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Why is it that you can't get an STB without having to worry about baggage? Can't they just manufacture STB's that have dual tuners, nice HD and SD conversions that can selectively work on 16:9, 4:3, or whatever. NASA lands lunar craft on asteroids 20 million miles away from us (or do they?), yet we can't seem to manufacture something that most people would be happy with. They just seem to half-ass everything, something's always an issue, i.e. a fan being loud and running even when you're not using it. Did they think we were going to use it in the car and not notice the fan noise? Are the people responsible for HDTV as we know it today still holding a grudge because VHS outmarketed BETA and now they're getting their revenge? I just don't understand it.
 

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KTrout,

Quote:
Originally posted by KTrout:
Why is it that you can't get an STB without having to worry about baggage? Are the people responsible for HDTV as we know it today still holding a grudge because VHS outmarketed BETA and now they're getting their revenge? I just don't understand it.
In your profile you list yourself as an engineer but you do not state what discipline.


If you are an EE, Software engineer, etc. then I would assume you would understand the complexity of these boxes. Computers have been available for many years but crashes are an everyday reality.


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

Wendell

Technical Services Supervisor

MAETV
 

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Wendell,

I think he's referencing the more "easily" solved issues like fan noise, menus etc. I don't think these issues are nearly of the sophistication that would not be very easily attainable with todays average technology.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Wendell R. Breland:
If you are an EE, Software engineer, etc. then I would assume you would understand the complexity of these boxes. Computers have been available for many years but crashes are an everyday reality.
The "complexity" of these boxes is not the issue. The issue is that there is a relatively small market for these STBs (compared to other consumer electronics devices). If there was a demand for millions of these per year, maufacturers would be coming out of the woodwook with all kinds of wiz bang STBs. Volume will always drive innovative design, increased functionality and lower prices. Look at the cell phone market for a prime example. Digital cell phones are extremely complex but there are many great models with tons of features to choose from. Until HDTV becomes more than a niche market, we will have to suffer with high priced mediocre equipment.


Jay


[This message has been edited by jerndl (edited 03-26-2001).]
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by KTrout:
Why is it that you can't get an STB without having to worry about baggage? Can't they just manufacture STB's that have dual tuners, nice HD and SD conversions that can selectively work on 16:9, 4:3, or whatever. NASA lands lunar craft on asteroids 20 million miles away from us (or do they?), yet we can't seem to manufacture something that most people would be happy with. They just seem to half-ass everything, something's always an issue, i.e. a fan being loud and running even when you're not using it. Did they think we were going to use it in the car and not notice the fan noise? Are the people responsible for HDTV as we know it today still holding a grudge because VHS outmarketed BETA and now they're getting their revenge? I just don't understand it.
For a fraction of the cost of what NASA spends on their projects, I will take charge a building a custom STB for you. Development and testing may be in the multi-million dollar range, but it SHOULD cost less than sending a probe within our solar system.

http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif


Hopefully you see my point.


Its not that they can't do this, its just that they are trying to build this stuff to a specific price point. That is the hard part. It is relativly easy for people like Porsche or Ferrari to build the next 'supercar' and charge $100K+ for it. Ask Ford or Chevy to do the same for $30K and the end result will have issues just like we are currently having.


Richard
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Ken Ross:
Wendell,

I think he's referencing the more "easily" solved issues like fan noise, menus etc. I don't think these issues are nearly of the sophistication that would not be very easily attainable with todays average technology.
1) Fan noise.... Early ICs that consume a lot of energy and produce a lot of heat. You want to create a sleak unit that is physically small, yet you don't want it to overheat? You install a high CFM fan to move the air in and out. My guess is that Sony (and others) don't like the quantity of heat they generate, but have to resort to the noisy fans. I think others that have quieter fans probably have larger boxes (an maybe larger fans as well). Large fans are usually less noisy than smallers ones if they are moving the same CFM. Regardless, this should have been caught in the design phase. But then again, there probably was little in their internal 'specs' about maximum noise levels. The fan was the engineers solution to package all of that stuff into the box someone designed to 'look nice'.


2) Menus.... I have worked in software design and development for years. They have schedules to meet, limited resources (budgets), etc. I have also yet to find a group of users that will agree upon the interface. If you hate it, the guy next to you will love it. Most of these boxes are the first generation for each manufacture. They are learning how to do this. This includes the guys that creates the menus.


I am not saying I am happy with the situation, but I se how it happens.


Richard
 

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Fact of the matter is that these units for the most part are performing very well. Most of the problems that I've seen posted are either attributable with psip programming issues or antenna issues. Neither relate to the design of the receiver. Sure there are people who are unhappy about fan noise, or some other secondary attribute. My my personal experience, I've been using a panasonic stb for over a month, and it's performance is worth every penny that I paid for it. OTA reception is excellent - 1000 times better than anything that I could ever get via analog - and it's FREE. The ota hdtv broadcasts are outstanding, and DirecTV sd and hd performance is flawless. Fact is there is now a real choice in the marketplace, the race is on, and may the company which provides the best product win.....
 
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