New to HDTV - Video Settings Questions

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by BankZ, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. BankZ

    BankZ New Member

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    Aug 16, 2007
    Ok, I did things a little backwards. I bought a Tivo HD a few months ago but only had a SD TV. Last night I just got a 40" Sony LCD .

    My question is, what are the best video settings? I believe I want to set the aspect ration to 16:9 (not Smart Screen) and video output to Native (rather than 1080i Fix).

    I also have to figure out what the best settings for my TV, it offers Normal, Full, Zoom and Full Zoom. It also offers "SD Auto-Wide" with the same options.

    Last night I could no to get everything to look right. The Tivo menus looked stretched (most noticeable looking at the green circles next to TV shows names in the Now Playing section). Also sometimes I had black bars on the sides AND top (mostly on commercials). However last night I was using Component but will buy HDMI cables today (wasn’t going to spend $100 on a 6' HDMI cable) which may be part of my problem.

    Any advice on what settings I should use would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Laserfan

    Laserfan Member

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    Apr 25, 2000
    USA
    Don't set Tivo to Native BankZ, instead set to 1080iFix. If you set to Native, the Tivo's output will change depending on the program, and cause switching glitches on your display.

    The 16:9 setting is right. Then you set the Sony to, I believe, Normal. I dunno about SD Auto-Wide: sounds like it would stretch 4:3 to 16:9? Bad.

    First set to 1080i then go from there. Component should look great--HDMI gives you a cleaner cabling setup but it's doubtful to me that the pic quality will be noticeably better, but YMMV.
     
  3. BankZ

    BankZ New Member

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    Aug 16, 2007
    OK, I will switch it to 1080i Fixed (any idea if they will ever support 1080p?). When I switch the TV to Normal the TiVo menus bad black bars on the side. Should I have to restart the TiVo or something? Full seemed to look the "best" but like I said it appeared to be stretched (the circles were more oval). It seemed like the TiVo was putting out a 4:3 picture. Also the aspect button did not appear to have any afftect on SD or HD TV.
     
  4. Laserfan

    Laserfan Member

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    Apr 25, 2000
    USA
    My Tivo's TV Aspect Ratio is set to 16:9, and its Aspect Correction Mode is set to "Panel (letterboxed etc)". My Sony TV is set to Full (not Normal, sorry).

    I haven't touched ACM (or the TV) since my initial setup two months ago and everything's always right--never ever have to fiddle with Aspect or Full/Normal/etc. My set is a few years older than yours but probably Full is right for you?
     
  5. BankZ

    BankZ New Member

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    Aug 16, 2007
    seems that way, ill set up everything tonight and see how things look. I'd rather not have to mess with it after I get it all correct :)
     
  6. NCTRNL

    NCTRNL New Member

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    Sep 24, 2007
    Kansas City
    I have to set my Sony to 'Full' as well...
     
  7. artinsocal

    artinsocal New Member

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    Sep 20, 2007
    You're right, you don't need to spend that kind of money on an HDMI cable. I doubt that's your problem. As long as you don't have a very long run from source to TV then any 6' cable will work perfectly.
     
  8. penguinboy

    penguinboy New Member

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Definitely leave it at 1080i fixed. We changed ours to native and everytime there was a commercial, the screen did this psychadelic Hendrix Experience hiccup for about 2 seconds.....then when the ads switched from national to local, it would hiccup again, then once more before the show would start again.....bad idea. Try if you like though- doesn't hurt anything and takes a minute to change back....

    For HDMI cables, I needed one, as all my component and optical inputs were taken by Xbox 360 and DVD... I ordered my cable online- $20 for a 6' plus a few bucks for shipping. Cheaper than a toslink optical cable and a good set of component cables....

    Hope it works out- the picture is amazing! We're recording tons of PBS shows that play during the day- all in HD- and watch them while we eat dinner or read the mail....Have fun!!!
     
  9. Jay M

    Jay M New Member

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    Sep 27, 2007
    I can see why you are confused, every tv manufacturer uses different terminology to define how the image is to be displayed or distorted.

    Some people like to fill the screen even if it means having to look at short fat people.

    I prefer to have everything in it proper aspect ratio. I define the TV as 19:9 and set to TV to the setting where nothing get stretched or morphed.

    I have the Series 3 and I really like the Aspect button. There are some shows on SD channels that are letter boxed. That puts a huge black frame all the way around the image. The Aspect button allows me to zoom so that the letterboxed image now fills the 16:9 screen without cropping or distorting.

    My MCE HTPC does the same thing for the few letterboxed DVDs I have. They look bad compared to anamorphic, but at least I don't lose 70% of the screen surface.

    ~Jay
     
  10. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

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    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    You realize that by setting the output to 1080i rather than native, you are using the scaler in the Tivo, rather than the one in the TV, right?

    If you can't see a difference, use 1080i and avoid the resolution state changes (what most see as "flicker") for the TV.

    If you can, leave Tivo video output at Native and let the TV do the work.

    To me, the scaler in my Sony seems better than that in the Tivo, so I use native.
     
  11. Laserfan

    Laserfan Member

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    Apr 25, 2000
    USA
    jfh3 is right. First you gotta understand what-is-what i.e. what the modes are doing in the Tivo and then in your set, and then try them methodically until you find the best combination of PQ and speed/comfort/convenience. I don't like Tivo's Native mode for the switching artifacts, and 1080i is what most of the shows I watch are broadcast in anyway.

    I do think BTW that (at least my S3) Tivo does a spectacular job with tuning and scaling!!! :up:
     

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