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Quote:
Originally posted by Ken Ross
Bill, do you see any differences at all in the PQ between the LG and the Sony.
No difference at all in PQ between the LG 3200A and the Sony HD300. I also have a Sony HD200, and I agree that the 3200A/HD300 "may" be slightly less sharp on the component output than the HD200. But the difference, if any (on a Sony 32" plasma monitor) is very small. On the other hand, the S-video output on the 3200A/HD300 looks slightly sharper and with more saturated colors than on the HD200. Again, the difference, if any, is small.


I have experienced no audio dropouts with the LG or either of the two HD300s that I tested.


I have not opened the units, but the LG and corresponding Sony clearly must have different front-panel circuit boards, because their geometry is different (the buttons and the card slot are in different locations). However, the two versions of the front-panel board "should" be electrically and electronically equivalent, just with their components re-arranged a bit. Typically such boards are connected to the main board by a ribbon cable, so if the only difference is in the layouts of the front-panel boards, it's hard to imagine that could be the root cause any of the reported problems.


The two Sony HD300s that I tested, bought from different places, both consistently exhibited the "composite/S-video black & white problem" on channel 201. (And another source has confirmed to me that DirecTV *DOES* test the HDCP flag quite often on that channel.) But the LG 3200A has NEVER done this, and I have had it for 5 days now. The Sony and the LG have the same main board rev level and the same firmware rev level — so what can the difference be?


My "best guess" is that the HDCP flag causes the firmware, although identical, to take a "bad branch" when running on the Sony version. It's clear that the firmware, although the "binaries" are identical, is sensitive to which make it is running on. Not only does the firmware respond to different IR codes (and different RF codes, too, I have tested it) but there are minor differences in the menus. The Sony displays the select button as something similar to a "+" sign, whereas the LG displays it as a circle with a dot in the middle; there are minor differences in the menu text (the LG uses the term "Surf", the Sony does not); and the procedure for changing the remote codes differs between the Sony and LG models.


(Another mystery is that the RF remote antennas are NOT interchangeable — the Sony will not respond when the LG's RF antenna is connected, and vice versa. Somebody else reported this, but I forgot about it until it "bit me". The LG's RF antenna is about 3/4" shorter than the Sony's, which indicates they are tuned for different RF frequencies, but it's hard to imagine that matters much at VERY short range. Most likely, the RF antenna units themselves contain very narrow band-pass filters in their bases. Also, the Sony supports 16 different RF code sets but the LG supports only 8 such code sets. On the other hand, the Sony supports only 2 sets of IR codes, while the LG supports 8 such sets.)
 

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Bill,


You stated that Ver 1.02 was released for the HD200. My HD200 is running Ver 1.04 dated 4/1/03. Were you talking about the HD300?


I am also curious if the remote for the 3200A is more functional. I hate the Sony remote.


Ron R
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by ZepherRR
... Ver 1.04 dated 4/1/03 ...
Sorry, I meant version 1.04. I have edited the error in the post and taken another anti-aging pill ...


The remote for the 3200A is less functional than the Sony's remote. It lacks the "format" button. All other functions are present, but the remote is big and bulky. I like the Sony's remote better ... but it will not work the 3200A.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by wmccain
The remote for the 3200A is less functional than the Sony's remote. It lacks the "format" button. All other functions are present, but the remote is big and bulky. I like the Sony's remote better ... but it will not work the 3200A.
If one will always be using the 'Native' format, is there any other possible need for having the 'Format' button on the remote. (I will be using the simultaneous 480i output for RF transmission to two other TVs, but I don't think that matters.)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by QZ1
If one will always be using the 'Native' format, is there any other possible need for having the 'Format' button on the remote.
True, the concurrent 480i output to the NTSC jacks effectively eliminates the need to change format. I leave mine set to "Variable 1".


With the older Zenith HD-SAT520/Sony SAT-HD200, there were discrete codes for each format — not on the remote itself, but in the "key code" interface via the RS232 serial port. I used that interface to switch the 480i NTSC outputs on and off, but thankfully that is not necessary with the HD300.


Since I run everything under control of an AMX controller (which sends IR pulses and RS232 serial commands to the equipment per my programming) I would prefer, in general, that everything has discrete codes for everything. For instance, my Sony plasma monitor has discrete RS232 serial control commands for each of its aspect modes, and I make heavy use of that fact ...
 

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Does someone knows if the LSS 3200a has discrete Power ON and Power OFF codes? I tried the codes that I use for the HD520 without any luck. I noticed that the address in the remote can be change but I believe that is only for the RF part. By the way I tried Remote Central already and there is not codes there for the 3200a
 

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Try the Zenith Sat520 codes.


Quote:
Originally posted by flcusat
Does someone knows if the LSS 3200a has discrete Power ON and Power OFF codes? I tried the codes that I use for the HD520 without any luck. I noticed that the address in the remote can be change but I believe that is only for the RF part. By the way I tried Remote Central already and there is not codes there for the 3200a
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by flcusat
I tried the codes that I use for the HD520 without any luck.
If the other Zenith HD-SAT520 codes work the 3200A, but the discrete on/off codes do not, then very likely the 3200A does not support any discrete on/off codes from the IR/RF remote.


For the record, the set of "key codes" supported by the RS232 serial interface on the 3200A is much smaller than the full set of remote codes (although it does include one discrete power code not found on the remote). This contrasts significantly with the Zenith HD-SAT520/Sony SAT-HD200, on which the RS232 serial interface supported a superset of the codes on the IR remote (including discrete codes for each output video format mode).


I have tested all 256 possible key codes, from hex 00 to hex FF, on the 3200A/HD300. The following is a complete list of the supported codes (all others result in an "invalid command" response from the unit):
Code:
Code:
0x9A    right cursor
0x9B    left cursor
0x9C    up cursor
0x9D    down cursor
0xC3    enter/select/info
0xC5    power on
0xD5    power toggle
0xF7    menu
0xFA    menu
I don't know why there are two codes for "menu" — perhaps one of them gives more function, such as access to the diagnostic menus. (The SAT520/HD200 had two serial key codes for "jump", but there is a historical reason for that, as Sony DBS receivers have had two different flavors of the "jump" function, called "jump normal" and "jump loop".)


Note that the key codes cannot be used to change channels, since there are no numeric digit key codes. However, the 3200A/HD300 does support another serial command, called "set channel/subchannel", with which the channel can be changed in one command (rather than sending a command for each digit). This latter command is the one used by TiVo and ReplayTV units when they are serially connected to a 3200A/HD300. (The SAT520/HD200, on the other hand, did not support the "set channel/subchannel" command. That, and the fact that their serial interface ran at an unusual speed, were the reasons that those models could not be serially controlled by a TiVo/ReplayTV.)
 

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Well - I purchased the 3200A last Tue 11/25. During the first 5 hours of operation and familiarization, I experienced 4 audio drops, 2 system hangs and one experience w/ line across screen (right 1/3 about 40% down from top). There were two lines, side by side about 7 in and 5 IN. Had to power off to get rid of.

The biggest problem is PQ. The 3200A is significantly inferior to my HD200, including HD. I can switch back and forth between the two for comparrison. I have high quality cabling with no interference factors. I also have a Pioneer PRO-620HD. I am assuming that this is related to new tuner vs. firmware. I read earlier post regarding change in tuner.

I posted an inquiry on the HD300 thread asking how the 3200A compares to HD300 as related to PQ.

Guess I will return the 3200A and stick with my HD200 until someone comes out with a good product. The 3200A is running ver 1.06. Has anyone heard if LG is going to release new software upgrade. Probably won't help with PQ. Have opened problem ticket with LG to find out how they are going to handle these issues. Waiting for resonse Monday.


Ron R
 

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Well - I purchased the 3200A last Tue 11/25. During the first 5 hours of operation and familiarization, I experienced 4 audio drops, 2 system hangs and one experience w/ line across screen (right 1/3 about 40% down from top). There were two lines, side by side about 7 in and 5 IN. Had to power off to get rid of.

The biggest problem is PQ. The 3200A is significantly inferior to my HD200, including HD. I can switch back and forth between the two for comparrison. I have high quality cabling with no interference factors. I also have a Pioneer PRO-620HD. I am assuming that this is related to new tuner vs. firmware. I read earlier post regarding change in tuner.

I posted an inquiry on the HD300 thread asking how the 3200A compares to HD300 as related to PQ.

Guess I will return the 3200A and stick with my HD200 until someone comes out with a good product. The 3200A is running ver 1.06. Has anyone heard if LG is going to release new software upgrade. Probably won't help with PQ. Have opened problem ticket with LG to find out how they are going to handle these issues. Waiting for resonse Monday.


Ron R
 

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Discussion Starter #94
It is listed in the topic on the HD300 but is anyone really getting lockups with the HD300 / 3200A (ok ZepherRR says he is). I have had mine nearly a month now and except for one lockup during the initial setup I have not had mine lock up once.
 

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Just ordered a second 3200A from **************** ~ this one for my Son-In-Law & Daughter, since they have a multi-path problem in Oakton. I took my 3200A to their house on Thanksgiving Day and we where pulling in virtually all of the Washington, DC stations on just a Silver Sensor UHF indoor antenna. I'm sure an upgraded outdoor antenna will give them good service with the 3200A. Tom
 

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Thanks to a "heads up" from acaciolo I discovered that there are actually two sets of "key codes" that are supported by the 3200A/HD300 via the RS232 serial interface. There is the set that I posted earlier, which are codes that are prefixed by 0x00 0x00, and there is a second set of codes that are prefixed by 0x02 0x01 (as were all of the key codes supported by the non-standard serial interface of the Zenith HD-SAT520/Sony SAT-HD200). The second set is also small, like the first set, and it consists solely of discrete codes for format control (again, similar to the SAT520/HD200).


This also motivated me to check further and see just which of the commands from the "APG command set" are supported by the 3200A/HD300. (The "APG" command set is sometimes called the "new" command set, to distinguish it from the original set of commands defined by RCA and Sony for serial control of DBS receivers.) The answer turned out to be "all of them" (plus at least one more that I did not know about previously). This is in contrast to the SAT520/HD200, which supported only the 0xFA 0xA5 "remote control key" command (albeit with a very large set of key codes, a superset of the keys available on the remote). (Plus diagnostic and maintenance commands for such functions as loading new firmware, but those are best left "uninvestigated".)


So here is the set of commands that I found work with the 3200A/HD300 (as usual with DBS receiver serial control, command codes are always prefixed by 0xFA):

Code:
Code:
0x81    power off
0x82    power on
0x83    get info (returns 47 bytes including the 0x87/90/91 data)
0x84    accepted/completed (no obvious function)
0x85    hide text (see 0xAA)
0x86    accepted/completed (no obvious function)
0x87    get channel/subchannel numbers
0x90    get signal strength
0x91    get date/time/day of week
0x93    enable remote
0x94    disable remote
0xA5    remote control key
0xA6    set channel/subchannel
0xAA    display text string (14 chars max)
With the 0xA5 command, the parameter string, which is sent after the box responds with 0xF0, is three bytes long. When the first two parameter bytes (the "prefix") are 0x00 0x00, the third byte (the "key code") can be:

Code:
Code:
0x9A    right cursor
0x9B    left cursor
0x9C    up cursor
0x9D    down cursor
0xC3    enter/select/info
0xC5    power on
0xD5    power toggle
0xF7    menu
0xFA    menu
When the prefix is 0x02 0x01, the key code can be:

Code:
Code:
0x33    1080i format
0x34    720p format
0x35    480p format
0x36    480i format
0x37    native
0x38    variable 1
0x39    variable 2
0x3A    variable 3
Support for the APG command set was expected, since LG/Sony advertised that the new models would support serial control by personal video recorders (i.e. TiVo and ReplayTV). And the manuals that come with the products say so, too. The support for the discrete format codes was an unexpected bonus. The only thing that is disappointing is the puny set of key codes that are supported — previous models of DBS receivers with serial control have always supported all of the keys found on the remote.


In my case, I have programmed my AMX controller to use the 0xA6 command to change channels via the serial interface, but I am forced to have the AMX send IR pulses for such functions as "info" and "prev ch" (aka "display" and "jump").


For more details of the serial control protocol for DBS receivers, see the following Web sites:

http://www.pcmx.net/dtvcon/cmds.htm
http://home.att.net/~mevenmo/sonydsscodes.html
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by David Richardson
So it looks like the Sat is responding at 9600, 8, 1, N.
That is correct. The SAT520/HD200 had a "non-standard" version of the 0xFA "APG" serial control protocol, which differed from normal in that it ran at 57600 bps and supported only one command, 0xA5 "remote control key" (and the key codes were unusual, with a non-standard prefix).


With the LSS3200A/HD300 (and, presumably, the Hughes HTL-HD, although I have tested only the LG and Sony versions) they reverted to the standard APG protocol at 9600 bps and with a full set of 0xFA commands. I have reason to believe this was due to pressure from TiVo and ReplayTV, which do not support the SAT520/HD200 variant. The only odd thing about the LSS3200A/HD300 support is that they did not support a full set of key codes in the 0xA5 command.
 

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Some of you have seen a document that was distributed by the marketing folks at both Zenith and Sony that purports to describe the serial control protocol for the SAT520/HD200. This document is a useful "starting point", but you should be aware that it has a number of inaccuracies. The document was apparently produced via "reverse engineering" by somebody who was not very familiar with the 0xFA serial control protocol — it clearly was not produced by LG's engineering staff.


Here is a list of the inaccuracies:


• What the document calls a "header" is actually a "command" and what the document calls a "control string" is actually a "parameter string".


• The 0x0D "carriage return/enter" bytes shown at the end of every string in the document are entirely superfluous. Omit them.


• Rather than waiting 200-700 ms after sending the 0xFA 0xA5 "header", you should wait for a 0xF0 "command accepted" response from the box. This is faster, more precise, and guaranteed to work.


• The document lists the key code for "enter" as "??????...". In fact, the key code for "select" (0xC3) is also the code for "enter". Sony has historically used separate buttons, with different IR codes, for these two functions. But in the LG-designed boxes, they are (internally) one and the same function. When sending digit keys to change channels, you should end the sequence with a 0xC3 "select" key (otherwise the channel change will not happen until the box "times out").
 

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I have had a tremendous amount of contact with a few people at Zenith...all of which have been very helpful with serial protocol problem...here is what transpired:


1. They were not aware that the document they were distributing was wrong. They thought the 3200 protocol was the same as the 520, which it obviously isn't.


2. They were not aware of the APG protocol partially working on the 3200.


3. They assured me, and they forwarded me a letter from LG stating that the Q1 software release will add full serial control to this unit (favorite, guide, etc.)



So...as of now, we can't fully control this. But, when the software update is released, full serial control will work.
 
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