What does Best Buy use for its store HD signal? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 36 Old 10-18-2010, 05:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I see that Best Buy uses coaxial input on its store TV displays and they are playing a Best Buy dedicated program. Is this a feed off of a satellite program dedicated for in-store use?

Are they playing a Blu Ray disc or other HD signal source converted to an ATSC signal (similar to DVD player RF modulation)? If so, how?

I'm not interested in the programming, rather the methods of large-scale single-source deployment. HDMI distribution is too unreliable for us so far.

Thanks
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post #2 of 36 Old 10-18-2010, 05:32 AM
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I suspect they are still using some version of the Sencore players.
What are you needing to do? You can demo TV sets with OTA, you know .

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post #3 of 36 Old 10-18-2010, 05:41 AM
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Use component. There are multiple output distribution amps and you don't have any of the worries that go along with HDMI distribution.

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post #4 of 36 Old 10-18-2010, 06:25 AM - Thread Starter
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We are using Blu Ray as the source, and in some trade shows, OTA signal can be tricky inside arenas, so no OTA. We need to display multiple TVs from one player. We have a few different setups, one that will be in the 30 TV range and one in the 15-20 TV range.

We have HDMI boxes ran daisy-chained but this is un-reliable (start up can be messy and handshake hiccups during playback happen from time to time).

I'm not familiar with Sencore, do they make something that would take HD source (BD or even a hard drive w/h.264 or similar playback) and output an ATSC modulated signal?
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post #5 of 36 Old 10-18-2010, 08:39 AM
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What are you trying to "show".....TV receivers?
Personally, I would want to see how they react to many things in the "real world", including channel changing, program guides, etc....if I was purchasing TV sets.
Maybe you could talk to someone like Blonder-Tongue, or Scopus. They are making systems that also create PSIP data tables. ATSC/8VSB is pretty expensive to modulate, but most TV sets will demodulate QAM (Cable TV standard), and that uses the same PSIP standards. QAM modulators are much less expensive.

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post #6 of 36 Old 10-18-2010, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bw8755 View Post

We are using Blu Ray as the source, and in some trade shows, OTA signal can be tricky inside arenas, so no OTA. We need to display multiple TVs from one player. We have a few different setups, one that will be in the 30 TV range and one in the 15-20 TV range.

Easy... buy a ZeeVee Box and use QAM over cheap Rg6.... They work Very well..

http://www.zeevee.com/

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post #7 of 36 Old 10-18-2010, 04:29 PM
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Best Buy uses sat fed signal that is recorded on hard drives (maybe Sencore) and modulated on QAM. They have 3 HD channels, one of which is also duplicated as an SD channel for comparison.

They do not use the ZeeVee product, which I believe has quality issues.

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post #8 of 36 Old 10-18-2010, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

Best Buy uses sat fed signal that is recorded on hard drives (maybe Sencore) and modulated on QAM. They have 3 HD channels, one of which is also duplicated as an SD channel for comparison.

They do not use the ZeeVee product, which I believe has quality issues.

I have about a 100 out in the Colleges and Hotels, no problems what so ever and they been in for about 8-months now.

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post #9 of 36 Old 10-18-2010, 04:49 PM
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My boss has a ZV170 at home on his cable tv DVR..he loves it..

Bob

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post #10 of 36 Old 10-18-2010, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ybsane View Post

I have about a 100 out in the Colleges and Hotels, no problems what so ever and they been in for about 8-months now.

Rob

The ones I've seen and worked with have some kind of issue with live video, like they are running at 24fps or maybe dropping frames. It reminds me of watching MTV HD when they did the Music Awards live, but at 24fps.

Not sure exactly what the problem is, but they suffer when compared directly to the same source.

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post #11 of 36 Old 10-18-2010, 05:19 PM
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Need the guys in China to bring out an off-brand unit at a more realistic price point.

Bob

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post #12 of 36 Old 10-18-2010, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

Personally, I would want to see how they react to many things in the "real world", including channel changing, program guides, etc....if I was purchasing TV sets.

Me too. The Best Buy system really shows off the quality of a good HD feed with the local OTA channels added in to the mix as well. (with minimal degradation to the source) Not sure what HHGregg uses, but it looks terrible in comparison.
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post #13 of 36 Old 10-18-2010, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Rules View Post

Me too. The Best Buy system really shows off the quality of a good HD feed with the local OTA channels added in to the mix as well.

Not all BB's have OTA channels.

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post #14 of 36 Old 10-18-2010, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

Not all BB's have OTA channels.

True, but the flexibility of the system allows for seeing programming that is more familiar.
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post #15 of 36 Old 10-18-2010, 06:46 PM
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Are you sure Best Muy uses QAM? I think I remember the TVs saying "14-1 air" for channel number. Maybe I'm confusing Best Buy with Wal-Mart. Will a tv tune QAM on UHF air channels?

How can we say "the digital transition is complete" when thousands of low power stations are still broadcasting in analog?
LOW POWER ANALOG NEEDS TO DIE NOW!!!
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post #16 of 36 Old 10-18-2010, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Hawk View Post

Are you sure Best Muy uses QAM?

Yes.
Quote:
Will a tv tune QAM on UHF air channels?

Yes, if it has a QAM tuner and the cable mode is selected.

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post #17 of 36 Old 10-18-2010, 09:02 PM
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If I remember correctly, the TVs at Best Buy said "air", not "cable" (I played with the remote, they were in air aka antenna mode and not cable mode if I remember correctly and it is entirely possible that I am not remembering correctly). I don't think a tv will tune QAM if air is selected and not cable. Some TVs will tune 8VSB if cable is selected, some won't.

How can we say "the digital transition is complete" when thousands of low power stations are still broadcasting in analog?
LOW POWER ANALOG NEEDS TO DIE NOW!!!
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post #18 of 36 Old 10-18-2010, 11:08 PM
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The Best Buy store in Hobart Indiana (website shows it as Merrillville Indiana, due to the mailing address still says Merrillville) has some TV's hooked to an outdoor antenna. Some TV's can pickup all the channels, while others don't. For the few HDTV's I've watched TV on, Ion Television, Qubo, & Ion Life look fuzzy, as if it were an analog signal. WYIN looked fuzzy from the lack of bandwidth dedicated to the main channel, due to 2 720p HD channels. I've seen WLS-TV 7.2 (Livewell Network) looking just as bad as it does when I watch TV on my CRT TV with DTV box. I never saw any problems with WGN-TV, WFLD, WPWR-TV, WYCC, or WBBM-TV (no subchannels, so it's sharp, but not all TV's picked up this channel). I don't remember about WCIU, WGBO-DT, WXFT, WMAQ, or WTTW. WJYS looked ok. At least the Samsung TV's picked up the 2 update TV channels from WTTW, & they're unmapped. I don't know what kind of antenna Best Buy uses. I'm not aware of them using any antenna that they sell in their store that can pick up both VHF & UHF. I could be wrong, but it's hard to tell, since the roof is so high, that I can't see what all is on the roof. I do know certain promotional programming exclusive to Best Buy is set to 2 or 3 analog channels, and if I remember correctly, they're set to 61 & 65 (maybe something in the 40-45 range). When I can afford to get a new TV, I will likely buy it from this Best Buy, since it would allow me to get an idea of real world HDTV, instead of guessing it from other stores (especially Walmart/Sam's Club, Kmart, & Meijer).
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post #19 of 36 Old 10-19-2010, 12:19 AM
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Reportedly the newer Zeevee boxes don't have the quality issues since they actually do true 60Hz, unlike the first gen which were 30Hz.

Nextcom (the guys who make the R5000 mod for receivers) were talking about doing an 8VSB modulator a while back. Don't know if they ever got anywhere with it, but they had a thread here on AVS and a page on their website.
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post #20 of 36 Old 10-19-2010, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Lots of great info here everyone. Thanks!

We're not looking to show the TV receiver, just to show off the display itself, so picture quality is key. 1080P is the goal, however, unless I am missing something, that won't be possible other than via Blu-ray over HDMI.

I did confirm, locally, that the Wal-Mart & Sam's Club use Component Video, however, I could not see what specific hardware was in use. I'd prefer not to go this route due to the bulky cabling involved. Single HDMI or coax cable is more appealing from an installation standpoint.

Our source material will be a standard BD, no original HD video content for the near future, so I need to make sure that there are no encryption concerns for conversion to QAM or ATSC/8VSB.

Thanks!
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post #21 of 36 Old 10-19-2010, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

Yes. Yes, if it has a QAM tuner and the cable mode is selected.

I am pretty sure it is 8VSB not QAM. I have seen couple Sencore units at Best Buy and those only output 8VSB. They are exactly the same as you can buy on Ebay sometimes.
Those stores that have OTA, definitely use 8VSB as they combine both by simple RF combiner. Most Best Buys use this unit http://www.sencore.com/products/8VSB...TV996A_40.html
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post #22 of 36 Old 10-19-2010, 09:34 AM
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trimmed some ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by bw8755 View Post

We're not looking to show the TV receiver, just to show off the display itself, so picture quality is key. 1080P is the goal, however, unless I am missing something, that won't be possible other than via Blu-ray over HDMI.

Our source material will be a standard BD, no original HD video content for the near future, so I need to make sure that there are no encryption concerns for conversion to QAM

I don't believe that there is any BD player that outputs 1080p on other than HDMI for license/encryption reasons. I don't think you can effectively split HDMI 30 ways; 2 is hard enough.

If you own the source material, you can get 1920x1080 from a PC video card and use the ZeeVee 280. You can optionally output 1080i from your BD player into the ZeeVee which may be good enough. If I were in your shoes, I'd try to borrow a ZeeVee and try it.
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post #23 of 36 Old 10-19-2010, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I heard back from Blonder Tongue about the HDE-QAM. This has HDMI IN w/HDCP, so I could connect easily from BD player. Downside is only 1080i output. This may not be a deal breaker, depending on how important 1080p vs. reliability is.

http://www.blondertongue.com/product...er-qam-output/

Another idea would be to use a HDFury to convert to VGA, then feed into the ZeeVee, which states it supports 1080p output. We have used the HDFury-to-VGA before to use with TVs that did not have HDMI a couple years back. The concern there is that there was a shift to the left that had to be manually adjusted on the TV. I'd worry if the ZeeVee would handle this shift OK during the encoding...I'm trying to eliminate headaches, not add any.
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post #24 of 36 Old 10-19-2010, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I saw the DMS 3503B on Sencore's website (along with the DTA 115). This looks interesting, and shows a built-in BD drive (although this may be for illustration as the specs don't call it out). If I understand this correctly, this would do the same as the BT piece, but have the hard drive storage for media files and possibly BD playback (with internal BD drive). I'm waiting to hear back from Sencore.

http://www.sencore.com/products/Digi...-3503B_78.html
http://www.sencore.com/products/Mult...A-115_122.html
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post #25 of 36 Old 10-19-2010, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Rules View Post

Me too. The Best Buy system really shows off the quality of a good HD feed with the local OTA channels added in to the mix as well...

I get a kick out of their split-screen comparison that purports to show how much better a high def picture looks when compared to standard def. Some knucklehead fed that split screen into a standard definition TV, and the difference between the two halves of the screen was almost as striking when seen on the standard definition TV as it was on the HDTV.
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post #26 of 36 Old 10-19-2010, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyoteaz View Post

Reportedly the newer Zeevee boxes don't have the quality issues since they actually do true 60Hz, unlike the first gen which were 30Hz.

The 150 & 170 were the boxes I've seen.

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post #27 of 36 Old 10-20-2010, 01:02 AM
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If someone wants to kick in $2000 for the hardware I'd be happy to do a comparison .
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post #28 of 36 Old 10-20-2010, 10:42 AM
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Whatever they use, whenever they show basketball from it at the store here, it's all full of extreme jaggies and looks terrible (on every TV it's on - so I know it's the source).

You'd think they do better if they actually want to sell anything.
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post #29 of 36 Old 10-20-2010, 11:26 AM
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IMO, it's a decent compromise between the convenience of constantly having to change out the TV's & picture quality. I too have noticed a bit of added compression to the OTA signal, but have seen much worse set-ups in other stores.
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post #30 of 36 Old 10-20-2010, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Whatever they use, whenever they show basketball from it at the store here, it's all full of extreme jaggies and looks terrible (on every TV it's on - so I know it's the source).

You'd think they do better if they actually want to sell anything.

Must be something wrong with the system. I've seen the same system at a number of BB's and they all look fine.

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