Awful Picture Quality

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by JIBBY1, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. JIBBY1

    JIBBY1 New Member

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    Dec 27, 2005
    Indianapolis

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    I just hooked up my new Tivo series 2 140 hour DVR and the picture quality is awful. I have a 42" Panasonic EDTV Plasma TV. I have a spliter on the cable line from the wall. The splitter takes the cable to the plasma tv and to the input on the Tivo. From the Tivo, I have an S-Video cable and an audio L & R cable to the plasma TV. When I watch TV with out the Tivo the quality is perfect, but when I switch to video 1 to watch live TV thru Tivo the picture is very grainy. Any suggestions?

    Thanks

    P.S. I have not looked at the picture quality of a recorded program yet cause I dont have any yet.
     
  2. MickeS

    MickeS Active Member

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    Dec 26, 2002
    Recorded shows will look the same as the "live" shows, if you record in Best mode ("live" TV through TiVo is just a recording played back instantly).

    Have you tried to watch without the splitter, just taking the cable directly into the TiVo?

    Bear in mind that the Series 2 TiVos do degrade the picture slightly compared to true live TV, but that is generally not related to graininess, but to pixelation in scenes with lots of motion.
     
  3. Stu_Bee

    Stu_Bee New Member

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    Jan 14, 2002
    Silicon...
    I'll assume you are not watching an HDTV channel when you are comparing Cable with Tivo, and Cable without Tivo.

    I too recently got a 42" Panasonic plasma, and my initial viewing of the Tivo source was horrible. After playing with the Panasonic settings I have now got quite an acceptable picture. Not as good as straight cable...but not that far different either.

    Don't use the "vivid" panasonic setting, and try turning down some of the sharpness/brightness settings. I don't have an EDTV so I'm sure our settings don't quite relate.

    -----
    Now I watch regular 4:3 Fullscreen Tivo'd shows in panasonic "Just" Aspect, and 4:3 Letterbox Tivo'd Shows in "Zoom" Aspect.

    Of course shows downloaded and converted from avi to mpg, that are transferred to the Tivo are a lot cleaner, which is one of the reasons I decided to get the plasma prior to the CableCard Tivo being released.
     
  4. JIBBY1

    JIBBY1 New Member

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    Dec 27, 2005
    Indianapolis
    If I would have known all this before I bought Tivo, I would not have done it. Why should I have to tweak my plasma pic just for Tivo. I'm not so worried about the recorded shows, i'm unhappy with the live tv. I bought the plasma WIDESCREEN to watch in widescreen not 4:3. Tivo is really missing the boat I think. You also cant record any HD channels. I'm returning mine next week before my 30 days if the pic doesn't change. I doubt it will unless Tivo wants to send someone to my house and make the pic better.


    Disappointed Tivo buyer

    Buyers remorse
     
  5. mec1991

    mec1991 Cranky old coot

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    Nov 5, 2004
    Back home...

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    Troll or just clueless as hell?
     
  6. MickeS

    MickeS Active Member

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    Dec 26, 2002
    All TVs have to be tweaked for all sources, generally. Didn't you tweak it for your DVD-player?

    If you bought it under the mistaken assumption that it records and plays back HDTV, you need to return it.

    Well, HD capability is not gonna change. TiVo is not gonna send someone out.
    So either you return it, or you try first without the splitter and see if the picture improves, also tweak the settings for the input where the TiVo is at. If that makes the picture better, you should consider getting a signal amplifier if you still need to have the signal split.
     
  7. ZikZak

    ZikZak Neurostim Addict

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    Arecibo, PR
    Because that is what the picture controls are for. You have to tweak the picture controls whenever you add a new component. Furthermore, TVs generally come from the store with terrible picture settings to begin with, i.e. with the sharpness and brightness turned all the way up. Correct settings for any TV watching, not just tivo, are generally with these settings very low. It is your responsibility to set your picture tube correctly, and has been since 1945.

    Then you bought the plasma for the wrong reason. Every single standard definition TV program in the universe is in 4:3 format. Some are letterboxed, but that doesn't change the aspect of the signal itself. To get a 4:3 normal TV program to show in widescreen, you *must* distort or crop the picture. If you did not understand this before buying your TV, maybe you should return it now and get a 4:3 set.

    And I refuse to drive my car unless GM sends someone over right now and properly inflates my tires.
     
  8. JIBBY1

    JIBBY1 New Member

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    Dec 27, 2005
    Indianapolis
    %^%$#$$$$&*(()&!#^%^%*
     
  9. MickeS

    MickeS Active Member

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    Dec 26, 2002
    So, did you try without the splitter? Did that make the picture look better?

    Did you try and turn the sharpness setting all the way down (the preferred setting on ALL TVs), and turned the brightness down?

    /Mike
     
  10. Rockmin

    Rockmin New Member

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    Jul 2, 2005
    TIVO's tuners ARE sensitive to video signal strength. I too had bad picture quality and then found out I was splitting the signal 4 times before it got to the TIVO! I had to configure a "home run" from my cable feed box to the TIVO to get a great picture quality. Everythings great now.
     
  11. keith021773

    keith021773 New Member

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    Jan 15, 2005
    Tennessee
    You can please some people some of the time but not all people all of the time. :) I LOVE my Tivos and that is all that matters to me. :) You could always sell it to me..
     
  12. usnret

    usnret New Member

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    Nov 25, 2003
    NW Ohio
    JIBBY - I just got the Panny 42" HDTV and was unhappy with the picture quality too. I have a splitter (so I can record and still watch something). The straight in from cable was bad too. I have an "Avia" DVD and used that to set the settings for straight cable shot and from my Tosh SD400. I also set the recording to Best. Doing these 2 things really increased the quality of both Tivo and straight shot. It will probably be a yr or 2 before we get HDTV out here in the sticks, but am really happy with what I have now. Just got my NetFlix DVD for the week and will see what that is like tonite. Don't be happy with the factory settings - get the Avia DVD and set it up properly.
    P.S. Is there some sort of forum for Plasma's (like this forum)??
     
  13. JIBBY1

    JIBBY1 New Member

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    Dec 27, 2005
    Indianapolis
    Thanks for your reply usnret. I did turn down the sharpness and brightness when I first got the TV. I also have tried splitter and no splitter. Still pixalated picture. The DVD you are refereing to is something I have been meaning to get but haven't yet. I will before I take back the Tivo. Its just frustrating to buy a product and not have it mentioned anywhere on the Tivo web site to the potential "tweaks" you are going to have to do to your 42" plasma which has a great pic with out Tivo. Why settle for an inferior pic just for Tivo. After posting this I'm going up to try and get this thing to look better. By the way, my Panny is a EDTV not HDTV. Still has an awesome pic when viewing HD channels.

    Thanks
     
  14. MickeS

    MickeS Active Member

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    Dec 26, 2002
    Ah... you didn't mention anything about pixelation in your original post, just graininess. Like I said before, TiVo will have some pixelation even at the live/best quality setting. You'll want to try and calibrate it (like with Avia above), but it will still be there.... but you'll get used to it. It's an unfortunate side-effect of having to digitize an analig signal that is hard to get around. DVRs which don't have to do a A-D conversion will have better picture (Like DirectV).
     
  15. SteveHoltam

    SteveHoltam New Member

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    Sep 16, 2002
    I helped a friend last night set-up her new Tivo on a nice 4:3 CRT TV, and at first was a bit taken back by the initial video output. Increasing the quality to best helped the most. Like MickeS said, its just a byproduct of the technology. And to never watch a commercial again, that is a great off-setter of the hit in image quality to her. I also noticed that the local analog channels looked the worse, where as HBO looked better.

    I think the cable companies are way over compressing the video to shove all the crap down that single coaxial line. Both analog and digital, 100's of channels, VOD, music, PPV's..... Crap in, crap out.

    One more thing in the way of suggestions. You mention your TV looks great while watching HDTV. You also mentioned your tv was hooked up via S-Video. HD is normally done through a component cable (or DVI), and I don't think S-Video even has the ability to pass an HDTV signal. Is your cable box an HD version? If so, you need to use a component cable to get the 480p your tv can display.

    Steve
     
  16. JIBBY1

    JIBBY1 New Member

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    Dec 27, 2005
    Indianapolis
    I don't have a cable box. Comes right from the wall. I tweaked it a little last night and it helped a little. Some people here get a little to SENSITIVE when someone bad talks tivo. They need to chill. People come here to seek help cause the are NEW to the product and need legit HELP and don't know all the tricks yet. Your sarcastic comments are not appreciated. If I knew how to fix the problem I would not be here. So, some of you, and you know who you are, need to get a life beside tivo. Those of you who did give me non-sarcastic help, I thank you very much.
     
  17. JIBBY1

    JIBBY1 New Member

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    Dec 27, 2005
    Indianapolis
    And yes Mickes it is a pixelated picture, not graininess.
     
  18. mec1991

    mec1991 Cranky old coot

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    Nov 5, 2004
    Back home...
    Then don't post sarcastic comments about wanting someone from TiVo to come to your house to make the picture better after people like MickeS and Stu_Bee try to help you. Fair enough?

    Happy New Year and enjoy your new plasma! :)
     
  19. JIBBY1

    JIBBY1 New Member

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    Dec 27, 2005
    Indianapolis
    You know exactly what I'm talking about cause your one of the "clueless" ones that has nothing better to do than surf this forum and have zilch input to a legit question. "Troll or just clueless as hell" I think was your exact quote. I think your the clueless one and need to get a life. Enough to you.
     
  20. usnret

    usnret New Member

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    Nov 25, 2003
    NW Ohio
    Jibby, be sure and let us know if/when you get things to your liking and what you did to get there. It should help us all. Any little tips/tricks to get these plasma's right are welcomed.
     

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