Does Tivo distort picture quality

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by jojoma, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. jojoma

    jojoma New Member

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    Sep 14, 2006

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    Hi,

    I recently bought a Samsung HD TV that has a great picture. However, when I plug the cable into my Tivo and my Tivo to the TV, the picture looks a little less brilliant.

    Is Tivo know to degrade the picture quality? Or I am seeing something that is not there.

    I am using a regular cable to connect Tivo to the tv instead of the red, white, yellow cable. I have heard this may make a difference.

    Thanks
     
  2. alansplace

    alansplace ------ Alan ------

    804
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    Apr 30, 2006
    Southern...
    yes, disconnect the rf cable between the tivo and the tv and instead use the 'red, white, yellow cable' for better results.
    --
    Alan :D
     
  3. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Well-Known Member

    2,012
    38
    May 10, 1999
    Yes, it's always going to degrade picture quality somewhat, this is unavoidable. Tivo has to MPEG encode the video in order to do its tricks; encoding is a lossy process. You can try to minimize the losses by trying:
    -cable amplifier (Tivo doesn't like weak signals, this can sometimes help)
    -use highest quality settings (live TV = best, high, rather than medium/basic)
    - use better connections, S-video or composite rather than your RF connection (maybe not much improvement for the video for analog cable, but at least you get stereo audio this way)

    If you really want top notch picture quality then you have to either get series 3 or a cable box DVR & watch HD channels. With the digital channels, these integrated DVRs avoid reencoding since they just store digital data directly; only encoding is that done by the broadcaster/cable company using much better equipment & in the case of HD also much higher resolution (SD digital should be clean, noise free, but sometimes low res or with macroblocking if they are trying to compress it a lot).

    Unfortunately there's always going to be encoding on the analog channels no matter what if using any DVR. You may get better quality watching these live through the TV's tuner, but most of us feel the convenience of DVR watching outweighs the video quality hit.
     
  4. Rod Adams

    Rod Adams New Member

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    Jan 12, 2006
    Are you watching the Tivo, or the regular cable?

    If you are using the Tivo to watch shows? If you are changing channels with the Tivo, not the TV, then you are watching the Tivo. Even in "Live TV" on the Tivo, you're actually watching buffered TV, which is subject to MPEG encoding/decoding, and there is some picture quality loss in the process. Doing this encoding loop is what allows for all the neat effect like rewind, slo-mo, etc.

    If the picture quality disturbs you that much, get an S3 and go HD. Since the S3 just buffers the digital stream that was origionally broadcasted, there is zero difference in picture quality for digital sources.
     
  5. jojoma

    jojoma New Member

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    Sep 14, 2006

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    Thanks for the replies. I am watching through the Tivo so now I understand what's casuing the slight distortion. It's not that bad though.

    One more thing: When I use the red, white, yellow from the tivo to the tv, it doesn't work. Nothing shows up on the screen except snow. Do I also need to have the RF out connection from tivo to the tv with the regular cable in addition to the red, white, yellow connection.

    Thanks
     
  6. alansplace

    alansplace ------ Alan ------

    804
    0
    Apr 30, 2006
    Southern...
    no
    --
    Alan :D
     
  7. gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

    7,486
    3
    Oct 31, 2003
    Potato and pen.

    You shouldn't be getting snow.

    You should be getting NOTHING but a blank screen of some kind. (Blue or black.)

    You're likely not setting the TV to its video inputs. You're continuing to use the tuner, which won't work now because you disconnected the RF cable. (So you get snow...no signal.)

    Check your TV's owner's manual, and find out how to switch from the TV's tuner to its video inputs.

    It should be doable by pressing the channel number "zero" twice, or by pressing a button that says "video" or "auxiliary".

    Once you have the TV set to work with its video inputs there should be a fine picture coming in off the yellow cable.
     
  8. jojoma

    jojoma New Member

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    Sep 14, 2006
    Thanks Gas and Alan. I'm a dummy. I changed the input source in the menu and it works fine. Picture looks better too.



     

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