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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


Both my own and my wife's parents purchased RCA 38310s while I was visiting them, so I have a decent amount of info to share with all. I have viewed both sets extensively with all types of material except for HD programming from Direct TV (I did watch hours of OTA HD).


First, the biggest problem with the 38310 is the lack of any kind of video output. Not only does this nullify the use of any kind of HD recording system, it also means that one cannot hook up a VHS to record (downconverted or native) 480i programming. Thus, to record from Direct TV, one would need a second decoder box.


Another minor irritant is that the 38310 does not tell you the signal type it is receiving with the OTA decoder ( e.g., 480p, 720p, or 1080i - of course the 720p is upconverted to 1080i, but it would be nice to know).


Only one component input jack - not a big deal given the internal decoder box, but still...


Cannot adjust the aspect ratio video when using the component video jack. Thus, non-anamorphic DVDs are always streched out if you want to view them in 480p. You have to pick your poison for non-anamorphic DVDs: streched out in 480p, or with the proper ratio in 480i. This is really irritating - especially to my wife's parents who seem to have a knack for only picking out non-anamorphic ones.


And finally, picture problems.

Both sets exhibited the compression problems near the edge of the screen that other users have mentioned. To me it looks like a barrelling effect in that the material at the edges seems to be farther away than the other material. It's only noticeable during camera pans. I don't know what the solution is for this, but I did pick up one interesting piece of information: this compression problem is limited to material from the input jacks (including the component jacks). That is, anything decoded using the internal decoder does not suffer from this problem. And everything from the input jacks (all of them: component, composite, s-vid) suffers from this.


Everything else about the TV is great.


Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
It's funny you mention PBS's smart travels show. I spent hours watching it too, and it definitely did not reveal a compression problem with one of the TVs. As far as the other set goes, I couldn't spend that much time with it viewing OTA HD due to signal problems.


When you get yours fixed, please post some information about it.


Thanks.
 

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I have a question.

Can you simply attach a coax cable from an OTA antenna and this set will display OTA HDTV? What I mean is, without an account with Direct TV.


I have considered this set as second HDTV set.


Thank you.


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Mark A. Torre

NEC XG-8"CRT PJ, HTPC, HDTV and loving it! The Torre Home Theater
 

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Mark,

Yes, you can hook up just a OTA antenna and not subscribe to direct tv. I did this with mine for about a week until i got around to running a second cable for the satellite. I have had my 38310 for about 3 weeks now, and i also have the squeeze problem. It does not appear on HDTV broadcasts, but on component inputs, s-video, regular DSS, and cable. At first I thought it was only on the reciever inputs, but then when i hooked my dvd player up to the component inputs, it was there as well. After some experimentation, i actually see it on every input (in stretch mode). The only thing that i do not see the problem on is HD.I hope someone can find a fix for this, but in the meantime it really is not a big problem for me. I find that i can easily watch and not be distracted by it. Overall, I am very pleased with this set and would recomend it. This set is capable of beautiful images! Fan noise is not as bothersome as i thought it would be. I can only hear it when TV is off, and the room is completely silent.


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Patrick Simon
 
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