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My Samsung SIR-T165 HDTV receiver has arrived!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Patrick Sun, Dec 30, 2002.

  1. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    My Samsung SIR-T165 HDTV receiver has arrived! I was running late for work, and the doorbell rung, and I was confused as to who would be at my doorstep so early in the morning today, just after 8 a.m. I peeked behind my front window blinds and saw the Airborne van and sprinted to my keys to open up the front door locks to let the guy in before he drove off with the package. I ordered this HDTV receiver on Thursday and wasn't expecting it until the middle of this week, so I was really surprised it got here on Monday.

    And then the cold, harsh reality reared its ugly head, and I had to leave the house and go to work, all the while knowing I have a new toy waiting for me when I get home from work.
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    We expect a full report on your adventures in high definition. Congratulations, Patman.
     
  3. Brajesh Upadhyay

    Brajesh Upadhyay Supporting Actor

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    Patrick, do you also have the JVC DVHS unit to record hi-def via Firewire to? I'm hoping we'll see more such combos @ CES in January.
     
  4. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    Patrick,

    I'm eager to hear how you like it. I'm probably just a couple of weeks away from buying it myself and testing whether I can get high def signals from the Empire State building (need an antenna too). I'm also looking to use this box as a hub / video converter for my analog cable, as I am assuming the T165 can convert the analog RF in to composite out (and replace my VCR).

    Doug
     
  5. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Until D-VHS decks get more reasonable (around $200 or less), I won't be owning one in the foreseeable future.
     
  6. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    You probably won't be owning one at all at $200!
     
  7. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Okay, finally got the T165 hooked up to my system (which is in disarray).

    I have a 4:3 HDTV (Panasonic 56HX41p), and a Panasonic RP-91 DVD player. My T165's "born on" date is November, 2002.

    I am using the T165 to upconvert 480i and 480p from the DVD player to 1080i so I can utilize my RPTV's 16x9 squeeze mode that only works for 1080i input.

    When I play a 16x9 DVDs (1.85:1 aspect ratio) in 480p, I do see a slight waviness/flicker about 1" thick across the bottom of the screen. It's most evident when you pause the DVD player. If the film has a lot of motion in it, you might not even notice it too much. If I play 16x9 DVDs with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, the waviness/flicker is not evident because there are black bars where the waviness/flicker would manifest itself.

    If I take the DVD player out of 480p mode, the 480i input shows no waviness/flicker at the very bottom of the picture, it's a very stable picture that's upconverted to 1080i, and to be honest, I can't really tell the difference between 480p and 480i when it gets upconverted to 1080i and then has the 16x9 vertical squeeze applied to it. So for now, I'll just be watching DVDs in 480i upconverted to 1080i. I have not seen any evidence of green tint to the video output from my T165, so I'm happy about that.

    Now more observations:

    I haven't figured out how to directly access HDTV sub-channels (like 11-1 or 11-2 for the HDTV and the SDTV feeds) but 11-0 is a no-brainer (press 1 and 1 again), but if your antenna is good, the T165 will add the sub-channels when you engage the Autoscan feature to find channels.

    I also plugged my analog Cable TV feed into the T165, and it definitely makes Cable TV watchable via the component input on the RPTV upconverted to 1080i. I haven't plugged in my VCR into its composite inputs yet (just to see what 240i looks like upconverted to 1080i).

    I do have a reception problem in that I don't quite get all of the HDTV channels with the antenna in one orientation. I can get all but 2 HDTV channels in one position, and I miss out on 3 others if I try to tune the antenna to get the 2 missing HDTV channels in the other position. I'm using an old crappy VHF/UHF antenna just to check out the HDTV reception capabilities. I'll get serious about finding a better antenna in the near future.

    UPN has never looked this good before at all!

    CBS comes in too loudly when I can get it.

    ABC is clean, but it gets upconverted from 720p to 1080i, so it's not super-clean, but Monday Night Football still looks pretty good.

    TBS looks decent considering they only play 4:3 movies.

    FOX is SDTV (480p), but Ransom looked pretty good on it.

    I haven't tuned in the WB or NBC yet.

    Oh yeah, when the receiver locks in on a signal, the HDTV channels looks stupendous!
     
  8. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    With this unit, I was finally able to check out my Panasonic RP-91's ability to scale 4:3 content (like concert videos on DVD) in 480p mode (in 480i mode the video is stretched). All it does on a 16x9 set is scale the 4:3 in a 16x9 window so that you get black bars on the sides of the picture (otherwise, the 4:3 material is either stretched or zoomed).

    On my 4:3 RPTV in 16x9 mode with 1080i input, the picture has black on all 4 sides, but the picture quality is nicer/denser, so that's a plus. I can easily watch a 4:3 DVD without the scaling, but I just wanted to test the Panny RP-91's ability to scale 4:3 material when a true 16x9 TV is used, and it does work (but you have to get to the U4 mode to get it to work).
     
  9. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Are you saying all 16:9 1080i images will be windowboxed on that unit?
     
  10. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    No, just scaled 4:3 material (like live concert DVDs in 4:3).

    But I can just watch it natively in 4:3 with the set as well (it was just an experiment to check out the Panny RP-91's progressive output capabilities).

    16x9 HDTV 1080i OTA content just looks like any 16x9 DVD in the 1.77:1 aspect ratio on my 4:3 TV with the black bars on the top and bottom.
     
  11. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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  12. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Doug, yes, the 720p output must be manually selected on the rear panel of hte T165.
     
  13. Robert Standefer

    Robert Standefer Stunt Coordinator

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    Where can you order this for the best price? Does it use standard component connectors or RGBHV?
     
  14. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    You can choose between both types of inputs/output (you will need to flip the switch on the rear panel for the type that you'll be using component video-wise).
    Feel free to check out the details on the Samsung website, and peruse this nice review/evaluation of this model (and the T151 as well) by Pete Putnam.
    I have heard that if you email J & R about this model, they'll sell it for around $500 plus ~$10 shipping. That's about $50 cheaper than what I paid for mine.
     
  15. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    BTW, I've been playing around with different antennas, and currently am using an amplified antenna from Radio Shack with good results:

    With the antenna in one specific orientation, I now get:

    ABC, FOX, UPN, NBC, WB.

    I can get TBS if I fiddle with the antenna, but CBS has still eluded me so far. TBS isn't a big deal to me, but I really would like to tune in CBS, so I'm almost there...

    I was mesmerized when I watched Buffy on UPN tonight because I'd never seen that show look as good as it had previously via my cable TV feed.
     
  16. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    When you mentioned TBS my eyebrow shot up. Then I remembered where you live, and, yep, you get the "Superstation" over the air!

    How are you liking OTA reception, Pat?
     
  17. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Holy smokes! This afternoon I've been watching the college football games via OTA HDTV, and color me impressed! It may not all be "true HDTV" resolution, but the picture quality is definitely a step up for my situation.
     
  18. Brian Ruth

    Brian Ruth Supporting Actor

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    Pat:

    Just out of curiosity, how much was this unit?

    I'd LOVE to sink my teeth into a HD tuner, but given the exorbitant price ($500), I'm content to watch my subpar cable signal till then.

    If these things get under $200, I'll definitely consider picking one up.
     
  19. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Pat,
    How did you decide on the T165 instead of T151? I'm thinking of going to J&R to buy the T151 for $350 tomorrow or Friday so I can watch some NFL playoffs on CBS--too bad ABC OTA is still not up yet over here for HD Super Bowl. Will probably get the Radio Shack indoor antenna recommended by ROAM Consulting in their recent(?) shootout.
    I also need to buy some coax cables to hook them up. Moved to the new house a few months ago and never got around to hooking up for OTA broadcasts. This will be a pain. [​IMG]
    Thanks.
    _Man_
     
  20. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Mine was $541 plus shipping, but J & R is have a good sale on them for $499 plus shipping. As with anything, the price you're willing to pay is dictated by how much value you place on the item's capabilities. I'd loved to have paid only $200 for the T165, but at the current time, that's just not going to happen and I wanted the capabilities it offered to me...now. I feel the same way about the DVHS decks, I can wait until they get to $200 or less (and I doubt that'll happen until 2007 or later...on ebay [​IMG] ).
    I picked the T165 because it does the upconversion from 480i/480p to 1080i (because my 4:3 RPTV only does the 16x9 squeeze for 1080i input). The T165 allows me to watch 16x9 enhanced DVDs without having to rely on a DVD player's downconversion capabilities to display it in its correct OAR.
    Like Pete Putnam's review stated, the T165 can also be a video hub where you can funnel VCR output (or other video sources like SAT/DBS) into your TVs 1080i component input where the picture quality is cleaned up nicely vs. watching VCR content through either the composite or s-video inputs on the TV. If you only want the HDTV OTA tuner the T151 is the way to go at $349 at J&R.
    You can't get the Radio Shack 15-1862 amplified antenna that the ROAM antenna write-up because it's been discontinued, nor the 15-1890 antenna. Believe me, I've looked for those antennas that were recommended and was very bummed about being late to the antenna party. It seems antennas get discontinued in a hurry. Radio Shack also discontinued the popular (in HDTV circles) 15-623 Double Bowtie antenna a few months ago, many people got that antenna at the $5 mark-down price when it used o sell for $17.99. I'm currently using the RS amplified antenna 15-1838 and evaluating it for my needs.
     

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