How is S3 picture?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by chart, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. chart

    chart Member

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    Sep 4, 2001
    new york

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    How is the picture on the S3? Can you see the compression when you are watching live HD TV or is it truly a pass through?
     
  2. pyrosas

    pyrosas New Member

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    As far as I can tell from OTA HD, it is straight pass through for all 720p channel and the 1080i stuff get downsample ot 720p because I have it at fixed output at 720p. Haven't seen any compression artifacts show up yet.
     
  3. vman41

    vman41 Omega Consumer

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    I saw in the user guide that they recommend the 'native' resolution setting, which I questionable advice to me. My TV takes far longer switch input resolutions than my current ATSC tuners take to switch their scaler settings to take everything to 720p.
     
  4. etsolow

    etsolow Don't Try

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    Wisconsin
    HD video is not recompressed by the S3. It is recorded directly to disk and played back at 100% of the original quality.
     
  5. snathanb

    snathanb New Member

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    Sep 13, 2006

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    Same here... my admittedly low-end rear projection HD set sometimes doesn't come back after a resolution switch. I plan on keeping mine on a fixed resolution.
     
  6. Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

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    Will outputting in 720p help with sound synch? I know that when my DirecTiVo sends SD to my 720p TV, the TV takes a split second to process it, and the sound (which goes directly from the DirecTiVo to the sound system) is slightly but noticably off. So I'm guessing that if the S3 is doing the conversion instead of the TV, this will no longer be an issue?
     
  7. slowride

    slowride New Member

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    Mar 17, 2006
    I thought I read that standard definition (480i) signals such as from basic cable are upconverted to 480p on the S3. Is that true and can someone who has the S3 comment on how standard defintion tv looks on an hdtv set when fed by the S3?
     
  8. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

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    They're upconverted only if you tell the S3 to do so.

    And SD TV looks fantastic.
     
  9. bearcat2000

    bearcat2000 Member

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    Who wouldn't want them to be upcoverted to 480p???
     
  10. talmania

    talmania New Member

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    Sep 6, 2006
    I absolutely do not want them upconverted to 480p. Anyone that has a better scaler/processor than what's inside the Tivo would want the same thing. Sure if you have an average TV the processing/scaler in the Tivo might be better but no way it touches the likes of DVDO's or Lumagen's offerings.

    Give me the material in its native form everytime and let my dedicated video processor/scaler handle it.
     
  11. slowride

    slowride New Member

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    Mar 17, 2006
    MEGAZONE

    Is your standard Definition signal fed from the analog connection on the S3 or are you getting it thru the cable card slots (ie, digital source) Thanks
     
  12. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

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    Anyone with a TV that has a better scaler than the S3. Or a TV that has different modes appropriate to different content formats. I don't have the S3 scale anything, it sends everything to my TV in Native.
     
  13. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

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    I think you're confused. Analog is always analog. CableCARDs are not a source, they're nothing more than decryption tokens. They're used ONLY for digital cable decryption and have nothing at all to do with antenna or analog cable.

    I have both analog cable and digital cable SD content. Quality varies by the channel, but in general it is very good. Most of what I watch is analog cable content.
     
  14. slowride

    slowride New Member

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    Mar 17, 2006
    Talmania,

    I am looking at getting my first HDTV but, I have delayed it because I have two lifetimed toshiba rs-tx20 tivo boxes and I have not been impressed with the way standard defintion looks on a hdtv. Do you have a DVDO or Lumagen's video processor/scaler connecting a Series 2 tivo to a hdtv? If you do how much does it improve the signal? What is the model of the scaler so I can check out the costs etc?
     
  15. slowride

    slowride New Member

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    Mar 17, 2006
    Megazone,

    Yes I understand analog ( I have a BSEE) I think I understand the cable cards are essentially a key to unlock the digital signal. So I think that what you are saying is that I connect the coaxial cable that is what I currently get analog or basic cable from timewarner and this also contains the digital signal from TW?

    The ntsc tuner uses the analog signal for the below 100 channel and the QAM tuner uses the digital signal for the above 100 channels all from the same coax cable.

    ********
    What hdtv do you have? Have you used the scaler built into the S3 to see if it upconverts the 480i better than the one built into your tv?

    If the scaler does a decent job at upconverting the SD signal it makes it easier to swallow the $800 cost of the box at least until I can afford a dedicated video processor/scaler. The one I am looking at cost $1500.
     
  16. talmania

    talmania New Member

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    Sep 6, 2006
    I currently own the DVDO VP30 with the ABT102 precision deinterlacer aftermarket add-on. I've preordered the upcoming VP50 which includes the functionality of the ABT102 aftermarket add-on. The primary difference between the VP30 and VP50 is that the VP50 will fully deinterlace and process HD sources where the VP30 only scales.

    I do not own any Lumagen product but I have seen them before and have been very impressed with them. I chose DVDO because they have the superior SD deinterlacing and at the time it was what I watched most (DVD's). They also have fantastic customer service (as does Lumagen) and an unbelievable trade-in program (which Lumagen does not).

    Quantifying the picture improvement is really tough. For one person it might be night and day and another it's indistinguishable. I can definitely see an improvement but it varies depending on the source. A video processor is more than just picture improvement, it's also a hub for all your multiple CE devices, and one of the most important, a scaler for your display device. A video processor can take any signal and scale it to your display's native resolution so you avoid having the processing take place at the display. Have a funky native resolution like 1366x768 LCD or plasma TV? A video processor can scale to it. You end up with a better quality picture because your scaling the source to the native resolution of your display device better than the processing that's in your display can do it. How big a difference depends on the quality of processing that your display can do.

    I haven't used my series 2 Tivo in sometime but I have seen 480i (through my Motorola 6412) processed and upscaled to my panel's native resolution 1366x768 and the results are impressive. Please note, it is NOT HD and it never will be but it does improve the picture to my eyes.

    Hope that helps.
     
  17. slowride

    slowride New Member

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    Mar 17, 2006
    Talmania,

    Thanks, the vp30 with the add on card is the one I was looking at.
     
  18. talmania

    talmania New Member

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    Sep 6, 2006
    No problem--glad to help.

    If the majority of what you are watching is HD then you might consider the VP50.
     
  19. kb7oeb

    kb7oeb Member

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    Jan 18, 2005
    Phoenix,AZ
    My tv will not accept 720p signals so if I had it set to native pass through I would loose picture when I tune a 720p channel.
     
  20. jodell

    jodell TiVo geek

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    Jul 9, 2002
    Irvine, CA
    kb7oeb,

    The S3's 1080i hybrid mode is probably best for you then. Every HD signal is scaled to 1080i, SD is deinterlaced to 480p.

    Jeff
     

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