S&V Q&A — April 2006


Q. I live 20 miles from Buffalo, New York, and I'd like to take advantage of the Buffalo stations that broadcast in HDTV since they're not carried by my Canadian satellite provider. Is there a set-top digital tuner that I can connect to the component-video inputs of my TV so I can get Buffalo signals over the air? John S. Binns Thorold, Ontario

A. Ian G. Masters says: Samsung offers a terrestrial HDTV tuner for $350, Humax one for $229, Vizio one for $299, and ViewSonic two models at $299 and $399 (list prices in U.S. dollars). You could buy one over the Internet or possibly at an electronics store over the border in Buffalo. Just make sure you get a decent antenna to go with it.


Q. Would HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) interfere with connecting a high-def cable box to an LCD computer monitor? How about a PC to a DLP TV? In other words, are there problems with linking home theater products to computer gear using DVI connections? Steven Kruger Austin, TX

A. Al Griffin says: Yes. HDCP is an encryption technology designed to protect copyrighted programs going through digital connections like DVI. It requires that any TV or video display connected to a high-def cable or satellite box - all of which support HDCP - support HDCP as well. That means an LCD computer monitor with a non-HDCP DVI digital input won't display protected programs via that connection. However, an HDTV set can display programs from non-HDCP sources (such as certain DVD players) hooked up to its DVI-HDCP input.