Picture just not as clear

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by loontoons, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. loontoons

    loontoons New Member

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    Feb 10, 2009

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    So please excuse me if this is a newbee kind of question. My TivoHD just isnt as clear as my cable box.

    I have a samsung LN52A650 LCD. With the cable box hooked up it was at times "to clear". Watching the local news and many other programs the picture was crazy clear. Now with the Tivo hooked up with HDMI (same as cable box) the picture just doesnt look as clear. I dont know if this has to do with the Video output on the Tivo. I had it set @ 1080P, now I have it @ 720p. If I put it in Naitive every time I change channels the TV has to switch and there is a long lag and a info screen pops up showing a new resolution.

    Am I on the right track? What can I do to get that POP back in my picture?
     
  2. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    With the cable box, you were probably viewing digital channels. Most cable providers now offer digital versions of their analog channels (indeed, most cable company boxes no longer have analog tuners).

    If you're using the TivoHD for cable without a CableCard, then you are now seeing analog versions of those channels. With a DVR, analog channels must be converted to digital on the fly, and there is quality loss associated with that.

    With most providers, digital versions of the channels replace the analog versions on the same numbers when a CableCard is installed. Digital channels are displayed and saved -- as is -- by the TiVo, the quality you on those is just as good (or better) as the cable company's own box.

    If you can't or won't add a CableCard to get the digital versions of your channels, then you might consider the addition of an off-air antenna. If you live close to your stations, you might try a small indoor antenna like this one from Radio Shack. The TiVo would integrate local HD channels into your guide along with the analog cable channels; once adding such an antenna, you would re-run guided setup and select antenna and cable, as opposed to cable only.

    If you are new to TiVo, be sure to see the Using your TiVo and TiVo Tips posts linked in my signature.
     
  3. loontoons

    loontoons New Member

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    Feb 10, 2009
    Just to clarify, I do have a cable card and I am talking of the HD channels.
     
  4. janry

    janry New Member

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    Just to clarify, there is no 1080P setting. You probably mean 1080I. I have mine set 1080I fixed and I think the live TV is every bit as good as the picture through my cable box. Though my old eyes really aren't very good.

    One thing you might try is to swap the coax between the Tivo and the cable box. Then swap the HDMI cables and at the TiVo and cable box end. If you see the TiVo improve or the cable box's picture degrade, you might need to change the coax, HDMI cable, or look for a problem in the TV's HDMI input.
     
  5. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Are you using the same HDMI input for both boxes and switching between them somehow?

    If you are using different HDMI inputs, you should be aware that most modern TVs store completely different settings for each input. If you adjusted your settings on the HDMI input for the cable box, then you need to do the same on the HDMI input for the TiVo.

    As far as settings, I would suggest fixed 1080i for your TV, which is probably the same setting used by your cable box. The native setting would produce a slightly better picture on 720p channels like ABC/FOX/ESPN, but most do not feel the benefit is worth the added delay for resolution switching.
     
  6. gweempose

    gweempose Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Also, many TV's allow you to independently tweak the settings for each input. You should ensure that all the settings are the same. This way, you'll know you're comparing apples to apples.

    Edit: Looks like bkdtv beat me to the punch! :)
     
  7. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    To the above, I would also note that many TVs also store separate settings for each input resolution. If your TiVo is set to fixed 720p, and you configured your picture settings, then you may need to it again when you change the TiVo to fixed 1080i.

    My display stores separate settings for (a) each input, (b) each resolution on each input, and (c) each framerate for each resolution on each input.
     
  8. gweempose

    gweempose Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Interesting. What display do you have?
     
  9. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Pioneer KRP-600M. This is a standard feature on most Pioneer Kuros, I believe.

    By comparison, my 2008 Panasonic offers one setting for all SD and another setting for all HD on each input.
     
  10. gweempose

    gweempose Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I guess you learn something new every day. I have a PRO-151FD, and I was completely unaware of this. :)
     
  11. proudx

    proudx Member

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    Sep 16, 2008
    i've noticed this too. I can't put my finger on it, but the motorolla box I had was clearly cleaner in output than the tivohd. Now I will say I was more happy with the output of the tivo series 3 than the tivohd.

    A digital channel should be a digital channel, what in the world could cause the tivo to look softer and not as sharp as the cable box?
     
  12. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    It's not, as you can confirm with a wide array of video test patterns.

    That said, the text output on the TiVo Series3 is "cleaner," because the Broadcom CPU in the Series3 uses a different form of filtering for text. This is most obvious if you compare HD Search on the TivoHD and Series3 -- try that to see for yourself.
     
  13. ZekeO

    ZekeO New Member

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    Mar 26, 2009
    I had the same problem, but it seems that it was a hdmi issue. Just make sure it's seated correctly.
     

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