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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got a DST3000 last week and thought I'd share my experiences with all.


1) The upconversion is much better than I thought it would be. I don't find the picture to be softer than 480i stuff viewed on my Mits with its internal line doubler. Of course it's not great. I would call it a draw between the two viewing modes. Thus, I watch everything upconverted in 1080i mode.


2) I've had no problems with the audio (sync or optical output), dark picture, or greenish tint to the picture that some have experienced. Someone (i.e., not me) should start a poll at freepolls or somewhere to establish the base rates for problems with this and the other boxes.


3) Biggest complaint: not having simulataneous output from component and s-video. I know the Zenith will do this - whenever it comes out. As a derivative of this complaint - you have to manually switch your output from component to s-vid for taping purposes, even timer-based taping. I would think that a minor software change could allow the box to autoswitch for scheduled recording. Maybe that will be a downloadable future upgrade. One final bit on this - when timer recording, the DST will not turn on the VCR's power. Thus, the VCR must be left on for timer recording. Not a huge thing, just different from what Sony and RCA are doing with their boxes.


4) No fan means no fan noise. Bear in mind that the DTC fan noise never bothered me much.


5) Weak non-digital stations will sometimes have mangled audio. Using the VCR's tuner for this solves the problem. It's not a big deal yet since it only happens 10% of the time to the weaker stations, but if the frequency increases, I'll start getting annoyed.


I still haven't watch any OTA HD programming because Nashville's stations haven't started broadcasting yet - but I hear that CBS and NBC are close. Obviously Direct TV demo loop looks great, but I'm just about sick of it.


Hope this info helps someone.

-Reagan
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Reagan Brown:
Just got a DST3000 last week and thought I'd share my experiences with all.
Me too. I'll add a little of my own experiences for those thinking about getting this (especially now that Best Buy seems to have made this box their HD tuner offering).

Quote:


3) Biggest complaint: not having simulataneous output from component and s-video. I know the Zenith will do this - whenever it comes out. As a derivative of this complaint - you have to manually switch your output from component to s-vid for taping purposes, even timer-based taping. I would think that a minor software change could allow the box to autoswitch for scheduled recording. Maybe that will be a downloadable future upgrade. One final bit on this - when timer recording, the DST will not turn on the VCR's power. Thus, the VCR must be left on for timer recording. Not a huge thing, just different from what Sony and RCA are doing with their boxes.
Agreed. This is a pain.


I will add this. I would like to have seen 480i also available from the component outs. As it is, only 1080i is available from the component outs, causing some 4x3 TVs with raster compression (e.g., Sony direct view XBRs) to automatically swith to 16x9 compression mode. So, to watch SD digital signals (without them being a 4x3 box inside a vertically compressed 16x9 window inside the 4x3 set), I must use the S-video output. This means I must switch the TV and the STB after the local news in order to watch Leno in HD. Try getting the rest of your family to get used to this! Plus, the S-video is an inferior input compared to component.


The Sony STB will allow component outs to be set to 480i, 1080i, or an auto/variable mode. However, I chose the Toshiba over the Sony for the Toshiba's ability to pick up my locals (something the Sony cannot do right now -- see below).

Quote:


4) No fan means no fan noise. Bear in mind that the DTC fan noise never bothered me much.
No fan noise. But, this unit runs warm (not hot). Don't plan on setting anything on it.

Quote:


5) Weak non-digital stations will sometimes have mangled audio. Using the VCR's tuner for this solves the problem. It's not a big deal yet since it only happens 10% of the time to the weaker stations, but if the frequency increases, I'll start getting annoyed.
I have not experienced a sound problem at all.


In fact, what I love about this box is its prowess with picking up signals. In Atlanta, we have a Yahoo! HDTV group where we share war stories. It appears that my signal strength equals or bests most people in the city, even though I'm further from the towers, in a hilly area, and have tons of trees around. It took me several hours with two antennas in the attic (a RS double bow tie and a Terk 55 -- the Terk is used to pull in our NBC affiliate WXIA-DT at channel 10, the RS pulls in the UHF stations). I have zero dropouts so far and signal strength near 100 across all four OTA digitals. Also, the OTA analog reception is quite good -- much better than my television's tuner.

Quote:


I still haven't watch any OTA HD programming because Nashville's stations haven't started broadcasting yet - but I hear that CBS and NBC are close. Obviously Direct TV demo loop looks great, but I'm just about sick of it.


Hope this info helps someone.

-Reagan
Thanks Reagan. The reason I'm also posting is because of the helpful comments from people like you that led me to choose the Toshiba (and avoid others). It has worked great. I have added my $0.02 also.


The OTA programming looks great here: CBS (I have a crush on [Judging] Amy -- even more so in all her HD glory) looks quite good. I was REALLY impressed with Leno. He did a great job with his set. Colors and detail really come alive. I no longer can simply watch this show from the bedroom (over regular DBS local feed).


One last note: The video quality of even standard network/local programming is so much better on the digital OTA than through DirecTV it is amazing. Unfortunately, some of the local stations here have some work to do to get some kinks worked out (one broadcasts a poor audio signal). But, this is why I really wish the Toshiba would allow the component outs to be set to 480i (auto detect would have even been better). Still, through S-video, they still look fantastic -- I just wish I didn't have to flip a switch to see when HD material begins. If this is important to you, the Sony STB might be better (again, the Sony has/had a problem with our Atlanta NBC DT station).


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

-Jason


[This message has been edited by JasonATL (edited 07-11-2001).]
 
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