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set-top-box quandry

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Sean Patrick, Apr 14, 2002.

  1. Sean Patrick

    Sean Patrick Supporting Actor

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    i am new to hdtv and need some info about set-top-boxes.

    the TV i'm getting will only have one progressive component input but one of the models i'm looking at will also have a VGA input. I hear that some boxes have VGA output - will this solve that problem?

    Also, receivers like the DTC-100 that are integrated satellite/OTA HDTV receivers - do i have to activate the card in it? I already have directv with two directivos and won't be buying an elliptical dish anytime soon for just a couple of HD stations.

    Also, are there really any big differences in these set-top-boxes? the prices all seem to be the same.

    thanks in advance for this dumb question.
     
  2. RoyGBiv

    RoyGBiv Stunt Coordinator

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    Sean:

    There are lots of differences between boxes, but they are mostly minor. Some people can find those minor differences very annoying, though. For example, some people find fan noise bothersome, and some don't hear it. Some people think the advanced program guides are very important and some don't. Despite what a lof of people say, I don't believe there is much difference in picture quality if your TV is properly calibrated for HD signals. Since there are no test materials in HD, this is not necessarily an easy thing to accomplish. There is probably some difference in how well the receivers fix on an OTA signal.

    I have two DTC-100's and think they work well. Channel changing is a little slower than analog, TV. You also have to switch from antenna to satellite by pressing a separate button. On most of the newer boxes, you just press the channel you want to watch and the receiver automatically makes the switch. To me this is of little consequence. It obviously bothers others a great deal. The DTC is much cheaper than the others. I got my second DTC as a factory refurb for only $258. Since your TV has a VGA input, you will not need a separate "transcoder" and can directly connect the DTC-100 to the TV. If you are only using the STB for OTA, you do not have to activate it with DirecTV. You do have to connect it to the DirecTV satellite for a day or two so you can get the latest firmware which is sent daily and received automatically by the receiver when it is first attached.

    The TV having one component and one VGA input might help for switching two HD sources, though. Only one can be active at a time, and you have to select which one from a menu on the TV.

    For more info, search at avsforum.com in the HD hardware section. There is a tremendous amount of info there on all the STBs with both good and bad reviews represented.

    SMK
     
  3. Sean Patrick

    Sean Patrick Supporting Actor

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    so even if i am only interested in OTA signals, i have to hook it up to the satellite? The main reason i'm getting this one is for the VGA/RGB outputs, not the DirectV HD channels.

    Right now i have a directivo is the same room as I want the DTC-100. Can i hook up one of my two feeds from my satellite that go to my DirecTivo to the DTC-100 until the update comes?

    Are there any non-satellite boxes that have the RGB/VGA output?
     
  4. Sean Patrick

    Sean Patrick Supporting Actor

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    i think i've answered my own question. Seems like the Samsung SIRT150 is the receiver for me. Has a VGA 15 pin connection and is not a satellite receiver.
     

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