811 for SD and OTA HD with front projector


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New Member
Original poster
Jul 23, 2004

I recently got a BenQ 6200 (1024x768) and built a 96x54 screen for it. I've been with DirecTV (with Ultimate TV) for years, but their deals for existing subscribers s*ck, so I'm looking to switch to Dish to get HD and more receivers (only have 1 now but want 4 or 5).

Reading the various threads here on the 811 hasn't left me with a clear picture about its abilities. I live in the Wash DC metro area, about 40 miles away, and my HD signal strength is likely to be weak, so the OTA tuner must be fairly decent. Not sure that's the case with the 811!?

Also, most people seem to find the picture quality of SD on a projector mediocre at best to unwatchable for some. In my case I'd be using the component out and send the 1080i upconverted signal to the projector. Main use for SD would be football and soccer games. Is it really that bad or just in comparison to the HD quality? Would you compare yours to VHS (240 lines), OTA TV (330 lines), SD Sat (400 lines?), or DVD (480 lines)?

Finally, what about the issues with lockups, slow channel switching, etc?

BTW, my plan is to get a 522, a 510, and an 811 now and later buy the 921/942(?) once the price is more reasonable and I know whether I'll stay with Dish.

Why not get a proven reliable HD receiver (Hughes HTL-HD) for the $99 upgrade price from D's customer retention dept, instead of the hassle of switching providers, and getting stuck with what is now a very buggy receiver. Sure, someday, the 811 may be the cat's pajamas. But, it ain't there yet.
In addition, DirceTV will definitely be adding FoxHD, and probably quite a bit more HD before the year is out. Don't forget all the channels you'll be giving up, as well: Trio, NFL, Oxygen, Fuel, NewsWorld, FitTV, Fine Living, and some others. OTOH, you'll be gaining about 8 more shopping channels, so you'll have that going for ya.
I've been using an 811 with an X1 projector since December. SD quality varies greatly. Some channels look great while others are pretty poor. Usually the more highly compressed channels, like locals, are going be kind of so-so. The projector makes signal imperfections much more obvious. On the flip side, I've found some of the letterbox shows on Sci-Fi look really good when I show them in 4X3 mode. They pretty much fill up a 16x9 screen. The Stargate shows looks almost HD quality. Andromeda looks pretty good too. HD looks awesome by the way. Your football and soccer games are probably going to look great in HD and just okay in SD. As for off-air reception, mine does pretty good. I live in Roanoke,VA and can get all of the Roanoke channels as well as ABC out of Lynchburg (about 50 miles away). OTA varies greatly by area, so you ought to talk to people who live near you about reception, but I think the 811 tuner is probably about average. As for bugs, it works pretty well now. I still have an occasional problem, but nothing like when it first came out.


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