Comcast/Xfinity and or channels broadcasting in 720p not 1080i, best way to upscale with PC..?

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by Dominick_7, Jan 28, 2018.

  1. Dominick_7

    Dominick_7 New Member

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    May 12, 2008

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    So it seems that many of the networks that may have used to broadcast in 1080i are broadcasting in 720p and its noticeable.. what are supposed to be smooth background gradations have blocky artifacts, as do curved shadows in darker areas especially on faces. On top of this they're doing some sort of channel migration increasing the HD channels from the 800s to the 1000s, so it's harder to figure out which of the duplicate channels broadcast in 1080i. Even the HD premier channels are in 720p.. wth. Is there a recommended way to upscale that's affordable?

    I run it from the Bolt VOX 3tb with paired Comcast cable card to the Hauppauge HD PVR 60, to my HP ENVY where I had been recording in 1080p60 but now it looks like, well, as described, not as good.

    The other thing is Tivo OnePass won't let me select the channels I know do 1080i unless I cancel the onepass and set it up to where I can exactly find it on the guide, but not all shows are in season yet so I can't do that with most. Been looking at these to upscale..

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MU32ULM/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A28128AMZ00PEQ

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01L1YJY78/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_8?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2WXIT89T9GC4E

    Oppos are too expensive for me right now, but not sure what to do. Any ideas are appreciated.
     
  2. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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  3. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Comcast is moving virtually all cable channels to 720p MPEG4 leaving only the local broadcast channels that were 1080i as 1080i and MPEG2.

    I haven't seen any blocky artifacts here so I don't think any upscaling is going to help you (We set our Roamio output to 1080i so the TiVo already upscales to 1080i). Mostly seems to be less detail and maybe a softness to the picture but that part could be my imagination.

    Scott
     
  4. Dominick_7

    Dominick_7 New Member

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    Wow. I put the onus on them when I was on the phone but didn't have specifics. I figured it was them because before the broadcasts in 'hd' used to be 1080i, and they used to give you an option to upscale to 1080i with the older hd dvr boxes. Now I see no options to do that in the X1s. Assumed it was on them to at least give that option or at minimum stop categorizing things wrongly so my Tivo can actually get some 1080i channels. This feels very underhanded and I saw no notifications or announcements on it. Think I'm going to look at cutting the chord more seriously now. Why be subjected to a sub par viewing experience and pay for not really but technically hd.. I was pretty ticked off because I just got the Tivo Vox right before I saw the changes within the last two weeks or so..... grr. Thank you for the link. They'll be hearing back from me soon.
     
  5. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you've invested quite a bit in CableCARD-based devices, so I can understand your desire to stick with cable. But sadly, Comcast has really degraded their HD picture quality over the years as they've squeezed in more channels and (I assume) given less bandwidth to QAM TV so that they can give more to broadband internet (which is their real money-maker). There are lots of posts on this site complaining about Comcast's picture quality.

    I'm skeptical that any sort of upscaler you buy is going to make that much difference as it takes Comcast's overly compressed 720p and outputs it to your TV at 1080p. But you could give it a shot. Since it's Amazon, you probably wouldn't have trouble returning it if it didn't work for you as hoped.

    If HD picture quality is really important to you, I would suggest considering switching to DirecTV satellite. They have the best picture quality of any major live pay TV service. In the past, I've had Comcast, DTV, Dish, and AT&T Uverse. (I have streaming DirecTV Now at the moment and its HD PQ rivals DTV satellite when it's at its best, but DTV Now is still in beta, and very flaky, and still awaiting cloud DVR, so I wouldn't recommend it.)
     
  6. Dominick_7

    Dominick_7 New Member

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    I saw someone say that in here. This really sucks. Especially considering how much comcast costs, how do most of the brain dead masses not see the difference. My family cant tell the difference between atari graphics and a ps4, let alone 480i and 1080p.

    Does the Tivo upscale? Ive been told by some outsourced techs at tivo that it doesn't upscale and that it does by other reps. How do I force 1080i? By unchecking auto and everything else but check only 1080i, or is that just passthrough? I wished it was just softness like the X1 seems to still do.
     
  7. Dominick_7

    Dominick_7 New Member

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    I have hence why my frustration/anger. I just dont get it its like a waiter handing you a drink in a dirty glass with food stuck to it vs a clean glass.. and you pay more for the dirty glass..! How do people just not care? I only saw one or two posts about the image quality. Good to know there are many.

    The one in the X1 seems to do a pretty great job. Not sure how to get the VOX to do the same. Found that really frustrating to deal with on the Roamio. Ended up just using it for streaming from apps like amazon, netflix, vudu etc. True. Will probably get one asap. In the meantime am experimenting with different "hd' channels. They did say only like a 3rd of the channels or so will stay in 1080i.. Why cant they at least leave the hd premium channels alone..

    Really, directtv?? Hmm. Interesting. I remember having them years ago and hated getting crappy picture with storms, wind etc. Has that changed?
     
    leswar likes this.
  8. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    If you go to Settings, Audio & Video Settings, Video Resolution you can check the outputs that TiVo will use. If you select Auto, look to your right. You will see what your TV feels is best. I check only 1080i for non-streaming. For streaming sources, that box marked 1080p 24/25fps (pass-through) matters. With that checked, movies from Amazon & Netflix with a 24fps rate will display properly. This box only affect streaming content, and can not be the only box checked.

    Note that on Hydra, these are is buggy. My TV is 1080p, but I detect no change from sending it 1080i, so I let the TV do its job and reduce the workload on my TiVo.

    While I'm not on Comcast and get no H.264 channels, my locals are adding so many sub-channels that I get a much better picture on basic cable anymore. You can't win.

    BTW, my sister in FL has DirectTV and a 4k television. Her 1080p display looks very nice. But FL has some nasty weather.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
  9. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that's the trade-off with satellite: unreliability during bad weather. Some satellite subscribers never seem to have any reliability problems, but both DTV and Dish would lose channels for me any time it rained. I'm sure it's impacted by your location and how good the line-of-sight is between the rooftop dish and the satellite. If you had weather problems with DTV years ago at your current location, it's probably not going to be much better now (although both DTV and Dish have launched new satellites over the years, and shifted various cable and local channels between their older and newer satellites, so it's possible that reliability could be better -- or worse -- at your location now than it was before).
     
  10. Dominick_7

    Dominick_7 New Member

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    It says 1080p60 is preferred in the selections and on the right it says auto includes 1080p60. I tried selecting 1080p60 1080p 24/25 passthrough and 1080i, but when i left then went back it went back to auto. I have no tv but I think its basing it on the hauppauge hd pvr 60. Guess its a bug like you mentioned. Hmm. Lol yep, so it seems not.

    Yea so I guess itll look nice as long as theres no rain, sleet, snow, wind, birds pecking, squirrels jumping etc.
     
  11. Dominick_7

    Dominick_7 New Member

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    That was back when I lived in Illinois, but it'll be no different on the east coast I figure. All of this just sounds like a choice between paying for horse crap with 5 flies vs another pile of horse crap but with 4 flies.
     
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  12. TostitoBandito

    TostitoBandito Active Member

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    Upscaling isn't a solution. It's garbage-in, garbage-out. When the source image is at such a low bitrate with so much missing information and artifacts, there's not really much an upscaling chip can do besides smooth out edges a little bit. Basically, polishing a turd.
     
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  13. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough. Is Verizon FiOS or Frontier FiOS available where you live? Their PQ is better than Comcast's and you could use your CableCARD equipment with them.

    Other than that, you might want to think about OTT streaming live TV services if you have reliable broadband at your home. The hitch with those is that any given one may or may not have all of your four major local network affiliates (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox; and none of them have PBS). Also the cloud DVR features they offer tend to come with drawbacks, although the drawbacks vary from service to service.

    PS Vue sounds like the all-round best one from what I've read. Good PQ and overall pretty reliable. You have unlimited storage on your cloud DVR but stuff auto-deletes after 28 days (so no saving up a whole season to binge watch). You can FF through ads on stuff you record. Like with cable, though, there's no FF through ads in on-demand stuff. Pricing starts at $40, with up to 5 simultaneous streams allowed. They have an app for just about every device.
     
  14. Dominick_7

    Dominick_7 New Member

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    :( Well.. I guess thats all I'd hope for, is to not see Atari graphics standing out like red wine stains on a white shirt. If it can make the white shirt red or gradually go from red to white with some smoothing I think I could deal with that.
     
  15. Dominick_7

    Dominick_7 New Member

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    They are, kind of.. as in across the street at another development but not in this one.. cool right? Haha.

    What's a recommended OTT? Hmm.. What kind of drawbacks?

    PS Vue is OTT? Hmm.. Can I use the Tivo or you have to use some sort of PS Vue rented device?
     
  16. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    In addition to selecting the options, I think there's an additional step to saving them (maybe Joe can chime in here). Sounds like you checked them and exited the screen which didn't save the settings.

    I'm still not sure about the blocky artifacts being caused by their conversion. You have an example (particular show and scene) that has a repeat coming up soon that I could record to take a look? We have a 65" Panasonic plasma so I'd be interested to see what you are seeing.

    Scott
     
  17. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    I wish I could help more, but I don't have a Bolt or a 4k TV. There are several threads concerning resolution and 4k problems in this forum. Seems to be a lot of problems but no fixes.

    Also, I have this problem. I check only 1080i and 1080p 24/25fps (Pass-Through). After a restart I'm sending 1080i. Then I watch a 1080/p24 Amazon movie. Upon exit, my TiVo is sending 1080p60 and SI indicates 480p. So my Roamio RC12 is not a good box to use. My TV is native 1080p and can also display 24fps without any special circuits.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
  18. NorthAlabama

    NorthAlabama tabasco rules

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    i've noticed recordings from the channels that natively broadcast in 720p (like fox & espn), have much larger file sizes than the channels comcast downconverts to 720p, and i assume they have better quality and higher bitrate, too, but i really haven't noticed a big difference (still comparing).
     
  19. humbb

    humbb Active Member

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    If Xfinity On Demand is available to you, someone in this forum provided a tip that I've been using with some success. Tune to one of the Comcast 1080i stations (I use our local NBC station) before launching the Tivo XOD app. When I hit the "info" button on my TV's remote, it then shows a 1080i display. I've found a noticeable PQ improvement with this method and I use it mostly for On Demand premium channel movies (i.e. no commercials) or TV shows with no FF restrictions.

    Note: I am using a pre-Hydra Roamio Pro.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
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  20. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    By drawbacks, I mean the way that these services' cloud DVR feature works.

    For instance, with PS Vue, your recordings will auto-delete after 28 days, although you have unlimited storage space.

    With Google's YouTube TV, DVR recordings auto-delete after 9 months (with unlimited storage) but, beware, they will substitute an on-demand version of a show (if available) in place of a DVR recording, and you typically can't FF through ads in on-demand like you can with a DVR recording.

    With Hulu Live TV, your recordings never auto-delete but you have limited storage space, only 50 hours. And if you want to FF through ads in your DVR recordings, you must pay an extra $15/mo for "Enhanced Cloud DVR," which also increases your storage from 50 to 200 hrs. But Hulu will still replace your recordings with on-demand versions with forced ads; to get rid of those ads costs another $4.

    One nice thing with these services, though, is that there are typically no recording conflicts. You're not using physical tuners, so you're not limited to, say, 4 recordings at the same time as you might be with a regular DVR.

    All of these services are "over the top" (OTT), meaning that they are standalone services (not tied to a local network provider) and work with any internet connection. None of them work with TiVo. Instead, they are accessed through apps on retail devices like Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Android TV and Chromecast.

    They all tend to offer free 7 day trials. None of them have any kind of contract or commitment. Some of them will give you a discount or a bonus (like a free streaming device) if you prepay for the first couple months.
     
    leswar likes this.

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