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Wed, Jun 14, 2006 1:36 AM

Report on my new H20-100 and lip-sync.

Recognizing I might be creating a problem (unintented) for someone or entity, I would like to report on the issue of "lip-sync", as well as some of the other issues relating to the H20.

My first H20 was an H20-600, Mfr. date 10-20-05. It had major lip-sync issues, along with some other weird stuff. My main concern was the lip-sync. So I got a replacement. I got another refurbished H20-600, mfr. date 10-29-05, with not only the same lip-sync issues, but a few others as well. Not happy then. more so now.

Spending a great deal of time trying to debug it all with Level 2+ tech support, and with a lot of who-what-where-when stuff, and the ability to report on the findings of SD-DT-OTA mpeg2/mpeg4, Sat vs. OTA tuners, etc. comparisons on the four main HD locals in my area, with some very fortunate luck I was able to get a brand new H20-100, mfr. date 5-17-06, and can offer the followng:

Is the lip-sync problem gone?-- well, sometimes yes, and sometimes no. I'm in the SF Bay Area DMA (San francisco Bay area) When it comes to lip-sync, i's a lot better than it was with my prior H20-600's.

With the four HD locals in my area (FOX-CBS-ABC-NBC), sometimes they are right on--in other words no lip-sync issues. But not always. ABC via my ABC HD local (KGO) is not often without some discernable lip-sync issue. NBC to a far lesser degree.
Of course by now, I'm keenly aware of less than 100 milliseconds of lip-sync delay. I'd estimate 50ms as my threshold.

But what can I tell you about all this? Well, It's clear to me that D* is working on it. My H20-100 is far better than either of the previous H20-600's. The Guide menu of the -100 is far more responsive. I have few if any black-outs prior to detection of the HD local signal. 5-8 seconds I can tolerate. Someday that will get fixed, in my opinion.

Am I better off with my H20-100? No question about it. But I'm also aware that D* is really trying to solve the problem. From day to day I see slight variations in the existence of lip-sync issues, but I'm willing to be patient. I think that the problem is DMA related. All my HD locals come off the 103 Sat.

If it were an easy fix folks, it would have already been done. Some of it is the problem with the early H20-600's, and some of it is internal to the mpeg4 processing that is beyond our (and my) limited technical acumen.

Gnash your teeth, (as I have done in the past), but stick it out. MPEG4 is a whole new compression algorythm that is beyond most of us, including me.

Let the engineering folks at D* continue to work on it, and make sure you share your concerns. Would I go back to cable? Not likely.

Bob VH

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