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HD Digital Tuners

Dish6000 vs. Samsung SIR-T150

 

 

Remote Control

Both remotes were simple, easy to use, and comfortable. The T150 has a little joystick for moving the on-screen pointer similar to a PC mouse control. The 6000 uses radio frequency that has a much farther range than the T150's infrared. Dish6000vsSamsungSIR-T150_001.jpg (50355 bytes)

 

 

Signal Meter

Dish6000

The 6000 has a separate menu for adding channels. The signal meter has a 0-100% bar scale. I find this much more useful for fine tuning and comparing signal strengths.

Dish6000vsSamsungSIR-T150_019.jpg (53710 bytes)
Samsung SIR-T150

The T150 has a transparent window that displays two indicators. The top indicator is a little arrow above a scale. The lower indicator is a bar scale that extends from a transmitter icon. You have to count the number of bars since there is no numerical display.

Dish6000vsSamsungSIR-T150_018.jpg (56619 bytes)

 

 

Program Guide

Dish6000

The 6000 does not display any program information for local digital channels. It does keep satellite channels in the same guide, because of this, the receiver may have to download new information (about 30 sec) before the guide will display.

Dish6000vsSamsungSIR-T150_022.jpg (53495 bytes)
Samsung SIR-T150

The T150 displays program information on some channels and displays a small picture of the current channel in the upper left corner. It takes a very long time to retrieve the channels information (about 2 min) so I never bothered to use it.

Dish6000vsSamsungSIR-T150_026.jpg (55732 bytes)

 

 

Picture Quality

Both receivers displayed a equal quality picture. The T150's picture was a little darker. The smaller PIP is from the T150. This is not caused by the PIP, I swapped inputs and the Dish6000 would still show a brighter picture in the PIP frame.

Dish6000vsSamsungSIR-T150_036.jpg (44894 bytes)

PIP=T150

 

 

Signal Reception #1

The only accurate way to compare reception is to run both receivers simultaneously. I put a 2-way splitter on the coax from the antenna and ran a coax to each receiver input. I then connected the analog output from the receivers to the TV. I could then display the same channels using Picture-in-a-Picture (PIP). It was easy to see the tuning threshold of each receiver by rotating the antenna until the picture starts to drop out. The Dish6000 would always begin to drop out before the T150 as can be seen in this example picture.

Dish6000vsSamsungSIR-T150_038.jpg (51023 bytes)

PIP=T150

 

 

Signal Reception #2

In this test, I am trying to tune in UPN channel 66. This is a difficult channel to get at my location. The T150 was able to display a broken up picture while the Dish6000 would not lock on to a picture at all. The Dish6000 needs at least a 45-46% signal before a picture will display, and 48% to keep picture solid and locked in. In this test, which I monitored for 15 minutes, the T150 never locked in a solid picture for longer than 1 second, but it did display a broken up picture without completely dropping out to a black screen.

Dish6000vsSamsungSIR-T150_057.jpg (47690 bytes)

PIP=T150

 

 

Aspect Ratio Settings

This was a very big problem for me. I have a Panasonic RPTV that does not do vertical compression.

The T150 will not show a letterboxed widescreen picture on a 4:3 set unless the TV can perform a vertical squeeze. In "Full" mode, you get black side bars and a over-scanned, vertically stretched image from top to bottom. In "Zoom" mode, you get a non-stretched image that fills the screen by cutting off both sides. Neither is acceptable.

The Dish600 has a option which allows letterboxing on 4:3 sets that cannot do vertical compression (see picture).

Also, the T150 does not have any image centering controls. The Dish6000 will allow you to shift the image up, down, left, and right.

Dish6000vsSamsungSIR-T150_060.jpg (52790 bytes)

Dish6000 Aspect Ratio Menu

 

Conclusion

  • The T150 has a slightly better OTA tuner than the Dish6000. I would not replace a Dish6000 with the T150, but if you are looking for a new OTA tuner, the T150 is one of the best available right now.
  • The Dish6000 costs less and also has the capability to tune in HDTV and SD channels from four different  satellites on the Dish Network. This makes the Dish6000 the best bargain.
  • If your 4:3 set does not do vertical compression, forget about using the T150. Maybe the T160 will have better aspect ratio controls.
  • The T150 cannot tune in satellite signals, but the upcoming T160 supposedly will.

Note: Pictures of TV screen were taken with a Olympus D-340L using no flash from a distance of four feet in a dark room.

 

  


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