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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Whats the best hdtv/directv receiver? can anyone give me a straight answer? should i go with sony/samsung/toshiba or just plain hughes? should i look for one with dvi (hughes does not have dvi)? can someone please help me! all these post just beat around the bush! Can someone who works at kencranes that has seen all the receivers give a good answer? someone not in a store trying to sell you the most expensive thing in there? please help i am lost!!!




P.S. New to HDTV but is sick or grainy picture received by cable!
 

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Your question can't be answered without a lot more info.

How do you get your signal -- cable, dish network, directv, over the air?

Does your TV have DVI?

Do you have a price limit?

Is some type of Tivo/PVR important to you?

Have you read the FAQ for the forum?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just have regular cable! i want to get directv! my tv does have dvi! its a sony! i dont want to spend more than 800 dollars for a receiver! but i want it to be 800 dollars well spent on a good receiver!



please help me i want to get directv by this month!
 

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Do you want an IR blaster to allow the hd receiver to control your vcr so you can easily record SD and/or down rez'ed HD? Do you need an RF remote that control the hd receiver even if it's behind a solid cabinet door or control it from another room? Do you plan to hook an antenna to the HD receiver to also get any local OTA HD channels in your area, and if so are you concerned about reception of those local HD channels?


The latest greatest Directv HD STBs from Sony, Zenith and Samsung have DVI/HDCP and have more sensitive OTA tuners too, but they don't have all the other features some of the previous generation STBs had. The Sony and Zenith boxes don't have either the IR blaster or the RF remote. The Samsung has an IR blaster but not an RF remote.


If you don't think DVI/HDCP will become a common copy protection scheme and you don't have a plasma or LCD TV that can show the benefits of the all digital DVI connection and you don't think you're in a fringe area were OTA signal strength may be an issue, one of the older generation STBs may be a good fit. The Hughes E86 is a nice little box. I'm in a primary reception area and get excellent signal strength on my OTA channels. My TV didn't have DVI, so that wasn't a factor for me. I wanted an IR blaster to control my vcr and needed an RF remote so I can control the STB from another room. The E86 was a good choice for me. It has a 2-year warranty and last November it cost only $499 when the other newer boxes were priced well above $750. The newer boxes also have a number of software glitches some of which have been corrected with software updates and I believe some have not. For what it's worth the E86 is pretty reliable overall, however, if you plan to put it in a closed cabinet overheating has been reported and may require additional ventilation and/or a cooling fan to prevent heat related problems.


At this point, there's simply no clear cut best choice. It all depends on what's important to you.
 

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There is no best. Just what's best for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
well what do u guys thinks is best for me! i just want a hdtv feed! i want to watch hbo on hdtv! i want to watch cbs on hdtv! so all i want is a box (receiver) that will allow me to do that? my tv has dvi! i dont mind playing does extra 6 bucks to get local channels with directv! i just want to see tv broadcasting the way it looks at the local bestbuy! so far i have to receiver and everything looks flat and grainy! have you guys seen the original batman dvd on a hdtv! holy crap its grainy! i just want to watch tv the way the salesman told me i can! but it looks like its impossible!


Help me please!
 

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Out of all the ones I've tried the Samsung is the best to me. The GUI is fantastic, the reception is fantastic, the channel lock time is quick, the menu aquire time is quick. I've had none of the problems reported in the 'bug' post. I've tried the Sony, RCA and Zenith and none of them, IMHO, can touch the Samsung.


Just my .02 though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
damn my last post made no sense! lol. ok lets make this short! All i want is a receiver that will allow me to see channels in high rez! i plan on only using the directv to watch tv. a dvd player to watch movies! and an xbox to play videogames! i will not use a roof antenna! just the dish! i just want to see tv at home the way the goodguys and bestbuy show it! so far all my channels look like the batman dvd ! grainy as hell! so whats the best receiver for me! and i dont know what ota channels mean? can someone explain it to me!
 

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Unfortunately, you can NOT get local HD channels from DirecTV. You either need HD cable or an "over the air" (OTA) antenna to receive your local ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS stations in HD from local station transmitters. Also, FOX offers 480p (DVD equivalent) and UPN and WB are starting to offer some HD programs.


DirecTV only offers SD (analog equivalent) versions of local channels. DISH satellite does offer limited CBS in areas where the local stations agree to allow it (usually where CBS owned and operated stations exist).


If you maintain your position of no roof antenna, you will have to use cable HDTV, but that depends on whether your local cable company provides HD channels, and how many channels they provide. In many areas, cable HD is still limited to HBO and Showtime HD channels. In some areas, more locals channels are provided, but the CBS O&O channels are often left out of the lineup because CBS and the cable companies cannot seem to agree on compensation (or not).


I know you would like this to be easier, but it just is not easy yet.


There is lots of info on available HD programming in the "HDTV Programming" area of the AVS Forum. Cable TV, DirecTV, DISH, ExpressVu, and OTA are covered.


You can also look in the "Local HDTV Info and Reception" area for specifics in your area. It might help folks trying to respond if you added your location information to your profile.
 

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You remind me of Elaine from Seinfeld when she ended every sentence in a manuscript with an exclamation point. Periods are your friend.
 

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Just an friendly FYI: As has been posted many times before in many other threads...local channels are not available in HD via Directv, so you won't get ABC in HD or CBS in HD or NBC in HD or PBS in HD or WB in HD or UPN in HD via Directv. When you buy the local channels on Directv you only get them in SD. To get the major networks in HD, you will have to connect the Directv STB to an antenna for your local channels that carry those networks. It's highly unlikely that Directv will ever (and I mean ever) carry local HD channels or national network feeds in HD. Directv only has 4 HD channels...HBO HD, Showtime HD, HDnet and HD PPV. And, keep in mind that SD channels will still look grainy on your HD-Ready TV with an HD STB if they look grainy on your TV now. SD won't necessarily improve dramatically, no matter if you get SD via OTA, cable or satellite.


As far as DVDs go, to make them look their best, you need to have a progessive scan DVD player connected to you TV via component cables and the DVD player needs to be set to progressive scan mode. Even so, DVD transfers like HD transfers of movies and shows shot on film vary in quality. That said, no HD transfers I've yet seen "pop" off the screen like well produced HD video. So, don't expect sitcoms in HD or even some movies in HD on HBO HD or Showtime HD to look as good as CSI or Jay Leno, the PBS HD demo reels or just about any HD video on HDNet.


As far and DVI goes, if your TV is a RPTV and not a plasma or LCD, DVI won't necessarily make your PQ look visibly better than using the componenet connectors for your HD STB. You might be able to see a difference in PQ using DVI on a digital display, but not on a typical RPTV which is still basically an analog display. DVI/HDCP is primarily intended as a way to eventually provide copy protection to some or all content at some point in the future. The future implementation of DVI/HDCP copy protection is still uncertain.


If you want to spend $650 to $800+ on your HD STB, buy one of the latest generation units from Sony, Zenith or Samsung. Buy it locally from some place with a good return policy. If you don't like it, take it back and get one of the other models. If you want to spend less, opt for a box like the Hughes E86.


I can't tell which you'll like best, but for what it's worth, I'm quite happy with the PQ of my E86 for both SD and HD on my Sony KP-43HT20. It's definitely a value pick. And, while I'm satified with the look of SD on my 43" RPTV (since I realize that it is SD and will never lookas good as HD), keep in mind that larger RPTVs magnify the flaws in SD, and many many people are never satisfied with the way SD looks on their big screens. It's the nature of the beast.


Good luck with your upcoming purchase and enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
my location is los angeles. And it looks like this isn't going to be an easy choice! So in order to get hdtv in LA i will need a ota antenna and a directv satellite! if so can i use any antenna or is it a special type of antenna? and i keep hearing about these receivers having problems switching from DirecTV to ota? which receiver doesn't have that problem? and which has the best picture quality? ALso i have one of those sony hdtv with the flicker problem (mine did not flicker but did make people look green sometimes). its been fixed.... well at least it hasn't done it anymore but it did take them 2 tries to try to fix it! so hopefully it does it again so i can qualify for the no lemon policy! (i now want that new dlp at bestbuy! since it looks like every channel is going to do 790p!). oh and the only reason i ask about dvi is that people keep saying that you will get a downgraded signal if you dont use dvi! i dont want that to happen! if so why pay so much mula for nothing!


this is my tv http://www.bestbuy.com/detail.asp?e=...t=24&scat=1470
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
also is there a website like epinions (but more up to date; epinions only has 2 reviews!!) to see the cons and pros?
 

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I'm not sure what type of antenna you will need. Depending on how OTA is being transmitted in your area, you may need a UHF only antenna, or you may need a VHF/UHF antenna. It depends on whether your locals are only broadcasting their HD channels in UHF or if some are broadcasting HD in VHF. Depending on how close you are to the transmission towers and whether there are any obstructions like hills or mountains or skyscrapers between you and the towers, you may be able to do quite well with something as simple as a $29 Zenith Silver Sensor indoor UHF antenna. But, you may need a larger outdoor antenna in your attic or on your roof that may cost more than $150. Go to antennaweb.org. It has tools that will help you get an idea of what you might need and which stations are broadcasting in HD/DTV in your area and which directions their transmission towers face from your location. It will also recommend what type of antenna you'll possibly need based on your proximity to the towers, but keep in mind that it's only a starting point. You may have to do some trial and error or hire a professional antenna installer to get the reception you need.


I'm not aware of channel changing between Directv and OTA being a major problem on any of the STBs, but maybe I'm not following the newer boxes all that closely, since I'm not in the market to buy one anymore. It's not a problem on my E86.


PQ is pretty subjective. I haven't done any side by side comparisons myself. Some people claim the Sony and it's Zenith counterpart have the best PQ. Some claim the Samsung's better. Some people claim the E86 and its clones are just about as good. You won't necessarily get a definitive answer. Everyone has an opinion. The only way to get a more analytical comparsion is to perhaps hire an ISF certified calibrator to help you select your equipment and they may be able to give you a recommendation based on the hard performance numbers.


1080i is the most common HD format. Only ABC and ESPN HD are using 720p. All other OTA and Directv HD channels are 1080i. But, if you get a TV that's native format is 720p you may want to get an STB that can output 720p. Most STBs tend to upconvert 720p to 1080i.


The importance of DVI is uncertain. It's quite possible that DVI as a copy protection scheme will never be fully implemented anywhere, and a newer copy protection scheme that is now in development (who's name escapes me) will be implemented down the road. It's also possible that copy protection may never become as commonplace as some people say and that DVI and it's successors will go the way of DIVX pay-per-view DVDs a few years ago. It's hard to say. The technology is changing so fast.


If you buy DVI (and pay a premium for STBs & TVs with DVI) strictly to future proof your purchases, there's no guarantee that you're doing that. DVI could be obsolete for copy protection tomorrow. If you're planning on buying a DLP tv, the DVI connection may give you a marginal improvement in PQ over component connections.


I bought a new RPTV last July. It doesn't have DVI/HDCP. No one was talking about DVI back then and none of the TVs I looked in my price range had DVI. When I bought my E86 in November, I didn't care that it didn't have DVI because I'm not planning on replacing my TV anytime soon and the E86 was less expensive the DVI equipped STBs. I plan on adding a Directv/TIVO HD STB when they eventually hit the market, so the E86 will eventually be hooked up to an analog TV in my bedroom anyway. I suspect the Directv/TIVO HD STB will include a DVI connection. If DVI/HDCP becomes a common copy protection scheme, I'll consider whether to replace the TV when the time comes. Hopefully some clever person will come up with a DVI to component converter box that will save us earlier adopters from having to scrap our TVs. I myself will cross that bridge when we come to it.


I don't know of any other review site that include more reviews of HD STBs and TVs. You can do a search in google for a given product with brand and model number and sometimes find reviews for that product separate from what you can find on epinions, but it's very hit and miss.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by losse2no1
also is there a website like epinions (but more up to date; epinions only has 2 reviews!!) to see the cons and pros?
The STB topics stuck to the top of this forum are the best source of info available.
 

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GET THE SAMSUNG!!! I was in the same situation you were and ended up researching all of them. The Sony/zeinth is nice but over priced. e86 is the cheapiest and a nice box but it was not a user friendly as the Samsung. I truly think that the samsung is the best bang for the buck and I havn't had one problem with it. Everyone knows how electronic goes you will wanted a different box in 3 years anyway because of improved technology. To get hdtv I have used both rabbit ears and my big roof top antenna and it comes in the same. You should be able to pick up a samsung box for $499 or so the Sony/Zenith is about $699. All this is my opinion and some will disagree. Good Luck
 
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