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Walmart US Digital STB Questions - Page 2

post #31 of 1562
Quote:


Originally posted by noeffort
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?

On the remote.

Menu > Setup > Set Video Mode

Your options:

- Composite/S-Video
- Component 480i
- Component 480p (HDTV)
- Component 720p (HDTV)
- Component 1080i (HDTV)
post #32 of 1562
One other note: if I remember right, I think the USD box comes out of the gate expecting an SD set. There's a way to get it to talk to the HDTV set, it's in the manual you can download here:

http://www.usdigitalhdtv.com/manual.php
post #33 of 1562
Hi Jag,

Looks like I'm going the same path you went, - plan on buying the USD and see if I get any stations in my area. If I do I will return it and buy the LG-4200A.
Any idea what generation chip in the USD? Seems all the highly rated boxes have 4th generation with 5th due out early next year.

Do you leave the format on 1080i for all stations are do you have to change this setting?

Can get it for LG for $279.00 delivered. USD will cost me $212.00 with tax.

I'll post how it works out for me.
post #34 of 1562
I believe (he said, talking to himself) that the USD is a 4th generation box. They've already announced a 5th gen box for sometime next year. I'm sure LG, Samsung, etc. will have them out at about the same time, too.

I'm very happy with the box. If I were buying *again*, I'd possibly look into the highly regarded LG 4200A box (if only for its QAM tuner), but for an upgrade...I'll wait till the 5th gen boxes come out.
post #35 of 1562
What's the purpose of the quam tuner?
post #36 of 1562
That's "QAM" (it's an acronym for something, I forget)...it'll allow you to tune HD cable channels in the "clear" without a box. You can usually get the local OTA channels carried by the cable company this way. (i.e. the network affiliates...not the stuff they scramble or charge extra for)

If you don't have cable, it's just part of the box you won't use.
post #37 of 1562
Quote:


Originally posted by martin1
Manuel switch on back

My USD box has no such switch on the back (or front).

You have to go through the setup process described in the manual...
post #38 of 1562
I do get basic cable - I read somewhere that their supposed to provide HDTV for networks no charge - true?

My cable company wants another $15/month for HDTV. I only want the networks for sports.... If I can get it for free, I'd rather pay the upfront costs for the Receiver and antenna and be done with it.

Thanks
post #39 of 1562
Just FYI, if anyone is having the buggy autoscan lock problems that Jagergeek discribed it is a known problem that affected units with older firmware on it.

It happened to me on one of my locals (UPN) and there is a firmware fix for it. Email Steve Morse (smorse@usdtv.com) and discribe the problem. He will most likely email you a USB drive with the updated firmware on it. It took all of 2 minutes to update the firmware and it solved the problem. All told I was without UPN for about a week.

FWIW, the problem occurs when your local channel doesn't send the channel info correctly in the stream header (if memory serves) it will lock the unit during channel scan but you can go in and manually add the other non-offending channels.

-Suntan
post #40 of 1562
Quote:


Originally posted by Suntan
Just FYI, if anyone is having the buggy autoscan lock problems that Jagergeek discribed it is a known problem that affected units with older firmware on it.

It happened to me on one of my locals (UPN) and there is a firmware fix for it. Email Steve Morse (smorse@usdtv.com) and discribe the problem. He will most likely email you a USB drive with the updated firmware on it. It took all of 2 minutes to update the firmware and it solved the problem. All told I was without UPN for about a week.

FWIW, the problem occurs when your local channel doesn't send the channel info correctly in the stream header (if memory serves) it will lock the unit during channel scan but you can go in and manually add the other non-offending channels.

-Suntan

The cable system should be providing some local HD channels (the ones you could recieve with an antenna for free) unencrypted at no extra charge. However you would have to pay them $5-7/month to rent a compatible HD cable box and they might want to add a charge for the channel guide too. A larger monthly charge would be a special HD channel package with additional HD channels like Discovery-HD, TNT-HD, ESPN-HD, maybe HDnet and InHD.
post #41 of 1562
@All, I think Joxer meant to cut&paste the post above mine...

-Suntan
post #42 of 1562
Is there any antenna issues I need to look out for. I'm in a fringe reception area
(40 to 50 miles from Milwaukee) and using a tower mounted, amplified antenna now with great results.
VHF is crystal clear and UHF only slightly worse. What am I in for when I try to tune in an HD channel, does a strong SD signal indicate a usable HD signal?
Is my tower mounted amp. usable for HD signals?

Thanx
post #43 of 1562
Quote:


Originally posted by Rudeross
Is there any antenna issues I need to look out for. I'm in a fringe reception area
(40 to 50 miles from Milwaukee) and using a tower mounted, amplified antenna now with great results.
VHF is crystal clear and UHF only slightly worse. What am I in for when I try to tune in an HD channel, does a strong SD signal indicate a usable HD signal?
Is my tower mounted amp. usable for HD signals?

Thanx

I think you should be in a great position to try digital. I have a tower set up similar to yours, and my analog reception is not as good as yours.
And yet, I get perfect digital from all of the digital equivalents.
Understand that each TV station currently has an analog transmitter and a digital transmitter. Some of the current digital transmitters are low power, but hopefully that will change as time marches on.
http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx is good to see what you might expect from the digital broadcasts.
I have reached the point that my TV viewing is based around what is going to be broadcast in HD more than any other factor.
Try it, you'll like it!
Nat
post #44 of 1562
@Rudeross

I agree with nathill. My analog receiption is poor at best, ghosting and snow, but I get all of the digital channels in my area with no dropouts. Of course OTA receiption is a black art/trial and error thing. Also is does depend on how your local channels are sending out their digital signal (full power vs a few KW)

-Suntan
post #45 of 1562
Doesn't the fact tha the USD TV box doesn't have a DVI w/HDCP output in the future the HDTV broadcasts could be forced to display at 480p? Would it have problems with broadcast flag?
post #46 of 1562
nathill, Suntan, thanks for the info. After CES I'll put it to the test.

rudeross
post #47 of 1562
Quote:


Originally posted by Suntan
I agree with nathill. My analog receiption is poor at best, ghosting and snow, but I get all of the digital channels in my area with no dropouts. Of course OTA receiption is a black art/trial and error thing. Also is does depend on how your local channels are sending out their digital signal (full power vs a few KW)

Agreed. Here's a visual example...

Station: KDKA-TV Pittsburgh (analog 2, digital 25)
Location: A hotel in Cranberry Township, PA, a northern suburb of Pittsburgh at the I-79/U.S. 19 interchange with the Pennsylvania Turnpike
Equipment: US Digital STB, hooked into the laptop computer with WinTV USB to capture video displayed below. RCA ANT1250 amplified indoor antenna. No south-facing windows (all the Pittsburgh TV towers are south of the location, at least 20 miles or so away). Third floor. Antenna sitting on the bed facing at the back wall

Analog:



Digital



The above pictures were taken within a couple of hours of each other with the same setup/location/etc. The analog picture above is the best looking analog picture I could squeeze out of KDKA at that location.
post #48 of 1562
Quote:


Doesn't the fact tha the USD TV box doesn't have a DVI w/HDCP output in the future the HDTV broadcasts could be forced to display at 480p? Would it have problems with broadcast flag?

It currently outputs HD res via component. What would make it not output HD res via component in the future? The ATSC standards have already been set, so they can't change how they broadcast the info and the only way to upgrade firmware is if I plug a usb drive into the back of it.

Or do you know something I don't?

-Suntan
post #49 of 1562
If you buy a tuner before July 2005 you'll be fine. Only boxes made after that will watch for, and obey the broadcast flag.
post #50 of 1562
Quote:


Originally posted by Suntan
It currently outputs HD res via component. What would make it not output HD res via component in the future? The ATSC standards have already been set, so they can't change how they broadcast the info and the only way to upgrade firmware is if I plug a usb drive into the back of it.

My USDTV box periodically attempts to hunt the ether for a broadcast source for firmware upgrades and I see no configuration option to disable the automatic updates. Since I'm not in Utah, it never finds any upgrade source, but there are no garantees about the future.
post #51 of 1562
I've never seen my box looking for firmware upgrades. How do you know it is doing this?
post #52 of 1562
I've never seen the USDTV box I installed do this, either...
post #53 of 1562
Quote:


Originally posted by Inundated
I've never seen my box looking for firmware upgrades. How do you know it is doing this?

While watching TV, it puts a message box on the screen that says it going to start looking for newer software unless you hit the exit button on the remote to postpone the search. It gives you about 10 seconds to find the remote and its exit button before the picture goes away and it starts scanning. Once it starts scanning, you have to pull the plug to get its attention.

Firmware version is "2.5.41 (2.4.18-7)".
post #54 of 1562
Someone said the reciever is not a true HDTV reciever, that it only gives DVD quality, not 720p or 1080i. I looked at the walmart website, and it says the same thing- DVD quality. Does anyone know if there are settings to get the higher resolutions?
post #55 of 1562
It is a true HDTV receiver. Walmart.com is referring to USDTV's service, which is 480P.
post #56 of 1562
Quote:


Originally posted by vman41
While watching TV, it puts a message box on the screen that says it going to start looking for newer software unless you hit the exit button on the remote to postpone the search. It gives you about 10 seconds to find the remote and its exit button before the picture goes away and it starts scanning. Once it starts scanning, you have to pull the plug to get its attention.

Firmware version is "2.5.41 (2.4.18-7)".

I've never seen this on my box. I'll post the firmware later when I have it near me...

I wonder if this has to do with the presence of any USDTV channels in the market, either live or testing. I thought they only had two markets up and running right now, and I'm pretty sure Cleveland isn't even close to testing.
post #57 of 1562
Quote:


Originally posted by doogiehowser
Someone said the reciever is not a true HDTV reciever, that it only gives DVD quality, not 720p or 1080i. I looked at the walmart website, and it says the same thing- DVD quality. Does anyone know if there are settings to get the higher resolutions?

The US Digital box outputs 720p and 1080i natively, via component video.

I'm still trying to remember how it comes out of the box, but it might come out set to 480i. It's a relatively trivial matter to get it into 720p or 1080i if that's the case....a simple menu setting which is in the manual.
post #58 of 1562
And don't worry about changing the resolution to something your tv can't support and then not being able to see the screen to set it back. It has a timeout feature like changing the res on your PC monitor. You have to acknowledge that the new res is ok or it will automatically revert back to where it was.

Yes this thing puts out HD material. Just because it is cheap, and is bought from a cheap store (Walmart) doesn't mean it isn't the real deal. If you want a great picture via component (no DVI) and you don't want to pay a lot then this is your set, end of story.

-Suntan
post #59 of 1562
I don't have one of these but do you need a phone to get firmware updates?
post #60 of 1562
Quote:


Originally posted by Inundated
I've never seen this on my box. I'll post the firmware later when I have it near me...

I've never seen it either. I don't have access to it to check the FW revision but if it ever did this believe me I'd hear about it.

The box was purchased from Wal-Mart in October, if that helps any...
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