Now as far as hardware goes, does the presence of a 15 pin output on the reciever mean that it will ouput 8vsb directly? I note that the Dish receiver has such an output. Do any directv recievers have this type of output?
I think you will find that no STB outputs 8VSB - only video/audio. If you want to understand what 8VSB is refer to http://www.atsc.org/.
The 15-pin connector you are referring to is the RGB connection to a HiDef TV. The HiDef TV should have at least a set of RGB (Red/Green/Blue+Horz/Vert) connectors or a matching 15-pin connector. On some STB you can output component video or RGB and most newer HiDef TV's can accept the RGB or component video signal.
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