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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some of these issues may be attributable to local broadcasters rather than Sony, but I find much of my first experience with real HD to be a major drag. Most or all of this stuff has already been discussed in this forum, but in a fairly lengthy night of viewing, there were just so many warts that I feel the need to vent in public. Hope Sony's listening.


Things that are definitely, or just may be Sony's problems:

a) The fan noise is just plain silly. There's no good excuse for designing a box that has a fan that noisy in a home theatre environment. The heat output seems prodigious and I really wonder about the unit's potential lifespan.

b) The local problem (dare I say incompatibility?) with KING 5.3's OTA broadcast that results in regular dropouts every 3-10 seconds, even with signal strength consistently in the 95-98 range.

c) The lack of station ID and programming information in the guide for OTA DTV channels.

d) I haven't yet seen (or tried to see) the DirecTV periodic dropouts on the HD100 that others have been discussing in earnest, but the discussion certainly has done nothing to increase my confidence.


Things that might be Sony's fault, but might also be local broadcast issues:

a) Tonight I watched the KCTS HD broadcast of Nova. The picture would start out in sync with the sound, but the picture would sporadically seem to slow down for just a few frames, and would get progressively more and more behind the audio. Every 10 minutes or so, the box would somehow decide that it was so bad (roughly a full second out of sync) that it would blank the video for a second and then come back, perfectly in sync, only to repeat the dreary cycle over and over again... for the next two hours.


Honestly, there's no way this product or the overall experience meets up with the expectation I'd have for quality in a Sony product, even if some of it's not entirely their fault. But a lot of it has to be. The whole thing just feels rushed and not ready for primetime. I really have to debate whether I should keep my fingers crossed and hope for some really substantive software fixes at some indefinite point in the future, or just take the thing back and go back to an RCA or Panasonic instead. Not that those would be much better, but at least the RCA has the advantage of having been out for long enough to get some of the most serious warts out, and for several hundred bucks less than this Sony piece of...well...almost but not quite...junk.


I know, I know, we're all on the bleeding edge and should be willing to suffer a little. I am. But my wife sure isn't. Nor would my Mom, I'm willing to bet... There's no way anyone's going to convince the average Joe to shell out a couple grand for a typical HD setup with the current state of affairs in the HD broadcast chain right now. It looks like equipment manufacturers and broadcasters both have a LONG way to go before the mainstream's going to be ready to accept the new tech... which is so promising I can taste it. It's just a little on the bitter side at the moment.


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Andy
 

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Andy,


My sentiments exactly. Even though I am on the East Coast, with different stations, I am having all the same problems. You described them perfectly. I even printed this post so I can have it in front of me when I call Sony back today for a status. I have always trusted Sony to do it right. This is the 2nd Sony product that I have had a problem with recently. I did'nt even check this board out before I ordered to see if anybody was having any problems. I hadn't been on for awhile and I just knew that the HD100 would be a good one. Live and learn.


Wil
 

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For what it's worth, Andy, I often have the identical lip-syncing problem on the L.A. NBC digital broadcasts you described with my RCA DTC100. I suspect it has more to do with something at the broadcast end. In any event, so much for 1st and 2nd generation HD STBs. Can anyone say 3rd generation?... (Like the punchline of the old joke of why the guy has murdered all previous wives, but always gotten remarried: "Till we get it right!")


[This message has been edited by Ray H (edited 04-18-2001).]
 

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Like the above, I've been complaining here, to Sony, and to my local CBS affiliate. In addition to the lip-sync problem and the loud fan, which is loud but is minor to me, I have had the oft complained of drop-out on the half hour, never gotten CBS (no Masters, arghh), and certain DSS channels are way too dark.

After reading this thread, I, again, called the local CBS channel, which blamed the problem on Sony, and called Sony, which blamed the problem on Channel 11. the Sony rep (level 2, only difference was deeper voice) went on to say that they were aware of the lip-sync problem, and "were working on it." To which I responded that there were three other problems I had reported, and what could I do to get my money back. "Oh, yes, we are working on those too," I was told. Of course no number of direct questions from me brought any response as to what they were doing or when any fix(es) was expected.

Apparently returns are accepted to their repair center, and if after being checked for abuse (a thought which I have contemplated) "a full refund will be issued." After cooling down I decided not to return the HD-100 at this time mainly because of the hassle connected with switching out DSS stuff. However, after being assured that my option of return was noted in my Event#, I will keep that option open. A few threats, or better yet, a few returns will probably do more for a response from Sony than anything else.

I also asked that he point out to Sony that it was his employer that sponsored the Masters on CBS that many cannot access with Sony's own equipment.
 

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Jeffball - I am in the same boat as you. Magnolia is not all they are cracked up to be, in fact, for the rest of my natural life i will avoid that place like the plague. Unfortunately I have an expensive new system that I will need them for, at least for a while.
 

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Just to let you know that I have a Panasonic TU-HDS20 DirecTV receiver for two months. It has no problems with lip sync or drop outs. I receive all the OTA HD broadcasts in the Boston area using a Terk 50 I got at BestBuy for $29.95. Terk has discontinued it for a shorter Terk 55, but when I tried the 55 it was not as good as the Terk 50.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by JackB:
I've had a faultless DTC-100 now since the first availability and can't understand why one doesn't buy a DTC-100 and add a transcoder if necessary. The total price is about the same or less than the HD100, isn't it? Is there a video quality dropoff because of the transcoder? That seems like the only reason for not going this route.


Jack
Absolutly! All this talk of bleeding edge technology and first generation products. My 18 month old DTC 100 has had none of these problems in it's life. Let's face it, Sony got complacent and screwed up. And it looks like Toshiba is not far behind. I realize there are some TV's that simply won't work with the DTC100 no matter who's convertor you try. But these are few and no, the convertor does not lower picture quality in any form you can see on a consumer HDTV.

 

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I also believe that my DTC-1000 works far better than the Sony HD100.


I've always preferred Sony electronics, so I jumped at the chance to buy their version of the Set Top Box. I bought it through ABT in Illinois. Unfortunately, their policy is to not accept returns once the DirecTv card is activated (if only I had known.......).


After spending just 10 minutes with the HD100, I knew that I couldn't live with it. The DTC-1000 is essentially perfect, and it's the ONLY box I would recommend.


In the meantime, if anyone has returned their HD100 to a Sony Service Center and actually received a refund, please let me know. I have not been able to verfity this with anyone at Sony's help number. Thanks.
 

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Hey Robert, Sony does NOT charge retailers the $150 charge for de-activating the card within 30 days (this what I was told). I bought a HD100 when they came out and the company I bought from said he contacted his Sony rep and was told that these boxes (cards) do not enforce that charge for de-activation. He gave me a full refund. The company you bought from might not be aware this. If they are telling you otherwise I think they might be giving you BS. Bottom line is this box has technical problems and you have a ligit reason to return it. Hope that maybe helps.... good luck.
 

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I've had a faultless DTC-100 now since the first availability and can't understand why one doesn't buy a DTC-100 and add a transcoder if necessary. The total price is about the same or less than the HD100, isn't it? Is there a video quality dropoff because of the transcoder? That seems like the only reason for not going this route.


Jack
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, I kinda liked the fact that the Sony actually does a good job of integrating all channels, DTV or OTA, together in one guide. The box is quite a bit smaller than the RCA. I tend to like Sony's remotes much more than RCA's. (Have you seen the RCA Ultimate TV remote? Bleagh!)...


Who would've expected to run into such nasty bugs, though?


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Andy
 

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Thanks for the info. I contacted the vendor, explained the situation, and they agreed to take the box back, less $90. I didn't put up any fight. I'm happy to be rid of the still-born Sony Box.


As "clunky" as the RCA DCT-100 is, I'll keep it until everyone on this forum agrees that something else is better!
 

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Most of the problems associated with the new generation STBs have to do with the integrated guide system, something the RCA doesn't have. The only other problem I have with the HD100 is with the lip sync on CBS only. I know everyone says it has to be a Sony problem, because none of the other boxes do it, and I don't deny it's a possibility. However, I have seen posts on this site claiming a no audio problem from 1 network only with the RCAs, and that turned out to be the broadcasters fault.


I like the functionality of the HD100 and honestly believe that when the bugs are fixed, it will be one of the best sets on the market. It is the only one that I know of that has the variable mode on it's component outs. When connected to video 5 on my Sony 61HS10, the 2 together automatically switch between 480i 4:3 and 1080i 16:9 depending on the source. This allows me (and more importantly, my wife) to just push the channel button on my HD100 remote and watch any channel available, whether its broadcast, DTV, SD, HD, etc...


Am I frustrated with all the problems right now? ABSOLUTELY!!! I wish I had waited until the set was reliable before buying, but now that I have it, I think I'll keep it and give Sony a chance to fix the problems. Since I registered my complaints within a week of getting the set, I will always have the ability of returning it to Sony if they don't get it fixed.


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Dave B.

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
As the originator of this thread I thought I'd give it a coda:


I gave up.


I returned it for the Panasonic, which I've now had all weekend, and minus a few minor warts of its own, I'm MUCH happier. OTA broadcasts have been perfect from both KCTS and KING (both of which had some serious problems on the Sony), and DirecTV reception is basically as expected.


I started a separate thread on that topic under the heading "Bye bye Sony."

:)


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Andy
 

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Andy,

You can always put the RCA on eBay after the SONY problems are ironed out! :) :) I'm not going to change because:


1) KING DT (NBC) basically plays a loop except for local news and Leno

2) KOMO DT (ABC) is OK when I watch the one show (NYPD Blue)

3) KCPQ DT (Fox) is broadcasting SDTV only

4) KIRO DT (CBS) is fine and has the majority of HDTV shows.

5) KCTS DT (PBS) is looping mostly but when there is a program I am OK

6) 199 is ok except for the hour/half hour problem

7) 509 is ok except for the hour/half hour problem


I do still have a full plate of complaints left with a SONY event number. I figure, maybe by the time there are some more HDTV programs (yeah right), SONY will have fixed things??

Bill


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The World Is Not Flat!


[This message has been edited by Babula (edited 04-23-2001).]
 

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I'll play Mr. Broken Record.... You have all called Sony and complained, right? 800-838-7669. Do everyone else a favor and express your opinions, even if you return the unit, complain. PLEASE!
 

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See the thread "HD 100 Info-Long" if you want to know the actual problem causing the dropouts and how to FIX IT until Sony offers the software upgrade. The author of the thread has absolutely NAILED the problem through incredible detective work and anyone can not only duplicate it, but avoid it totally. Ofcourse you are still left with the lip synch issue (if you have it).
 

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Not only left with the lip-sync, but the incompatability with Ken's Houstom CBS affiliate. Btw Ken, did KHOU call and ask your advice on this "little" problem?

I am also experiencing dark channels on many DSS channels.


[This message has been edited by Distorted (edited 04-23-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'll point out that I had serious lip sync problems with KCTS with the Sony that vanished with the Panasonic.


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Andy
 
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