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Old 01-09-2009, 02:53 PM   #1
ciper
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Resolution bug. How does the search application decide?

I have configured my TiVo to use Native video and Smart Screen so everything is passed to the TV exactly as it was originally intended.

My TiVo decides to put the search in 720p even though the menus are in 480i. Another user with the same settings gets 480i search and menus. I would think the search would be displayed in 1080i since it's well know to be the format for higher resolution but still images where 720p is known to be ideal for moving images. Even if not why does it switch resolutions between the menu and search?

Is there any way to fix this from my end?

Please see this thread http://tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/sho...50#post6981450 and my reply a few posts down

Last edited by ciper : 01-09-2009 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:14 PM   #2
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What menu are you talking about?

The TiVo menus are 720p native (SD text on a 720p background), aside from the VOD. TiVo Search should display in the same resolution.
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:23 PM   #3
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Allright then I have two issues. My Tivo Menu's are displaying in 480i and the icons are round. It switches from 480i to 720p when selecting the new search beta.

Again I have the Tivo set to Native and Smart Screen so if the menus are in 720p the TiVo is not working properly by switching resolution mid function.
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:42 PM   #4
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Allright then I have two issues. My Tivo Menu's are displaying in 480i and the icons are round. It switches from 480i to 720p when selecting the new search beta.

Again I have the Tivo set to Native and Smart Screen so if the menus are in 720p the TiVo is not working properly by switching resolution mid function.
That's interesting. It sounds like there are two versions of the menus. One with a SD background and one with a HD background. I guess you get the SD version when you select Smart Screen in settings?

I assume you have a 4:3 HDTV? That's what smart screen is meant for.
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Old 01-09-2009, 06:06 PM   #5
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I guess you get the SD version when you select Smart Screen in settings?

I assume you have a 4:3 HDTV? That's what smart screen is meant for.
Smart screen is meant for a device that can detect the aspect ratio of the video and adjust accordingly. If you don't use smart screen and choose native you drastically reduce the resolution of SD content.

I did originally have a 4:3 HDTV but now it's a 16:9 120hz unit.
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Old 01-09-2009, 06:20 PM   #6
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Smart screen is meant for a device that can detect the aspect ratio of the video and adjust accordingly..
Doesn't that assume you display side bars with the TiVo though? In native mode with widescreen set, you don't have to display side bars. Side bars just happens to be one of the aspect modes that you can choose.
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Old 01-09-2009, 06:52 PM   #7
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How does the search application decide?
Rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock?
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Old 01-10-2009, 12:44 AM   #8
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Doesn't that assume you display side bars with the TiVo though? In native mode with widescreen set, you don't have to display side bars. Side bars just happens to be one of the aspect modes that you can choose.
You could put the unit in Native mode with widescreen then "shrink" the video with your TV back to 4:3, but would the TV still be able to automatically shrink the image or would you have to tell it to go into 4:3 mode? I can't test at the moment but with both of my sets Native/Smart allowed auto switching between 16:9 and 4:3 without the need to touch my TV remote or the aspect button on the peanut.
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Old 01-10-2009, 02:00 AM   #9
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You could put the unit in Native mode with widescreen then "shrink" the video with your TV back to 4:3, but would the TV still be able to automatically shrink the image or would you have to tell it to go into 4:3 mode? I can't test at the moment but with both of my sets Native/Smart allowed auto switching between 16:9 and 4:3 without the need to touch my TV remote or the aspect button on the peanut.
Both of my TVs saves separate aspect modes for every resolution -- by default, 480i displays as 4:3 (with side bars added by the TV) and 720p and 1080i show up as 16:9. For me, 16:9 (full) and and 4:3 smart screen function identically for SD and HD. The only difference is that 16:9 gives me the 16:9 HD background on the menus.

My TVs do not display the full resolution of the input signal. Does yours? On your TV, does it only say 480i? Or does it say 704x480 (4:3) or 720x480 (16:9) for SD output in 4:3 smart? Does it do something differently when 16:9 is selected in setup?
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Old 01-10-2009, 02:53 AM   #10
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How can I get my Tivo Menus into HD without choosing Hybrid or Fixed? I can't test but do you think the smart screen setting is somehow interacting with the menu and getting it to choose 480i even though the Tivo is set for native (meaning 720p and 1080i are valid output resolutions)? If that is the case it seems like a bug right?

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Both of my TVs saves separate aspect modes for every resolution -- by default, 480i displays as 4:3 (with side bars added by the TV) and 720p and 1080i show up as 16:9. For me, 16:9 (full) and and 4:3 smart screen function identically for SD and HD. The only difference is that 16:9 gives me the 16:9 HD background on the menus.
I can set my TV to remember either full or zoom per resolution per input but what about 16:9 material sent in 4:3? That's the other part of the auto switching I enjoy having.


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My TVs do not display the full resolution of the input signal. Does yours? On your TV, does it only say 480i? Or does it say 704x480 (4:3) or 720x480 (16:9) for SD output in 4:3 smart? Does it do something differently when 16:9 is selected in setup?
Unfortunately neither one displays the full resolution but they both have auto switch for 480 content. For a long time I used an interlaced DVD player and the auto switching between wide (movies) and full (for TV shows on DVD) was very useful.
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:49 AM   #11
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How can I get my Tivo Menus into HD without choosing Hybrid or Fixed? I can't test but do you think the smart screen setting is somehow interacting with the menu and getting it to choose 480i even though the Tivo is set for native (meaning 720p and 1080i are valid output resolutions)? If that is the case it seems like a bug right?
Set Settings -> Video Settings -> TV Aspect Ratio to 16:9.

A "smart screen" TV is a 4:3 TV that squeezes the high-definition content into a smaller 16:9 window on the 4:3 screen with black bars on the top and bottom. High-definition menus wouldn't fill the screen on a 4:3 "smart screen" TV so would make no sense to use them.

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I can set my TV to remember either full or zoom per resolution per input but what about 16:9 material sent in 4:3? That's the other part of the auto switching I enjoy having.
Your TV doesn't doesn't have a built-in zoom function to fill the screen on letterbox content? If not, the TiVo has a letterbox-to-widescreen zoom...but once you toggled that with the aspect button, you'd have to change the mode on your TV to fill the screen.

Last edited by bkdtv : 01-10-2009 at 04:57 AM.
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:32 AM   #12
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Set Settings -> Video Settings -> TV Aspect Ratio to 16:9.

A "smart screen" TV is a 4:3 TV that squeezes the high-definition content into a smaller 16:9 window on the 4:3 screen with black bars on the top and bottom. High-definition menus wouldn't fill the screen on a 4:3 "smart screen" TV so would make no sense to use them.
Setting the Tivo to smart screen farks up my TV into thinking EVERYTHING is widescreen Can I have a setting that just automatically outputs all 16:9 video at 16x9 and all 4:3 at 4:3 please? Maybe call it 16:9 smarter screen

It looks like 16:9 aspect mode in the TiVo menu with a 4:3 SD program outputs 720x480 pixels while Smart Screen with a 4:3 SD program outputs 704x480. My TV's banner shows 4:3 480i when in smart screen mode and 16:9 480i when in 16:9 mode.


Rundown -
Native with Smart Screen ratio
Pros -
4:3 SD content output at 4:3
HD content output at 16:9
Cons -
Some menus in 480i while others in 720p
16:9 SD content also output at 4:3 (requires TV remote to "fill" screen)

Native with 16:9 aspect ratio
Pros -
All menus in 720p
HD content output at 16:9
16:9 SD content output at 16:9
Cons -
with full mode on TiVo. 4:3 SD content output at 16:9 which requires the TV remote to shrink the mislabeled video. You then have to unshrink the video when viewing a true 16:9 program
with panel mode on TiVo. 4:3 SD content has DRASTICALLY reduced resolution because black bars are sent with the video signal which is completely unacceptable.


I have to stick with Smart Screen. I'd rather live with 480i menus and random resolution changes rather than infinite extra button presses on the TV remote and reduced resolution on already crappy SD content.

I'm so extremely disappointed at how the Tivo mishandles the aspect ratios. I honestly was able to put my TV remote away because my other components properly "tag" content and both of my displays auto switch aspect ratio

Do you have any advice on how I should approach TiVo to fix the issue? I have a sick feeling in my stomach. Judging from the stories I have read over the years about TiVo support I can pretty much count myself SOL on this ever being fixed.


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Originally Posted by bkdtv View Post
Your TV doesn't doesn't have a built-in zoom function to fill the screen on letterbox content? If not, the TiVo has a letterbox-to-widescreen zoom...but once you toggled that with the aspect button, you'd have to change the mode on your TV to fill the screen.
I don't follow. Letterbox content is displayed in full mode, not zoom.

Last edited by ciper : 01-10-2009 at 06:05 AM.
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:00 AM   #13
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From what I can tell 16:9 mode in the TiVo menu with a 4:3 SD program outputs 720x480 pixels while Smart Screen with a 4:3 SD program outputs 704x480 if that is how aspect ratio detection truely works. However it functions my TV's banner shows 4:3 480i when in smart screen mode and 16:9 480i when in 16:9 mode.
Thanks, that's good to know.

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I'm so extremely disappointed at how the Tivo mishandles the aspect ratios. I have no interest in pressing an extra button every time I watch a different program. Smart screen is the only way to do this but then the menu's end up in 480i even though the new search is in 720p.
I wouldn't say the TiVo mishandles aspect ratios. Although I do agree that native on a 4:3 SD channels should really be output as 704x480 and not 720x480, while zoomed 4:3 SD should be output as 720x480.

Now, many people like to fill their screen with stretched 4:3 SD, but I can't imagine why anyone would want to do that in native mode. If a user wants to fill their screen with SD, they'll use a fixed mode. Or am I missing something?

Quote:
I don't follow. Letterbox content is displayed in full mode, not zoom.
Most newer TVs have a button that will zoom 4:3 letterbox content to fill the screen, cutting off the bars on the top and bottom. The TiVo does the same thing which you click the aspect button, while in 16:9 mode.
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:10 AM   #14
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Sorry I edited my post while you were replying

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Most newer TVs have a button that will zoom 4:3 letterbox content to fill the screen, cutting off the bars on the top and bottom. The TiVo does the same thing which you click the aspect button, while in 16:9 mode.
I think one of us misunderstands each other. I'm not talking about the video with resolution wasted on black bars, I'm talking about 16:9 content which fills the entire 480i signal which should then be stretched to fill the screen. There are no letterboxes in the signal.

The TiVo should NOT output 720x480 with 480i video unless the original source was 16:9

For the Tivo to work properly in my mind - 16:9 aspect ratio selection in the TiVo configuration combined with Native in the video output selection should have the following properties -
480i 4:3 content output at 704x480 , which the TiVo can output as proven by Smart SCreen
480i 16:9 output at 720x480 , which is the TiVo now outputs when selecting 16:9 ratio
All other resolutions at the current setup.

Last edited by ciper : 01-10-2009 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:13 AM   #15
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Sorry I edited my post while you were replying


I think one of us misunderstands each other. I'm not talking about the video with resolution wasted on black bars, I'm talking about 16:9 content which fills the entire 480i signal which should then be stretched to fill the screen. There are no letterboxes in the signal.
Ahh, I see. I guess you're talking about content sent to your TiVo? I'm not aware of any actual 16:9 480i SD channels, save for perhaps a handful of PBS feeds.
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:23 AM   #16
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Sending 16:9 content to the TiVo is what got me started on tonights testing. It was making me nuts that it wasn't working properly!

Either way I'd like 720p menus with properly flagged SD content so I don't have to touch my TV remote. With the "correct" setup I have to constantly change the image size if I channel surf and I'm not happy about having to hold the TiVo remote in one hand and the TV remote in the other.

Are TiVo reps even reading this? At the very least the TiVo Beta search has a bug since technically Smart Screen should display the search app in 480i right?


btw bkdtv thanks for the replies. It helped having someone to bounce ideas off of.

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Old 01-10-2009, 07:14 AM   #17
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TiVo Search displays at 720p for me. Oddly, the first screen, before you change your privacy status to opt in, is in 480i. The first time I launched TiVo Search, I didn't opt in, so this was all I saw. Now, I've succumbed to opting in. As soon as I did, it switched to 720p.

Which is exactly what it should do - display the native resolution of whatever menu we are seeing. The native resolution of most of TiVo's menus is 480i. The native resolution of this menu is 720p.

One would think they'd code the menu in 1080i, but that's a separate issue.

For 480i content, my TV reports the resolution at 720X480 in both smart screen and 16:9 modes.
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:19 AM   #18
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aindik I think our smart screen settings are whats making this all crazy. The main TiVo menus are authored in 720p and smart screen causes most of them to be downconverted to 480i. The beta search seems to ignore the setting and output 720p because you selected Native.

Which makes me think the Beta Search programmer was not the Tivo UI programmer!

bkdtv : I'm not sure if 704 vs 720 is what determines the aspect ratio of 480i content. I can only confirm that the TiVo is capable of flagging 480i content as either 4:3 or 16:9
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:25 AM   #19
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aindik I think our smart screen settings are whats making this all crazy. The main TiVo menus are authored in 720p and smart screen causes most of them to be downconverted to 480i. The beta search seems to ignore the setting and output 720p because you selected Native.

Which makes me think the Beta Search programmer was not the Tivo UI programmer!
I disagree. The main TiVo menus are authored in 480i and stretched out to fill a 720p frame because TiVo thinks people want their menus to fill the screen.

The background of the menus (the light bulbs and the TiVo guy in the upper left) is 720p native, but the font and the icons look appropriate in 480i, and stretched out in 720p. The circles in front of each show in Now Playing are circles in 480i and ovals in 720p. In 480i, the menu looks exactly like it looks on a Series 2. Same fonts, same icons, same shapes.

Contrast this with the TiVo Search Beta menu, which actually has text that looks how it's supposed to look in 16:9. It's 720p for real. The rest of the UI isn't.

In sum, this works exactly how it's supposed to work. It displays 480i stuff in 480i and 720p stuff in 720p.

There is a huge thread in the Series 3 forum about whether the menus are in HD, (started back in 2006 when the Series 3 first came out but posted in recently), which is what spawned my thread about "Native," to which you link in your OP in this thread.

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bkdtv : I'm not sure if 704 vs 720 is what determines the aspect ratio of 480i content. I can only confirm that the TiVo is capable of flagging 480i content as either 4:3 or 16:9
What is 16:9 480i content? Are you talking about anamorphic widescreen DVDs? Because there's no 16:9 480i content on actual broadcast or cable TV.

Last edited by aindik : 01-10-2009 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:32 AM   #20
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The built-in (non-HME) menus really are 480. There's no way to get them into HD. However, when you tell the TiVo that you're using a 16:9 screen, you thereby select an HD background for the menus; and that causes the menus to be output as (upconverted) 720p.

I just now realized this, BTW. I don't think it's ever been stated explicitly -- there's long been a lot of confusion about the menus, and why they come out as 720p when the text and icons are clearly not HD.* But as I look back on it, I'm certain this is correct. The output resolution (in Native) is determined by the resolution of the background video stream; the overlaid text and graphics may be either 480 or (in HME) 720, but they're up/downconverted as needed to match the background.

* The TiVo Guy is, of course, because he's part of the video background. This is where you really see the difference between the 4:3 SD and 16:9 HD backgrounds.
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:38 AM   #21
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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


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What is 16:9 480i content? Are you talking about anamorphic widescreen DVDs? Because there's no 16:9 480i content on actual broadcast or cable TV.
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.
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:43 AM   #22
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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.
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.

Quote:
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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.
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?

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Old 01-10-2009, 07:46 AM   #23
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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.
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.
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Old 01-10-2009, 09:04 AM   #24
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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?
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.
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Old 01-10-2009, 09:21 AM   #25
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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.
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.
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:27 PM   #26
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I think TiVo needs a 16:9 Smart Screen mode. A "hey, send what you get, seriously, I'm not kidding" mode.
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
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Old 01-14-2009, 08:35 PM   #27
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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?
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:44 PM   #28
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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.
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:21 AM   #29
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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.
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?
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Old 01-15-2009, 08:39 AM   #30
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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.
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