Satellite TV For Dummies

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Don_K, Nov 6, 2002.

  1. Don_K

    Don_K Agent

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    I'm wanting to switch from cable to satellite. What to buy is probably an open ended question in that every answer leads to ten more questions. So here's what I'm hoping to accomplish:

    Currently have ATT digital, which does not offer high quality audio or video: Composite Video, L+R Audio.

    Current setup consists of three rooms, three TV's. TV's 2 and 3 are used casually and only have RF inputs. These don't require anything special, other than displaying a picture and mono sound. One has a built in VCR, the other has an external VCR. TV with built in VCR is only used for playback. TV with external VCR is used for playback and off-the-air recording.

    TV 1 is an older Hitachi projection model. Not HDTV, and I'm not planning to go there in the near future. It has an S-Video input, along with two more composite video inputs.

    DVD player is connected to AV receiver. Coax digital audio connection, S-Video video connection. Video from receiver is fed to S-Video input on TV. Audio is fed thru 5 channels to an excellent set of Polks. No subwoofer. The Polk towers alone shake the sofa in the Titanic engine room scene.

    Cable box has L+R audio connected to receiver, composite video connected to one of the TV's aux video inputs. Because I connected receiver video to TV using S-Video, the receiver won't pass a composite video signal. This was to maximize picture quality from the DVD player.

    A VCR is also connected. Video to a second aux composite video input on the TV. L+R audio to receiver. Haven't figured out how to get the VCR to record from the cable box since abandoning the RF connections.

    At this point, the wife hates me. She has to use the TV remote to select the video input, use the AV remote to select the sound source, then use the cable remote to select channel. If I can eliminate having to select TV video input (S-Video satellite receiver and VCR so the AV receiver can control things) then...

    I see the TV cable being the weak link that complicates this. I'm looking for a (satellite) solution that gives me S-Video output, digital audio where the broadcaster offers it, the ability to use my VCR to record off-the-air for later playback, and to keep it simple for TVs 2 and 3.

    I've done a little research, and get the impression that on the west coast, you might need an "oval" dish to maximize programming options? Something about the placement of a "mirror" satellite? And what is the advantage of a satellite receiver with caller ID?

    TIA for wading through all this, and any suggestions.

    Don
     
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    A couple of things you can do to simplify the use:

    - Radio Shack sells some cheap $20 Composite-to-SVideo adaptors. Use these to convert your CATV and VCR feeds to SVideo. Suddenly, your TV can be left to just watch the feed from the receiver. All feeds are SVideo and you can get rid of the TV remote. This will greatly simplify things.

    - Get rid of the VCR. When you go for a DSS system, get either the PVR receiver from Dish, or the DirectTivo unit from DirectTV. These things have built-in hard drives and allow you to record/pause/rewind, etc. Yes, these are a bit more expensive but you will love them. You can get additional receivers for the other 2 TV's and only get charged about $5/month for each.

    - Consider a universal remote like the One-For-All 7. This thing sells for $20-$30 and can learn commands, has Macro features, etc. Incredible value. Program one macro key to turn on everything, another to turn off everything. Suddenly the entire system is a lot easier to use.

    Note: Your VCR/CATV box do not use a lot of power so dont be afraid to turn them on even when you are not going to use them. Just make sure everything has good venting and you will be fine.
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    PS: There is a different fourm dedicated to Sat systems: DBSFourm Go to the Discussion Sections for a wealth of information. Highly recommended.
     
  5. Adil M

    Adil M Supporting Actor

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    I second Bob's post. Everything I had said repeated over, but first.
     

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