Question about cable quality

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by cjinphilly, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. cjinphilly

    cjinphilly New Member

    Jun 25, 2007


    Hi y'all.. Like everyone else I am interested in the new Tivo HD.. better price point for an average user as myself....

    Have a question though. Does the series 3 and HD have a better video codec than my series 2 does for recording SD?

    Comcast does not really offer enough HD stations at this time, and I end up recording more SD cable shows, so with viewing on my HD TV, am I going to get better SD recordings with a series 3 or HD than I do with my Series 2 single tuner?

    Charles in Philly
  2. Teeps

    Teeps Well-Known Member

    Aug 16, 2001
    I have no way to predict your picture quality; but I can tell you this, from my observation of series 1 TiVo analog cable vs S3 TiVo with cable cards.

    All comparisons are via S-Video input to a Mitsubishi WT46809 RPTV.
    S3 TiVo analog (feed) recordings are no better than S1.
    S3 TiVo digital (feed) recordings of the same programming; quite a bit better, but not HD quality.
    S3 TiVo HD recordings via cable co feed; good as OTA broadcasts, except for the sound drop outs, sound out of sync and picture pixelization.
  3. jbrasure

    jbrasure New Member

    Jan 1, 2007
    Keep in mind, if you have digital cable available in your area then the Tivo HD will record an exact copy of the digital stream. It won't recompress the signal at all, which means you'll see the maximum quality.

    Comcast does things differently in some area. In some regions the lower 100 channels are analog, and the remaining channels are digital. In my area all of the channels are digital. In this case the Tivo HD will have awesome quality!

    Hope that helps!
  4. cjinphilly

    cjinphilly New Member

    Jun 25, 2007
    I live in the Philly Suburbs.. I too think the first 100 channels are analog for now..

    My setup is:

    Digital cable into a Comcast Motorola 2600 HD cable box
    HDMI out to my 42" Toashiba HD & also S video out to Tivo series 2

    So I can switch the TV input between live cable and the tivo.. right now, the S Video signal from the cable box to the Tivo is pretty... well.. blurry is the best term. Lots of artifacts anscreen and the blacks sometimes turn into large pixels.. If I swithc to the HDMI input and view pure cable on the tv the SD is better but not as good as my HD channels..

    However, like I said most of the channels are still SD right now, digital or not, so my question is more directed at the quality of the HD ivo in my setup.
  5. cgould

    cgould Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    Bay Area, CA


    Actually, comparing my S1 (Svideo) analog cable w/ my S3 (component 1080i hybrid mode), on my Mitsu 55" HD RP-CRT, the S3 is MARKEDLY better quality than the S1, than the Mitsu native analog tuner, and better than the Comcast 6412 Motorola box (for analog and digital SD). Even though SD digital is "just bits" with no re-encoding, the S3 had MUCH better display (decoding/deinterlacing/whatever) of the SD 480p than the 6412.
    HD of course is the same great quality for the S3 and 6412.

    The S3 up-conversion to even just 480p for analog or SD digital, over component, gives a much nicer picture than the S1 or other methods.
    The S3 analog compression is also significantly better than the S1 or S2 (higher bitrate), for the same quality (basic/medium/best etc)

    Go for the HD Tivos. Quality can't be beat by anything else out there.
  6. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    Comcast in your area does digital simulcast. Recordings on the Tivo be just as good as what you get with the cable box.
  7. bicker

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003
    I haven't noticed a big difference, but the TiVo does seem to do SD a bit better than the cable box. That's probably a marginal difference associated with better video hardware.

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