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Joining the HDTV ranks! Have a few questions. *a bit long*


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#1 of 11 Marc_F

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Posted February 17 2001 - 07:20 AM

Ok first I hope this is the correct forum to post in. My post kind of spans over many areas like Monitors/Satellite/HDTV and I thought this forum to be the most appropriate. If not then please move the thread moderators.

Ok, I am still relatively new to the home theater area. Last year I got a reciever with a 5.1 setup (Marantz reciever/B&W Speakers) thanks to the people here at the HTF. Over the past year I have been a Dishnetwork subscriber and have been itching to buy a HDTV. I've been reading up on various RPTVs, DILA, DLPs and such and just couldn't make up my mind on WHEN to get a HDTV. Well my b-day is a couple weeks away and my wife surprised me with the receipt for a brand new Toshiba 65H80 that is gonna be delivered in a couple weeks. Did I pick wisely or what when it comes to wives? hehe

Anyhow I have a bunch of things to get/do before the big set arrives and want to make sure I am not missing anything.

1) Get a dish 6000 reciever installed with the OTA module.
2) Get a progressive scan DVD player (might wait a bit on this)
3) Get a component rack/shelf
4) Might need a new antenna for the OTA module

Now for some questions...
- How difficult is it to install the dish for the 61.5 Satellite?
- If anyone in the Dallas area has a good store to goto to buy the 6000reciever etc let me know. I went to a place yesterday and I got a glazed look when I mentioned needing another dish besides the Dish500 to get the HDTV channels I wanted.
- Is a progressive DVD player a MUST right away? We are spending a bunch in a short period of time and wonder if this can just go on my 'Upgrade' list.
- Where do you get a simple component/rack shelf? Went to a bunch of furniture stores, but they only seem to have big wall entertainment units. Currently using one of those simple black Best Buy tables with my 36" TV on top with components below, but that obviously isn't going to work for the new 65" tv.
- As for the new antenna. At the moment I have a simple set top antenna for picking up local channels. They come in just about perfect since I am quite close to the broadcast towers (live south of Arlington in the DFW area). Can this same antenna be used for the HDTV channels or is something special needed to pick up and pass the HDTV signals?


Thanks in advance and also a BIG thanks to the forum for all the help it has given me in the past. I have been a lurker here for a while and I would still be on a small TV using the TV speakers for sound and still using cable instead of satellite. My wallet hates you all *hehe* but I sincerely thank you!

Marc Fisher
Mansfield, TX


#2 of 11 Judy Y

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Posted February 17 2001 - 08:41 AM

I don't know how difficult it would be to install the second dish, as I had mine professionally installed.

I, also, considered switching to a progressive scan DVD player when I got my new HDTV set, but have found that, with Hi Def, THAT is all I want to watch!!! I don't seem to be that interested in DVD's anymore! Maybe you should wait and see how that goes before you decide. You may ALSO be so impressed with the added resolution on anamorphic DVD's that it will satisfy you for some time before you feel the itch to upgrade your DVD player.

If you are getting the analog equivalent stations NOW with an indoor antenna, you are very likely going to get the digital stations easily. The only thing you need to find out is whether or not the digital stations in your area are VHF or UHF and then you can try the appropriate indoor antenna. In MY experience, the digital stations come in much more cleanly with less signal strength than the analog channels. I may have a little bit of noise or snow in an analog channel and it's companion digital channel looks rock solid and clear!

Hope this helps.

#3 of 11 Robert_J

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Posted February 17 2001 - 08:50 AM

I'll try to answer a few questions
- Aiming the Dish300 is easy. Make sure the pole is exactly plumb and use a decent compass. It took me less than five minutes to aim a Dish300 at the 119 sat (temporary until I could get my Dish500 in the mail).
- Just go back to the Dishnetwork dealer and buy the parts that you need. If your Dish500 has a twin LNB, you need a Dish300 and two SW21 switches. If your Dish500 has 2 dual LNBs, you need a Dish300 and an SW42 switch. Both of these options are for two receivers only.
- Check out some flexy racks in the DIY section of this forum.

-Robert

#4 of 11 Doug_F

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Posted February 17 2001 - 10:53 AM

I recently bought a 55H70, and had to go on a hunt for a component rack. I searched at about 10 different places, but about the only thing I could find that met my requirements was a Tech Craft rack at Circuit City. It's a basic black rack that has 4 shelves, a smoked glass door, and was deep and tall enough to handle all of my components (receiver, cassette, LD, DVD, CD changer, VCR, and satellite receiver). It ran about $200.

#5 of 11 Lee Antin

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Posted February 18 2001 - 01:29 AM

For racks try www.smarthome.com and click on Home Theater. Thay have racks that use the modular approach with all kinds of options and special add-ons.

Lee

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#6 of 11 Steve Tannehill

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Posted February 18 2001 - 05:40 AM

Hi, Marc!

I ordered my Dish 6000 receiver from Mark at DishDepot.com, however in reading threads on the DBS/Satellite forum, I am hearing stories of people who have looked up a 6023 *new subscriber* package online (don't know where, but apparently, it can be found) for under $400 and have had it price matched at Sears, regardless of your subscriber status. Normally, you don't get the deep incentive discounts if you are an existing subscriber. This is worth a shot if you want to save some bucks towards your next upgrade.

I am not climbing a two-story house to mount my 61.5 dish, so for now I've got it mounted on a large, heavy piece of discarded kitchen countertop, free-standing in my back yard. I expect I can call Dish Network and pay someone $100 to have it installed. As for pointing the dish, get a level and a compass and hold your tongue in the corner of your mouth just right and you should be able to point it with a minimum of difficulty.

The only problem with my temporary free-standing approach is that when we had those big windy thunderstorms a couple of weeks back, the base shifted slightly.

Once you get the Dish 6000 and the 8VSB OTA module, you should at least try your existing antenna for OTA reception. The digital channels are mostly UHF (channels 14, 18, 19, 32, 35, and 41), except for WFAA (digital channel 9). You'll be able to see signal strength when you program the Dish 6000 with these channels...then at worst, you might have to visit Radio Shack for a slightly larger antenna.

I'm torn on the need for a progressive scan DVD player, but that's because I just got the iScan Pro line doubler. I would say at this point if you have a good interlaced DVD player with component outputs, along with a laserdisc player and/or a TiVo, or if you still watch videotapes and/or cable, you should consider bypassing the progressive scan player and going for the iScan Pro. It has three inputs (component, composite, and S-Video) and it converts it to 480p. If you get a progressive scan DVD player, all you'll get is DVD converted over to 480p.

Anyway, enough of my yakkin. Let us know what you decide, and how it all turns out!

- Steve

#7 of 11 AllenD

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Posted February 18 2001 - 08:20 PM

You should look into HTPCs. Building one yourself will save you several hundred dollars than buying pre-built. On top of that, you'll have progressive scan capabilities, record HD ota w/the right hardware, and save several hundreds more.

#8 of 11 John_Mitchell

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Posted February 19 2001 - 07:01 AM

For whatever it's worth, imho progressive scan, annamorphically-enhanced DVD is so close to equal resolution with most HBO HD movies, that it's a virtual wash. The HD will always be just a wee bit sharper, but the difference is minute, and the 5.1 or DTS audio available via DVD really tips it in its favor, I believe. I watch a lot of first-run films on HBO HD just to see if I want to buy the DVD!
Don't get me wrong; I would love to see everything in HD, including DVD-HD! But, realistically, HBO HD has horrible audio dropouts, and many of the films don't show a great deal more resolution than anamorphic, progressive scan DVD. Figure 480P has a max of around 500 lines, and probably most 35mm transfers top out at about 500-600 lines. Now HD CAM has more resolution, and I can tell a huge difference, even on RPTV, but unfortunately, there's not much stuff available on DTV in HD CAM yet.
Godspeed the day when there will be more! But until then, I heartily recommend progressive scan DVD if you like movies.
John

#9 of 11 Marc_F

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Posted February 20 2001 - 05:52 AM

First let me say thanks for all the great information. I had no clue about the Flexy racks on the DIY forum. I figured it was for building your own speakers and such and just assumed it was way over my head. Here is a quick update on what I am doing.

1) All the 6000 Dish stuff is ordered and on the way, looks like I will have some things to do this coming weekend.
2) Still undecided about the progressive DVD player, I think I *should* wait a month or two, but I doubt I will be able to =)
3) Going to building my own Flexy rack. All the other racks I saw in the few furniture stores I went to were $500-$700. I'd rather spend the money elsewhere.
4) Going to try the antenna I have and see how that goes.

The TV gets delivered on March 2nd. It just can't come fast enough!

Thanks again all!

Marc


#10 of 11 HiHoStevo

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Posted February 23 2001 - 09:58 AM

What is the DIY forum?

Steve


There are two theories for successfully arguing with a woman – neither one works!

#11 of 11 Steve Tannehill

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Posted February 23 2001 - 02:30 PM

We have a DIY and Advanced HT Topics Area.

- Steve