Which High Def STB allows for variable signals AND variable aspect ratios?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Miller, Dec 3, 2001.

  1. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    Am I dreaming or what? [​IMG] Does anybody make a STB that would allow me to leave my Tosh 65H80 in "Full" mode, yet be able to watch 1080i programs displayed 16x9 AND then change the channel to watch a 480i program displayed 4:3? Is this technically possible? I'm thinking since my Panny RP-91 has an auto-scaling feature, surely a STB would do something similar.
    I don't like watching 4:3 programs fat and squashed. BTW, you don't have to tell me I'll get used to it or warn me about burn-in. Any input beisdes that would be appreciated.
    Peace,
    DM
     
  2. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Hi!

    My dish 6000 receiver will allow for this. However, I do beleive you need to subscribe to Dishnetwork to use this receiver??

    Gregg
     
  3. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Gregg, I did not know that. I would love to go the Dish route, but I'm not ready to make the jump to Sat and dump cable (my reasons are too long and not relevant to this topic). Right now I'm interested in buying a High Def STB to receive OTA HD. Dallas is a good market for OTA HD.

    Does your 6000 upconvert the 480i (4:3) material to 1080i and still keep it in 4:3?

    Peace,

    DM
     
  4. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Yes, all is upconverted and OAR (inc 4x3) remains. Then you can still do zoom and stretching via the 6000.
     
  5. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Gregg. Any non-Dishnetwork folks want to chime in?

    DM
     
  6. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Dave,
    I have the Toshiba DST 3000 DirecTV HD box. It tunes DirecTV 480i and HD, as well as local OTA digital and analog channels.
    It can be set to convert 480i channels to 1080i and output them through the component video cables. It can be set for 4/3 or 16/9 displays, and lets you choose between displaying a normal 4/3 picture with gray bars on the sides on your widescreen set, or a zoom which fills the screen side to side but chops off the top and bottom. It does not have an option for a variable stretch like one of the theaterwide modes on your tv.
    Theoretically this box will do what you want. The only fly in the ointment is that the picture when watching 480i converted to 1080i is pretty artifacty if you're watching a badly compressed analog DirecTV channel or a weak OTA analog channel.
    In addition to upconverting 480i to 1080i for output to the tv, the box can also convert 1080i to 480i in this mode it passes downconverted HD and native 480i signal for analog channels via S-video. What it won't do is put out a native 480i signal via the component output.
    I have both S-video and component connections to my widescreen tv. For the best picture quality for analog channels I set the box to 480i via S-video and tell it I have a 4/3 set. I then put the tv on the corresponding S-video input and use the tvs line doubler and aspect ratio controls.
    This is a bit of a hassle compared to just leaving the tv in one mode on one input and letting the box do everything, and really only necessary for watching critical stuff from weak or overcompressed channels, but it can at least all be done via the remote.
     
  7. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    My Samsung SIR-T150 "windowboxes" all 480i 4x3 broadcasts with black bars on the sides. Actually, I believe the windowboxing is occuring at the broadcast source for all our channels, but the Samsung does have an option for windowboxing if your stations do not windowbox.

    The Samsung also converts all incoming signals to either 480i, 480p, 720p or 1080i (set via a switch on the back of the unit. I leave mine set at 1080i all the time, since my Toshiba 56H80 does not accept a 720p signal. However, this box is OTA-only (no DirecTV or DISH support), and can only tune digital TV signals -- it has no analog NTSC tuner.

    The picture quality of 480i broadcasts via the Samsung is vastly superior to what I receive from my cable company.
     
  8. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    Steve - So are the bars generated by the 3000 grey? And what do you mean by "artifacty?" Blocky? Pixelated? The reason I ask is b/c I will have analog cable coming in to the STB.

     
  9. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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  10. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    Yep, Scott that's important. My wife and I are big fans of Enterprise. What model Tosh do you have? I've got a 65H80, so will mine lock as well?

    Peace,

    DM
     
  11. Jeff Brooks

    Jeff Brooks Second Unit
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    I don't know how relevant this is; but, if you try to purchase the Tosh DST3000, they may try to lock you in to DirecTV. I had one ordered for over the air HD reception, and they wanted me to pay $150 penalty for not subscribing to satellite! I was happy with my cable, so I gave up on the 3000. Now, I have found out that by June, my cable company is going to have a new digital box that does HDTV, optical audio, hard disk, and Microsoft Ultimate; so, I'm glad I gave up on the external receiver.
     
  12. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    Jeff, I just read your post from 11/19 and that hacks me off. I've never heard of this. Who was your retailer? Did Direct TV or your retailer demand the extra money?
    The reason I started this post was b/c my wife went shopping for me for Christmas and now there's a box under the tree that looks the size of a boxed a/v component. The DST-3000 is the only thing that I've told her I wanted. I sure hope they didn't twist her arm into DTV or make her pay more. I'll be one mad husband and they'll get their receiver back. I'd love to ask her, but she doesn't know that I suspect all this. She's also not an HTF member thankfully. [​IMG]
    Are you saying that the specs of this new cable box will allow for OTA HD, or HD cable channels? Who is your cable company. I am very skeptical about cable companies. My relatives have a "Digital Cable Box" that was billed as having DD. It even has a DD labeled on the front, and a connection labeled on the back for DD, but no actual connection. That is why I'm asking.
    Peace,
    DM
     
  13. DarrellP

    DarrellP Stunt Coordinator

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    Dave, there is a BIG misconception about using the Dish 6000. You DO NOT HAVE TO SUBSCRIBE TO PROGRAMMING to use the 6000. It does have to be connected to a sat and have a signal, though. A dish with LNB costs about $70, the 6000 w/8vsb mod about $500. With all the options the 6000 gives you, it is one of the best bargains in HD reception.
     
  14. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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  15. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    My Sony tv also locks into full when fed 1080i by the Tosh box. The Tosh box will put gray bars on the side of the 4/3 pictures, or it will do a straight zoom, your choice. If an HD channel is showing something in 4/3, as HBO-HD does from time to time, the sidebars are black because the broadcaster sends out a 16/9 picture with black bars on the sides of the 4/3 image.
    IF you are not a current subscriber to DirecTV there are discounts such as free installation or other incentives.
    It is clearly stated when you make the purchase that these discounts are conditional on you becoming a direcTV subscriber. This is not an issue when buying a non-HD capable DirecTV box because those are useless without the service. The HD boxes are ota capable, so you can use them without the service.
    Whenever a store sells a DirecTV box, they notify DirecTV of the sale, the serial number and access card number of the box, and the name of the buyer in order to be reimbursed by DirecTV for the incentive discounts given to the customer. If DirecTV doesn't get an order for service from someone with that serial and access card number, they will not re-imburse the store for the incentive discount. The store may then try to recover the discount from the buyer.
    An overzealous salesman may not have made clear to one of the previous posters that these discounts are conditional on subscribing to the satellite service.
    Every advertisement and in store DirecTV display promoting these discounts clearly states you must be a first-time subscriber and sign up for satellite service in order to be eligible for the discounts.
    I was already a DirecTV subscriber, so did not get any of the incentive discounts when I upgraded to the Tosh box. I used the box for ota reception for at least a week or so before I got the dish aimed properly, so was not a subscriber on that access card. I got no calls or demands for any more money than what I paid for the box.
    If these incentive-to-subscribe discounts are not the discount being referred to by one of the previous posters, my apologies.
     
  16. Jeff Brooks

    Jeff Brooks Second Unit
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    Sorry, it took me a while to get back. The previous replies were correct, in that the dealer had a contract form for me to sign. I had to sign-up for Direct TV, or pay the dealer $150, and sign the waiver that I was NOT going to use DirecTV. My understanding is that DirecTV provides a card inside the 3000. He did mention that there were probably ways around this; but, in the interest of "staying legal", I opted-out.

    I have Charter cable, and they are "promising" a new box next year that will be capable of hard-disk recording, like TiVo, optical-out, and HDTV. I heard the guts were Intel/Microsoft. They gave me a box that does S-video, so I am happy for now. I've been very pleased with my service locally. The whole satellite deal just sounds scary to me, and besides, I have 4 other TV's in the house, and I am able to have a digital receiver for each at only $3.95 more a month.
     
  17. Paul Hives

    Paul Hives Auditioning

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    My $.02.

    When transmitting SD most stations are actually upconverting and placing black bars on the side thusly transmitting a full 16:9 image.

    I wanted to do what you guys are saying until I found out what wa happening.

    Of course this does not apply to a true 4:3 transmission.
     

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