Home Theater Review


Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD Cable Receiver Reviewed

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Sci_Atlanta_8300.gifHigh Points
• While only HDMI 1.0 spec, the HDMI output does have HDCP copy protection, so it will work with all current displays and receivers.

• The rear SATA port allows you to easily add on external hard drives to increase storage capacity if the internal recording time isn't enough for you.
• The 8300HD responds fairly well to controls and also switches channels quickly, though it can take a bit longer going from an HD source to an SD source and vice-versa.

Low Points
• The 8300HD freezes up, requiring a full reboot, which can take up to fifteen minutes, depending on when you start the process.
• Switching from high-definition to standard-definition channels is slow.
• If you receive this unit from your cable provider, be sure to download the full manual on line and set up the unit properly to your set. I found many native HD formats turned off on every one of these I've been through and, if not corrected, this can seriously limit the quality of the picture you see for HD sources.

The Scientific Atlanta 8300HD cable receiver and HD DVR isn't a bad unit. It offers all you need from a cable box, including an HDMI output and both optical and coaxial digital outputs to feed surround sound to your system. The box does tend to freeze up from time to time, requiring hard reboots to fix, and these can take a while at times. The rear SATA port that allows additional DVR storage space is a nice touch for those who want to store large volumes of shows for later viewing. I strongly encourage anyone who has this box to download the full manual and be sure to set it up properly for your TV, not just what the cable company has it set to, as you will vastly improve the video of this receiver.

Read more HD DVR, TiVo and Digital Cable box reviews here...

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