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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting ready to do the HD thing and have been looking into sets for the last few weeks. Now I'm looking at the boxes and it seems like there are major issues with ALL of them!


Can anybody comment on a STB that they have that they are happy with?


The Sony looks good because it has the serial connection so Tivo can control it for recording non-HD stuff (I really don't like IR blasters and the potential for a dropped digit when changing channels. Of course I hear about the random a/v dropouts and fan issues here.


On paper the Panasonic looks great since it will accept and output any popular resolution, but it lacks the serial connection and seems to have it's own fan issues.


The RCA is a possibility, but is getting kind of long in the tooth and may require working around the VGA connection amongst other things.


Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?


I'll likely be doing a 4:3 set in the 53 inch variety that does 16:9 squeeze. OTA, DirecTV, DVD and Tivo will be my primary sources.


Thanks!
 

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I like this question. There are a lot of great HDTV monitors out there, but the industry can't seem to get its act together on STBs.


Everyone seems to like the Zenith...The problem is, no one actually owns one. Maybe next month (or the next, etc.).
 

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Maybe the good ones are being held back until they get the latest generation tuner chips and 1394 and/or DVI built in. We are at a crossroad so manufactures may be delaying to get products out the door they will be competitive in this new market direction.
 

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DigitHead, be aware that you might have trouble with your Tivo connection. On my Panasonic I discovered that the S-video and analog audio outputs that are needed to connect to Tivo are *only* enabled when the output is set to 480i. If you set the output to 1080i to watch HDTV, the S-video gets disabled and you can't use Tivo. Since the switch for the output format is on the front panel and *cannot* be controlled remotely, this makes the Panasonic a real pain for Tivo or ReplayTV owners.


I've heard rumors that all current STBs have this same limit (can't output both 480i S-Video and HD at the same time). Ken mentioned that the Zenith box is supposed to do this, but we'll have to wait and see.


I, for one, will believe it when I see it. I've seen so many products (the Panny STB included) that were overhyped before they were released, and ended up being a disappointment once people started using them. Hopefully a vendor will prove me wrong one of these days and actually ship a decent piece of equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
To follow up on a couple of replies...


The DGTEC won't work in the US correct? How about the Hitop?


Is the Samsung OTA only? As far as I can tell, it won't support DirecTV HD broadcasts.


Thanks!
 

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LG 55" C9 OLED, Yamaha RX-A660, Monoprice 5.1.2 Speakers, WMC HTPC, TiVo Bolt, X1
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Miller:
I like the HiTop and DGTEC HD STB's.
FYI, these are only available in Australia and not compatible with the US HDTV system.




------------------

"Better living thru modern, expensive electronics devices"

tm
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jin kim:
Samsung SIR-T150 can output S-vid and HD at same time. Love mine.
My understanding of the SIR-T150 is that it is only for OTA, not DirecTV.


I have a similar challenge with my Tivo, keeping a controlled feed to it while watching HD content. The only solution I've found so far is getting two separate sources. --Karl
 

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The RCA DTC100 is inexpensive enough now ( rumored purchases in the $250 range ) that I would recommend it as a starting point and upgrade later to a differant unit if features that you want show up in later models. Remember we are stil in the chicken/egg stage of HDTV the best method to advance from ths state is to get the installed base numbers higher as rapidly as possible to liight a fire under manufacturers and programmers. On a side note all the 8VSB vs CODFM sounds alot like VHS vs Beta to me, let's not go there again folks.
 

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$250 for a DTC100? I'd go for that, but I haven't been able to find one for much under $400.


Anyone have any leads as to where to get a DTC100 for that price?


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Joel White

Editor CheapHomeTheater.com
 

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I like my Mits HD5 (Hughes clone). It comes with two remotes, one IR and one UHF. Never had any problems and no major design flaws.


The way I got around the Tivo problem is to have on and off macros. When the TV goes off, it switches the STB into 480 mode and when the TV goes on, it switches back into 1080i mode. This is also very wife easy.


Steve
 

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The cheap DTC-100's are usually found at the big chain electronics stores (BestBuy, Circuit City, etc.) as open box specials. Depending on your luck, you may find one with all the accessories, or just the box alone.


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"Better living thru modern, expensive electronics devices"

tm
 

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i'm very happy with my dtc 100 and use it to feed replaytv for downconverted hd and it looks great. you just have to switch it to svideo before you record or set the timers.


levytv
 

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I'm a big fan of the DTC100 too. Best of all, It's got bugs worked out. VGA output is not a problem, particularly if your 53" 4:3 is a Sony K53HS10--you can buy a cable for $35 that connects it directly to the RGBHV inputs. Oval dish works well too. I Don't do TIVO. Best of all is the price--there are some used ones around if you look.
 

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I have an Echostar 6000 and a RCA DTC-100 and I like both of them. The only thing I dislike about the DTC-100 is that you cannot delete OTA stations once they get into the list.


So, if you do a station scan and pick up some weak stations, there is no convenient way to get rid of them and you have to use a kludge to do it.


Other than that, I like both boxes.
 
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