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Okay .. HDTV receivers??

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by DBSPaul, Aug 27, 2003.

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  1. DBSPaul

    DBSPaul Mentor/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Right now I've got some inexpensive RCA receiver (one of the $49 Wal-Mart specials from awhile ago) hooked to a standalone TiVo. (I had a Hughes receiver, but got the RCA for the serial connection between it and the SA TiVo.)

    Anyone with strong opinions on the various D* HDTV receivers out on the market? I'd like something with the serial port so I could continue to use the SA TiVo to control it to record SD channels.

    Thanks!
     
  2. tds4182

    tds4182 Legend

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    I just purchased a Sony SAT HD200 after trying two Hughes E-86s (I had trouble with both). I am very pleased with the Sony unit. It is a little pricey, but the picture quality is nearly perfect. In HD mode the picture looks as though you are looking at the scene(s) live in your home. Hope this helps you decide!


     
  3. timf

    timf Legend/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I'm very happy with my Samsung SIR-TS160. It has all the features I could want for a reasonable price. I can't really see the need for paying more for some of the other brands when the Samsung does it all AND has simple controls over the outputs, including simultaneous output of DTV and NTSC signals.
     
  4. paulh

    paulh Godfather

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    Yes, simultaneous output (Sends out a HDTV signal AND composite) is necessary if you want to watch a program in HDTV and at least archive a low-defination version to a SA TIVO or VCR. Currently only the Samsung does that, but the upcomming Zenith 530 will also have that feature. (Along with possibly the best OTA tuner)
     
  5. DBSPaul

    DBSPaul Mentor/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Last night I had a chance to look at the E86 and the Samsung (the only store that had a Sony wouldn't let me look at the back). I can understand why I'd stay away from an E86, but the Samsung struck me as surprisingly low-tech (simple sliders for picture settings? how about making this available via remote??) but with a plethora of output options.

    Right now, since I don't have an HDTV-capable TV (yet), the simultaneous output would be nice, but none of these units has a serial control port, so it means going back to an IR emitter (and the inherent unreliability of those) for the SA TiVo to control it.

    Also, since I avoided all the salesdroids, it looks like there is a $150 kickback from DTV on these. Is that in just activating the unit, or in getting the HD package as well? (Yeah, I know .. why am I buying an HDTV-capable receiver if I'm not getting the HD package from D*...:rolleyes:)
     
  6. paulh

    paulh Godfather

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    I wish I could offer hands-on experience with the HD units, but I've only been researching them in case I can get an insanly great deal on one. (I also do not have an HDTV but would love an integrated OTA and D* guide since I do not have LIL available, and might occasionally connect the HDTV tuner to my 21" monitor, plus getting perfect Digital OTA would be nice, so I understand what you're talking about)

    I noticed that the back of the Sony HD-200 (checked D*'s website for all product manuals) has what looks like a standard serial port marked authorized service only. A search at avsforum brought up a post where a user mentioned being able to do more than just the remote commands via the serial connection to the Sony HD-200 (which is the same internals of the Zenith HD 520 box. )

    I never thought the switches on the back of the Samsung were a big deal, since they only controled which HDTV cable (Component or VGA/DVI) you connected to your TV, and the HD format your TV accepts (i.e a 1080i TV and you'd leave it there, and the box would up-convert 480 and 720 formats to the 1080i)

    I agree with you the importance of serial control for a SA TIVO in your circumstances. I just wanted to point out that in the future, you could run into a problem watching something like the Superbowl in HDTV, and not being able to TIVO it to review the best commercials after the game, or being able to pause a live event, etc.

    D* curently has a $399 deal for a Hughes or Samsung HD receiver for existing customers (but from D* you get no choice on what you get) Some local retailers may be able to give that deal, or the savings code might allow them to give $150 on any receiver. For some experiences: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=290120

    It sounds like the next generation Sony / LG unit due around the end of the year (The Zenith name is getting dropped) may have all the features needed, but I do not know if the wait and price would be worth it to you.
     
  7. bonscott87

    bonscott87 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

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    I've had the Hughes E-86 since December last year and am very happy with it. Works great for me. You should be able to get it around $400 now or so or less.
     
  8. Sep 2, 2003 #8 of 10
    DBSPaul

    DBSPaul Mentor/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Sorry for being dense here, but does that mean it would accept commands to change channels from the SA TiVo like my current RCA receiver does?

    HDTV novice... It just seemed strange that for all the tech employed, someone would put slider switches to select formats. Of course, if you don't like how the box upconverts, then you're kinda SOL. It seemed like if the monitor could accept the format, you just pass it along instead of playing bit games in processing.

    I've done the IR repeater thing, and it's not 100% reliable.

    The primary point was to "sneak" in HDTV reception capability and allow for a TV upgrade at some point. The other half is very resistent to the idea right now. :rolleyes: But until the HD*TiVo boxes come out, this would at least give me one path. (I've got two series 1 D*TiVos, and if the 1/1 sat/ota tuner specs are true, I'll have to buy two HD*TiVo boxes to get close to the functionality I currently have.)
     
  9. Sep 3, 2003 #9 of 10
    paulh

    paulh Godfather

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    Well my informal search of a TIVO forum found one member stating a SA TiVo cannot control the Sony HD-200 via serial control. (A ReplayTV FAQ noted there was different serial baud rate and commands) so the initial post I found must of been a HTPC (Home Theater PC) user that was using a PC as a PVR, and the PC could handle the different serial timings and customized commands.

    It looks like your only option to control a HDTV receiver with a TiVo would be an IR-blaster.
     
  10. DBSPaul

    DBSPaul Mentor/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Thanks for the info. I guess I'll keep looking into other options.
     
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