Difference in HDTV Box or Regular Digital Box at Comcast

by Eoghan McCloskey

High-definition (HD) continues to be the home entertainment technology of choice for many consumers, whether in the form of HDTVs, Blu-ray players or HD cable channels. Taking full advantage of HD cable requires not only an HDTV but an HD-capable digital converter box and subscription to your cable provider's HD services. Understanding the differences between HD cable boxes and other boxes provided by Comcast is essential to knowing if an HD box is the right choice for your home Comcast service.

HD Capability

The most important difference between an HD-capable Comcast cable box and a non-HD box is simply that the HD box is capable of receiving HD service from Comcast. Should you decide to upgrade from standard, digital cable service to HD service, Comcast will need to upgrade digital boxes to HD-capable boxes in every room of your home in which you want to watch HD channels. Standard, digital cable boxes are not capable of displaying any HD channels.

Picture Quality

Comcast offers a wide range of HD cable boxes, and one of the ways in which they differ from one another is the maximum picture quality that they are capable of delivering. The majority of HD boxes offered by Comcast will offer picture quality up to 1080i; some others may not be capable of 1080i. It may be tempting to request the highest picture quality possible, but it is important to know the highest-quality picture your TV is capable of displaying to avoid incompatibility between your TV and your HD box.

HD Connections

Another important difference between HD boxes and digital boxes is in the type of audio and video connections they offer. Standard digital boxes will only offer standard definition video and audio connections such as RCA (yellow, red and white), S-video and coaxial cable. HD boxes on the other hand, offer connections that are capable of transmitting high-definition audio and video signals to your TV, HDMI being the most notable among them.

Other Considerations

There are more than 25 cable boxes, both high definition and standard definition, that offer numerous different features. The above described are generalized differences between high-definition and standard-definition cable boxes. The availability of one type of box over another is very regionally dependent. In other words, some models of boxes may be available in your community and others may not.

About the Author

Eoghan McCloskey is a technical support representative and part-time musician who holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and political science from Texas State University. While at Texas State, McCloskey worked as a writing tutor at the Texas State Writing Center, proofreading and editing everything from freshman book reports to graduate theses.

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