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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
By popular demand, straight from those who (hopefully) know.


Zenith plans to have their new HDTV/DirecTV STB in consumers hands in October. Yes, this October, next month. The usual DirecTV issues are being resolved as we speak.


It's model DTV1080, the list will be $799.


It will be the first sat STB to provide both HD & SD output simultaneously.


Also, RGB & component video out, coax & optical DD out. Supports 1080i, 720p, 480p, 480i.


I changed my travel plans this morning just to get this info.




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Thanks Ken. I'm trying to decide whether to buy a STB now or wait for the Zenith. Does the Zenith have the following features?


1. User selection of black or gray windowbox.

2. Signal strength meter.

3. Quiet operation.

4. Switch (by remote) between cable and antenna without having to rescan channels.

5. Automatic and/or one-button remote aspect ratio control.

6. Good 480i upconversion.

7. Advanced Program Guide.
 

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Ken,


Did you get to see an actual working unit? If so, does it have a native mode comparable to the Panny and the Sony? What do the on screen guide and menus look like?
 

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According to Zenith's website, it does have a signal meter and Advanced Program Guide. I'm not sure about the other things asked about.




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the only thing that would make me switch from either the DTC100 or the Hughes which I already have is for significantly improved off-air reception. Has there been any word on this aspect?
 

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Jim, I agree about not switching, however the ability to output HD and SD simultaneously is a big advantage over toggling sources and switching inputs on my monitor.
 

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Ken,


Do you have any information on the stretching options of the Zenith to re-format 4:3 programming to fit a 16:9 screen? Does the DTV1080 just have 4:3 with black or grey bars, zoomed in and standard (linear) stretched? Or are there any other hybrid stetching modes the Zenith offers.


Thanks,

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by GScott:
Ken,


Did you get to see an actual working unit? If so, does it have a native mode comparable to the Panny and the Sony? What do the on screen guide and menus look like?
Yes, I saw three actual working units. The only source I saw for any length of time was HDTV (HDNet, which was a big, big hit at the show). The onscreen menu & guides were in the DirecTV category (similar to RCA & Sony) as opposed to Dish Network.


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[This message has been edited by Ken H (edited 09-10-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Jim Ferguson:
the only thing that would make me switch from either the DTC100 or the Hughes which I already have is for significantly improved off-air reception. Has there been any word on this aspect?
I did see the unit change ATSC channels, it appears faster than other units I'm familiar with. As far as better ATSC reception, I asked that specific question and was told that "this is one of the main design goals and we are very happy with the results".




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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Andrew Sabin:
Ken,


Do you have any information on the stretching options of the Zenith to re-format 4:3 programming to fit a 16:9 screen? Does the DTV1080 just have 4:3 with black or grey bars, zoomed in and standard (linear) stretched? Or are there any other hybrid stetching modes the Zenith offers.


Thanks,

Andrew
Sorry to say I don't know.




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Ken,

As I've said before, it sounds like a fabulous unit on paper. I particularly like the numerous inputs it has and it's seamless switching between them. No other unit on the market does this. Only the RCA has the same number of inputs but they must still be changed manually from the remote as opposed to a seamless switch. As more and more people have the luxury of HD material from OTA, satellite and cable, people will see how important this issue is. I'm very happy to hear about the quick channel changing, that's always been an issue with HD. As far as reception is concerned, I've spoken with Zenith engineers and they claim this will be superior to other units out there. We'll see.
 

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It looks to me like Cousin's Video pre-order price of $700 is pretty good given Ken's info that the MSRP is $800. Other STBs we've waited for in the past have sold at full retail for the first few months they were available (due to limited supply).


$700 is still pretty high, though, compared to the $527 price of the Hughes HIRDE86 or the DTC100 for $448 at ABT Electronics.


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Ken...any word if the Zenith STB will have 1394/5C connections to a D-VHS VCR? This is related to a question I posted in the HDTV Recording forum here . I'm just trying to find out if I will be able to buy a STB and D-VHS VCR sometime in the next 6 months. So far....I'm an HDTV monitor owner with no STB, because I wanted to be able to record right off the bat.


Does Hughes, along with Toshiba/Mits (and now Philips) have new STBs in the works with 1394/5C on them?
 

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Sorry...lazy me. I just went to the Zenith website and found the .pdf here . Looks like no 1394/5C connections.


Seems like a significant omission at this point in the game.

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Signal:


1. User selection of black or gray windowbox.

2. Signal strength meter.

3. Quiet operation.

4. Switch (by remote) between cable and antenna without having to rescan channels.

5. Automatic and/or one-button remote aspect ratio control.

6. Good 480i upconversion.

7. Advanced Program Guide.
1. Don't know

2. Yes, for both sat & OTA (assume digital OTA only)

3. Seemed so, but on a trade show floor, hard to tell for sure.

4. All channels are in one area, no switching needed for OTA/cable/sat.

5. Don't know

6. Don't know.

7. Yes, integrated for all sources.




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OK, I'm confused. Maybe someone can help me out here...


According to Ken and others, this is the first STB to output both HDTV and SDTV simultaneously. However, when I look at the specs rjcrum pointed to above, it says:


Component Output: 1080i, 720p, 480i/p

Composite Output(with OSD): 480i (Only Available when 480i mode selected).


Doesn't this mean if I set the component output switch to 1080i, I won't get the composite outputs?



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