Help - HDTV Source Options and Issues

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Steven_ R, Sep 30, 2002.

  1. Steven_ R

    Steven_ R Agent

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    I have a 61" HDTV Ready Sony TV (61HS10). Very happy with it. DVDs look great, and TV via Comcast Digital isn't bad.
    But, I just heard that Comcast won't have HDTV signals in the Baltimore area until 2006! I can't wait that long for HD. We have 6 TVs in our household and I assume that satellite for all those sets would be substantially more money than cable. So, I'm thinking of keeping cable, and buying an exterior antenna (an idea my wife hates) and a HDTV box for over the air broadcasting of HDTV programing only to at least get some HDTV material. Or, do I drop my cable to the basic service only, and add satellite just for my HD set. I really want to take advantage of the ability to display HD images, but at a reasonable cost. Any thoughts/suggestions on the right mix of cable, over the air, and/or satellite choices would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    Steve
     
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    How many people are watching TV at any one time? That's how many sat receivers you need. Put them in the same location and modulate their output to the other TV's in the house using your existing wiring. IR targets at each TV handle the remote control commands back to the equipment. My wife was against this at first until I explained that she could watch satellite, vcr or DVD in bed and the remote would still work everything.

    -Robert
     
  3. Steven_ R

    Steven_ R Agent

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    There are 4 members in our family, so at most, there could only be 4 different sets in use. If I did that, I assume I need four receivers. Are you suggesting that the receivers would all be located in one place and that certain receivers would be split to send signals to multiple TVs? How do the IR remotes communicate with the receivers? Assuming its by some type of radio frequency, what's the range? And, never having used satellite before, what are the pros and cons - eg, is it true that the picture is affected by high wind and rain? And, how about pricing and local channels? Sorry for all the questions.

    Steve
     
  4. Ron Schildt

    Ron Schildt Agent

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    How far are you from the transmitters, and are they all in one area/direction? My wife hated the idea of me having an antenna on the outside of the house. With todays smaller bowtie type antennas, you could get one up in the attic and get decent reception if you're not too far away. If they aren't in the same direction, adding a rotor to a bowtie setup in the attic is pretty easy.

    That's the setup I have. TW digital cable w/ HBO HD and OTA Samsung STB for local HD (ABC, CBS, etc)
     
  5. Steven_ R

    Steven_ R Agent

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    Ron - I am probably 10-15 miles or so from the transmitters (two of which are in the same location), but there are also two powerful non - HD transmitters from the local PBS station less than a mile from my house that have the tendency to intefere with other TV signals. I do have room in the attic space, will the antenna work as well inside an attic as it would up on a chimney? I'm curious about your setup - if you get HD HBO on digital cable, why do you need an antenna for over the air HD?

    -Steve
     
  6. Ron Schildt

    Ron Schildt Agent

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  7. Steven_ R

    Steven_ R Agent

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    Can you tell me more about the OTA STB options? Does the Samsung unit only work for OTA? I was thinking I should get a unit that handles both satellite and OTA. Also, you mentioned that the new one has a video switching option. The problem with my TV is I have only one set of component inputs, and will need some kind of video switching unit so I can use both my DVD player and a STB in the HD inputs. I assume the Samsung doesn't do this kind of switching?

    Thanks.

    Steve
     
  8. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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  9. Ron Schildt

    Ron Schildt Agent

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    I'm waiting on the Samsung SIR-T165 which is an OTA only STB. It has a Component (480i/p) input (DVD), along with (2) S-video and (2) composite I believe. It's "supposed" to convert any of these input to whatever output format you want. Although I have extra component inputs on my RPTV, I only have two Component inputs on my receiver that I use for A/V switching. (TV is on the other side of the room)

    Right now I don't even have my VCR attached to the receiver, since it's too much trouble. I'm hoping to plug my DVD & VCR into the SIR-T165 and then go into the receiver. Thus the 165 will give me the extra component input, and send the composite signal from the VCR on whatever output I select (S-video or component - I hope)

    The Samsung SIR-TS160 has basically the same functionality, except it adds the Direct-Tv receiver, and loses the 1394 output.

    Neither the 165 or 160 are out yet, but it should be just a few days. If your're looking at satelite, the 160 looks promising. Otherwise the 165 or 151 are good for OTA only depending on what inputs you need. Also, the 165 has a NTSC tuner for analog TV, where the 151(150) do not.
     
  10. WillieM

    WillieM Stunt Coordinator

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    The Toshiba DST3000 offers reception/decoding for NTSC, ATSC and DIRECTV.

    I hear that it is very good. Search the web for reviews.
     
  11. Roger Kint

    Roger Kint Stunt Coordinator

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    Where's the best place to get the DST-3000? BestBuy had it for $500 after rebate, but I was too late to grab it and now they don't have it anymore.
     
  12. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    The Toshiba DST-3000, Hughes E86 and Mitsu (don't know the model) are all the same box made by Hughes.

    -Robert
     
  13. WillieM

    WillieM Stunt Coordinator

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    My AV consultant says that Toshiba is about to come out with the updated model so it will be about a month before they are available again (sorry to get those "instant gratification" nerves aroused - been there/done that).
     
  14. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I have the Hughes E86 and so far no complaints. I think it can be picked up for about $475, easily.

    The only disadvantage that it has is that it can’t output a 1080i signal (via component outputs) and a 480i over the S-Video and/or composite outputs at the same time. You have to switch back and forth, though its neither time-consuming nor difficult.

    As far as the number of receivers you need, it’s a function of how many different channels in different rooms your family will watch at the same time. While I don’t know your family, that might not be four; but three or even two.

    The Hughes does have an RF remote and it works quite well. So you don’t have to be in the same room as the receiver to change the channel or access the menu.
     
  15. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

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