March Tampa Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 127 Old 02-28-2002, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Welcome to the March Tampa Thread!!!

February was a good month for Tampa as TWC finally got the Scientific Atlanta HD cable boxes in and were able to start installing these in Hills. & Pinellas counties. And who can forget the terrific NBC coverage of the Olympics - cheers to Mark Schaefer (chief engineer) at WFLA Channel 8.

We will be having a March HD meeting/Happy Hour - we are checking out a place today and will soon post if this place is suitable for our next gathering.

There's lots of Antenna experience in the prior month's threads... you can review those here: January February

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post #2 of 127 Old 02-28-2002, 10:47 AM
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Enjoyed all the great posts and advice since joining the forum thread in Feb. Great place to share ideas. Thanks for the update.

Since it looked like I wouldn't be able to get up to Tampa area till next week to go to Dows Electronic, I ordered a Channelmaster 4228a from:

http://www.warrenelectronics.com/antennas/4228.htm

47.51 + 13 Fedex ground shipping or so - seems reasonable.

maybe I will now be able to get the elusive WTSP-DT 24 all the time. Will report back on how it does compared to the RS DBT and the Winegard GS-2000 (which because of it's aerodynamic qualities may be boomarang material...)

PS (off topic) Jaymer:
Hoping Bobby Robson pulls off the Premiership this year - I have been a Robson fan since his days with my team (Sporting Lisbon)
quite a while back.
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post #3 of 127 Old 02-28-2002, 03:48 PM
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Was curious if anyone else is running a Tivo with the SA 3100HD box and using the digi coax output for the digital stations and a analog& digital feed to a receiver? I m having a weird problem with the video when running through from the TWC SA 3100HD to the TIVO...then audio is not matching up with the video! Anyone else experience this problem???:o
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post #4 of 127 Old 02-28-2002, 05:50 PM
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Well ... I think I,m going to give the 3100 back to TWC :(
I just watched Vertical Limit on HBOHD - DirecTv in 16:9 / 1080i and it was great. Switched to TWC HDHBO and got 4:3.
Also they stopped the test channels so the locals aren,t there anymore. I can't see paying my hard earned money for that ... I guess I'll keep paying for DirecTv.
Oh well ... maybe down the road they'll get a clue. :(
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post #5 of 127 Old 02-28-2002, 06:13 PM
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I had my Explorer 3100 tuned in to HD-HBO during Vertical Limit, as well (background video and noise while I was reading the latest Chile Pepper Magazine - watching that movie once is more than enough). It was definitely 16:9 for the duration of the movie here in Lutz.

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post #6 of 127 Old 02-28-2002, 07:56 PM
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ScottAllyn - It was definitely 16:9 for the duration of the movie here in Lutz.
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millerman101 - is it possible the headend in Lutz is outputting different than North Pinellas ???
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post #7 of 127 Old 02-28-2002, 08:08 PM
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bdh, possibly but i doubt it...they are off of two different NOC'S...your out of Brandon, and NOrth pinellas is out of Fortune.. not sure but TW does everything pretty much the same division wide as programming goes.. I only have 4:3 tv with HD SO Mine will look different than yours... Havent even seen the local test stations yet as I just got my box 2 days ago..
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post #8 of 127 Old 02-28-2002, 08:27 PM
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BDH33761, this doesn't seem likely, but is there any chance you tuned into the regular digital HBO rather than the HD one?

I had a bit of a brain fart along those lines today when I tuned to HDHBO and the screen went black - I thought the box was either fried or that TW was mucking with the channel. Tuned to HDSHO and got the same thing. I was getting frustrated when it finally dawned on me that I was on the svideo input and not the component input. Heh. Oops.

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post #9 of 127 Old 03-01-2002, 03:24 AM
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My pansonic has 2 component inputs. I have my DTC100 on cmponent 1 and the 3100 on component 2. I'll try switching them this evening when I get home but I suspect no difference.

My set (I should say my STB) will show all didital content with black bars on top and bottom. OTA local digital has Black bars on top , bottom left and right, i.e. 14:9. When they broadcast 480p widescreen or 1080i, I lose the left and right ...but never the top /bottom. i.e. 16:9. The 3100 stretches the picture to fill the top/bottom but the bars remain on the left and right ... then there was last night when Vertcal Limit just filled the whole screen (no bars top, bottom, left or right.

While the 3100's clarity is much better on the HD channels, stretching the picture defeats the purpose.

Maybe I'll call TWC for another box
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post #10 of 127 Old 03-01-2002, 03:56 AM
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BDH, your post had me scratching my head a bit until it dawned on me that you have a 4:3 ratio television (PT-51HX40 right?). Now I understand what the problem is and your previous posts regarding the stretching make sense to me now, as well.

The 3100 is expecting a 16:9 television, despite the fact that there's a "widescreen" and "normal" setting in the menu - that setting doesn't appear to change a damn thing.

Time Warner isn't stretching the digital broadcasts before sending them out and the 3100 certainly isn't stretching them after receiving the broadcasts. Your problem is that the 3100 is not able to COMPRESS the image vertically like the DTC100 can in order to fit your 4:3 television properly.

Unless someone knows of a way to setup the 3100 for a 4:3 television, I fear you're SOL. :(

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post #11 of 127 Old 03-01-2002, 04:24 AM
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But then again... shouldn't it be the 4:3 television that compresses/squeezes the HD broadcast so that it comes out in the correct ratio? I haven't actually seen a 4:3 HDTV in action before, but it's my understanding that they all have that squeeze feature.

Maybe it is a problem with your inputs. Maybe the squeeze is only done on the input being used by the DTC100 and the second input just displays the unaltered video, which would look stretched on a 4:3 screen. Either way, it's not a problem with TW stretching the image - it's something right there in your setup.

Must get coffee...

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post #12 of 127 Old 03-01-2002, 08:20 AM
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BDH, I have a 4:3 HDTV...the HD Broadcasts I have to watch in component input, anything else I have to watch with either S-video or composite so they fill my entire screen! But if I leave on composite and watch non-HDTV broadcasts my screen of 36'inches looks like a 25' Tv...
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post #13 of 127 Old 03-01-2002, 09:19 AM
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bdh, what Tv are you using..?
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post #14 of 127 Old 03-01-2002, 01:37 PM
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I just got the 3100 from twc, and it's hooked to my Pioneer 510 widescreen tv. I can compare it to dish and over the air, and the twc picture is slightly inferior in my mind.

Also, it seems I have no way of watching the non-hd channels in anything other than 4:3. I have it connected to either s-video or the component, it doesn't seem to matter. It seems as if the video is always output to the compnent out, locking my set in full. The twc rep says that they did it that way on purpose because their research showed that most of the hd sets sold were 4:3. I find that hard to believe.

Anyone know how I can get around this?
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post #15 of 127 Old 03-01-2002, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by aschuman
I just got the 3100 from twc, and it's hooked to my Pioneer 510 widescreen tv.
.......

Anyone know how I can get around this?
You can try connecting the s-video out to another input that is not being used. When you want AR control, switch to the s-video input.

Good Luck,

Mike
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post #16 of 127 Old 03-01-2002, 01:59 PM
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I'll have to double check my setup, I may have the s-video and the component into the same input. if the 3100 outputs both all the time (does it? ), then I suppose the set would prefer to pickup the component.

if it does output both, that may be a plus when it comes to recording, if I can get the input configuration right.
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post #17 of 127 Old 03-01-2002, 02:43 PM
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ScottAllyn - Maybe the squeeze is only done on the input being used by the DTC100 and the second input just displays the unaltered video, which would look stretched on a 4:3 screen.
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Scott you are correct ...it is the PT51HX40. You may be on to something in regards to the DTC100 doing the compression. It is the only thing that makes sense so far in dealing with this problem. There is no way to get into the menu of the TV to change anything. So I may be sol. To bad ... My dtc100 produces a great picture. So I guess I'll keep it. I still have yet to switch my inputs. I'll try later

Great forum ... thanks for all the input.
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post #18 of 127 Old 03-01-2002, 02:52 PM
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BDH, yea... the DTC100 is a decent STB - I have one for OTA myself.

I wish Time Warner would open up the test channels to us so I could compare the 3100 to the DTC100 for the locals and hopefully retire the DTC100. I have just one high def input on the television and it's a drag swapping back 'n forth between the two boxes.

Let us know what you find when you switch inputs.

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post #19 of 127 Old 03-01-2002, 03:16 PM
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for all the gripes i have over content (hbo cropping movies to 16x9, test channels locked out after a three day tease, etc...) i think the 3100 does a great job.

i connected it as if i had two seperate conponents in it, the s vid and analog audio to one input, and the component to another with digital audio out to my reciever.

it as a piece of hardware has fully met my expectations.

now lets get some more programing on!

(oh and yes, it outputs to both component and svid all the time.)

'Till next time
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post #20 of 127 Old 03-01-2002, 03:35 PM
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Rich, when HDHBO displays a 2.35:1 film in their standard 16:9 format, it's not always cropped - they must be yanking the mattes.

I've noticed a number of films now where the HDHBO presentation seems to have more video information than the 2.35:1 DVD. Where we should be seeing black bars, we're seeing video.

3000 Miles to Graceland is an example. I had the DVD sync'd up perfectly with HDHBO and I'm pretty sure HDHBO had the same amount of video on the left and right and even more on the top and bottom.

It's still now showing the film as the director intended, but at least they're not always zooming.

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post #21 of 127 Old 03-02-2002, 09:36 AM
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I thought I would update you on my antenna situation. I never got great results with the RS double bowtie so I purchased an RCA ANT3020X antenna from Home Depot for ~$35. This is designed to be mounted outdoors or in the attic.

I placed it in my attic and now get all networks at > 80 signal strength w/ no dropouts. My two story townhome is near I75/Bruce B. Downs.

David.
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post #22 of 127 Old 03-02-2002, 10:49 AM
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Ok, first time post to the Tampa thread. BTW, whoever came up with this idea thanks.

I live in Westchase, and was just wondering how you guys are able to pick up your TWC HD box's. I know most of these people emailed TWC, but is that the only way to get one? Also, where or who did you email?

It is good news that TWC is getting so close to releasing this to the general public, but is it worth waiting on that or would it be better to get a sat dish, and OTA decoder?

Thanks in advance,
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post #23 of 127 Old 03-02-2002, 10:53 AM
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blackcatt, what i have been hearing they have run out of the first batch of boxes and waiting for Sa to deliver more... i work for TWC iin hillsborough and thats what i heard on Friday.
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post #24 of 127 Old 03-02-2002, 10:58 AM
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Millerman,
Thanks for the info, now how does one get on the waiting list? :D

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post #25 of 127 Old 03-02-2002, 11:00 AM
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you know thats a good question, most people I think just called customer service and had them selves put on a waiting list...i just got mine 3 days ago..but i live in pinellas ..
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post #26 of 127 Old 03-02-2002, 11:05 AM
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When did you put your name on the waiting list?
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post #27 of 127 Old 03-02-2002, 11:08 AM
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I didnt..im a employee and pretty much just had to wait until pinellas side of TW had the boxes prepared..they just released them over there last week and just started installing some to customers.. no waiting list for employees.
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post #28 of 127 Old 03-02-2002, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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blackcatt - welcome to the tampa thread!
There's been a waiting list for well over a year... ScottA put his name on the list back in 1999.

here's my take on the 3100HD.

1) if you are REALLY set on watching a series (sopranos, etc.) in HD, then you need the box. THIS IS MY CASE - I'm willing to pay per month to have ONLY the Sopranos in HD - a bit eccetric perhaps but I'd also like to see band of brothers in HD and 5.1

The sporadic widescreen OAR movies broadcast on HBO are hard to tune in when you can watch (ie. some HD movie comes on at 1:30 in the afternoon... uhh, I'm at work!), so there's really no benefit I believe in getting these crappy upconverted movies.

2) if you cannot receive OTA locals, then you need the box (soon, they'll have locals)

3) if you are getting locals via OTA, then you only need the box if #1 applies.

4) if you can receive OTA and you want to record OTA (like I do), then the box isn't for you even if they add locals (because you can't record anything except analog via svideo) unless #1 applies (but this is the same for a Satellite as the OTA locals via 8VSB are recordable with a HTPC)

anyone else have reasons?

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post #29 of 127 Old 03-02-2002, 01:00 PM
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blackcatt -

At this point I,m pro sat / ota with the dtc100

It has not let me down yet :)
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post #30 of 127 Old 03-02-2002, 02:57 PM
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I dont know if anyone is getting the TEST CHANNELS that wasnt..but i happen to check and they are there except for one of them..!!!
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