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Resolution bug. How does the search application decide?

Discussion in 'TiVo Search Feedback - Beta Release (Archive)' started by ciper, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. ciper

    ciper New Member

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    So based on what both of you have said,,, choosing Smart Screen makes the menus actually output in their proper resolution? BRILLIANT ;)


    Configure your TiVo HD or S3 for Native and 16:9 and you will get 16:9 480i video (either stretched or with black bars eating up resolution)
    Configure it for Native and Smart Screen and you will get 4:3 480i video.

    The most common source of 480i 16:9 video on a TiVo is from files uploaded to the unit, say from camcorders or downloaded from the internet. This is especially common with HD video encoded to xvid and reduced to 624:352 with 1.77:1 aspect ratio.
     
  2. aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

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    Philadelphia...
    How do you know that it's 16:9 SD video, and not 4:3 SD video formatted to be stretched out by the display? Is there some flag in the interface on your TV that tells you what the proper aspect ratio of the video is?

    My TV doesn't have a "native" or "Just Scan" option for 480i. I wish it did. It only has that option for HD content.

    What does your TiVo do with this video in smart screen mode?

    Another issue. In 16:9 Native panel, my 480i Music Choice channels are not exactly 4:3. They have side bars, but they're not as big as the side bars on 4:3 content. Anyone else have this? Why is that?
     
  3. ciper

    ciper New Member

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    YES! All three of my displays properly detect the aspect ratio of the incoming video and adjust properly. The one I'm at now even tells you in the banner along with the resolution.
     
  4. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    Aug 2, 2003
    The Music Choice channels lack an aspect ratio flag, instead of being flagged as either 16:9 or 4:3. The TiVo displays them with the correctly-sized sidebars, assuming square pixels. (If you look at the pictures on screen, this really is the correct ratio, too. The channels look slightly squeezed on my Verizon STBs, which don't recognize the unset ratio.)

    With square pixels, 640x480 = 4:3, and 853x480 = 16:9. But the SD channels are actually sent as 704x480 or 720x480 (or 544x480, etc.), with the aspect ratio flag determining how they're displayed. With no flag, 704x480 or 720x480 sources end up in between 4:3 and 16:9.

    You can see all kinds of other sized bars if you upload oddly-shaped videos to the TiVo.
     
  5. aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

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    Philadelphia...
    Thanks.

    Assuming this is correct, the TiVo displays Music Choice correctly in 16:9 mode, but it sends them as straight 4:3 in 4:3 Smart Screen mode.

    I think TiVo needs a 16:9 Smart Screen mode. A "hey, send what you get, seriously, I'm not kidding" mode.
     
  6. ciper

    ciper New Member

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    Exactly what I'd like. Comine it with Native and the Tivo shouldn't do any sort of processing or conversion on the video source. It doesn't seem like too much to ask :p
     
  7. ciper

    ciper New Member

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    I did some more testing. I verified that the video is stored with its aspect ratio properly defined even when recoded using PYTiVo.

    I had an XVID MKV that originally had a 1.77:1 aspect ration. PyTiVo converted this to a format the TiVo liked. It displayed in 4:3 (squished) when smart screen was active and 16:9 when 16:9 screen was active. I then extracted the .TiVo file and converted it to MPEG and it retained the correct aspect ratio!

    This confirms that the TiVo does correctly identify the video format and stores it and the bug lies solely withing the video output function of the box.

    Is anyone listening?
     
  8. aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

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    Philadelphia...
    The on-screen definition of "smart screen" is "4:3 SD, 16:9 HD." Displaying widescreen video that's not HD has 4:3 is technically in keeping with that definition.

    Maybe the definition needs fixing.
     
  9. ciper

    ciper New Member

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    Wow... technically that is correct.

    There are a number of ways we can fix the current way the TiVo works. In a perfect world the aspect ratio of the display wouldn't override what is coded in the video. If you think about it there is no advantage to modifying the aspect ratio of the 4:3 SD material midstream to force the 16:9 flag. In fact I bet users would not even notice if suddenly the SD material was being output at 4:3 since aspect ratio detection isn't a common feature in displays.

    I wouldn't mind sticking with Smart Screen the way it is if I could force the menus to be consistent in their resolutions. The only issue then would be 16:9 SD material also being forced into a 4:3 box which isn't too common.

    My limited experience with other video devices has been that choosing 16:9 display means its the upper limit of aspect ratio, not that everything is automatically output at that aspect ratio.

    Can I have a "Native - Native" aspect ratio and resolution option please? Does TiVo really read this specific forum?
     
  10. turbobozz

    turbobozz New Member

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    (Forgive me if I misread this thread.)
    I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you guys are using HDMI.
    I believe there was an output flag bug that was introduced with the the 11.X software.
    Tivo will flag basically all of the SD stuff, including its SD HME apps as 16:9 on the HDMI output.

    This causes my 16:9 tv to be confused and doesn't left/right letterbox SD stuff at all anymore.
    This forces me to use Tivo's built in left/right letterboxing for SD stuff... which unfortunately does nothing for SD HEM apps.

    This problem was not present on component outputs, iirc.
    Try using component and see if you still have your resolution problems.
     
  11. ciper

    ciper New Member

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    Damn, I just switched to HDMI after a long time with component. I'll try this out when I get a chance.

    If what you say is true then isn't TiVo already aware of the issue? If so where the heck is the fix?
     
  12. turbobozz

    turbobozz New Member

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    MD/VA
    I'm fairly certain I saw a tivo rep reply in one of those threads, so I'm pretty certain they are aware of it.

    I imagine the fix is not a high priority unfortunately... and with a small company and limited/remote coding resources (Bangalore!)... it might take a while to fix a relatively minor issue.

    For a bit of perspective, I just hooked up my xbox through hdmi to one of my new TVs... only to find that there is a known bug since Nov with the new UI that sometimes cuts HDMI audio (some HDCP handshake problem in the NXE dashboard software).
    Apparently the xbox tinks my tv is a monitor w/o sound or something.
    Anyways... MS still hasn't fixed it, but a fix is exepcted in Feb or something.
    Even a big company with tons of programming resources can take a while to fix seemingly simple problems.
     
  13. ciper

    ciper New Member

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    Hello TiVo engineers. Please take your time to understand why this bug is important. Most displays are able to determine the aspect ratio of incoming video and adjust the "stretch" appropriately. This bug in the TiVo disables this feature and forces users to constantly futz with their remotes. Thank you for your time.
     
  14. aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

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    I don't think there's a bug. The TiVo search is a 720p menu. It's authored in 720p and displays in 720p, as it should.

    All the other TiVo menus are 480i menus.

    Maybe you're right that it should be 1080i, but that's less a bug and more a design choice.
     
  15. ciper

    ciper New Member

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    I think you missed an important part of the thread. The bug is no longer about the search feature.

    The bug is that the TiVo is improperly flagging 4:3 video as 16:9 if you choose a 16:9 display.
     
  16. turbobozz

    turbobozz New Member

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    MD/VA
    4:3 shows, 4:3 TiVo menus, etc... several things that are 4:3 are being flagged 16:9 improperly when using HDMI and a 16:9 display setting.
    Definitely a bug and not a preference.
     
  17. ciper

    ciper New Member

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    Thank you for the backup. The only solution I have found so far is to use Smart Screen but that forces my menus into 480i (not a terrible thing I guess)
     
  18. aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

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    This is what I do. The menus are formatted for display in 480i anyway.
     
  19. ciper

    ciper New Member

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    Hehe which then brings us back to an inconsistency (bug?) where all the menus are 480i except the new search which is stuck in 720p.
     
  20. aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

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    Philadelphia...
    This is not a bug.

    It's an "inconsistency" insofar as TiVo has just now begun to move from SD menus to HD menus. I'm OK with a bit of transition time here. I don't expect them to move to all HD menus before I see any. I would rather have some than none.

    The new search isn't "stuck" in 720p. It is actually designed and formatted to be shown in 720p. As opposed to the rest of the menus, which are not.
     

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