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Viewsonic NextVision HD12 Review
So I bit the bullet and ordered the HD12. I had a VERY hard time finding any information from anyone who actually had the unit. I didn't find any forum anywhere that had any information about it. But the specs were right in line with what I was looking for, and I got impatient and found a decent price on it, so I got it.
Specifications and pricing subject to change without notice. Selection,
offers and programs may vary by country; see your ViewSonic
representative for complete details. Prices in U.S. dollars.
The nice thing is that the box itself matches the monitor. The receiver has so many inputs and outputs, I literally have everything going through my monitor now, and I love it. Xbox, TV, and PC are all just a button push away. Now, I don't receive any HD signal from my cable (yet), and I haven't purchased a HD pack for the Xbox. So I'm using standard 480i for cable and RCA input for Xbox for the moment.
The one thing that I thought the receiver had that it does not, are component inputs. It does have component outputs, to go to your TV. The receiver only has RCA and S-Video inputs. Along with component outputs, you can use DVI or D-Sub to output the signal to a monitor. I'm using the D-sub to connect to my monitor, only because I'm using DVI-D from my PC. Because my monitor has both D-sub and DVI inputs, I can have both hooked up simultaneously. The receiver also has coaxial and digital audio out, so you can hook the unit up to your home theater system to get full Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. At the moment, I'm outputting via RCA audio to my Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro, which is hooked up to Logitech's Z-5300 5.1 speakers, and I'm getting 5.1 audio from all stations. I intend on upgrading to digital as soon as I'm able to purchase the cable. There is one channel that intermittenly doesn't produce audio when I navigate to it, but the audio usually comes back after changing to another channel, and changing back.
Upon booting the unit for the first time, you're prompted to do a scan for channels. When I did, the unit only found the first 16 channels, where I have about 70. There may be a reason for this, but I'm not sure what it is. I was able to manually add the rest of the channels, and I'm sure that the auto scan works for most. The setup menus are simple and intuitive, and easy to manipulate. You can output the video either in 1024x768 or 640x480 for the standard NTSC non-HD video. With the VP201s, the interpolation doesn't make the image look bad when I use either resolution. I was playing around with using 1:1 and Fill All for aspect ratio, and found that I liked both equally. I normally use Fill All however.
The remote control included is very nice and sturdy. It has quick access buttons to all options that may be more difficult to get to from the unit itself. A few options that I'm unable to use without a digital cable signal are Picture in Picture, Picture On Picture, and the Electronic Program Guide or Channel Guide. I look forward to testing these options when I upgrade my cable.
Multiple RCA inputs (One S-video that uses same audio in as video 1)
Can use D-sub, DVI, RCA, or Component output
Very easy to setup and get going
Dolby Digital Support via Digital or Coaxial audio out
Nice remote control
Intuitive On Screen Display
A bit expensive
No component input
No Picture in Picture for analog cable/TV
Shared RCA audio input between video 1 and S-video
Overall, although I'm not using the receiver to it's full potential yet, I'm very excited about my purchase and looking forward to what I will be able to do with it. We awarded the "Viewsonic NextVision HD12" our Blue Ribbon Seal of Approval..
Rating: 5 out of 6 stars
Reviewer: Zynon (Lucid)
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