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I am confused as to what this piece of equipment is. When ever I look at a HDTV and it said it is upgradeable. It needs a set top box for the HDTV to work in HD mode. But what is a set top box? Is a Directv receiver a set top box?
 

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Certain models of STB's will receive over the air HDTV. Others will receive OTA and satellite HDTV. Only models designed for the purpose will receive HDTV.

Examples:


RCA DTC100-receives Directv HDTV and OTA HDTV


Dish HD6000-receives Dish Network HDTV and OTA HDTV with the optional OTA cartridge.


Samsung makes a model that receives only OTA HDTV. (HD150 or something like that)


Toshiba ST3000-receives Directv HDTV and OTA HDTV.


There are many others.
 

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STB is also applied to cable converters, H/DTV or otherwise, too. That complicates the term because cable STB's aren't designed for satellite or over the air (OTA) signals. (There's always the possibility of exceptions.) But a cable H/DTV STB can also convert a H/DTV-ready set to high-definition viewing. If you're lucky enough to have a cable company that distributes local H/DTV sources as well as programming such as Showtime and HBO, cable H/DTV can be a good option. So far, though, not enough cable firms are offering H/DTV. (H/DTV = either high-definition 720p or 1080i, or enhanced-SDTV, another format for ATSC or broadcast digital TV.) -- John
 

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In case its not clear here, the STB we are constantly referring to are seperate tuners. Most HDTV are "HDTV ready"; they don't contain a HDTV compatable tuner. Everyone I know of has a standard TV tuner (NTSC tuner) so you can connect to an antenna or cable for standard TV. For over the air reception of DTV, you need a DTV tuner (ATSC tuner aka 8VSB). There is a different type of STB, which can include an ATS tuner for OTA, for satellite reception of HDTV. Cable is an unknown at this time, because it can use an ATSC tuner(unlikely), or it could use a different standard all together. Cable HDTV is too limited for any real answer.
 

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Someone should mention that the stb has been an area of considerable difficulty and disappointment. Delivery dates for those by major companies were constantly put off and then a few of the stb's were on the the market for a while and then withdrawn. A few had major problems that were fixed somewhat with "patches" downloaded from Directv. We are still looking for a really stellar product. Art
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Art Lloyd
Someone should mention that the stb has been an area of considerable difficulty and disappointment. . .We are still looking for a really stellar product. Art
That being said, I can report a quite satisfactory experience with my STB (a Tosh DST-3000). Others have of course had program guide problems that were eventually fixed, but my unit has worked as advertised. That's not to say that we're not early adopters and that future products won't be a big improvement, but if you choose to wait for the be-all-end-all in electronics you'll be waiting forever.
 
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