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Walmart US Digital STB Questions

post #1 of 1562
Thread Starter 
For anyone who has this OTA STB:

1. Does it output HD via component cables?
2. Does it output SD at the same time thru either S-video or composite?

What indoor antenna works well with it?

Thanks.
post #2 of 1562
1) Yes it does - and it looks great
2) I don't think so but I haven't tested. I will try tonight if I get a chance (Wednesday night her shows are on, so it is unlikely that any dinking with the TV will be accepted.)

I use the $50 Radio Shack amplified settop antenna and it pulls in all the local digital stations.

-Suntan
post #3 of 1562
Thread Starter 
The SD output is important to feed dvd recorder
post #4 of 1562
I have the box, feeding both component output (when I move the cables over from the cable HD DVR) and S-video. It works great. You can't drive BOTH the component and S-video/composite at the same time...you have to go into the setup menu and change it back and forth. But it's a fairly painless process, just a menu click or two.

When you set it up for S-video/composite, it'll feed either one. It should do what you need with no problems.

I have the same indoor antenna as the other person posting on this thread. The local digital signals are so strong here, I have to shut off the amplification. The antenna in question is sold at WallyWorld, probably found on the same shelf as the US Digital STB.
post #5 of 1562
I'd like to add that the USDTV firmware has been steadily improved over the past several months. The latest firmware "remembers" the user's aspect-ratio setting on a per (sub)channel basis. With the old firmware, chaning the channel would unconditionally revert to the default-aspect ratio (letterbox for 480i/S-video output)

The latest firmware also remodulates the ATSC closed-captions onto the S-Video/composite output. This lets you can turn-off the USDTV's "graphical captions", and then use your TV's closed-caption decoder. (Unfortunately, there's no way to determine the box's firmware just by looking at the box in the store.)

As others have noted, if you want to simultaneously record (to VCR/PVR/DVD-recorder) and watch HD, then the USDTV can't do it. The Sylvania SRZ3000 has simultaneous SD+HD outputs, but the component-output is 480i/1080i only. (The USDTV component-output allows you to choose 1 from 480i/480p/720p/1080i.)
post #6 of 1562
Thread Starter 
what's the website for the box maker?
post #7 of 1562
Quote:


Originally posted by telemike
what's the website for the box maker?

The box is made by Hisense in China. The set top box product page has the USDigital labelling on the box shown in the picture.
post #8 of 1562
I just stopped in my local Wallymart and couldn't find it. Is tuner a regional item?
post #9 of 1562
No it is being sold nationwide. Perhaps your store was out of stock?
post #10 of 1562
When I went looking for them last summer it was hidden on a bottom shelf somewhere and I had to ask for it.

- Tom
post #11 of 1562
The Walmart I bought mine at stocked them beside the antennas.
post #12 of 1562
Yeah, when I got mine it was sitting at the bottom of the "things thrown here because their is no good place for them" shelf. May require some snooping around. Both of the Wallys here had only one in stock so it is not unlikely that it was out of stock.

@ pcdvdguy

Would you happen to know what the latest firmware is or if their is a webpage that shows the changelog? Thanks.

-Suntan
post #13 of 1562
Quote:


Originally posted by Suntan
@ pcdvdguy

Would you happen to know what the latest firmware is or if their is a webpage that shows the changelog? Thanks.

As far as I can tell, http://www.usdigitalhdtv.com doesn't post any kind of detailed firmware information.

The software in my box is very new: USDigital software 2.5.61 (2.4.18-7)
I received this upgrade because I identified a (Los Angeles) market-specific problem. The San Diego and Los Angeles WB-affiliates (KSWB, KTLA) happen to use the same virtual-channel assignments (5-1, 5-2.) The older USDTV firmware wasn't capable of remembering both stations simultaneously (one would replace the other.)

The newer firmware is supposed to address this problem, but I can't test it right now. (It also has the other added-features I discussed earlier in this thread.) During summer-time, the high Southern California air-temperature (helped by LA's smog-levels ) allows some San Diego stations to 'propogate' all the way to Los Angeles. During the evening, I can occasionally tune both San Diego and Los Angeles stations simultaneously (with an attic Radio Shack UHF-antenna.)

I also asked USDTV to allow direct (physical) channel-changing via the remote-control (to get around this problem.) But I think they rejected that idea, since that would create a different set of support/troubleshooting issues.

There is one lingering issue with the latest firmware, and it relates to the system-clock. After an hour of "channel surfing", the STB loses the correct time. Thankfully, this only affects the "channel guide." And I can easily re-sync the clock from the user-menu. I think this problem is caused our local USDTV-broadcaster (KJLA/49) -- they need to set their clock to the proper time! (They're not alone -- another broadcaster forgot about Daylight Savings!)
post #14 of 1562
Quote:


Originally posted by Suntan
Yeah, when I got mine it was sitting at the bottom of the "things thrown here because their is no good place for them" shelf. May require some snooping around. Both of the Wallys here had only one in stock so it is not unlikely that it was out of stock.

Same here in Ohio. I think the "bottom shelf because we couldn't figure where else to put it" placement is the standard one.
post #15 of 1562
Hi,

I just bought this item as a Christmas gift for my brother. He's been whining for a long time that he wishes he could try and see what kind of HDTV programming/reception he can get in his home -- and then I saw the US Digital unit at Walmart and thought, "hey, this might make a good Christmas gift for him!"

My brother also has a Tivo (as do I!) and I'm wondering if it is possible to have the Tivo change channels on the US Digital Receiver so he could record off of it?

I'm also a little disappointed that it doesn't output to component and s-video/composite simultaneously. Is this a hardware limitation? Or can a firmware upgrade add this feature?

I think this is an important feature so that he can watch on component and record to a Tivo/VCR at the same time.

I'm wondering if I should try to find another receiver for him?
post #16 of 1562
Quote:


Originally posted by Mr. Stinky Pants
Hi,

I just bought this item as a Christmas gift for my brother. He's been whining for a long time that he wishes he could try and see what kind of HDTV programming/reception he can get in his home -- and then I saw the US Digital unit at Walmart and thought, "hey, this might make a good Christmas gift for him!"

My brother also has a Tivo (as do I!) and I'm wondering if it is possible to have the Tivo change channels on the US Digital Receiver so he could record off of it?

I'm also a little disappointed that it doesn't output to component and s-video/composite simultaneously. Is this a hardware limitation? Or can a firmware upgrade add this feature?

I think this is an important feature so that he can watch on component and record to a Tivo/VCR at the same time.

I'm wondering if I should try to find another receiver for him?

If you want more sophisticated output, you may want to look at the LG4200
post #17 of 1562
The SIR-T451 IS $250 at CC with a $50 rebate which make it about same
price as the USDTV. It outputs on both composite and component at same
time. Also has a DVI output. I have the LST 4200A myself and love it. It runs around $290 if you order it online from Cousins are Value Electronics.
post #18 of 1562
Can you use a Tivo to change channels on either the SIR-T451 or the LST 4200A?
post #19 of 1562
I'm interested in this US Digital box, also. But according to the USDTV web site, the service is not available here (Detroit area). Actually, I'm not interested in their service, but want to use this for OTA HD reception only.

Can this box be used just for OTA without registering with USDTV or signing up for their service?? I must assume so if Walmart sells them nation-wide.

Thanks.
post #20 of 1562
If you buy it at Walmart then yes, it will work fine with no subscription. But be very aware of the ones on Ebay that will NOT work that way, and are not properly listed. There are other threads about this scam.

- Tom
post #21 of 1562
Quote:


Originally posted by trbarry
If you buy it at Walmart then yes, it will work fine with no subscription. But be very aware of the ones on Ebay that will NOT work that way, and are not properly listed. There are other threads about this scam.

- Tom

Whoh, thanks for the heads-up!! I was thinking of buying one from eBay as a cheap way to get by until I can afford the HD Tivo.
post #22 of 1562
Quote:


Originally posted by Mr. Stinky Pants
Can you use a Tivo to change channels on either the SIR-T451 or the LST 4200A?

Don't see how unless there is some off the wall cable box code that would work on the STB. It would then only switch to the main channel not the sub channels even if you could find a code that would work. So for all practical purpose the answer is no.
post #23 of 1562
I am thinking about buying the US Digital HDTV Tuner/Receiver from walmart and using the vga input on my InFocus 4800. Anyone have any experiance with that set-up?
post #24 of 1562
The USD box has:

* Composite video output. (This is a standard RCA cable.)
* S-Video output. (A standard S-video cable.)
* Component video output. (The standard three RCA cable setup.)

It also has standard analog (RCA) audio output and a digital audio output for DD5.1.

If your InFocus can do any of the above, you're in business. If not...nope.
post #25 of 1562
Quote:


Originally posted by Inundated
The USD box has:

* Composite video output. (This is a standard RCA cable.)
* S-Video output. (A standard S-video cable.)
* Component video output. (The standard three RCA cable setup.)

It also has standard analog (RCA) audio output and a digital audio output for DD5.1.

If your InFocus can do any of the above, you're in business. If not...nope.

Yep, the 4800 has s-video and component via VGA. Audio would go through the reciever.

What I was getting at, is how good does the USD work? Can it pull in a signal, or does it drop signals often. I am looking to get an OTA HDTV reciever and cancel my cable subscirption. I mostly watch DVD's (not that much tv), but would like to get a good picture. Right now, without cable, analog tv is snowy and fuzzy. If I could get a HDTV picture over the air, I would be set.
post #26 of 1562
Just bought new panny 53x54 and looking for OTB. Going crazy trying to find the best box for the $$$.. Read reviews on LST-4200A, Zenith HDV420, Sylvania SRZ3000, Panasonic TU-DST52 and now I read about the Wally USDTV for $198.00. Will only be using for OTA channels.

Was looking on ebay and most of them are selling for close to retail with the exception of the Sylvania which doesn't have the 720i.

I'm leaning towards LG LST-4200A which I can get for $279.00 delivered.

Any opinions, reviews of above or others would be greatly appreciated....
post #27 of 1562
Quote:


Originally posted by doogiehowser
Yep, the 4800 has s-video and component via VGA. Audio would go through the reciever.

What I was getting at, is how good does the USD work? Can it pull in a signal, or does it drop signals often. I am looking to get an OTA HDTV reciever and cancel my cable subscirption. I mostly watch DVD's (not that much tv), but would like to get a good picture. Right now, without cable, analog tv is snowy and fuzzy. If I could get a HDTV picture over the air, I would be set.

Pick up a USDTV from Walmart and try it out if the picture is great then you
can alway return it and do a step up to a better STB. CC has the SIR-T451 for $250 with a $50 dollar rebate which makes it about the same price and it has gotten great review and it has a DVI ouput plus a QAM tuner.
post #28 of 1562
Yeah, receiption wise I have no complaints (obviousely ymmv based on a lot of factors) the only dropouts I have experienced are due to the channels being fubar-ed on the distribution end.

Channel surfing speed is good enough and PQ looks great. The only issue I see with it is the remote receiption.

By all means run to the local Wally World and try it out.

PS. the one from Walmart works fine for free OTA, you don't need any form of contract with USDTV to use it. Stay away from the ones on Ebay.

-Suntan
post #29 of 1562
went to wallyworld and sure enough as another poster said, it was in the antenna section for $198.00
No display model. From looking at the picture on the box of the connections and remote I can't see where or how you change the outputs from 480/720/1080?

Any one know how this is done, manual switch on rear, remote?

Thanks
post #30 of 1562
I started with this box when I first purchased my HD capable TV a month ago. The picture is fantastic - no complaints.
However, it was buggy. Trying to scan for channels often resulted in the unit locking up completely. It seemed very picky about some low-strength signals and seemed to be unsure what to do with them.

I finally returned it and got the LG LST-4200A. It blows the USD box away in terms of features and interface. I can't decide if the picture is quite as good as the USD though...

And with our sky-high local sales tax (9.25%) - the LG was less than $60 more.

I have not come up with any ideas of how to get my Tivo to control it. But my locals come from antenna now - and a good analog signal still looks better than the 480i signal from the LG. So this isn't a problem.
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