Help getting the HD signal to the HD tv....

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by blhirsch, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. blhirsch

    blhirsch Tivo-riffic!

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    Mar 1, 2003
    Ok, I've been enlisted to spearhead the addition of a TivoHD into a friend's home theater system.

    Normally, this would be a relatively straightforward endeavor, but I'm not sure I can adequately express how incredibly complicated their system is. Suffice it to say, it has a whole room behind the floor-to-ceiling racks, the front of which are black paneled with the occasional blinking red lights. The brand name stamped on the back of most of the components is something called "B&K". There is also an Elan system that is its own offshoot, handling remote LCD screens throughout the house and random things like the doorbell.

    I don't understand how to program the thing, but for the most part I'm good with the inputs and how it passes signals to the various things that need to be switched/turned on/modulated.

    There were some weird shorts in the system, but I've mostly gotten that figured out, and there was also a really weak signal to the Comcast HD box, but I got that taken care of thanks to an amplified splitter (Thanks AbMagFab.)

    So. When you sit down in front of the TV you have a touchscreen panel in your hand. You choose among various things to do "DVD, Tivo, HDTV," etc. When you choose one, the system turns on the component, switches the input to the television, and presents you with a touchscreen keypad that has the buttons relevant to the task. IR blasters handle the various functions. The system has a setting for HDTV, which was supposedly taking the signal from one of the Comcast Digital Cable boxes, and passing it along to the main TV, which is a Mitsubishi VS80803. It's an older (1999) 80" 4:3 1080i rear projection television. (There are also six TVs that flank each side of the main television--they are fed by a straight analog signal that's handled through other functions on the system.)

    Clear as mud?

    I figured that the easiest thing to do was to take the Comcast Digital cable box that's supplying the HDTV to the television, and literally swap it out, one-for-one, for the HDtivo. That way NONE of the cables would change. The main B&K receiver would still be receiving a digital signal over component (red/blue/green) cables, and also an optical digital audio signal.

    Presto. It shows a video signal. The touchscreen for this particular function (HDTV) doesn't work anymore because of course it's trying to change channels on what it thinks is a Comcast Digital Cable box but is now a tivo. I can have that changed later by someone who has the laptop interface and programs that handle the Elan touchscreen the IR blasters.

    But then I saw the tivo was sending out a 480i picture. No problem, I'd need to change it to 1080, right? Well, when I do, the video picture is garbled. In fact, it's garbled on anything BUT 480. Which begs the question--why was it showing HD content when the Comcast box was attached, but now that the tivo is there, it can only show 480?

    Something was NOT right. I start pushing the "input" button on the TV to scroll through what inputs it was getting, and an input called "DVD Component" is what is getting the signal from the tivo. I get one called "High Definition 1080" input, and it's a black screen. My hunch was: the TV hadn't EVER been showing HD content. Sure, it was getting a signal from an HDTV Comcast box, but it seemed like somethign was wrong. The picture was never all that high definition. It was better than the other input function (tivo, via a series2) but that was coming in over composite, and this was component.

    I pulled out the tv, which was built into a wall (thank goodness it's on wheels--I'm only a 125 pound woman!) and I see the following: Various jacks for different inputs, mostly composite, with a dedicated component input labeled DVD. There's a separate box around some OTHER jacks, with the heading "High Definition Input." There's nothing attached there. Nada. Zilch. Which epxlains why the screen was black when I scrolled to that input on the TV directly.

    So my question is this: Do HD tvs need to get their HD signal over SPECIFIC input jacks in the back, or should it be able to receive and display HD signals no matter whether you decide to run it into jacks labeled "input 1," "input 3," or "DVD input?"

    If I need to hook up to these specific jacks, fine, but they are strange looking. Not your standard AV jacks, even if they are labeled Red/Green/Blue. They look like funky coax jacks, and a quick google search leads me to think they are something called "BNC?" Does that make sense to anybody?

    If that's what they are, can I just get little dongles that will change the end of component cables to BNC? Because the B&K system only has component output that takes the little jack that looks like your standard AV cables, not the weird coax looking one on the back of the TV.

    Phew. Anybody follow and have some explanations for me? I'm at my wits' end with this system.
     
  2. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

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    Oct 17, 2003
    Pittsburgh
  3. TXTivoUser

    TXTivoUser Jeep Ninja

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    Nov 27, 2002
    Denton, Texas
    I think that's the important part...and ties in with jrm01's answer.

    Sounds to me like at least the signal was coming in over a HD compatible cable (ala, component), so as long as that's still hooked the same, I don't see a problem here.

    JRM is correct in that you will not be getting a HD signal over composite or S-Video.

    Based on this alone - I'm willing to bet, as you say, they were never actually watching HD through the Comcast box unless they were using the component input there and plugging it to the Comcast box and didn't bother to re-label.

    The question then becomes, what cables were on the Comcast box on the video out side when you removed it? Composite?
     
  4. blhirsch

    blhirsch Tivo-riffic!

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    Mar 1, 2003
    Component. Component comes out of the Comcast box, and into the "component 1 in" to the B&K. Then "Component out" goes to the TV, and into the component input jacks on the back of the TV, over which is labeled "DVD component in". Only there are OTHER component inputs on the back (BNC) that are labeled "High Definition input" which were blank.

    I guess the question is, should a TV be expected to handle an HD input over component jacks that are not specifically labeled "High Definition Input" and if so, how do I solve the garbled picture issue when I try to send HD to those jacks? I suspect that I should move the input over to the ACTUAL High Definition Input jacks with some BNC adapters (Radio shack?) and see what happens. Of course now the B&K won't be able to switch to those without a tech coming out to jigger the system again, which leaves them with a manual input change on the front of the TV until that happens.
     
  5. TXTivoUser

    TXTivoUser Jeep Ninja

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    Nov 27, 2002
    Denton, Texas
    By definition - the HD signal can only come over a component, HDMI or DVI. Unless the input will accept one of those, then no, it wouldn't work.

    However - the BNC connection is what's throwing me here - and I don't know squat about it or what the cable it's connected to can handle bandwidth wise.

    I guess one way to find out if they were ever seeing a real HD signal on the Comcast setup would be to show them what you know to be a true HD signal and ask - did it look this good before or did it look like (flip to 480 mode) this? :)

    FWIW - that's one helluva setup you're working on. Please tell me it's at a bar or theatre and not someone's home. <jealous> lol
     
  6. blhirsch

    blhirsch Tivo-riffic!

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    Mar 1, 2003
    I KNOW it wasn't HD. I'm sure of it now. All last NFL season I'm thinking, "this is not what I expected HD to be" but I just shook it off because a) I don't yet have my own HD television, and b) it's a 1999 television and I just figured it was 720, or the convergence wasn't calibrated. Seeing that there's nothing coming into the High Definition inputs sealed it for me. It was just a high quality standard signal and Tweeter royally screwed them while charging $100 an hour to set up their HD.

    Yes, it's a home. Sorry.

    Me? I just want to get my flat panel and have them over for at least one football game this season!
     
  7. vman41

    vman41 Omega Consumer

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    Jun 18, 2002

    My first HDTV, a CRT circa 2003, had 1 HD component input and 1 SD component input, IIRC, it also couldn't sort out 480p from 480i on its own so you'd get some weird output if you got the settings mismatched.
     
  8. cgould

    cgould Member

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    Dec 28, 2002
    Bay Area, CA
    Mitsubishi HDTVs have 2 component inputs: one (like input4) for 480p or "DVD progressive component". (As noted I'd be pretty confident this is what the Comcast box was plugged into, and they were ever only watching 480p; much better than 480i esp given an HD source program, but definitely not HD. I wonder how they ever watched DVDs then??) You can NOT get HD over this. It is for 480p DVD progressive playback only. I'd agree the HD setup guys (Tweeter?) were idiots/cheaters or were just baffled by the BNC plugs.

    The 2nd component input (like Input2) is for HD. Older Mitsu TVs may have had different component plugs eg for RGB+H/V synch, eg 5 BNC plugs not 3 RCA. This MAY or may NOT be compatible with traditional component, which is YPrPb... there also may actually be PLUGS for all 5 signals, but you can switch the TV to accept the different formats, including adapted VGA, as well as YPrPb. You may have to check/google the user's manual to see what formats it can accept and how to configure it to accept YPrPb (traditional HD component.)
    Old Mitsubishi's call this "960i" (eg double of 480p), but it's still basically 1080i HD.
    I'm comparing all this to my similar vintage WS55805.

    I'm just a bit surprised given all this expensive high tech media home-automation setups, that they are still watching on a 4:3 non-HD source?? spend some more for a new 16:9 HDTV :)
     
  9. blhirsch

    blhirsch Tivo-riffic!

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    Mar 1, 2003
    On a related note, does anybody want to see if they can find the online manual for the Mitsubishi VS80803? Mitsubishi doesn't seem to have manuals that go any further back than 2002 and all I can find are specification manual CDs for sale, rather than downloading of user guides.
     
  10. cgould

    cgould Member

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    Dec 28, 2002
    Bay Area, CA
    I did a quick google myself, and found very little, just the same $15 sale manuals.
    I'd think the XX803 and XX805 models would be somewhat the same, I can go browse my old manual at home and PM/email you a JPG of the connections setup section...
    and/or you can PM/email me a JPG camshot of the rear of the TV for me to compare to mine and see what the plugs/config switches look like.
     
  11. blhirsch

    blhirsch Tivo-riffic!

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    Mar 1, 2003
    archive.org shows an older mitsubishi-tv.com webpage with manual links (but no files) and shows that the same pdf was downloadable for the following tv models:

    VS-50800
    VS-60803
    VS-70803
    VS-80803
    VS-50803
    WS-65903
    WS-73903

    Yours was in the following family:

    VS-50805
    VS-60805
    WT-46805
    WS-55805
    WS-55905
    WS-65905
    WS-73905

    I still think it might be quite instructive for me to share a shot of the back of it and maybe you can help me make heads or tails of it given your familiarity with the line in general. I'll be there tomorrow morning in advance of the comcast guy coming (hopefully with m-cards!) and I'll pull the tv out and take a pic.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  12. blhirsch

    blhirsch Tivo-riffic!

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    Mar 1, 2003
    Well, first of all, I don't think they had any HD sources going into the system when it was first put together in 1999. The HD TV was kind of a hedge against later technological upgrades, and at that time nobody was really doing 16:9. I'm guessing they figured that HD was a good enough insurance policy against future technological advances. The Cocmast HD box was added later and the Tweeter jokers must have just figured it was ok to throw the Comcast box into the same switched video for the existing DVD player and never bothered to look behind the TV and see that the input was a non-HD jack, even though it was component.

    And my friends, not having had other HD experience, probably just didn't realize and thought that it was better than the analog Tivo and never questioned. I hold the Tweeter guys accontable, though. They should have known it wasn't an HD picture, and not tried to get out of there merely hooking up another component to a free slot on the receiver and not getting into the guts of it.

    Personally, I can't wait to see what kind of picture they get out of this now. Hopefully it'll be nice, though of course not as nice as current technology. But if I can get this thing really doing HD, I bet that's gotta net me first dibs at the buffalo wings.

    They did get a 1080p flat panel 47 inch LCD for the bedroom that's also being installed tomorrow along with a second HDtivo. I got an HDMI cable for that, which is a straightforward setup with a regular ol' Sony receiver and existing surround sound, and that should look beautiful without too much gnashing of teeth and pulling out of hair.
     
  13. cgould

    cgould Member

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    Dec 28, 2002
    Bay Area, CA
    Mine was actually a 55905, but same family as noted above...
    I couldn't find my original manual after all right now (messy den :) ), but I did take a look/pic of the back connections-
    the "HD Interface" section has YPrPb (green, red, blue) and H and V RCA jacks,
    an RS232ish "HDTV control" DIN-type plug (used by their proposed HD tuner I believe), and L/R RCA audio- that's it. No control switches or anything, so maybe you don't need to configure stuff, just get RCA(M) -> BNC (F) adapters, and try plugging it in.

    I can PM/email the pic if you want but not sure how much will help beyond that.
    I'll try to look for the manual some more- good luck!
     
  14. blhirsch

    blhirsch Tivo-riffic!

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    Mar 1, 2003
    Thanks SO much for getting back there and taking a look.

    Sounds like it's exactly what's here:
    [​IMG]

    I did get the RCA-BNC adapters (you can see them in the picture) and tried plugging it in, but no go.

    Then I figured out that YPrPb is NOT the same as RGB, which is really RGBHV and a different beast altogether.

    Once I realized that, a few more google searches led me to THIS page, and my problems are solved.

    http://www.ramelectronics.net/html/kd-ctca3_mitsubishi.htm
     
  15. MickeS

    MickeS Active Member

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    Dec 26, 2002
    They must be the kind of people that custom installers love. :D

    I really hope they're paying you! :)
     
  16. blhirsch

    blhirsch Tivo-riffic!

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    Mar 1, 2003
    Well, considering these are our dearest friends in the world, "payment" wasn't really part of the deal.

    The Comcast guy, he came with multistream cards! Woo hoo!! I'm so glad I made sure to specifically request them.

    There were some small macroblocking issues, but I forced both tivos (I also set them up with an HD tivo and a flat panel LCD plus surround sound in the bedroom) to do an update, and the new software came down and I didn't see it again.

    I will be paid in full when I can sit back and watch the Eagles in HD. Nobody throws an Eagles party like these guys! Things are only looking up. Also going up? My pants size, if I'm not careful after a whole season of these parties.
     
  17. cgould

    cgould Member

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    Dec 28, 2002
    Bay Area, CA
    Yeah, that previous generation must really not support YPrPb component as you noted. The notation is different on the back. Glad the RGB converter will help, but $$! ouch.

    But, upside is that if the TV is anything like mine, the picture quality will be worth it- especially for HD- so definitely worth getting it going on the upgraded signal!
    Would be interesting to compare it vs the 47" LCD panel... I still think CRT RPTVs have better picture than any flat panel, bummer they're going extinct. (I actually LIKE having more "furniture" horizontal space to place my components (and center speaker) on, I don't like paying extra for another stand or rack and wall mount and..!), I have plenty of living room space!

    Hope both you & your friends get a lot of (well-earned) enjoyment from the new systems this season! pass the chips :)
     
  18. blhirsch

    blhirsch Tivo-riffic!

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    Mar 1, 2003
    I did find another one on eBay that might fit the bill for $250 less (after I factor in the cable cost):

    http://cgi.ebay.com/HDTV-Component-...20p-1080i_W0QQitemZ260149253437QQcmdZViewItem

    I have no idea if there's some $250 difference that I'm not seeing, but it certainly LOOKS exactly like what I need. Some cables, and I'm good to go.

    I'm thinking I'll have her order it and when I get back from vacation, I'll install it and see how it looks. Trust me: anything will be a significant upgrade from what you see now.

    And once I get back from vacation, it's on to my OWN system. I can't wait, now that I've had my grubby little paws on a couple of TivoHDs and seen the LCDs in action. It's gonna look awesome. Eagles parties at my house. Or, Grey's Anatomy and wine with my girlfriends in HD. :) (I'm such a girl.)
     
  19. blhirsch

    blhirsch Tivo-riffic!

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    Mar 1, 2003
    Well, good news! I ordered the converter, hooked it up into the system, and the HD inputs sprang to life.

    It was TOTALLY different. There are some pixelation issues on ESPN and ESPN2, but not on the local HD Fox broadcast, which is all we need for Sunday's game.

    So thanks everybody for your input! It's nice to see this TV finally doing what it was built to do!
     
  20. blhirsch

    blhirsch Tivo-riffic!

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    Mar 1, 2003
    Well, I have to say, it was a gorgeous picture, and surpasses the LCD in overall clarity. The problem is that it doesn't seem to have a wide viewing angle. Is that just something that comes with the rear projection CRT?
     

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