I received an e-mail from Panasonic a couple of days ago stating that the fan noise and dropout fixes should be implemented on units manufactured from June on.If this is indeed true,then the Panny definitely gets my vote since it already has the best PQ and flexibility of the current units.
I have a Panasonic HDS20 purchased in July. The fan is very quiet...in fact I really don't notice it at all. So, it seems they fixed that.
On the drop-out issue, I haven't had any dropouts watching the 199 demo channel. Every now and then HBO 509 will drop out, and the Cubs baseball game that was on 199 had a few drop outs. It's really hard to tell if these are receiver problems, or broadcast problems. Since the normal demo loop on 199 plays without a hitch, I'm guessing the drop outs I see on occasion are broadcast issues. So I'm willing to say that I don't see a drop out "problem" on my Panasonic.
My only issue with the Panasonic is the menu speed (much improved with the latest software upgrade, but still slow when in 1080i format), and the fact that it will not receive normal cable channels (except for a small number of major networks they have programming info for). For example, when I enter my zip code and select my cable provider, it only allows me to tune the local ABC,CBS,NBC,FOX stations, even though I've got 60 channels of basic, unscrambled, analog cable that it should be able to display. Switching the ANT option from CABLE STD to ANT allows you to receive channels 1-13, but then you lose the channels above that. For me, this is the biggest downside of the Panasonic.
Picture quality is excellent. Some people have complained that changing the output mode cannot be done remotely, but I just leave mine set to Hybrid (1080i or 480p) and it works fine.
I have had the Mits HD5 for about four months now and have had zero problems or issues with it. Never a dropout and the menu speed is as fast as it could be. This box also allows you to place in two zip codes so that if you leave near two towns, it will download both guides for you. I like this box alot and feel that it was worth the money.
I am getting tired of the "search" preaching myself. Get a life people.
Have had the Sony HD100 into a Sony 61HS10 for 2 months now. The longer I have it, the more I love it. Picture quality is excellent, and the menus are very well done. I especially like the 480i passthrough with component cables, whichs lets me watch 4:3 SD material full size on my HS10 without changing inputs, or getting upconverted to 1080i and letterboxed. I think it's the only STB that passes 480i through on components--the others you have to switch to the S-video connection, but I could be wrong. Also, if you have a 4:3 TV without "squeeze mode", I've heard the Sony is not a good choice. I also like the HD100 because it integrates my cable, OTA and Sat channels into one guide, so again I don't have to change inputs. The only thing I don't like about it is it doesn't have APG, which the Tosh/Mitsu/Hughes/Panny boxes have. Bummer. But other than that, I'm very pleased, even with the fan noise, which I can hear in a really, really quiet room, but otherwise I never hear.
The Panasonic offers multiple and comprehensive outpout formats but costs $200 more than the Mitsubishi and Sony. The Mitsubishi has a second "whole-house" RF remote; I find this very useful because it allows you to control it from another room without having to search for the first remote. Like the Mitsubishi, the Sony's remote operates on RF, but it only comes with one remote. If you split the signal out of the tuner and send it to an NTSC set in another room, you'll have to take the remote with you when you move to the second TV. However, the Sony provides an infrared device that allows it to control your VCR so you can record DirecTV shows, as does the Mitsubishi. What the Sony does have that the others don't are more output connections and a front-panel display.
That sums up just about all of the differences. Other than that, they're all the same. I would be happy to have either one of the three (I wouldn't even consider the RCA because it's crap). If I had to choose one, I'd choose the Sony because it simply looks the best. It's silver, and like i said, has a front planel display. If none of the other tuner's special features matter to you, then you should get the Sony SAT-HD100 DirecTV/HDTV tuner for superb OTA-caliber performance.
Thanks Kipp, you were a real help! If you don't like the question, simply ignore it! Don't you think I did that and it would have taken a lot less time for me to have my question answered if I had done that? Things change. More people have now bought these. Topics get lost as more topics get posted and most people only look at the first page! It doesn't hurt to get a topic going again to exchange new ideas and opinions even though it may be an old topic!
So instead of flaming and being a smart*ss, simply be a big boy and ignore the post! Or didn't your mommy tell you when you were little "If you can't say anything good to somebody, don't say anything at all"?
I have had the Sony and Mits 5 side byy side in my house for a week. I kept the Mits but have since decided that neither are for me. The video quality was virtually identical on both.
- Multiple output options (2 s-video). RGB (see below)
- Component output in 480i
- 480i output - REQUIRED if you want to use an outboard scaler
- No Advanced Program guide
- RGB 15 pin output does not work !!!
- Audio quality (in a high end set up) was clearly inferior, particularly in the bottom end. Sound is more "harsh" or "edgy" out of the digital output compared to the Mits (using a current Wadia D/A for decoding)
- Need to ensure certain patches are incorporated.
- Outputs in 480p (a plus if you don't have a scaler in your set)
- Better sound
-better onscreen DirectTV guide menus and fast surf (although this is extremely subjective). Professional reviewers elsewhere have also praised Hughes based guides.
- If it applies to you: slightly better remote control and easy learning and use as a remote for other devices.
Mits Disadvantages (IMPORTANT TO READ):
- DO not buy this unit if you plan on using an outboard video processor - it only outputs at 480P and therfore using it with a DVDO, Rock, Faroudja (mine) processore will not work.
- The software has problems incorporating local digital channels with the HDTV mode active. By this, I, and others, have experienced a serious problem whereby only some of the active digital channels will appear when scanning. For instance, only 2 of my digital channels will appear in my system as a part of the menu of the 4 which are active (90+ signals) in my area. There is no way to manually scan these with the bug in the software. Mits has acknowledged this as a problem after 15+ calls and has furnished me with a letter stating that a patch is hoped for in the September timeframe. I line in Miami but others have experienced this elswhere. Until this problem is solved, watching certain digital channels requires using the box to "remove" the HDTV dish" and "insert" the oval dish. You will then recieve all 4 local digital channels but NOT the HDTV HBO (509) and Demo loop (199 - soon to be more programming) channels.
I am certain I missed a few but these should be useful for most evaluations.
thanks for the back up. Luths reply is ignorant. My reply to his thread was respectful and with a little sarcasim for those of us who are getting frustrated with the repeated threads no matter how old. I think I deserve an apology from you Luth. There are moderators here to correct us if we act improperly. Please do not try to tell me how to behave, thank you. I watched this forum for over 2 months before registering and making my first post. It seems people just want everyone to supply them with the answers with minimal effort on their part.
I do a search everytime before posting a new thread. In my opinion, fellow forum members need to look at this as an encyclopedia as well as a discussion forum. You really can get your questions answered alot faster by doing a search instead of waiting for someone else to answer it for you.
IS THAT A REMOTE CONTROL IN YOUR POCKET OR ARE YOU JUST HAPPY TO SEE HDTV?
Usually when I see a thread like this, I just ignore it and move on. But I thought this time a would stop to share a thought.
I'm constantly amazed at how willing people in electronic forums are to be rude to each other, and to have extended discussions about who was right or wrong, or most rude.
As to the original question, the only things I have to add are (1) if you go with Panasonic, get it from a reseller with a decent return policy, because of you need to get help from Panasonic, you will be entering the customer service twilight zone, and (2) the upcoming Zenith DTV1080 is hoped to beat all of the current crop, but until it actually ships, no one really knows.
Thanks Kipp, you were a real help! If you don't like the question, simply ignore it!
How could he have known whether you know how to use the search feature, or even that it exists? You have 10 posts or so, which qualifies you as ultimate newbie until proven otherwise, so its not out of line to post a 'use the search function' to someone like you issuing a question that has been answered many, many times, in more detail than could be handled here.
So your response was out of line, IMHO, though I'm not an adminstrator and my opinion means nothing of course. If you've already searched and found nothing, make note of that and people might lead you to a better set of search criteria.
It's too bad you blew off Kipp so fast. His advice is pretty sage. The fact of the matter is these types of posts are a nuisance, and a nuisance I usually DO ignore. The fact is there have been very few STB introductions lately, and despite gkouri's positive efforts, many of the disadvantages have been addressed in much more detail in dedicated threads.
I have to admit the Search function does have it's limitations (how many days it goes back based on broadness of search and some artifacts when HDTV hardware and software forums were not seperated). Regardless, and despite best intentions, I would hate to purchase a unit based on this thread alone.
The Panasonic offers multiple and comprehensive outpout formats but costs $200 more than the Mitsubishi and Sony.
Luth316, if you ignore all the rants from those "experts" who can't keep quiet, there is some pretty good advice above which I hope will help answer your question. **************' prices list the Panasonic at $650 and the Mits and Sonys at $800 so the Panny is $150 LESS from them. I don't know about other dealers.
The Panny seems like the the most for the money to me right now.
At the Ultimate Electronics store in my area, the Panny, Mits & Sony boxes are all the same price--$799. Also, as far as the "magic" search button, that is an excellent suggestion, and should be followed. But don't forget, you also have a "magic" mouse, that with one easy click takes you out of topics you find redundant, boring, or annoying. For you oldies, here's one thought from (at least according to my number of posts) another newbie--I like redundant questions. When I first started coming to this forum, that's how I learned. I read every topic that showed up on the page. If no one had ever asked questions, even if they had been hashed and rehashed many times, I would not have seen that subject unless I read every single post for the last year or so--and I probably wouldn't have been able to do a search on some topics because I didn't even know enough to ask a question. My point is simply this--I learned a lot by reading topics that many oldsters probably just rolled their eyes at and thought "here we go AGAIN". IMO, any topic, no matter how redundant, is a great way for people to learn. Just my 2 cents worth.
That is a great price for the Panny. I am unfamiliar with ABT Electronics, do they have a good reputation? I spoke with someone there this morning and he told me most of their boxes should be manufacturated in July or later, so that I could avoid some of the earlier problems. However, if I did get an earlier box, or had problems, has anyone had any experience with returns?
[This message has been edited by ********* (edited 09-04-2001).]
A forum community dedicated to home theater owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about home audio/video, TVs, projectors, screens, receivers, speakers, projects, DIY’s, product reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!