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** HD TiVo and HD DirecTV TiVo FAQ **

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by feldon23, Jan 1, 2004.

  1. Feb 17, 2004 #401 of 1440
    feldon23

    feldon23 MythBuster

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    Correct.

    For HD-DVD, we're hoping they'll do 1080p-24 or 1080p-30 depending on the source material.
     
  2. Feb 17, 2004 #402 of 1440
    edrock200

    edrock200 New Member

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    What display, other than a PC monitor can handle 1080p?
     
  3. Feb 17, 2004 #403 of 1440
    BrettStah

    BrettStah Well-Known Member TCF Club

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  4. Feb 17, 2004 #404 of 1440
    feldon23

    feldon23 MythBuster

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  5. Feb 17, 2004 #405 of 1440
    hongcho

    hongcho .

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    I don't expect to see many 1080p displays getting popular until we see some actual HD-DVD disks and players in the market.

    Although I feel this is a shame, but I don't see any ATSC broadcasters will adopt 1080p/24 or 1080p/30. But I am hoping that HD-DVD would.

    Hong.
     
  6. Feb 17, 2004 #406 of 1440
    gimp

    gimp New Member

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    I own one. While the native scan rate is 1080p, it does not accept 1080p input; max in is 1080i.:mad:
     
  7. Feb 17, 2004 #407 of 1440
    nabsltd

    nabsltd New Member

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    Technically, very few, but every HDTV should be able to accept 1080/30p or 1080/24p as those are legal ATSC modes, and there are STBs that output the "native" signal.

    I know my HDTV only accepts 480i, 480p, and 1080i on the component inputs, but can handle any ATSC mode via the built-in tuner. The 1080p modes are converted to 1080/60i, unfortunately.
     
  8. Feb 18, 2004 #408 of 1440
    CraigHB

    CraigHB __________

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    So if you have a HD monitor that can handle 1080i natively, is there any reason why you wouldn't just set the monitor and HD DTiVo to run at 1080i all the time? Is there any loss of clarity when a 720p broadcast is scaled to 1080i? Aren't there vast differences in "scaler" quality from one device to the next. Does the HD DTiVo have a good scaler? If your HD monitor has a better scaler, how do you determine which one does the job? How do you know what mode the broadcast is to begin with?

    I tell you, I have to rag on the ATSC for failing to standardize on one digital TV mode. I mean honestly, how is the average consumer going to to deal with it. It makes my head hurt and I'm pretty good with this kind of stuff. Multiple modes seem like an unnecessary complication. NTSC doesn't have all these modes and keeping it simple is probably the reason for it. Well, hopefully it will be like Beta and VHS video casettes; one will prove dominant causing the rest to disappear.

    Thanks,

    - Craig
     
  9. Feb 19, 2004 #409 of 1440
    Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    We don't need to get rid of one. just take the best parts from both, and you have 1080p!!!
     
  10. Feb 19, 2004 #410 of 1440
    Darin

    Darin Way Left

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    Well, it depends. If you have a fixed pixel display, then it's simply going to come down which has the better scaler... the Hd-Tivo, or your TV. Theoretically, the picture should look best when shown at it's native resolution, so a 720p image should look better on a nateive 720 display than it would scaled to 1080 on a native 1080 display. If you have a CRT display that can display both 720 and 1080 natively (a rarity), then you are best adjusting the output to match the content.
     
  11. Feb 19, 2004 #411 of 1440
    CraigHB

    CraigHB __________

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    Isn't that kind of lame? I mean if they had standardized on a 480 and a 960 mode, then things would always scale in an ideal manner. The way it is now, the quality of your picture depends on the resolution of the broadcast and the native resolution of your display. It's really brain damaged of the ATSC to allow a standard that makes PQ dependent on something the average consumer will have no clue about.

    - Craig
     
  12. Feb 19, 2004 #412 of 1440
    hongcho

    hongcho .

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    > It's really brain damaged of the ATSC to allow a standard that makes PQ dependent on something the average consumer will have no clue about.

    True. But for the "average" consumer that wouldn't make a difference anyway.

    It is true that it is a bit hairy with all the formats, but they didn't know what to go with. They were initially all for progressive, but some insisted on interlaced format. And 1080i/60 wasn't going to do well in some cases in the 6 MHz / 19.3 Mbps channel.

    At least, it is coming down to these two formats now: 720p/60 and 1080i/60. Well, when HD-DVD comes and start using 1080p/24 or 1080p/30, it will be another story...

    Hong.
     
  13. Feb 20, 2004 #413 of 1440
    wmccain

    wmccain Custom AV Consultant

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    I've been using an Extron CVC 200 transcoder for several years. It works great, but it is expensive and (when set to do 720p/1080i) it can't handle 480i/480p.

    Recently I replaced it with a KeyDigitalSystems "ClearVideo3" (model KD-CTCA3). This is about 1/3 the price of the Extron (around $275) and it can handle all the HDTV formats (480i/480p/720p/1080i). Plus, it has a component video "pass through" output, which the Extron does not, so you can still use the component output to drive another monitor.
     
  14. Feb 20, 2004 #414 of 1440
    wmccain

    wmccain Custom AV Consultant

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    I just became aware, from one of the other threads, that the HD TiVo apparently does not have "full-time" NTSC composite/S-video outputs (i.e. NTSC outputs that are active regardless of the format being output on the component/HDMI jacks). Reportedly, one must select the "480i" output format for the HDTV output in order to activate the NTSC outputs.

    This could be a "show-stopper" for me, as I was planning to get a Hughes HD-DVR250 to replace the Hughes HDVR2 in my master bedroom — and also upgrade the master bedroom TV to a Sharp 30" LCD. But the master bedroom also feeds NTSC video to an existing 17" LCD widescreen in my kitchen. Not only is the kitchen on another floor, so pulling more wires is non-trivial, but the kitchen LCD's high-def component input is already being used for a high-def feed from my home theater.

    This is an incredibly stupid design decision on TiVo's part. I expected much better from them.

    There is a long history concerning the "concurrent composite/S-video" feature and/or the lack of same in HDTV set-top boxes. The very first STB to hit the market, the OTA-only Panasonic TU-DST50, had this capability ... but it was omitted from the TU-DST51 and all subsequent Panasonic models. However, most (possibly all) Samsung HDTV STBs, both OTA and OTA/DirecTV, have had this feature from the get-go, and it has been very popular (as it is essential for concurrent whole-house distribution in NTSC format, not to mention taping on a conventional VCR).

    More recently, the "concurrent composite/S-video" feature was included in the latest "hot" HDTV OTA/DirecTV STB, manufactured by LG Electronic and marketed under three brands (as the LG LSS-3200A, the Sony SAT-HD300, and the Hughes HTL-HD). This was warmly received by users, as the previous model in this line (marketed as the Zenith HD-SAT520 and Sony SAT-HD200) had almost all the same features except the concurrent NTSC output.

    Perhaps TiVo/Hughes can fix this unbelievable oversight with a software update ... are you listening, TiVo?

    One slightly mitigating factor in the lack of concurrent NTSC output in the forthcoming HDTV TiVo is that (it has been reported that) they put an output format control button on the remote.

    Like the concurrent output issue, there is a long history behind this, and in this case TiVo appears to have paid attention to users' needs. The earliest HDTV STBs put a format control slide-switch on the rear panel ... very inconvenient ... or else they had no output format control capability at all (as with the infamous RCA DTC-100). A few later models put a format control button on the front panel, but without any corresponding button on the remote.

    Even today's HDTV STB "of choice", the LG LSS-3200A/Sony SAT-HD300/Hughes HTL-HD varies oddly in this regard. All three versions have a format control button on the front panel, but only the Sony version has a format control button on the remote!
     
  15. Feb 20, 2004 #415 of 1440
    wmccain

    wmccain Custom AV Consultant

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    Another concern that I have is that the HD TiVo apparently does not have a "native" option for the output format. This is another step backwards compared to the current "state-of-the-art" HDTV STBs. The LG LSS-3200A/Sony SAT-HD300/Hughes HTL-HD, for example, not only has a "native" output option (all HDTV formats are output as broadcast, no conversion), but they also have an excellent "variable 1" output option (480p, 720p, and 1080i are output "as is", but 480i is upconverted to 480p).

    On the other hand, the TiVo took a step in the right direction by (reportedly) implementing a configuration menu that lets the user select the preferred output formats. They should take this configuration menu "one step further": allow the user to select, for each of the four broadcast formats (480i/480p/720//1080i) exactly which format to output (yes, I know there are actually 18 variations of the broadcast formats, but 4 format category "groups" is enough for this purpose).

    Thus, if you have a set that can handle only 1080i, you would set all broadcast formats to output in that mode. If you want "native", set each format to output as itself. "Variable 1", as described above, and similar "variable" formats, are also easily specified.

    If this configuration menu were enhanced as I am suggesting, AND concurrent output of NTSC (480i) on the composite/S-video jacks were provided, then one would never need to touch a "format" button (on the front panel or on the remote)!!!
     
  16. Feb 20, 2004 #416 of 1440
    MCodanti

    MCodanti New Member

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    No, you want DirecTV to be listening. They are the ones setting the specs, and paying for it. TiVo can't add anything that DirecTV doesn't want. TiVoPony has said that he thinks "native" mode could be supported through a software update, but the request would have to come from DirecTV. Remember this is a DirecTV HD DVR powered by TiVo. TiVo writes the software under contract from DirecTV.

    But you have to remember the hardware was designed over a year ago, with parts available at that time. They would probably do things differently if they were starting over now. (They did make one change since then, by adding another OTA tuner which has delayed things a few months.)

    If it doesn't work for you that is too bad, but it will work great for me. I'm keeping my HDVR2 for SD, as I will need all the space the HD-DVR250 has for HD.

    Not everyone runs a whole house system. How often does everyone want to watch the same thing? I think putting a separate box for each display device is the best option, and then it would be even better if they all supported HMO.
     
  17. Feb 20, 2004 #417 of 1440
    BrettStah

    BrettStah Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    It is apparently a limitation of the chipset in the HD-Tivo (and Dish 921 PVR) that prohibits simultaneous outputs like you (and I) desire.

    A "native" mode may be possible via a software update, however.
     
  18. Feb 20, 2004 #418 of 1440
    wmccain

    wmccain Custom AV Consultant

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    True, and I understood that when I posted. On the other hand, TiVo came up with the original "reference design" on their own, and DirecTV "bought into it". There was undoubtedly some "give-and-take" collaboration after that — doubling the number of tuners, for example — but I suspect that the two "bonehead mistakes" (lack of concurrent output and lack of "native" mode) were in TiVo's original design, and DirecTV didn't know enough (or care enough) to request the necessary changes.

    Note that the very latest Hughes-branded non-TiVo HDTV OTA/DirecTV receiver, the Hughes HTL-HD, has both of the "missing features", concurrent output and "native" mode. Since this is DirecTV's "house brand", I had assumed that any future unit, such as the Hughes HD-DVR250, would at least match this feature set. (Also note the recent DirecTV announcement that all future DirecTV receivers would be marketed by DirecTV, under their own brand, and have a common feature set.)

    But the Hughes HTL-HD was actually designed by LG Electronics, and they (unlike TiVo) had several years of experience with HDTV models, so they had a better feel for customer requirements. (The "school of hard knocks"!)

    Which is sad, because TiVo has a (deservedly) high reputation for anticipating market requirements and "not missing things". If they had included the missing features in the reference design, I am sure that DirecTV would have accepted them (as they did with LG's design), "no questions asked". But now that the initial release is "frozen", there is much more bureaucracy involved, and I fear it will be like "pulling teeth" to get DirecTV to request the changes and for TiVo to implement them. We will probably see HMO on DirecTiVo models before we see concurrent output and "native" mode ...
     
  19. Feb 20, 2004 #419 of 1440
    wmccain

    wmccain Custom AV Consultant

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    Since 2-3 pulldown captures all of the image pixels on 24-fps movies, 1080p-30 offers no particular advantage over 1080i-60. True, having all of a frame in one place instead of having to piece together two fields offers a minor improvement in processing. But every fifth frame in 1080p-30 is redundant, just as one-out-of-five fields is redundant in 1080i-60.

    1080p-24, on the other hand, offers some real improvement: a 20% reduction in storage space required, due to the elimination of the aforementioned redundancy.

    For material that originates as video, not film, it's probably best to keep it in 1080i-60 format rather than to combine two fields into one frame. Doing so can introduce motion artifacts, so it's better to let the monitor handle this in a manner appropriate to the monitor's technology (CRT versus plasma or LCD).
     
  20. Feb 20, 2004 #420 of 1440
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    You could get this to work with a little creativity... such as using a component video switch for the signal going to your LCD screen -- one controlled by a remote if an automatic switch wouldn't function in your environment. You would have to pull the additional wires, unless you already had a CAT5 cable, then you could use devices to carry the 3 component signals over twisted pair.

    I find the lack of a native mode or a hybrid variation of it more of a concern -- but, and this is the first I heard someone say -- if it could be solved with a software update, that'd be good. But even then, I'm not too bothered. The compromises I'm making now not having HD recording capability at all are far worse than these compromises with the DirecTV HD DVR.
     

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