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post #91 of 1193 Old 11-09-2003, 09:39 AM
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Mark, I noticed precisely that problem when transferring data to my MX500. I had to repeat the process since initially one press of the channel up on the MX500 would cause 2 channel changes. As Mark said, a VERY brief hit on the VOOM remote should eliminate this issue.

Tech, this would be a bit of a problem if true. One would have to periodically do a hard reboot of the STB to see if a software update is available. Are you sure that the box doesn't download the new software while in standby? Also, do you know where to go in the menu to see which software version you have?
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post #92 of 1193 Old 11-09-2003, 10:31 AM
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Last night I had a great evening watching Showtime HD and other channels.

Was over the moon the see my Lexicon show that it was receiving digital AC-3 surround sound. I am so very happy with the sound, and the picture quality.

Was able to change the video input to 1080i and it did not cause the box to lockup.

Now I can't wait for the mapping for local channels to be resolved:)

Cheers,
Geoffrey
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post #93 of 1193 Old 11-09-2003, 12:57 PM
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Let's hope that Motorola and/or Voom is reading these posts so that the problems can be resolved quickly. Maybe we should charge them a consulting fee for doing a software audit.
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post #94 of 1193 Old 11-09-2003, 01:06 PM
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Can the current owners comment on the 10 HD movie channels. Are they playing the same ones over and over or are they changing them out.
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post #95 of 1193 Old 11-09-2003, 03:00 PM
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OK, so I am almost sold. I just called to sign up. Yesterday I should have because the gal said that the TiVo box swap next year would be free. Today a different lady, who had to go and speak with her supervisor, said that the TiVo "upgrade" would not be free and could not tell me what the additional cost would be, but that there would be an additional cost.

Does anyone else have any similar data in this regard?

In any event I couldn't sign up with such a discrepancy looming. But I will probably cave later.


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post #96 of 1193 Old 11-09-2003, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Compromise
But I will probably cave later.

Go on Compromise and CAVE now and make us all happy and of course yourself.

You'll have sleepless nights until you CAVE in:)

My box is not going back for sure. I really do love the quality of the pics and it certainly beets D* on my Samsung.

Happy Caving In,

Geoffrey
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post #97 of 1193 Old 11-09-2003, 03:24 PM
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Okay, I've done some more Voom watching and testing.

1. It may be the case that my box is faulty since others have reported they don't see it, but I distinctly see significant ringing (visible as a 1- to 2-pixel "ghost" to the right of sharp edges) on the Motorola Voom. This is not noticeable on DirecTV's RGB or Dish's RGB or Component HD output. You won't notice this as much if you have the sharpness turned down on your diplay, but of course, you also won't get the full resolution of HD.

For an objective measurement, I hooked up a scope to the Voom Y output, and terminated it into a 75-ohm load, then sync'd the scope to a sharp transition on the Voom user interface graphics. There was very distinctive ringing. I did the same experiment with DirecTV RCA DTC 100's G output and an edge on the RCA user interface graphics. There is only slight ringing, as you might expect from any analog video signal at that frequency. So, for at least my Voom box suffers either poor analog engineering, poor analog testing, or both.

I didn't pull out the Dish HD receiver to test its output, but visually, it is just as sharp as the DirecTV receiver.

So, at least on my Voom receiver, it's either DVI or don't bother.

2. I did some side-by-sides between Showtime HD on the DirecTV RCA box and the Voom Motorola box. I looked at them on a 50" rear-projection CRT-based TV (I converged it just before the test) and a 50" plasma. I did the tests during HDTV movie broadcasts. The results were relatively the same on both the rear-projection TV and the plasma (in all cases the plasma was a bit crisper).

a. As noted above, the Voom box is fuzzier through component connectors than DirecTV RGB ouput and sharper through the DVI connector.

b. The black level on the Voom box needed to be brought up a bit. Otherwise, shadow areas would become solid black. After this adjustment, the contrast range of the DirecTV/Voom was comparable.

c. DirecTV underscans Showtime HD (i.e. even on a widescreen movie, you see a little black border on the left and right), whereas Voom fills the screen left to right. Oddly, DirecTV fills the screen with HBO HD, but Voom doesn't have HBO, so I couldn't compare this. As a result, the Voom Showtime HD image is a little larger than DirecTV's.

d. The compression artifacts on both DirecTV and Voom looked about the same. Both images are soft compared to OTA HD. It is hard to do a really precise comparison since there is no way to pause either receiver, but I found some scenes where the camera and action was steady, and they looked indestinguishable in terms of artifacts. And in both cases, the actions scenes were very good. The only distinction was the overall sharpness based on the type of connection, as noted above.

3. More Voom software bugs. I was trying to look ahead in the guide to see when the Cinema channels change their movies (see 4. below), so I pressed the HD guide button, and then used the right arrow to advance to later hours in the day. Well, with each press of the right arrow button, it would display a different set of channels in the guide, arbitrarily skipping channels. It took me a while to figure out what was going on, but finally I realized, it's just crummy pre-production software that no one bothered to test before they shipped it. Anyway, the All Channels guide works fine, so that's what I used for the test below.

4. People have been asking how often they change movies on Cinema 1 through 10. On these channels they repeat the same movies over and over. I noticed there were new movies today, so I advanced through the guide (with the caveat of 3. above) to see when they change. They all change over at 3 AM PST (6 AM EST). So basically, you get 10 new HDTV movies a day. The other HD channels seem to have new stuff throughout the day, but I think Animaniacs and one or two others are repeating a lot of stuff.

5. I was excited to see that WorldSport had something new listed in the guide today other than Real Madrid Soccer and the Japanese World Series. It listed a football game between Yale and Columbia. When I tuned to the channel, it was Real Madrid soccer again. So, the guide is out of sync with WorldSport. Sigh.

Okay, that's it for now.

MediaGeek
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post #98 of 1193 Old 11-09-2003, 03:30 PM
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I would highly recommend V*, too. I went from 7 HD channels to over 30 HD channels overnight. I am like a little kid in a candy store. I have about 15 HD movies playing as once, and lots of other channels, as well. The picture quality is great, and the programming seems to be varied, but of course with some repeating. They change the 10 exclusive movies daily. They also have a deal to add Starz HD East and West once Starz puts their HD channels up.

Look, I know it is a lot of money, but any who can afford the investment financially should do it. It is a perfect compliment to any existing cable or satellite service. It also may be a good stand alone service once they go up to the promised 88 SD channels.

When V* is fully operational in February they are promising 39 HD channels and 88 SD channels. An offer I don't see how any HDTV enthusiast, like me, can turn down. And with the 30 day free trial you have nothing to lose if you don't like it. I am sure you will love it.

Scott
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post #99 of 1193 Old 11-09-2003, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by JimP
Can the current owners comment on the 10 HD movie channels. Are they playing the same ones over and over or are they changing them out.
I have posted a reply in the VOOM programming thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...97#post2903997

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post #100 of 1193 Old 11-09-2003, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gels
Go on Compromise and CAVE now and make us all happy and of course yourself.

You'll have sleepless nights until you CAVE in:)

My box is not going back for sure. I really do love the quality of the pics and it certainly beets D* on my Samsung.

Happy Caving In,

Geoffrey
Just caved, install scheduled for next Monday!


Boat name: Summer Compromise; Power train: twin 490 HP (w ATI Prochargers); A/V: sufficient
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post #101 of 1193 Old 11-09-2003, 04:34 PM
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Mediageek

I see none of the ringing using component outputs. I don't currently having a working scope, so I can't judge qualitatively. I wonder if D* and Voom pass through VITS multiburst on SD channels. If so, you should be able to sync up to it although it will be very faint on a standard scope. That would allow a fairly accurate measurement of how much detail is lost for the two systems.
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post #102 of 1193 Old 11-09-2003, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MediaGeek
1. It may be the case that my box is faulty since others have reported they don't see it, but I distinctly see significant ringing (visible as a 1- to 2-pixel "ghost" to the right of sharp edges) on the Motorola Voom. This is not noticeable on DirecTV's RGB or Dish's RGB or Component HD output. You won't notice this as much if you have the sharpness turned down on your display, but of course, you also won't get the full resolution of HD.

For an objective measurement, I hooked up a scope to the Voom Y output, and terminated it into a 75-ohm load, then sync'd the scope to a sharp transition on the Voom user interface graphics. There was very distinctive ringing. I did the same experiment with DirecTV RCA DTC 100's G output and an edge on the RCA user interface graphics. There is only slight ringing, as you might expect from any analog video signal at that frequency. So, for at least my Voom box suffers either poor analog engineering, poor analog testing, or both.

MediaGeek
MediaGeek, I have noticed the ringing on the graphical interface but not actual video material. I may be wrong, but I don't think the appearance of the graphics is necessarily indicative of how the actual programming will look. At least that's the case on my box via my 50" Fujitsu plasma. I have noticed that the DVI is slightly sharper than component, but it's not visible most of the time since, as you mentioned, it's really tough to get a scene on long enough to do a meaningful A/B test.

I"ve also not had the problem with moving ahead in time resulting in a different set of channels being displayed. Sounds like a bug in your box.
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post #103 of 1193 Old 11-09-2003, 05:02 PM
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If I try VOOM and it doesn't work out:

1. Do they just take back the box or do they yank the dish too?

2. If they don't yank the dish, can I use their dish for another satellite service?
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post #104 of 1193 Old 11-09-2003, 05:09 PM
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I would assume they pull everything.
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post #105 of 1193 Old 11-09-2003, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Compromise
Just caved, install scheduled for next Monday!

R O F L

Well Done:)

Compromise

Now you won't sleep waiting for it:)

Cheers

Geoffrey
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post #106 of 1193 Old 11-09-2003, 06:18 PM
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Does the VOOM box output HD-component and SD-Svideo/SD-composite simultaneously?

Thanks,

Mike
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post #107 of 1193 Old 11-09-2003, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MediaGeek
b. The black level on the Voom box needed to be brought up a bit. Otherwise, shadow areas would become solid black. After this adjustment, the contrast range of the DirecTV/Voom was comparable.
How do you know that it is the Voom box that is too dark instead of the Directv box being too bright? I believe the RCA DCT-100 is known to have an nonstandard output that is too bright.
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post #108 of 1193 Old 11-09-2003, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mkellyvich
Does the VOOM box output HD-component and SD-Svideo/SD-composite simultaneously?

Thanks,

Mike
Mike, the VOOM box outputs everything simultaneously, including DVI and component as well as S-video and composite.
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post #109 of 1193 Old 11-09-2003, 06:51 PM
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What is this TiVo trade in someone else mentioned? And speaking of TiVo, can a stand alone TiVo unit work with Voom now? Meaning, can it switch the Voom STB via its IR blaster and record the S-Video out?
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post #110 of 1193 Old 11-09-2003, 08:10 PM
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I have had the service for 24 hours and have had the box lock up 17 times.

Sometimes it happens when scrolling thru the mini guide (bottom of screen). Sometimes while navigating the full guide.

Several times when getting to channel 243.

The power off on the remote does not work. The power off on the box doesn't work either (does work for rebooting the system).

I'm in NJ but get my OTA from Philly. Channel guide has NY stations which is useless. At least let me enter the channel numbers manually. I don't even need them stored!! Although that would be nice.

I know several people on this list have gotten special attention from VOOM. Lets see how they deal with a "regular" customer like me. I have called them several times with the lock ups to no avail. They say I need to talk to Motorola and that they won't be in until Monday. They want me to call them back. You would think they could call me.

I hope they can fix this box soon. I sure do want the HD but not if I am rebooting 17 times per 24 hours. My wife just keeps on saying "how much did you pay for this?"
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post #111 of 1193 Old 11-09-2003, 09:01 PM
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To Ken Ross:

After a lot of waiting and setting up the right capture config, I was finally able to get some waveforms for live HDTV broadcasts on the component output of the Voom box from screens that were stable for a few frames that had crisp transitions. Most of them were from graphics at the start of movies (e.g. showing the ratings). And, there is no question, there is the same ringing that I'm seeing on the Voom user interface screens.

You can see it visually on the edges of objects in the movies. For example, notice on the right side of people's heads, if they are against a smooth backgound, you see a faint white line. Anyway, this testing is really tedious, so I'm done with it.

Also, I may have gotten my box into a weird state that caused the screwed up guide listings (I've been hammering on it for all of this testing). But, make sure that you are looking at just the HD channels when you do right arrow test. It works fine when I do All channels.

To Ed Barclay:

The RCA box needs a slight black level tweak, but the Voom needs a lot.

The way I determined this is by watching a lot of content, and finding scenes where there are dark areas that are all black. For example, today on ShowHD they had the movie Texas Rangers. The head ranger had a black shirt. On the RCA box, I could see shades of dark gray in the shirt. On the Voom box (before the black level adjust) it was just solid black.

I was concerned that the Voom box black level adjust was so great that it would compromise the contrast range. But it does not appear to, and once the adjustment is made, it has the same contrast range as the RCA (and Dish, for that matter) boxes.

On DVI, I have no complaints about the image quality, compared to other boxes. I wish the pay channels would devote more bandwidth to HD for sharper images, but Voom appears to be delivering the same HD quality as DirecTV and Dish.

MediaGeek
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post #112 of 1193 Old 11-09-2003, 09:27 PM
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Now that I have ordered VOOM, when it comes does anyone know about HDCP as it relates to this box? I have a Pio503, will it even display in DVI mode?

I am not running out yet to buy a Belkin DVI switcher, component will most likely be ok.

Regarding programming, my wife doesn't want to disconnect D* because we get the networks. It took four years to get her to drop the cable for the "local" network channels, and be satisfied with the national networks. Now I want her to go back to basic cable, so I can drop D* and she is laughing at me. (I say but you have to understand that basic cable is cheaper than "total choice is the minimum you have to have + networks for $40+/mo.) and antennas don't work here. Irony is dripping all over this.)

I hope this doesn't also become the wife: "how much did you pay for this box" as well as seen above with imaohw, but the box is coming.

Jeoffrey, what does R O F L mean, if you can say?

Also, does anyone think 169time could be added here?


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post #113 of 1193 Old 11-10-2003, 04:14 AM
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ROFL = Rolling On the Floor Laughing
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post #114 of 1193 Old 11-10-2003, 06:40 AM
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MediaGeek, yeah, I've looked for that ringing in the manner you described and I don't see it with my sharpness set to "0" on my plasma. The picture looks almost identical to the DVI output with the exception of a bit more detail in some scenes. As I mentioned, I DO see the ringing in the graphics but yet not on the graphics on the Weather Channel. It looks to me, at least in my setup, the ringing is limited to the graphics and not the actual programming.

I also tried the HD Only portion of the guide and can't get it to behave like you're describing. I'm wondering if you shouldn't request a new box and see if these issues disappear. I haven't seen anyone else report these behaviors. It might be a thought.

One thing I get that I haven't seen others comment on, is the periodic loss of DD 5.1. At times, no matter what channel I'm tuned to there is no DD, only Pro Logic. The only way to restore the DD is to pull the plug and reboot. I'm sure it's not on the transmitting end since the restoration of DD takes place each time I reboot the box.
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post #115 of 1193 Old 11-10-2003, 07:43 AM
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The reason for cutting off the top of upconverted standard channels is to avoid the transmission info. which takes up a visible amount of space on a 1080i display of upconverted 480i feeds.

Art Neill
a.k.a.
Mr. HiFi
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post #116 of 1193 Old 11-10-2003, 08:41 AM
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Sorry for the delay in posting this review, but it seems the only time I can do these things is at work (life is funny, isn't it?).

My installation was scheduled for Thursday, 11/6 from 8-12. I am located in Coral Springs, FL 33071 (a suburb of Fort Lauderdale). The installer arrived at 11 am (note to VOOM: have the installers call and confirm the day before so we know that we are still on schedule). He was a very nice guy, but very unfamiliar with VOOM. He had a set of step-by-step instructions for installers that he was following as best he could. The box he brought had everything in it (it was still sealed from when VOOM shipped it to them, so I know they didn't take anything out of it). Here's what was in the box:

VOOM STB
VOOM dish with mounting hardware
ChannelMaster Stealth 3010 antenna
New amplifier board for Stealth (ChannelMaster 30308)
Motorola 2 port diplexer module for back of STB
ChannelMaster 4032P - diplexer/combiner to diplex the signals
8VSB module (in a padded manila envelope)
Component cables
Long phone cable
Phone splitter
Remote w/batteries
VOOM welcome package

I showed the installer my current D* dish and setup and explained that I already had extra RG6 runs to my HT area and he just needed to mount the dish and bring the cable to my main coax junction in the attic where we would use barrel connectors and send the signal to the STB. He was amenable to this and went ahead and mounted the dish to the same pole my D* dish was on. He followed the D* cables into the attic and brought the feed to where it needed to be. From there, we just connected to the RG6 I wanted to use and we were all set. I already have an OTA installed and was going to use that. I had a hard time explaining why we didn't need to use the combiner/diplexer (he was trying to follow his instructions perfectly), but eventually he understood.

While he was tweaking the dish, I was installing the 8VSB module and plugging the STB in and getting it ready (BTW, the instructions clearly state to install the 8VSB module). Once the dish was aligned, we turned the box on and watched through component. The installer menu came up and we checked the settings and everything looked OK. The download was supposed to start after that, but it wasn't displaying anything on the screen. It was just a black screen. He looked at the instruction sheet and said "well, we did everything we were supposed to, but it's not working." I asked if I could look at the sheet and he agreed. There was one step that he missed: for setup, it said we should connect via COMPOSITE, not component. Once I did that, I saw the download screen and it was merrily chugging along. He left once he saw the download working.

The download took around 19 minutes and then the box restarted and said I needed to call VOOM for activation (the installer did this, but apparently the box needed to be hit again). I called and they hit it again and I was active.

So far, I like it a lot. The movie selection needs a little work with more variety, but everything looks great.

I haven't played with the OTA too much yet to comment on PQ, but all my channels are mapped correctly and I can get them all. I do wish we had manual scanning so I could add another DMA to my OTA channels. I called and asked VOOM if I could have another area mapped to my box and she said that it was not possible - only one per box.

The guide data took a short while to download after the initial install (it doesn't pull it on demand like D* does), but now all seems fine. I agree with the observation about the guide in 480i - it looks terrible. The text is unclear and it is generally a mess - something I think they could easily fix.

I will post some pics later this week of the box and the installer's instructions (I convinced him to let me make a copy of them).

Overall, I am very pleased with the HD channels (I haven't really touched the SD since I watch all of that with by DirecTiVos). The quality is spectacular, even with the limited content so far.

My favorite channel is MOOV (VOOM backwards). If you have seen Baraka or any of the Koyaanisqatsi movies, this is 24/7 of that type of imagery and music. VERY cool. :D
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post #117 of 1193 Old 11-10-2003, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrHifi
The reason for cutting off the top of upconverted standard channels is to avoid the transmission info. which takes up a visible amount of space on a 1080i display of upconverted 480i feeds.
I'm not sure what the above is referencing, but on many (most?) of the VOOM SD channels, there is are small black bars on the top and bottom where there shouldn't be any. This has nothing to do with hiding transmission info, it's simply something not properly setup at VOOM. You can watch the same upconverted SD channels on D* and see nothing like this. Of course there should be letter boxing right and left, but not top and bottom. Something is not right. In fact there are a few SD channels on VOOM where this is not happening, SPEED is one I can think of.

Hofstra, it's nice to see a relatively trouble free setup. Good luck and let us know what you think.
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post #118 of 1193 Old 11-10-2003, 01:17 PM
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Ken,

On my DWIN HD700 I squeeze the vertical field so that on my 96" wide screen I have the appropriate vertical dimension for a 1.78:1 image for HD OTA broadcasts. The 16x9 image fills up the horizontal space of the screen and the vertical space is black above and below the raster (picture). The full vertical raster is filled. When receiving OTA SD broadcasts with my DTC 100 and watching those through the RGBHV output, there is a space at the top of the raster taken up by sync pulses. This only occurs on only on SD programs from some stations, not all. I can eliminate these pulses by adjusting the top vertical blanking to cover the sync pulse area. I have noticed that some broadcasters cover the sync pulses while others do not.

When I send C-Band satellite SD programs through my HDD200's line doubler, and use its 1080i upconverted image the aforementioned effect never happens.

My WinTV card on my computer shows sync pulses when it receives (using its internal tuner) and dispays SD programs on my computer screen. SD programming from the satellite reciever's composite output fed into the card's video input shows no sync pulses.

The point of all this is that Digital encoding/Decoding is not an exact science yet when it comes to converting all that to an image on a real screen. One can always adjust the blanking if it bothers you too much. Conversely you can rescale the vertical and horizontal size to eliminate unwanted artifacts. That is what I do. Saves a lot of energy getting angry with the equipment. We must remember how NTSC progressed from 1948 to now.

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post #119 of 1193 Old 11-10-2003, 01:23 PM
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Ken regarding the unplug routine to get DD5.1---The Motorola HDD200 suffers the same fate. It often requires an unplug to get the 5.1 to work. I would have thought MOT would have gotten it right by now.

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post #120 of 1193 Old 11-10-2003, 01:36 PM
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Could one of you in direct contact with VOOM personnel ask them if the box will (or can be made to) handle multiple market sources for OTA. I live in a spot where my local "metro" area is one city, but I am close enough to two other cities to pull in their channels too. I'd really like to have it so that I can get the channel listings for all 3, not just one. I think many others probably have the same opportunity. Please ask and advise.
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