Motorola DCT5100 HDTV Cable Box

Cable TV, pretty much everyone has cable these days (or a satellite dish) so why am I including my cable box on my web page for home theater? The answer is simple, HDTV. If you haven’t heard of HDTV you have probably been living under a rock or been in a coma for the last 10 years, but just in case don’t know HDTV offers up to five times the resolution of traditional TV as well as CD quality surround sound resulting in dramatically better picture quality as well as sound quality. I already had OTA (Over The Air) HDTV capability via my HTPC but OTA signals are limited and I definitely couldn’t get HBO and Showtime over the air. So when Comcast offered HDTV via cable in my area I was quick to jump on it.

HDTV is simply amazing especially if you have a nice TV, and I am pleased to say that HDTV looks absolutely stunning on my Sony G70 projector. The clarity of the image really needs to be seen to be believed; it often appears as if you are just looking out a window at the image rather than looking at TV screen.

More and more shows are added all the time in HDTV. I don’t watch a whole lot of TV but I have my favorites. I never miss an episode of CSI which is presently very well in HDTV, but most of my HDTV viewing is on the cable channels. HBO offers most, if not all, of their original programing in HDTV. So Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, Carnivale etc. are all in HDTV and HBO does it very well. Unfortunately HBO doesn’t always do a good job with the movies they show. They often will show movies not in their proper aspect ration; so a 2.35 movie is shown in 1.78 in order to fill your screen. This angers me greatly and I won’t watch a movie if they are cropping it. Thankfully Showtime doesn’t do this and they show all of their movies in the proper aspect ratio. I am not much of a sports fan but lots of games these days are broadcast in HDTV, I did watch the superbowl this year and really looked great.

Unfortunately, Comcast still isn’t offering CBS or the Discovery Channel HDTV channels yet in my area. I can still watch CBS via my HTPC but I would really love to get the Discovery Channel, I am big fan. Hopefully before to long they will add it to the lineup.

The Motorola DCT5100 is also capable of scaling all non HDTV channels to HDTV resolutions. You can have it scale to either 480P, 720P or 1080i. I have all my channels scaled to 1080i. The scaler in the cable box is decent, nothing special, but it does look better than straight cable. I actually watch most standard definition through my HTPC and mostly just use the cable box for the HDTV channels.

I have since removed this piece of equipment from my system. I now run a Motorola DCT 3416 HDTV DVR.

Motorola DCT5100 HDTV Cable Box Features

Comments & Questions

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6 Questions/Comments/Trackbacks so far

  1. Posted by: mike thomas
    October 21, 2009 6:12 pm

    what american cable providers does the motorola dct6412 work with

  2. Posted by: Moe
    October 22, 2009 12:19 am

    I have no idea. I have Comcast personally.

  3. Posted by: Michael Tampier
    May 14, 2010 8:44 pm

    I have a mitsubishi ws65907 diamond projector tv. It has one DTV and two component inputs. The tv displays 1080i with my HD cable box connected at the DTV input. Can 1080i or 1080p resolution be displayed using the component inputs.

  4. Posted by: Moe
    May 15, 2010 10:29 am

    Michael, you should be able to do 1080i over component, you won’t be able to do 1080P over component though.

  5. Posted by: Steve - Rugged Depot
    March 10, 2011 9:11 am

    Funny how HDTV has changed television viewing forever. Since The Insider got this feature, I don’t mind watching it with my wife anymore. The crispness and vibrancy of the images are just amazing.

  6. Posted by: paul wenham
    September 19, 2011 10:17 am

    I have a new tv (samsung) and Home theater receiver (sony) that are hooked up to both local cable and directv. the DTV is connected thru a box that takes the coaxle cable in and has an HDMI out to the receiver. However, I have to connect the local cable direct to the tv since the sony reciever does not have a coaxle connector. I am wondering if the motorola dct5100 would work with time warner cable (e.g. not using a card) to connect the coaxle in and HDMI out…