HD Satellite Receiver Choices

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KyleY, May 14, 2002.

  1. KyleY

    KyleY Extra

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    Hi all,

    I'm wanting to get DirecTV and a HD Satellite receiver, but was wondering what's best? I would consider an HDTV Tuner card for a PC, but there aren't any that work with DirecTV currently, correct?

    This would go with my Mitsu WS-55859 which has IEEE 1394, so FireWire outputs on the receiver would be great (but I don't think there are any yet - any on the horizon?). I'd also like digital out (preferably optical b/c my coax input is already used). I also want component video out - maybe 2 (I think the RCA just has DB15?). And of course, I want the best picture quality (that's most important). So, what are my best choices?

    Hughes?

    Toshiba?

    Mitsubishi?

    Sony?

    Are there new products on the horizon from Mitsu (or others) that use Firewire? What else should I be considering here? Are the differences between the various receivers insignificant (aside from the connections anyway)? Is it better to wait now and see what comes out later? I can't get any HDTV currently, and I'd really like to have at least something to try out with my new RPTV. Thanks in advance,

    --Kyle
     
  2. Jeff D

    Jeff D Supporting Actor

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    KyleY, I thought I read that Samsung or some other manufacturer was coming out with some low-cost HD-tuners. One of the two models listed did have firewire (hmmm maybe that was DVI, I can't remember)

    I've got a Sony HD-100 and despite the flaws, slow guide, no OTA guide data (can't remember exactly that was called, some advanced program guide?) I like it, I like the output switch when watching STD vs HD. The fan was awful, I had to bitch and bitch to get a special cover from sony so I could disconnect the fan, that mad a big difference!

    I've also got a Proscan HD-105, ie the RCA-DTC100 and that's the receiver most have. It's the old fashoned work horse of the HD world.

    Not sure how long you will have to wait for an HD tuner with ieee-1394....

    There are really only 3 choices, Hughes, Sony or RCA. Hughes, Tosh, Mitsu and Panasonic (?) are all the same basic product. All are OEM by Hughes, and each one has some slight differences based on the company specs.

    And... HDTV BLOWS AWAY STDTV! You'll be impressed.
     
  3. KyleY

    KyleY Extra

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    Thanks Jeff. According to responses from another forum, it looks like the Zenith receiver may be a good option. I'm not sure where I'd be able to find it, but I'll look. I also may just wait for something better to come out. What's on the way? Firewire would obviously be good, but picture quality is my biggest concern here. I'm afraid I just don't know enough about HDTV yet.
    If the receivers other than Zenith output only 1080i, what happens with 720p programs? I assume they're upconverted? If so, does that look worse than 720p not upconverted?
    Also, if I were to get an HD Tuner card, can it receive the output from the DirecTV HD Satellite receiver so that I can record HDTV?
    I also found out about the MIT MDR-500 receiver which outputs 1080p. How will the appearance differ at 1080p when the programs are at 1080i / 720p to begin with? That won't improve them any, will it? Could someone explain this to me?
    Does it sound like either DVI or Firewire will be required for viewing some HDTV in the future? If so, it sounds like it would be a waste to buy an HD Satellite receiver now... BTW Jeff, that Samsung receiver coming out is DVI, not Firewire. Thanks again,
    --Kyle
     
  4. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Kyle,

    That MDR 500 apparently won't get DirecTV, it's OTA only. The 1080p output is not going to work on your Mits tv, as to the best of my knowledge the Mits won't accept or display 1080p. I could be wrong about this but I don't know of any crt based set that will accept or display 1080p, and as yet nobody broadcasts in it.

    Methinks that the 1080p might work with some non-crt based front projectors or possibly Toshiba's upcoming LCOS based rptv, but not with your current set.

    The Zenith stb has been discontinued, though you may still be able to find one. It is said to be ideal for Mits sets as it's upconversion of 480i to 1080i is said to be better than the Mits' line doubler. It's got an issue with stretch modes for ntsc material off Directv, but only in it's variable stretch mode.

    I have a Tosh DST-3000 and am overall pretty happy with it. In the 6 months I've had it it's performed quite well.

    It did lose local guide data and channels after a recent software upload off DirecTV, but re-entering my zip code in the local setup menu got everything restored.

    The quality of it's 480i to 1080i upconversion is good enough for casual viewing on most channels. For best picture from 480i, especially on the more overcompressed DirecTV channels, I run an S-video cable in addition to the component cables to the tv and switch the box to 480i output, set the tv to the s-video input, and let the set do line doubling and stretch modes. My set is a Sony KP57HW40, which has pretty good line doubling and stretch modes.

    Your results with the Mits may vary. I don't know about the new 859 series, but the previous models weren't said to have the best line doublers/stretch modes.
     

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