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Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Alex_C, May 15, 2003.
Depends on your definition of "reasonably priced."
The Hughes E-86 can be had for $400ish, and works pretty well. It's main drawback is the fact that it will only output 1080i (either native from HD stations or upconverted from 480i for non-hd sources) thru it's component video output, and the upconverted 480i is pretty nasty looking. It can pass 480i natively for your set to line double, and this looks much better, but it will only output 480i via S-video. It won't do both simultaneously, either, you have to switch modes on the box, then switch inputs on your tv.
Newer models from Sony and Zenith (same box, built by Zenith) will pass any scanrate via component video, so you only have to switch the box's scanrate with the remote. Their 480i to 1080i upconversion is also said to be much better than the Hughe's box. These run $700 to $800 though.
The old RCA DTC-100 can be had even cheaper than the Hughes, but requires an optional adapter for component video--has no component video output on the box itself. Many people own this 1st generation model, and are quite happy with it.
Another mfg to check out is Samsung.
There's a very active HD-Hardware forum over at AVS worth checking out for more specific information on stbs.
Thanks, but I'm so new to this I don't really understand what you just said.
I guess my question is it really worth it to spend $700-800 for a receiver or is a $500 receiver fine.
Also, what do I do once I get it? Just hook it up and I'm good?
Alex, You need to read up on these STB and decide what features you want and then find the model that fits your needs. A more expensive model is not inherently better then a less expensive model.
AVS is AV Science another website devoted to all things HT. You can find it at www.avsforum.com
Thanks, I'll check it out.