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#303592 - 04/11/2007 14:44 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14351
Loc: Canada
And here is an example of something you want to avoid: claims 1920x1080 native resolution, but only allows 1360x768 max digital input from a PC... they're probably lying about the native resolution.

Cheers

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#303593 - 04/11/2007 14:58 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14351
Loc: Canada
This one has 1920x1080p digital-in from PC. Refresh not specified, but I believe it's always 60Hz for this stuff.

EDIT: Yep, the user manual for that one does indeed say 1920x1080x60Hz.

-ml


Edited by mlord (04/11/2007 15:01)

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#303594 - 04/11/2007 15:02 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: mlord]
andym
carpal tunnel

Registered: 17/01/2002
Posts: 3994
Loc: Manchester UK
Quote:
And here is an example of something you want to avoid: claims 1920x1080 native resolution, but only allows 1360x768 max digital input from a PC... they're probably lying about the native resolution.

Cheers


My Sony KDL40W2000U says exactly the same, but that's for the VGA input. I'm never going to use it. My MythTV frontend has got a DVI connector so I just bought a DVI->HDMI cable. With the right modeline settings I have 1080p on it.
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Andy M

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#303595 - 04/11/2007 15:07 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: mlord]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3766
mlord's link to a Westinghouse set is interesting. It's got the right inputs and (presumably) would meet my needs for the display of a home theater PC. I'm going to do the real shopping for one of these things post-Christmas. I hope to get some kind of great deal on an open-box special or some other sort of firesale. We'll have to see how well that works.

Any advice on this?

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#303596 - 04/11/2007 18:12 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: mlord]
Neutrino
addict

Registered: 23/01/2002
Posts: 506
Loc: The Great Pacific NorthWest
Quote:
And here is an example of something you want to avoid: claims 1920x1080 native resolution, but only allows 1360x768 max digital input from a PC... they're probably lying about the native resolution.

Cheers


Here's a review on this set. It claims that this is a true 1080 set. If you connect to it with your PC via HDMI than you can use the full resolution. Like Andy's Sony I think the specs about proper input resolution for the PC reflect bandwidth limitations of the VGA analog input and not the true native resolution of the panel.

http://www.i4u.com/full-review-309.html
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#303597 - 04/11/2007 19:39 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: Neutrino]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14351
Loc: Canada
Great. So accepting (digital) 1920x1080x60Hz is looking like a given for most any set that has true 1920x1080 native resolution.

Do we have *any* counter examples?

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#303598 - 04/11/2007 22:55 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: mlord]
Neutrino
addict

Registered: 23/01/2002
Posts: 506
Loc: The Great Pacific NorthWest
I went to Walmart today and sure enough they had the A2 for $98.00 so I bought one. If anyone is interested you need to get it today. It's the last day of the sale.
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#303599 - 05/11/2007 12:15 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: Dylan]
Dylan
addict

Registered: 23/09/2000
Posts: 498
Loc: Virginia, USA
This came up on a bargain site this morning for the Sony 60 SXRD in store at Circuit City.

http://techbargains.com/news_displayitem.cfm/103291

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#303600 - 05/11/2007 13:54 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: Dylan]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
That looks like a great price. Unfortunately I can't do in-store pickup and won't be moving into the new house for another couple weeks. Though, if it's anything like last year's holiday season, there will be no shortage of deep discounts on HDTVs.

On a slight tangent, going HD means I need to find a DVR solution to replace my ReplayTV or I'm stuck with standard definition DVR capabilities. What are my options? I use DirecTV, and I know they have DVRs available, but I've read that the software is pretty awful, or used to be. Are there any other legitimate options using standalone DVRs with DirecTV for HD content, or am I stuck with whatever DirecTV gives me?
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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#303601 - 05/11/2007 16:32 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: tonyc]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12293
Loc: Sterling, VA
DirecTV's PVR isn't too bad. I'd say it's the best of the service provider boxes, but IMO the UI is nothing compared to a Tivo (I don't have any experience with Replay, though).

It's probably a long shot for the place you're moving, but you could check if it has FIOS. I love FIOS. Then you could get the TivoHD.
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Matt

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#303602 - 05/11/2007 17:15 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: Dignan]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
The new place does have FIOS and I will definitely be getting FIOS internet, but I think I need to stay with DirecTV for the much larger selection of HD channels, particularly the NFL package. I also have a bit of a distaste for TiVo's subscription model, though I imagine there's a DVR fee on DirecTV as well.

Unless I'm missing something, the story is sad on the MythTV front for DirecTV users who want to record HD content, so I'm probably stuck with the DirecTV unit regardless.

EDIT: Well, I guess you *can* record DirecTV HD programs to MythTV, but it's might 'spensive:

http://169time.com/index.html#fustb
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- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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#303603 - 05/11/2007 17:18 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: Dignan]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3766
With DirecTV you may still be able to get a Tivo HD10-250. It won't be able to get the newer HD channels, which are broadcast on a new satellite in MPEG-4. It gets HD locals from an OTA antenna. This at least gets you the essential Tivo UI, but you don't get all the shiny new Tivo features you might want.

That's what I used before and I was entirely happy with it. However, for my new house, I'm debating what I want to do. There's no Verizon FIOS in Houston, although AT&T is rolling out their U-verse service, which looks like it won't work for me. (You can only record one HD show at a time, and if you're recording one HD show, you can't view another one!) That basically leaves DirecTV or Comcast. Since I'd really like to have one of the new TivoHD's, that pretty much means Comcast.

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#303604 - 05/11/2007 17:31 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: tonyc]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12293
Loc: Sterling, VA
Quote:
The new place does have FIOS and I will definitely be getting FIOS internet, but I think I need to stay with DirecTV for the much larger selection of HD channels, particularly the NFL package. I also have a bit of a distaste for TiVo's subscription model, though I imagine there's a DVR fee on DirecTV as well.

I can understand that. I only watch a couple games a week, so I don't need the NFL package (though you might need it just to follow your old local team).

The advantage that FIOS has over DirecTV, I gather, is that their infrastructure doesn't require much at all in order to add new channels. They don't need to launch new satellites (which, by the way, my parents can't see because they keep launching satellites with lower and lower orbits). Again, I could be wrong about this, but apparently they are planning to add a bunch of new HD channels, I just don't know when...
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Matt

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#303605 - 05/11/2007 17:36 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: Dignan]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
A friend of mine has the DirecTV HD PVR. It doesn't suck, but it comes close. The new HD feeds have already been turned on.

I haven't heard anything negating the rumor that the new DirecTV owners will go back to TiVo, but I haven't heard anything confirming it, either, other than having had it repeated to me by a DirecTV CSR when I called to cancel after my HDirectTiVo broke.
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#303606 - 05/11/2007 17:37 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: wfaulk]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Also, it would be cool if DirecTV would implement a DirecTV decoder as a CableCard so that I could switch between cable and DirecTV without huge issues.
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Bitt Faulk

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#303607 - 05/11/2007 19:00 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: tonyc]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3567
Loc: Columbus, OH
Lest you get tempted to switch to cable, I can assure you that the TimeWarner HD DVR does suck. Bigtime.
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#303608 - 05/11/2007 19:28 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: wfaulk]
Dylan
addict

Registered: 23/09/2000
Posts: 498
Loc: Virginia, USA
Quote:
A friend of mine has the DirecTV HD PVR. It doesn't suck, but it comes close.


I'd be more generous than that. It was a very sad day last month when I decided that getting the new DirecTV HD content was more important than TiVo. But the DirecTV unit isn't that bad. It's even better in some small ways though the overall interface is a mess compared to the beauty that is TiVo. But once you know how to get around it's non-intuitive menu structure, day to day use isn't really much different than TiVo.

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#303609 - 06/11/2007 03:56 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: Dylan]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12293
Loc: Sterling, VA
Quote:
Quote:
A friend of mine has the DirecTV HD PVR. It doesn't suck, but it comes close.


I'd be more generous than that. It was a very sad day last month when I decided that getting the new DirecTV HD content was more important than TiVo. But the DirecTV unit isn't that bad. It's even better in some small ways though the overall interface is a mess compared to the beauty that is TiVo. But once you know how to get around it's non-intuitive menu structure, day to day use isn't really much different than TiVo.

That's pretty much what I've experienced when using my parents' DirecTV unit. For a while I was giving it a failing grade, but once they included the quick little rewind after a fast-forward like the Tivo does, I started giving it a slight passing grade.

Now my dad is waiting for them to enable use of an eSATA drive in conjunction with the internal drive. I don't believe that's possible yet, or if they're even trying for it. (haha, my Tivo can do it! )
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Matt

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#303610 - 06/11/2007 04:32 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: JBjorgen]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3766
Quote:
Lest you get tempted to switch to cable, I can assure you that the TimeWarner HD DVR does suck. Bigtime.

However, a Series 3 TiVo or TiVoHD accepts CableCard, allowing you to bring your own TiVo to the party and get all the HD channel goodness that TimeWarner or Comcast wants to overcharge you for the privilege of receiving.

I originally switched to DirecTV because they had the only dual-channel TiVo (SD at the time), and it was glorious. Then I ponied up for the HD TiVo, and it was even more glorious. Now, it looks like I'll be switching back to vanilla cable so I can get one of these new CableCard units.

It's just a shame that the only vaguely "open" way to get HD (beyond what you can get over the air) is through the entrenched cable company. Otherwise, I'd be really tempted to try something like AT&T's Uverse, but not given the limitations and complaints that I've read about.

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#303611 - 06/11/2007 18:28 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: Dylan]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
It turns out DirecTV wants $199 for me to *rent* their HD-DVR. AND they want to charge me $5.99/mo for DVR service. fsck that!

I've decided what I'm going to do for now is keep DirecTV, upgrading to HD service, but staying with my two ReplayTV units for DVR functionality. DVRing of HD content is something I want, but not at that price, especially when I'd have to take several steps back in terms of functionality on the DVR itself.

Maybe some day this situation will sort itself out, but right now, it's too much of a mess.
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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#303612 - 06/11/2007 18:52 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: tonyc]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Ouch. Keep in mind that you can still get HD content from a -- uhh -- sideband provider and display it on your TV in any of a number of ways, from a MythTV to a new HD TiVo.
_________________________
Bitt Faulk

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#303613 - 06/11/2007 19:03 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: tonyc]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4921
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
Quote:
It turns out DirecTV wants $199 for me to *rent* their HD-DVR.

That's better than the $299 I paid for the HR20-700 and a shitload better than the $700 my father paid for the HR10-250. I can't say it's fair to pay upfront for leased equipment, but if it were free, then why wouldn't everyone just request an HD DVR? There would be no reason for non-HD, non-DVR equipment to exist. There is the option to buy an HR20 for about $800, but it makes very little sense to do so. Under the lease plan, if your HR20 becomes obsoleted (like the HR10-250 was), you would be issued new equipment. If you purchase your receiver, DirecTV has no obligation to give you new equipment for free (like what happened with the HR10-250)

Quote:
AND they want to charge me $5.99/mo for DVR service. fsck that!

And the $13 per month per stand-alone TiVo is a better value? The $5.99 fee covers all DVRs in your house. Dish Network, for example, charges $5.98 per DVR on your account. In comparison, DirecTV is a bargain if you have multiple DVRs (I have 6 on my account).

Quote:
I've decided what I'm going to do for now is keep DirecTV, upgrading to HD service, but staying with my two ReplayTV units for DVR functionality. DVRing of HD content is something I want, but not at that price, especially when I'd have to take several steps back in terms of functionality on the DVR itself.

I know some ReplayTV units can share shows over the internet. Other than this, I don't think the HR20/HR21 DirecTV DVRs can be cast aside so easily. In the beginning (I was a very early adopter), they were horrendous. However, at this point, they're perfectly usable and actually quite good. If I were offered a Series 3 Tivo with DirecTV tuning capability today in exchange for my HR20s, I don't think I would make the switch. I don't think Tivo is worse, I just wouldn't gain much.

The $5.99 DVR fee DirecTV charges actually gives you tangible results for your money. They have been operating a beta program they call Cutting Edge. About once a week, they will throw beta builds of the HR20 firmware up on the satellite. If you force a software update during these published times, you will get to test new code. Some of the new features that were given to the Cutting Edge program first were OTA HD reception, home media streaming, Video on Demand (over ethernet), and a slew of other GUI and operational refinements.

When DirecTV collects $5.99 for a DirecTiVo DVR, you get nothing for your money. The Series 1 & 2 DirecTiVo code has not been updated in over a year (except for daylight savings changes). And before that, updates were only released months or years apart.

Quote:
Maybe some day this situation will sort itself out, but right now, it's too much of a mess.

The HR21 should be available soon. This is the HR20, but without the OTA tuners. This will make manufacturing cheaper, but who knows if the savings will be passed on to the customer. I'd say that's as good as you can hope for at the moment. I don't see the $5.99 DVR fee changing. They now have a tier of service with the DVR fee rolled-in. I don't know if it's discounted in that package, but at least they'll be hiding the DVR fee inside the programming fee. Maybe you won't notice it then.
_________________________
-Rob Riccardelli
80GB 16MB MK2 090000736

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#303614 - 06/11/2007 19:16 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: robricc]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Quote:
I can't say it's fair to pay upfront for leased equipment, but if it were free, then why wouldn't everyone just request an HD DVR?

They could charge more per month for the rent for the HD PVR than for the SD PVR. Or only offer the HD PVRs to people who pay for an HD package.

I think his point was that they need to either charge you per-month or charge you a lump sum once, not both.

Quote:
The Series 1 & 2 DirecTiVo code has not been updated in over a year (except for daylight savings changes). And before that, updates were only released months or years apart.

While that's true, by everyone's account, that was DirecTV's fault, not TiVo's. Apparently DirecTV didn't want to incur the cost of training their CSRs. Obviously, they do now, but they're also propping up Rupert Murdoch's favorite PVR developer, Pace Micro.


Edited by wfaulk (06/11/2007 19:21)
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Bitt Faulk

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#303615 - 06/11/2007 19:33 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: wfaulk]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4921
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
Quote:
I think his point was that they need to either charge you per-month or charge you a lump sum once, not both.

Like Tivo does by charging $599.99 for a Series 3, and then $16.95 per month to keep it running?

Where I live Time Warner Cable wants $20 per HD DVR per month. This breaks down as $10 for box rental, and $10 for DVR service.

I'm sorry, but unless you have lifetime Tivo service or lifetime ReplayTV, DirecTV is the clear winner (for me).

Quote:
While that's true, by everyone's account, that was DirecTV's fault, not TiVo's.

True, but the fee is still being taken.

Quote:
...they're also propping up Rupert Murdoch's favorite PVR developer, Pace Micro.

Thomson is also a manufacturer of the HR20 series.
_________________________
-Rob Riccardelli
80GB 16MB MK2 090000736

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#303616 - 06/11/2007 20:03 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: robricc]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Quote:

And the $13 per month per stand-alone TiVo is a better value?


No, but $0.00 per month for ReplayTV lifetime-activated units is pretty awesome.

Quote:

I know some ReplayTV units can share shows over the internet. Other than this, I don't think the HR20/HR21 DirecTV DVRs can be cast aside so easily. In the beginning (I was a very early adopter), they were horrendous. However, at this point, they're perfectly usable and actually quite good.



I don't doubt they're usable or quite good, but off the top of my head, ReplayTV wins vs. HR20 on the following :
* automatic commercial skip
* true, instantaneous 30 second skip
* instantaneous jump to any minute of the show
* multi-room (stream shows from DVR to DVR)
* aforementioned Internet sharing, which is awesome
* no monthly fee

HR20 wins on HD support, obviously, and the picture quality of SD content is probably better as well. Anything else? You said "home media streaming." Assuming that means multi-room viewing, okay, that's a draw. Evaluating the DVR scheduling, conflict resolution, etc. is subjective and difficult to quantify, but I have no problems with ReplayTV's software in this regard, so I don't know I'd notice any benefits of the HR20's scheduler.

HR20 also wins in the "currently supported product" category, but as long as my ReplayTVs don't blow up and they keep receiving guide data, the only benefit of going the HD20 route is the HD recording. I just can't justify spending $199 + $5.99/mo for that, and losing all the other goodies ReplayTV has.


Edited by tonyc (06/11/2007 20:05)
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#303617 - 06/11/2007 20:06 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: tonyc]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4921
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
I'm sorry my opinion, as an owner of multiple HR20s, was so worthless.
_________________________
-Rob Riccardelli
80GB 16MB MK2 090000736

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#303618 - 06/11/2007 20:13 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: robricc]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
All of those are excellent points.

I do have to point out that there is a difference between paying a lump-sum up-front fee for rental versus a lump-sump payment for purchase. But it's a perfectly reasonable argument that you come out better with a rental, since the notion is that you'll get a replacement for free.

I have no experience with the HR20's conflict resolution. Can you give me a rundown of how it works?
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Bitt Faulk

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#303619 - 06/11/2007 20:16 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: tonyc]
Neutrino
addict

Registered: 23/01/2002
Posts: 506
Loc: The Great Pacific NorthWest
Where did you see the Directv HD-DVR for 199? I can only find it for 299? You're not in Canada are you!
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#303620 - 06/11/2007 20:17 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: robricc]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
I didn't say that at all. I was just asking you what other things the HR20 has beyond HD support that would tip the balance in its favor. I obviously appreciate your insight, and wasn't trying to suggest your opinion was worthless -- just trying to see what I'd be missing if I go the ReplayTV route.
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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#303621 - 06/11/2007 20:19 Re: HDTV Advice [Re: Neutrino]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
I think it was some kind of $100 credit for new DirecTV users, which I would be if I canceled my DTV and established a new account at my new address.
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- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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