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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got my T150 STB yesterday. With my lousy indoor antenna, I was able to tune in all 6 OTA (H)DTV stations in metro Detroit area. The signal strength were generally around 30% using the built in meter, so there were a lot drop out and frame freeze. (I know, I will get a new antenna.) PQ with 1080i HD material on my 36xbr400 was outstanding. PQ for upconverted programs vary quite a bit.


Anyway, I want ask one question for T150 owners out there:

Can Aspect Ratio (Screen Format as Samsung calls it) control settings be saved?


When in 480p output mode, I went through setup-screen format-4:3 TV menu and changed it from Full (default) to Zoom, I was able to blow up local upconverted program (4:3 material in 16:9 1080i feed) to full screen (4:3) with proper geometry. But when I exit the menu and change to another channel, it was the vertically streched picture all over again. The menu setting changed back to Full. I then went back to the previous channel and it's also in Full mode not Zoom.


It seems this AS control setting only works for the channel I am currently watching, if I change channel, it's gone. Is it the same on your units or is it mine defective?


BTW, in 1080i output mode, screen format is locked to Full mode for both 16:9 and 4:3 TV, one cannot change it to Letterboxin or Zoom, right?


Thanks.
 

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Regarding the SIR-T150 (I have one)


Yes, the variable aspect ratio settings default back to "Full" mode each time you select a new channel. This problem has already been communicated back to the manufacturer as a software upgrade. No word on how fast it will be implemented, but as far as I know they are already working on it, and have held up another production run to implement this (and other changes).


In 16x9 mode, there is only one setting - "Full". A 16x9 set will anamorphically stretch the image to fill the screen.


At present, it is not possible to make any aspect ratio or zoom changes in 1080i or 720p modes. That's because the stations transmitting in those formats are always sending out a 720p or 1080i image - it just so happens that what you see is windowboxed. But, the full image has a 1080i or 720p scanning raster on it.


To the SIR-T150 (and all other set-top boxes), that is a full 16x9 image, regardless of wthether it is showing a 16x9 HD image, a 16x9 480p image, or upconverted 4x3 480i centered on a 720p or 1080i raster. And a full 16x9 HD scan cannot be zoomed.


Hope this helps - it is confusing. BTW, the Samsung is currently the most sensitive set-top box I have tested - it holds its own against an $8,000 Sencore, and is apparently more user-friendly than the new Panasonic TU-HDS20 with menus.


KC
 

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Kelvin,


How will the box be upgraded? If I understand correctly, it is not a sat box.


Does it tune all OTA signals including analog ones?


Thanks,
 

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The Samsung SIR-T150 is strictly an over-the-air (OTA) VHF/UHF receiver for digital signals only - no analog. It does not receive DSS. A combo OTA/DirecTV version is coming out later this year.


Samsung thought there would be a market for an OTA-only DTV receiver, and I agree. I have cable and OTA, but no satellite. The price is good, the unit supports either switch-selectable RGB or YPbPr output, and converts all signals to one of four switch-selectable formats to best match your display:


1080i

720p

480p

480i


In addition, it has a tri-state LED indicator (red-orange-green) to tell you when you have successfully locked up on a DTV signal. And, it is very sensitive - much more than the RCA DTC-100. It has two analog stereo audio outs, 1 Toslink optical and 1 coax digital output, plus it does full-time downconversion to both composite and S-video.


KC
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Kelvin Colorspace:
Regarding the SIR-T150 (I have one)


Yes, the variable aspect ratio settings default back to "Full" mode each time you select a new channel. This problem has already been communicated back to the manufacturer as a software upgrade. No word on how fast it will be implemented, but as far as I know they are already working on it, and have held up another production run to implement this (and other changes).


KC
Thanks for the info Kelvin.


So, it is a design defect, and Samsung has acknowledged it? I too am wondering how they are going to do the software upgrade. Do I need to call them to report my unit or simply sending my product registration card will do the trick?


Hal
 

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Kevin,


I ordered a SIR-T150 pretty much on faith, as very little about its tuning capabilities can be found anywhere (including this forum). It should be arriving any day now, and you've reassured me somewhat. My DTC100 gets the NY stations unreliably, but, since it can get them sometimes, I figure that a moderate improvement in the tuner will bring me satisfaction.


Thanks,

Claude
 

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Kelvin, aka P.H.P.


Have you had your hands on the recently introduced Princeton Graphics HDT 2000 box yet? This could be my next upgrade if it's as good as they claim it is.


We're just dyin' to hear about this one!


GB

 

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Yea, how do you think they will be upgraded? Tthis is one of the sticking points of whay I haven't ordered yet... Any ideas?
 

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Max and Kelvin,


Contrary to their press release, I don't think the PG HDT2000 is shipping. In any case, I had my dealer try to get me one for a few weeks, and gave up and ordered the Samsung.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Kelvin Colorspace:


*...*...*...


The price is good, the unit supports either switch-selectable RGB or YPbPr output, and converts all signals to one of four switch-selectable formats to best match your display:


1080i

720p

480p

480i


In addition, it has a tri-state LED indicator (red-orange-green) to tell you when you have successfully locked up on a DTV signal. And, it is very sensitive - much more than the RCA DTC-100. It has two analog stereo audio outs, 1 Toslink optical and 1 coax digital output, plus it does full-time downconversion to both composite and S-video.
I'm confused -- and even Samsung can't/won't answer my question -- http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/eek.gif


Will the SIR-T150 actually output an HD component video signal and a downconverted S-Video signal at the same time?




------------------
nn2g2bT = Not NECESSARILY Too Good to be True
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by nn2g2bT:
I'm confused -- and even Samsung can't/won't answer my question -- http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/eek.gif


Will the SIR-T150 actually output an HD component video signal and a downconverted S-Video signal at the same time?

I'm pretty sure somebody here mentioned that it will. You may want to do a search on the archive..
 

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To answer a couple of questions:


(1) The inability of the Samsung SIR-T150 to retain a down-converted aspect ratio setting is not a "design defect". I did not use that wording. It is something that requires a software upgrade. The feeling at Samsung must have been that a 16x9 set would be used primarily when downconverting to composite and S-video.


As it turns out, a large number of users in this country are downconverting to 4x3 sets. Hence, this information has been communicated back to the factory and will hopefully be changed in future implementations.


(2) I have not heard about the Princeton DTV tuner being available yet. When I saw it at Winter CES, I was told february delivery on one of two DTV tuners shown, but I believe the model with 720p output won't be shiping until June.


(3) Yes, the SIR-T150 will output both an 1080i, 720p, or 480p signal (RGB or YPbPr) while simultaneously downconverting to both composite and S-video. As I am writing this, I am watching a local DTV channel and it is being fed to a Princeton AF3.0HD as both 720p YPbPr and S-video - I just change the input to compare either signal.


KC
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Kelvin Colorspace:
To answer a couple of questions:


(1) The inability of the Samsung SIR-T150 to retain a down-converted aspect ratio setting is not a "design defect". I did not use that wording. It is something that requires a software upgrade. The feeling at Samsung must have been that a 16x9 set would be used primarily when downconverting to composite and S-video.


As it turns out, a large number of users in this country are downconverting to 4x3 sets. Hence, this information has been communicated back to the factory and will hopefully be changed in future implementations.


KC
Do you mean there won't be an upgrade for us existing users? I guess this won't mean too much when I (finally) get a 16:9 set http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif
 

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I suggest going to the Samsung web site and leaving a message with the webmaster, regarding any possible software upgrades to the variable aspect ratio function.


Since I only use mine for straight-through DTV and also have 16x9 480i displays, I'm not too concerned about it.


Don't let this problem discourage you - the tuner is quite sensitive and the user interface is very quick and easy. I have heard some other models aren't as quick to navigate around.


This tuner has proven to be 6 to 9 dB more sensitive than any other set-top box I've used to date, including the Panasonic 50/51, RCA DTC-100, Sharp 1000, and Samsung 100.


KC
 

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KC,


Where did you buy your unit and approx. how much was it? Overall, do you think it is a better unit than the DTC-100?


Thanks, Craig
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by CraigR:
KC,


Where did you buy your unit and approx. how much was it? Overall, do you think it is a better unit than the DTC-100?


Thanks, Craig
I bought mine for $600 last week, from a web site that is owned and operated by SoundCity. They has since added $30 S/H charge. Do a search on Yahoo shopping. If you go to soundcity.com, they sell it for $629+S/H($10), still a very good deal.
 

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They are "in stock" at JandR.com today.


I special ordered through HiFi Buys/Tweeter and

got mine in 16 days for $649 + sales tax.


I've only had it a week, and continue to fight

with antenna issues because I won't be satisifed

until I get all of my channels all of the time

with no drop-outs. But I don't think that is an

SIR-T150 issue.


I'd like to hear more from other owners. I do

recommend the unit. I think all those cable and

satelite channels are a time wasting distraction,

and prefer to watch a few shows we like then turn

off the TV. OTA only: free, flawless, HD, local

channels. I don't miss QVC.
 

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I have had my Samsung SIR-T150 for over a month now. As CB will verify, I have these huge trees to the south and west of my house, so I assumed that DBS was not an option.


I have no experience with other stb's. This one seems to cache the signal and spends time doing digital error correction. The signal strength, once beyond some minimal level, either locks or doesn't.


I leave it set at 1080i output and the picture is generally better than the 480i my xbr400 displays with my cable. I can live with the smaller picture trading off size for quality.


CB - I have about a 10% chance that a given antenna pointing will gt all 4 Atlanta stations.


You others with larger displays, is the picture a leap beyond SDTV? I need to be viewing a sunlit outdoor HD scene where everything is in focus to experience a dizzying effect. And it has happened, even on my 32" screen.

I assume the picture is comparable with other stb's.


Tom


 

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Tom, I need to downgrade your rating (I rated

your reception as B, didn't I?).


Are you still using that rabbit ear thing on

top of your set? I've spent about 19 hours,

47 minutes and 52 seconds screwing around with

my antenna configuration, even from before I

got the SIR-T150. I have learned a lot, and I

would like to share that experience with others,

as well as get more experience from theirs.


I agree that as long as the box reports 40% or

more signal, it locks. If it dips, it goes to

zero and drops. A solid 40 is as good as a

solid 100. Anything less is irritating.


I really like the unit, and plan to experiment

A/B with component out vs. S-video out this

weekend.


One thing I'm still figuring: the top third of

the left edge curves to the left instead of

being straight. That is when SD is being shown.

Anyone else with that going on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Another potential problem. Below is my message from another thread .

Quote:



Thanks guys.


So, they broadcast in 16x9 720p. This is the critical part.


Now, here's what I saw on WJBK-DT. In 1080i mode (my xbr400 only do 480p and 1080i, but not 720p), the 16x9 image on my screen is a blown up image with everybody's head half off, but there was no image distortion. By switching to my NTSC analog feed, I found the top and bottom portion of the image was chopped off, maybe also from two sides. It looks like my STB took the center portion (a 16x9 area) of the 4x3 image, which is in the midle of the 16x9 feed, and blew it up to the 16x9 full screen.


Clearly, the Samsung STB screwed up the 720p to 1080i conversion. I'd like to figure out if the error comes from the source (WJBK-DT's feed) or in side my STB.


Do you guys know what format WXYZ-DT (ch 7 ABC) is broadcasting? ABC's HD "NYPD Blue" was shown on my TV normal. If it was broadcasted in 720p by the local station, that tells me something's wrong with WJBK-DT's 720p feed, which made my STB behave weirdly. Sorta like CBS station in Atlanta with the Sony HD100 box.


OTOH, my STB could be bad. I would suspect the algorithm is not correct, instead of this specific box being defective. I have this theory but don't know if it makes sense to you.


This Samsung box might be doing the 720p to 1080i conversion this way: It takes the middle 540 scanlines of the 720 and rescan them in 1080i. In order to maintain the 16x9 aspect ratio, it also needs to cut the image from both sides. So, a 1280x720 image is cut down to 960x540, then zoomed up to 1920x1080. With respect to the 4x3 (960x720) image in the midle of the 16x9 (1280x720) area, top and bottom are chopped off by 1/8, but everything from sides are kept.


Does this make any sense? I haven't done any research on 720p vs 1080i conversion, so I don't even know if my theory is way out of wack. I do know I will take my old 19" TV to the living room tonight, and compare 4x3 and 16x9 images side by side to find out exactly which portion of the 4x3 is shown on my HDTV.


Hal
However, 720p down convert to 480p works fine with my T150/36XBR400 combo.
 
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