Getting a HD TV - so some TiVo questions

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by rgr, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. rgr

    rgr Member

    676
    58
    Feb 21, 2003

    Advertisements

    I'm planning on buying a widescreen tv (Samsung HLR5678W it looks like) that will allow HD. I have a TiVo S2 standalone. Comcast San Francisco tells me that I'll need a new cable box and that I can choose between a 2000, a 5100, and a 6412 by going down to the cable store and swapping out my existing motorola digital box.

    Anyone have any experience with any of these boxes? The comcast rep indicated that the serial port is enabled (but I've been told things by comcast in the past that turned out not to be the case) so that shouldn't pose a problem. They aslso said that they had s-video, which would be a step up from the rca cables.

    I think the 6412 is a DVR as well - any problems using that for recording HD and using my TiVo for regular non-HD recording?

    Thoughts on what I should expect for picture quality from the TiVo on the big tv?

    Anything I'm missing that I should be considering?

    Thanks.
    Ron
     
  2. DickK

    DickK New Member

    83
    0
    Oct 11, 2004
    Northern...
    Technically you do not need to swap boxes although you may wish to do so. Everything that worked before still will. You only need the new cable box if you're going to pay for the Comcast's HD upgrade to get HD premium channels. However, since your TV is Cablecard ready and has ATSC/QAM/NTSC tuners you have lots of options other than a new box. The cablecard is a direct substitute with advanatages and disadvantages--other threads have discussed it here and Comcast should have info on their web site.

    Because the TV has all the needed tuners you can split the cable and hook up the TV directly. Let it scan the cable for stations and see what it finds. It should come up with all the analog stations (typically 2-99) plus some/many over-the-air digital broadcast stations in your area (see www.dtv.gov for more info on what's in your area). If the digital stations are broadcasting in HD then you'll get it -- with no cable box at all. However, you won't get any premium channels this way or any cable-only digital channels (HD or SD) without a cable box of some kind.

    Third option is true over-the-air for HD via an antenna. If you already have one then I'd hook it up to the TV and see what it finds.

    In short, there are several options for programming including HD that don't involve a new box but ultimately that may be your best option.

    Should be possible but the hookup is going to get complicated if you want TiVo to be able to record anything except the basic analog channels. With only one cable box (DVR or not) you're only going to have one source for the digital channels and any premium channels you get.[/quote]

    TiVo and standard def TV aren't going to look as good. The TV is going to show every flaw better and bigger than ever. I find it acceptable but others might not.
     
  3. rgr

    rgr Member

    676
    58
    Feb 21, 2003
    Thanks for the response. I have some followup questions:

    On recording with the TiVo, if I have the 6412 going to the TiVo, then to the TV, would I not have the option of recording all non-HD on the TiVo, leaving the HD for recording on the 6412?

    When you say that "TiVo and standard def TV aren't going to look as good." - do you mean as good as on a conventional (non-HD) tv? I know not to expect them to look as good as the HD signal, but with digital cable I'd not expect them to look worse than on my current 4:3 tv.

    Thanks again. I love this forum for just the type of knowledgeable responses as you gave. After looking in avsforums, I'm changing my mind about the tv and have started looking at the Toshiba 56MX195. Isn't the internet great?
     
  4. ZikZak

    ZikZak Neurostim Addict

    2,894
    0
    Aug 12, 2002
    Arecibo, PR
    You should, yes.

    Digital cable is of lesser video quality than analog signal.

    Also, your new TV is larger and has more resolution than your old TV, and this will tend to magnify defects in the picture. This includes defects caused by tivo's (and digital cable's, for that matter) MPEG compression.
     
  5. DickK

    DickK New Member

    83
    0
    Oct 11, 2004
    Northern...

    Advertisements

    Huh? :confused: Not on my cable service and I can't think of any reason this should be true if the cable company is doing its job correctly.


    How it looks has lots of variables but, yes, it can appear "worse" than on the old TV, especially close up. If you're across the room so the apparent size of the screen approximates the old TV it might well look about the same. The new TV is going to blow that 4:3 480i image up to 16:9 if you select that and to the native resolution of the screen. What it looks like to you afterward is a function of how good the original was, how good a job the TV does processing the image, how close you sit and your own perception of what's there and the mental comparison to what was there before. I see the flaws but it looks okay to me, others seem to find them more bothersome.
     
  6. ZikZak

    ZikZak Neurostim Addict

    2,894
    0
    Aug 12, 2002
    Arecibo, PR
    Why do you think that "digital" always has to be better than "analog?" Because it's newer?

    Digital cable is MPEG compressed. MPEG compression is lossy and necessarily reduces the picture quality (e.g., TiVo). The purpose of digital cable is not to improve your picture (in fact, it degrades it) but to allow cable companies to send more channels using the same bandwidth.

    Notice that in those annoying DTV commercials, they get all excited about "digital quality," but carefully refrain from actually comparing it to analog. There's a reason for that.
     
  7. DickK

    DickK New Member

    83
    0
    Oct 11, 2004
    Northern...
    I didn't say that.

    Just as fair would be my quoting you: Why do you think that "analog" always has to be better than "digital?" Because it's older?

    I know how it works. Yep, a bad digital signal is worse than a good analog one -- not much of a surprise there. But a digital signal is not necessarily worse than an analog one nor is it necessarily any better. Analog vs. digital, per se, is meaningless. Both can deliver a superb image and both can deliver junk. Each has its own set of vulnerabilities in transmission, characteristics and techniques.

    Your welcome to your opinion. But I'll stand by my statement that on the cable system I'm using the digital channels are better--cleaner picture, complete absence of ghosting, less video and audio noise. The analog channels all suffer with those problems at least some of the time. Second, I'll take the OTA digital channels delivered by my antenna over the matching analog channels any day of the week. Again, less audio/video noise, clearer picture, less multipath induced problems, etc.

    Out of context, analog vs. digital is unimportant. Both systems can deliver the image just fine -- in the end which one is better is determined by the specific implementation of each at transmitter and receiver plus the impact the transmission environment has on them.
     
  8. Jan 2, 2006 #8 of 18
    rgr

    rgr Member

    676
    58
    Feb 21, 2003
    ZikZak- Thanks again for your response. After pondering what you wrote, I think I'm going to:
    1) split the cable for two feeds
    2) one feed to the 6412 for pure digital and HD - using hdmi to the tv
    3) the second feed to the TiVo for SD on whatever channels the TiVo will recognize without a cablebox (2 to 80-something, I think) - using s-video to the tv

    It took awhile for what you wrote to sink in, and I realized the sequence I had in mind (6412 -> TiVo -> TV) would be a disaster as everything would be downscaled to the TiVo's resolution - not good.

    Also, I have come to the conculsion that barring a miracle, the 6412 does not have serial channel control, and that the "serial" the comcast reps were talking about was SATA, as that is new to the 6412 phase III and I can find no reference, no diagram that would support serial control. Although I'm willing to be pleasantly surprised.

    So I'll be left with the ability to record HD (and all channels) on the 6412 with 2 tuners and channels 2 to 80-something on the TiVo (which is the vast majority of my recording in any case).

    I think I've got it covered. If I'm missing anything, let me know.

    Thanks again!
    Ron
     
  9. Jan 3, 2006 #9 of 18
    kbmb

    kbmb Well-Known Member

    1,400
    66
    Jun 22, 2004
    NH
    That's my setup....except I've got the 3412 from Comcast. The TiVo doesn't look great on my 42" Sony, but it's watchable.

    Tivo needs to either come out with their own HD box, or get their software on the Comcast box ASAP! I need my HD!

    -Kevin
     
  10. DickK

    DickK New Member

    83
    0
    Oct 11, 2004
    Northern...
    :eek: No... strike the second part of that! I need my HD too and I'm not on Comcast! ;)
     
  11. 3Series

    3Series New Member

    4
    0
    Jan 1, 2006
    I have a Panny Plasma with HD tuner and a CCard slot.

    I have an OTA antenna, Tivo and Mot 6412 all hooked up.

    OTA (Silver Sensor) - connected directly to the TV - Input 1

    Cable from wall is split into two.

    One wire goes to the Tivo. The other goes to the Mot 6412.

    Than I have the Tivo and the Mot 6412 going into my Receiver.

    The receiver is hooked up to the TV using Component to Input 2.

    The Tivo box has the worst picture since it is all analog.
    Analog channels through the Mot 6412 are better than Tivo but I guess this is cable's "digital cable".
    The digital channels that display HD programming make SD material look better than the analog channels through the Mot 6412.
    The OTA antenna HD programming looks just as good to me as the Mot6412 HD programming.
     
  12. PatMcNJ

    PatMcNJ Member

    64
    0
    May 21, 2006
    "After pondering what you wrote, I think I'm going to:
    1) split the cable for two feeds
    2) one feed to the 6412 for pure digital and HD - using hdmi to the tv
    3) the second feed to the TiVo for SD on whatever channels the TiVo will recognize without a cablebox (2 to 80-something, I think) - using s-video to the tv"

    I know this is sort of an old thread, but this is my issue EXACTLY, how to set up my new Plasma TV this weekend, trying to use my Tivo series 2 to at least record basic tv stations in non-HD. In the above prior post, I do not understand HOW this would work. How would the Tivo record the stations? It does not need to change stations on the cable box, it can tune them in on its own?

    PS I will buy the Series 3 ASAP. Just won't tell my husband the PRICE. (He does not even understand how to use Tivo!)
     
  13. rgr

    rgr Member

    676
    58
    Feb 21, 2003
    Exactly. One cable has been split so it now goes to the Tivo and the 6412 dvr cable box. The Tivo uses it's internal tuner for channels 2-80 something. The 6412 dvr cable box uses it's two internal tuners for all channels available through your cable system. Each has a connection to the tv using a separate input.

    Works pretty well, although the Tivo 3 will be (I hope) much better. Good luck!
     
  14. DianaMo

    DianaMo Cubs fan

    3,794
    0
    Oct 22, 2003
    I think you've got a good solution there. Use the Tivo for no cable box needed channels and the cable PVR for everything else.

    The downside of this mix is that you can't use the Tivo's search functions for the tv channels above channel 72 or so and then program the cable PVR with that info.




     
  15. bhotchki

    bhotchki New Member

    6
    0
    Jun 13, 2006
    What is the advantage of splitting the cable before the cable box? What about just having dual outputs from the cable box, one to the TV for the HDTV channels and then a second one from the cable box to the TiVo and then back to the HDTV for the HD channels?
     
  16. reh523

    reh523 New Member

    852
    0
    Feb 27, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    FYI

    I have that TV is it awesome. Good antenna and I have HD. I currently record HD with a MCP (media center pc). HAve a RCA Ultimate TV for SD and MCP for HD. Good inexpensive solution if you can get OTA-HD.

    Enjoy you new TV.....
     
  17. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Well-Known Member

    2,012
    38
    May 10, 1999
    By splitting the cable before the box, you can have the DVR & Tivo record independently of one another, recording up to 3 shows simultaneously, while watching any of the shows or a previously recorded show on either box.

    Trying to feed the Tivo from a DVR is highly problematic, impossible really. You'd only be able to record whatever the DVR was outputting at the time; using the UI on the DVR would mess up the recording. You'd be going through a double MPEG encoding cycle also, it would look bad. If you are talking about just the coax RF feed, the RF output on the cable DVRs is often only ch3 modulated output = to its other outputs, same issue. It's usually not just an RF passthrough, except in some cases if the box is off. Splitting is really the only reasonable way to go.
     
  18. PatMcNJ

    PatMcNJ Member

    64
    0
    May 21, 2006
    Yes, I need to split the signal before the cable box. Because the cable box decides the channel, if signal is selected after the cable box. And I want the Tivo to record one thing while I watch another quite often......... So, it records away while I watch live TV. I MISS the cable guide, so I switch over to that input sometimes just to use it for channels under 100......

    I want the Series 3 Tivo BAD.
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements