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Newbie with DirecTV HD and need advice and direction

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Old 01-10-2005, 03:20 PM   #1  
What is HD?
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Location: Plano, TX
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Default Newbie with DirecTV HD and need advice and direction

First of all, I originally posted my rather lengthy and verbose question on the forum but was accused of this post being a ďfishing postĒ. I am not sure what that is, but I am hoping someone on this forum can help me. I apologize for the lengthy post but have a number of questions before I commit to HD DirecTV equipment.


I currently have 4 Sony DirecTV receivers in my house and I am contemplating upgrading one of them to HD. With that in mind I want to be sure that this can be done. Assuming I purchase a DirecTV HD receiver I would like to know if it would connect to my projector. I am not quite sure on the video outputs of a ďtypicalĒ DirecTV HD receiver but I do have the input of my project that I hope someone can tell me if it will connect and deliver HD quality programming. Even though my projector states that it is HDTV compatible I am not very familiar with HDTV and want to understand how everything would connect. Again, I am unsure of the outputs of a typical DirecTV HD receiver.

Therefore can someone provide the following?

1) Will my setup accept HDTV. How is it connected?

2) If need be where can I purchase the accessories to connect to my projector. Apparently it needs some sort of converter due to the fact that my projector accepts 15-pin D-sub. Where is the best place to purchase such a device?

3) Is HDTV a huge improvement over NTSC? I will be projecting a 6ft (height) x 12ft (width) image. My DVDís look quite good and I am running S-Video.

4) Any advice on contacting DirecTV? I read a few threads indicating they have some sort of retention group. Any special instructions to make sure I get a good deal. What am I looking at?


5) When I first purchased DirecTV (Pegasus at first then switched to DirecTV this year) I purchased a dish that would be setup for HDTV in the future. That was over 4 years ago and I am not sure on what the guy did when he installed everything. I think and honest donít remember that he mentioned something about running 2 cables into one room so I could receive it in the future. Do you need two cables to hookup DirecTV. Can someone clarify? What do I need to check?

6) With the DirecTV Sony Receiver I am using currently, itís connected to my computer (ATI Video card) running BeyondTV by Snapstream. (Sort of like TIVO). When I upgrade my receiver is there any passthrough that I can still connect NTSC TV to my ATI card input for SnapStream to record. Or will it be strictly HDTV and I am out of luck?

7) I also live in the Dallas are (Plano) and heard that local stations will be broadcasting HDTV in the future. Any idea when? I see a small number of stations listed on DirecTV broadcasting HD using the guide but not a huge amount. One thing to note, I am not a huge sports fan.

My video projector is the Optoma EzPro 732B. Here are the specifications:

Display Technology: Single 0.55-inch Double Data Rate DLP technology from Texas Instrument
Resolution: SVGA (800 x 600) native SXGA+ (1,400 x 1,050) compressed
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 native, 5:4 and 16:9 compatible
Input Connections:
PC/Video: 15 pin D-sub input (RGBHV/YPbPr input)
15 pin D-Sub connector to take a SCART RGB signal (sync on the composite line), via an adaptor.

Video:
One mini DIN for S-video connector
One composite RCA type connector
USB Mouse control
One Audio input for every input- (3.5mm Mini Jacks stereo)
Output Connections: 15pin monitor output (passive)

Note: The S-Video connector is connected to my DVD player so I have only the RCA and 15 pin D-sub available and of course a composite input.

Video Compatibility: NTSC: M(3.58MHz),4.43MHz,480i PAL: B, D, G, H, I, M, N SECAM: B, D, G, K, K1, L HDTV: 480p, 576p, 720p, 1080i

Optional Accessories: 15-pin to 3 RCA component/HDTV hookup S-video cable 1.8m

Thank you very much in advance.

Regards,

Paul J
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Old 01-10-2005, 07:41 PM   #2  
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Wow that's quite a list. No wonder those guys didn't want to tackle it. But we are different here.

Quote:
1) Will my setup accept HDTV. How is it connected?
If you mean by your setup, your projector, then yes and it is connected with three component cables run between the Directv receiver and the projector or you can use 3 RG6 coax cables with the approprate connectors. You didn't mention your audio equipment, but the Directv receiver has L/R stereo, optical and digital coax.

Quote:
2) If need be where can I purchase the accessories to connect to my projector. Apparently it needs some sort of converter due to the fact that my projector accepts 15-pin D-sub. Where is the best place to purchase such a device?
According to the following: PC/Video: 15 pin D-sub input (RGBHV/YPbPr input) you should have a breakout cable furnished with the projector for the connection of the component cables (YPbPr) and hopefully you still have it (Optional Accessories: 15-pin to 3 RCA component/HDTV hookup S-video cable 1.8m). This is pretty common for projectors. It will have a 15 pin D-sub on one end with 5-RCA connectors hanging out and maybe a s-video. You will only use three of them probably color coded Red-Green-Blue. The other two are for when you connect to a computer output that has R-G-B-H-V outputs (VGA).

Quote:
3) Is HDTV a huge improvement over NTSC? I will be projecting a 6ft (height) x 12ft (width) image. My DVDís look quite good and I am running S-Video.
Very definately. Think of a picture made up of 720 wide by 640 high pixels (SD) and then in your case 800 wide by 600 high. Even though your projector is not HD in resolution, the PQ will be better at 800x600.

Quote:
4) Any advice on contacting DirecTV? I read a few threads indicating they have some sort of retention group. Any special instructions to make sure I get a good deal. What am I looking at?
You basically threaten to go to Voom, Dish Network or Cable if they don't give you a deal. If you are a good haggler, they'll offer you something. Maybe someone else can give you some haggleing tips. I went to Voom.

Quote:
5) When I first purchased DirecTV (Pegasus at first then switched to DirecTV this year) I purchased a dish that would be setup for HDTV in the future. That was over 4 years ago and I am not sure on what the guy did when he installed everything. I think and honest donít remember that he mentioned something about running 2 cables into one room so I could receive it in the future. Do you need two cables to hookup DirecTV. Can someone clarify? What do I need to check?
Hopefully an elliptical three LNB HD dish was installed. The only reason you would need 2 cables would be if you get a HD DVR. For just a HD receiver you only need one cable.

Quote:
6) With the DirecTV Sony Receiver I am using currently, itís connected to my computer (ATI Video card) running BeyondTV by Snapstream. (Sort of like TIVO). When I upgrade my receiver is there any passthrough that I can still connect NTSC TV to my ATI card input for SnapStream to record. Or will it be strictly HDTV and I am out of luck?
No you are not out of luck, the HD Directv receivers have a SD component (yellow) output that can be used just like your current receiver. You may need to Y the audio to get it connected to both your computer and TV, but that's about it. You should note that the HD material will be 16:9 and maybe the SD will be also with pillar boxes on the sides. That's what will be recorded. If you want 4:3 SD recordings, you may have to play around with the receiver setup a bit.

Quote:
7) I also live in the Dallas are (Plano) and heard that local stations will be broadcasting HDTV in the future. Any idea when? I see a small number of stations listed on DirecTV broadcasting HD using the guide but not a huge amount. One thing to note, I am not a huge sports fan.
Plenty of DTV stations in the Dallas area. Goto http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/Address.aspx and enter your zip code for a list.

Last edited by rbinck; 01-10-2005 at 07:44 PM..
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Old 01-11-2005, 09:13 AM   #3  
What is HD?
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First of all thank you for taking the time to answer my rather large post as itís greatly appreciated.

The project did not come with a breakdown cable but I hope to find a site to purchase one. The Optoma web site does come with an accessories page and I can order one. Optional Accessories: 15-pin to 3 RCA component/HDTV hookup S-video cable 1.8m

My audio equipment does have a coax and optical audio output.

ďVery definitely. Think of a picture made up of 720 wide by 640 high pixels (SD) and then in your case 800 wide by 600 high. Even though your projector is not HD in resolution, the PQ will be better at 800x600.Ē

Does that not mean that I canít take full advantage of HD? Can you please clarify?

ďHopefully an elliptical three LNB HD dish was installed. The only reason you would need 2 cables would be if you get a HD DVR. For just a HD receiver you only need one cableĒ

The guy who installed by satellite dish told me that he set it up for HD as I requested but I am starting to doubt that. I do remember one of the HD requirements was an elliptical dish but I am not positive about the LNB configuration. If I recall I have two sources coming into the house and in the attic. The connections that are split into 2 signals therefore 4 TVs are connected. Each TV of course is autonomous and receives their own signal. There is a possibility that another cable is coming from the dish. If I remember correctly there was one cable not connected to anything and I donít know if itís live with a signal. Is there any other way to tell if I have triple LNBís? If I do not have triple LNB, what are my options? Will DirecTV provide me with the equipment?

I also understand that DirecTV will start providing HD content on local channels. But that is not the case as of yet.

Again, thank you very much. I do not know much about HD or satellite setup. I appreciate your time.
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Old 01-11-2005, 09:31 AM   #4  
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Quote:
Does that not mean that I canít take full advantage of HD? Can you please clarify?
"Full" advantage of HDTV would be a display that is capable of 1920x1080 pixels at 60 hz progressive. There are a few displays that are capable of this, but right now there is no source for this format.

Now since "Full" advantage is not possible, let's talk about what is possible. The minimum resolution to qualify as HD is 1280x720 pixels progressive scan. The other format that is in use for the consumer is 1920x1080 pixels interlaced. Standard 4:3 TV is considered 640x480 pixels interlaced. More on the various ATSC formats is available in this thread: DTV Formats and How That Relates to HDTV.

With your projector you will be between EDTV and HDTV with the native resolution of 800x600. So the PQ should be better than what you currently have, but not as stunning as a HDTV picture would be.

The Directv installer should be able to provide the equipment necessary. If by your question you want to know will they furnish it at no charge, that is something you need to take up with them.

In some areas Directv is furnishing the major networks in HD. You need to check with Directv to find out if your area is one of them.
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Old 01-11-2005, 11:06 AM   #5  
What is HD?
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I see what you mean regarding the term HDTV.

With my projector the specs are:

HDTV: 480p, 576p, 720p, 1080i

And from the link you provided that displays a chart of all formats

HDTV:
1080p.....1080.......1920........16:9....Progressi ve..24
1080p.....1080.......1920........16:9....Progressi ve..30
1080i.....1080.......1920........16:9....Interlace d ..30
720pC.. ...720.......1280........16:9....Progressive..24
720pC.. ...720.......1280........16:9....Progressive..30
720pC.. ...720.......1280........16:9....Progressive..60


My protector will certainly display 1080i however not in 1080x1920 format only 800x600, right?

Itís a pity I didnít research this before I purchased the projector. I can see how HDTV compatible is misleading.

Can I leverage the XVGA + (1,400 x 1,050) compressed mode in any way?

Thanks again for the information.
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Old 01-11-2005, 11:29 AM   #6  
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As long as you send your projector a HDTV signal, you will get as good a picture as you can. Some may say that 720p would be the best match, but I doubt if there will be any substantial difference.
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