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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am completely replacing my entire home theater system and am trying to absorb an overwhelming amount of information. So, I apologize in advance if some (all) of these questions are answered in the archives. (I did search, but my mind is already on overload, so I may have overlooked something)

  1. I have a Panasonic 42" 16:9 plasma TV and would like a decent HDTV DirecTV setup to go with it. From reading the archives, I understand I need the elliptical dish, but I'm not sure if I need Sat C. Is that satellite only for HD showtime (I'm not a showtime subscriber) or will there be other channels on there in the future?
  2. I have the ability to take advantage of the DirecTV mover's special, but I don't currently have an HDTV dish -- will they let me upgrade to one as part of the move? (I don't mind paying extra for the dish -- I just want DirecTV to install it, free of charge)
  3. Is there any way to get HD DirecTV and DirecTiVo to play nicely together? (I realize I can't record HD programming -- I'm simply wondering if the two boxes can coexist so DirecTiVo can record normal DirecTV programming) Or, am I better off getting a standalone PVR?
  4. Can anyone point me to a reference (either in the archive or externally) that lists the pros and cons of all/most of the available DirecTV HDTV receivers? I'm looking for one or two articles to read that summarize, not 10,000 posts each of which discusses a small part of the larger issue. :) Or, if there's a simple, "buy this box and you can't go wrong", please let me know. At this point, that would be a welcome answer.[/list=1]


    Thanks.


    --kurt
 

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1: You dont need sat-c right away unless you plan to subscribe to showtime. The elipical dish will have a slot to add the satc lnb later if you choose. You can also use two or three separate dishes if you are in the woods and cannot see all three satellite from one location (a requirement for the elipitcal dish).


2: Every CSR at DirecTv will tell you something different, only way to tell is to call them. Im guessing if you tell them you have HDTV, you might be able to get them to install the HDTV dish.


3: Can you get your locals on DirecTv? If so, just run one feed to your HDTV receiver, and two to the direcTivo. Record all the SD on the Tivo, watch the HDTV live (or record two SD, and watch a third SD live). If you cant get your locals, you would need a standalone Tivo, but then you would have to manually switch the HDTV receiver from HD to SD when you were not watching SD, or the Tivo would record nothing. Unfortunantly, the HDTV boxes dont output on componant and S-video at the same time. You will need an antenna to get your Digital locals. The E86 hasnt given me any problems with multipath or dropouts so far, on OTA antenna or DirecTv.


4: As with computers, what you buy now will be replaced with something better tomorrow. I just bought the Hughes E86 ($474 at Best Buy). Does OTA great, DirecTv looks awesome (even the SD channels), and they can upgrade the software via DirecTv over satellite (a plus). If your plasma requires a 1080i input, check out the Huges E86. If it uses 720p or 500 something, you might want to check into a receiver that outputs the format your plasma inputs so everything wouldnt have to be scaled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Davenlr

If it uses 720p or 500 something, you might want to check into a receiver that outputs the format your plasma inputs so everything wouldnt have to be scaled. [/b]
Thanks for the suggestions. The plasma screen is a Panasonic TH-42PWD4UY and has a "native" display resolution of 852x480. While it will accept just about any input (480i/p, 720p, 1080i/p) I'm not sure if one requires it to do less work (and therefore might produce a better picture...)


Is the Hughes still a good choice given the requirements of the Panny or would another box provide a more optimal output?


--kurt
 

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That depends how well your set looks with 1080i. The E86 has two output choices, 480i or 1080i depending on what output you use. I should think a plasma monitors 1080i input would work just fine, since thats what it should be designed for, so the E86 should look just as good as any of the others. I chose it because it was the lowest priced unit locally, updated its software via satellite, and the good reviews I have read on here. I wasnt disappointed, but havent tried any of the other units, so cant really comment which is the best one.
 

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kurt,


Regarding the "buy this box and you can't go wrong" statement for a Directv HD stb, I don't think there is such a box. Every one of the shipping units has some tradeoffs and some of the models are hard to come by because they have been discontinued and the new models are not out yet. Try to buy one from a place that allows returns if possible. As far as Sat C, I would definitely have them install it along with the elliptical dish. ShowtimeHD is the only channel now, but it is reported that Directv will add or move more channels that require the Sat-C LNB. I am fairly sure that Directv will provide the dish and install it for free. You may have to commit to 12 months of service though.


If you can get locals on Directv then an integrated PVR is much better than a standalone. I have heard that Directivos are hard to get for existing Directv customers. You may want to consider an UltimateTV. They work great, are readily available, and very low priced (
 

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Kurt: I highly recommend the Hughes E-86 however, with a Panasonic display, the Panny STB may be worth a try. And having a Sat. C LNB installed is a must since DirecTv is not currently charging for ShowtimeHD. I originally had the Showtime package when ShowtimeHD came on DirecTv. I cancelled the package the 2nd day, and ShowtimeHD shows on my bill as a free station,and I'm still receiving it a month after it came on.
 
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