HDTV Tuners

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ryan Wright, Oct 29, 2001.

  1. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    What are HDTV tuners going for these days pricewise, and what would be a good match for my Toshiba TW65X81 with component inputs?
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  2. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Are you interesting in over the air only, or do you also need DirecTV or DISH network support? For OTA-only, the Samsung SIR-T150 can be purchased for a little over $400, including a $100 manufacturer rebate currently being offered. If you need DirecTV support, I believe the Toshiba 3000 can be found for around $600.
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  3. Rande

    Rande Auditioning

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    Am a 1 day owner of Toshiba DST 3000 to mate with 1 week old Toshiba 65HX81. Still resolving some setup issues so can't comment on how well they together, but cost was approx $575 including shipping from an online source.
    Happy hunting!
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  4. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the info!
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    -Ryan (http://www.ryanwright.com )
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
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  5. Brian Schucher

    Brian Schucher Supporting Actor

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    You should be able to find the DST3000 for less than 5 bills. I was able to buy local B&M for 429.
     
  6. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    For OTA only, what kind of antennas do you need? I'm in an apartment so I don't have access to a roof mounted one. I'm also in West LA, not a whole lot of super tall buildings, just a lot of 2 story apt complexes. Would that be okay for just OTA?
    thanks
     
  7. Lennart

    Lennart Auditioning

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    That's a good question. I want to know the answer too. Living in an apartment makes getting HD signal over the aire difficult. Any solution?
    Also, I have DirecTV. I called them about receive HD signal for local boardcast. The answer is to call the local boardcasters. It seems that for local channels, the best choice is over-the-air. Can someone confirm that?
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    Len
     
  8. Jesse Leonard

    Jesse Leonard Second Unit

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    DirecTV does not broadcast local channels in HDTV. Dish broadcasts only CBS in HDTV and they make you jump through many hoops to recieve that.
    As far as antennas in an apartment: You will have to experiment with different UHF antennas. OTA HDTV singals are carried over UHF. Radio Shack has a double bow-tie UHF antenna for $17.99 that works very well ( here ). It is fairly small and many people have had great luck. I used it for quite awhile before mounting a rooftop in my attic (I wanted to recieve UPN and DirecTV doesn't offer UPN). It of course all depends on your location and no two houses will be the same.
     
  9. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Indoor antennas will require some experimentation to find the best one for your area. I have tried three, and settled on a Radio Shack VHF/UHF amplified unit with a 36dB gain. This worked better than the double bowtie antenna (with and without an external amplifier) and a Megawave antenna (with and without an external amplifier). Other people have success with the simple double bowtie and no other amplification.
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  10. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    So I guess the moral is to buy from some store that has:
    1. Multiple types of antennaes, powered and non,
    2. Has a good return policy
    That seems to be Rat Shack, so I guess I'm there when I buy my receiver.
    Scott, how many HD channels are in MI? Do you know of an online resource to find out what channels are available in your region?
    Thanks!
     
  11. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Carlo,
    We have six local stations broadcasting DTV signals in the Detroit area -- ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, UPN and PBS. However, Fox and UPN have absolutely no HD content, and NBC's is pretty sparse. The only local stations not available digitally are the local WB affiliate and the CBC affiliate across the river in Windsor.
    Check out the website www.titantv.com to find out which stations are broadcasting DTV in a given area. The site will give you DTV channel numbers and a programming schedule, too.
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  12. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Thanks Scott!
    One more question, TitanTV shows that a lot of my local stations broadcast in DTV but not necessarily HD. I looked at their FAQ and it obviously says HD uses the full spectrum of that channel to offer superior picture and sound and that DTV allows channels to split the bandwith.
    However, in an instance where one channel, lets say NBC, is only airing one show in DTV, but it's not in HD, does it look any better than standard cable? What are the chances it is it in 16x9? Seems like there's not a lot of HD programming out there but if the regular DTV signals are an improvement over cable, I might just buy an HD tuner anyway.
    Thanks again!
     
  13. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    In my case, the DTV broadcasts of non-HD material look much better than what I get from cable TV. The only non-HD material that I have seen in 16x9, though, is from PBS. All the other local affiliates windowbox all non-HD material. This is okay for 4x3 material, but if the show is being broadcasted in letterbox format (e.g. "Enterprise" on UPN), then you get a small image that is both windowboxed and letterboxed! Since my Toshiba 56H80 "locks into FULL mode" when presented a 1080i signal and my tuner is set to 1080i, I cannot use any of the TV's viewing modes to get around this. The Samsung tuner has a "zoom" viewing mode, but it only works for 4x3 TV's -- it's not selectable if you tell the tuner you have a 16x9 set.
    I will watch some non-HD football via my HD tuner to get better picture quality. I only do this when I know I will not have a desire to channel surf (a lot of times I like to flip to a game on ESPN or some other cable channel).
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    [Edited last by Scott Merryfield on October 31, 2001 at 03:00 PM]
     
  14. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    The increased quality over cable makes for a compelling reason to purchase the HD tuner (especially with my UCLA team playing on one of the DTV channels this coming week). However my set also locks into full mode when fed a 1080i signal so that's something to think about.
    I have a Panny PT-47 set. What (hopefully inexpensive) DTV box would you recommend?
    This is starting to look more and more like a post-XMas gift to myself rather than a "this weekend" sort of purchase...
     
  15. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    The Samsung can be found for a little over $400 online (after $100 manufacturer rebate). It's over the air only, though, so it will not support DirecTV or DISH satellite services. The "lock on FULL" for 1080i signals is not a big deal unless you watch many network shows that are broadcast in widescreen, and there are not many. For regular 4x3 TV, the windowboxing looks fine -- you get a complete, undistorted picture with side black bars.
    The most popular DirecTV-compatible tuner seems to be the Toshiba DST3000. I think it is still more costly (it was about $600 when I purchased the Samsung in August).
    I went with the Samsung because (1) it was less costly and (2) I did not want to switch from CATV to satellite (we have 6 TV's connected to cable, as well as cable modem Internet service). You are not required to subscribe to DirecTV to use the Toshiba or any other such HD tuner, but I could not see paying for something that I was not going to use.
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    [Edited last by Scott Merryfield on October 31, 2001 at 05:18 PM]
     
  16. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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  17. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Gotta admit, when I saw that team lose to UDub earlier this year I thought they weren't going to be very good. My they have turned the season around.
    Can you imagine the mess the BCS might have to contend with at the end of the season? If Neb/OU play again and OU wins. If VTech upsets Miami. There'd be a whole mess of one-loss teams.
     
  18. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    Carlo, I have the Samsung SIRT150 (only had it a week) and I'm amazed. Takes a bit of futzing with my indoor antenna (I got from Radio Shlock) but one look at football in HD or last night's 'Alias' on ABC in widescreen HD will blow you away.
    I didn't want satelite, so I'm THRILLED.
     
  19. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I have always been under the impression that the bandwidth available to a station for digital broadcasting would allow 4 standard definition channels to be broadcast simultaneously, or only 1 HD channel.
    My one local channel that is broadcasting digitally, an ABC affiliate, broadcasts 4 digital channels, one of which is a duplicate of their ntsc feed at all times, except that it's 16/9 720p HD when the network show is HD, upconverted 480I at all other times. They also have one digital channel that repeats their nightly news on a loop, another that just broadcasts a picture from a camera perched on a high building and a 4th that is blank. The odd thing is that when the primary channel switches to HD, the others stay on the air. I did not know this was possible.
    This station's digital channel is VHF channel 9, not a UHF channel, though I get excellent signal strength with a 30 year old UHF roof antenna.
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  20. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Okay, I'll start doing some research on these tuners on the net. How much does that Samsung cost? Where did you buy it from?
    Edit -
    I'm currently looking at the Panasonic STB. I know it has DirecTV and that costs a little more, but my local HT shop is a Panny dealer and they usually get me a really good deal on stuff their authorized to sell. The Panny might end up costing me as much, if not less, than a DTC-100. And my PT-47 only has YPrPb inputs, not the computer port looking connection.
    [Edited last by Carlo Medina on November 01, 2001 at 11:20 AM]
     

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