Thanks for all the congrats and kind words. I've wanted to respond, but my weekend has been a bit busy.
In a word, wow. Absolutely incredible TV.
As I hoped, my Dish Network install/upgrade went a whole lot more smoothly than Nick's experience. The scheduled time was noon-5 on friday. Their dispatch office called me at 4 to say they were running late but should be here by 5:30 or 6. At 5:30 the installer himself called to appologize and say that he had some trouble with earlier installs and would be here around 7, but promised that he would be here. At about 6:45 he and another guy showed up. Extremely appologetic for being so late. A really good couple of guys. We were up and running with full HD by about 7:30. Kudos to them for working until 7:30 on a Friday night, and he really took the time to peak the dish and to make sure that everything was working correctly.
I spent several hours yesterday tinkering with the DB4 & a Radio Shack UHF signal amplifier. I'm pretty impressed. The best place I found was from an attic window. I'm sure the roof would be better but I'm not really in the mood to deal with the hassle & expense of doing that just yet. Pointed east, towards all of the possible stations I could get, 100% signal on the 760kW ABC and 335kW Fox stations located 30 miles away (Springfield). Those are expected. The Terk HDTVa sitting in my den could pull those in. But with ths DB4 & amp, I'm also pulling in 65-80% signal on the 350kW NBC HD tower that's 76
miles away ( Decatur,IL). But since it's HD, it's a perfect signal. Freaking awesome.
Olympics 2008, here we come!
Still no dice on CBS-HD. The nearest tower is 72 miles away (same direction as the others) and 100kW more powerful than the NBC tower, but I've learned that it's not as tall. Bummer. I'll just deal with the SD feed from the Dish for now. All of the SD programming is up-converted to 1080i by my Dish 722 receiver, which is nice. Certainly still SD, but it's not too bad.
Dropped & ran the antenna coax down to the basement and back up to the den, so it's all neat and tidy. Much better than coax cable running all over the house.
The picture. Oh my goodness. Incredible. We've spent a large part of the weekend just watching HD stuff. I'm sure everyone who has gone through this transition has done exactly the same thing. The locals in HD are stunning when they're broadcasting true HD feeds. All of the Dish HD channels are gorgeous as well, and I can't really tell a difference between the compressed satellite HD feed vs. OTA. Of course, we're quickly learning that the programming makes a huge difference. Battlestar Galactica on Friday was stunning
. Extremely impressed with the black levels too, as that had been a minor concern with DLP sets.
And since we're all here for Axiom, the sound is also incredible. The real Dolby Digital feeds on the HD channels are fantastic. No surprise that the audio realism seems cranked up a notch as well.
Did someone say pix?
I do not have the luxury of a dedicated home theater room, so this is just our den, which is well lit. I'm happy to report zero glare or brightness isues.
And a still from a Blue Man Group concert on one of the HD channels. Pictures just don't do it justice!