Is the Sony SAT 55A any good?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rob Roth, Mar 7, 2001.

  1. Rob Roth

    Rob Roth Stunt Coordinator

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    I can get the SAT 55A for $170. An elliptical (HD and Local Channels) dish from Direct is $150. Installation is free. Is this a good deal?
    I like the 55A because it has digital optical output (I'd prefer coax, but...), and S-Video. Thus my TV signals would finally be at the level of the rest of my components and everything could be switched by my AVR 307.
    I don't have an HD TV so I hesitated spending ~$500 for the RCA HD 100 unit. However, I will upgrade if the HD 100 does a better job of conventional signals. Perhaps I am suspicious of RCA's quality vs. Sony.
    Any comments would be appreciated.
    Thanks
     
  2. Shepherd Abrams

    Shepherd Abrams Auditioning

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    Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but it is my understanding that digital optical outputs are only going to yield a digital audio output when the receiver is receiving a digital audio input. Thus you should really hear no difference with the digital audio outputs unless a program is broadcast with Dolby Digital. Unfortunately, very few television programs are currently being broadcast this way.
    Shepherd
     
  3. Rob Roth

    Rob Roth Stunt Coordinator

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    Sheperd,
    That's not good news. I thought many of the broadcasts, esp. of movies, are in Dolby 5.1. Are the balance in Pro-Logic? My thought was that by using the digital output I could use the high quality DACs in my receiver and not have to use the (probably) inferior analog output from the SAT receiver.
    A big reason to go satellite, besides the arrogance of Comcast, is to improve video and audio signals.
    I'd appreciate any views on this issue,
    thanks
     
  4. Eric John

    Eric John Auditioning

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    Its true that you need to have a show Broadcast in DD in order to utilize the DD abilities of the receiver. I disagree that there is very few material. Well...I actually have most of the movie packages for DirecTV so there is always some DD material for me. Just a heads up.
    EJ
     
  5. Marshall W

    Marshall W Auditioning

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    Rob...I think you may mean the Sony SAT-A55. I've seen many posts about an apparent audio problem with them. Such as...
    http://www.hometheaterspot.com/ubb/F...ML/000116.html http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/Forum21/HTML/000355.html
    I believe Sheperd is correct. The Dolby Digital output on the receiver only yields DD if the source is being broadcast in DD. Otherwise, you will hear no difference.
    I considered the A55 but after reading about the problems and the limited availability of DD programming, I opted for the Sony SAT-B55 instead. Same receiver without the Dolby output at about half the cost.
     
  6. Rob Roth

    Rob Roth Stunt Coordinator

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    Marshall,
    Thanks for saving me a couple hundred bucks. If you are ever in Baltimore I'll take you to dinner.
    Read about all the A55 problems. Printed out everything and will bring them to the sales guy as he reassures me the A55 is the best deal.
    I saw the B55 but I want the digital output (coax preferably) and S-Video so that my AV receiver can handle all switching.
    Thanks again, those links were a big help.
    rob
     
  7. Michael Mathius

    Michael Mathius Supporting Actor

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    I have the Sony A55 and find it to be a total waste of money right now [​IMG] . I bought this unit thinking that most of the movies on DSS are in 5.1 but found out that only one channel of Starz and a few letter box PPV chanels offers dolby digital and sometimes its only 2.0. Maybe a few years from now more 5.1 programming will be offered but currently I suggest that you all spend your monies on a more dvds instead of getting a dolby DSS receiver.
    If you dont beleive me then just press display on your DSS receiver tonight and count how many movies currently showing are in DD.
    Good Luck.
    ------------------
    Don't make me angry. You won't like me when I'm angry.
    [​IMG] 3EMS Hometheater
     
  8. Wade Shapiro

    Wade Shapiro Extra

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    The optical output is not just useful for DD 5.1 material. All material is output through the digital output, it's just some is DD 2.0 and some is DD 5.1. The advantage of the optical output was stated above...to use the receiver's DACs. I had a Sony SAT-A50 with optical out connected to a Sony 50ES receiver. I hooked up the audio with both the optical cable and the analog L/R RCA cables. I then A/B'ed the audio input from the analog to the digital and believe me there was a noticable difference. The digital input sounded much cleaner and less "strained" (I don't really know how to describe it). Of course, the difference you notice in your system depends on how good your receiver/pre-amp is...I would hope that my Sony 50ES has better DACs than a $250 satellite receiver...
    I wouldn't go out and spend money to upgrade to a DD satellite receiver if I already had one, but if I was buying one for the first time, I would spend a little more and get the model that has digital output.
    - Wade
     

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