About DD5.1 - Most of the movie channels output 5.1, depending on the material, and I think the CBS and ABC primetime lineups are in 5.1 too. At this time (8:00PM) Showtime is showing "Nurse Betty" and ABC is broadcasting their "Disco" thing, both in Dolby Digital. Check your reciever's audio mode for that input and make sure it is set up for DD5.1, and also (chuckle) don't connect it to the yellow composite connector.
If your digital audio is dropping out, that is a known BUG for the SA3100 box. Usually this happens when the threshold drops too low in the reciever and it has too many correcting errors. The main corrective action is to channel away and back again (another reason to get a different box). As for changing from digital to analog sound, my reciever has auto sensing inputs that switch from analog to digital to DD5.1. As far as analog channels with analog audio, there is no A to D conversion on any box, so analog channels will always have analog audio on any system.
About HDPVR Beta Testing - Currently, the testing for EOD (Entertainment On Demand) is going to be finished soon. This allows you purchase shows, movies or events and play them back at your leisure for 24 hours with full VCR/DVD funtionality. The HDPVR has been pushed back closer to summer pending availability from Pioneer and Scientific Atlanta (see previous post about Pioneer Voyager HDPVR) BTW, the $350.00 price for the HD reciever was a guess, based on rumors, but nothing is known yet.
About Local Digital - I dropped the dish to get local channels, because I never knew what was going on locally, Then I moved and my house was situated where I was going to have some problems getting a line of sight w/o mounting to the street side of my house. I hope Diablo's 30 day covers Superbowl! ABC has all but Guaranteed it to be broadcast in HD and all available programming starting that Sunday. ( www.ktnv.com
) As of now, they have not been broadcasting HD yet, just converted digital.
About HD On 4x3TV - Many TV's now have mode changable aspect control to view HD in fullscreen mode. It would be nice to have on the STB like the Pioneer, but HD as a standard is supposed to 16x9 anyway... All of the HD channels except Discovery and PBS are available as SD on their respective analog channels, this is how you would view "downconverted" HD material via the s-video port. Only the component port has enough bandwidth to show the HD stream.