Motorola or Pace HD box?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Jason Charlton, May 6, 2004.

  1. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    I've just decided to upgrade my cable service and get the full Digital/HD package.

    I'm in the Baltimore area, and Comcast offers two different HD Set top boxes - one is the Motorola 5100, and the other is a Pace model (they couldn't provide the exact model number, but I'll assume it's the bottom of the line DC-550 HD).

    The main difference between the two is that the Pace model offers a DVI connection, while the Motorola doesn't (my set is a Sony KP57WV700, and it does have a DVI-D connection).

    I've also read that the Motorola 5100 is (or at least at one time it was) notorious for degrading standard def signals to a nearly unwatchable degree. I have had a difficult time locating much information on the Pace box (other than the manufacturer's page).

    Does anyone have any firsthand experience with either one of these boxes and would you mind sharing your opinions?

    Thanks!

    -Jason
     
  2. chuck_b

    chuck_b Supporting Actor

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    I am surprised you have been given a choice. Although Comcast utilizes both set-top boxes region wide, the existing backend infrastructure dictates which brand is useable.

    The Pace box is compatible with the Scientific Atlantic backend that is currently in place in several Maryland counties and is only offered there (as a replacement for the SA31000HD). My understanding is that the Moto boxes are not compatible with any SA backend areas and therefore are not offered in those areas.

    Also, the Pace box also allows both SD and HD signals though the digital input and enables stretch modes on SD channels. It is also remote compatible with the existing Comcast-SA remote.
     
  3. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    I can say that the 5100 is no worse (and no better) than Motorola's regular digital cable box. I've used both on the same HDTV and although the SD picture is only barely acceptable from the regular box it is no worse on the 5100.
     
  4. Jason Charlton

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    Thanks for the input, guys. It sounds like the Pace box might be worth a try, then. I was somewhat skeptical, having never heard of the name before, but if it offers a bit more flexibility I think I'll give it a shot.

    I think I'd better verify that I do, in fact, have a choice, too, and that the person I spoke with wasn't just confused.

    Thanks again!

    -Jason
     

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