Affordable DTV Satellite Receivers Proliferate

Affordable set-top boxes for the reception of digital television signals from Direct Broadcast Satellites are popping up like spring flowers. At prices from under $250 to about $400, the STBs (set-top boxes) offer a lot of bang for the buck.

High-resolution fans may want to look into Dish Network's 6000 HD receiver. At $399, this box is the only model currently available that offers native output for 720p. A good online source for the 600 is Dish Depot. Sony's HD100 is the only model with FireWire output, for connecting to those few consumer-electronics products so equipped. The HD100 sells for $250. Both the Sony and Dish models have 15-pin RGB and wideband component outputs. And Hughes Electronics' $399 Platinum HSYE-4686 HDTV DirecTV receiver offers only wideband component output (Y–Pr–Pb).

All three of the new STBs are equipped with 8VSB decoders, making them fully compatible with Federal Communications Commission standards. The Sony and Hughes models can be purchased online at Orbit Online Superstore.