High Definition Television Q&A - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

High Definition Television Q&A

What does HDTV stand for?
High Definition Television

How is it different from my current TV?
An HDTV set can have up to twice the color resolution and be up to six times sharper than an analog TV set. Plus, in many cases the HDTV screen shape is more like what you find in a movie theater. It may also have enhanced audio, such as Dolby Digital.

Why is it sharper?
An image on an ordinary TV screen is made up of small rectangles known as "pixels." The more pixels, the sharper the picture. Traditional sets have 480 lines of resolution, while HDTVs have 720 horizontal lines or more.

Is the screen a different shape?
Yes. HDTV is typically use a 16:9 aspect ratio. Analog TV sets are typically squarer and use a 4:3 ratio. Therefore, programming on HDTV is viewed more like the familiar movie theater format. There are, however, some HDTVs that only have a 4:3 screen.

What do I need in order to receive HD programming from Insight?
An HDTV set and an Insight HDTV receiver/decoder are required. If you want HBO HDTV or Showtime HDTV programming, you need to subscribe to those services.

How is my current Insight Digital set-top receiver different form the HDTV receiver/decoder?
Your current Insight Digital set-top receiver does not have the ability to receive HD signals. You must have the special HD receiver/decoder to receive HDTV signals.

What channels can I get in High Definition from Insight?
Insight will offer the HD signals of some of your local broadcasters (such as ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and/or PBS, depending on the local broadcast station's ability to transmit an HD signal). Additionally, Insight will offer HD programming form HBO and Showtime. You will need to subscribe to these premium services in order to receive this programming. Insight will evaluate additional High Definition programming as it becomes available.

How can I get HBO HDTV and Showtime HDTV?
HBO HDTV and Showtime HDTV offer programming which includes movies, originals, specials and series. Current HBO or Showtime customers will receive the HDTV channel at no additional charge. For specific information, fo to http://www.hbo.com or http://www.showtimeonline.com. Not all programming on these channels is currently offered in HD format.

What is the difference between "HD-ready" and "HD-capable" television sets?
Today's HDTV sets come in two forms: HD-ready or HD-capable. HD-ready sets have the HDTV receiver/decoder built-in. HD-capable sets simply act as a monitor and require the addition of an external receiver/decoder, available from Insight, to receive HD signals.

Keep in mind that while the receiver/decoder is built in to most HD-ready sets, these receivers only have the ability to receive signals off-air from local broadcasters and you may need a rooftop antenna to receive these HD signals. You will still need a separate HDTV receiver/decoder, available from Insight, to receive other cable programming, such as HBO and Showtime, in HD.

Can I get local broadcast channels in High Definition from satellite companies (such as DirecTV or Dish Network)?
No. Satellite companies currently do not offer local channels in High Definition in Insight service areas. This means that the only place you can receive both your local broadcast channels and other cable programming (such as HBO HDTV) is by calling Insight.

Will Insight carry the 720p or the 1080i format?
The receiver/decoder that you get from Insight will automatically convert all High Definition signals to either 1080i, 720p, or 480p, depending on the format required by the monitor and selected by the user.

How will I know what programming is in High Definition?
Initially, Insight will provide two set-top boxes. Your existing digital set-top box will continue to deliver all the services it does today including the on-screen program guide. The guide will indicate if the program is available in HD/ If it is, you will switch to the second set-top box to see the program. During 2003, Insight intends to have all of these services available with just one set-top box.

How much will Insight's HDTV service cost?
Insight Digital customers can receive the HDTV receiver/decoder that attaches to their current digital set-top box for an incremental cost of $2 per month. If you are not an Insight Digital Customer, please call your local Insight office for further details.

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