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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been reading the thread on the Samsung SIR T165 with great interest, as I think it might be the way to go. I wanted to ask a few questions to the members who have bought this unit to verify if it can or cannot do what I want.


1) While I don’t have DVHS, I assume HD downconverted to 480i would look much better than its SD counterpart. Being native 16:9 would be a big plus. I want to record the 480i stream on my Replay 3030 via S-Video. When I read that the S-Vid output is always on, does that mean that I can watch in HD simultaneously as the Replay is recording 480i? Any comments on PQ of HD downconverted to 480i?


2) I am a bit leery about OTA HD reception, but I’m not inclined to install a dish and Comcast only broadcasts ABC and NBC HD feeds. This is not good enough. Is there anyone in the Montclair, NJ area who uses OTA HD and can comment on the signal strength? Any advice on antennas? I can get a Radio Shack 150-1862, which scored very high here ( http://www.projectorexpert.com/Pages/antin.html ) but has since been discontinued.


3) I understand that the T165 will also upconvert SD to 1080i, framing for 16:9 by using stretch modes or cropping the top and bottom. Any comments on PQ? I am thinking of integrating the T165 this way: S-Vid to Replay, S-Vid out to T165, T165 to TV via HD component. If the T165 doesn’t have an SD pass through, I can get an S-Vid switcher.


My situation is that I am curious about HD, but I cannot tear myself away from PVR recording. Thus, I am looking for a solution that allows me to watch HD on occasion and allows me to record downconverted HD on the assumption that downconverted HD looks better than native SD broadcast.


Thanks for all the input so far. I wouldn't even be able to ask these questions if not for this forum, and I apologize if some of these questions seem redundant.
 

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Well howdy neighbor. Welcome to the club. :D


Let's see if I can shed some light on a couple of things for you...


As for the Samsung 165, well, I can't do much for you there. I had one for about five days but had to send it back because of a defect, so I never quite delved into all of its capabilities. I'm getting a new one that should be delivered sometime today so that I can record OTA to my JVC D-VHS.


As for OTA, I always get pretty high signal strengths for CBS and FOX/UPN. The local PBS channel (WNJN) fluctuates between good and poor though. You do know that those are the ONLY stations available to us OTA currently right? ABC and NBC can currently be had only through Comcast. They should be back up OTA sometime next year, but your guess is as good as mine as to how solid the signal will be.


Having said that, CBS OTA is great. I never really watched their shows until they started showing them all in HD. FOX doesn't offer true HD, but their widescreen programming that I watch (24, Bernie Mac, some NFL games) looks much better than standard definition.


I have a Weingard antenna with a rotor on my chimney. I also have a ChannelMaster signal amplifier. Sometimes I need the amplifier sometimes not depending on conditions. I tried an indoor antenna in my basement and couldn't pick up squat. Never tried one in my attic, but I don't have much room left in there anyways, so that wasn't feasible.


What else...oh yeah, Comcast. I dumped Comcast four years ago for DirecTV, but the second they rolled out HD in our area several weeks back, I called them up and got it again. I'm thrilled to have NBC and ABC available in HD from Comcast. They also have HBO and SHO and are in discussions with HDNet for all of their channels. CBS may come to Comcast down the line as well as a PBS channel.


PVR recording. Yup, big issue for me also. I love my UltimateTv from DirecTV and will never give up the ability to have tapeless recording. But that's what I do. I record the non-HD shows to watch later and watch HD. That might change now that I can record some HD, but I doubt it.


Hope this helps. Good luck. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much for the info. I do have one questions for you:


I thought the T165 was OTA only. Is there some way to use the T165 with Comcast digital?
 

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I'm not 100 percent sure on that one because I've had so many boxes in and out of here in the last month or so that I get all the features confused. However, I believe the 165 will display your ANALOG cable channels, 1-99, but not the digital channels. Comcast uses QAM for the digital signals and the 165 won't decode those. Actually, I don't know of any HD STB that will decode QAM at this time. I think I'm correct about this. Maybe somebody else will chime in with some more detailed info...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So you have 2 boxes -- one for OTA and one for Comcast. Short of going Dish, I cannot get all HD channels with one box.


I think I will have to pass on HDTV for now.


Hanson
 
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