HiDef Satellite

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Randy Ghost, Jun 25, 2004.

  1. Randy Ghost

    Randy Ghost Agent

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    I'm lookng at the Sony HD SAT300. What I would like to here from some of you if it would be a good idea to purchase any satellite equipment at this time because DTV has started pulling production inhouse. I'm afraid that if I buy it DTV will want to trade it out within one or two years. I would like to get more of a service life out of the Sony if I do buy it.

    Thanks
    Randy
     
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Actually, that Sony was made by LG Electronics (parent company of Zenith). They also make the Zenith DirecTV HD receiver and the new Hughes DirecTV HD receiver. All look and act about the same.

    Why? You can still use a DirecTV receiver from '95 if you want to. The only reason they will trade you is if they decide to switch to a different modulation or encoding scheme. Even then, they aren't forcing you to do anything. You can still use it as a door stop.

    -Robert
     
  3. Randy Ghost

    Randy Ghost Agent

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  4. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Are you talking specifically about this quote? That is going forward. They will NEVER swap receivers just so you can have one with the DirecTV name and logo on it. That doesn't make good business sense. If they want to switch to MPEG4, WM9 or some other compression scheme that older receivers don't support, then they will have to look into swapping out receivers that can't be software upgraded. Same thing if they switch to 8PSK modulation like Dish did for their HD channels. You could buy inexpensive add-ons for some receivers. If you owned a model 5000 which could not be upgraded, then they swapped it for a newer model.

    -Robert
     
  5. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Randy,

    Initially the DirecTV branded HD box will no doubt be the recently introduced Hughes HTL-HD, that's what you get from them now if you call DirecTV for an HD upgrade. The HTL-HD is made by LG, is basically a decontented version of the Sony you're considering which is also made by LG.

    I have a Sony HD-200, the model just previous to the current ones made by LG and could not be happier with it.

    I have no doubt that the only reason one would need to swap out one of these current boxes would be if DirecTV changes encoding methods to something that the current models won't accomodate via a satellite delivered software update, as Robert just stated. If that occurs DirecTV will most probably swap out your box at little or no cost.

    Here in Fresno DirecTV just added local channels (SD) on a different satellite not viewable with the common 18" round dish and not receivable on many DirecTV receivers built before 99 or so. Everyone who wanted to subscribe to the new locals was given a new oval dish and, if necessary, a new receiver free of charge.

    I'm confident that if DirecTV changes encoding methods and makes that Sony box obsolete they will provide whatever is necessary to accomodate the change at little or no cost.

    The switch to "DirecTV brand only" boxes in and of itself has no effect on the usefulness of any box you buy now, it will not become obsolete in any way just because you no longer will be able to buy a box under the Sony nameplate.
     
  6. Randy Ghost

    Randy Ghost Agent

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    Thanks guy's Maybe I was reading more into it then I should have.

    Randy
     
  7. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    For the forseeable future the standardization mentionned in the press release is applicable only to box features and the user interface and the software in the box that controls them.

    This means that all boxes will have the same standardized menu appearance, the same custom channel list features, parental lockout features, and that mashing the same button on the remote will do the same thing regardless of the box.

    Prior to this standardization there were/still are variations between mfgs--some have widely variant user interfaces, menu structures, etc. When a customer runs into a problem the first person they call is DirecTV, so service reps would have to familiarize themselves with the operation of many different boxes, usually not too succesfully. The standardization means that if you mash a button and don't get the result you expect, the DirecTV service rep will only have to remember one solution instead of many.

    Also, from time to time, certain glitches show up in various receivers that can be corrected via software updates downloaded off the satellite. These also would vary tremendously from one box mfg to another and since DirecTV must be involved in figuring out the software solution and actually sending it out and since thru their service policies are responsible for extended warranty on many different brands, standardization makes things a lot simpler in this regard.

    An analogy would be if an auto dealership has only one brand for sale their service department can much more easily keep track of service bulletins, common problems, etc, than if they sell cars from 4 or 5 makes all serviced in the same shop.

    Dish has had this scenario from the beginning, as does Voom.
     
  8. StephenHa

    StephenHa Second Unit

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    eventually all the receivers are supposed to be made by RCA (that's what RCA keeps telling me) right now samsung and lg are the only ones I have been able to get product from (also lg's many different named ones) Sony stopped making any direct tv receivers about 3 years ago the samsung is supposed to have a slightly better picture, the lg has more features (plus can run an hd and non hd set at the same time)
     

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