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Getting Ready For the Cable Guy

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Anonymous
May 21, 2005 11:26:01 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

I have my first HDTV on order. I want to be prepared for the hookup.
I will be renting the Scientific American 8300HD DVR. My tv has a
CableCard slot. Does it make sense to hook up both?

Would I be able to access the two-way services (the program guide) via
the 8300? From what I have read, the CableCard should give me a
little better SD, do you all agree? And I'll save a few bucks by not
having to rent a cable box, right?

If it matters, the tv set is the Sony KD-30XS955 direct view crt.

Thanks in advance,

Don

More about : ready cable guy

Anonymous
May 21, 2005 2:26:03 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

cablecard will give you a better pix on SD and HD, if your cable company can
make it work. Your cable company will likely charge you extra to activate
both.

Leonard

"Don R" <donsdSpamBad@rediffmail.com> wrote in message
news:p an.2005.05.21.14.26.00.967369@rediffmail.com...
> I have my first HDTV on order. I want to be prepared for the hookup.
> I will be renting the Scientific American 8300HD DVR. My tv has a
> CableCard slot. Does it make sense to hook up both?
>
> Would I be able to access the two-way services (the program guide) via
> the 8300? From what I have read, the CableCard should give me a
> little better SD, do you all agree? And I'll save a few bucks by not
> having to rent a cable box, right?
>
> If it matters, the tv set is the Sony KD-30XS955 direct view crt.
>
> Thanks in advance,
>
> Don
>
May 21, 2005 3:54:30 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

On Sat, 21 May 2005 10:26:03 -0400, "Leonard Caillouet" <no@no.com>
wrote:

>cablecard will give you a better pix on SD and HD, if your cable company can
>make it work. Your cable company will likely charge you extra to activate
>both.
>
>Leonard
>

Not necessarily true.
It really depends on where you live.
Thumper
>"Don R" <donsdSpamBad@rediffmail.com> wrote in message
>news:p an.2005.05.21.14.26.00.967369@rediffmail.com...
>> I have my first HDTV on order. I want to be prepared for the hookup.
>> I will be renting the Scientific American 8300HD DVR. My tv has a
>> CableCard slot. Does it make sense to hook up both?
>>
>> Would I be able to access the two-way services (the program guide) via
>> the 8300? From what I have read, the CableCard should give me a
>> little better SD, do you all agree? And I'll save a few bucks by not
>> having to rent a cable box, right?
>>
>> If it matters, the tv set is the Sony KD-30XS955 direct view crt.
>>
>> Thanks in advance,
>>
>> Don
>>
>
Related resources
Anonymous
May 21, 2005 3:54:31 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Thumper wrote:
> Leonard Caillouet wrote:
>
>>cablecard will give you a better pix on SD and HD, if your cable company
>>can make it work. Your cable company will likely charge you extra to
>>activate both.
>
> Not necessarily true.
> It really depends on where you live.

He said, "likely."
--
Tim Weaver
Anonymous
May 21, 2005 3:55:42 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

"Don R" <donsdSpamBad@rediffmail.com> wrote in message
news:p an.2005.05.21.14.26.00.967369@rediffmail.com...
>I have my first HDTV on order. I want to be prepared for the hookup.
> I will be renting the Scientific American 8300HD DVR. My tv has a
> CableCard slot. Does it make sense to hook up both?
>
> Would I be able to access the two-way services (the program guide) via
> the 8300? From what I have read, the CableCard should give me a
> little better SD, do you all agree? And I'll save a few bucks by not
> having to rent a cable box, right?
>
> If it matters, the tv set is the Sony KD-30XS955 direct view crt.
>
> Thanks in advance,
>
> Don

You really NEED the HD DVR.... trust me.
Anonymous
May 21, 2005 8:02:00 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

We have used both, from Time-Warner in Austin, Texas. We used a CableCard
(CC) for a couple of months with our Sony KDF-60XS955, then finally threw in
the towel on it and got an SA 8300HD DVR cable box. We like the 8300
experience about 300% better.

Before we got the CableCard, we used a non-DVR HD cable box for a month or
so. The CC definitely gave us better SD reception than the box had. The HD
reception was about the same. But, other than that, the CC was mostly a lot
of hassle for not much added return. For one thing, we had constant
drop-outs and "CableCard Error" onscreen messages, that required turning off
the set, pulling and re-seating the CC, to get our HD channels back. You
might not have this problem where you are because your cable company might
be more up to speed for CC. Or your CC problems could be worse.

Also, there is no cable guide with CableCard. In theory, there could be, if
they sent down content info for the TV set's internal guide, but they don't.

So, tired of all the problems, and missing our old ability to "Tivo"
programs via our Panasonic standalone DVR, we got an 8300HD box. Upside:
Great two-tuner HD recorder so you can "Tivo" up to two HD shows at once.
The recorded HD looks the same as "live". (Actually, since everything is
buffered, anyway, it may BE the same as "live".)

The 8300 SD reception is very good, more or less as good as with CableCard,
and much better than the basic HD set top box. Plus, you get the guide.
Downside: the 8300 box has some odd software glitches in the way it records
and plays back programs that you have to get used to and find workarounds.
Nothing really major, though.

If you were to hook up both, you would probably need to run your 8300 box
and the CableCard off a splitter. That might work; might not. We
previously ran our CableCard off a splitter with no problem in signal
strength (not the source of the dropouts), sending the other half to our old
DVR to record SD. Cable company not optimistic about running 8300 off
splitter but you could try it.

The way we have it hooked up, the cable runs directly into the 8300, then
into the TV via HDMI cable. Audio via digital cable to our receiver. Then
we have an antenna feeding the "Antenna" input of the TV, with digital audio
out of the TV into another receiver input. This way, we have OTA access to
network channels when we want or need it. And good 5.1 audio from either
source.

mack
austin


"Don R" <donsdSpamBad@rediffmail.com> wrote in message
news:p an.2005.05.21.14.26.00.967369@rediffmail.com...
>I have my first HDTV on order. I want to be prepared for the hookup.
> I will be renting the Scientific American 8300HD DVR. My tv has a
> CableCard slot. Does it make sense to hook up both?
>
> Would I be able to access the two-way services (the program guide) via
> the 8300? From what I have read, the CableCard should give me a
> little better SD, do you all agree? And I'll save a few bucks by not
> having to rent a cable box, right?
>
> If it matters, the tv set is the Sony KD-30XS955 direct view crt.
>
> Thanks in advance,
>
> Don
>
Anonymous
May 21, 2005 8:02:30 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Thanks everyone for the replies.

I definitely want the DVR. I also really want the CableCard for the
added quality and so I can use the features of my television. I did
not consider the fact that I'll have to split the signal. Will I
still get the better SD picture after the split?

Does the DVR (the 8300HD) also act as a set top box? If I don't get
the CableCard installed, would I have to get a STB in addition to the
DVR?

I understand there is no cable guide with CableCard. But if I had
both CC and DVR, I would be able to get the guide, right?

The cable company is Cox Cable in San Diego. I think they charge $9
bucks or so a month for the DVR and about the same for a STB. They
have a mandatory $60 HD hookup fee and mandatory $60 DVR hookup fee.
As long as I have to have them out and have to pay $120 plus for their
labor, I'm hoping to get the HDTV-DVR-CC-HiSpeed Modem all hooked up
and working properly. Does this seem reasonable? I don't really have
a clue other than what you guys tell me.

Thanks again,

Don
Anonymous
May 22, 2005 1:40:33 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

"Don R" <donsdSpamBad@rediffmail.com> wrote in message
news:p an.2005.05.21.23.02.29.569490@rediffmail.com...
> Thanks everyone for the replies.
>
> I definitely want the DVR. I also really want the CableCard for the
> added quality and so I can use the features of my television. I did
> not consider the fact that I'll have to split the signal. Will I
> still get the better SD picture after the split?
>
> Does the DVR (the 8300HD) also act as a set top box? If I don't get
> the CableCard installed, would I have to get a STB in addition to the
> DVR?
>
> I understand there is no cable guide with CableCard. But if I had
> both CC and DVR, I would be able to get the guide, right?
>
> The cable company is Cox Cable in San Diego. I think they charge $9
> bucks or so a month for the DVR and about the same for a STB. They
> have a mandatory $60 HD hookup fee and mandatory $60 DVR hookup fee.
> As long as I have to have them out and have to pay $120 plus for their
> labor, I'm hoping to get the HDTV-DVR-CC-HiSpeed Modem all hooked up
> and working properly. Does this seem reasonable? I don't really have
> a clue other than what you guys tell me.
>
> Thanks again,
>
> Don

the 8300 is an excellent STB - it has dual HD tuners and can simultaneous
play one HD show while recording two others. It has HD PIP and can
zoom/stretch 4:3 to fit 16:9 in both SD or HD mode.

I have Comcast high speed cable modem and an 8300 - works fine.

I can't believe what they are charging you for the hook up. Comcast in
Richmond was free setup for the HD STB/DVR.
Anonymous
May 22, 2005 4:43:38 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Get a dedicated line for your internet connection.

I didn't, and from time to time I get stuttered playback when watching HD
and using the internet simultaneously.

"Don R" <donsdSpamBad@rediffmail.com> wrote in message
news:p an.2005.05.21.23.02.29.569490@rediffmail.com...
> Thanks everyone for the replies.
>
> I definitely want the DVR. I also really want the CableCard for the
> added quality and so I can use the features of my television. I did
> not consider the fact that I'll have to split the signal. Will I
> still get the better SD picture after the split?
>
> Does the DVR (the 8300HD) also act as a set top box? If I don't get
> the CableCard installed, would I have to get a STB in addition to the
> DVR?
>
> I understand there is no cable guide with CableCard. But if I had
> both CC and DVR, I would be able to get the guide, right?
>
> The cable company is Cox Cable in San Diego. I think they charge $9
> bucks or so a month for the DVR and about the same for a STB. They
> have a mandatory $60 HD hookup fee and mandatory $60 DVR hookup fee.
> As long as I have to have them out and have to pay $120 plus for their
> labor, I'm hoping to get the HDTV-DVR-CC-HiSpeed Modem all hooked up
> and working properly. Does this seem reasonable? I don't really have
> a clue other than what you guys tell me.
>
> Thanks again,
>
> Don
>
Anonymous
May 22, 2005 4:43:39 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

On Sun, 22 May 2005 00:43:38 +0000, Krisma wrote:

> Get a dedicated line for your internet connection.

I don't think that's going to happen. I'm way over my budget as it is. I
had no idea hooking up HDTV was going to be so expensive. But thanks for
the input.

Don
Anonymous
May 22, 2005 4:43:39 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

"Krisma" <krismaNOSPAM@NOSPAM.com> wrote in message
news:_AQje.15301$_f7.7344@trndny01...
> Get a dedicated line for your internet connection.
>
> I didn't, and from time to time I get stuttered playback when watching HD
> and using the internet simultaneously.

are you running your internet from the 8300?

I have a separate cable modem AND an 8300, both work fine.
Anonymous
May 22, 2005 5:23:12 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

"Don R" <donsdSpamBad@rediffmail.com> wrote in message
news:p an.2005.05.21.23.02.29.569490@rediffmail.com...
> Thanks everyone for the replies.
>
> I definitely want the DVR. I also really want the CableCard for the
> added quality and so I can use the features of my television. I did
> not consider the fact that I'll have to split the signal. Will I
> still get the better SD picture after the split?
>
> Does the DVR (the 8300HD) also act as a set top box? If I don't get
> the CableCard installed, would I have to get a STB in addition to the
> DVR?
>
> I understand there is no cable guide with CableCard. But if I had
> both CC and DVR, I would be able to get the guide, right?
>
> The cable company is Cox Cable in San Diego. I think they charge $9
> bucks or so a month for the DVR and about the same for a STB. They
> have a mandatory $60 HD hookup fee and mandatory $60 DVR hookup fee.

Wow, what a rip. It's free installation from my Time Warner provider.


> As long as I have to have them out and have to pay $120 plus for their
> labor, I'm hoping to get the HDTV-DVR-CC-HiSpeed Modem all hooked up
> and working properly. Does this seem reasonable? I don't really have
> a clue other than what you guys tell me.
>
> Thanks again,
>
> Don
>
Anonymous
May 22, 2005 8:15:41 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Don R <donsdSpamBad@rediffmail.com> wrote:

>I definitely want the DVR. I also really want the CableCard for the
>added quality and so I can use the features of my television. I did
>not consider the fact that I'll have to split the signal. Will I
>still get the better SD picture after the split?
>
>Does the DVR (the 8300HD) also act as a set top box? If I don't get
>the CableCard installed, would I have to get a STB in addition to the
>DVR?
>
>I understand there is no cable guide with CableCard. But if I had
>both CC and DVR, I would be able to get the guide, right?
>
>The cable company is Cox Cable in San Diego. I think they charge $9
>bucks or so a month for the DVR and about the same for a STB. They
>have a mandatory $60 HD hookup fee and mandatory $60 DVR hookup fee.
>As long as I have to have them out and have to pay $120 plus for their
>labor, I'm hoping to get the HDTV-DVR-CC-HiSpeed Modem all hooked up
>and working properly. Does this seem reasonable? I don't really have
>a clue other than what you guys tell me.

What kind/brand/model is your TV if i may ask ? I've been using a 32"
HD-ready tube TV for the past few years but just got a new Plasma
a few days ago (Panny 42PX50U). I'm still optimizing all my settings.

Find out which software your 8300HD uses - it'll either be SARA (boo)
or Pioneer Passport (yay). Both do basically the same thing, but
Passport has more handy features and a lot less problems, especially
on the 8300HD (a great combination). SARA is ok too, just not as
good. Menus are different, and the little hidden tips and tricks are
different between platforms. The CableCard feature will come in
handy when you're DVR is busy recording two shows and you want
to watch a third show live. Other than that you'll find yourself
watching virtually everything through your DVR's two tuners
and time-shifting everything. There are some good threads
about the SA8300HD on the HDTV Recorders forum at AVSForum.com
that you should definitely check out.

There should be no reduction in PQ if you use a good cable company
supplied splitter if you're already getting a good clean feed. I have
two DVRs on the same TV (SA8000 and SA8000HD) and i use a 4-way
splitter and the PQ to all devices is the same whether it's connected
directly to the cable alone or from the splitter so no worries there
unless you already get a poor feed.

The 8300HD also has all the rear outputs active so in addition to
HDMI you can also try connecting the S-Video output to a spare
Video input on your TV which might allow you to utilize your TV's
stretch/zoom modes when watching SD (depending on what brand/model
your TV is). SD on some TVs looks better over S-Video than over the
Component or HDMI connection so you'll have to see what looks best
on your particular TV. My Plasma reacts to these inputs the opposite
of my HD-Tube TV. YMMV.

The 8300HD supposedly became available in my area so i'll
eventually switch one or both of my older models out but
i gotta clear the old shows off first :-)

And i agree, that's a pure ripoff for them to charge not only
an HD hookup fee but also a DVR hookup fee. TWC brougtht
the DVR to my house, hooked it up to the TV and went through
all the menus for not only the DVR but my tube TV as well to
make sure everything worked together correctly - and they
don't charge anything for the visit or the connection.

Randy
Anonymous
May 22, 2005 8:45:59 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

On Sat, 21 May 2005 18:18:48 -0700, Don R
<donsdSpamBad@rediffmail.com> wrote:

>On Sun, 22 May 2005 00:43:38 +0000, Krisma wrote:
>
>> Get a dedicated line for your internet connection.
>
>I don't think that's going to happen. I'm way over my budget as it is. I
>had no idea hooking up HDTV was going to be so expensive. But thanks for
>the input.
>
>Don

for what it worth:

Time-Warner cable in Rochester, NY. No fee for hook-up of either HDTV
(SA 8300), DVR or Roadrunner. They are responsible to make sure you
have good lines to your house, once that is done, all they really do
is plug it in. If they charged for this stuff the would be losing
customers to DISH or Direct TV even faster than they allready are.
Anonymous
May 22, 2005 8:48:56 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

On Sat, 21 May 2005 21:40:33 -0400, "Randy Sweeney"
<rsweeney1@comcast.net> wrote:


>
>the 8300 is an excellent STB - it has dual HD tuners and can simultaneous
>play one HD show while recording two others.

Are you sure about that?

Watch one, record one or record two, but you can't watch one and
record two others. That would be three tuners.
Anonymous
May 22, 2005 8:48:57 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

"Charlie9" <j@b.com> wrote in message


>>the 8300 is an excellent STB - it has dual HD tuners and can simultaneous
>>play one HD show while recording two others.
>
> Are you sure about that?
>
> Watch one, record one or record two, but you can't watch one and
> record two others. That would be three tuners.

yes... the key word was "play".

The 8300 can record two HD programs to disk while simultaneously playing
back a third HD program from disk.
May 23, 2005 12:55:52 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Thanks for the replies all. As fate would have it, alt.tv.tech.hdtv
is no longer among my cox hi speed Internet newsgroup offerings. I'm
sure it has nothing to do with my posts here, but the timing is amusing.
May 23, 2005 2:04:50 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

>What kind/brand/model is your TV if i may ask ?

Randy, email to you is bouncing. My set is a Sony KD-30XS955 direct
view crt (30" wide-screen). Keep in mind though, I do not have it yet.
It's on a truck here where I live, but not yet scheduled for delivery.

>I've been using a 32"
>HD-ready tube TV for the past few years but just got a new Plasma
>a few days ago (Panny 42PX50U). I'm still optimizing all my settings.


Great!

>Find out which software your 8300HD uses - it'll either be SARA (boo)

>or Pioneer Passport (yay). Both do basically the same thing, but
>Passport has more handy features and a lot less problems, especially
>on the 8300HD (a great combination). SARA is ok too, just not as
>good.

Yes, that is my understanding from what I've read on some forums.
Unfortunately, I think Cox San Diego is using SARA.

>Menus are different, and the little hidden tips and tricks are
>different between platforms. The CableCard feature will come in
>handy when you're DVR is busy recording two shows and you want
>to watch a third show live. Other than that you'll find yourself
>watching virtually everything through your DVR's two tuners
>and time-shifting everything. There are some good threads
>about the SA8300HD on the HDTV Recorders forum at AVSForum.com
>that you should definitely check out.

Yes, I agree with you. I have been reading AVS. Bye the way, will I
require a set top box in addition to the PVR? That is, if I don't hook
up the CableCard.

>There should be no reduction in PQ if you use a good cable company
>supplied splitter if you're already getting a good clean feed. I
>have
>two DVRs on the same TV (SA8000 and SA8000HD) and i use a 4-way
>splitter and the PQ to all devices is the same whether it's connected

>directly to the cable alone or from the splitter so no worries there
>unless you already get a poor feed.

My reception is fair. One benefit I will get for my $120 is making
sure both my sets are receiving a good signal and my hi speed modem is
working while the guy is here. Hopefully, that will happen.

>And i agree, that's a pure ripoff for them to charge not only
>an HD hookup fee but also a DVR hookup fee. TWC brougtht
>the DVR to my house, hooked it up to the TV and went through
>all the menus for not only the DVR but my tube TV as well to
>make sure everything worked together correctly - and they
>don't charge anything for the visit or the connection.

That's good to know. Maybe the salesman will make me a better offer.
Or maybe I'll just use the TV for dvds and over-the-air HDTV until
their service gets a little cheaper.
Anonymous
May 23, 2005 4:03:35 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

They shouldn't charge you for it, it's just that they don't want you to know
they'll do it for no extra cost, since it takes a little longer to do.

Heck, I have Adelphia, they're bankrupt and they do it for free.


"Don R" <donsdSpamBad@rediffmail.com> wrote in message
news:p an.2005.05.22.01.18.48.303508@rediffmail.com...
> On Sun, 22 May 2005 00:43:38 +0000, Krisma wrote:
>
>> Get a dedicated line for your internet connection.
>
> I don't think that's going to happen. I'm way over my budget as it is. I
> had no idea hooking up HDTV was going to be so expensive. But thanks for
> the input.
>
> Don
>
May 23, 2005 5:04:55 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

"Randy W" <RandyLWaltersremovenospammage@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:4290aaa6.301489217@news.west.earthlink.net...
> Don R <donsdSpamBad@rediffmail.com> wrote:
Snip
> Find out which software your 8300HD uses - it'll either be SARA (boo)
> or Pioneer Passport (yay). Both do basically the same thing, but
> Passport has more handy features and a lot less problems, especially
> on the 8300HD (a great combination). SARA is ok too, just not as
> good. Menus are different, and the little hidden tips and tricks are
> different between platforms.
Snip

There is a benefit to SARA and that is the ability to easily add an external
hard disk for additional storage. I don't believe that you can do that with
the Passport OS.
Anonymous
May 23, 2005 11:45:27 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

"Joe" <Joe@NOSPAM.SPAM> wrote in message
news:Xxkke.252$TJ2.226@newssvr11.news.prodigy.com...
>
> "Randy W" <RandyLWaltersremovenospammage@earthlink.net> wrote in message
> news:4290aaa6.301489217@news.west.earthlink.net...
>> Don R <donsdSpamBad@rediffmail.com> wrote:
> Snip
>> Find out which software your 8300HD uses - it'll either be SARA (boo)
>> or Pioneer Passport (yay). Both do basically the same thing, but
>> Passport has more handy features and a lot less problems, especially
>> on the 8300HD (a great combination). SARA is ok too, just not as
>> good. Menus are different, and the little hidden tips and tricks are
>> different between platforms.
> Snip
>
> There is a benefit to SARA and that is the ability to easily add an
> external hard disk for additional storage. I don't believe that you can do
> that with the Passport OS.

How can you tell the difference between the two?
May 24, 2005 4:32:24 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

The OS is determined by the equipment that the cable company is using. In my
area, I have TimeWarner and they use SARA. In other areas, TW uses Passport.
You can call your provider and ask. If you already have the 8300HD, then you
can look on one of the menus and it will tell you (not sure which one. might
be the service menu??)

"Randy Sweeney" <DockScience@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:2cedneUSlJmE9g_fRVn-rQ@comcast.com...
>
> "Joe" <Joe@NOSPAM.SPAM> wrote in message
> news:Xxkke.252$TJ2.226@newssvr11.news.prodigy.com...
>>
>> "Randy W" <RandyLWaltersremovenospammage@earthlink.net> wrote in message
>> news:4290aaa6.301489217@news.west.earthlink.net...
>>> Don R <donsdSpamBad@rediffmail.com> wrote:
>> Snip
>>> Find out which software your 8300HD uses - it'll either be SARA (boo)
>>> or Pioneer Passport (yay). Both do basically the same thing, but
>>> Passport has more handy features and a lot less problems, especially
>>> on the 8300HD (a great combination). SARA is ok too, just not as
>>> good. Menus are different, and the little hidden tips and tricks are
>>> different between platforms.
>> Snip
>>
>> There is a benefit to SARA and that is the ability to easily add an
>> external hard disk for additional storage. I don't believe that you can
>> do that with the Passport OS.
>
> How can you tell the difference between the two?
>
!