Lower picture quality then Fios DVR?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by oleary@frontpage, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. oleary@frontpage

    oleary@frontpage New Member

    14
    3
    Feb 16, 2006
    Florida
    I have a Sony HDTV that I have my FiOS DVR connected to one HDMI port and my TiVo Premier XL box connected to another one. What I notice is that the FiOS DVR as much better picture quality. The TiVo picture quality is just OK, just not as bad is it was SD.

    I checked my configurations on TiVo box and I have the aspect ratio set to 16:9, the video format is set to 1080i, and video smoothing is set to off.

    It’s not that the video quality is poor it’s just not as sharp. This will not make me drop TiVo, but I will watch sports only with the FiOS DVR.

    Is the TiVo tuner just not that good?
     
  2. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    23,138
    1,095
    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    Are you sure the settings for each HDMI input are the same? Each Tv input usually has a discrete memory for the settings so they could easily be set differently. Which can cause the differences you are seeing.

    I haven't had a FiOS STB in a while but when I did the picture quality was similar.
     
  3. oleary@frontpage

    oleary@frontpage New Member

    14
    3
    Feb 16, 2006
    Florida
    It's easy enough to get to the DVR's so maybe was not I'll try a cable swap. I also update the TV software to make sure that was not an issue.

    The thing is I probably would never have noticed if I didn't watch the Pat's woop Denver. I had to use the Fios box since the Tivo was recording 2 shows.
    Once those were done I switched back to the tivo and saw the difference.
     
  4. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon New Member

    78
    0
    Jan 15, 2012
    Do you mean that the TiVo is getting a standard definition (SD) signal at its tuner? Presumably the FiOS box is getting a true HD signal, right? If that's the case, it's inevitable that the picture coming from your TiVo will not be as good because it's a lower resolution input. You can't make a HD picture out of a SD signal.

    Setting the video to 1080i on the TiVo only means that the output is scaled to 1080i regardless of what the input is. There are (very expensive) video upscalers that use interpolation and other mathematical wizardry to make educated guesses about what the HD source might look like if it was available. But even they can do only so much. For the price of a TiVo, you're not going to get that kind of technology anyway.

    If your TV can handle 720p and 480i natively, my advice is to keep your TiVo video output set to "Native". IME letting the TV handle scaling produces better results, especially if it includes a Faroudja DCDi circuit.

    BTW, my TV has HDMI port 1 doubling as a DVI port, and HDMI port 2 doubling as a ARC port. The TiVo plugged into the HDMI/ARC port has a noticeably brighter and more vivid picture compared to an identical TiVo plugged into the standard HDMI port 3. I'm not sure why this happens, but clearly "being digital" isn't enough to guarantee accurate reproduction with consumer TV equipment.
     
  5. oleary@frontpage

    oleary@frontpage New Member

    14
    3
    Feb 16, 2006
    Florida
    Wow, swapped the cables and a world of difference! :up::D

    Why I never thought of that is beyond me. Thanks for the helpful feedback!
     
  6. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,933
    10
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    It certainy has nothing to do with the tuner. The tuner and decoder are
    digital, so their output will be absolutely bit-for-bit identical to that of a FIOS DVR (or any other). There can be differences in the conversion circuitry, however, especially if you are using the component outputs.
     
  7. Joe01880

    Joe01880 I love my TiVo

    736
    19
    Feb 8, 2009
    Boston
    I also have a Sony HDTV, 46NX810 (pro calibrated) with a FiOS 7232-2 and a TiVo Premiere sitting side by side, both going into a Yamaha RX-V667 HT reciever and out to HDMI 1 on the Sony NX. The Yamaha is set to pass through video. Processing is turned OFF.
    I see no noticeble difference in switching from the FiOS DVR to the TiVo DVR in picture quaility on any given channel.
     
  8. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

    7,066
    5
    Sep 21, 2004
    Yes, this is pretty much the only place there could be any measurable difference. However, at least on the TiVo side, it does a good job of video processing, so I doubt any normal person could notice the difference between it and a FIOS box given all the same video settings are equal.
     
  9. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon New Member

    78
    0
    Jan 15, 2012
    Probably not bit-for-bit identical, now that I think about it. Although it starts off with the same digital stream at the network uplink point, the stream is probably transcoded a few times before it hits your TV. Some networks might uplink a H.264 encoded stream that must be transcoded to MPEG-2 for local use, or vice-versa. For example my DISH satellite service is all H.264, but what comes through the HDMI cable might send an uncompressed video stream to the TV. And that stream might use a different color space.

    Ideally the various encodings should look close enough to make no real difference. But behind the scenes there's a lot going on that might affect the picture.
     
  10. Zevida

    Zevida witless and unarmed TCF Club

    16,117
    811
    Nov 8, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    Wow! I was having the same issue today and getting frustrated at how my previously beautiful HD picture seemed to be barely better than SD. I took the suggestion in the thread and switched the inputs and now it looks great!

    Now to figure out what's up with the Input 1 on my TV.
     
  11. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

    7,066
    5
    Sep 21, 2004
    Most newer tvs have different video settings (contrast, etc) for each input. So if you just use the same settings on the input that you get a good picture on and put those on input 1, they should look the same.
     
  12. Jinxy323

    Jinxy323 New Member

    1
    0
    Jan 6, 2013
    I have a Samsung 6 series LED TV which worked amazing with the HD box. I switched to TiVo today and now my picture quality sucks. The picture isn't as sharp and my hubby isn't a happy camper watching the NFL playoffs with a picture quality that's worse than my old CRT. I've been reading these posts and have switched my HDMI ports, but to no avail. HELP!!! I called TiVo, but they were useless.
     
  13. WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango New Member

    5,777
    0
    Sep 20, 2006
    New Jersey
  14. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

    7,066
    5
    Sep 21, 2004
    Are you viewing an HD channel? Do you have cablecards installed? What is your output format set to?
     

Share This Page