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Old 12-29-2007, 12:34 AM   #1
Billyh1026
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Native vs Hybrid vs Fixed 1080i vs 790p confussion

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-t...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.
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Old 12-29-2007, 02:05 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 12-29-2007, 07:15 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 12-29-2007, 07:31 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 12-29-2007, 09:40 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 12-29-2007, 10:28 AM   #6
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Agree with last 3 posts.
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Old 12-29-2007, 10:43 AM   #7
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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.

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Old 12-29-2007, 10:55 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 12-29-2007, 11:11 AM   #9
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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)
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Old 12-29-2007, 07:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mars Rocket View Post
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.

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.

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Old 12-29-2007, 09:57 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by acvthree View Post
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).
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.
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Old 12-30-2007, 11:29 AM   #12
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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.
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Old 12-30-2007, 10:34 PM   #13
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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
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Last edited by Billyh1026 : 12-30-2007 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 12-30-2007, 11:00 PM   #14
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- 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.
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Old 12-31-2007, 06:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacksonian View Post
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.


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.
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Old 12-31-2007, 08:57 AM   #16
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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.
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.
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Old 12-31-2007, 10:56 AM   #17
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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.
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Old 12-31-2007, 11:07 AM   #18
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* 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?
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Old 12-31-2007, 11:28 AM   #19
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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.
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Old 12-31-2007, 12:06 PM   #20
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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.

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Old 12-31-2007, 12:41 PM   #21
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Geez, you're offering up the VP50Pro (MSRP $3499) as a solution to people with 768 flat panels?? That's a solution for people who are loaded & are using 100"+ $20k FP setups. Even their cheaper VPs are overkill. Not to mention that many of those plasmas/LCDs probably don't accept a 768 signal anyway. It'd be better to just buy a new 1080p set w/ a decent internal VP ...
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Old 12-31-2007, 03:19 PM   #22
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Actually, I was trying to point out that we keep going down the path of "the very best picture possible", instead of the simple but good enough answer to the question that the OP seemed to be asking.

I, personally, like the discussion about how to tweek the last possible bit of performance out of things, but I just keep getting the image of some poor guy with big open eyes thinking "I just wanted to know what output format to set".

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Old 12-31-2007, 08:58 PM   #23
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How about "the very best picture possible" given only the TiVo and the OPs TV? With those qualifications I would reiterate that using TiVo Native output and letting the TV handle all the scaling is likely to produce the best PQ since the image would only have to be scaled once.
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Old 01-01-2008, 08:22 AM   #24
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And I would "reiterate" that for the best overall viewing experience, 1080i or 720p FIXED (matching your disply resolution) is the best. The scaler in the TiVo does a very fine job, and eliminates all the resolution change glitching that the native and hybrid modes causes in most displays.

But again, this is all a matter of personal preferences.
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Old 01-01-2008, 09:56 AM   #25
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I think MScottC has it nailed for most people that "just want to watch TV".

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Old 01-01-2008, 11:08 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by MScottC View Post
And I would "reiterate" that for the best overall viewing experience, 1080i or 720p FIXED (matching your disply resolution) is the best. The scaler in the TiVo does a very fine job, and eliminates all the resolution change glitching that the native and hybrid modes causes in most displays.

But again, this is all a matter of personal preferences.

for a 1080p set, would you set it for 1080i, or 720p fixed? ive got absolutely no experience with an s3 or tivo hd and ill be setting one up over the weekend for my ma.
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Old 01-01-2008, 01:42 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by acvthree View Post
I just keep getting the image of some poor guy with big open eyes thinking "I just wanted to know what output format to set".

Al
(In my best Arnold Horshack imitation) OOOOOOHHHHH! OOOOOOHHHHH! OOOOOOHHHHH! THAT'S ME MR. KOTTER! THAT'S ME MR. KOTTER!

Thing is, I think what I'm asking is in both of these posts.
"the very best picture possible given only the TiVo and the OPs TV"
&
"best overall viewing experience" given only the Tivo the and OPs TV"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mars Rocket View Post
How about "the very best picture possible" given only the TiVo and the OPs TV? With those qualifications I would reiterate that using TiVo Native output and letting the TV handle all the scaling is likely to produce the best PQ since the image would only have to be scaled once.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MScottC View Post
And I would "reiterate" that for the best overall viewing experience, 1080i or 720p FIXED (matching your disply resolution) is the best. The scaler in the TiVo does a very fine job, and eliminates all the resolution change glitching that the native and hybrid modes causes in most displays.
Both of the above posts seem logical and make sense to me. But, they're different.

Is "display resolution" the same as "display format"? i.e. 720p?
AND, how can I tell what looks best other than thinking "ok, that looks good". What I mean is, should I be looking at black areas, or whites, or corners, or edges, or what?

* Resolution
* 1366 x 768

* Display Format
* 720p

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

I'll eventually get the grasp of everything you all are saying. I really will. I like digging into this kind of stuff. I just can't get elbow deep into it right now.

p.s. Does OP mean original poster?
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Old 01-01-2008, 02:33 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Billyh1026 View Post
p.s. Does OP mean original poster?
Yes.

The problem is that we don't know what exactly the manufacturer means by "Display Format". There are two possibilities:

1. All incoming signals are scaled to 1366x768 because that's the native resolution of the display.

2. The display may use a subset of the available pixels and display a true 1280x720 picture, centered on the entire screen.

If it's option 2 then letting the TiVo scale everything to 720p is the best choice because you never see any resolution changing artifacts or delays, and the TV wouldn't have to do any scaling itself.

If it's option 1 then I still say that sending the signal out in its native mode and letting the TV scale things by itself is the best choice, because doing it the other way would mean that for 1080i signals (or for 720p signals if you choose a 1080i output) there would be two levels of processing - one at the TiVo and one at the TV. There's no way you can scale an image twice and not lose some PQ.
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Old 01-02-2008, 04:03 PM   #29
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And I would "reiterate" that for the best overall viewing experience, 1080i or 720p FIXED (matching your disply resolution) is the best. The scaler in the TiVo does a very fine job, and eliminates all the resolution change glitching that the native and hybrid modes causes in most displays.
But again, this is all a matter of personal preferences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by acvthree View Post
I think MScottC has it nailed for most people that "just want to watch TV".Al
Quite so. It's probably the right recommendation for the average viewer who finds the constant format-change wait annoying and may not notice the subtle loss of picture quality on some (not all) channels.

But speaking just for myself, I was definitely able to see the difference when using a fixed output meant that the original had to go through an extra generation of format conversion. Annoying as I find the wait (and on my Pioneer plasma that wait can be close to five seconds), the loss of picture quality was worse.
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Old 01-02-2008, 05:21 PM   #30
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Quite so. It's probably the right recommendation for the average viewer who finds the constant format-change wait annoying and may not notice the subtle loss of picture quality on some (not all) channels.
It probably depends on how much the user watches live tv. Also, if the TiVo would keep the current resolution (720p or 1080i) for the menus as the last program being watched, then there would not be as much resolution changing so it wouldn't be as big a deal to run native mode.
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