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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After reading only positive posts on the SIR-T150, I ordered one that will be delivered in the next few days.


So, I guess it's about time for a few threads to appear disclosing the heretofor unmentioned major design flaws and operational inadequacies http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif
 

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Hi, Claude.


Please post your results with the NY stations. As you probably remember, the ridge between me and NY has made reception with the DTC impossible for me heretofor.


Alan


By the way, where did you buy it and for how much?
 

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I purchased the Samsung SIR-T150 about a week ago to work with my new Pioneer Elite PRO-610. So far, so good!


Currently I am using a cheap, old set of rabbit ears I had in the garage and I can lock up on 4 of 5 of the DTV stations currently transmitting in the Detroit Area (I'm about 20 miles from the towers). I get good locks (30 - 40% signal strength, some very intermittent pixelation) on all channels with some rotation of the antenna. I can lock up on channel 43 (PBS) but I dont get a picture - but I don't know if they're transmitting one at this point.


I had an interesting problem with FOX (Ch 58) in that the picture looked very "zoomed" - turns out they are transmitting 480p instead of 1080i. I had to reset the display switch on the unit to 480p to get a good picture on this channel.


I'm working on putting an antenna in the attic to improve the signal strength and completely eliminate the pixelation issue, even if its minor (I'm a bit of a perfectionist). I'll report back when completed.


So far I'm very impressed with the Samsung unit, and would highly recommend it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Posh (you don't mind if I call you Posh, do you?). I have high expectations that the Samsung, claimed by someone whose name I forget on eGroups HDTV-in-NYC forum to be 6 to 9 db more (in)sensitive with weak or multi-path signals than the DTC100, to make all the difference in the world. I get all the NYC stations, but only after careful rotation of my antenna depending on which station, and then I get dropouts. So, I figure I'm just a few db away from a useful signal.


BTW, welcome to the forum.


AlanS, I usually buy my equipment from a dealer with whom I'm friendly and who gives me great prices. He ran into a snafu with Samsung distributor, so I bought from J&R online. Price was (IIRC) a penny less than $650.


It should be here today or tomorrow (UPS Ground) as it was in Bound Brook on Sunday.


I hope to be able to set it up right after I receive it (shouldn't take too long), but it's going to be a busy week, so it might have to wait for the weekend.


Claude


[This message has been edited by ClaudeD (edited 05-14-2001).]
 

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Posh,


Part of the reason WJBK-DT looks "a little zoomed" is because they do a slight stretch to their non-16:9 program material. I call it 14:9, because it looks in-between 4:3 and 16:9.


You are right about the 480p, that's all you will get from them. They also pass thru a digital 480p 16:9 EDTV signal direct from FOX. FOX has a number of programs in this format, which although definitely are not native HDTV, are pleasing to view.


------------------

"better living thru modern expensive electronics"

tm


[This message has been edited by Ken H (edited 05-14-2001).]
 

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I live only 11 miles from Phila towers and have lots of trouble with multipath. Tried Panasonic, RCA, Zenith tuners.All of them had problems with two or more of the five stations available here. The Samsung solved my problems. All stations receivable 98% of the time. Outdoor antenna and preamp were required however. Plus I convert everything to 720P. No artifacts that I can see.
 

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I have several posts in this (HD hardware) and HD programming forums listing the problems I have with this STB. If you haven't already seen them, use T150 and do a search.


Two big issues are what PoshPlanet are experiencing, problems with receiving/viewing digital programs from two Detroit local stations. 1) Zooming of WJBK-DT Fox's image and 2) cant display WTVS-DT PBS's image, (they are on the air as I'd seen it before with T150 and others with different stbs still can see it now).


This may not be T150's fault, however. They could be, and may very well be the local stations fault, in sending out non-standard (non-conformance to the ATSC standard) digital signals. WTVS engineers have told me they have PSIP problems which caused "loss of reception while we are transmitting programming". They are waiting for new HW/SW upgrade now. I haven't got an answer from WJBK yet. BTW, I was told, in HD programming forum, that WJBK-DT is broadcasting in 720p, although all their programs are in 480 (4:3 480i or 16:9 480p from Fox network).


With that said, this stb does seem to be more sensitive to following the standard, while some other brand stbs are more tolerable. As no other Detroit viewers (with other stbs) are complaining about WJBK and WTVS receptions. IMO, if the non-conformance is not vital to decoding the data stream (generating video and audio), instead of displaying nothing, stbs should let it pass and show the image.


There are also some minor bugs listed in those threads, by me or by others who own a T150. A software/firmware upgrade should be able to fix them, IF there is/will be one.
 

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There were a few minor bugs with early versions of the SIR-T150.


First, the variable picture size adjustment in downconverted mode would default back to "Full" each time you changed channels. This is now corrected on newer models and the US headquarters can do a simple software upgrade to fix the problem.


Next, the tuner would occasionally get confused with PBS stations transmitting the "PBS DTV 80-X" PSIP data. Channel 80 is not a valid virtual channel, not is it a valid physical channel.


The SIR-T150 does map primarily virtual DTV channels, so in my area, it got very confused about being able to receive more than one PBS station on different physical channels that were transmitting the same virtual channel data.


This problem is being obviated by the local PBS stations switching over to the correct virtual channel IDs for each channel, i.e. 12-1, 52-1, etc.


Other than that, the tuner works exceptionally well. It is still the fastest DTV set-top box on the market - by "fastest", I mean it locks up on valid DTV signals faster than any other box, and has excellent sensitivity to weak signals.


For a full review of this tuner, go to www.projectorexpert.com.


KC
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr_Li:
There are also some minor bugs listed in those threads, by me or by others who own a T150. A software/firmware upgrade should be able to fix them, IF there is/will be one.
If you could, what are some of those minor bugs? And how would an upgrade be implemented since it's not a satellite? I've had my unit for a couple weeks now and have been quite happy with it for it's limited run so far, but I was just curious as to what bugs I should be on the lookout for.

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, here's a status report:


Received the SIR-T150 today. I hooked it up to my UHF-only, pre-amped antenna, did a search for stations, and got nothing. Tried the signal strenth meter: 0. Rotated the antenna: nothing.


I'm tired and I have to get up early tomorrow, so I'm calling it a night. It's probably some loose connection or something, but I'm making sure that I keep the shipping boxes http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Claude
 

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Kelvin,


nice to hear from you again.

Quote:
Originally posted by Kelvin Colorspace:
There were a few minor bugs with early versions of the SIR-T150.


First, the variable picture size adjustment in downconverted mode would default back to "Full" each time you changed channels. This is now corrected on newer models and the US headquarters can do a simple software upgrade to fix the problem.
So samsung has a fix now? Do you know which number to call and do I need to send my unit to them? Thanks.

Quote:


Next, the tuner would occasionally get confused with PBS stations transmitting the "PBS DTV 80-X" PSIP data. Channel 80 is not a valid virtual channel, not is it a valid physical channel.
Yep, this is the "PSIP problem" my local PBS station is experiencing. Their equipment went bad and cannot modify the PSIP block any more. Thus the default (from PBS network) data "PBS DTV 80-X" is sent out, which caused T150 to not displaying.


Homer,


I have found these minor bugs with my T150, which are confirmed by other T150 owners.


1) The one Kelvin mentioned as his first, namely can't not save screen format setting. Once you change channel, it goes back to default setting "FULL".


2) Subchannel input with remote. In T150's manual, it says user can key in channel number and then all available subchannels (eg. 41-1,41-2,41-3) will be displayed on screen (this part is true, they do get displayed), then user can move the pointer onto one of the subchannel and hit enter key to select it. But there's NO POINTER (CURSOR) on the screen! And when I move the joystick like i-point, nothing happens. So you are stuck with the first subchannel if you want to change channel this way.


3) Channel skipping when using up/down keys on remote. Eg. say ch41-1 is on, and I hit "up" key ONCE, it's supposed to go to ch41-2, but it skips it and goes to ch41-3. Usually if I hit the reverse (in above eg, the "down") key after the skip, it can go back one step to the right channel. This does not always happen, but quite often, more than half the time I would say. It even happens when I use other "learning" universal remote controls.


(EDIT: One more complain. I don't know about other brand stbs, but T150 takes way too much time in trying to find program guide. If a station does have guide info in its signal, T150 can retrieve it very quickly. My PBS-DT used to have it, so I know. But, if no guide info is broadcasted, non of my 6 local stations has it now, and I want to do a search/update, it takes forever, I mean close to 5 minutes, for T150 to complete this action. And no keys, not "exit" nor "set up", can let you get out of it.)


As I said before, these are minor bugs, however, they are very inconvinient and annoying, but I can live with them as long as I know there's an upgrade coming. The image and signal reception are great with this STB, that's the main reason why I have put up with all these problems.


Kelvin, do you know if the current sw upgrade have fixed all the bugs I listed? or just the first one.


[This message has been edited by Mr_Li (edited 05-15-2001).]
 

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ClaudeD - I don't think it is doa. Scanning like that is normal. It only shows the main number. The only time I see the sub channels is when I change stations.



Here in Atlanta we have for digital broadcasters, 10, 19, 27 and 39. And only one has more than one sub channel (27). They scan in as 10.0, 19.0, 27.0 and 39.0. Actually the last two do the PSIP thing and map to their analog numbers 5.0 and 2.0.



But when I change channels the stb displays 10.3, 19.1, 5.1 and 5.2, and 2.1. The Fox affiliate has 480p on 5.1 and SD on 5.2.



Since my rabbit ears seldom get all 4 stations scanning did not get all 4 stations. I used the memorize feature. To memorize the Fox station I had to enter 27 and then move position the rabbit ears until the stb said the station was memorized.



Tom


[This message has been edited by tombarry (edited 05-15-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Tom,


That wasn't the reason I thought it was DOA, I was just curious. It seems to act as though it can't get ANY input from the antenna. The antenna worked (but not well enough) with a DTC100, so there should be some indication of signal, but even the stronger signals (e.g., WCBS in NYC)don't register at all on the strength meter.


Other than fiddling with the antenna plug, and doing small movements of the antenna rotor while trying to get "known" stations, I can't really think of anything to do. Any ideas?


Claude


[This message has been edited by ClaudeD (edited 05-15-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Engine-Ear & Tom,


This is getting frustrating. How do I enter a channel to use in trying to orient the antenna? I can't seem to enter a channel number in any way, and thus can't watch the meter, or wait for a picture to appear, while turning the rotor.


I guess I could hook up the DTC100, find a station, then hook up the Samsung, and see if it also receives it with the antenna in that direction. Needless to say, this seems a bit sub-optimal.


Tom, when you "entered 27 and moved the antenna," what menu or non-menu were you in? I'm guessing that you were viewing another station, which then allowed you to enter 27. Since I don't receive any stations, I can't do that. Seems like a Catch-22.


Man, I thought the DTC100 was a pain in the neck! Sorry, I'm trying to stay optimistic, but I'm really frustrated.


Any ideas are welcomed. Maybe I should get a replacement, and see how it works.


Claude
 

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Claude,


I agree with Engine-Ear's assessment of the signal meter.


To answer your question I use the remote and push Menu, then Channel then Add/Delete channel. Then I enter 27 on the remote. It will say 'Channel not in service' if the antenna is not picking up the signal. I then adjust the antenna until it says 'Channel in memory'. The green light comes on at that point.


Mr_Li has the problems documented, but I can hit exit and get out of everything including the guide search. Only the screen mode reverting to FULL is a big problem, but that is a problem only when I watch in 480p mode. I normally only watch with it set to 1080i. I also wish it didn't have the slide switch in the back to change modes.


Good luck.


Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Engine-Ear and Tom,


Now I'm convinced that there's something wrong with this unit. When I'm at a "plain screen" (except for the "no signal" indication), pressing numbers on the remote does not make them appear anywhere on the screen, nor does it indicate that channel when I press "Display." I finally got to channel 2/56 by exiting the channel scan just at the moment that channel 56 was being scanned for, and I managed to get an intermittent lock by finding an "optimal" direction for the antenna. Even though other NYC stations should have come in with this antenna orientation, none did.


FWIW, pressing the power button on the remote doesn't turn the unit on or off, which isn't dire in and of itself, but it does add weight to the notion that there's something wrong with this sample.


I'm going to send it back for replacement. I hope the replacement works better. If not, I guess I have to wait for a 3rd or 4th generation STB.


Thanks for all your help. I'll probably come begging again when I get the replacement unit.


Best regards,

Claude


PS AlanS: I'll have to get back to you about the NY stations; obviously this isn't going very well right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
During my channel scan, the SIR-T150 searched for 2-0, 3-0, 4-0, etc. Is this normal behavior, or is it meant to be scanning for 2-0, 2-1, 2-2 (or, 2-0, 3-0, n-0, 2-1, 3-1)?


I'm at work now, but I'm beginning to wonder if I got a STB that is functionally DOA.


Claude
 

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Try one more thing ClaudeD, before you return/exchange your unit.


When you say the "power" button does not work, it seems your remote is NOT AT ITS DTV MODE. This remote is a "universal" remote. The big round button at upper right corner (I think it's labeled "select") is used to select which equipment you want it to control. Press it repeatedly you will see the LEDs (between this button and "power" button) switch on/off in turn, to show you which mode the remote is in. I believe if the left-most LED is on, it is DTV receiver mode, ie. controling the T150 box. If you are not in this mode, some of the keys may work, like the menu/exit/enter etc. but number keys and display won't work.


Quote:
Originally posted by ClaudeD:
FWIW, pressing the power button on the remote doesn't turn the unit on or off, which isn't dire in and of itself, but it does add weight to the notion that there's something wrong with this sample.


I'm going to send it back for replacement. I hope the replacement works better. If not, I guess I have to wait for a 3rd or 4th generation STB.


Thanks for all your help. I'll probably come begging again when I get the replacement unit.


Best regards,

Claude


PS AlanS: I'll have to get back to you about the NY stations; obviously this isn't going very well right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Mr Li,


Thanks for that suggestion. I will try it.


The most important factor, though, is that reception was not better than with my DTC100, and was, in fact, considerably worse. I'll fiddle with the antenna some more, but it was the DTC100's extreme sensitivity to minute antenna movements that made me want a subsequent generation STB in the first place.


Thanks,

Claude
 
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