Bolt picture quality "dull?"

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by DevdogAZ, Jun 10, 2017.

  1. DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give 'em Hell, Devils

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    I recently sold a brand-new (unopened) Bolt on ebay. The buyer received it yesterday, set it up on his FIOS service, and now is asking to return it because all the channels look "dull" on his TV. Having never had a TiVo with FIOS or even with a cable card, I'm not sure what settings can be tweaked to try and improve the picture. What should I suggest that he try so that I don't have to take the Bolt back and refund the money?

    Here is the exact message I received:
     
  2. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    I doubt there is anything you can do here - sounds to me like you just have a buyer who has probably found a better deal and just wants his money back. Probably no way to defend that.

    Just for some added info, I used TiVo S3 boxes with FiOS in Dallas for about 5 years, and the display on ALL channels was excellent, and HD content was simply stunning on the TiVo - certainly as good, and probably better than the same content on FiOS' own crappy cable box that I had on one TV.

    I now have a Bolt in addition to the old S3 boxes, and although I have never used the Bolt with FiOS, the PQ on the Bolt is certainly as good with OTA HD content on both old HDTVs and my new 4K UHD 65" Samsung TV. I have nothing to base this final comment on, but I personally find it hard to believe that your sleeze-bay buyer is being honest with you.
     
  3. sharkster

    sharkster Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I hope he's not just trying to return another, malfunctioning, machine to you. I guess the good thing is that you will have the SN of the one you sold, so it's super easy to figure out.
     
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  4. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    TiVo Bolt is doing digital all the way from Verizon to TV. It doesn't do any analog conversions. I don't see how the TiVo Bolt could cause the picture to be "dull" over and HDMI connection. The bits are exactly what was from the sender. If he complained the HDMI connection was occasionally blanking out, that might be a TiVo Bolt problem. With the HDMI connection, either you get a picture or you don't. The type of artificacts you might get from bad cables or output are sparklies (little white dots). There is almost no chance for an analog type artifact like "dull" picture.

    Maybe if he was complaining about an older TiVo like S3/HD which had analog connections I could believe him.

    So the problem (if legitimate) is either the TV calibration for the input he is using or from the source. If the source is the issue, I am sure other people would be complaining.

    My conclusion is either the TV needs calibration or this guy is making an excuse.

    Another possibility is he is watching SD channels instead of HD channels. I don't know if FIOS sends both.
     
  5. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    You might want to remind him that on most modern TVs the picture adjustment settings are input specific. So if he's comparing to the Verizon box on a different input they could look different because the picture controls are set differently for the two inputs.

    Although if he's just trying to get out of the sale then that's not going to help.

    I thought most things on ebay were sold as-is, no refunds?
     
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  6. sharkster

    sharkster Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I guess eBay supports the buyer in that if they call 'not as represented' they support return/refund.

    There are a number of reasons I stopped selling on eBay a number of years ago but a lot of it is how they changed so many things from supporting sellers, in a reasonable scenario, to giving it ALL to buyers. Plus, you can't leave a neg for a buyer who ripped you off, anymore, so they can keep doing it until they get thrown off of eBay. Then, they can just start a whole new ID and off they go again.

    I'd be scared to sell anything of any major value there. I only got ripped off one time and that was enough for me. Paypal took a stolen credit card from a guy and when that came to light, they took the money away from me so I lost the item and the money. I don't know how that was to be considered my fault but, in Paypal's view, it was. :( They take a stolen credit card and it doesn't cost them anything. (sorry for the rant)
     
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  7. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I haven't sold anything on ebay in years. At the time the biggest turnoff for me was that they charged you to relist an item after it expired if no one bid or hit your reserve. With the few things I did sell on there I luckily never got any crooks.
     
  8. thompsr2

    thompsr2 Member

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    There is nothing you can do. For whatever reason, TiVo devices are not quite as sharp as some other cable boxes/streaming devices. You can search my posting history to see the last thread that was brought up about this. If you've spent months/years watching content from one of these sharper devices and then switch to TiVo, it is noticeable. But if TiVo is all you have ever used to watch content, then you don't know any better and won't notice anything. By no means it's TiVo picture quality bad, it's just a little softer than other devices for some reason.
     
  9. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    Earlier I took "dull" to mean colors are dull.

    The one thing I can think of is he might be complaining about the scaler in TiVo.

    He might be able to lock the resolution to something closer to native and have the TV do the scaling. For example, check off 1080i and/or 720p and TiVo Bolt should pass those through and have the TV do the scaling. Now if his TV has a crappy scaler, then you can't do anything about that.

    Did you actually offer a satisfaction guarantee? I don't think you've delivered a broken TiVo Bolt, just he didn't like the TiVo Bolt.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
  10. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    Says you . . .

    Balderdash, says I.
     
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  11. schatham

    schatham Well-Known Member

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    Did your listing say no returns. If so tell him the Tivo works as it is designed and no returns.
     
  12. DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give 'em Hell, Devils

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    The listing specifically says no returns. I agree that it's working exactly as designed and should not be eligible for a refund. Hopefully I can get ebay to understand that and they won't force me to refund the item, since that means I'll be out $30 shipping each way and who knows if the TiVo I get back will be the same one I sent in the same condition I sent. I do have the TSN so I definitely won't return any money if the guy tries to send back a unit different from the one I sent.
     
  13. waynomo

    waynomo My One Time

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    I wonder if the buyer is using a bad HDMI cable?
    Do you have any idea what TV he is using?
    Maybe he should try streaming something in 4K?
    I purchased a Bolt+ under the recent Once in a Lifetime promotion. I noticed an increase in quality from my Roamio. However, this is with a 4K Samsung set.
     
  14. tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Well-Known Member

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    Some people never adjust their sets or treat adjustments as set and forget. If something looks dull I would say tweak the sharpness a little turn the brightness down and the contrast up. I would start there, ideally while on the phone with the person doing the adjusting.
     
  15. DigitalDawn

    DigitalDawn Active Member

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    Unfortunately, in almost *all* cases, Ebay will side with the buyer. Of course, if he tries to send you back a different unit, that's another story. It's always a good idea to show the serial number in the photos you upload to Ebay.
     
  16. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    Maybe you can complain to ebay that the Buyer is "dull"
     
  17. cybergrimes

    cybergrimes Legend

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    This is a hard lesson but never sell electronics on eBay as "returns not accepted" because it doesn't actually prevent buyers from invoking eBay protection when they claim something is "significantly not as described". It's better to do 14 day return with buyer paying return shipping which generally stops buyers from being quick to return since it means eating that cost with no item to show for it. They probably wouldn't have thought it was so dull if it meant losing $30. Also I agree with others-- ask they check the display settings for that input.

    Responding to a return request when the item doesn't match the listing description
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
  18. DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give 'em Hell, Devils

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    Buyer just responded and said he changed all the settings and it didn't help. He said he hooked up his FIOS box to the same input that the TiVo was on so as not to have anything different in the settings and it was much sharper. :rolleyes:

    He's saying that he wants to send it back but that I can deduct the shipping cost from the refund. So I guess it's not all bad.
     
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  19. BillyClyde

    BillyClyde Active Member

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    Just because it's "sharper" doesn't mean it's correct. The fios box probably has the sharpness cranked up creating false edges and ringing that, to the untrained eye look "better".

    What I've done before to test sources like this is download an MP4 file of some test patterns and copy them over (to the tivo in this case), then play them and use those to check for artifacts like ringing and ghosting with too much sharpness control, amongst other things.
     
  20. mschnebly

    mschnebly Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't "look better" mean "look better" no matter if your eye is trained or not? Can you train your eye to see a worse picture and think that it's better? No matter what the settings are, if it looks better then it's a better picture. Looking better is in the eyes of the beholder and a matter of preference. Just like some people like over saturated color while some like a natural look. If he cant tweak the picture to his liking with the TiVo then the Fios looks better.
     

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