New Tivo - picture quality stinks

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by wjdennen, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. Jun 7, 2005 #1 of 34
    wjdennen

    wjdennen New Member

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    May 7, 2002
    Rhode Island
    Hi there,

    I've had a series 1 Tivo for a few years. It's worked well.

    I took advantage of a Circuit City special a couple of months ago and have upgraded to a Series 2 box. Hooking it up was easy because I basically removed the old Tivo and put the new one in it's place. Same cables and all.

    But, the picture quality on the new box stinks. It's got some snow and the picture is not sharp. The quality is definitely worse than the old box.

    I should say that the picture quality for the Tivo menus and startup video is fine. The problem I see is with live TV and recorded video.

    I am using RF in, and I tried toggling the option for RF video in the settings and this did not help the situation. I've also tightened all cables.

    Any ideas? Could the tuner in the box just be "bad"?

    (TV is watchable, but the picture quality is just not as good as I'd expect.)

    Thanks.
     
  2. Jun 7, 2005 #2 of 34
    wscannell

    wscannell Member

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    Dec 6, 2003
    What model TiVo did you get?

    What source are you using for video (cable, cable box, or off-the-air antenna)?

    Are you looking at live TV or a recorded program? For standalone TiVos, the recording quality can be set. You can easily notice artifacts until you get to High quality. The live TV buffer records at either best quality or if something is recording, the buffer is recorded in the same quality as the show being recorded.

    RF is the worst quality for connections. If your TV has video/audio inputs, you should be using those. S-Video is even better than the composite RCA connection.
     
  3. Jun 7, 2005 #3 of 34
    wjdennen

    wjdennen New Member

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    May 7, 2002
    Rhode Island
    Sorry. I have the Tivo 40-hour model (series 2).

    Source is Cable TV (RF).

    From the Tivo box, I'm using A/V to my receiver... and then A/V to my TV. (RCA)

    The problem is with Live TV and recorded programs. I'm most concerned about Live TV.

    Thanks-
    Bill

     
  4. Jun 7, 2005 #4 of 34
    mick66

    mick66 Dirty Burger

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    The 'verse

    Did you check the RF cable line connections? Maybe they need a little tightening. If that doesn't solve the problem maybe a powered signal amplifier for your cable line will do the trick.
     
  5. Jun 7, 2005 #5 of 34
    BLeonard

    BLeonard It Could Happen!

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    Orlando,FL,USA
    I think the point here is he had a series 1 in place and the video quality was good. All he did was put a series 2 in it's place with the same setup and noticed a degradation in quality.

    I'd be interested in responses to this as all three of my Tivo's are series 1's and I've thought about getting a series 2 but wouldn't want to experience a drop in picture quality.
     
  6. Jun 7, 2005 #6 of 34
    wjdennen

    wjdennen New Member

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    May 7, 2002
    Rhode Island
    Thanks. Yes, the issue is that I just swapped a series 2 in for a series 1 box. The series 1 box had a much better picture.

    (I did re-check the cables)
     
  7. Jun 8, 2005 #7 of 34
    dylanemcgregor

    dylanemcgregor Well-Known Member

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    Corner of...
    It seems the consensus here when the Series 2 came out was that the picture was slightly worse than the Series 1. Something to do with a cheaper video encoder, or something like that. Most people didn't notice, including me when my step-dad upgraded on his 60 inch TV. Your problem sounds worse then what I've seen reported before, which has been mostly reports from self confessed videophiles. If S-video is an option with your TV I would try to give that a try, if it isn't and you are still within your 90 day warranty, I'd try to exchange it for a new unit and see if you still have the same problems.

    -Dylan
     
  8. Jun 8, 2005 #8 of 34
    dgh

    dgh New Member

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    I would call that the majority opinion rather than the consensus. I recall there being approximately as many people reporting no difference and a substantial minority who called the S2 better.

    "Snow" indicates a weak RF single. Since this is all analog stuff, and no two tuners are exactly the same, I would agree that a cable amp - or calling the cable company to clean up the signal could help.

    Also, I noticed that people who said there was no difference where far more likely to have said that they had a calibrated TV than people who saw a difference. So, running a calibration disk like Avia or VE may also help a lot.
     
  9. Jun 8, 2005 #9 of 34
    Nfuego

    Nfuego Finally-My ugly mug

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    What default video setting do you have turned on? Live TV is still buffered and encoded, so if you are using the lowest or next to lowest video setting, they picture quality will be slightly bad.

    If you bump it up to high or best, it will look a lot better.
     
  10. dylanemcgregor

    dylanemcgregor Well-Known Member

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    I don't think this is entirely correct. Live TV is being recorded, but as far as I know, it always uses the 'Best' setting regardless of what your default recording level is set at. You can see this yourself if you hit record when you have part of a show in the buffer, you get the option to record the whole thing at best quality, or dump the buffer and record the rest at your default recording level.

    -Dylan
     
  11. dylanemcgregor

    dylanemcgregor Well-Known Member

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    I thought the technical people on the forum who actually looked at the insides decided there was some objective reason why picture quality would be a little worse on S2, that is what I meant by a consensus, but you did catch my next line about most people not noticing a difference right. ;)

    I've got the Humax DRT800 and can say the PQ on that when hooked up via component is much better than my S1 hooked up via coax.

    -Dylan
     
  12. dgh

    dgh New Member

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    Jul 24, 2000
    There is different hardware and both encoders are largely controlled by parameters set in software. (Which were adjusted in the next two releases causing some people to say it was "fixed" and others to disagree.)

    Some people who felt that the quality was worse naturally gravitated towards the idea that it must be the different hardware. And someone asserted (without actual data as I recall) that the new encoder was cheaper than the old encoder and for some people that fact alone made it obvious that it must be the cause.

    I did see the next line, but I don't agree that the consensus was that that the picture is slightly worse but most people don't notice. Some people think it's a LOT worse. Some people thinks it's better (in one case the expression "blows away" was used.) Some people who I respect for having a lot of home theater knowledge compared side by side at closer-than-normal distances and could identify differences in the encoding but couldn't decide which one was better overall.
     
  13. Nfuego

    Nfuego Finally-My ugly mug

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    That makes sense! My mistake!
     
  14. dylanemcgregor

    dylanemcgregor Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the clarification dgh. I'm sure that this is obvious by now, but I'm not that technically inclined, so I was just passing on information that I had read repeatedly here. Didn't mean to contribute to the spread of misinformation. :)

    -Dylan
     
  15. dgh

    dgh New Member

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    It was really just the word "consensus" that set me off :D. I read a zillion posts back then and I couldn't detect anything like a consensus. The "average" of the posts might have been that the S1 was slightly worse. But then, given the nature of a help forum and how people with an issue are far more likely to show up, I'm not sure how meaningful that is.
     
  16. dylanemcgregor

    dylanemcgregor Well-Known Member

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    I was a lurker back when the S2 came out, so I read some of these threads, but most of what I remember came from much later, which was probably people reporting on what other people had reported on... anyway, I'm much too removed from knowing what I'm talking about to have anything else useful to say.

    Bill, I hope you are able to get your new S2 unit to produce an acceptable picture for you. Let us know if you figure out what the problem is.

    -Dylan
     
  17. ccwf

    ccwf 国際化 Member

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    Malibu
    That's true, but it and the other posts above about the differences are irrelevant to the original poster's problem. I don't want to confuse issues.

    Snow indicates some other problem going on. The Series2 encoder definitely does not cause snow to magically appear.
     
  18. JS2003

    JS2003 New Member

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    Jan 10, 2004
    My S2 Tivo didn't have the best picture, and I bought a $20 cable booster from Radio Shack and it helped noticeably. Well worth the $$.

    JS2003
     
  19. BLeonard

    BLeonard It Could Happen!

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    Nov 19, 1999
    Orlando,FL,USA
    I'm getting ready to buy an HDTV and am concerned about how my series 1 Tivos will look on it. I don't think I'm going to get a series 2 if it will look even worse.
     
  20. pro5mark

    pro5mark New Member

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    Sep 14, 2004
    I too have bad picture quality.

    I’ve been running a series 2 on a 35” TV from cable with no noticeable degradation of picture quality, but our TV recently went out. After many negotiations with the wife, she agreed to let me replace it with a new HDTV and convert to satellite. Now after the new HDTV and all the equipment is installed and set up the wife isn’t happy. The picture quality straight from the satellite receiver to the TV is excellent, clear and bright and no graininess, but when I the route the feed through the TiVo, picture quality is horrible, even the TiVo menus are grainy, this is unacceptable according to the wife. You see my wife loves the TiVo, and could not live without it (her words) and during the negotiations I assured her that the TiVo would still work. Guys please help me save my marriage.

    Here is my setup.

    Sony 50” LCD HDTV
    Dish Network HD receiver 811
    TiVo series 2

    Dish receiver to TiVo – s video
    TiVo to TV – s video

    Every thing is recorded in best quality, and the TV was calibrated with Avia.
     

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