(Re-Edited Title) I have taken the HD Plunge! Report from a HDTV newbie

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Ronald Epstein, Jul 8, 2003.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    I am a day away from taking the plunge into HI-DEF.

    Wasn't going to do it, but I was made a very
    good offer at a price I could not pass up.

    Basically, I am having a new dish put up tomorrow
    and I am buying someone's slightly used Panasonic
    receiver. It could be the TUHDS20 model.

    Thing that bothers me is that I have read really
    bad reviews about this receiver include slow channel
    changing, overheating and sudden reboots.

    Hopefully, it may be the newer TU-DST52 model,
    but I know very little about it.

    Would make me feel a lot better if anyone out here
    in HTF land has any experience with Panny receivers.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Nathan_R

    Nathan_R Supporting Actor

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    Ron,
    I love Panny products-- especially the HD receivers.

    As you wrote you're putting up a dish, I'll assume you're getting Directv. Please be aware that the DST52 is solely an over-the-air receiver.

    The HDs20 (which is a directv receiver) is slow at channel changing. Check the firmware for something above version 8. That download greatly helped its channel changing speed.

    The unit has its pros and cons. On the plus side, I believe this is still the only directv STB which will pass feeds in their native resolution (i.e. no need for the toggle switch if your tv supports all resolutions). Also, the OTA components are top notch. In a head-to-head STB shootout we did, for its age the Panny pulled in *and* held our OTA stations beautifully.

    If you're subscribing to Directv's HD channels, make sure you get the "sat C", as all the HD channels require that LNB.

    Best regards and welcome to the dish farm.
    ~~Nathan
     
  3. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Note to Gregg:

    Stop by Ron's home to calibrate 1080i

    :)
     
  4. Anthony F.

    Anthony F. Stunt Coordinator

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    The TU-DST52 was well reviewed a couple of issues back in TPV, but it doesn't handle native 720p is that's important to you (converts to 1080i).
     
  5. Tim Abbott

    Tim Abbott Second Unit

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    Ron,

    Did you end up taking the plunge?? What equipment did you end up with....?

    Give us a quick update when you have a moment.
     
  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Guys,

    I am going to wait a few weeks until after
    Scooterpalooza to sit down and write about my
    experiences with Hi-Definition television.

    The short story is that I finally have it,
    went with the Panasonic TUHDS20 receiver and
    DirecTV, and am EXTREMELY impressed.

    I want to do a feature story on HDTV from
    the angle of how a hobbyist who never wanted
    to go with HI-DEF is now preaching its benefits
    to the masses. I really want people who are
    on the fence about investing in this technology
    to be comforted in the fact that it is well
    worth the money spent.

    Best I can tell you right now is that I am
    watching a lot of stuff on HDDiscovery that I
    would never normally watch just because the
    picture is so stunning. In fact, my absolute
    favorite show is Insectia, which just
    looks downright brilliant in HD.

    Towards the end of August I'll do a writeup
    on my experiences, promote the heck out of it,
    and hopefully sell this technology to the masses
    who may still be overlooking it.
     
  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    As far as the OTA receiver goes:

    Someone else did some shopping. He went to the local chain store and 'bought' two different antennas (A Terk, and the Silver Sensor - a well respected indoor antenna) and 2 different OTA receivers. He went home and played with all possible combinations until he found what worked the best/brought in the most stations with the strongest signals. It took him a weekend, but then he returned the units that did not do so well.

    This might be a idea for you to compare the Panasonic box to the current generation of Samsungs.

    Go to www.antennaweb.org and put in your address and see what it says about your ability to get OTA signals at your house.
     
  8. Tim Abbott

    Tim Abbott Second Unit

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    Ron,

    Can't wait to hear about your experience. I just purchased a TU-DST52 and I am very interested to see how it performs. Its strictly an OTA receiver, so I won't have the advantage of HDDiscovery (which I have heard from multiple sources is AMAZING!!). What I am mainly interested in is sports programming -- MNF here I come!!

    Thanks again for the quick update, and I'm looking forward to your review!!

    Tim
     
  9. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I jumped on HDTV almost 2 years ago with a Toshiba (Hughes E-86 clone) box. HD from DirecTv was always great, even more so since they started Discovery HD and HDNet movies.
    The Hughes clones do well with DirecTV, are poor at best at ota. I've since upgraded to an LG mfg box and local is now much better.


    If your only source is local ota, keep in mind that the broadcast stations are still new at this and often can have encoder or other problems that are indistinguishable from antenna or receiver problems at your end. You may soon be on a first name basis with your local station engineers.
     
  10. Michael Silla

    Michael Silla Second Unit

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    Ron,

    Glad to see that your are enjoying your HD experience. I took the "plunge" a couple of weeks before the Superbowl with a used RCA DTC 100. I used it mainly for OTA reception up until July 1st [​IMG] when the lure of DirecTV's new HD pack snagged me in [​IMG]

    If you are at all a music fan, you NEED check out HDNet's concerts. They have had James Taylor, Heart and Jefferson Starship/Aiplane this past month alone - great PQ. If you can get PBS OTA then you might want to check out Soundstage on Thursday nights which has had some really good concerts (Tom Petty and Michael McDonald recently).

    My recent HD addiction has led me away from the HTF for the past few months. The first thing I check when I get home these days is AVSforum's HDTV programming and recption forums. Perhaps someday the HTF will have a separate section dealing just with HD issues if enough of us "jump on the bandwagon."

    Michael.
     
  11. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I'll echo what Mike just said. I come here for dvd news and discussion of Movies and TV programs, but AVS for HDTV hardware and reception related stuff.
     

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