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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We received information on Panasonic's new STB, that is being released later this year. Panasonic asked for our initial feedback, which I passed along to him.


ATSC Tuner

One Rf Input (Terrestrial)

1080i/480i YPrPb Component Output

2 A/V, S-Video, Optical S/PDIF Outputs

1080i Mode (all formats to 1080i)

Hybrid Mode (480i to 480p, 720p to 1080i)

480i Mode (all formats to 480i)

ATSC Signal Strength Meter

708 CC Compliant

Silver Cabinet

Universal Remote Control


I am curious to hear end user's initial feedback on this item.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
From what I can tell it will be over-the-air reception only.
 

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Fast Menus

Video format changes from remote so we can record to VHS/PVR. Ideally a composite output for recording use along with a component output.

Firewire as JohnnyG says.

I would prefer the black cabinet but only because the rest of mine are.

Built in PVR. (huge bonus)

DirecTV (or I would not buy it)

Reasonable priced. (Had to put that one in there)


Chad
 

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Silver case? I still have black components.


Also, allow one connection to cable TV and the other to ATSC antenna, then seamlessly allow navigation through the combined channels -- cable reception and HD reception (no analog channels over the ATSC antenna).
 

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If it is over the air only why would panny abandon 720p, since they seem to be the only ones who have included it in their STBs?
 

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Looks, good

great to see it has a component output, Have to agree black would be a better fit as most systems are black and it would look more customize to the rest of the systems in place. Its great to see the PVR! is this system quite, requiring a fan? Want to sell a lot of them price them at a price everyone will buy. The word gets around on a good solid product at a decent price. Especially when Direct TV companies are basically giving away todays receivers. Fast Menus that have quick access and update quickly!
 

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This unit is DOA unless they add (or "restore") two features:


• 720p output. All previous Panasonic STBs can do this (and I have them all). So can my Samsung SIR-T150. Except for the Samsung, Panasonic was the only brand that supported 720p, and it was their most compelling feature.


Note: 720p is generally the best mode for driving a plasma display, and now that the prices of plasmas have come down, they are becoming VERY POPULAR.


• Zoom mode when viewing 4:3 programs on a 16:9 screen. The Panasonic TU-HDS20 supports "all three" aspect modes when viewing 16:9 programs on a 4:3 screen (letterbox, stretched, and zoom) but only two aspect modes when viewing 4:3 programs on a 16:9 screen (sidebar and stretched; zoom is missing). The Samsung SIR-T150 supports all three aspect modes when viewing 4:3 programs on a 16:9 screen.


HIGHLY DESIRABLE FEATURES:


• CONCURRENT output of composite/S-video along with HD component video. The earliest Panasonic, the TU-DST50, could do this but they dropped the feature from subsequent models. The Samsung SIR-T150 can do this.


• Resolution mode changes via the remote. If they don't restore the missing "concurrent output", this is a MUST -- otherwise, it is "nice to have". If implemented, there should be discrete IR codes for each mode, not a single "step through modes" code. That is so mode changes can be automated via Pronto, AMX, Lexicon 700t, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
HDPatriot: To my knowledge, this unit does not have a PVR, I think that is on Beavis1's wish list. There is talk that Zenith will offer a STB later this year with a built-in PVR.... but at the moment, it is just talk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Concurrent Ouput: I have been told by Panasonic this feature was removed as a cost cutting measure. They had included it on the original set top box primarily for retail showrooms to show customers a "side-by-side" comparision of HD and HD down converted to SD.
 

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Kerry: The talk you mention about the Zenith receiver, would the PVR be capable of HD recording? Any more details, or a link?
 

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Concurrent Output: Essential for those of us who have "multi-room" or "whole house" installations. The HD goes to the Home Theater, the standard definition feed to everywhere else. Also required by those who, unlike me, like to record programs on an (ordinary) VCR while watching them in HD.


ALSO needed if you tune to a digital 480i channel and you want to have it upconverted to 480p by your own line doubler, rather than the STB -- this gives you more flexibility is aspect control, for instance. This need would be obviated if the STB had (discrete) IR control of the resolution mode -- but all STBs to date have offered only a back-panel slide switch or a (stepping) non-IR-controlled front panel switch.


Thank goodness the Samsung supports concurrent output!
 

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Firewire is essential for time shifting network HD programs with the D-VHS decks. No firewire = why bother buying?
 

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I would prefer to see a good basic and affordable ATSC receiver. There are thousands of viewers out here now with HD displays who don't use a dbs provider and just want a digital tuner. If that means some special features like DirecTV are left off this box then fine; there are many other boxes out there now that can do that and there will no doubt be more to follow. Pure OTA STB choices however are far too limited and the Samsung is still not totally acceptable to all (cost and PSIP implementation).


I do agree any new ATSC tuner must incorporate Firewire, have two RF inputs (mandatory), and have a decent implementation of PSIP. Having an easy way to update the firmware would also be a plus.


Bruce
 

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I also vote for firewire.


Also, it might help if it comes with 2 RF inputs... it will help those with cable & OTA, or those with multiple Off-Air antennae.
 

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The new Samsung OTA will have firewire, so if the Panny doesn't, guess what we're all buying...
 

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I agree with the previous poster (HDPatriot) -- it has to be quiet! Preferably no fan. Can anyone suggest a replacement fan for the TU-HDS20? Even after the Elgin upgrade, the thing is too loud. I don't have a glass case, using a Bell'O stand instead.


Also, I'm not especially crazy about the slightly curved face of the TU-HDS20. I'd prefer a flat front to match the stereo components.


Did someone mention signal strength meter for OTA?


Plus, with no more VCR, which component will display the current time (synchronized with the PBS signal)?
 
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