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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I suppose I could've continued waiting for Sony to fix the HD-100 problems. Like most other people, I think there's a good chance that when they do, it'll be a great box. I just wasn't willing to wait and see.


Yesterday, I officially gave up and returned the box to the dealer. No questions asked on their part, but they're also not the usual box shop, they're the local high end dealer/custom installer, and they've made a fair hunk from me in the past, so I guess they're nice that way. :)


They replaced it for the Panasonic TU-HDS20. The very LACK of complaints about that box here told me I could probably expect good things - and by and large it's been good so far:


The good:

a) The Panasonic supports every likely display mode, even 720p, and allows you to lock the output display to any one of them, or switch automatically among the native modes. There's also a "hybrid" mode I'm not using which shows all 720/1080 material at 1080i and anything else at 480i.

b) All of my OTA reception problems have essentially vanished with this receiver (so far, anyway). KING 5.3 and KCTS 9.2/9.3 come in flawlessly, unlike the HD-100's frequent loss of signal. Also I'm not 100% certain, but it appears that the KCTS 9.1 audio/video sync drift I saw with the HD100 may not be occurring at all with the Panasonic.


The slightly wonky:

a) As other people have noted, the guide is dog slow.

b) You can't remove OTA channels from the guide (completely) for those that the APG guide has downloaded programming info for from the satellites, even if the OTA reception of that channel is bad or nonexistent. This leaves a few snowy channels in the lineup that I don't want to see. You can work around this by removing them from the "Favorite" channels lineup and defaulting to using the favorites list, so it's not that big a deal.

c) Tolerance of slightly low DirecTV signal strength is not as good as either of my other two receivers: The Panasonic shows relatively frequent if minor breakup on the 119 satellite (which of course includes the hi-def channels) where my other two receivers (Sony B55 and RCA Ultimate TV) do not ever show the same breakups, at the same signal strength. Looks like I'll have to go out and tweak the dish a bit for a compromise position between Sat A and Sat B.

d) The fan's still audible but nowhere near as bad as the Sony.

e) Why on earth did they use RCA connectors for the RGBHV output instead of, say, a VGA connector? (I'm assuming BNC's would be too much to ask for.) Probably because they expect lots more people to use the outputs as YPrPb instead, and they figure those of us who need RGBHV will be willing to go deal with finding a funky cable. :)

f) Setting up favorite channel lists was far more flexible (not to mention quick) in the Sony.


Even though my list of minuses looks longer than the plusses, it's actually a much better unit. My nits are minor, and I bet Panasonic could fix some of them if they were motivated enough, although I'm not getting my hopes up.


All in all, this box seems to basically Just Work where the Sony was a pretty major exercise in frustration.


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Andy
 

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Hi Andy,


I've done exactly the same as you...traded the Sony in for the Panny. I agree with everything you've said...the Panny has it's negatives, but the picture is superb (I think, better than the Sony) and none of the sync issues exist.


I'll look for improved boxes in the next generation, but I can enjoy hd now until they come out with units with less flaws.


take care,

Bob
 

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I'm in the same club as you guys.


You may want to check out the thread I started about reducing the fan noise.


I agree with Andy except hybrid mode is 1080i and 480p not 480i.


--Rick
 

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I have had a Panasonic for some six weeks and agree fully. I receive all the OTA signals well. In hybrid, since my TV only does either 1080i or 480p, the Panasonic TUHDS20 is much sharper than the Mits or Sony (in a store comparison I did) when upconverting a 480i signal to a 480p. Upconverting to 1080i gets too much of the noise interference with the colors.
 

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I'm about a month in to my Panny ownership and am happy, too. Of course, I can't get OTA, but the sat reception has been rock solid. I found that I had to tweak the tilt on the dish (even though they tell you not to)to get max signal strength from both birds.


I upconvert everything to 1080i and have been very pleased with how good the SDTV looks.


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

Steve

Visit our dedicated home theater, The City Cinema.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, in follow up to the DirecTV signal strength issue, I did go outside and tweak the dish slightly, and managed to improve overall signal strength by a few points for both birds.


Tonight's test was to watch The Sopranos on HBOHD, and I only noticed one tiny breakup, which is significantly better than what I saw prior to dish tweaking, so I'm gonna call it good for now.


The more I use this box, I think, the happier I get.


Since I don't watch in 480-anything (even unprocessed 480p looks pretty icky on a 100"x54" front projector) you'll forgive me the minor error on hybrid mode. I just locked it to 1080i and I think whenever I watch anything else I'll probably run it through the VP400a, since the Quad's upconversion is much better than the built-in stuff in the Panasonic.


Oh - and one other nit. Is it just me, or is there no signal strength meter at all for OTA channels? Seems like a pretty major omission to me...


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

Andy


[This message has been edited by andrewsi (edited 04-22-2001).]
 

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Yeah, it's a pretty big faux paux. I tuned my antenna with the RCA DTC-100 I used to have so its not so bad for me.


--Rick
 
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