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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm this close (gesture of fingers close together) to buying a HD STB. I currently have DirecTV, and I'd like to get OTA HD. I live near Dayton, OH, and have heard rumors that a good antenna (undoubtedly parabolic) can bring in OTA HD from Cincinnati, less than 50 miles away. (The only OTA DTV in Dayton right now is PBS. :mad http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


I have a Mits 50805 4:3 RPTV, which can accept Y-Pr-Pb and/or RGBHV.


I've read many posts in this forum about many problems with the Sony HD100 (fan noise, audio/video sync, dropouts, etc.), so I'm inclined to avoid that model.


I'm leaning towards the Mits SR-HD400/500, but I'd be grateful for recommendations from those with more first-hand experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I forgot to mention that I've also got TW cable (YUK!) for my locals and local feed of the weather channel. So my STB inputs are from DirecTV (2 sats), cable, and OTA ATSC.


How well does the RCA DTC100 integrate these different sources? Whatever STB I get will have a higher SAF (spouse approval factor) if it seemlessly integrates all the inputs so my wife doesn't need to remember that PBS is OTA, local weather is on cable, Discovery is on DirecTV, etc., and manually switch between the inputs. (Although it sounded like I just blamed that desire on my wife, I think manually switching inputs gets kind of tedius, too.)


Also, does the RCA up-convert NTSC signals into 1080i? What about 480i/720p ATSC signals? (My Mits 50805 RPTV can display 1080i, but not 720p.) Can the RCA output 480i on RGBHV? Can it output RGBHV and S-video simultaneously?


Is there a reason the RCA DTC-100 costs so much less $$$ than the Mits & Toshiba STBs?
 

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If integration of the sources into a single guide is a big deal for you, then the Mits/Toshiba/Hughes boxes (they are all the same) do the best job. It lets you pick what goes into the guide from any of the 3 possible sources, and can get schedule info for most of your local cable stations if it knows about your local cable company.


For non-HD sources on the High-def outputs (RGBHV/YPrPb), the DTC-100 upconverts to 540p, the Mits/Tosh/Hughes to 1080i. You probably won't like the way your analog cable looks on either of those sets as it looks very soft. The Sony will let you pass through 480i as 480i while upconverting everything else, so that does a better job on cable and SD Satellite.


I've had the DTC-100, Sony HD100 and Mits SR-HD5 (HD400) and I'm currently using the Mits due to the problems with the Sony, and the superior guide. The Sony guide has no information at all for local digital or analog stations, and the preview window only works for SD Satellite stations, so surfing is a blind, deaf and dumb experience. So, none of them is perfect, they all have a couple of critical flaws. My advice for now is to go with the Mits, but split analog cable directly to the TV as well as the Mits.


Longer term, the Sony has the most potential for integrating the sources with the best video quality, but the bugs and Sat-only guide make it tough to deal with right now.


Tony
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Tony,


When the Mits SR-HD5/400 upconverts cable & SD satellite signal to 1080i, does it maintain the 4:3 AR or does the image get distorted/cropped to be 16:9?


P.S. Many thanks for sharing your first-hand experience with these boxes. This is WAY helpful.

 

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With 480i/4:3 SD sources & your display set to 16:9, the Mits will do one of 3 things, Stretch to 16:9, Crop/zoom to 16:9, or display 4:3 with gray sidebars. You can preset your preference, and then cycle through the other options from the remote with Action+8.


The DTC-100 offers similar options.


Tony
 
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