Set-Top Boxes

HDTV and SDTV

Let's get one thing straight: Digital TV is not just HDTV -- it's just that HDTV is so gorgeous that it gets the lion's share of publicity. HDTV is high-resolution digital television (DTV) combined with Dolby AC-3 surround sound. To watch HDTV you need at least two things: a HD-STB and a HD-capable screen (whether it is plasma, rear projection, LCD or CRT). To get the most out of it you should also have a decent sound system (preferably capable of Dolby Digital 5.1).

The big advantage of HDTV, of course, is that it gives you widescreen format plus a higher resolution -- and therefore, sharper -- picture.

Resolutions

HDTV in Australia can supply images with up to 1080i (interlaced) lines of resolution -- ie, 1080 lines of 1920 pixels with 50Hz interlaced scanning. At this level, HDTV quality is technically far better than what you get from a DVD, and almost as good as the quality of high-definition discs, such as Blu-ray or HD-DVD.

When people refer to HDTV they usually also include 720p (progressive) and 720i (interlaced) formats. This is 720 lines of 1280 pixels. The progressive formats have twice the amount of vertical scan lines and are therefore of higher quality than their interlaced equivalents -- eg, 720p is clearer than 720i. The benefits of HD pictures are particularly noticeable on larger widescreens and when using high-resolution projection equipment.

HDTV can also include 576p, as "High-Definition" technically includes anything above the 576i standard of SDTV. Some stations broadcast their HDTV content at this 576p standard, so, even if you have a high-resolution TV and a HD-STB you will notice quite a difference between this content and content which is broadcast at the top-quality standard of 1080i.

For this reason, from a buyer's point of view, you need to make sure of the numbers because a screen can be marketed as a "High-Definition" and not be capable of the higher resolutions that you are really looking for.

SDTV broadcasts also provide widescreen picture format with DVD picture quality and CD-quality sound (MPEG digital stereo sound and/or Dolby Digital Sound), but at 576i resolution (576 lines x 720 pixels @ 50Hz interlaced). Most recent model analogue sets are capable of displaying 576i when connected to an STB. It is worth noting that the 576i SDTV format is almost identical to the quality of DVD movie discs, so even an SD-STB will give you crisper, clearer quality than analogue reception on your existing (older) TV.

HDTV is still not yet being broadcast all the time. The good news for those with a SD-STB is that the Federal Government requires broadcasters to provide an SD signal at all times. So anyone with an SD-STB will always be able to receive digital television even when the higher quality HD television signal is being transmitted. If you have an HD-STB you will still receive SD signals when HD signals are not available. It's also worth noting that no exclusive content is broadcast in HD. Everything that's shown in HD will be shown at the same time in SD, so you won't miss out on any programmes by skipping HD.

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GoodGearGuide Staff

Good Gear Guide

34 Comments

taolinr

1

The future of STB

It is really confused me because as we know, the STB is really needed for every families. However, the STB companies are still hard in this era for them. WHY?

Skye

2

set top box

hello, my brother in law gave us his set top box as we brought his hd plasma tv. We live out in the bush (300kms east of perth,wa) so can we recieve the channels now and also, do you have instructions on how to set it up....brother in law lost the instructions...please help!!
thank you x

HOTHIL

3

SET TOP BOX

What brand is the set top box and model number? I've got a User Manual for Thomson DT1500AU set top box if thats any help. Let me know and i'll email you an electronic copy of the book.

alaz

4

manual for STB

I have been looking for a manual can you email it to me please??? DT 1500 AU
alaz@hotmail.com

Stewart

5

Thomson DT1500AU Set Top Box

Hi, Iam looking for a manual to. Can you please tell me if you had any luck and if so can you pass on any information. Thanks for any help, Stewart. PS Do you know what your 12v adapter has as mA and amps. Mine is 100mA 1A.

ondo29

6

Thomson DT1500AU Set Top Box

Hi, I have Thompson DT1500AU but no manual. If you could email me an electronic copy I would be very grateful. Thanks for any help. Regards, Stewart.

ondo29

7

Thomson DT1500AU Set Top Box

I have been looking for a manual can you email it to me please??? DT 1500 AU. Thanks, Stewart. ondo@live.com.au

Anonymous

8

settop box intallation

how to install settop box.
do we need dish for that

Vernon Nolan

9

set top box

I am trying to connect a Centrex CTDTV100 STB to a TCL LCDTV15E75S but the instructions do not seem very clear. The best I can get is a B&W picture and no sound.

If you can give me clear directions, I would appreciate it.
Thanks,
Vernon

Karen

10

analogue tvs

Can you turn any analogue tv into digital with a set top box? Does it need to be a "digital SD or HD"?

Shirley

11

no reception

I have a set top box connected. I live in a wheatbelt town in Western Australia I can receive 4 ABC and SBS channels but not GWN or WIN. Could you tell me why?
Ta

Anonymous

12

set top box installation

I have installed a Platinum Twin Tuner SD Set Top Box but I am unable to receive digital TV. What should I do ?

Ian bowles

13

picture breaking up after one year of use

I have had a set top box connected to my TV for about 1 1/2 years. For the last tree days the picture has been breaking up like you get with a lighting storm or you are playing a bad DVD. I live in Newcastle can you help.
Thanks Ian

Peter

14

digital tv reception problems

Have just installed a digital set top box.

Occasionally picture breaks up, but no more often than we experienced with trhe analogue signal.

However picture and sound frequently stall, stutter and skip - as in a faulty DVD.

Signal level is reported as 60% on average, quality 90% and greater.

Where do we start looking for a solution?

Sagem set top box

15

Set top box

I just bought a sagem digital set top box and I'm really pleased. Highly recommended

www.sagemdigital.co.uk

Looked at a humax too but decided against

Tone

16

STB

We have a motel in Bundaberg Qld with 11 rooms and 13 TV's off one airiel. No cable, no dish. At present we are only running on analogue but we are going on for 20 minutes off for 20minutes whats happening? We have been told switch off is in 12 months time. Do I need 1 STB for the main ariel or do I need one for each TV.

Anonymous

17

restore channels

HI
i wrongly press factory reset button on my TEAC HDB820 now i don't know how to restore all channels back please help THANKS

Anonymous

18

The same thing happened to me after a similar timeframe. As Dick Smith sells Std definition set top boxes (currently for $37) although I bought 3 @ $27 each. I'd just replace your set top box.

AVICKInonymous

19

set top box SD or HD?

HOW DO I FIND OUT IF I NEED A SD OR A HD SET TOP BOX. I DON'T KNOW IF THE TV IS DIGITAL OR ANALOGUE!!!!!!!

Jeannie

20

my Tivo set top box was working fine with my TV but since last night it's been 'stuck ' on Channel 7 (I live in Adelaide). I can get only 7, 71, 7HD, 72 and 73. My remote signals all channels, which initially show up on the TV monitor, but they default to 7 on the set top box display. Can anyone figure out what's happening and how I might fix this problem?
Thanks

Kellyann

21

Hi. Can I reprogram a Strong brand remote to work on another set top box?

MICHELLE

22

I've got a set top box which used to work perfectly when i lived in london, now i live in Calton ng4 1gp and it keeps saying no signal. What do i do?

Sanyuan Tang

23

Hello, we are the Chinese manufacturer of TV set top box, We including HD DVB-T, SD DVB-T, HD ISDB-T ect.

Games86

24

Can I get a manual sent for the DT1500AU too pls?
games86@live.com.au

lina

25

We, Shenzhen Colorbal Technology Co.Ltd, are professional in manufacturing,developing and marketing digital satellite products for nearly 6 years,with covering SD/HD DVB-S FTA/CI, SD/HD DVB-C with Conax CA , SD/HD DVB-T FTA/CI and ect. Hope to establish business relationship with you.

greg

26

Hi hothil

I would apreciate a copy of the Thomson STB dt1500 manual if you could supply

Greg

kevin

27

hi there i have a thomson dti 1500 could anyone email me a user and instruction manual for this please

thanks kev

Harinder

28

Hi, I am new to the country and do not know if a set top box is required for free channels... can anyone advise please?

Bruce

29

Can I connect a set top box to a HD digital TV, that does not have an audio out of any kind, by using the aerial in and out of the set top box and then use the audio out of a set top box for head phones or speakers? Will this connection cause any disruption to the TV operation?

Ara Markarian

30

I need a manual for thomson dti1500 HD

HOTHIL

31

re THOMSON 1500 SET TOP BOX: To all of you who want an electronic copy of this manual, please email me on hilaryliz@gmail.com, and provide your email address so i can send one to you. If you dont provide your email address on here, i cannot send one to you. Or contact me via my own website: http://www.hothil.com.au. Merry Xmas & Happy New Year.

Martin

32

Im after info on installing my high def box to my DVD recorder .
Will this work the DVD recorder is not high def.Thanks

james

33

BOX*

james

34

i have a set top bex and all it says is no signal so we dont get tv now how do i fix it

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