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Which Digital converter box should I buy? - Page 2

post #31 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo View Post

The above linked material confuses the ability to tune ATSC/HD signals with reproduction/copying of HD material in its original quality to recordable media (DVDs).

I still don't think it's a legal issue. All the articles I've read on the subject refer to it being a DVD limitation (not a HD format), no mention of legality (seems that would come to the forefront), and there are mentions of companies developing HD-DVD and recordable Blu-Ray devices but that the DVR market competition strangled their marketing efforts.

No offense but your articles are clear as mud, I'm not a lawyer, and don't have time to pour through them.
post #32 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonLoaf View Post

It might not be a waste. I was of similar opinion when I lucked upon a free Panasonic CT-34WX54 on craigslist. When I hooked up my Zenith DTT-901 I was taken aback by the PQ. I wish I could bring people in as an experiment just to see how many think the picture is HD; I am betting it would be over 90%. I guess with the line-doubling on this set I am getting the equivalent of 480p EDTV, but never have I seen a 480i picture look so good.

Check out a similar set-up if you have opportunity, you may be surprised.

Thanks guys, this is good for me to know. Maybe the signal processing on these TVs is that good. And would be a huge improvement anyway over my current oooold TV.

Dragon, have you tried the s-video from say a DVD player?

I don't have a Zenith but the ConsumeReports gang claim it's one step below PQ of the CM and Zinwell, all on composite:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/e...es-ratings.htm
post #33 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floydage View Post

Thanks guys, this is good for me to know. Maybe the signal processing on these TVs is that good. And would be a huge improvement anyway over my current oooold TV.

Dragon, have you tried the s-video from say a DVD player?

I don't have a Zenith but the ConsumeReports gang claim it's one step below PQ of the CM and Zinwell, all on composite:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/e...es-ratings.htm

At the time (mid 2008) there was much discussion at the Consumers Union Forum and at the AVS Forum concerning how CU botched their test criteria and arrived at those ratings. Some time later CU removed all the discussions in their own CECB Forum, Digital TV Transition--Getting Ready:

http://discussions.consumerreports.o...r-0403eltelevi

As linked in the earlier post CU left their original summary ratings in place.

There was more reliable and informed reporting found in the thousands of AVS posts from actual owners/users of the various CECBs.

Some of the AVS Forum posts critical of the Consumer Reports reporting are found in this thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...4#post14037954
post #34 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo View Post

At the time (mid 2008) there was much discussion at the Consumers Union Forum and at the AVS Forum concerning how CU botched their test criteria and arrived at those ratings.

As linked in the earlier post CU left their original summary ratings in place.

Interesting. The latest link I posted is dated as a March 2009 revision and I noticed there were no comments about reception performance, which I suspect was a difficult parameter for them to fully test in a 'fair' manner (of which genre I noticed when I glanced at a few of those AVS posts). Were there issues with their PQ comments?
post #35 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo View Post

Any DVD recorder with a digital tuner can be used instead of a CECB. Last month I purchased a Magnavox digital tuner ZV450MW8 VHS/DVD recorder through Craig's List for $20. The digital tuner works well for viewing OTA stations and the DVD recorder works well recording those stations. This ZV450MW8 is programmed to record from various local stations almost daily. The VHS mechanism "eats" videotapes so this recorder is not used to play or record videotapes. I suppose I should place a strip of tape over the VHS slot to prevent VHS use by another family member.

I used to have a DVD recorder. It worked ok, until it started to pause on its own while i was recording. That and I couldn't watch any of the dvd's I recorded on any of my dvd players, even my computer. So we pawned it. I've been recording OTA (usually The Late Late Show on CBS) on my Hitachi VCR in EP. Even on an old tape, it still looks and sounds pretty good.

I'd suggest going around the thrift stores, pawn shops, and the like. You could get a really good used VCR these days since a lot of people are upgrading to DVD recorders and junking their "obsolete" equipment after they transferred their VHS to DVD.
post #36 of 45
As far as using it as your main tuner, you can't delete subchannels with the Funai (Magnavox, Toshiba, etc.) recorder's ATSC tuners, like you can with standalone tuners.

That can suck if you live in a big market like mine, which has loads and loads of virtually useless and/or crappy subchannels that you have to flip through.

I'm pretty sure you can at least do it with the Panasonic recorder's tuners, though. Don't know about all the rest.

In that case, I wouldn't recommend something like a Funai DVD recorder to watch all of your TV through, unless you don't have a lot of or mind flipping through the subchannels.
post #37 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by SycamoreSeej View Post

I used to have a DVD recorder. It worked ok, until it started to pause on its own while i was recording. That and I couldn't watch any of the dvd's I recorded on any of my dvd players, even my computer. So we pawned it. I've been recording OTA (usually The Late Late Show on CBS) on my Hitachi VCR in EP. Even on an old tape, it still looks and sounds pretty good.

I'd suggest going around the thrift stores, pawn shops, and the like. You could get a really good used VCR these days since a lot of people are upgrading to DVD recorders and junking their "obsolete" equipment after they transferred their VHS to DVD.

Lucky pawn shop.

Try SP mode, the PQ gets even better but you only get 2 hrs out of a 120 tape.

Really sweet if one can find one of those SVHS VCRs although I heard it's hard to find SVHS tapes. But there are E (?) models that can use regular tape but still provide better PQ.
post #38 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

As far as using it as your main tuner, you can't delete subchannels with the Funai (Magnavox, Toshiba, etc.) recorder's ATSC tuners, like you can with standalone tuners.

Ugh!

Do you know if the output of DVD recorders with ATSC tuners is true HD (i.e. not upconverted) when in monitor mode?
post #39 of 45
Nope - strictly 480i output. I believe you can at least pass through the incoming signal to your TV's tuner with some of them, though. They claim so over in the Magnavox threads, anyway.
post #40 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post
Nope - strictly 480i output. I believe you can at least pass through the incoming signal to your TV's tuner with some of them, though. They claim so over in the Magnavox threads, anyway.
I suppose that makes sense from an economic POV since they would probably need an HD video processor in addition to the 480i downconverter(?)/video processor. Hmmm, I wonder if they use some of the same chipsets as the converter boxes? My hope was that there was an all-in-one 480i/HD chip.

Pass-through would be nice based on your info about the inability to delete subs.

Other than recording capability, all this takes away from my desire to use a DVD recorder as an ATSC HD tuner for an ATSC-tunerless but HD-capable widescreen CRT. And with the sub/delete issue I might as well use my converter box. At least you get upscaled DVD video.
post #41 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floydage View Post

Lucky pawn shop.

Try SP mode, the PQ gets even better but you only get 2 hrs out of a 120 tape.

True. I've had the Hitachi FX621 VCR for years. i recently dubbed a dvd to vhs for my wife in SP. Played it back afterwards and I must say that there's little PQ difference between EP and SP on this VCR. Maybe unless I hook it up to an HDTV.
post #42 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by SycamoreSeej View Post

True. I've had the Hitachi FX621 VCR for years. i recently dubbed a dvd to vhs for my wife in SP. Played it back afterwards and I must say that there's little PQ difference between EP and SP on this VCR. Maybe unless I hook it up to an HDTV.

Sounds like a great one! I have 3 (a nice Sony and run of the mill Toshiba and Hitachi) and they all look noticeably better on SP using the TV's composite input; on RF/coax less so. I accidentally recorded in EP mode the other day - so fast it was difficult to forward through the commercials and not go too far. Trigger finger required.
post #43 of 45
Speaking of playing back recordings, I just discovered* a better way to fast-forward through commercials: look for the annoying station insignia to determine when to hit play as I've never seen a station display it during commercials; easier than looking for the program, esp when they sneak in commercials that look like the program.

*I may be a little slow in my discovery.
post #44 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floydage View Post

Speaking of playing back recordings, I just discovered* a better way to fast-forward through commercials: look for the annoying station insignia to determine when to hit play as I've never seen a station display it during commercials; easier than looking for the program, esp when they sneak in commercials that look like the program.

*I may be a little slow in my discovery.

I usually try to hit play during the local commercials. They usually have a couple before it goes back to the network feed.
post #45 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by SycamoreSeej View Post

I usually try to hit play during the local commercials. They usually have a couple before it goes back to the network feed.

Indeed, very perceptive.
Or I would hit play when the station would do its own little commercial (news, etc.). Worked well until they started sneaking one in midway of the commercial break. It's like they know what we're trying to do so they keep changing the game.

My Toshiba VCR in the bedroom makes it tough, has a several second audio delay after hitting play.
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