The Sony HD300 Is Here - First Impressions - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 697 Old 10-13-2003, 05:50 PM
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Thanks for the easy to understand explanation. I appreciate it..
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post #182 of 697 Old 10-13-2003, 05:59 PM
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newbie questions...

How does one tell if the unit is in "native" output mode? I had the hd200 and as I scroll through the different modes on the my new hd300 I do not see a difference, i.e. I see no "native" setting? What am I missing? Also, I'm connected to my display with DVI so what is the difference between "native" and "variable 1" anyway?

Also, in the set timer section (for setting up taping to vcr)...is it possible there is no "daily" taping selection (M-T-W-Th-F). I just see "one time" and "weekly" setting. Again, am I just cluelessly missing something?

Thanks!
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post #183 of 697 Old 10-13-2003, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bacffin
Would you be able to provide a link to the pdf file on the 300?
Yes, but it wasn't as easy as you might think! The following Web page provides an indirect link (and even this Web page was actually a frame inside another Web page, wheels within wheels):

http://www.iq.sony.com/srvs/sosdocs/search.asp

To use the above, click on the link and then enter "SATHD300" in the model number box and click the "Search" button. Then the page will update with another indirect link that in turn "pops up" a window with the document in it. The actual document link is hidden inside of some JavaScript ... but here it is, the direct link (and note how simple the URL is — once you know this format, you can probably predict the URL for just about any Sony user manual):

http://www.docs.sony.com/release/SATHD300.pdf

William C. McCain
Palo Alto, California
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post #184 of 697 Old 10-13-2003, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bighoneybear
How does one tell if the unit is in "native" output mode? ... I see no "native" setting ... I'm connected to my display with DVI so what is the difference between "native" and "variable 1" anyway?
Taking your second question first, there is in fact very little difference between "native" and "variable 1". "Native" converts nothing, everything is output exactly as received. "Variable 1" converts 480i to 480p and everything else is output exactly as received.

I don't have my HD300 yet, and I don't have a monitor that supports DVI anyway, but my understanding is that when using the DVI interface the HD200 and HD300 offer you only the formats that the monitor actually supports. They can do this because the DVI interface is bi-directional: digital video flows from the source component to the monitor, but status data flows in the other direction. This enables the monitor to inform the source component about its capabilities.

My HD200 always displays the format names when you cycle through them, although the format name is replaced by the channel number after you stop fiddling with it. Your HD300 would presumably display "NATIVE" if it were available for your monitor.

So my guess is that your monitor does not support 480i via the DVI interface. In that case, the HD200 would skip the "480i" format when you cycle through the list and the HD300 would skip both the "480i" and "native" formats. "Variable 1" is as close to "native" as you can get with your DVI monitor — and probably with any DVI monitor (my understanding is that the DVI specification does not support 480i at all).

As to your third question, the one about timer recording on a VCR, somebody else will have to help you there. I long ago abandoned VCRs in favor of DVD players and TiVos.

William C. McCain
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post #185 of 697 Old 10-13-2003, 07:45 PM
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Are there Discrete On/Off codes for the HD300?

Also, I have a Zenith (LG) 520. Has anyone compared the picture quality of these units? I need the HD300 or Toshiba 3100 for the simultaneous output so that I can take advantage of my Faroudja for non digital channels.
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post #186 of 697 Old 10-13-2003, 08:32 PM
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I believe the IR code set is the same as they are for the HD200. If that's true, then discrete codes exist for the HD200, so will be the same for the HD300.

Ron
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post #187 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by wmccain
As to your third question, the one about timer recording on a VCR, somebody else will have to help you there. I long ago abandoned VCRs in favor of DVD players and TiVos.
I have ReplayTV and wouldn't trade it for the world (until HD-Tivo comes out, that is). But I find the timer function on my HD100 important because I'd rather record the downrezzed HD versions of my favorite TV shows off of Digital OTA stations, which don't appear in Replay's program guide, than the SD 4x3 versions of those shows off the SD channels that *do* appear in Replay's program guide. So I set the HD100 to change to 2.1 at 9:59pm on Monday nights, and set the ReplayTV to manually record off that input for 61 minutes... and voila, I have 16x9 CSI to watch the next day. (I work nights so I don't get to see many of my favorite prime time shows in HD.... this is the second best thing... albeit a distant second.)

I haven't fiddled with the timer function on my HD200, though, so I can't answer bighoneybear's question either! :rolleyes:

Rick

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post #188 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 03:38 AM
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i bought that JVC D-VHS unit for 199. Now that I have it, is there any easy way to record off of my HD300? Or must I lose HD and use an analog connection? At first glance the only digital ports on the JVC are firewire ports.

My sincere thanks to everyone who makes AVSforum such an awesome resource.
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post #189 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 04:53 AM
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To GregF,
I have the JVC 40000 connected via a S cable to the HD 300. Since the 300 does simultation SD/HD. You can only record SD with the 300. If recording HD is very important to you than the SAMSUNG T160 is the best route(firewire connection)..for HD recording....
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post #190 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by wmccain
Yes, but it wasn't as easy as you might think! The following Web page provides an indirect link (and even this Web page was actually a frame inside another Web page, wheels within wheels):

http://www.iq.sony.com/srvs/sosdocs/search.asp

To use the above, click on the link and then enter "SATHD300" in the model number box and click the "Search" button. Then the page will update with another indirect link that in turn "pops up" a window with the document in it. The actual document link is hidden inside of some JavaScript ... but here it is, the direct link (and note how simple the URL is — once you know this format, you can probably predict the URL for just about any Sony user manual):

http://www.docs.sony.com/release/SATHD300.pdf
Thanks for the links. I will check them out tonight.

Bruce

I always seem to know just enough to get into trouble !!
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post #191 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 08:10 AM
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wmccain,

That was a good explanation of the "Native" format. My SAT-HD300 does not display "Native" format either. I don't remember if it displays the "480i" format or not, but I'll check tonight.
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post #192 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 10:32 AM
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Joecowboys,
Maybe Samsung 165. Art
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post #193 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rickypicky
My SAT-HD300 does not display "Native" format either. I don't remember if it displays the "480i" format or not ...
Actually, now that I think about it, an HD200 probably DOES display the "480i" format selection even when connected to a DVI monitor, but an HD300 would NOT. That is because the function of the "480i" format selection differs between the two models.

On the HD200, the "480i" format selection is actually labeled "VIDEO 1/2" — it activates the NTSC composite and S-video outputs and de-activates the HD outputs. This is a necessary function, even when the HD outputs are connected to a DVI monitor that does not support the 480i format. (The HD200, in fact, has no capability for sending 480i video to ANY of its HD outputs.)

With the HD300, the NTSC composite and S-video outputs are always active, and are not controlled by the format selection button. The "VIDEO 1/2" format selection of the HD200 is replaced by TWO new format selections on the HD300, "480i" and "NATIVE", both of which have the capability to send 480i video to the HD outputs (and both of which have no effect on the always-active NTSC composite and S-video outputs). But when an DVI monitor is connected, you will not see either of these two new format selections, because DVI monitors do not support 480i ...

William C. McCain
Palo Alto, California
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post #194 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wilde1
I picked my HD300 up Wednesday afternoon at Anderson's Big Screen TV in Redwood City, CA for $649.99 (plus tax).

I just called Anderson's in Redwood City, and they said they haven't received any of these in yet. ? Does any retailer in the Bay Are have these in stock?
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post #195 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 02:59 PM
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My Sony HD300 sat is connected by DVI to my Marantz S2 DLP and only shows three formats to choose from: Variable 3, 720p and 480p. Why is that and which option is best for my DLP? How do you know if you are in Auto DVI? I have seen no such option to choose from on the HD300. I did find the expanded DVI option and like the PQ better.

Thanks!!

Rick
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post #196 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 03:12 PM
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Sounds right that your projectors DVI will only accept 720p or 480p.

Variable3 - should input 480p at 480p and 720p/1080i at 720p.

You definately don't want to use the 480p setting as that would downconvert your HD to 480p. Selecting 720p would upconvert all material to 720p before going to the projector. To use Variable 3 or 720p would depend on which scales up better. If the projector scales 480p to 720p better then use 480p setting. If the box does a better job then use Variable 3 setting. Best way is going to be to try both with SD material.
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post #197 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 03:26 PM
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Rick7777,
With my HD200 I've had two interesting situations with DVI. Before I bought my Samsung HLN617, I had an HLN4365. With the 4365, the AutoDVI function appeared just as it should. My only format options were 720p, 480p and AutoDVI. I chose 720p because AutoDVI left 480p as a small picture in the middle of the screen, surrounded by black everywhere. 720p upconverted 480i/p properly to fill the screen and give me all my aspect ratio options.

On to the HLN617.... I expected the same results but got very different ones. There is *no* AutoDVI option at all. Instead it's 1080i, 720p, 480p, Variables 1, 2 & 3. My HD200 hasn't changed, so I'm assuming that the differences in hardware/firmware between the 4365 and the 617 have changed the operation of my STB's DVI output.

I'm reasonably sure that the limitations you see with your HD300 are a result of what your DLP will allow your STB to do through DVI.

Rick

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post #198 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 03:41 PM
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I asked a question yesterday regarding cable HD with the 300. Since it does not look like the 300 will recognize hd via cable I will be forced to use the cable hd set top box component output with my DENON 4802R receiver. Does anyone know if this will hurt my picture quality substantialy?I just installed the 4802R and am not experienced with using receivers components output (after putting component IN for cable HD-JVC 40000). Any help anyone could give would be much appreciated.
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post #199 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 04:18 PM
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My HD300 feeds into a Panasonic 42PA20 over DVI. (The Panny, of course, does not accept 720p.) I use "Auto DVI" and the HD300 automatically sends HD channels at 1080i and everything else at 480p.

The S-Video and composite outputs send only 480i.
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post #200 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 04:29 PM
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I have never seen the words "Auto DVI" come across my HD 300's format screen. Why is that?

Rick
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post #201 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 04:47 PM
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Using the "Format" button on the inner panel of the remote, I get the following options: 1080i, 480p, 480i, and Auto DVI. (All appear in sequence on the front panel.)

I choose Auto DVI.
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post #202 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rick7777
I have never seen the words "Auto DVI" come across my HD 300's format screen. Why is that?
It appears clear from the posts just above yours that "Auto DVI" is a function that your monitor or projector must specifically authorize over the DVI interface. Some do, some don't. Not only that, it appears that "Auto DVI" differs from the other more specific modes in how it upconverts SD material! (My guess is that the DVI display device gets to specify the parameters for the upconversion in the "Auto DVI" case.)

In particular, see the following post for more details:
Quote:
Originally posted by ender21
With the 4365, the AutoDVI function appeared just as it should. My only format options were 720p, 480p and AutoDVI. ... On to the HLN617.... I expected the same results but got very different ones. There is *no* AutoDVI option at all. Instead it's 1080i, 720p, 480p, Variables 1, 2 & 3. ... I'm reasonably sure that the limitations you see with your HD300 are a result of what your DLP will allow your STB to do through DVI.

William C. McCain
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post #203 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 04:55 PM
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Well my hd300 was shipped from Marion IL. yesterday via UPS. It is scheduled to arrive here on the 16th. It looks like quite a few stops on the way too. I have never bought any electronic equipment like this online before. Does anyone have experience with taking delivery this way. I was a little skeptical doing this because I can just imagine the abuse the unit would take during delivery.

Thanks,

Bruce

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post #204 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 05:47 PM
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Bacffin, with shipping anything there are always risks, of course, but by and large all my online purchases have been good. Except for me being impatient and not wanting to wait, that is!

You'll get your HD300 on the 16th and enjoy it tremendously! Good luck! :)

Rick

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post #205 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jhays
Using the "Format" button on the inner panel of the remote, I get the following options: 1080i, 480p, 480i, and Auto DVI. (All appear in sequence on the front panel.)

I choose Auto DVI.
Thank you, thank you. My HD300 is in a closet and I was trying to find this information on the various menus. Yep, there it is. It is stormy. As soon as the rain fade goes away I will see which one looks best. :)

Gary

|||--Sony SATHD300
Component
|==============Sony HS10--->100" Firehawk---> eyeballs
DVI
|-------Bravo D1
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post #206 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 06:13 PM
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You can also change FORMAT by opening up the lid on the remote and looking in the lower-left hand corner. Helps when sitting in front of the TV.

I've got mine set to Auto-DVI.
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post #207 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by huntrm
You can also change FORMAT by opening up the lid on the remote and looking in the lower-left hand corner. Helps when sitting in front of the TV.

I've got mine set to Auto-DVI.
Yep, I found the Format button under the lid. The problem was, I was changing formats and didn't know what was going on. The tip that the 480/720/1080/variables etc was on the front panel opened new vistas. :)

Auto-DVI probably is not going to help with component output.

I thought you settled on component, because you didn't see any difference. I didn't either, so I gave the DVI back to the DVD player where it really mattered. Hmmm. Maybe I should revisit this DVI with HD300 again.

This perfect picture quality thing is like the movie "The Never Ending Story". :D

Gary

|||--Sony SATHD300
Component
|==============Sony HS10--->100" Firehawk---> eyeballs
DVI
|-------Bravo D1
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post #208 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by huntrm
You can also change FORMAT by opening up the lid on the remote and looking in the lower-left hand corner.
I've gone through about a half-dozen HDTV STBs from four different brands (Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, and GI/Motorola) and evaluated several others (RCA, Sharp, Pioneer). ("Evaluation" means I returned them to the store after a day or two because I did not like them.) So far, the Sony HD200 (soon to be augmented but not replaced by an HD300) is the ONLY model I have found that offers "format" control from the remote!

Nearly all of the other brands can change output format only via a slide switch on the back panel on the unit. (WHAT were they THINKING?) The RCA DTC-100 essentially had no format control at all, all HD was output as 1080i and all SD was output as 960i (there was a front panel button to toggle the output between the high res outputs and the NTSC outputs, but that is not really "format control"; I understand that folks discovered an IR code for this function, but it was not available on RCA's remote). The third of my three Panasonics (TU-HDS20) had a front panel button that cycled through the formats, but it was not on the remote (and as far as I know nobody ever found an IR code for it either).

Most of the brands did not offer a "native" format option (the exception being Panasonic), so in most cases that rear panel slide switch had to be set to either 1080i or 720p and rarely ever changed. Some of the brands (e.g. Samsung) did not offer a button on the remote to control the aspect of upconverted or downconverted material either — you had to go through some menus to do that!

My ideal STB would actually not need a format control button at all. My ideal would have concurrent NTSC output (like the HD300, the Samsung, and the very earliest Panasonic) and it would have a setup menu that would let you choose, once and for all, how you want EACH ATSC format converted (or NOT converted). Such a "format setup matrix" would let you (for example) get "native" output by leaving all formats unconverted, or (the other extreme) you could convert everything to a single format (say 1080i or 720p).

The Sony HD300 comes the closest to my ideal of anything ever offered. It doesn't have my hypothetical user-defined "format matrix", but with a choice of "native", three "variable" modes, and several "fixed format" modes, it comes about as close as I could want. (The "variable 1" option, in fact, is exactly how I personally would choose to configure a "format matrix" if I ever had one.)

Another VERY INTELLIGENT choice that LG/Zenith/Sony made is that, unlike other brands, there is NO setup option to restrict the aspect control of high res output by specifying the target display format (16:9 or 4:3). Instead, the HD200 and HD300 assume that 16:9 output formats (e.g. 1080i and 720p) are going to a 16:9 display and that 4:3 output formats (e.g. 480i and 480p) are going to a 4:3 display. Not only is this design simpler, it is "more correct", since all modern high res displays provide aspect control for material that is "opposite" in aspect ratio to the native aspect ratio of the display device.

Finally, in the HD300 LG/Zenith/Sony improved on their already wise design decisions by allowing "temporary" aspect control of 16:9 material on a 16:9 display. All previous products (both STBs and displays) have taken the attitude that this material is already being displayed optimally, hence "no adjustment possible" (the exact wording of the on-screen message from my Sony plasma display). But, in fact, most HDTV stations broadcast a lot of upconverted SD material with black sidebars, so an adjustment is not only "possible", it is highly "desirable" ...

William C. McCain
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post #209 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 09:22 PM
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This is all starting to make a little sense. I have a Sony HS10 projector and a Sony HD300 satellite receiver. I want the best picture possible for HD and SD on directv (ota and sat). Each has quite a few options and each has a mind of its own as to deal with those options. Where do you start?

Seems like I ought to start with HD300 native and flick through all of the HS10 options. What then?

Gary

|||--Sony SATHD300
Component
|==============Sony HS10--->100" Firehawk---> eyeballs
DVI
|-------Bravo D1
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post #210 of 697 Old 10-14-2003, 10:13 PM
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I should also point out (lest some neophyte stumble on this thread) that, besides being exceptionally well-designed feature-wise, the Sony SAT-HD200, its sibling the Zenith HD-SAT520, and (presumably, since mine is still back-ordered) the Sony SAT-HD300 and its siblings the LG LSS-3200A and Hughes HTL-HD, have BY FAR the best terrestrial ATSC reception I have ever tested.

I have always gotten good terrestrial ATSC reception on the San Francisco stations, since my rooftop antenna points to the tower they all use. But my HD200 also gets clear reception on the San Jose ATSC stations, and they are in the opposite direction! No other STB has ever been able to do that!

So far, the only serious issues with the HD300 have been sporadic reboots and one bad design decision — the lack of the ability to default to the custom (i.e. pruned) guide. But I'm sure there will be firmware updates (there always are) and stability will improve. Reboots will diminish, if not disappear altogether. And if we all grumble loudly enough about the custom guide, they will probably fix that too.

The bottom line is: the HD300 and its siblings are the closest thing to a perfect HDTV STB yet produced.

William C. McCain
Palo Alto, California
wmccain is offline  
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