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Old 2009-06-25, 10:17 PM   #91
JJMoney
 
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Question ATSC High Definition Tuner Boxes (Non-Recording)

Hey guys,

I am interested in setting up OTA HD for my home, but my TV was purchased around 5 or 6 years ago and does not have an ATSC tuner.

I am trying to learn about HD boxes but I haven't made much progress. I am wondering if anyone can recommend some boxes that would be best and most cost-effective for HD - I noticed some recommendations earlier but it seemed that not all of these boxes were HD. And roughly how much should I expect to spend on a decent HD box?

Thanks for the help.

Last edited by stampeder; 2009-06-26 at 12:26 PM. Reason: title added
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Old 2009-06-25, 10:21 PM   #92
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buy an upscaling DVD-recorder from the US... it'll have a digital tuner, and bob's your uncle.
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Old 2009-06-26, 10:15 AM   #93
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would DVD recorders in Canada be any different?
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Old 2009-06-26, 12:40 PM   #94
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JJ Money, for an older LCD or Plasma you can use Samsung DTB-H260F. They're not for sale new but you can pick up online. They are full HD with HDMI and Component video outputs. ATSC tuner is also very good. Make sure you get one with a working remote.
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Old 2009-06-26, 12:58 PM   #95
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JJMoney, check out the several ATSC tuner threads here at this site since there are plenty of options for OTA HD devices:And of course there are the Winegard RC1010 and Centronics ZAT502 ATSC HD-output boxes discussed in this very thread too.
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Old 2009-06-26, 01:17 PM   #96
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I've split the topic of ATSC High Definition Tuner Boxes that are Non-Recording into this separate new thread from the original thread, which will continue to discuss ATSC Converter Boxes that are Non-HD and Non-Recording.

Last edited by stampeder; 2009-06-26 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 2009-07-01, 10:46 PM   #97
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Default External vs. Internal Tuners

Are external tuners better than the tuners that are inside the television set?

Does anyone have a crude ranking of these tuners beyond, "the latest chipsets"?
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Old 2009-07-05, 10:30 PM   #98
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Default Centronics ZAT502

I thought I would post some info on the set top box I got a few weeks ago at SAR. It was being advertised as the Centronics ZAT502HD. In terms of specifications (type of outputs, etc) everything is as indicated.

The physical appearance is slightly different than the pictures of this unit shown on the web. The box itself is hard to make out in the photos but the remote definitely looks different. The one I have doesn't have the blue oval of the photo on the web. Who knows, these could be from the ZAT501. I had mentioned this before, but the word "Centronics" doesn't appear anywhere on the product, or the box it comes in, or the manual. Seems a bit shady.

Anyway, I wanted to post some data I get from the box when I press "System Info" in the menu (I think that's what it was called).

Product: ATSC STB (duh)
Software Version: 11142008
Hardware Version: 8519-NOSA
Loader Version: 4273

I don't know what this info means in terms of chipset generation which seems to be the prime factor. I haven't opened up the casing to look inside, and I don't want to either as I tend to break things that are expensive. Anyone know if the software can be updated? Or if one would want to?
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Old 2009-07-06, 10:04 AM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goforit
Are external tuners better than the tuners that are inside the television set?
Even though there are lots of TV and external tuner manufacturers, there are acftually only a small number of ATSC chipset manufacturers that the big manufacturers buy from. This means that is is quite normal for several different brands of TV or box to have the same digial tuner inside. We see this again and again.The biggest difference seems to be in the software used to control the tuner and present a User Interface for owners.
Quote:
Originally Posted by goforit
Does anyone have a crude ranking of these tuners beyond, "the latest chipsets"?
That is actually one of the purposes of these threads. Also if you look through them you'll find links to comparison tests of certain tuner products.
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Old 2009-07-12, 12:36 PM   #100
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Interesting reading about the rear connections on various external converter boxes in this thread.

This is a consideration which has been important to me in mixing-and-matching components but which gets short shrift here (or worse, the answer to the question is hastily assumed).

I have older-persons eyesight, so-so interest in visual quality (but a nut about aural quality), and a 10 yr old SD TV. Viewing has been with a fine old satellite receiver with all the outputs. And you know what I think: barely any difference that I care about (or even can reliably detect) from RF (Channel 3 connection), "video" (yellow plug), S-video, and HMDI to a computer monitor.

HD broadcasting and reception is magnificent and nobody would ever go back to SD willingly. But from the tuner (a STB converter in my case, but these comments have no relevance to that earlier thread) to a SD monitor, not much difference.

I hope to hear from others to comment on differences when viewed on an HD monitor? But I don't think we should casually assume that you need to go up HMDI to have a great picture, once the STB has done its reception magic.


In olden times, I found the tuners in a VHS recorder weren't as hot as the TV. From this thread, I gather that is not so with expensive or even cheap DVD recorders today?
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Old 2009-07-13, 10:55 AM   #101
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In post above, I wasn't clear that I am converting good source OTA HD signals, not satellite signals. Most likely I would see a difference between, say, Channel 3 and S-video if I had two monitors side-by-side for simultaneous comparison. But that still might not make S-video enough better to fret about it.
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Old 2009-07-15, 12:43 AM   #102
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Hi there, can anyone recomment a cheap ATSC tuner I can just get for temporary use? I'll only need it for a few weeks. Thanks in advance.
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Old 2009-07-15, 12:52 AM   #103
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these set top boxes are good for over-the-air ATSC reception, right? i just want to make sure i'm understanding things properly, becuase i thought there were no HD over-the-air recievers, only SD recievers (the digital converter boxes that the USA was sending coupons for)...
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Old 2009-07-15, 01:00 AM   #104
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Well if it is sorry to post in the wrong spot, I couldn't find a thread for SD set top units.
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Old 2009-07-15, 09:00 AM   #105
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Default ATSC SD Converter Box thread

ATSC Converter Boxes (Non-HD, Non-Recording)

is the thread for that, and it seems the Zenith DTT901 is the cream of the crop in SD Converter boxes (see Post #798 in that thread for a recent review confirming that).
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