Personally i am very happy with my Pansat 2700a, it has blind scan, USALS, AC3 out and is all in all a very nice unit. I also have a st3618 and i think the pansat is a much nicer unit, more features and easier to use.
Now that the Fortec Lifetime Ultra's are $99 with shipping INCLUDED I'm really tempted to grab one My Twinhan pci card is nice, but I'd love to blind scan. I just keep telling myself... reciever prices can only go down! Get the 120cm first, then beef up the reciever..
With the satworks 3618, when using the svideo out i had to change my tv's contrast, brightness, and color levels to get a "true" picture. That is not a problem at with the Pansat. While both give an excellant picture, i like the pansats better. Matter of fact, the pansat gives just as good a picture as i get off of my c-band analog reciever.
The coolsat or digiwave clone has an excellent picture (second to none in my mind). However nothing wrong with the Pansat's or Fortec's (good qual recievers). A guys got to watch though, some advertise a blind scan, and all they have is a "Network" feature, which on some, really doesn't blind scan.
Twinhan 1020a, sg2100, 30" wineguard, soon to have 27" small C band setup. (just working on it).
Sadoun has been great supporting me on my little adveanture.. I quiet havent decided whitch reciver to get.. I want to keep my current one for the NIAGRA capablities.. Just in case (never know when you might need it) but anyhow is there any hd recivers with blind scan and whats the price range on those babys.
From what I've heard discussed on the FTA forum about set-top receivers in the past that support HDTV, they are much more expensive than the regular receivers. You can purchase a PCI FTA receiver card for your computer that would be capable of decoding HDTV FTA for your computer for about the same price as a regular SD FTA receiver, but it won't have blind scanning function unless you download some of these "beta" software that allows it. From what I've heard also, the only FTA DVB channel that supports HDTV is the PBS channel. Wealth HD is another FTA channel that I know of, but it requires a C-band dish as well as a 4DTV receiver in order to pick it up.
I would stay away from cheap clone receivers for the following reasons: 1- Cheap electronic components (tuner,chipset,capacitors,voltage rglators, etc) used in mfg. 2- Very limited to no support from mfg/dealer. 3- No long-term reliability established. 4- Limited in features (AC3, USALS, user friendly menus,channel editing, favorite list, sorting, etc.)
I got a dvb card.. I havent had a chance to play with it and the twinihan yet.. Any one know of any betas with FTA cap that will work with a twinihan??? I think i will swing by to my True south point witch happens to have PBS HD and give that a shot.... I just wanna play..