Optimal config for Tosh SD5109 and 50H82?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Phillip Reed, Dec 26, 2002.

  1. Phillip Reed

    Phillip Reed Auditioning

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    Greetings. I just took delivery of my new Christmas present, a Toshiba 50H82. Hooked it up to a Toshiba SD-5109 that I've had for a couple of years now. I was running S-video into my older 30 inch tube set. For the new system, I'm using the component video and so far the results are knocking my socks off. Thanks to folks who maintain the lists here, I've already learned a lot (already set the contrast down to 35, for example). And, the Avia disk is on its way, so I'll be able to do a better setup soon.

    Questions:

    (1) Which output from the SD5109 would give me the best results? It's got Progressive and Interlaced as separate component outputs on the back. I thought I saw somewhere that Interlaced would give me 1080i vs. Progressive with 720p. Can somebody with experience tell me which is better? Right now I'm using Interlaced, and the picture is (to my untrained eye) very good.

    (1a) Is there any way for the TV to give me the characteristics of the displayed signal?

    (2) I set the SD-5109 to 16:9 output, which appears to be the only reasonable choice. The TV is set to Full and Cinema mode. Any other settings I should know about?

    (3) I just parked my center speaker on top of the TV, which is where it was on the old set. Are there any advantages to using the internal speakers as opposed to an external center speaker?

    (4) Any recommendations for an HDTV tuner?

    Thanks in advance.

    ...phil
     
  2. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Phil,

    Using the interlaced outputs on your dvd player is making the set do the line doubling--it's converting 480i to 540p.

    The progressive outputs on the player will output 480p, which should give you a better picture than using the interlaced outputs as there's one fewer conversion going on in the tv and dvd players generally do a better job of 480p than tv line doublers.

    You were correct to set the player for 16/9 output and the tv to "full". When playing non-anamorphic discs, like Titanic, you'll need to change the tv to the straight zoom mode.

    Most center speakers are better quality than most built-in tv speakers, and generally are better matched to the mains as far as timbre. No advantage to using the set's speakers as center channel unless you don't own a center channel speaker.

    Best HD box is dependent on whether you want to get HD both from local over the air stations or also from satellite.

    DirecTV currently offers HBO, Showtime, and HDNet in HD. HBO and Showtime cost extra--ya gotta buy the HBO and/or Showtime packages to get them. Not all stuff on HBO or Showtime is true HD, lots of it is upconverted. HDNet is free with any basic DirecTV package and is 100% 16/9 High-def 16 hours a day. Most of HDNet's programming is documentaries, travelogues, sports, and news and most all of it is HD video sourced--true Eye candy. DirecTV HD boxes require a single oval dish with 3 LNBs, and will also tune any available local over the air digital stations with a separate antenna. The best boxes going right now are probably the Sony HD-200 and Zenith 520--same boxes under different names, list for about $799. The Hughes E-86 is a decent box for $499-not as flexible as the Zenith and Sony, but the HD performance is comparable.

    DishNetwork offers HBO, Showtime, a demo channel (I think) and Discovery HD. All but the demo are extra cost. The Dish box requires a separate plug in module for local ota reception, and yet another for Discovery HD, and you'll probably need to put up 2 dishes.

    There are also several ota-only boxes available from Zenith, Samsung, and a few others.

    AVS Forum is a great source for info on HD hardware, programming, and setup info.
     

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