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Better HD Receiver - Sony, Samsung, LG,etc???

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Old 02-15-2005, 12:54 PM   #1  
A couch and an HDTV to go please.
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Default Better HD Receiver - Sony, Samsung, LG,etc???

Kind of new to the game here..first post. Anyway, just got a new HD ready tv (Toshiba 44NHM84 (it's from Canada)) from a friend of mine. Now I'm looking to get D** up and running and was wondering if anyone out there can give me an objective opinion on the best HD receiver that is compatible with this tv.
I've been scanning through alot of posts and have read mixed reviews on the Samsung TS360 (mostly negative it seems) and a few on the Sony HD300. I'm not sure I want to spend that kind of money on a Sony, but I don't want to have to go back and forth to CC or BB with a defective receiver. I don't need a receiver that records either. If there are better or comparable receivers, let me know.
Any help would be great. Thanks again.
Cheers.
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Old 02-26-2005, 08:24 AM   #2  
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I have 2 LG's with up conversion dvd and I think they are great!!
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Old 03-14-2005, 12:22 PM   #3  
jes
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Exclamation don't spend much...

This maybe to late to help you... Don't buy the Samsung if you plan to use both HD & SD outputs.

In light of the changes pending for D*, buy the cheapest HD reciever you can get (even used). When the D* HD upgrade to MPEG4 rolls around they will replace your reciever anyway.

BTW, I have 2 Sony HD300s...

Last edited by jes; 03-14-2005 at 12:28 PM..
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Old 03-15-2005, 11:31 AM   #4  
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I have a Sony tuner that came with my HDTV (MBD-XBR950L), and I bought an LG LST-4200A, and I can say without reservation that when it comes to picking up OTA digital broadcast signals, the LG blows the Sony out of the water. It picks up more signals with better multipath compensation, and the LG gives you the option to play around with antenna positioning while checking the signal (and the Sony doesn't).

For QAM, they're pretty much the same.
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Old 03-15-2005, 10:02 PM   #5  
jes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elicross
I have a Sony tuner that came with my HDTV (MBD-XBR950L), and I bought an LG LST-4200A, ...
The Sony HD300 is a STB that does D*, NTSC, OTA digital & cable. It's made by LG. There is a button on the remote to check signal strength...
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Old 03-16-2005, 12:00 PM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jes
The Sony HD300 is a STB that does D*, NTSC, OTA digital & cable. It's made by LG. There is a button on the remote to check signal strength...
Glad to hear it. The tuner that came with the set can check signal strength, but only after the tuner has recognized it as a viable station after it does an auto-check of the entire band. You can't single out a station (even if you know the frequency) and check for signal strength -- at least not that I can manage.

I've also had a chance to test the LG 3420A hard-disk recorder/tuner. Although the 3410 has functionality that I really like (hard disk recording and limited firewire support), the LST-4200 has the better OTA tuner and more functionality in the menus.
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Old 03-19-2005, 08:55 AM   #7  
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From what I've been able to gather from reviews and forums the Sony HD-300, Hughes HTL-HD and the LG 3200A are all the same chassis (made by LG). I believe the LG and Sony versions come with RF remotes and the Hughes doesn't. There are also some minor differences in firmware resulting in different menu operations, etc. but they are pretty much equivalent in terms of PQ, OTA reception, etc. The used Hughes boxes tends to go for the lowest cost on ebay, followed by the LG's, and the Sony HD-300 go for very high prices (I've seen some used units go for more than new cost, people love that Sony name!!) All three of these boxes are no longer in production so finding one new is very difficult. I'm betting that when D* changes over to MPG4 that they will replace existing subscribed HD receivers with MPG4 boxes (no guarentee there though). Because of this I went out and bought the cheapest used box I could find off of ebay. That turned out to be an RCA DTC210. This box has mixed results, lots of people have had box lock-up problems with multiple units. There are also a couple of outright design flaws, in 1080i mode there is a horizontal fold line in the middle of the screen. To me it seems to be only noticable during vertical camera pans, for the most part I hardly ever see it. The design issue is that if your running in 1080i mode, SD (4:3) programming is mis-scaled, the picture is stretched slightly horizontally and all the people on the screen put on 20 lbs. The only way around this is to switch the 210 to 480i mode (a manual switch, so it is a pain). I've been using mine for two weeks now and have not had a single lock-up and the PQ is very good (horizontal line excepted). I was really trying to get one of the Hughes HTL-HD boxes from ebay but they still tended to go for $225 or higher. The DTC-210 I got for $170 delivered so I'm a happy camper. My take on all this is that the best chance of getting a trouble free HD box is to go with the Hughes/Sony/LG box. The TS-360 and H-10 have caused a lot of people to get ulcers. The DTC-210 seems to have a better track record than the previous two and is going for cheaper so that's the way I went. If you are going to be a new D* subscriber and buy a box from them it seems that lately they have been sending mostly H-10's with a few DTC-210 and TS-360 here and there. It seems that neither you the customer or the D* CSR's seem to have any control over which box you get. The nice thing about buying from D* is that if you get a lemon you can have them replace it (multiple times) until you get a working unit. If you buy off of ebay like I did, your taking your chances but might get lucky. Good luck!
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Old 03-19-2005, 12:08 PM   #8  
jes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ga_Dutchman
From what I've been able to gather from reviews and forums the Sony HD-300, Hughes HTL-HD and the LG 3200A are all the same chassis (made by LG). I believe the LG and Sony versions come with RF remotes and the Hughes doesn't. There are also some minor differences in firmware resulting in different menu operations, etc. but they are pretty much equivalent in terms of PQ, OTA reception, etc. The used Hughes boxes tends to go for the lowest cost on ebay, followed by the LG's, and the Sony HD-300 go for very high prices (I've seen some used units go for more than new cost, people love that Sony name!!) All three of these boxes are no longer in production so finding one new is very difficult. I'm betting that when D* changes over to MPG4 that they will replace existing subscribed HD receivers with MPG4 boxes (no guarentee there though). Because of this I went out and bought the cheapest used box I could find off of ebay.
I had my HD300 open recently (don't ask ) and the board is labeled LG and selected LSS-3210S by a jumper. I recently bought a 2nd HD300 new for less than I've seen them on ebay... I made the purchase before hearing about the upcoming MPEG4 rollver.
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Old 03-19-2005, 01:49 PM   #9  
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When D*TV upgraded from MPEG1 to MPEG2, they did it with only a firmware upgrade to existing STBs. Don't KNOW, but the same thing might happen this time... I'm sure they'll avoid replacing ALL the STBs if they can!
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Old 03-19-2005, 02:00 PM   #10  
jes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSawdey
When D*TV upgraded from MPEG1 to MPEG2, they did it with only a firmware upgrade to existing STBs. Don't KNOW, but the same thing might happen this time... I'm sure they'll avoid replacing ALL the STBs if they can!
That would be awesome if it were possible... Guess we need to find a talkative person at Sony or D*
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Old 03-22-2005, 09:30 PM   #11  
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I've seen opinions posted that mpg4 takes a lot more processing power than current receivers could muster. I've played around with video encoding some and I can attest to that, mpg4 takes a whole lot more horsepower than mpeg2 (my Athlon 2800 runs around 22% cpu when doing mpg2 but jumps to 80% for mpg4). It would be nice to get by with a firmware upgrade but I'm not hopeful.
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Old 03-23-2005, 04:30 PM   #12  
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A dealer remarked that virtually all boxes can NOT be firmware upgraded... probably a 'horsepower' issue...
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