Sony SAT-HD200 Tuners

SAT-HD200

  • receives and decodes all over-the-air HDTV/SDTV formats, DIRECTV (standard and high-def) signals, plus over-the air analog (NTSC) signals and most unscrambled analog cable channels
  • output options: 1080i, 720p, 480p, 480i, plus three variable modes
  • Advanced Program Guide displays program information for DIRECTV and digital and analog over-the-air signals in a single on-screen guide (requires DIRECTV subscription)
  • 2 sets of A/V outputs (2 composite, 1 S-video, and one 1080i/720p/480p component video)
  • DVI HDTV output with HDCP copy protection (1080i/720p/480p); cable included
  • RGB output — D-sub 15-pin connector (1080i/720p/480p)
  • 3 RF inputs (Antenna, Satellite, Cable)
  • RF output
  • optical digital output for Dolby Digital/PCM
  • multibrand remote control with glow-in-the-dark buttons
  • 16-15/16"W x 3-1/16"H x 14-1/2"D

User Reviews (1)

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langchen   AudioPhile [Apr 25, 2006]
Strength:

Stuning color and sharpness in HD programs. Standard Definition pictures also very good (much better than Toshiba DST-3000's SDTV and almost same as the DST-3000's HDTV!) First rate sound quality. The best sound among all TV tuners/receivers I have heard. sensitivity is as good as the DST-3000.

Improved access to often-use operations on remote control unit.

Weakness:

Cannot delete the weak-signal stations in the list.

I cannot believe that this popular site does not have a review for this out-standing HDTV/DirecTV receiver. I spent $100 and get a used SAT HD200 to test myself. I was using the Toshiba DST-3000 HDTV/DirecTV receiver to receive only OTA (free over the air) TV signals in Bay Area, San Francisco. My place can see the TV tower and therefore can receive most major DTV channels in Bay Area.

This is one of my best investment on electronics! I immediately noticed the improvement in pictures over the DST-3000. The color is more natural. The picture is brighter. The sharpness is remarkably better. My AV set-up includes the Panasonic 50PHD8UK (an excellent HDTV monitor.) and Classe Amplifier and Celestion 6SLsi. This set up can easily separate the good audio/video quality from the not-so-good ones. With this set up, everyone can easily tell the improvement on both video and audio from this Sony SAT HD200. I thought the DST-3000 was already much better compare to the analog TV channels I view on my Sony 24" tube TV. But this Sony simply set a new standard for HDTV pictures and sounds! On my Panny 50" plasma, the Toshiba's HDTV programs look like SDTV programs compare to the Sony! The Sony is that good! I am not saying that Toshiba's HDTV pictures are bad. Because, they obviously seem much better than SDTV programs from Toshiba itself! The sound improvement from Sony over Toshiba was noticable but not remarkable.

Sony has a 102 page manual comes with this unit. I would strongly recommend you to read it before you use it. I saw a review of the HD200 on the internet. Many "weak points" about this HD200 by the reviewer were simply due to lack of knowledge of using this unit. For example, the reviewer said that it does not have a signal strength indicator. But you simply press "signal" botton on the remote control, you may see the signal strength (for DTV channels only) on the screen! You can also push one botton on the remote control to change the output format (480i, 480P, 720P, 1080P). So you do not have to access this function on the front panel of the HD200 itself! You have to input your current zip code in order to get the staiion list range before you "auto-program"( i.e. auto-find stations). Otherwise, you may not find all channels in your area! I could not see 9.1 (but can see 9.2 - 9.5) in the first place. After correct the zip code, I was able to see 9.1 PBS HDTV channel (stuning pictures!) All those can be found in the manual. So please do not blame Sony for lack of something simply because you did not read manual and did not know how to get it!

Since I only use this unit for OTA purpose, I cannot commend on the DirecTV receptions. There are issues on Satelite channel programs which I cannot encounter. But as a OTA HDTV receiver, this is an excellent one! I would strongly recommend this unit. If you see one on Ebay or other used market for around $100, pick it up without hesitation! I would give it a 6 star for its value at $100! I am not sure if the new Samsung HDTV tuner has Sony's breed, but they are more expensive than $100 for sure. With the excellent picture and sound quality and easy of use (after you get familiar with the functions), I would stick to this Sony HD200. I cannot imagine that the HD300 can have any improvement on the picture or sound quality, so it is not worth more money for HD300.

Customer Service

I called the Sony service once. Got response very quickly. But no solution!

I figured the issue out myself through the manual and the Sony Web site. (Input your zip code in "channel setup". Reboot by pushing , and buttons at the same time.

Similar Products Used: Toshiba DST-3000. Panasonic HDTV receiver (don't remember the model).
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
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