Toshiba DST3000 - Initial Report

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Les Holt, Jan 23, 2001.

  1. Les Holt

    Les Holt Agent

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    The Toshiba DST3000 HD tuner arrived from One Call today, and here's a brief report. (I do not have Direct TV at this time, so I'm only evaluating the OTA digital TV performance, not the satellite performance.)
    I prefer the unit to the RCA DTC-100 for the following reasons:
    1.Better performance under multipath conditions. The Toshiba allows me to receive an additional channel that could not be received with the RCA, and also gets a cleaner lock on the existing channels. Not a day and night difference, but enough to be important to me. I'm in a very hilly region in the East San Francisco Bay Area and don't have clear line of site to any of the digital transmitters, which are 40 to 45 miles distant. Multipath performance is therefore the most important criterion to me, and the Tosh wins.
    2.No fan noise. The RCA fan drove me nuts with its whining fan that constantly changes pitch. The Toshiba has no fan noise - I don't believe it has a fan at all. It has lots of ventilation holes in the cover.
    3.Smaller, lighter, neater. If appearance counts, the Tosh wins handily over the ugly RCA.
    4.The Toshiba can accept two OTA antennas (although perhaps not two OTA antennas plus satellite - I don't have this configuration so I can't report on it for sure). One can enter the menu to switch the active physical input from one input jack to the other. Thus, even though one jack is labeled "Satellite," it can function as an OTA input. However, unlike the RCA, the Tosh does not have two antenna inputs and one satellite input (three physical inputs total). However, it appears that the two jacks on the Tosh can be configured as virtual jacks to perform the desired function (though not two of the same type at the same virtual time - one has to use the menu to switch the jack function. This means that instead of one keystroke to switch antenna inputs, several keystrokes are required through nested menus).
    5.The tuner on the Tosh is more sensitive than the RCA and better at pulling out weak analog signals. The Tosh is on a par with my other tuners - the RCA was way below in performance.
    6.Analog OTA signals look much better on the Tosh - they don't have that "washed out" look that the RCA is famous for.
    7.There are no 1080i HD broadcast during the day, so I can't report on the relative image quality of the Tosh and RCA in HD. From all appearances (a couple of good-looking commercials), the Tosh should be at least equal to the RCA, if not better.
    8.The menu response appears faster on the Tosh than the RCA.
    In sum, my initial impression is that the Toshiba DST3000 is a winner. I'll have more to say with more time.
    Les
     
  2. Wolf Jenkins

    Wolf Jenkins Stunt Coordinator

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    Les -
    What kind of TV are you hooked up to?
     
  3. Les Holt

    Les Holt Agent

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    Wolf,
    Toshiba TW65X81.
    Les
     
  4. Paul Robinson

    Paul Robinson Auditioning

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    Good analysis Les.... look like I'll be buying the DST3000
    Question: Did you install the OTA-antenna yourself, what brand/model OTA and what OTA-position you reccommend?
    Oh, the DST3000, is it equiped with an OTA Signal Strenght indicator?
    ------------------
     
  5. Chuck Sullivan

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    Does anyone know of any other on-line sites besides One-Call selling the DST3000? I live in Spokane and I don't want to have to pay sales tax.
     
  6. orestes

    orestes Second Unit

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    Does anyone know if I can hook up "analog" cable to this puppy, and what kind of performance I will get if I can do this?
    Thanks,
    orestes.
     
  7. orestes

    orestes Second Unit

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    By the way, I do have a TW40X81 toshiba model.
    Thanks,
    orestes.
     
  8. Les Holt

    Les Holt Agent

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    Paul: I'd suggest either the Channel Master 4248 or the CM 8 bay bowtie, unless you're lucky enough to be close to the transmitters and have a clear shot at them.
    Yes, the DST has a wonderful signal strength meter: numerical indication, bar graph, and audible tone which increases in pitch and frequency as the signal gets stronger.
    The DST looks good on analog signals (they are upconverted to 1080i progressive).
    Les
     
  9. Roger Clark

    Roger Clark Stunt Coordinator

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    Les, over on the avsforum, someone reported that the menu on the Mits 400 HD receiver slowed down to a crawl after several hours of use, have you seen anything like that with the DST3000?
    Roger
     
  10. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Les,
    Did you have any problems initially configuring and installing the DST3000 without any access to a satellite dish? I would love to add a HDTV STB to my Toshiba 56H80 before the Masters (the Super Bowl is out of the question at this late date). However, I use CATV for my television signal, and do not want to add the expense of a dish subscription. I should be close enough to the station towers to use a Radio Shack indoor UHF bowtie antenna for OTA signals, based on comments from members in other threads.
     
  11. Roger Clark

    Roger Clark Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott, the manual specifically covers connecting the unit without having a dish (and with every dish type, round, oval with 2 lnb's, and oval with 3 lnb's). I would expect no problems with that.
    Orestes, yes you can hook up cable to it, I can't speak to the performance, but the OTF performance far outguns the OTA tuner in my TV (TW65H80 Toshiba).
    "Yes, the DST has a wonderful signal strength meter: numerical indication, bar graph, and audible tone which increases in pitch and frequency as the signal gets stronger."
    The signal strength meter only works on DTV stations however, not on analoge.
    Roger
     
  12. Les Holt

    Les Holt Agent

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    Scott,
    Other than getting used the menu structure and operation, I had no problems setting up OTA without satellite.
    Roger,
    Yes, the signal strength meter only works on digital OTA signals and satellite, but the absence of an analog meter is irrelevant because you can adjust the antenna for analog by watching the picture - but after watching HD, you won't want to watch analog anyway.
    Les
     
  13. Brad_Schau

    Brad_Schau Auditioning

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    Will this box work with Digital cable, with a HDTV ready TV?
     
  14. Mark VanDernoot

    Mark VanDernoot Auditioning

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    Does the DST3000 have any format option control ?
    I have a Toshiba 4:3 set and I had hoped that Toshiba's
    box would compensate for the inherent distortions of
    a 4:3 set displaying HD. Is there a 6:9 mode for us
    4:3 set owners? Anyone have this box connected to a 4:3
    set?
     
  15. orestes

    orestes Second Unit

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    Roger Clark,
    What do you mean by the OTF performance? And I wonder if this unit may improve the cable signal even though I know that the cable in San Francisco does not carry HDTV signal at all. By the way, I just ordered my DST3000 from the goodguys. I was told that the next shipment is coming next week. So here I go again waiting!!!
    Thanks,
    orestes.
     
  16. Les Holt

    Les Holt Agent

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    Orestes:
    The Good Guys have been saying "next week" about HD tuners for at least several months. They'll be right one of these weeks, but I got real tired of waiting forever and just ordered it from One Call, where "next week" actually meant "the week after next," but at least I got it.
     
  17. TimM

    TimM Auditioning

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    I love this box, but one frustration I am having is with 4X3 images. On my TW65X81 I like the mode that allows a 4X3 image to fill the entire screen by slightly stretching the right and left parts of the picture, leaving the middle undistorted. However, when using the DST3000 it appears I must choose either a complete stretch that messes up the entire picture, or a cropping that loses more than I would like. I do not want to use grey bars on the sides because of uneven phosphor wear over time (my family watches a lot of regular tv).
    As far as I can tell the DST3000 overrides the TW65X81 modes for dealing with 4X3 images. Anyone else bothered by this?
    It is worth it, however, After spending the day installing the new oval dish, I have been mesmerized by the HD images on channels 199 and 509, as well as OTA signals from NBC and ABC in Chicago. I get a 100% digital signal even though the antenna is in the attic and I did no adjusting of its position.
    ------------------
     
  18. orestes

    orestes Second Unit

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    I know the story about the goodguys since I went thru a pretty bad experience (ACTUALLY HELL AND BACK) while trying to get my TW40x81. I actually had to call a guy from a local TV station and he made a few calls and that's how I was able to get my Toshiba. This TV guy has a local show and he tries to protect consumers against this kind of bad deals. So this time, I will be a bit more patient since I don't think he will do the same for me this time around.
    Back then, the goodguys didn't want a BAD publicity in the bay area; thus, they came up with a spanking new unit for me out of thin air. However, if I don't get my DST3000 by the end of February, they will hear from me. But I will be a bit more patient. Let's see what happens.
    Thanks, anyway.
    Sincerely,
    orestes.
     
  19. Roger Clark

    Roger Clark Stunt Coordinator

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    orestes,
    "What do you mean by the OTF performance? "
    I meant OTA (off the air).
    Mark,
    "Does the DST3000 have any format option control ?"
    Yes, it does. I don't like it's stretch mode for 16:9 tv's much, but it might work out well for a 4:3 set (there are setttings specifically for 4:3 sets).
    TimM,
    "As far as I can tell the DST3000 overrides the TW65X81 modes for dealing with 4X3 images. Anyone else bothered by this?"
    Yes, so much so that I'm watching everything except HD on the s-video output, I may look at the Sony box.
    Installing oval dish today (Sunday), haven't seen an HD pic yet on this thing, so very interested in outcome.
    Roger
     

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