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The Sony HD300 Is Here - First Impressions - Page 2  

post #31 of 697
The SAT-HD300 is also supposed to have a new "all native" variable mode. Can any one elaborate on what variable modes are available and what the output formats are?

One feature I really like about my SAT-HD100 is the Variable mode that outputs 480i native, 480p native, and 1080i for 1080i/720p sources. The SAT-HD200 upconverted 480i to 480p which gave me nice looking scan lines. I actually prefered the Sony DRC upconvert to 960i over 480i sources. That's why I still have the HD100.
post #32 of 697
can you comment on how the dual output looks? I ordered a samsung t160 to find out it crops the top and bottom of the picture when output in 480i mode. I want to use the dual output to record to my panny dvd recorder.
post #33 of 697
JFERG

Please tell me whats changed in the ATSC tuner section (aside from some integration)? Both the SAT520 manual and the LSS3200A manual claim the ATSC tuner is 4th generation tuner technology. The Zenith press release from earlier this year talking of the SAT530a nd HDV430 claimed a new "high gain" tuner. So, where are we?




Quote:
Originally posted by JFerg
The HD200 and HD300 do not share the same tuner.
post #34 of 697
Quote:
Originally posted by JFerg
Resets WILL happen! Until you local broadcasters provide stable and correct PSIP, it WILL HAPPEN. Also, you are at the mercy of D* and any updates/changes they make to the APG. However, the new STB does have a larger NVRAM and will saved custom settings to it.

Quote:
Originally posted by XFactor
I never have a problem with resets on my Sony HD-100. My HD-200s often have problems (including one that is not connected to an antenna). Although many of the problems may very well originate from the broadcaster, the STBs need to be more forgiving and stable.
I also question the statement that "resets WILL happen!". I now own the HD 200 and I do have frequent resets. Prior to owning the HD200 I owned the RCA 38" display with a built-in HD OTA and D* tuner. The tuner has the ability to hide channels and create a custom guide. I had it for 2 1/2 years. I then gave it to my dad. In the 3+ years it's been in use in the Sacramento area (using it as an OTA and D* tuner) the tuner has never reset and the customs setings have never been lost! Why are you so insistent that it is the local channels and D*'s fault..................... and until they correct their problems the resets "WILL HAPPEN". It does NOT happen with all brands of tuners.
post #35 of 697
I picked my HD300 up Wednesday afternoon at Anderson's Big Screen TV in Redwood City, CA for $649.99 (plus tax).

A couple of comments:

Even when tuned to a wide-screen HD broadcast, the SD output to both the S-Video and Coax was excellent and very watchable. I haven't detected any cutting off of the top and bottom of the picture (a Samsung problem mentioned in one post).

The HD300 works with my 5040 ReplayTV box. (The IR Blaster works well when attached near the far right end of the mirrored front panel. The serial cable will not work). I'm currently running HD (1080i) to my 42" Plasma screen; SD (S-Video) to my ReplayTV PVR; and SD (Coax) to a second TV in another room. I don't know if a Tivo can control the HD300.

As previously mentioned, the channel guide ALWAYS defaults to a list of ALL possible channels. The manual claims this is a built-in feature--so you won't miss any new channels added to your service. Stupid! Now, you need 4 button pushes (instead of just 1) to bring up your "Custom" list of the channels you actually receive. The "Favorite" button on the remote can pop up your list of favorite channels, but it is just a quick channel changer with no program info.

The HD300 lost my OTA channel list shortly after setting up the receiver. Of course, I was screwing around with settings and connections. Since then, no crashes or any other problems.

Compared to the Samsung TS160 I was using, Sony's HD300 is definitely a superior product. It's a keeper!
post #36 of 697
I have seen reset issues with Sony HD100, 200,Zenith 520, and Comcast S/A 3100HD stb

on my HD300- I have gone a record 24 hours with no reset: looking at ATSC and DSS

resets DO happen- but they are unacceptable as far as I am concerned: if they have to happen, you should not have to reprogram all your settings
post #37 of 697
Quote:
Originally posted by markrubin
I have seen reset issues with Sony HD100, 200,Zenith 520, and Comcast S/A 3100HD stb

on my HD300- I have gone a record 24 hours with no reset: looking at ATSC and DSS

resets DO happen- but they are unacceptable as far as I am concerned: if they have to happen, you should not have to reprogram all your settings
Mark: You say resets " DO happen".( Note your emphasis on DO). Did someone say they don't happen? My point was that I never experienced resets with my RCA which has been in my family for 3 years and I have had terrible problems with resets and the HD200. XFactor says he never had resets with his HD100. My only point was that the reset problem does not seem to only be the local stations and D*'s fault........ as was suggested by JFerg. There are units that never reset and so the following statement by JFerg's is misleading at best.

"Resets WILL happen! Until you local broadcasters provide stable and correct PSIP, it WILL HAPPEN. Also, you are at the mercy of D* and any updates/changes they make to the APG."
post #38 of 697
I meant to make a distinction- resets DO happen:

they should not/do not HAVE to happen

leave it to DSS, ATSC, Comcast et al to figure out and resolve THEIR issues- this should NOT be our problem: it is their problem: and it is up to them to RESOLVE IT

we should not have to suffer resets or be told it is not their fault: we should report these issues to the forum for resolution
post #39 of 697
Okay here is my take:

I got my HD300 setup last night. My setup is a 51 inch Sony HDTV using the DVI cables with a PIII dish and a Terk44 OTA antenna.


First impressions were good. This being my first HD receiver I cannot really compare it to anything else other than my SD receiver. The setup was very quick and easy and the feel and use of the user guide and IPG was nice. It includes DVI, component, s-video, rca and RF connections which is very nice!!

Now on to the bad:

First: Something that has already been mentioned is that you cannot set the custom guide to be the default guide that opens when you hit the guide button on the remote. My older Sony SATB65 does this fine so the reason that they didn’t want you to miss any new channels from D* is just an excuse for this oversight. The favorite channel is not really a substitute for this problem as it can only hold 50 channels and not the entire list of “filtered†channels that you have in the custom guide. This is a very annoying feature

Second: The picture preview in the IPG frequently gets distorted. By distorted I will use this example. If any of you have ever seen a computer monitor that is on its last legs and is just about to go bad you will know what I mean. There are scan lines that get compressed together into one big mess on either the left or right of the preview picture leaving a small slit to see the see the remaining view of the channel. Other times the colors become out of alignment where for example the red color scan will be way off base from the green. When this happens is kind of looks like a RPTV that has the convergence totally screwed up. The fix as I have found is to close the IPG, change channel away and back again and then open the IPG. This may be related to the aspect ratio that is used at the opening of the IPG but I have not been able to narrow that down.


Third: System crashes & resets. I first setup the unit on Friday 8:00 pm

Friday 9:30 pm Crash 1: After having the system running for about 1.5 hours I opened up the IPG from a digital OTA station. I then moved through the guide to HDNM and click on it so select that channel. The unit then appeared not to respond so I tried to select it again but found out that it was indeed frozen and not responding to any commands from the remote. About 10 seconds later I heard the system shutdown and next saw the startup screen indicating is was building the channel list.

Saturday 4:00 pm Crash 2: I was in the process of using the IPG to determine what was causing “problem number 2 (see above)â€. I was moving between channels in the IPG. I left the IPG up on a digital OTA channel to stop for a minute and lookup something in the manual when again I heard the system shutdown. It again rebooted and when into the adding channels screen.

Saturday 4:45 pm Crash 3: I was in the IPG currently previewing ESPNHD and decided to move to HDNET and select it for viewing. After I highlighted, but before I selected it, I heard a click and saw that the receiver was powered off. There was no display on the front LCD and the powered off/standby light was on. BUT there still was a picture of the IPG on the monitor’s screen! From the remove I tired to power the unit on but it would not respond to anything (I guess it the only thing is should respond to is a power on since it was in effect turned off, but the fact that the IPG was still on the screen AND the preview channel was still active and showing a current picture had me second guessing). I walked over to the receiver and click the power button but nothing happened. Next I hit the reset button which, then cleared the IPG and preview from the TV monitor and looked to be starting the restart/power on process I had seen twice before. But, this time it just simply reset and keep itself powered off without going through the adding channel list. I then proceeded to power it on again from the unit itself and this time it came up and did the whole adding channel list thing and powered up.


Now, I should add that there was no common channel or source for which these 3 crashes occurred. One was only on digital OTA, one was going between digital OTA to D* and the other was between D* and D* channels. Now to anyone that says that “resets will happen because of the providers and sources†I say this. I work in programming and one that this is completely unacceptable are errors that would cause ones hardware to fail. Errors should be trapped and handled in such away as to eliminate any “system shutdownsâ€. Even if the error isn’t know there are ways in which one can trap for “unknown errors†and depending on severity the can be handled in different ways, which do not include shutting down the entire system. Now the disadvantage we as programmers have the LG doesn’t is that we didn’t write the OS and in the case of electronics the OS and functionality are really build into one software package (or firmware). I believe the crashing I have been seeing is totally unacceptable! I am also completely disappointed as I held off on for over 2 months from buying an HD receiver because I was under the impression that the stability issues in the first 2 generations of the STB had been/or should have been resolved in this latest edition. I mean common they had 3 iterations to get this thing right.

So now I ask a question to you all. Being that this is my first HD receiver I am wondering if or when a firmware upgrade will be provided to correct these critical bugs? What has been the procedure in the past? I know with my old Sony SD receiver, in the 3 years I have owned it I have received 1 firmware upgrade and that it came after the box was 2 years old. Are we expected to wait 2 years for an update or am I being foolish in thinking an upgrade will even come? What are you thoughts?


On the positive side to all this, I should add that during my 3 crashes in less than 24 hours, the custom channel list & and favorite channels were all retained and available when the receiver finally recovered. Also, all timer events were retained so there does not appear to be any problem with the system remembering any settings.

-S
post #40 of 697
welcome back!!!

I have two HD300's operating- one since Thursday

No crashes or reboots noted so far

note I do not use the guide very often

I use ATSC and DSS with oval dish
post #41 of 697
I wouldn't do anything right away, S, just give it a few days to see if it stabilizes.

Although possibly irrelevant, I've had similar experiences with a Tivo unit, once when I first got it and again when I gave it to my ex. It would inexplicably freeze up and quit responding to the remote, with various other symptoms thrown in, for the first few days or weeks after activation, then settle down and become dead-reliable.

I have the HD-200 and it's only done this once since I got it 3 months ago.

Early HD-200s and Zenith 520s had a number of issues when first released, as have practically every HT STB on the market so far. What with the various ways local stations can screw up our boxes with bad psip data and such it's virtually impossible for box mfgs to prepare for every eventuality. A software update sent out over D* was issued a few months after these boxes were released, mine came with it from the factory.

I had much more frequent freezeups and odd problems with a Hughes clone box I used for almost 2 years before getting the HD-200, and found that unplugging it for 10 minutes or more, forcing a complete reboot was the only way to clear things up.
post #42 of 697
Thanks Steve. I think I will do as you suggest and sit tight for a while. At least until others out there have had time to use and review this box. I haven't ruled out that I got a lemon, but only time will tell.

I have to say it's frustrating to drop $700+ and have problems in less than 24 hours
post #43 of 697
Quote:
Originally posted by sonofjay
I have to say it's frustrating to drop $700+ and have problems in less than 24 hours
I just got mine hooked up early this afternoon. This is my first HD source. I am delighted with the picture quality. I have really put the HD300 through the paces as far as menu selection and changing channels is concerned. (knock on wood.)

The manual cautions against stacking the unit with other devices. (heat build-up) Does yours have plenty of ventilation?

Gary
post #44 of 697
Quote:
Originally posted by gmshoemaker
I just got mine hooked up early this afternoon. This is my first HD source. I am delighted with the picture quality. I have really put the HD300 through the paces as far as menu selection and changing channels is concerned. (knock on wood.)

The manual cautions against stacking the unit with other devices. (heat build-up) Does yours have plenty of ventilation?

Gary

Actually, yes it does. I haven't even put it in the stand yet. It is still sitting on top all by itself with only a DVD player underneath it. (I guess I couldn't wait to get it hooked up) :)
post #45 of 697
first problem noted: HD300 stopped responding to remote control- would not tune ATSC channels:

hit reset button- reset OK

:(
post #46 of 697
Quote:
Originally posted by markrubin
first problem noted: HD300 stopped responding to remote control- would not tune ATSC channels:

hit reset button- reset OK

:(
Mark were you in the IPG when this first happened? Or did you simply change channels to a new ASTC channel without the IPG and this error happened?
post #47 of 697
I was not using the IPG at all-

just switching between ATSC and DSS
post #48 of 697
I was told I was the first one to pick up the new HD-300 at in Scottsdale. The truck arrived while I was waiting at Showcase and they handed it to me straight from the truck! This was last Friday (the 3rd).

Upgrading from the HUGHES I've had for over a year. The HDTV picture is cleaner, sharper, more stable, less line jitter, has a TINY bit more color saturation and the picture looks even a little bit more solid. The improvement in picture realates to both Sat HDTV and OTA HDTV. All of these are small improvements however overall adds up to a better looking picture.

I don't know if there is any differences in color temps between receivers, however skin tone looks a tiny bit better to me and blue skys looks better (bluer or a tiny bit more saturated). And I'm talking about small differences in color improvments overall.


I now have the HUGHES in my bedroom hooked up to my 40 inch NTSC picture tube, Now I also have "DVD" quality from OTA on my older NTSC set with most of the digital signals.
post #49 of 697
I got mine hooked up Friday night. All went well and i have not had any crashes----yet.

Back in July when i had an HD200, i could reliability receive our local PBS-DT on ch8. Now the screen is full of pixelation. i turned the antenna to peak the reception, but it's still a pretty low signal. I don't remember ever reading the signal strength on the HD200--i so i can't compare. Nor have i contacted the station yet. not a good sign.

Last winter when i had a Sammy 160, i had severe pixelation during the graphics of MNF from our local ABC-DT (ch13). Yesterday while watching the ABC football game, i never saw any pixelations. good sign so far.

3 things which disappointment me:
1. the Guide not defaulting to the last used---which everyone is complaining about.
2. the lack of OSD regarding the display formats. I know this is a set and forget type of control. My 300 is in a rack behind me. I gotta turn around and look to see where the setting is---- and if you were using the RF remote and your gear were in a closet---you would really have a problem.
3. the RGB/DVI or Component switch is still on the rear---plenty of room on the front panel.

otherwise the pix is outstanding. i think clearly better than the 160, and as good or better than the hd200. The TN/Aub football game on ESPN-HD was stunning. HDNet is awesome as always.

ron
post #50 of 697
Anyone else notice that when watching a program and then pushing the "guide" button, that the audio cuts out for a second or two? It also cuts out again when you push the "exit" button to return to the program you were watching. I find this annoying. None of my previous D* satellite boxes did this, including the HD200.

Also, the guide appears very small when accessing it while watching ESPN HD. This is the only station where I have noticed this.
post #51 of 697
Quote:
Originally posted by phiwalker
Anyone else notice that when watching a program and then pushing the "guide" button, that the audio cuts out for a second or two? It also cuts out again when you push the "exit" button to return to the program you were watching. I find this annoying. None of my previous D* satellite boxes did this, including the HD200.
Yes mine does this as well.

Quote:
Originally posted by phiwalker
Also, the guide appears very small when accessing it while watching ESPN HD. This is the only station where I have noticed this. [/b]
I too ran into this but it does but in my experience it is not channels specifc. I think is a bug of some sort. Here's the part of my post above:

"Second: The picture preview in the IPG frequently gets distorted. By distorted I will use this example. If any of you have ever seen a computer monitor that is on its last legs and is just about to go bad you will know what I mean. There are scan lines that get compressed together into one big mess on either the left or right of the preview picture leaving a small slit to see the see the remaining view of the channel. Other times the colors become out of alignment where for example the red color scan will be way off base from the green. When this happens is kind of looks like a RPTV that has the convergence totally screwed up. The fix as I have found is to close the IPG, change channel away and back again and then open the IPG. This may be related to the aspect ratio that is used at the opening of the IPG but I have not been able to narrow that down."

-S
post #52 of 697
Mine locked up today. Entered "73-Enter" on remote (ESPNHD) and all I got was the banner page and a black screen, no sound. No buttons worked on the remote or on the receiver. After about a minute the reciever shut down, "wait" appeared on the receiver display screen, then the unit powered back on, and then created the channel guide which took about 2 minutes or so. I did lose my custom channel settings. I never had any lock up problems with my HD200.
post #53 of 697
Is it possible for a Sony model to have problems and the LG model not - or is there no hardware/software differences at all?
post #54 of 697
I will ask my LG contact to ship a few LSS3200A's overnight so I can post my results with a dealer demo card and my residential TC Plus w/the HD package account set up on 2 IRD's.
post #55 of 697
Getting back to "The Sony HD300 Is Here - First Impressions", here are mine.

First, to put this in perspective, I am upgrading from an old Sony A4 to the HD300. Maybe most folks here have had a HD receivers before so that might explain all of the nitpiks. For those who are new to this technology, perhaps another perspective is in order.

I love it! I still don't have an 3 LNB dish (Next Saturday), but I am getting ota HD and EDTV. ahhhh, much better. The HD picture quality is fantastic. The menus are very nice. I like having the pip screen while channel surfing and the information is complete and well laid out.

I had originally planned to learn the remote to my MX-700 URC and use IR, but given the WAF consideration I am thinking better of it. (The RF feature on the remote means wives can look at the remote while pushing buttons, (while remote is pointed at the floor) and you don't have to explain why she is missing the IR sensor. :)) The remote is logically laid out and very intuitive to use. (My wife asked how to use it and I handed it to her without explanation. She figured it out (mostly) in a few minutes.)

The simultaneous 480i output is great. I output this to a modulator to channel 50. This means that if anyone can continue to watch a movie (or other programs) in any room by dialing to channel 50 on any tv in the house.

I researched this purchase fairly well. The pleasant surprise is how good directv SD looks. I am not sure why, but the colors are more vibrant, the whites seem whiter and the black seem blacker. (This is on my HS10, things look fairly normal on ordinary tvs.)

Ok, I have a few nits to pic too. This was not a surprise, but I really would have liked to have had IR and RF simultaneous. This would allow me to use the universal remote for tweaking and my wife to use the HD300 remote for changing channels. Also, the remote allows setting up factory codes for things like amps, VCRs and DVDs. My AV receiver was not on the list. A learning ability for amp power on and volume control would be nice to have on the HD300 remote.

I may have other comments after I get the new dish and HDTV package, but I have to say I am very impressed with this receiver. It is candy for the eyes and a pleasure to use.

Gary
post #56 of 697
Quote:
Originally posted by gmshoemaker
This was not a surprise, but I really would have liked to have had IR and RF simultaneous. This would allow me to use the universal remote for tweaking and my wife to use the HD300 remote for changing channels.
Hey, what? Can you clarify this? I was planning on using the HD300's RF remote in the bedroom and my MX-500 IR remote in the living room, where the unit will reside. Are you saying this won't be possible?

Dangit...
post #57 of 697
Quote:
Originally posted by etsolow
Hey, what? Can you clarify this? I was planning on using the HD300's RF remote in the bedroom and my MX-500 IR remote in the living room, where the unit will reside. Are you saying this won't be possible?

Dangit...
The HD300 is IR "OR" RF, software selectable. There are work-arounds, but life would be so much easier if there were a menu choice for "Both".

Gary
post #58 of 697
Well, that's annoying. What are these work-arounds you speak of?
post #59 of 697
Quote:
Originally posted by etsolow
Well, that's annoying. What are these work-arounds you speak of?
There are IR extenders that convert and broadcast the IR signal to a recever that retransmits the IR signal remotely. You might try the Remote Control section here at AVS for some real experience in this.

I am beginning to think I should have gotten a MX-800. It does both.

Gary
post #60 of 697
Oh, those work-arounds :D

Yuck. Is there a technical reason that the HD300 couldn't do IR and RF simultaneously? Maybe in a later firmware revision??
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