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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,


I am looking to finally get cable or satellite and I've decided (being a sony whore as indicated in previous postings...) to go w/ a sony STB. The problem is I can not decide which to go with. To quickly break it down I have a sony LCD TV w/ a built in ATSC tuner for OTA channels and a DVI input for DVD/STB/etc....


I've always liked Satellite as a choice because it seems to deliver more bang for the buck then cable in my area... Our cable provider is Adelphia and I have yet to meet anyone with something good to say about them...


But I have also heard about shoddy reception w/ satellite...


A final complicating factor is STB here is a quick Pro/Con list for me... Any info you guys can add will be appreciated...


SAT-HD300

Pro:

1. Satellite - More bang for the buck for me

2. Supposedly great tuner

3. Can "downconvert"? HDTV signals for output from S-Video/Composite Video out so can record shows on a VCR/DVD Recorder/TIVO

4. Remote w/ Great Reviews

5. 5.1 Fiberoptic Sound Output from HDTV for component audio


Cons:

1. Proabably will have to buy from e-bay since discontinued by Sony

2. Questionable software upgrades from DirectTV

3. No local channels from Satllite automatically...

4. ATSC Tuner - Duplicates builtin tuner on TV

5. Need a TIVO unit to go with it for DVR f(x) - and as such probably will NOT be able to record HDTV although w/ A HD-DVR w/ HDMI/DVI input this might be possible (anyone wish to take a guess... Or better yet anyone able to achieve this?)

6. Will need to buy a satellite dish and install it...


DHG-HDD500

Pros

1. Cablecard STB w/ built in HD-DVR - so can record HD content on to DVR (although it is not clear if you can use the DVR f(x) w/ the never copy bit set on a program...)

2. Direct recording of HDTV to DVR, no need for two boxes...


Cons

1. I haver to get Adelphia

2. Don't know if it will down convert HDTV for recording on VCR/TIVO/DVD etc...

3. Don't know if it will upconvert NTSC broadcasts/signals

4. DVR NOT TIVO, maybe TVGuide for EPG??


I REALLY need to get one system or another since there is absolutely no reception in my area and I have been w/out TV for way too long...


Thanx for any info/tips/rumours etc...
 

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Just to let you know, the Sony HD300 wasn't even built by Sony, it's an LG 3200A receiver inside.. If your considering D*, don't let the brand name of the receiver be your deciding factor. I'd really suggest you look into the Hughes HR10-250 HD Tivo unit if you want to be able to receive and record HD. It's got 4 tuners built in (2 D*/2 ATSC) so you can record one program while recording another or watch a recorded program while recording 2 at the same time.


As a new customer you could pick up the Tivo for $899 to 999 if you shop around and get the dish and installation included for free along with I think up to 3 additional SD receivers installed for free.. Check with Value Electronics or Solid Signal to see what their current specials are.


How far are you from your local tranmission towers by the way, are you receiving any OTA broadcasts now?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by mjones73
Just to let you know, the Sony HD300 wasn't even built by Sony, it's an LG 3200A receiver inside.. If your considering D*, don't let the brand name of the receiver be your deciding factor. I'd really suggest you look into the Hughes HR10-250 HD Tivo unit if you want to be able to receive and record HD. It's got 4 tuners built in (2 D*/2 ATSC) so you can record one program while recording another or watch a recorded program while recording 2 at the same time.


As a new customer you could pick up the Tivo for $899 to 999 if you shop around and get the dish and installation included for free along with I think up to 3 additional SD receivers installed for free.. Check with Value Electronics or Solid Signal to see what their current specials are.


How far are you from your local tranmission towers by the way, are you receiving any OTA broadcasts now?
Thanx. I was aware that the Sony was built by LG but I like the "shell" and I had heard many a good thing about it... My plan was/is SAT-HD300 w/ Sony SVR-300 vs. the DHG-HDD500. The real problem I have w/ the CableCard solution is:


1. I have to use Adelphia.


There are other minor inconveniences:


1. I hear the TVGuide software is crap

2. Apparently w/ this box I can not watch a channle/pre-recorded show and record two other shows at the same time (although apparently I can watch something and record a the same time. A caveat I have heard is that the box does not allow you to watch a cable channel (e.g. HBO) and record a cable cahnnel at the same time (e.g. showtime).) not sure how much of this is true UNTIL the unit is in the stores! Arrghhh...


The TiVO/DirecTV ccombo also has disadvantages. Namely:


1. NO HD PVR Function

2. And I am not sure how recording would work: e.g. can I only record a channel I am watching w/ the TiVO off the satelite or casn the TiVO record somehtign off the satellite while I watch another satellite channel.... I might have things really confused here... But I remember back in the old days if you had a cable tuner from the cable company and wanted to record a premium channel the tunner needed to be tuned in to that particular channel and hence not allowing you to watch anything else. Not sure if this applies to this particular receiver/TiVO combo...



I am currently leaning toward the CableCard solution since it is all in one and would be more elegant.


As for how far, I am not sure... How can I determine that...


Thanx...
 

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Shadow,


You've got things a little mixed up.


The DirecTV Tivos will let you watch one channel while recording another; they will also let you record two different channels simultaneously while watching a previous recording. You do not want the Sony SVR-300 -- that is a discontinued standalone Tivo that can only record one program at a time.


For DirecTV, you would order either the HDTV DirecTivo for $899 or the standard DirecTivo for $49 -- both of these will let you watch one channel while recording another, or record two channels simultaneously. Both are all-in-one, single-box solutions. The $899 HDTV DirecTivo has four tuners and can record any two OTA HDTV or DirecTV HDTV channels simultaneously; the $49 DirecTivo can only record standard satellite channels with its two satellite tuners. DirecTV charges a flat $5/mo fee for their DVR service, regardless of how many DirecTivos you own -- and they waive the fee entirely if you subscribe to their top programming package.


The $999 Sony DHG-HDD500 only has one cable tuner, and only one tuner is usable at any given time, so you can only watch or record one channel at once. With it, you cannot watch one HDTV channel while recording another, nor can you record two HDTV channels simultaneously. However, it will let you record one program while watching a previous recording. There is no DVR fee to use the DHG-HDD500, but its Gemstar TVGuide software is functionally inferior to the Tivo software -- for example, Tivo is designed for commercial skipping, whereas the TVGuide software is not. The Sony also relies on program data delivered by your local PBS station, which is less reliable than DirecTV's satellite-delivered guide information.


You can see some screenshots of the interface (not developed by Sony) on the Sony DHG-HD500 right here . You can compare those to screenshots of the DirecTV HDTV Tivo interface right here .
 

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The HR10-250 is still the best HD PVR by a long shot, don't be confused by anything you read. If you want DirecTV, you want the HR10-250. The SVR-3000 as bfdtv mentions is a standalone analog tuner Series 2 TiVo and I don't believe you will find anyway to get that to control the Sony HDR300 acceptably and you wouldn't likely want to record HDTV in 480i anyway. It would cost the purchase price plus $300 or $13/month to do a poor job for that purpose.


If having Sony equipment is important, you might be happy with controlling the HR10-250 by a Sony remote control, like the RM-AV3100 or whatever that model number is. Of course compare the cable HDTV service with DirecTV and if programming and pricing favors cable, then I don't know what you would want to do.


Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by bfdtv

The $999 Sony DHG-HDD500 only has one cable tuner, and only one tuner is usable at any given time, so you can only watch or record one channel at once. With it, you cannot watch one HDTV channel while recording another, nor can you record two HDTV channels simultaneously. However, it will let you record one program while watching a previous recording. There is no DVR fee to use the DHG-HDD500, but its Gemstar TVGuide software is functionally inferior to the Tivo software -- for example, Tivo is designed for commercial skipping, whereas the TVGuide software is not. The Sony also relies on program data delivered by your local PBS station, which is less reliable than DirecTV's satellite-delivered guide information.
Is this confirmed or is it just rumour/based on the sonystyle specs? If this is TRUE it would make the device pretty useless as a DVR -- Heck my 1989 VHS VCR allows me to record one channel and watch another at the same time....


The other killer for me personally is the cable cost per month to the Tune of $85 for basic cable, HD service and HBO... Thanx but no thanx...



I will look at the Hughes DirecTiVo option and see how that fares....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Gerhard
The HR10-250 is still the best HD PVR by a long shot, don't be confused by anything you read. If you want DirecTV, you want the HR10-250. The SVR-3000 as bfdtv mentions is a standalone analog tuner Series 2 TiVo and I don't believe you will find anyway to get that to control the Sony HDR300 acceptably and you wouldn't likely want to record HDTV in 480i anyway. It would cost the purchase price plus $300 or $13/month to do a poor job for that purpose.
Thats what I was afraid of... I think that Sony hhas really dropped the ball in the DVR and STB departments... I'll look at the hughes and see how much that would run me in monthly fees... Thanx for the suggestions!
 

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Sony didn't drop the ball, Directv is not letting anyone else but RCA and Hughes make receivers for them for now on, they are going to D* branded receivers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by mjones73
Sony didn't drop the ball, Directv is not letting anyone else but RCA and Hughes make receivers for them for now on, they are going to D* branded receivers.
You misunderstand... I am talking about how they are making $1000 items (in the case of the DVR) but not innovating or even including the basic features that the intended audience of the item is looking for (e.g. watching one channel while recording another...)
 

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Shadow,


It's not Sony's fault, the TVGuide OnScreen software just doesn't support dual tuner use. These sort of products are expensive to bring to the market...which is the reason why Sony will be the only one with a CableCard DVR this year (if it makes it to market at all).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by bfdtv
Shadow,


It's not Sony's fault, the TVGuide OnScreen software just doesn't support dual tuner use. These sort of products are expensive to bring to the market...which is the reason why Sony will be the only one with a CableCard DVR this year (if it makes it to market at all).
Right... But DirecTV is still licensing its services and sony has had/does have a DirecTV license... I know this issue has been beaten to death in another thread so I won't get into it here.. From my point view, as the consumer, this is a $1000 waste since the two driving forces behind getting it (for me) are:


1. Sony name brand (I like sony what can I say...)

2. HD DVR


As I've mentined before the cable aspect is not too appealing but I'd have been willing to go cable IF the HD DVR was good... At this point, from my prespective again, the only market for this device is people with cable who hate the cable co. STB and are willing to take anything else... Now if sony had made a device for cable like the hughes one for DirectTV I'd be all over it....


Of course YMMV.... :D As for me, even though it is not Sony, I think the best option (in terms of what I want to do) is to get the Hughes HD-DVR. Thanx for all hte input everyone.
 
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