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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DTV is giving we a credit toward an HD receiver, but I must act now. If I accept the "switch on back" hassle, why would I want to wait and spend a $200-300 more for the new box due out at the end of summer?


My main concerns are PQ, ease of use, reliability, and menu...are any of those going to change markedly?


I'm willing to either accept all 1080i, or hassle with the switch.


Should I take the deal? If not...why not?
 

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I think the zenith STB is a great product, even with all the bashing about it. I have installed 10 of them for my customers and they all have loved it. Its got the best picture quality of any out there right now. But I would be surprised if you can find one. Good luck!
 

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a zenith rep told me that while the present zenith box has fast menu access (it does), the new one is 50% faster. it still has the switch (now on the front panel).
 

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Does it have to be a Zenith?


The new Samsung is due out soon (next month...or so it is rumored) and the current Hughes boxes are nice.


BTW, how did you get the offer from DirecTV for the rebate?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No it doesn't have to be Zenith...its just hard to find much selection around here to look at myself, so I often depend on forum opinions (I average them out).


I'll try to find one to look at.


The offer was a fluke. Six different people told me they couldn't do anything, then the seventh offered it unasked when I wanted to cancel.
 

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Having tried all the other boxes out there, I found, IMO, the Zenith to be the best (particularly in the area of PQ). The main advantage of the new Zenith (to my knowledge) is the DVI. If you're not concerned about that and can still find the old unit (at the home theater show in N.Y., the Zenith rep said they are STILL in limited production) go for it.
 

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The Zenith is WORLDS better in the PQ dept. for non-HDTV sources vs. my old RCA DTC-100 (displayed on my 10' diagonal screen).


However, the DTV1080 has its problems that are annoying.


For example, every once inawhile I get a zero signal strength on all of my local HDTV channels from the roof antenna. If I turn off the unit and turn it back on I still have the problem. However, if I unplug the unit for a few minutes then plug it back in then all of the sudden my local channels come in full strength. I've seen no pattern to when this happens but it happens.


Another annoyance is somehow whatever channels you have hidden from showing up in the channel scan (channels you don't watch) end up being selected again like a giant reset happens. This has been reported by many people on the forum. I've gotten to the point that I don't hide channels anymore and just live with it.


Another thing is the panorama mode for displaying 4:3 images as 16:9 images gives the most sharp PQ for non-HDTV channels of the modes the Zenith provides but gives a "fun house mirror" effect on the sides. There has been rumors about Zenith fixing this problem via a download but that hasn't happened yet and with the announcement of the successor to the DTV1080 I question if it ever will happen. I live with this as well because the PQ is significantly sharper on my projector with the panorama mode vs. the other modes the Zenith provides to get 4:3 images to fill a 16:9 view.


As for speed of changing channels I have no real complaints with the DTV1080.


I'm curious how many of the above problems are "fixed" in the new unit coming out (or how many new problems will be introduced in the new unit).
 

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I believe the DTV1080 is about the best HD receiver on the market, but it does have its problems. (Like all the rest, this is cutting edge or bleeding edge technology, so some problems should be expected.) I've been through 4 DTV units. All of them with problems. The most annoying are the audio dropouts, which all four units had. In communications with Zenith, I believe it will be corrected in the new unit, which I suspect will have a street price of about the same as the DTV1080. Also, there are some DTV1080 units in the pipeline but the manufacturing line has been shut down for some time. I have already placed my order for the HD-SAT520.


The DTV1080 was in and still is in high demand; however, production on it was stopped about 6 to 7 months after product availability. Why would a company stop production on unit that is high demand? I suspect that there were problems uncovered that could not be corrected by software/firmware and therefore they wanted to minimize the number of units in this situation, so they shut down production and are gearing up for a replacement. This is pure speculation on my part, but it is logical, at least to my feeble mind.


Tom
 

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Quote:
Why would a company stop production on unit that is high demand?
Sleeping arrangements with the content providers - if it's spelled HD it must soon also be spelled HDCP etc.
 

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Jeff...

If you do go with the Zenith, there are a few things you can do to minimize the problems:


When not in use, leave it tuned to DirecTV's customer information channel. This minimizes program guide losses as there's either no APG data or corrupt data on the 119 bird. The Zenith remains switched to the satellite you last viewed, even when turned off (standby).


The panarama problem only applies to DirecTV standard-definition channels. So, if you use cable for "cable" networks and DirecTV for just HBO, it won't be much of a problem. I usually just hit Zoom instead. To me, DirecTV's normal channels don't survive upconversion very well, anyway, so Zoom certainly doesn't hurt them any more.


If you put one of those APC units on the Zenith such as you'd have on a computer, you'll avoid reboots. The Zenith will reboot whenever there's any kind of glitch in your AC power.


Finally, the unit gets a little hot. So put the set top box on top of the stereo cabinet, away from any other sources of heat. That'll solve that problem.


Like Tom and the rest, I've quit fooling with the custom guide and hiding channels. It seems to only be a problem with local channels. About all I do is delete and re-add the 4 major local stations from the Surf list as they disappear. Takes about a minute a week.


I can't comment on the audio because I don't have a Dolby 5.1 system. Mine's just Pro Logic and it never drops out.


Hope that helps.


Doc
 

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I am happy with my Zenith, but there is one issue for which I can't seem to get a clear answer. The DTV1080 was apparently built to support Wink interactive, because the feature is listed in the setup menu, but as disabled. This was confirmed by someone at their tech support in January, who said Wink would be enabled with a "future firmware upgrade". I have not heard any more about this. I know I can't be too upset if it doesn't happen, since it was never advertised or promoted as ever haveing that feature, but if it simply a firmware fix, it would sure be nice to have.

I didn't see anything in the new STB specs about Wink either.
 
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