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post #451 of 11178 Old 05-06-2005, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Don't forget too that DirecTV will eventually have locals in HD without the need for an OTA antenna. That may not happen in 4 months, but I'd bet it will happen sooner than expected and I assume subs in Maricopa will be able to get the Phoenix channels. There actually hasn't been any new info lately on this subject, at least not that I've seen.

Cheers, Dave
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post #452 of 11178 Old 05-06-2005, 06:05 PM
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Very good point, Dave, I totally forgot about that.

Rich
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post #453 of 11178 Old 05-06-2005, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I only mention it because with summer reruns coming, there is not much need for OTA, IMO anyway, and DirecTV might have locals in HD in time for the fall season. I know Phoenix isn't included in the first round, but I've got to believe it will be in the second round. Maybe Joshua has seen the latest schedule for rollout of locals in HD.

Cheers, Dave
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post #454 of 11178 Old 05-06-2005, 06:31 PM
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I have had Dish Network for the past 5 years or so and like it alot. I am dying as I stay with the in-laws while my house is being completed all they have is cox and no DVR!!! All the programming is 1-2 hours later or I can't even find the show at all. I hate cox cable (though I love the HS Internet).

As far as Dish Vs Direct won't the locals be of lower quality coming from any satellite provider vs an OTA antenna.

I will be living in "Rancho Eldorado" and my potential setup was going to be the DVR921 as my HD Receiver and Recorder (as far as I know it will also receive and record OTA HD, please correct me if I am wrong). Two other standard recievers through the rest of the house and a antenna for the OTA HD. I am looking for feedback from those that have already moved to Maricopa as to whether I will need something like the Zenith Silver smaller antenna or if I will need an attic mounted one? Maybe someone has tried both and knows the signal differences for that area.

Anyway thanks in advance for the info!!


Jesse
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post #455 of 11178 Old 05-06-2005, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jesseawilson

As far as Dish Vs Direct won't the locals be of lower quality coming from any satellite provider vs an OTA antenna.
Jesse

Directv is coming out with MPEG4 for locals, which is going to be HD in it's finest form, supposedly much better than OTA, which is very, very good. So you wouldn't need an external antenna.

So in my estimation, that is a very good reason to go with Directv, but that is up to you.

But yes, the Zenith Silver should work for you, depending on any obstacles in the way......check out antennaweb.org to find out what kind of antenna you require.

HTH,

Rich
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post #456 of 11178 Old 05-06-2005, 07:27 PM
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It listed me as Red-Medium Directional. What type of antenna are the refering to, a roof top?

I just checked out the Direct TV deals, for the same three room system with HD/DVR on the main TV and standard on the others they want ALOT versus Dish network wich is Free. Did someone here find a better deal then that or is that pretty much standard.

Jesse
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post #457 of 11178 Old 05-06-2005, 07:40 PM
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When Directv comes out with their MPEG4 (HD) for locals, there will be all new STB's for this format, so who knows what the prices will be. But yes, the HD Tivo box is quite expensive, but the best out there.

You might want to check out the reviews here on this forum about the DVR921, they were not so good when I last check on them.

Rich
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post #458 of 11178 Old 05-06-2005, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by sytyguy
Directv is coming out with MPEG4 for locals, which is going to be HD in it's finest form, supposedly much better than OTA, which is very, very good. So you wouldn't need an external antenna.

I don't want to get in an argument about the PQ with MPEG-4, but it will certainly allow DirecTV to provide either better quality, more HD channels, or both, though a lot will depend on what they actually do with it. If they simply use it to fit in more channels, like the HD locals, then PQ might not be much, if any, different than it is now, it would simply be the same content in a smaller package.

I also don't want to argue PQ, but almost every post I've seen, including those from folks who have all 3 (OTA, Cox, and DirecTV) say OTA is the best, Cox a close 2nd, and DirecTV 3rd. Of course, I suspect the PQ is not all that noticeably different unless you really look for differences. Most folks would probably be hard pressed to see a difference unless they were able to do side-by-side comparisons on the same TV. Oftentimes, perceived PQ differences relate more to the different equipment/settings than they do to the content itself. Then, too, I think you'd be hard to convince me that the PQ for ABC-15 OTA is better than the PQ for Cox Channels 721 INHD, 722 INHD2, or even 723 Discovery-HD.

Cheers, Dave
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post #459 of 11178 Old 05-06-2005, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
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If you go strictly on price, Dish is probably the cheapest alternative to OTA, even more so with the added VOOM channels. Depending on total services though, arguments can be made that cable can be cheaper than either Dish or DirecTV, especially when you throw in HS internet, telephone, DVR, and multi-room services, though I don't know what is offered by cable in Maricopa.

I don't know about the 921, but there is no doubt that there is something to be said for the HD Tivo inspite of it's high cost. Mind you, I wouldn't buy one because of the initial and recurring costs, but it is by far the most useable. I've also read past negative reviews of the 921, but I haven't kept current and don't know if problems have been fixed or not. Like with the SA8300HD that Cox offers, I suspect you can work around any defficiencies in the 921 unless they actually make the device unuseable and I doubt that is the case.

Cheers, Dave
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post #460 of 11178 Old 05-06-2005, 08:36 PM
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Well they have a 922 out now, so I am not sure if the problems are fixed or not. Could you link me to a thread or two or do you know of any of the problems personally? I do know from past experience that the Dish Networks DVR is the most user friendly and handy digital recorder I have used. So I am assuming it's not the DVR aspect of it that is the problem.

Cox is not an option in Maricopa, it's some small hole in the wall cable provider. So if it comes down to a Free dish network system and at the most a $65 Roof top antenna VS a $1000 Direct TV system, it seems like a no-brainer to me.


Thanks again for all the input and taking the time to answer my questions.



Jesse
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post #461 of 11178 Old 05-06-2005, 08:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by jesseawilson
Cox is not an option in Maricopa, it's some small hole in the wall cable provider. So if it comes down to a Free dish network system and at the most a $65 Roof top antenna VS a $1000 Direct TV system, it seems like a no-brainer to me.

I certainly can't argue with that.

I found a 921 thread, but the last posts appears to be from January.

I also found a 942 thread, but don't know if your 922 was a typo for the 942 or not.

My guess is that you could get some current info by posting a question in either of these threads.

Cheers, Dave
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post #462 of 11178 Old 05-06-2005, 11:04 PM
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Thanks!!! I have been impressed with the prompt, polite, and informative responses to my questions. I look forward to being an ongoing member of this forum.


Jesse
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post #463 of 11178 Old 05-07-2005, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by sytyguy
Directv is coming out with MPEG4 for locals, which is going to be HD in it's finest form, supposedly much better than OTA, which is very, very good...

If one were to accept that statement one would be led to believe that MPEG-4-delivered HD locals from DBS would have better PQ than current MPEG-2-delivered HD. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth, and the opposite will more likely be the case.

In the first place, MPEG-4 H.264 has no inherent PQ advantage over MPEG-2, all else being equal. What's more, there is no way that MPEG-4 could ever be better than or even as good as the original signal it is encoding, and in the case of locals, the signal will begin life (as far as DBS vendors are concerned) as OTA MPEG-2 broadcast in SMPTE310 format. Extracting the bitstream and converting it to a different encoding scheme (MPEG-4) can only increase the total concatenation errors, meaning it might be able to approach the quality of OTA HD, but it can NEVER be actually as good or better.

If they were to decode/decode using the same exact MPEG-2 algorithm, there would be no added concatenation, meaning bottom line that MPEG-2 distribution over DBS has the potential to match OTA HD, while MPEG-4 does not. But that does not mean that MPEG-4 locals will be VISIBLY inferior to MPEG-2 locals on DBS, it WILL be inferior, but not significantly so.

For non-LIL HD on DBS raw video may be encoded directly to MPEG-4, but what determines ORIGINAL encoding quality is the original signal quality and most importantly the profile and level used, which is very similar to the profile and level used for MPEG-2 OTA HD. In that case, the quality level can match MPEG-2, but still never exceed it, all else being equal.

The sole advantage for DBS delivery of MPEG-4 is its coding efficiency, which even if taken advantage of wisely will result in the same PQ, but will allow transmission of more channels and recording of more content within the same hard drive space.

All of this is unimpeachable scientific fact, and not mere opinion.

HD and HD distribution "in its finest form" is HD that is encoded at the recommended profile and level (virtually all is), allowed to maintain proper bitstream levels, and not manipulated by intermediary codecs. A good example is FOX OTA distribution, where the bit rate is about 14.5 Mb/s and the signal remains in pristine ASI format until it is muxed and formatted for SMPTE310 locally, a process that has no losses or added artifacts. The only thing wrong with FOX HD is that they add null packets allowing transitional elements (cuts) to occasionally pixellate a bit, and some of their original content is from 16mm film and looks noisy because of it. Other than that, and when the source material is pristine, OTA HD from FOX is about as good as it gets.

There's no place like 127.0.0.1
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post #464 of 11178 Old 05-08-2005, 05:20 AM
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TomCat,

Thanks for the informative update.

Note to self: Always say, 'this is what I heard'.

Rich
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post #465 of 11178 Old 05-08-2005, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by TomCat
Other than that, and when the source material is pristine, OTA HD from FOX is about as good as it gets.

I don't know that I really want to get this started, but this is the only part of the statement I have trouble with. Of course, the "pristine source" caveat could make it true no matter what and you did say "about".

And then too, even within each network, PQ varies greatly from program to program, so I assume you are talking more to technical aspects than to what I actually see with my eyes.

Cheers, Dave
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post #466 of 11178 Old 05-09-2005, 12:33 AM
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I say KPHO has the best PQ and that they also take HD viewer input in making their PQ even better. Sorry KSAZ! Thanks Damon!!

"With the advent of high-definition television, home viewers will see actors with extreme clarity and detail. Thus they will demand the stars of "Sex and the City" change their names to "The Golden Girls." -Conan O'Brien, In The Year 2000: Ted Danson Edition-
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post #467 of 11178 Old 05-09-2005, 12:35 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by DoubleDAZ
I certainly can't argue with that.

I found a 921 thread, but the last posts appears to be from January.

I also found a 942 thread, but don't know if your 922 was a typo for the 942 or not.

My guess is that you could get some current info by posting a question in either of these threads.

The 942 is the successor to the 921. You can "lease" a 942 for an upfront fee of $250 plus a monthly rental fee and if I remember correctly you are locked into a 1 or 2 year contract with E*.

"With the advent of high-definition television, home viewers will see actors with extreme clarity and detail. Thus they will demand the stars of "Sex and the City" change their names to "The Golden Girls." -Conan O'Brien, In The Year 2000: Ted Danson Edition-
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post #468 of 11178 Old 05-09-2005, 02:27 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by TomCat
Other than that, and when the source material is pristine, OTA HD from FOX is about as good as it gets.

My only real problem with FOX right now, is that they are doing something in the transition from commercials back to programming that is causing one of my receivers to lock up.

And since Murphy's Law rules in these situations, it is my recorder that is affected, so I've had recordings hang and missed the end of the program. For instance, I missed _House_ last week due to this problem.

On the minor irritant level, I get a lot of audio stuttering during commercials on FOX. Of course, I don't really care about the audio quality during the commercials. But it is so bad that I worry about the possibility of blowing a tweeter.


Heh, did anyone notice that the KNVX actually had the dialog properly centered (and some of the tinnyness seemed to go away) for part of one segment of _Desperate Housewives_, last night. Unfortunately, it was screwed up again after the next commercial break.
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post #469 of 11178 Old 05-09-2005, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mac The Knife
Heh, did anyone notice that the KNVX actually had the dialog properly centered (and some of the tinnyness seemed to go away) for part of one segment of _Desperate Housewives_, last night. Unfortunately, it was screwed up again after the next commercial break.

It seems like it's that way for me most weeks a least the tinny sound seems to go away for part of the show.

As far as FOX goes, I don't have a problem with them at all. I just believe CBS still has the best HD PQ overall, though there are certainly "some" shows on ABC, NBC, and FOX that are just as good or really close; Desperate Housewives, Lost, and Las Vegas come to mind.

Cheers, Dave
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post #470 of 11178 Old 05-09-2005, 06:38 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Soundmaster10.2
I say KPHO has the best PQ and that they also take HD viewer input in making their PQ even better. Sorry KSAZ! Thanks Damon!!

Yeah, I'll give you that. My statement could have been more representative of what I was actually thinking than what I actually said. I was actually speaking of the delivery chain, which right now the best technically is probably the FOX network (I wasn't speaking specificaly of KPHO or KSAZ, both of which seem to do their part in this pretty well). Content PQ is kind of a separate issue, and I agree that some of the stuff on CBS, including sitcoms and dramas, blows everybody else out of the water. They get the nod in that respect. Some of FOX's 16mm transfer HD is pretty lame. I did qualify with "when...pristine", after all.

There's no place like 127.0.0.1
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post #471 of 11178 Old 05-10-2005, 01:11 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by DoubleDAZ
...
As far as FOX goes, I don't have a problem with them at all. ...
.

But you're not OTA Dave, so your issues, or lack there of, are not pertinent to us OTA folks.


[edit: Just kidding, of course, in case you missed the wink emoticon.]
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post #472 of 11178 Old 05-10-2005, 04:49 PM
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Mac, no need to be sorry, we all give Dave hell for being on cable and he gives it right back to us OTA/DirecTV viewers. When it is all said and done it all equals itself out...

"With the advent of high-definition television, home viewers will see actors with extreme clarity and detail. Thus they will demand the stars of "Sex and the City" change their names to "The Golden Girls." -Conan O'Brien, In The Year 2000: Ted Danson Edition-
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post #473 of 11178 Old 05-10-2005, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, Mac, I saw the emoticon.

But, just for discussion sake, doesn't Cox gets it's FOX and other feeds OTA? If so, then shouldn't I see some of the same problems you all see, accounting for differences in STBs of course? Also, my comment was geared more toward TomCat as I didn't want him to get the idea I had any specific issues with FOX.

Cheers, Dave
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post #474 of 11178 Old 05-10-2005, 05:46 PM
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No worries. Most of the time I'm happy to get any idea at all. I try to be an equal-opportunity poster, and there really is no particular allegiance to FOX or anyone else.

There's no place like 127.0.0.1
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post #475 of 11178 Old 05-11-2005, 01:35 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by DoubleDAZ
Yes, Mac, I saw the emoticon.

But, just for discussion sake, doesn't Cox gets it's FOX and other feeds OTA? If so, then shouldn't I see some of the same problems you all see, accounting for differences in STBs of course? Also, my comment was geared more toward TomCat as I didn't want him to get the idea I had any specific issues with FOX.

I know KPHO sends there SD and HD feeds to Cox via fiber...

"With the advent of high-definition television, home viewers will see actors with extreme clarity and detail. Thus they will demand the stars of "Sex and the City" change their names to "The Golden Girls." -Conan O'Brien, In The Year 2000: Ted Danson Edition-
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post #476 of 11178 Old 05-13-2005, 04:24 PM
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Hey everyone, I'm new to all of this but have been trying to do my research. Here is my situation:
My fiance and I are moving to Phoenix (Near Paradise Valley Mall) in July. I am about to buy a Mitsubishi WD-52525 TV. I am debating back and forth between Cox and DirecTV. Everything I read, says DirecTV's quality is better, which is very important to me. But functionality and simplicity (for the wife) is the most important aspect. I don't ever want channels to "not work" because I have a bad signal. I am pretty confused because it looks like even if you get DirecTV, you still have to get an antenna to get local channels. So if I want to watch a football game on ABC and my antenna isn't picking it up, could I still watch it in SD through DirecTV, or am I SOL? Do you still need an antenna with Cox? How noticable is the quality difference between Cox and DirecTV? Also, I currently have TIVO and am wanting to keep using it. It doesn't have to be in HD, but it seems that going with Cox's DVR will be much simpler and cost effective compared to DirecTV's $999 device. I'm just really confused over everything because I am about to buy this great TV but don't want to be frustrated all the time with not getting a good signal or certain channels. Any help would be greatly appreciate.

Thanks,
-Brandon
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post #477 of 11178 Old 05-13-2005, 04:40 PM
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brandonb,

I have Directv, and I used to receive the locals from them, but found that OTA was so much better, that I got rid of locals with D*. It probably is cheaper going with Cox due to hardly any outlay of cash for a DVR, which they will rent to you for a nominal price. I currently have Tivo and mainly because of it I will stay with D*. The SD channels with D* are much better than Cox, IMHO, however, most everyone says the HD channels are better with Cox.

Check out this site to see if you can receive all the locals, antennaweb.org

HTH,

Rich
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post #478 of 11178 Old 05-13-2005, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Brandon, ask 20 people and you will get 20 opinions.

Until DirecTV gets Phoenix local HD channels up and running ("expected" later this year/early next year) you will need an antenna and PV has a lot of hills to perhaps foil your OTA reception.

As for PQ, I don't know what you are reading, but OTA is generally considered the best, cable a close 2nd, and DirecTV 3rd, though personal opinion says you'd be hard pressed to see a real difference given the same equipment, etc., and I don't think PQ is the thing to worry about because they are all so close. Since DirecTV's locals are OTA and their analog channels are digital, that could be why you read DirecTV PQ is better. Then too, different channels produce different results. A lot of folks think DirecTV's new satellites and move to MPeg-4 will reduce their compression needs and increase PQ, but much of the new bandwidth is going to put HD locals up throughout the country.

My take is that you have nothing to lose trying cable first since there is no commitment and you don't buy any equipment. But, the cable DVR is no Tivo, has no Wish List, etc., but it records 2 programs of HD and lets you watch a previously recorded program at the same time making timeshifting a complete night's primetime schedule a breeze. And, it costs significantly less than the HD Tivo. You should note that there are rumors the HD Tivo will only be $699 soon (still too much for my money).

The other advantage to cable IMO is getting high-spped internet and telephone service with cable to give you a $15.90 bundled discount, something to consider when pricing all services.

The only other thing I can think of is that only DirecTV offers NFL ST, if that is a deal-breaker for you.

Cheers, Dave
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post #479 of 11178 Old 05-13-2005, 10:12 PM
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Thanks for both of your responses.

sytyguy - How do you have your TIVO and DirecTV hooked up? I was confused on this because I knew I would hook an HD DirecTV reciever through HDMI and if I hooked the TIVO up through this I would lose a lot of quality. Or, I thought I could hook the TIVO up seperately, but wasn't sure if it would work or thought it might be a pain having to switch to the TIVO source if I want to pause TV or record something.

DoubleDAZ - That's a good point, trying the Cable first since there are a lot less sunk costs involved. However, one of my concerns is similar to what you mentioned. I am graduating(tomorrow) from the University of Oklahoma. I want to make sure I will be able to see EVERY game. I know with DirecTV you can purchase a game plan package or school package that gives you every game, but I am not sure if Cox can do the same thing. This is actually my most important criteria. Also, doesn't DirecTV offer a lot more channels in general?

Thanks again,
-Brandon
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post #480 of 11178 Old 05-14-2005, 04:11 AM
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Brandon,

In Surprise, I have the Series 2 Tivo connected via S-video, and the audio via composite from the HD STB, and it is also connected to the TV via DVI to be able to view the HD content from D* and OTA. The Series 2 Tivos enable you to connect to a network via wired or wireless adapter, which then enables you to upload anything you've recorded to your computer, and then burn it to a DVD, although it will not record/view HD content.

In Nevada, I have the Directv HD DVR, and that's connected via HDMI.

HTH,

Rich
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