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ATSC Converter Box comparisons - Page 34

post #991 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Well, I have a Pioneer Elite 1140HD, which is not cheap by any means, and has a very good scaler. It does a great job with SD and DVD normally. Believe me when I say that the PQ of the Philips is just downright atrocious on an HD display over 32"-37". If you don't believe me, read some of the posts over in the DVD Recorders forum, and some of the internet reviews.

The only reason I tried an SD tuner on the Pio was to feed one of my HDD/DVD recorders for time-shifting. I just wanted to try the Philips because I liked it's "all-in'one" convienience. (By the way, it's sister DVR, a Magnavox, has the exact same horrible PQ.) I wasn't even planning to use it on that TV if I kept it - it was going to be used on a 32" analog set. But it still paled in comparison to any of my standalone HD tuners' downscaled PQ on that set, so I figured it wasn't woth the 300 bucks in that case, because I already had two other, older NTSC recorders I could pair the HD tuners with. The only problem is, those tuners have no timers. So I was hoping for good enough PQ and performance with one of the new SD ones that could be controlled by one of the recorder's IR blasters. Apparently the Zenith can (and has excellent PQ), but with it's audio issues, I'd still rather wait for the TR-40, with it's VCR timer, even if I have to pay full price for it. Besides, having a timer built-in assures it will always work with any recorder.

"I have a Pioneer Elite 1140HD" --- I have a serious case of HDTV envy!
Appears to be another case of "a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link", in this case it must be the Philips, the Pioneer TV is one of, if not the best HDTV out there. I have a Samsung Plazma, I wanted a Pioneer, but just couldn't convice the wife to part with the extra $.
post #992 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarwater View Post

Digital Stream DTX9900
Rural location outside Syracuse, NY

...
As I see it, I have a few options at this point:

1) Get a rotor. A few of the Binghamton stations are VHF, but they're over 50 miles away. And a couple of Utica stations might have stronger signals than their Syracuse counterparts.

2) Try to improve Syracuse reception with a higher or larger antenna, or a better pre-amp (the one I have is a basic Radio Shack model).

3) Wait until the June 18 expiration on my other coupon and try a different box.

4) Throw the box in the closet and go back to analog. Hope the current FCC post-transition data is wrong, and the Syracuse stations either go back to VHF or boost their power.

Any other suggestions would be welcome. ....

Looking at your signal field, all your VHF stations are in Binghamton and Syracuse is all UHF. Assuming you get the VHF's when pointed at them, a second, UHF antenna aimed at Syracuse may be all you need. You'd disconnect the combo's UHF section and use a UHF/VHF pre-amp to do the combining. The RS amp you have may not be helping; there's a pre-amp comparison about half way down this link.
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/basics.html

There are a number of good UHF options; I like the Channel Master bowtie arrays, CM4220, 4221 and 4228. Increased gain as they get bigger, but more directional, too. A CM4228 probably requires a rotor for Syracuse due to the spread in locations, while a 4221 may not if it has enough gain in the first placed.

This aspect of your question may get more response on the antenna thread.

Frank
post #993 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhe View Post

I'd suggest you try upgrading your antenna system:

1 What are your final channels: UHF VHF or UHF only or UHF and hi VHF?

Good question. Is anything "final" yet? If a lot of people start finding they're going to lose their OTA like me, the local broadcasters might scramble to keep their audience. But if it's just a few folks on the fringes, they won't bother.

Right now, with some work, I should be able to get channels in the 4 to 54 range, including 7 and 8 in hi VHF. If the current FCC post-transition data actually comes to pass next year, digital 4 is moving back to 34 (their analog channel), and 54 is moving to 24, so the VHF is just 7 & 8, and UHF up to 47.

Thanks for all the advice. I don't have a lot of money to spend, but it looks like much of what you recommend could be implemented incrementally over time.
post #994 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by fbov View Post

Looking at your signal field, all your VHF stations are in Binghamton and Syracuse is all UHF. Assuming you get the VHF's when pointed at them, a second, UHF antenna aimed at Syracuse may be all you need. You'd disconnect the combo's UHF section and use a UHF/VHF pre-amp to do the combining.

Excellent point. Thank you.

Quote:


The RS amp you have may not be helping; there's a pre-amp comparison about half way down this link.
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/basics.html

The RS amp is definitely helping with analog reception. I get nothing but lots of snow on UHF without it. But I don't know if that necessarily means it's helping with digital. It can't hurt to try it without it.

Another thing that I neglected to mention is that my cable from the antenna is longer than it needs to be. I've resisted shortening it in case I rearrange things and need the length (and because I have 10 thumbs and no crimping tool, and I always make an ugly mess of it with a pair of pliers).

Quote:


There are a number of good UHF options; I like the Channel Master bowtie arrays, CM4220, 4221 and 4228. Increased gain as they get bigger, but more directional, too. A CM4228 probably requires a rotor for Syracuse due to the spread in locations, while a 4221 may not if it has enough gain in the first placed.

This aspect of your question may get more response on the antenna thread.

Thanks.
post #995 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by fbov View Post

The RS amp you have may not be helping; there's a pre-amp comparison about half way down this link.
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/basics.html

I checked the model number on the pre-amp. It's a 15-1108. The author of your link states: "The 15-1108 is terrible. It often oscillates unpredictably. Very noisy. I bought a second unit to prove to myself that the first wasn't broken."

Sounds like that might be a good place to start.
post #996 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarwater View Post

Good question. Is anything "final" yet? If a lot of people start finding they're going to lose their OTA like me, the local broadcasters might scramble to keep their audience. But if it's just a few folks on the fringes, they won't bother.

Right now, with some work, I should be able to get channels in the 4 to 54 range, including 7 and 8 in hi VHF. If the current FCC post-transition data actually comes to pass next year, digital 4 is moving back to 34 (their analog channel), and 54 is moving to 24, so the VHF is just 7 & 8, and UHF up to 47.

Thanks for all the advice. I don't have a lot of money to spend, but it looks like much of what you recommend could be implemented incrementally over time.

If you are limited in funds I would try this sequence:

1 add a channel master rotor first.
2 get a good preamp or two. Maybe an AP-8780.
3 get a fringe uhf antenna and try your old antenna for the vhf
post #997 of 1867
"CECB Features List - 5Apr2008" spread sheet update is attached.
If you don't have Excel capability, download a free viewer from Microsoft:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&#post13373061
See "Links" sheet to navigate to source of information.

Boxes added since 28Mar version:
Denca DAC-100 & TBX1005A (Not yet on CECB List, no info. available yet).
Falcon FT-300 (Not yet on CECB List).
Insignia NS-DXA1-APT (With Analog Pass Thru, not yet on CECB List).
Zenith DTT901 (Insignia clone with Pass Thru, not yet on CECB List).

CECB Listed boxes moved to "AVAILABLE NOW":
MicroGEM MG2000 (Most features are still unknown).
Sansonic FT300A (Microtune double conversion tuner, Signal LEVEL + Quality.)

Artec T3A Pro: added info. re 16-hour (or more?) EPG, EZAdd and Sanyo tuner.

================================
PASS THRU is currently identified as a feature for fol. CECB Listed boxes:
Philco TB100HH9 (Operator action when box is ON, see User Manual).
Also in these CECB boxes that are not yet available:
Digital Stream DX8700 & DSP7700T.
Echostar TR-40.
Magnavox TB100MG9 (Highly probable, not yet confirmed).
MaxMedia MMDTVB03 (Hopefully they'll start deliveries....soon).
RCA DTA-800B1 (Box revision is a recent announcement).
Venturer STB7766G (As reported in CED Daily article.)
Zentech DF2000 (Reportedly same as Skardin STB-727).

PASS THRU in new boxes still in approval process for CECB List:
AccessHD DTA-1020D/U.
Access HD DTA-1030.
Daewoo DAC-100/200/300.
Insignia NS-DXA1-APT.
Zenith DTT901. (Insignia clone).

PASS THRU is probably also in fol. boxes, based on TRANSFER SWITCH
results found in Unintended Emissions Test Reports posted on FCC EAS
website as I discussed here:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&#post13536115
Coship N9900T (Was reportedly available earlier, on CECB List).
Daytek CAX-01 (from Casti Intl.) (Not yet available, on CECB List).
Daewoo DAC-100/200/300 (Not yet available, not yet on CECB List).
I have listed them with a question mark until we receive confirmation.

FYI: Channel Master CM-7000 also uses Thomson DTT76850 found in Daewoo.
If CM-7000 implements requisite operator controls, it might add PASS THRU.

 

CECB Feature List - mod 5Apr2008.zip 19.166015625k . file
post #998 of 1867
FYI: SMART ANTENNA I/F is supported by fol. boxes.

Currently available and on CECB List:
GE 22719.
RCA DTA-800A & DTA-800B.
Tivax STB-T9.
Fol. boxes with SA I/F are on CECB List, but not yet available:
AccessHD DTA1010D/U.
Apex DT1001.
Goodmind DTA1000.
MaxMedia MMDTVB03.
Mustek MAT-K50.
Philco TB150HH9.
RCA DTA-800B1
(newly modified for Pass Thru).
Tatung TDB-300.
Venturer STB7766G.

Several of these should become available in the near future.

Fol. boxes with SA I/F are not on CECB List:
Insignia LSX300-4DM (Zenith DTT900/Insignia NS-DXA1 clone with SA I/F.)
[FCC Unintended Emissions Test Report for all 3 boxes submitted last summer.]
RJTech RJ-900ATSC (available now).

[Wonder if new Insignia NS-DXA1-APT will come with a working Smart Antenna I/F port???]

GE says their converter box will work with their own (not yet available) Smart Antenna.
However, they are reluctant to say it works with other manufacturer's Smart Antennas.
Sounds like they don't want to commit themselves until compatibility tests can be
conducted with the several other manufacturer's (not yet available) Smart Antennas....
Geez, you would think they would at least test with the existing DTA-5000.

Several Smart Antennas are expected to make appearances at the
National Assoc. of Broadcasters (NAB) Convention week of 14 April.
Perhaps they'll release to retail after obligatory Demos and Press Releases.
post #999 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by holl_ands View Post

FYI: SMART ANTENNA I/F is supported by fol. boxes.
GE says their converter box will work with their own (not yet available) Smart Antenna.
However, they are reluctant to say it works with other manufacturer's Smart Antennas.
Sounds like they don't want to commit themselves until compatibility tests can be
conducted with the several other manufacturer's (not yet available) Smart Antennas....
Geez, you would think they would at least test with the existing DTA-5000.

I thought the GE system only used the RF cable, like the CEA-909A standard, to connect the converter to the smart antenna. I can't remember why I think that because I looked at the press release from Jasco and couldn't find that sort of information there. I guess we will have to wait and see.

I just won a bid for a Apex DT1001. I believe it is a demo unit, so it may have a few issues not in the final release. Since I finally got a box with a smart antenna on the way; I ordered a DX DTA-5000 as well. Now I can have another smart antenna in the house, my Netgear WiFi need some company. There is no manual so I won't be able to answer questions about what is in that.
post #1000 of 1867
Comments re Wikipedia's "Comparison of CECB Units":
[Wikipedians feel free to update site--wiki wiki....]

1. Zoran Press Release listed which boxes used SupraHD741 SoC:
http://www.digitaltvnews.net/content/?p=2766
2. CASTi CAX01 duplicate entry should be deleted. CASTi makes Daytek CAX-01.
3. Coship N9900T does NOT support Smart Antenna I/F (see rear panel pictures):
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&#post13251011
4. Coship N9900T & Daewoo DAC-100/200/300 Pass Thru (e.g. Transfer Switch)
was tested as part of FCC Unintended Emissions test.
5. Daewoo DAC-100, DAC-200 & DAC-300 (different form factors) were
submitted (& resubmitted) to FCC for Emissions tests. Typo: should be LGDT1111C.
6. Digital Stream DSP7500T & Goodmind DTA1000. I have not seen any info.
wrt chip & tuner. What's the source?
7. MaxMedia MMDTVB03. I have not seen any info. wrt tuner. What's the source?
8. Microprose MPI-500. Since LGDT1111D SoC performs ALL functions,
incl. ATSC Decoder & MPEG2 Decoder, what does LGDT3703 do? [Typo???]
9. Microprose MPI-500. Sanyo tuner number appears to be a typo.
10. RCA DTA-800A. RCA has said all along their box(es) supports Smart Antenna I/F:
http://www.zoran.com/Zoran-Corporati...che=rca+dta800
11. RCA DTA-800A. Zoran SupraHD 640 uses external ATSC Decoder: Cascade 220.
12. Skardin DTR-0727 is duplicate and should be removed. Ezdigitaltv.com says:
"The Skardin DTR-0727 will be sold as the Zentech model DF2000 and a
version assembled in the USA will be Zentech model DF2009."
13. Venturer STB7766G. Warren CED article says it supports Pass Thru,
has Smart Antenna I/F and uses Broadcom SoC:
http://www.accesshd.tv/assets/pdfs/CED021308.pdf
14. The Wiki CECB List is missing several boxes currently on CECB List.
15. Column labeled "MPEG Decoder" should be SoC (System-On-A-Chip),
which includes MPEG2 Decoder and all display functions....as well as ATSC Decoder
for all SoC except fol. which use a separate ATSC Decoder: ST Microelectronics,
Zoran SupraHD640 & the SoC (unknown) used with Auvitek AU8515 ATSC Decoder.
16. Column labeled "Demodulator" should be "External ATSC Demodulator"
(vice MPEG2 or any other demodulation process). ST entry is correct.
TI TVP9007 should be deleted from this column...ATSC is embedded in the SoC.
LGDT3703 appears to be a typo...ATSC is embedded in LGDT1111 SoC.
For both Sansonic boxes, Auvitek AU8515 should be moved to "External ATSC Decoder"
column and enter "Unknown" in SoC column.

ADDENDUM: Wikipedia says Skardin STB-0727 has Pass Thru, which agrees with what I
put into the spread sheet. But I can't seem to find the source of this info. any longer.....
post #1001 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgcss View Post

Digital TV has 480 lines of resolution, a VCR (unless it's a Super VHS) has only 240 lines,

Standard def DTV is only 480 lines in the ideal case. If it is overly compressed (as most stations are), it can drop much lower.

In the case of a Converter Box, the composite video output is only 330 lines horizontal resolution.
post #1002 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by rrrrrroger View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgcss View Post

Digital TV has 480 lines of resolution, a VCR (unless it's a Super VHS) has only 240 lines,

Standard def DTV is only 480 lines in the ideal case. If it is overly compressed (as most stations are), it can drop much lower.

In the case of a Converter Box, the composite video output is only 330 lines horizontal resolution.

You guys are mixing up horizontal and vertical resolution. Digital 480i/p is a measure of vertical resolution (ie how many pixels/scan lines top to bottom). VCRs and composite numbers like 240 and 330 refer to horizontal resolution (ie how many vertical lines can be displayed and resolved).

Ed
post #1003 of 1867
Microgem 2000 no pass thru, epg goes out as far as 12 hours, good reception, external power supply, lots of vent holes, very small( the size of a vhs tape).
post #1004 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by stpinindy View Post

Microgem 2000 ,,, external power supply ... very small( the size of a vhs tape).

The external power supply is probably the reason the box can be that small.
post #1005 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by ekb View Post

You guys are mixing up horizontal and vertical resolution.

RDGcss may be confused, but I am not. My message is 100% correct in regards to DVD or DTV's horizontal resolution:

"Standard def DTV is only 480 lines in the ideal case. If it is overly compressed (as most stations are), it can drop much lower. In the case of a Converter Box, the composite video output is only 330 lines horizontal resolution."
post #1006 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by ekb View Post

You guys are mixing up horizontal and vertical resolution. Digital 480i/p is a measure of vertical resolution (ie how many pixels/scan lines top to bottom). VCRs and composite numbers like 240 and 330 refer to horizontal resolution (ie how many vertical lines can be displayed and resolved).

Ed, you are correct.
post #1007 of 1867
Some folks confuse numbers that are close together. No one gets 1920x1080 mixed up because one number is 16/9 bigger than the other. NTSC video, however, has no fixed ratio between H and V, only specs on the number of horizontal scan lines that fit vertically.

As an example, my Sony 34XBR970 is ~830x1080. The SFP XBR960 was ~1440x1080. Both are 16:9 HDTVs, neither one does any scaling to achieve numbers on the left because they're determined by the aperture mask on the Trinitron Wega tube.

So try to mind your H's and V's, since in TV-speak, lines of one is resolution in the other. 1080 horizontal scan lines gives 1080 vertical pixels.
post #1008 of 1867
Here are the horizontal resolutions of various non-HD devices.

Video format with horizontal resolution estimates:

VHS/VHS-C
220 - 240 lines

BETA
250 lines

8mm
250 - 280 lines

SuperBETA
270 - 280 lines

Analog TV Broadcast
330 lines

Analog Cable TV
330 lines

Standard Digital Cable
330 - 500 lines (Depends on original source of the signal and compression used in downloading to the cable box)

S-VHS/S-VHSC
400 lines

DVD-R/-RW/+R/+RW
250 - 400+ lines (Depends on recording mode and compression used)

Laserdisc
400 - 425 lines

Hi8
380 - 440 lines

Digital 8
400 - 500 lines

miniDV
400 - 520 lines

microMV
500 lines

ED BETA
500 lines

Commercial DVD
Up to 540 lines
post #1009 of 1867
Note that in video, "lines" usually means "line pairs", so
multiply by 2 to get computer-speak style pixels.

DV and DVD are 720x480. (pixels)

ATSC has several SD resolutions. I've seen

704x480, 640x480, 544x480, 528x480 (pixels)

ATSC 544x480 is bad, ATSC 528x480 is horrifically bad, much worse
than you would expect from the numbers.

I've also seen ATSC 1920x1088 instead of x1080. ATSC in it's wisdom
specified a number that isn't evenly divisible by 16, so some stations
decide to "fix" it. I hope the converter boxes can handle this sort
of thing.
post #1010 of 1867
post #1011 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by rrrrrroger View Post

RDGcss may be confused, but I am not. My message is 100% correct in regards to DVD or DTV's horizontal resolution:

"Standard def DTV is only 480 lines in the ideal case. If it is overly compressed (as most stations are), it can drop much lower. In the case of a Converter Box, the composite video output is only 330 lines horizontal resolution."

No, still not right. The 480 lines is the number of "scan" lines, i.e., the number of pixels stacked vertically.

In the analog world, horizontal resolution is how well you can resolve B&W vertical line pairs, before the B&W lines turn into grey. Plus it is based upon vertical height, i.e., a square box located in the 4:3 TV screen.

So, for SDTV, or even DVDs for that matter, there are 720 pxels, or 360 line pairs. Multiply that by 3/4 to get the square area and you send up with a resolution of 270 line pairs (or the 540 you see in the above posting if you consider each vertical black and white line as counting as two lines).

The horizontal resolution of SDTV/DVD cannot be any better than that. The horizontal resolution is not 480 lines (definately not line pairs).

BTW, the 720 pixels available for SDTV/DVD isn't all converted to analog active video. The standard is the center 704 pixels. So, the resolution is even worse, even if just a little bit.
post #1012 of 1867

Nice list, but it isn't horizontal resolution, it is display resolution.

Yes, the use of the word resolution is applied to many meanings dealing with video. It is confusing.
post #1013 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by rrrrrroger View Post

My message is 100% correct

Can you be any more abrasive? Good lord watching your messages go by on the screen is like nails scraping on a chalk board.

Why are you here? You're obviously not here to learn about DTV converter boxes, because your previous posts indicate that using your (incomplete) knowledge of electrical engineering you already know exactly what's going on inside a converter box that's just been released.

I'm an EE myself, you'll have to show me that trick sometime, knowing the exact circuitry inside something fairly complex like a STB DTV tuner without a teardown or a schematic.

I am here to learn from others how certain CECBs perform. I'd rather learn from people with actual experience, or people who quote manufacturers specifications, than your wild ass guesses, and rude comments that only add fuel to a fire where none is needed.

That is all.
post #1014 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by rrrrrroger View Post

RDGcss may be confused, but I am not. My message is 100% correct in regards to DVD or DTV's horizontal resolution:

"Standard def DTV is only 480 lines in the ideal case. If it is overly compressed (as most stations are), it can drop much lower. In the case of a Converter Box, the composite video output is only 330 lines horizontal resolution."

I don't think that your statement is correct and it seems that every post since also disagrees with you. Again, note that 480 is vertical, not horizontal, resolution.

Ed
post #1015 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by stpinindy View Post

Microgem 2000 no pass thru, epg goes out as far as 12 hours, good reception, external power supply, lots of vent holes, very small( the size of a vhs tape).

1. Can you readilly add a channel without losing earlier scan?
2. Does it display Antenna LEVEL as well as Signal QUALITY?
3. Have you opened it up to confirm big chip P/N and also tin-can tuner P/N.

Thnx
post #1016 of 1867
Could someone explain why a CECB might look better via an old analog CRT TV made in the 1990s than through a fairly new LCD HDTV (with an NTSC tuner) bought in late 2006? Would that be the rule rather than the exception, or does it just depend on the HDTV?

I have my analog TV and HDTV next to each other for evaluation purposes and also have my TiVo set up to use either the antenna or the CECB; it's connected to both TVs. So I can easily see that the same picture from the TiVo looks better on my analog Magnavox TV than on my 2006 Sharp LCD HDTV.

I might not have maximized the settings available on my HDTV, like 3D comb filtering, deinterlacing, Cinemotion, noise reduction, etc., but true HD looks great.
post #1017 of 1867
> Could someone explain why a CECB might look better via
> an old analog CRT TV made in the 1990s than through a
> fairly new LCD HDTV (with an NTSC tuner) bought in late
> 2006?

The colors are likely to be significantly different,
along with brightness, gamma, black levels, ...

Many HDTVs are said to have poor scalers, making SD
look much worse than it should. Even with a good scaler
there will be scaling artifacts.

Since you say "true HD looks great" chances are it is
the scaler.

> deinterlacing

This would affect 1080i as well as 480i. And will depend on
how the original was recorded (film vs video).

If you watch a SD DTV broadcast using the HDTV's tuner,
does it also look bad?

> Would that be the rule rather than the exception,
> or does it just depend on the HDTV?

It will depend on the HDTV.
post #1018 of 1867
Everything Konrad said. In addition, a CRT TV looks softer than a fixed pixel display. If you compare a RPCRT HD TV vs a fixed pixel (whether DLP, LCD or plasma) the image will be softer which is much more forgiving to artifacts. I started with a Mitsu RPCRT, and went to a DLP projector. On the CRT, you could see macroblocking in DTV broadcasts if it was really bad, but generally you couldn't tell. The first thing I saw when I went DLP is a much sharper image. The second thing I noticed is that every error in the signal was visible. Double edge sword.
post #1019 of 1867
This is an update regarding your purchase at www.convertmy.tv.

Earlier today, we were informed by our supplier Maxmedia that the MMDTVB03 will now be renamed the MMDTVB02 and will be in stock and available for shipment to you in June. This is a delay from our previously stated end of April/early May shipment date.

We have been informed that the reason is that Maxmedia's chipset provider is unable to deliver a chip that meets the standards and expectations that Maxmedia requires in order to offer you the highest quality picture available

Maxmedia box i feel was a scam along and will never come to market. They can't get chips for May release but 30 days later for June, give me a break.
post #1020 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagger666 View Post

Earlier today, we were informed by our supplier Maxmedia that the MMDTVB03 will now be renamed the MMDTVB02 ...

The newer model has a number one less than the original? Maxmedia knew this all along, and skipped a number just in case. Yea, right.
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