Pros Picture quality
Cons Dolby sync problem, self reboots mid picture
Summary I bought this at Circuit City for $149.97, and am pleased with the video performance. However it's not a high quality item. I use an excellent outdoor antenna that brings in very decent OTA reception on a Dish 811 receiver, but the Samsung unit often loses the signal of the channel being watched or being switched to and reboots. Also, even with its transmitter within line of site one channel often ghosts in odd colors. My main gripe though is that Dolby 5.1 audio almost invariably loses sync with the image after a minute or two. This hasn't happened with with PCM audio, nor has it occurred with plug-into-the-TV audio.Updated
I returned the Samsung 451 to Circuit City which provided a no-hassle refund, and bought the Humax HFA100 from Frys for $206.99. The Humax unit works a lot better. More channels come in. The program guide works well (Samsung's didn't). Dolby hook-up sounds great. The Samsung unit has a slight edge on picture quality. The Humax zips through the channels like a conventional TV would through cable channels where Samsung was frustratingly slow. Samsung had plenty of codes for Panasonic TVs but none worked, while Humax had four codes listed under mispelled "Ranasonic" and the remote works (though Humax's remote batteries were dead). What steered me away from Humax originally was that they spelled "Resolution" wrong on the labelling in the front of the unit itself. I figured that if they do that on the outside they'd probably do worse on the inside. Doesn't seem so though.
Pros Inexpensive; good reception; easy setup
Cons No codes to program it into my Sharp Aquos remote
Summary I recently purchased my first HDTV; a Sharp Aquos monitor. I purchased this receiver hoping for the best but expecting the worst. Though it can receive HD cable, I don't subscribe to this service and don't want to spend the money. After purchasing a fairly cheap set of amplified rabbit ears from Radio Shack, I hooked it all up and let the auto programming on the receiver do its stuff. EXCELLENT reception of HD and non-HD channels! More HD content available off-air than I could have gotten through Dish Network after paying the monthly $9.99 fee. This thing is the way to go for subscription free HDTV!
Pros Available in local stores like Circuit City. Digital stations look so cool.
Cons Alittle harder to set up than the Humax HDTV tuner.
Summary Got one of these for my sister in law who has a Sony HDTV compatible (I refuse to use the term HDTV "ready") TV. She got at least 6 different channels and most were Baltimore and not Washington, DC from her home in Silver Spring, MD. The high definition channels just blow the regular analog broadcast channels completely away. I personally like our Humax tuner that my wife and I bought as it seems simpler to set up but you do have to order this online verses the Samsung which can be bought locally for $250 or so. It's probably money very well spent if you do not have cable or satelite TV service and can get reception of the HD over the air broadcast signals. Don't watch regular broadcast signals on a HDTV compatible TV when you can get a nice little tuner box like this or the Humax tuner for around $250 or less. Your eyes and brain will tell you (maybe even scream) it is money well spent.
Pros Easy to use and set up
Cons Very poor reliability and company service
Summary I have had very bad luck with Samsung products in general especially with their HDTV tuners. The first tuner was an SIR-T351. It gave very good performance (very high signal sensitivity). It failed after 6 weeks. It was returned to the manufacturer for service. It was returned without the remote control. The tuner was intermittent. Samsung replaced it with an SIR-T451. The replacement was defective right out of the box. It was returned for repair but came back with the same problem. A second tuner also had the same problem: the reception fades in and out over a 20 to 30 second interval after the tuner has been on for 5 minutes. The new tuners do not seem have the sensitivity as the old SIR-T351.
Pros stylish, simple
Cons slow channel change
Summary When I found out that over the air (OTA) hdtv tuners can be used with analog tvs, I jumped on the FREE hdtv broadcasting bandwagon. A lot of people on this review seem to be talking about the Humax model, but I bought the samsung refurbished for $140 on ebay. And I added the 3 year warranty from squaretrade (complete return of your money if it breaks within that time) for $17. That made it a lot cheaper and the one to get for me.
Thus far, it's been a great product. Pulls in all the HDTV channels that antennaweb.org says I ought to be getting. Windy days aren't good for reception, but that's more because of my Terk HDTVi (indoor) antenna more than anything else. Otherwise the picture is amazing, even on my analog tv!
But because my tv is 4:3 ratio, I can't fill my tv screen. And for some reason the samsung model gives grey bars on the top/bottom and sides rather than making it black. I don't think there's anyway of changing that. And besides, I can't complain much, because I know this tuner is intended for a 16:9 ratio HDTV rather than for my 4:9 analog tv.
Setup was really easy. I pointed my antenna the direction antennaweb.org told me to and had the tuner scan for channels. That was it. Don't know how it gets simpler than that. And the beauty of this is later, when I finally do get my HDTV, the tuner can adapt to the 1080, 720, 480 scales and has the right DVI input too.
Finally, someone on these reviews said he wishes he could just punch in the channel numbers. You can. You just need to know the right frequency assignment from antennaweb.org and punch it in on your remote.
Finally, the only gripe about this tuner is the slowness of changing channels when you use the up/down button on the remote. Ironically, it's faster to simply punch the channel you want.
On a side note, I wish people would learn how to properly set things up before complaining about a perfectly good product and giving it a nasty rating. Cuz this product is great. That's why I gave it a 9 to balance out that 1 that's out there.