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Going to HD Soon, I Hope (1 Viewer)

Johnny Angell

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Well, "she who must be obeyed" is finally coming over to the idea of HD, though still not to keen on it. We've been house sitting a co-worker's dog this weekend and we discovered they have a 46" Sharp Aquos with Dish. I've been popping my eyes out watching some football on it. Boy, is it a different experience with HD. Our neighbors on both sides of us have HD and her brother on the west coast has upgraded his HD TV recently, so I'm doing my best to lay on the guilt.

Where our HD TV will go, will probably limit us to a 40 or 42" screen and I'm leaning towards an lcd, I thought the pic on the Aquos was great and lcd's are priced better these day's, aren't they? I also watch a lot of CNN and burn-in is a consideration.

How do most people handle their media routing? Right now with my SD setup I've got everything going into a Sony STR-DA555ES and I select what I want to watch with that. Is that still commonly done or are people piping the output of the HD source directly into the TV?

I've got some Bose Acoustimass (I know, I know, but not looking to upgrade those now) speakers and a Denon DVD-1910 progressive scan player. Neither the receiver nor dvd player have HDMI outputs. Can the Denon send more data to the HD TV using the DVI-D output?

I currently subscribe to DirecTV and was not looking to change, but I think I've read elsewhere posts referring to DTV's HD as HD Lite, it wasn't complimentary. The TV I've been observing is hooked up to Dish so I haven't seen DTV's HD. Opinions on this please?

Considering that I liked the Aquos, but will have to go down in size, are there other HD TV's you would recommend to me? It will be in a room where the ambient light will go from daylight (no direct sun on screen) to night. I've got a 40" wide space to put it in. I'd like to go 46" but can't do it.

If a new receiver is in order, recommendations there will be appreciated. I don't think I'm ready for a HD DVD player, considering the format war going on. If I had money to burn, I would go ahead and get one, but there is a budget.

What about DVRs? From what I've learned the DTV DVRs only record from DTV and not OTA. This is in keeping with their current SD DVRs, which we have. Unfortunately, currently, the Little Rock stations are not carried by DTV in HD, though that may change. Until it does, it would appear that If I want to watch the networks in HD I'd have to do it OTA and then I couldn't record it and then I couldn't skip the commercials and I think that would be an extreme shock to my system. Don't know what the solution would be here.

My DVR has probably been one of the most life transforming devices I've ever added to the Home Theater. I love having plenty of recording time. I've upgraded it's hard drive myself, is that an option for the HD DVRs?

So I'm looking at a 1080p HDTV, probably a DTV Receiver/DVR, maybe a receiver, maybe an HD DVD player. That last one is real iffy. I haven't come up with a budget, but I'd like to do the TV for a max of $2500 and would love to come in well under that.
 

Robert_J

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I send my HD source straight to the display because my receiver doesn't support HDMI. The Harmony 880 makes it easy for my wife to switch between HD DirecTivo, SD DirecTivo or one of the three DVD players connected to it.

I have DirecTV HD and the picture is great on a 720p projector and 103" screen. There are some compression artifacts during motion when watching things like a football game. But not enough to bother me. In fact, right after kick-off I'm so into the game I don't even notice. DirecTV will be adding about 30 new HD channels before the end of the year. I had horrible time with Dish and their one year contract. One day after my contract was up I switched back to DirecTV. It's not perfect but it's better in my opinion.

The DirecTV HR20 has two satellite tuners as well as two ATSC tuners. They work in pairs so you can record two satellite channels, two OTA digital channels or one of each. Until the announcement of DirecTV's newest DVR, ALL of their HD receivers could tune in and record (the DVR models) both OTA and satellite. The newest DVR is for locations that can get all of their HD via satellite. I'd never use one because D* doesn't carry subchannels and I sometimes watch the local news or weather on them.

The HD DVR can connect a larger drive via USB or firewire or something. It then uses that drive instead of the internal one. If you can replace the internal one, DBS Talk would have the details.

Don't forget to budget for an antenna. In your location most of the channels will come in fine. But with channel 7's (KATV) tower down in Redfield you will have to have a decent sized antenna to pull it in. Go here and find the Little Rock DMA (#57 in case you have trouble). Find someone in the Maumelle area and see what type of antenna they used and how it is installed (indoor, attic or outdoor). That will save time on trial and error. I'm 25 miles from the Memphis towers and use a $30 UHF antenna from Radio Shack that I installed in my attic.

-Robert
 

Bob McElfresh

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Go to this website, type in your URL and see what HD stations are in your area and how big an antenna you need. Note: the "Philips Silver Sensor" is a $30 indoor antenna that works very well.

www.antennaweb.org

Also - My CATV company wanted me to go with a $49/month package when all I wanted was local stations in HD. I was about to hang up when they said "..you could always get 'Basic Cable'". I now get 8 HD stations, A 16 hour PVR, no contract for $24/month from the cable company.

I have not upgraded to Dish HD (although I have 2 standard-def PVR's with them) because of the upgrade cost for existing customers and that last time I looked they only had CBS in HD.

So I have both CATV and Dish for my TV and I'm rather happy with it.

Hope this helps.
 

Robert_J

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Dish is notorious about not giving deals to existing customers. There's a thread at the Tivo Community documenting everyone's "deal". All DirecTV customers with an HD DirecTivo start at $199 for the HR20 DVR. Most end up with a deal in the neighborhood of $19.95 for the DVR, AT9 dish and installation. All you have to do is ask and mention how good of a deal your local cable company has.

-Robert
 

Johnny Angell

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I've seen some deals like this also mentioned dbstalk. The deals do vary by how generous the CSR is and many call more than once. It's good to have this information in order to have some leverage.

How is the HR20 hooked up? To be specific, even if I route the Sat directly into the TV, I'll want the audio going into my 5.1 receiver, won't I? How is that done?
 

Robert_J

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You connect the video to the TV and the digital audio to the receiver. Switching is controlled by the 880. That's how I have my HR10 connected.

-Robert
 

Johnny Angell

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I don't think I understand yet. The sat cable out of the wall goes into the HR20, I presume. Than the output of the HR20 goes to both the receiver and TV. What kind of outputs does the HR20 have? HDMI and digital audio? Is the digital audio coax or optical?
 

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