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I live in the SF Bay Area, around 20 miles south of SF, and analog TV reception is tough here, due to all the hills. I've heard that HDTV reception is much better. I'd love buy an HDTV TV and just skip analog entirely, but I've found that I can't live without my ShowStopper (I'm guessing I'm not the only one). A seemingly appealing alternative would be to buy an HDTV set-top box (e.g., RCA DTC-100, Toshiba DST3000, etc.), and have it down-convert the digital channels to NTSC, thus producing a much better picture that I could still record on my SS. I'm worried I'd lose all the SS conveniences, though. Does anyone know if there is a way to get a SS to control an HDTV receiver, so it will choose the right HD channel when I ask it to record a program from the channel guide?
 

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Probably not on your current Showstopper unless the blaster code of the STB is the same as something it already controls. The jury is out on the new Replay 4000 but it maybe more likely since it has a VGA out and can @ least connect to HDTV. What are you feeding the Showstopper now? Can you really give up all the cable or Sat. channels? With must carry just 6 weeks off you may soon get many of the HD channels (SD of course) on the Sat. by then (I know that resolution sux compared to HD... D* is the worst) but we will be seeing how all that turns out. I haven't been following the E* 6000 STB which I think had the tuner module could be a possibility but you may not see 61 degree sat slot so that's overkill on the STB for over the air only if not and I don't know how it maps OTA channels. Anyone? The SD output on that was not bad (to feed Showstopper)
 

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> What are you feeding the Showstopper now? Can you really give up all the cable or Sat. channels?


Believe it or not, broadcast is all I watch and all I need.
 

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Well you might just keep a side of basic cable for the Showstopper convenience and just watch live HD. Or you can manually record the downconverted signals. Anyone know of a controllable STB?


Edit: Of course why not keep your Showstopper configured the way it is now during your transition to HD. The technology will all be improving soon enough anyway :cool:
 

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> Edit: Of course why not keep your Showstopper configured the way it is now during your transition to HD. The technology will all be improving soon enough anyway


I'm fairly certain I'd only use the existing Showstopper setup. I really don't like watching TV live any more.


Basic cable in our area is $37/month, so I'm having a hard time justifying it, just to get better picture quality on the four channels I watch.
 

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I'm having great success using the SS with the Sony SAT-HD100 (High Def receiver). The connection is via a serial cable. The Replay remote does a great job of simultaneously changing the RTV, as well as the Sony receiver. I have DTV, Cox cable, and OTA all integrated into a single cable guide. I subscribe to HBO for the HD on DTV, and get OTA HD on several channels here in Phoenix. Cox ... it also feeds the other 7 TVs in the house, as well as the replay.

Hope this helps.

:cool:
 

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The problem is that extra subchannel that none of the boxes will send to the HDTV receiver. That's the only problem, but it's a bit one.
 

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The codeset that is used in most inexpensive universal remotes is quite standard. If there is a store displaying a demo of this set-top-box, one option is try and use an off-the-shelf inexpensive universal remote control. Program it to control the box and see if it works. The Toshibas especially tend to use standard codesets, so your odds there are quite good.


If a universal remote control can control the set top box, it's almost assured that the PVR will (since it has many more codes than most universal remote controls).
 

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Maybe you need to ask you cable company a better question.


You say basic cable is $37 per month, but that price almost certainly includes a variety of cable only channels. But cable providers are required to provide a more basic level of service that provides all of the over the air stations and perhaps a few more for a more reasonable price. In my area, Cox Cable is under $15 for that arrangement, and they discount me $10 for carrying Cox @home as well.


Using the digital channels will not work. While Replay has provided blaster configurations to tune channels on these tuners, they only tune the analog channels since Replay does not add a "-1" to their stream.


Call your cable company and ask for the price of the smallest level of service.


Side Note: At $37 per month, a $600 digital decoder will take nearly a year and a half to pay for itself, and sadly, many times the digital version of locals is inferior to the analog version. Finally, that set top box that's available now will never work with a high def VCR, so you'll have to replace the box in the near future anyway.


One final side note: I only purchase the basic locals from Cox (I have satellite for other channels), but when I tune through a cable ready TV (or ReplayTV), all those other basic cable channels are still available. I guess it's just too much trouble to block them from the cheapskate customers...at least where I live.
 

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> Side Note: At $37 per month, a $600 digital decoder will take nearly a year and a half to pay for itself


A good point. I was hoping the $600 box (aren't some $400 now?) would serve me well for 3 or 4 years, but it sounds like that may not be realistic. I was also hoping that this would be a good way to keep up with the state of digital TV to see when to "make a big move". I'd like to be fairly early on the technology adoption curve, but it sounds like the point at which I'd want to really jump in is still a ways off.


> Call your cable company and ask for the price of the smallest level of service.


I've done that, and they insisted their least expensive package is $37. I'll have to call again and be more persistent this time.



Thanks for the info.
 

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> Call your cable company and ask for the price of the smallest level of service.


I just called AT&T again (twice). Both the people I spoke with insisted minimum plan in Palo Alto is $36.50 per month.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by rocket_ed

[BI just called AT&T again (twice). Both the people I spoke with insisted minimum plan in Palo Alto is $36.50 per month. [/b]
I and several friends have been through this with AT&T here in San Jose. They have a $10.00 service that gets you the very basic channels (mostly all of the A channels). I believe the $36.50 is the minimum for the digital cable, and the $10.00 is for the analog cable. I had to talk to 5 different people before I found one that admitted they had the $10.00 service.


My friend used the tatic that he was going to cancel and get statellite unless he could get something around $10.00 and they finally admitted it.


Keep trying.
 
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