A few more newbie questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tom McLaughlin, Jul 12, 2001.

  1. Tom McLaughlin

    Tom McLaughlin Auditioning

    Jul 10, 2001
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    All, I have an HDTV ready TV, Mitsu WT-46805, and I'm about ready to start to use it at it's full potential. I understand that I can get HDTV programming OTA or through either Dish or DirectTV with Dish having more programming to date. I did read the other newbie posts that were here on the forum, but I had a few more.
    The questions:
    * Do I have to buy an HDTV tuner/decoder box or can I buy a satellite receiver that has this built in. It looks like from Dish you can get the model 5000, but still have to get a tuner/decoder box and a digital modulator. From what I've read, from DirectTV, I can buy the DTC100 or several other DirectTV Plus sat receivers that have the tuner/decoder built in. Is this the case??? Basically I want to know if I can go directly from a box like the DTC100 to my TV.
    * I understand I have to get a dish with dual LNBs. Can I get the HDTV version of the local channels from the sat or do I have to get them OTA? From everything that I have read so far it looks like I have to get them OTA.
    * If I have to get them OTA, can I get a system that receives both sat systems and takes a regular antenna input? Again, from everything I have read so far, it looks like this should not be a problem, but I just wanted to confirm.
    * Could someone recommend some equipment? Basically, I want the most HDTV programming I can get, including local channels. I currently have cable which I understand I should dump. Any reasons to go Dish over Direct or the other way around other than more HDTV programming? At this point, I'm leaning toward DirectTV as it looks like I don't have to have an external tuner/decoder???
    * What is digital modulator used in Dish System? Will this degrade my video signal?
    * Has anyone used the SR-HD500 system from Mitsubishi?
    * If I wanted to do this in phases, can I buy the sat receiver set top box, hook an antenna up to it to get the OTA programming, then later buy the dish.
    * Lastly, we have a huge antenna in the attic which we don't use. It has probably been there for a long time. Can I use this for the OTA programming or do I have to get a new antenna?
    Thanks for being patient and providing us newbies with all the info. What's funny is that when I talk to friends and family, they think I'm the expert...then I get on this list and feel humbled.
    BTW, this forum is great. I've been reading for a long time, but this is my first post.
  2. Abdul Jalib

    Abdul Jalib Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 27, 2000
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    You are not going to be able to get a Dish 5000 plus HDTV Modulator unless you try really hard and/or are willing to pay big bucks. The Dish 5000 + HDTV Modulator is discontinued equipment and is the only means at present to record HDTV from satellite when used with a digital VCR or PC HDTV card, and therefore the demand is sky-high relative to the supply. A HDTV Modulator recently went for $850 on EBay, and the Dish 5000's go for about $230. And you would still need a box capable of decoding OTA HDTV.
    The Dish 6000 is the one to get, if recording is unimportant to you and you wish to use Dish Network. It has an optional OTA module for $150, but you must keep your Dish subscription active for this to work.
    On the DirecTV side, there are many equivalents of the Dish 6000, including the DTC100. Their OTA modules are built-in and do not require subscriptions.
    You plug your satellite cable and antenna cable into your Dish6000/DTC100 equivalent, and then run a male-to-male VGA or component or VGA breakout cable into your set, depending on the connectors. And set both the receiver and your set to either RGB or component.
    You cannot get the local channels at all off the satellite, unless you live in an area where the local channels are willing to admit you cannot receive them. Personally, I live in an area where CBS and ABC do not come in at all, but the channels are not willing to admit that, so I cannot get them off satellite either.
    No American satellite currently carries American network channels in HD, however Dish is about to add CBS-HD, again only for those areas where the locals are willing to admit that reception is impossible.
    Dish has the advantage of Showtime-HD, but I have to admit it's pretty lame, though occasionally Showtime has a high quality movie with a great 1080i transfer. I use Dish for HD, but I have DirecTV for my regular 480i channels, due to DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket.
    Dish may also have the advantage of picture quality for HD. Both Dish and DirecTV pass on the signal given to them without further compression. However, DirecTV seems to broadcast two HD channels in a bandwidth slot that should fit only one, so there is speculation that DirecTV requires HBO-HD to give them 1280x1080i instead of the 1920x1080i that Dish broadcasts.
    The best thing would be to wait until December to make up your mind about DirecTV/Dish, at least if HD sports is important to you. DirecTV is supposed to be adding a 24 hour HD sports network then. I imagine it will be pretty lame at first, but a sufficient dose of women's beach vollyball could make it interesting. [​IMG]
    I'm also underwhelmed with the current HD satellite receivers. The current generation seems no better than the venerable DTC100. So, waiting could turn up something better and cheaper.
    Yes, you could do it in stages by getting a HD satellite receiver and using it for OTA, later adding the dish.
    http://www.titantv.comClick to subscribe to Philips_HDTV discussion group
    [Edited last by Abdul Jalib on July 12, 2001 at 02:14 PM]

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