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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,


My 30 days period with the Sony HD100 is almost over. I've been offered by GG to replace that with any other HD unit or Money back. Well, I wanted to know which receivers I should go for (Mits, Panny, RCA). I am somewhat temped by the Panny since it has multiple output but scared by the slow menu. In my option, I think the Sony is slow so if the Panny is slower, I would not be able to live with it. Or should I hold on the Sony and hope they will have a patch to fix all the problem?? Let me know.


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Carl,


There are different kind of slownesses. I have had the RCA, Panny, Mits, Sony, Panny in that order.


I consider the Sony menu system slower than the Panny because the Panny may take a while to paint the screen, but at least it has the data. The Sony spends far too long aquiring data from satellite.


They Panny's menu does paint slow. I have found that the painting speed depends on which mode you use. If you lock it into 1080i, the menu is about as fast as it gets.


At this point, none of the boxes are perfect. If you like the Sony, I would hold onto it. There have been a lot of people complaining about the problems with the Sony and I think they will fix it sooner rather than later.


If you want a box that has multiple output formats and works now (My definition is that the video is consistent and the audio is in sync), then the Panny is a good choice.


In my opinion, the best box out right now is still the RCA.


--Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I should clarify my rating of slow. I am looking at the speed of switching channel. The sony takes about 1-3 sec to lock-in and bring in the pics and it does NOT have any program description. It just show the Station logo. How does the Panny compares in this arena??


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Hey Carl, I find changing directv station to station about the same speed as it was on the Sony, but.. going from regular sat. to OTA HD takes a bit to switch. The Sony was faster there. The Panny gives you an info banner as to the Sony's station logo. I'll paste below what I wrote in another thread. If Sony would have a fix for the lip sync drop out issue I I would go back, but I have had no lip sync issues with the Panny yet. I have seen some real quick drops but no way near as many as the Sony got. Here is my quick review from the 2 boxes:


I had the Sony for about 2 weeks and just returned it for the Panny box. I was happy with the features and picture quality of the Sony but it had WAY too many bugs in it! I got MANY video drop outs and serious lip sync problems. I even exchanged it for another thinking that it was a problem with the box and the second (much higher serial #) had the same exact problems. I live in the LA area and watching CBS was like watching a dubbed Japaneese movie! The lip sync would go off and then a vid drop and back to normal (this would go on and on). It made watching the one great HD station unwatchable. I also got vid drops on regular sat and more on HD-HBO. I have had the Panny for about 4 days (took your advice Rick, thanx) now and saw 2 drops (as opposed to the 15 I would have seen on the Sony). Not one lip sync issue on CBS. I think some people in some areas have no problems with the Sony with the above mentioned problems, but there are others that do in different parts of the country. I think this is a MAJOR flaw in this box (maybe with PSIP) that Sony didn't beta test enough. If the Sony worked the way it should I would have kept it and been happy.

My review between the Panny and Sony is:


-Sony is way faster with the guide, the Panny is painfully slow but I like the guide layout better (would be nice if it gave you that preview window like the Sony). When you do a search on sub topics with the Panny you can go make a sandwich and come back and it won't be done!


-HD picture is about the same, not a noticable difference. I find regular sat quality better on the Panny though.


-The sensor (for the remote) on the Panny is weak. You have to point the clicker right at it and punch the buttons slow.


-Fan on the Panny is stupid loud! BUT, on the Sony it stays on when the box is off and on the Panny it doesn't.


-Panny has the APG, it combines the guides (local) and gives you info on it. Sony doesn't, it just says Digt. with no info at all. I like the info feauture with the panny better, when changing channles with the Sony it just gives you the station ID (personal preference).


-local channel search here in LA was whacky with the Sony, it would not pick up KCET correctly and picked some staions on high nubers instead of the sub challes. Panny picked it all up perfectly.


Bottom line is the Sony WOULD be a better box if it just worked correctly in LA. I am happy with the Panny so far, the final four games, Bruce's concert, and the Masters looked great, but I was getting that small pixilation artifacts here and there. I have read many people seeing this with different STB's though.

I was bummed that I had to return the Sony, lets hope they correct the problem with a upgrade or something. Panny is better box for less glitched HD here in LA in my opinion.... I also had the Hughes box and returned that for a very dark HD image. Still awaiting that perfect STB......


Looking back now, I should have just kept my DTC. I don't think the extra money for these new boxes was worth the troubles of all of us beta testing for these manufactures.
 

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I'm receiving 5 ota stations using the panasonic receiver. It normally takes 1-3 seconds, channel to channel; however, that timing depends on the format of the stations. I'm using it in hybrid mode, and my TV displays either 1080i or 480p. When I switch from NBC(1080) to FOX (480), the receiver and TV both go through resets from 1080 to 480 modes, and this takes an additional 1-2 seconds. I could avoid that by upconverting all to 1080, but choose to run in hybrid mode.


On channel change the panny shows the channel banner which includes channel number, channel id, time, date, program description (as yet not passed) and other info.


good luck...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What tv are you guys using. I am using a Pioneer SD-532


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My only experience has been with the Panny, but I'm very pleased and will be keeping it. Picture quality is very good, and I really like the way it upconverts to whatever resolution you choose. I'm viewing everything at 1080i and I'm very impressed with the image. My "TV" is a Sony 10HT projector.


Yes, the guide is very slow. Fan is noisy, but I can live with it since it shuts off when the unit is off. Channel changes are about the same as my old Sony boxes, maybe slightly slower. No OTA here, so I can't comment on that part of it.


I'm keeping the Panny because the picture and audio are very good. The guide issues are software related and can be easily updated and improved.


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Visit our dedicated home theater, The City Cinema.
 

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I have a Mits 65905 and run in either hybrid mode or Native mode. I use native mode to watch Letterbox movies because my TV won't allow me to change formats with 480p.


--Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Rick,


So in the Native mode, all the signal are passed through. My TV will take 480i (stretchable), 480p, & 1080i. Now what happened for the 720p?? Would my TV convert it or just become junk??



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It becomes junk. Fortunately of US in LA, only KABC broadcasts 720p. When there is something I want to watch on KABC (very rare, I watched NYPD Blue in HD once), I get up and change to hybrid mode.


Hybrid mode will convert 720p to 1080i and will convert 480i to 480p. I think this is a really good way to go because the less upconversion the better. I also have a Iscan Pro and the scaler in the Panny compares favorably to the Iscan.


--Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If I read you correctly, it sounds like the mode change cannot be done via the remote? That's kinda of stink.


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For this Sony vs. Panasonic debate, what about the fact that the Panasonic doesn't have a signal strength meter for OTA? Did this factor in to the decision making or does it not matter that much? Is there a work around for this so that you can aim the antenna properly without spending a lot on separate devices to measure the strenth of the signal? I really want to get the Panasonic but the lack of this feature is holding me back. Thanks.


Will
 

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Carl,


This was posted by BTMoore on another thread.
http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/Forum11/HTML/012995-2.html


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When I talked to Sony today I informed them that I was approaching my 30 day window to return the product and I would do so if there was no resolution. The level 2 rep offered to refund my money if they were not able to resolve the problem and extend the warranty to start after the resolution of this issue. I countered with a 30 day offer, if they could not resolve the problem in that window they would refund my purchase. They accepted and recorded that in my call record. I think I will stick it out for another 30 days because it doesn't sound like the other STBs are anything to get excited about. If you have the patience to wait it out a little bit you may want to call Sony and see if they will extend you the same courtesy to protect your investment.


Regards,


Brian

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You might want to try this and see what happens. At least you could get some time to check out the other STBs



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If an extremely slow guide bothers you, then run away from the Panisonic. I tried this stb for a few days but I could not get over the terrible slowness of the guide. Just moving up and down a few lines to select a different station is a pain. Do not buy this usnit unless you can try it first or make sure the store has a liberal return policy.


[This message has been edited by Serotta (edited 04-10-2001).]
 

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Just traded my Mits for the Sony.

I hope that was a smart move.

I could not take the incredible s l o w n e s s of the guide. I would press the cursor down on the remote to scroll the guide, and I could get a beer and come back and it still wouldn't scroll.

Well, not really, but it was sooo slow, in fact you had to press down once and let go, becasue if you would hold it down, after about 5-6 seconds just start scrolling and you would miss all the channels.


I know that the Sony, you can hold down the guide down or up on the remote and never miss a channel. (at least with the A50 anyway.)

Another HUGE difference for me was the fact that the Mits displayed every channel as 16:9 on my Wega through the Component video. No one could really ever explain this to me. Mits tech support blames my TV.

Last night I connected the Sony and I saw 4:3 material through the component video.! That alone is worth it.


JOE
 

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Will,


I went to antennaweb.org and found out there to point my Antenna. I then went up on the roof and pointed my 20 year old yagi antenna with a compass.

I now get every station in LA with very little dropouts. Your milage may vary, but for me it was simple. I also have line of sight to Mt. Wilson.


--Rick
 

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Another HUGE difference for me was the fact that the Mits displayed every channel as 16:9 on my Wega through the Component video. No one could really ever explain this to me. Mits tech support blames my TV.

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


I've got the same "feature" with my Mits SR-HD5. I wonder if Mits would also blame my TV (it's a Mits VS-50805)...


Thanks for posting that this is a standard "feature" of the HD5.



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gigageek,


The Mits box outputs everything as 1080i component. Your TV thinks that all 1080i is 16:9. Bad news all around. I think the Sony is the best bet for 4:3 TV's. The Panny will work, but you will have to push a button (on the box) to watch 1080i content.


--Rick
 

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Well, it depends. The Panny has 2 automatic modes, Native and Hybrid, that do the switching for you. Native outputs the same signal that it receives (1080i, 720p, 480p, 480i) and hybrid outputs 1080i (for 1080i and 720p in) and 480p (for 480i or 480p in). What would have been really cool is a programmable automatic mode that would let you select what you want (e.g., 720p for 1080i and 720p, and 480p or 480i at native). The one real shortfall of the the setup is that you have to manually switch to 480i to record.


>>The Panny will work, but you will have to push a button (on the box)

>>to watch 1080i content.
 
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