inside, the signal can be converted to analogue once.

    Also it doesn't waste any space and cuts down on remote controls.
     
  7. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    Ask Sony !!

    Their IDTV tuners are the best DTV sources I have seen.
     
  8. zantarous

    zantarous
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    Would you buy a analougue TV without a analogue tuner?
     
  9. Paul Atreides

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    As far as I know you can't buy a TV without an analogue tuner.
     
  10. zantarous

    zantarous
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  11. LV426

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    One word.

    Convenience.

    Or - to put it another way: There is nothing on this earth that would make (eg) my mother-in-law (or millions like her) cope with a separate STB. But she could readily cope with an IDTV.
     
  12. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Of course I would, why?
     
  13. GadgetObsessed

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    I understand NicholasB's point of view. I would always want an external tuner box. Ideally I would prefer a TV without an analogue or digital tuner - if that meant it was any cheaper.

    A digital tuner has two uses - for watching live TV or for pipeing a picture to a recording device. The first use is irrelevant to me as having used PVRs such as Tivo and Sky+ I have given up watching live TV. On the second use, digital tuners in TVs are not very useful for recording externally - TV has to be on, external recording device cannot change channel easily, etc. Additionally I cannot accept the drop in picture quality associated with anything other than recording the digital signal directly to disk as with Sky+ or Pace twin.

    I also dislike the general idea of putting more functionality in the TV itself. Firstly, because digibox technology seems to be improving quite quickly so I change my set top box every couple of years but don't expect to change my TV that often. Secondly, I want an integrated recorder and twin digital tuner - like Sky+ or Pace twin. Given my experience of hard disk reliability in these machines I really would't want to take the back of the TV to change the HDD.

    Saving on a remote does not help me much as I use a single learning remote for the TV and all other boxes instead.

    On the other hand I can understand that for general Joe Public having an IDTV will be easier to use. Also if the government do force manufacturers to make all their TVs IDTV this could speed up the governments time scales for closing and selling up analogue bandwidth.
     
  14. TV Headache

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    There seems to be a common misconception that you have to ditch your IDTV as soon as more modern receivers and MHEG applications come along. Those of us with first generation IDTVs can still watch digital TV channels as clearly as before, we just can't use the on-board digital processor for the latest games or interactive features from the BBC. The smart ones amongst us however can still use these applications because we have supplemented our IDTV with a cheap modern set-top box or better still, a freeview PVR. We are now able to watch digital whilst recording digital, very simply, and with no wasted investment (unlike people who just have an analog tele and a set-top box).
     
  15. GadgetObsessed

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    I wasn't saying that you would have to throw away your TV as digital technology changed. I accept that if you buy an IDTV now the digital tuner itself will not become redundant. It is just that to keep up with new developments e.g. pay channels that require a card slot, built in HDD, twin tuners etc. a separate set top box is preferable. I am happy to replace a box costing less than £100 every couple of years but not a TV costing £1500.

    You seem to be agreeing with this logic by recommending people have an external stb/PVR as well as an IDTV.

    I was just arguing that in my case - having a twin tuner PVR - that there is no advantage having an IDTV as opposed to an analogue one. Therefore I am unwilling to pay a premium for an IDTV - you could almost buy a PVR with the difference.

    I have nothing against IDTVs - if you want to reduce the number of boxes and remotes and are happy with the recording restrictions (e.g. like my parents) then an IDTV is the way to go.
     
  16. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Yes, but suppose I want to use a Pace Twin now? Obviously there's no point in my paying an extra £100 to get a digital tuner I won't ever use. Also, if I'm going to replace my digital tuner, I want to be able to sell the old one second hand. :)

    It's partly a philosophical thing, too. If most people watch digital TV via IDTV, then it will become much more difficult for anybody to make any money out of selling set-top-boxes. If that happens then innovation will be completely stifled - there'll be no point in producing a new and wizzier type of box, thus no point in the broadcasters doing anything which needs it. And if anyone did come up with a new idea, you really would have to change your TV to get it).

    If it were up to me, I'd make every AV system as modular as possible. Clearly, if there is going to be digital signal processing of the picture, then the signal path from tuner to processor should be all-digital - but that ought not to mean that both have to be in the same box. A far better solution would be to transfer the picture from box to TV by Firewire, or HDMI.
     
  17. TV Headache

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    You can still use a pace twin with any IDTV. If you want to avoid having a redundant tuner then buy the Humax, which is cheaper and has double the storage capacity.
    Given that the cost of a new tuners is £50 and still falling, I wouldn't imagine that there will be a strong second-hand market for obsolete tuners in the future. (You may get £5 at a car boot sale if you're lucky)
    Either the technology stabilises and the market matures, or we all have to pay to replace boxes on a regular basis as per the PC market. Swings and roundabouts.
    Modular systems could well be available in the future but right now most TV viewers demand simplicity above almost anything else, and that's because TV is still essentially a passive medium. We come home from work, put our feet up and watch TV. That kind of usage favours maximum integration in both the hardware and the user interface.
     
  18. MartinImber

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    I use an IDTV with a Pace Twin

    Great combination
     
  19. Paul Atreides

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    I see, you meant would I buy a car without wheels.

    That was a bit hard to decode :laugh: with flu messing my head.



    Yes I definitely would buy a CRT on it's own.
     
  20. Digiman

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    To turn the question round, why would anyone buy an analogue TV instead of an IDtv? I have come up with:

    Lack of choice from manufacturers
    Possibly more expensive
    Bad digital reception area

    If it wasn't for the fact that the manufacturers, to date, seem to make their flagship models analogue, it really would be a no brainer.

    If you own a DVD recorder, a film recorded from a settop box for example looks fantastic. While it is recording you are limited to the 5 analogue channels and their soft pictures, imo. Can you get a Freeview DVD recorder either? I dont think you can. Until you can an IDTV and a set top box is the answer.
     
  21. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    A better answer to THAT would be video recording devices that contain their own digital tuners, so you can use them in the same way as one used to use a VCR to record one program (with its own analogue tuner) while watching another one using the TV's....

    Roll on the 5-tuner Sky+ box. :)
     
  22. T2000

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    I use my KD32DX200 with a Pace twin its nice cuz the smart card reader
    on the twin dosnt work so the TUTV card gos in the tv.
    I like being able to flik through the channals with the TV remote
    and I find the picture is a bit better and the TV will work with a much lower signal
    than the Pace Twin needs.
     
  23. Zaichik

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    In our house, having an IDTV has been a boon - now my missus can watch the news while TiVo records something off Sky. Before, this little thing was a big issue - especially if TiVo was recording something she didn't want to watch.
     

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