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What set-top boxes and antennae are available for my situation? I am on the first floor of a 4 story building in Washington DC. I think that I am close enough to all the major networks, that I can still get a signal with an indoor antenna. The XBR450 displays 480pand 1080i. ABC is,of course, transmitting at 720p. Do the boxes convert 720p to 1080i for TVs that don't accept 720p? Anyone in DC with similoar circumstances? I am really looking for box and antenna recommendations.


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Chris
 

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I think I just read that NYPD is the only program that ABC is running at 720p and the rest at 1080i.


I have the Sony HD100 and it changes NYPD to 1080i.


Do the boxes convert 720p to 1080i for TVs that don't accept 720p?


Yes, to my knowledge. I think there are only a handfull of TV's out there that will do 720p and 1080i (Princeton says it does)


When you are looking to buy, check out the return policy of the company. Everyone has an opinion, you make the call, try a couple and see which ones works best for you and your needs (an know one this that better than you. Warning: Some companies will charge you a restocking fee!!


Toshiba is good, Sony is good - all have issues and work differently and people like or dislike them for different reasons.


Brian
 

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I have read mostly poor reviews on the Sony HD100. Does anyone have specific recommendations on brands/models to buy for OTA HDTV? Am I correct that all I need is a STB, an antenna, and some component cables?

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Chris
 

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I have a 36XBR450. I use the Toshiba DST-3000 HDTV tuner.


Ups for the Toshiba:

-DirecTV, and DTV/HDTV and analog over-the-air tuner.

-Stable operation, set-up, and fairly user-friendly.

-Good picture, though a bit dark on the HDTV content (fixable by adjusting the TV).

-Good aspect ratio control (crop, letterbox, and full screen).


Downs:

-Only outputs 1080i through the component outputs. For the XBR450, what this means is that all content viewed via the component output on the DST (component input on the XBR) will be squeezed by the XBR (it squeezes all 1080i material) into a 16:9 box. This is perfect for HDTV 16:9 material. However, 4:3 material via the component connection will appear in an area approx. 27" in the middle of the screen (i.e., a 4:3 box within te 16:9 squeezed area).


Here's how I get around the one downer: I only use the component connections for HDTV material. All other material is viewed through the s-video connection. This requires switch both the Toshiba to SD output and the XBR to the s-video input (and switching both back to view HDTV). I have a prgrammable/macro-enabled remote that does this with one button. My wife even does it when I'm not around. All in all, not too painful. But, the Sony tuner has the "variable" component outputs that would get around this.


I stayed away from the Sony for the same reasons I assume you are -- reports of problems, especially lip-sync problems that have not been fixed.


Overall, I'm quite happy with the Toshiba DTV tuner.


To answer your other questions:

Yes, you need an antenna. I'll let the DC folks here recommend one -- it varies by your location. My general advice is to get as good a one as you can afford (space and $$ wise). Fortunately, this won't be too expensive -- you can get a good conventional antenna for well under $100. Mount it in your attic or on the roof -- as high as feasible.


I also recommend DirecTV for HBO-HD and HDNet. You'll be very pleased even with the regular (non-HD) picture quality from your over-the-air local digital stations (even via the s-video input). HDTV is great on this TV.


Enjoy!
 
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