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Native vs Hybrid vs Fixed 1080i vs 790p confussion

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Billyh1026, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. Billyh1026

    Billyh1026 Randal Graves

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    May 20, 2006
    Can someone(s) help me to understand which one is best for me to use please? If there's a thread for it just point me in the right direction. If it's out there I just haven't found it yet.

    I have a Philips 50PFP5332D if the specs for the specific TV I have would help.
    Here's a link to it.
    http://reviews.cnet.com/flat-panel-tvs/philips-50pfp5332d/4505-6482_7-32404752.html?tag=prod.txt.1

    Thanks in advance for the help. I've read the help on the Tivo itself, but it's pretty confusing too.
     
  2. btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

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    Mountain...
    The best one to use is the one which works best. (Yes, that's circular.) You could try them and see.

    What you really need to know is what resolutions your TV supports, your TV manual should tell you that. You also need to know which scaler is best, the one in the TiVo or the one in the TV. That's difficult to impossible to find out. The scalar is the bit which changes (scales) video signals from one format to another. In the TV it takes the incoming signal and formats it for the screen. In the TiVo it turns the signal as broadcast, to what is sent to the TV.

    Once you've found out what resolutions your TV supports, you can work out which modes will work. If the TV does not support 480i, you might want to use one of the hybrid modes, or one of the fixed modes. The hybrid modes basically avoid sending 480i to the TV. Next does the TV support 1080i and/or 720p? If it doesn't support one of those, you need to be using one of the fixed or hybrid modes, so the TiVo is not sent a signal it can't use.

    Once you've worked out which modes do work with your TV, you can then try working out which is best. A purist might use native, so that the TiVo doesn't scale anything, and the TV does it all. If 480i doesn't work you can use hybrid. Some people like to use one of the fixed resolutions as the TV takes a while to switch between formats.

    I use hybrid, the black level on 480i is wrong for my TV (washed out shadows), so hybrid makes the TiVo sends 480p instead which has the same black level as the HD resolutions. I trust the TV to do a better scaling than the TiVo. Sometimes switching resilutions I get a few seconds of noise on screen, I can live with that.
     
  3. MScottC

    MScottC Member

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    Sep 11, 2004
    This is a matter of both technical and personal preferences. To me, letting the TiVo do the scaling is a better answer. Neither of my TVs switch cleanly when the input resolutions are changed, which quite frankly happens often when either surfing or going in and out of menus. For me, I much prefer the cleaner switches that I get when letting the TiVo scale everything to 1080i (Fixed). Of course you'ld need to make a choice that matches the resolution of your display. As a working video professional, I have yet to notice any real difference between the scalers in the TiVo and the TV that are great enough to dissuade me to accept the multi-second resolution switches that happen when in hybrid or native modes.
     
  4. Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

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    Minneapolis
    Yeah, I'm with MScottC. I can't tell any real difference in quality between letting the TV or the TiVo scale it, and the time it takes the TV to make the switches is too annoying--especially since the TiVo menus are 720 and most programming 1080, which means a resolution switch almost every time I go in and out of the menus.
     
  5. jacksonian

    jacksonian New Member

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    North Carolina
    First, I go with Fixed because it takes too long to change channels with the resolution change.

    Second, I couldn't really tell a difference between 720 and 1080 on my 768p plasma, I think I picked 1080 Fixed.
     
  6. stream

    stream New Member

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    Jul 25, 2007
    San...
    Agree with last 3 posts.
     
  7. acvthree

    acvthree Active Member

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    Carrollton,...
    I agree with the last few responses.

    That device you have the pointer to has a display format of 720P. If you are not a purist or a videofile, just set your Tivo to output 720P fixed. Tivo does a decent job with the video process and you will have less "flashing" as the TV adjusts to the input signal when changeing channels.

    I'm a bit of a videofile and I go through machinations like having the Tivo set to native, having the output go through a receiver that does video processing that outputs the 720P signal to my TV. In my mind, and probably no where else, I believe that the video processor in the receiver is the best of the three (Tivo, receiver and TV) and, therefore, I think I get a slightly better picture. My guess is that no one else that watches TV with me would ever see the difference. I'm very glad that Tivo allows the choices, it is a high end device and should have features for high end users, but for most people it just doesn't matter.

    Al
     
  8. Mars Rocket

    Mars Rocket Loosely wound

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    Mar 24, 2000
    Sinnoh region
    The TV mentioned in the OP is 1366 x 768 and displays at 720p, so you'd probably be better off using the Native format on the TiVo because the TV is going to scale everything to 1366 x 768 anyway, and scaling things twice is almost certainly going to look worse than just letting the TV handle the scaling alone.
     
  9. dshinnick

    dshinnick New Member

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    Oh, jeez. Tivo's Output format, Tivo's Aspect Correction Mode, the TV's scaler....what a mess! I think some guru needs to write the definitive document explaining how all these pieces interact and the effect of turning on Tivo's option X with the TV's option Y, and how it varies if you're drinking beer vs. wine.

    :O)
     
  10. acvthree

    acvthree Active Member

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    Jan 17, 2004
    Carrollton,...

    Do you know if the TV supports 480i input on HDMI? Does it convert between input formats well and in a timely manner (that is, no flashing or multi-second blank screen).

    The OP is indicating that he is not a hobbyist or videofile. I think it would be better giving the simplest and easiest solution that would cover most situations and give a pretty good picture.

    Al
     
  11. Mars Rocket

    Mars Rocket Loosely wound

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    Mar 24, 2000
    Sinnoh region
    You're right - I was addressing the issue from a picture quality standpoint only. In actual use one of the other modes may prove to be more user friendly.
     
  12. Joybob

    Joybob New Member

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    Oct 2, 2007
    Just to contradict everyone:

    I'm a big fan of 480p hybrid mode. Using the fixed 720/1080 modes doesn't work very well for analog stations since you can see the extra line used for Closed Captioning. The flicker when switching between 720/1080 is minimal and only lasts about a second.
     
  13. Billyh1026

    Billyh1026 Randal Graves

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    May 20, 2006
    Thanks for the input and education everyone.

    Here's what I already knew.

    My TV supports 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i resolutions.
    I'm not a videofile nor a purist, but I am pretty particular and picky about my stuff and want it to look/work the best that it can.

    Here's what I figured out (so far) from this thread.

    According to you all...what I end up using is most likely going to be a matter of personal preference. But, it's probably better to go with 720 or 1080 (fixed) because that'll help prevent lag due to resolution change during channel and menu changes.

    When in Native and I change channels between 1080. 720, & 480 I get flashing pixelation and a black screen for a few seconds.
    When my Tivo's in 1080 or 720 (fixed) I don't get flashing pixelation but, can't get any 480i.
    When looking at it, I don't really notice a difference between 1080 & 720.

    Having said all of that...which would I be best with? I was under the impression that 720p was a higher resolution than 1080i since it was progressively scanning and not interlacing or de-interlacing. (** note - just because I use a few big words it doesn't mean I know what the hell I'm talking about. Just that I've read or seen it somewhere **)

    (Also, on sports when the players are moving they're all a bit fuzzy until they slow down. Is that normal? IIRC that's one of the things 120hz is supposed to help?)

    Again, thanks for the input. I really do appreciate you all taking the time to help me out. I'm just trying to figure this hi-def thing out and get my set to look as good as possible.

    - edited to change 790p to 720p
     
  14. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Active Member

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    May 10, 1999
    - It's 720p, not 790p

    - Your set is a plasma set with 1366x768 native resolution, so inherently progressive. Everything sent to the set, whether 480i/480p, 720p/1080i, is going to be converted to that native res for display. Almost certainly native/hybrid is going to be the best video quality (smallest # of scaling/interlacing/deinterlacing operations), but if you can't tell much difference and want to get rid of the glitches due to the Tivo/TV re-syncing, I would probably use 720p fixed on your set. That way at least 720p video is minimally affected.

    - 720p is not a "higher resolution" than 1080i. 1080i has 1920 pixels across, 720 has only 1280. For static images 1080i is clearly higher resolution. The difference is the vertical, 720p has 720 pixels vertically, every frame, while 1080i is interlaced with 1080 pixels vertically but split into two 540 fields. So if there is movement in the picture it effectively cuts the resolution for 1080i.

    Fuzzier picture during motion -- there are probably lots of pieces in the video chain that contribute to that, motion is hard. Some of it is the broadcast itself, some may be your display. Probably worse with a 1080i broadcast.
     
  15. MScottC

    MScottC Member

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    Sep 11, 2004


    Jacksonian,

    If I were you, I'd go to 720p Fixed... The goal is to match the TiVo to the native resolution of your set. Tho the number you quote is 768, I'd venture to say the true resolution of your set is indeed 720p. There is no reason to upres and force interlace only to downres and create progressive scan.
     
  16. Laserfan

    Laserfan New Member

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    USA
    This is wrong! The goal is to obtain the best PQ on the OP's display, with the least amount of distraction/fiddling.

    I have a Sony with 1366x768 and it scales EVERYTHING that comes in to it, period. There is no way to match Tivo output with the set's "native resolution". I have tried 720p and 1080i, and for this set down-rezzing 1080i looks better than 720p.

    So the OP should try fixed 1080i and fixed 720p and see which displays best. I would never use the Tivo's NATIVE mode, for then it outputs whatever the TV channel is broadcasting, which results in switching anomalies.
     
  17. morac

    morac Cat God

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    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    My TV supports all formats from 480i to 1080p and I prefer Native mode for the following reasons:

    1. My TV seems to scale better than the TiVo (it should since it was a lot more expensive). The TV does special processing on SD content to make it look better.
    2. My TV has separate settings for HD and SD content on the same input and remembers them. So, for example, HD is always displayed widescreen and SD is displayed letterboxed (black bars on the side). Also setting "zoom" mode on SD (for "widescreen" SD shows), does not zoom HD content, so the TiVo menu looks normal when I zoom a SD program. If the TiVo upscaled all SD content to 1080i, then my TV would think all programming was HD and I'd lose the ability to set things specifically for SD. I could use Hybrid mode to get around this, but I might as well just use Native.

    The above benefits outweigh the negative of having to wait a few seconds when switching resolutions. In fact switching resolutions doesn't bother me with the exception of trying to turn CC on and off (TiVo please allow this to be done without having to go into the menus).

    If I had a cheaper TV with less features, I'd probably be tempted to use fixed mode.
     
  18. Billyh1026

    Billyh1026 Randal Graves

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    May 20, 2006
    * Resolution
    * 1366 x 768

    * Display Format
    * 720p

    * Input Video Formats
    * 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i

    These are the specs for mine. So you all think the 720p fixed, not 1080i fixed, would be best for my Tivo/TV set?
     
  19. morac

    morac Cat God

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    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    Personally I'd choose Native or hybrid, but if you want to go fixed, I'd say it depends on what you watch. If you mainly watch 1080i content, choose 1080i fixed. If you mainly watch 720p or 480i/p content, choose 720p.

    The reasoning is that you want to limit the number of times a program is scaled. A 720p channel can be fed directly to your TV as 720p, which will scale it to 768. If the TiVo scales it to 1080i, the TV is just going to have to scale it back to 768 any way. A 1080i channel would downscale to your 768 on your TV. If the TiVo downscaled it to 720p first, then the TV would need to upscale it to 768 and you'd lose 48 lines of resolution.

    Your best bet, is to just try 1080i fixed for a while and then 720p fixed and see if you can tell the difference. If you can't then it doesn't make a difference what setting you use. If you can, then use the setting that looks better.
     
  20. acvthree

    acvthree Active Member

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    Carrollton,...
    Ok, since this has moved over to how to get the best picture to a display, the best way is to use an external scaler, something like the iScan™ VP50PRO, that can output the native resolution of 1366 X 768 of the OPs TV. The Tivo would then be set to Native to output the original image with no scaling, the iScan would then do all of the scaling using a high end scaler, the TV would have to do no scaling at all. This setup provides for a single scaling of the image at the users location and should produce the best image possible of the received image.

    I still say there are easier, and less expensive, ways to go and most viewers won't notice the difference on anything less than a projection screen.

    Al
     

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