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We have had our StarChoice DSR500 HDTV receiver for about three weeks now....

.......First it was hooked up via S-Video to our 35" Mitsubishi non- HD capable direct view TV....

....then our new 34" direct view TV HDTV (KV34XBR910) was unleashed on Tuesday. It is connected to the DSR500 via Monster Video 2 Component Video Cable.

For audio I have the DSR500 connected to my Pioneer VSX606-S Dolby Digital receiver via a Monster M Series Coaxial cable(unlike the DSR500, my older Pioneer receiver does not do optical digital audio).

Speakers are all Sound Dynamics...four RTS-7's, centre speaker is a RTS-C1 & sub-woofer is the THS-3000. All are connected via high quality speaker wires.

We had the StarChoice 75cm elliptical dish with the cool quad LNBF installed to replace our old round dish

Enough already...here's my review....

-The DSR500 looks just great in the Sony stand/rack below the KV34XBR910...almost a perfect colour match!

-The DSR500 has a cool, orange(think Pontiac dashboards ) 24 hour clock/channel display on the front panel. This display shows the channels as you change them...after a couple of minutes it reverts to the clock...

....Also on the front panel are four orange horizantal "lines" that glow while the DSR500 is on...you can tell at a glance whether or not you have left it turned on when you leave the room!

-The DSR500 is two inches wider & an inch taller(both are 13" deep) than my other StarChoice receiver....a General Instruments 421B. The DSR 500 is 17"wide,13"deep + 3"high unit. (BTW..I'm quite sure that this Motorola receiver is also used by the new VOOM HD sat service).

-The DSR500 has lot's of audio & video connection options, however no DVI video connection...GRRR

-As I am using a digital audio connection, the DSR500 outputs Dolby Digital 5.1 automatically when it finds it....i.e. TMN-The Movie Network(1-5) and ABC Detroit

-There is some annoying sound "bleed" from another source on CBC Newsworld & CPAC.... BTW From previous experience, I expected these two channels were going to be an audio problem!...Fix it!

-Other than the above hiccup, all the other audio & TV channels sound just great!

-Having had the opportunity to have the DSR500 hooked up to two different TV's I must say that I was initially kinda disappointed with the picture quality +guide display using S-Video and our non-HD capable TV...not as good as via our 421B!

.....Things look much, much better via component video connection to the Sony KV34XBR910....the best picture quality of any direct view TV I have ever seen...even on the SD channels

-The DSR500 displays the guide in 16:9 ratio...this is likely why it wasn't a great match for my old 4:3 ratio Mitsubishi TV!

-The DSR500 guide's picture-in-picture allows you to watch live tv in the left upper 25% of the screen while you check out four channels of the guide listings....press twice on the guide button and it goes to full screen guide(six channels of the guide displayed)

-The DSR500's guide flags....sports programs with a green marker, movies with a green marker, HDTV programs and DD5.1 programs

-You can use the parental control option to lock channels out of the guide....however, when watching TV and you switch up or down one channel(not using the guide) to one you have locked out, it displays the name of the locked channel + program name....Fix it!

-We just watched Rudy Maxa's Smart Travels in HD on KCTS Seattle....amazing, jaw dropping picture quality!

IMO run, don't walk to buy a DSR500 system!...probably the best $549(Canadian) that you can spend!



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