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wasch_24
03-22-2004, 10:11 AM
I just finished my built in home theater unit this weekend :D . Tomorrow I will have Voom satellite installed :confused: . With 10 dedicted HD movie channels and 20 other HD channels it should be exciting. I will post Wednesday on my initial impressions of the install as well as the picture/sound quality.

Woochifer
03-22-2004, 11:01 AM
DEFINITELY update us on that! I'm a happy Directv subscriber, but when I make the jump to HD at the end of the year, I might be looking for other options given that their current HD lineup is fairly thin (six HD channels, and no local HD support). Voom looks very intriguing with their formidable HD channel selection and local HD support. Nothing else out there that I've seen even comes close.

Main drawback is that Voom's sports lineup looks weak (I subscribe to the Directv sports package, which picks up the regional sports networks, and CBS and ESPN alternate games), and they don't have Tivo support yet. But, given that Voom's been around less than a year, they're still getting the ball rolling and so far it sound very interesting. Let us know how the customer support and other dealings go.

wasch_24
03-22-2004, 11:11 AM
Main drawback is that Voom's sports lineup looks weak....

So far so good on the customer service side. The guy that I talked with answered most of my questions sufficiently and if he didn't know he would go find out. The only thing that was kind of strange was that there was a ton of background noise on his end. Not like there were a bunch of co-workers nearby doing the same thing he was. More like he was in a giant convention hall. I know he probably wasn't but that is how it sounded.

Initially I was leaning towards DirecTV because of Sunday ticket. But since I just dumped a load of cash on my system I really couldn't justify another $400 for their HD box. The things that hooked me with Voom were the rental of the box and the HD programming.

I will be sure to keep ya posted.

wasch_24
03-24-2004, 10:13 AM
DEFINITELY update us on that!

Well, here it goes.
Installer arrived at 0930; he had a four-hour window of 8-12.

He did his thing, which may have been simplified quite a bit because my house was already wired for satellite. By 1130 I was watching the satellite broadcasts as well as off-air broadcasts from 2 local channels.

The installer was a local contractor but he said the installation is identical to Dish and Direct (reuse of existing in house wiring for Dish and Direct customers). The only difference being that the dish points to the east-southeast instead of west-southwest for the other two.

The Voom install package, which is currently free, includes the dish, wiring and off air antennae (The box is rented for $9.50/month). The default antenna isnít quite good enough for my location (30 miles from towers). I am supposed to receive six local channels from the off-air antennae so the installer submitted a work order with Voom to obtain permission to install a better antennae still free with authorization). I am waiting to hear back from Voom on the status.

I'll leave it at that for now. I want to spend a few more hours watching Voom's programming so that I can write a little better review of what I am getting. Stand by for more.

wasch_24
03-25-2004, 09:14 AM
I just had Voom installed on Tuesday and I couldn't be more impressed or addicted.

The install went great. The PQ and SQ are awesome!

Here's the low down:
Installation: Free
Items installed: Dish, decoder box, and off-air antenna. (All Free)
Fees: Went with standard Voom (for now) $39.90
Renting Decoder $9.50
Total Monthly w/Fees+Taxes $51.20

HD programming is superb. So far the HD movie channels have been broadcasting upconverted movies. The PQ is a couple notches above a progressive scan DVD. The other nine HD channels have all been broadcasting 100% HD productions and are awesome. The only questionable channel is Moov which shows montages of CG and filmed scenes like a rocky shore line and such to music. This channel has awesome PQ but the programming is lame-just pretty pictures. The included off-air anntenna (Channel Master 3010 Stealthtenna) is a little inadequete for my location. I am currently receiving 2 of 6 locaol digital broadcasts. Voom has scheduled another appointment to have an upgraded anntenna installed (Channel Master 4228) free of charge.

As for the SD programming, I can't really comment to much on it. I have my Voom box connected to a 65" Mitsubishi Diamond and this setup is solely for movies and HD viewing. Although the stretched SD from Voom is far superior to my CATV.

Overall I am extremely pleased with the install, customer service, PQ and SQ, as well as the packaged deal of satellite and off-air HD.

Mania
03-27-2004, 09:10 PM
I'm assuming you're loving your HD programming. A couple of questions thogh

How do you integrate your Voom HD progaming with standard programming. Does Voom carry stations like CNN, Comedy Central, AMC, etc?

Do you have a PVR? Do would one integrate a PVR since none (I belive) can handle component video in?

joel2762
03-29-2004, 02:57 AM
Sounds very cool, just like to let everyone know, there's an article on Voom in the April S & V mag. might be on their site www.soundandvisionmag.com (http://www.soundandvisionmag.com)

jeskibuff
03-29-2004, 03:33 AM
Voom has scheduled another appointment to have an upgraded anntenna installed (Channel Master 4228) free of charge.Sounds like Voom's doing a good job trying to keep the customer satisfied. The 4228 is supposed to be one of the best for HDTV reception, at least it was when I was shopping for one and bought mine. I have mine in the attic, but still have a gain amplifier on it to minimize dropouts and pixelization.

wasch_24
03-29-2004, 10:05 AM
I'm assuming you're loving your HD programming. A couple of questions thogh

How do you integrate your Voom HD progaming with standard programming. Does Voom carry stations like CNN, Comedy Central, AMC, etc?

Do you have a PVR? Do would one integrate a PVR since none (I belive) can handle component video in?


You assume correctly, I am LOOOOOving the HD programming as well as the picture and sound quality. All of the HD channels are Dolby Digital 5.1 and most are true HD (produced in HD as opposed to converted to HD)

Voom does carry standard programming in addition to the HD. The only players that I have noticed are missing are ESPN (the whole group) and USA. Everything else is pretty standard, CNN, Comedy Central, AMC etc. The only thing that I don't like about the standard definition programming is the fact that the Voom box stretches the SD picture. Not that it is a big deal it's just that I prefer how my TV does the stretching. Check out their website for all the channels, www.voom.com . The picture quality of the SD programming is comparable to Dish and DirecTV.

I don't have a PVR but I have heard that Voom is working on getting an HD recorder out sometime in the future.

Feel free to ask me anything else about it.

wasch_24
03-29-2004, 10:09 AM
Sounds very cool, just like to let everyone know, there's an article on Voom in the April S & V mag. might be on their site www.soundandvisionmag.com (http://www.soundandvisionmag.com)

The guy that wrote this article is right on with his description of Voom except that it is $0 down until May and your install may vary due to contractor and volume of calls to activation center. I only had to wait 20 minutes after the physical install to begin receiving programming.

It does take anywhere from 5-7 seconds to tune into each station but I hardly realize it anymore.

wasch_24
03-29-2004, 10:14 AM
Sounds like Voom's doing a good job trying to keep the customer satisfied. The 4228 is supposed to be one of the best for HDTV reception, at least it was when I was shopping for one and bought mine. I have mine in the attic, but still have a gain amplifier on it to minimize dropouts and pixelization.

Yeah, hopefully this antenna will let me pick up all the off-air local channels.

The cool thing about the Voom deal is that the off-air programming is integrated right into the satellite channel guide.

I have a tuner in my TV but using the Voom box for my off-air as well as the satellite programming has allowed me to run everything through my Yamaha RX-V1400 so I don't have to ever change inputs when watching off-air, satellite, or DVD.

Woochifer
03-30-2004, 12:28 PM
You assume correctly, I am LOOOOOving the HD programming as well as the picture and sound quality. All of the HD channels are Dolby Digital 5.1 and most are true HD (produced in HD as opposed to converted to HD)

Voom does carry standard programming in addition to the HD. The only players that I have noticed are missing are ESPN (the whole group) and USA. Everything else is pretty standard, CNN, Comedy Central, AMC etc. The only thing that I don't like about the standard definition programming is the fact that the Voom box stretches the SD picture. Not that it is a big deal it's just that I prefer how my TV does the stretching.

Thanks for all the good info about Voom. It will come in handy when I cross that HD bridge around the end of the year.

I heard that Voom stretched all of their widescreen movies to fit the 16:9 ratio, including the 2.35:1 material. But, I didn't know that they stretched the 4:3 material into 16:9 as well! That seems really strange that they do that. I've never liked how 4:3 looks when stretched into widescreen, not just because everyone looks fat but because the picture gets blurry looking as well. I heard that some viewers are petitioning Voom to deliver their widescreen movies in the original aspect ratio, even if it means black bars with movies filmed in scope (2.35:1). I would hope so. That whole mentality of compressing, chopping, or stretching the image to fill the TV screen just seems dated to me.

wasch_24
03-31-2004, 07:04 AM
Thanks for all the good info about Voom. It will come in handy when I cross that HD bridge around the end of the year.

I heard that Voom stretched all of their widescreen movies to fit the 16:9 ratio, including the 2.35:1 material. But, I didn't know that they stretched the 4:3 material into 16:9 as well! That seems really strange that they do that. I've never liked how 4:3 looks when stretched into widescreen, not just because everyone looks fat but because the picture gets blurry looking as well. I heard that some viewers are petitioning Voom to deliver their widescreen movies in the original aspect ratio, even if it means black bars with movies filmed in scope (2.35:1). I would hope so. That whole mentality of compressing, chopping, or stretching the image to fill the TV screen just seems dated to me.

There are settings in the box that allow you to view SD with pillars. But when connected to the HD input on a TV you can't zoom or stretch on your own.

Yes, there is quite a large group of folks approaching Voom about modifying the original aspect ratio of their programming. Although that will only affect Voom's programming. StarzHD, HBOHD, etc. do their modifications on their own and Voom has no control over that.

Here is a link to a Voom oriented forum, http://www.satelliteguys.us/forumdisplay.php?forumid=24
There are a lot of current subscribers in this forum.