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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at the Samsung SIR-T151 & the Panasonic TU-DST52 HDTV decoders for my X1.


The 151 is selectable for the output, 1080I or 720P. The Panasonic is not, it only outputs at 1080I.


Is this an issue? I'm leaning toward the Panasonic but it forces all sources to the X1 in the 1080I format.
 

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i don't think it's really an issue. I have a Motorola 5100 cable box that displays all the standard formats and I have trouble telling the difference on the X1 between 1080i, 720p and 480p. The X1 has to scale it all to 480p anyway so that's what I leave my cable box at.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Rob,


Thanks for your reply.


So 1080I & 720P look the same on your X1?


I'm curious if the picture looked better with one type of feed compared to the other. I know that it will be down rez to the 800X600 that the X1 puts out but I didn't know if the projector had to work harder to do that on different types of inputs.
 

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several STBs including the t151 and the dst52 are reviewed in the march/april 2003 issue of "the perfect vision magazine"


i'm very happy using the panny with my x1.


as covered in the article (and the dst-52 owner's manual), the panny has three output modes, as suggested by the three leds on the front of the box (note the picture of the panny in the magazine is an older model - see the crutchfield site for excellent, true pictures). in "HD mode" all OTA signals (1080i, 720p, 480p, and 480i) are output as 1080i. in "HYBRID mode" 1080i and 720p output as 1080i, whereas 480p and 480i exit as 480p and 480i respectively. "SD mode" is essentially the inverse of HD mode as all signals leave as 480i.


excellent pictures of the sammy 151 are also on the crutchfield site. the sammy has a manual switch on the back to select outputs. this suggested to me that the sammy output must be manually selected on the back of the unit. i don't know this as fact, but this notion is also suggested by the "perfect vision" review, which cites as a "thumbs down" an "output resolution switch inconveniently located on rear panel" (box pg. 55). in contrast, the panny has no need for a manual button on its rear, as output switching (recall the three modes) is entirely electronic, accomplished with a convenient push of a single remote button. this is not an insignificant issue when wishing to view HD material unworthy of pj bulb time on an NTSC tv. i happily use HD mode to output 1080i to the x1 (via the cheap component cables included with the panny and the optional VGA adapter from infocus) and SD mode to view 480i on a 7 yr old 27" zenith. who wants to reach behind an STB everytime output resolutions are changed?


another reason for choosing the panny over the sammy is that the review properly states that the dst52 "is the ONLY new set-top box that has an SSR (signal strength meter) that operates without your first locking onto the signal" (pg. 54). i find this feature very handy upon initial setup, as well as when attempting to locate any new stations coming online with HD.


as to the ability of the panny to output pure 720p, you are correct that it does not: "no 720p native (this only applies to owners of 720p-native displays)" (perfect vision pg54). what does this mean for the average viewer? certaintly not that one will be unable to view HD monday night football with a dst52/x1 setup. i will say that i prefer cbs's 1080i rendering of c.s.i. versus abc's 720p version of nypd blue, for example. i don't know whether this is due to intrinsic differences between 1080i and 720p, or the "double-downscaling" of a 720p OTA signal from the dst52 in HD mode to the VGA input of the x1. I'm just a novice, but i think this "720p double-downscaling" is the issue you raised. Remember, in its 'highest quality' "HD mode" of output, the panny will scale-up 720p to 1080i, which the x1 faroudja must then downscale (i think to 800x450 in 16:9 mode?). this is is contrast to a 1080i OTA signal received by the panny, which is seemlessly outputed to the x1 as 1080i, and then subject to only a single faroudja downscale in the x1.


i purchased my dst52 via one-call - my first purchase with them and they even called about ten days after delivery to see if i was happy with the purchase. go with the panny...


...now can someone see about getting some HD cameras for aaron sorkin? west wing exclusively in widescreen SD? puh-lease.
 
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