Roamio image quality on 4K television set

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by Greg Lovern, Dec 18, 2019.

  1. Greg Lovern

    Greg Lovern Member

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    Mar 8, 2003
    Bellevue, WA
    We've had our Roamio Plus since 2015, watching it on an HD DLP TV, and all was well. Recently we upgraded the TV to a 4K model, the new Sanyo FW65R70F. On the new TV, streamed HD content upscaled to 4K looks great, and blu-ray disks in our blu-ray player (we still don't have a 4K disk player) upscaled to 4K look great too.

    In both cases, HD content upscaled to 4K looks a little better than it did on the similarly-sized HD TV, though it doesn't look as amazing and detailed as native 4K streamed content.

    But Tivo HD content actually looks slightly WORSE than it did on the old TV. It looks more saturated to my eyes, but turning down the contrast for it on the TV's settings didn't help. I don't see any settings for that on the Tivo.

    I tried switching inputs and cables between the Tivo and the blu-ray player; that made no difference.

    So everything looks better on the new 4K TV except Tivo content. Any suggestions on why that might be, and what I can do about it short of upgrading to a 4K Tivo?
     
  2. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    The highest resolution a Roamio can produce is 1080p and a 4K TV can need as high as 4096 to get the higher quality. You would have to upgrade to, at least, a Bolt to get that 4K. No switching of cables or inputs would make any difference.

    The Series 3 HD can only give 1080i as the highest.

    However, Bolts tend to fail more frequently, as it uses laptop drives, v21 software is quite buggy.
     
  3. Greg Lovern

    Greg Lovern Member

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    Mar 8, 2003
    Bellevue, WA
    The same is true of my blu-ray player; it's a Sony BDP-S360 circa 2006. But the picture on that TV from that blu-ray player is MUCH better than the picture on that TV from the Tivo.

    And the same is true of HD streamed content; it arrives as 1080p and the TV upscales it. Like the picture from the blu-ray, HD (1080p) streamed content looks much better than the Tivo.

    Yes, native 4K content looks better than all of the above. But I obviously don't expect that level of quality from an 1080p source like the Tivo Roamio. My question is why the Tivo Roamio looks worse on this TV than it did on the 1080p TV, while other 1080p sources look better.
     
  4. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    The TV may not be upscaling from the inputs? or, that input.
     
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  5. Greg Lovern

    Greg Lovern Member

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    It's definitely upscaling the blu-ray player, and I tried switching inputs and cables between the Tivo and the blu-ray player; that made no difference.

    So I don't see that the input could be the problem.
     
  6. jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    Check the display setting on the Roamio. You might need to change it from Auto to manual 1080p only.
     
  7. fyodor

    fyodor Active Member

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    One thing I would do is to set your Tivo not to upscale. Let it send the native resolution of the content and let the TV upscale to 4K. If you have your Tivo fixed at 1080p or somesuch, it's upscaling content to 1080p and then the TV is upscaling it again to 4K.
     
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  8. fyodor

    fyodor Active Member

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    While it's true that a Bolt supports 4K, it's just upscaling the 720p/1080i content from your cable provider,* the same way your TV should be doing.

    * I assume that the OP is using the Roku functionality on his/her TV for streaming.
     
  9. astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

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    I *think* if the TV wasn't upscaling a non-4K signal it would display as a small image, not full screen. AFAIK, all 4K TVs upscale every input.
     
  10. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    I've never heard of a TV with a control to use a lower resolution that its hardware can produce. You can usually control the aspect ratio, but video comes in and gets put on the screen. The TV will do its best, some better than others when fed a low resolution signal. But you can't tell it to only run in 1080p, no more than I can tell my 1080p to display 720p. But I haven't owned every TV.

    My cable feed is usually 1080i. I have my Roamio send it out as 1080i. My TV is 1080p. It looks just fine. I'm old and 4k wouldn't be worth it. But I'm not too old to tell when 24fps content is displayed as 60fps.
     
  11. Sparky1234

    Sparky1234 Well-Known Member

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    Does the live TV feed look better than the recorded TV feed?
     
  12. fyodor

    fyodor Active Member

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    I think that many people here are old (as am I) and still think about these things the way one would with a CRT. But LCDs have a certain number of fixed pixels. 4K TVs have a fixed 4K resolution.Everything gets shown at a 4K resolution. It's possible some devices do a better or worse job at upscaling, but they only have one possible display resolution.
     
  13. Greg Lovern

    Greg Lovern Member

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    Bellevue, WA
    Thanks all. Looking through the picture settings on the TV, I found that for all inputs it was on Picture Mode = Low Power. I changed that to Normal and it seemed to be a moderate improvement. I don't know what the difference between that and brightness is, but it seems to have a different effect than increasing the brightness.

    I also noticed that The Simpsons on Tivo looks great. I tried one of the kids' animation shows and it looked great too. But at least one show that looked fine on the old TV still looks pretty bad on this one; Lights Out with David Spade. So much so that I wondered if it was SD, but no, it's an HD source; "COMEDYHD-W".

    I tried watching live TV on that channel, "COMEDYHD-W", and it was on an animation show (Futurama, which looked fine), so I'll try later to see if I can get another live action show.

    I tried that, same result. I also tried 1080i because it says it is "preferred". Also looks the same. I put it back on Auto. While on Auto, it says something that seems to indicate it's using 1080i.
     
  14. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    seems to me one would chalk up the difference to the quality difference in the content source.

    I mean I would assume a BR on a larger 4k tv would look way better than a Tivo recording on the same tv. But maybe I am missing something here
     
  15. fyodor

    fyodor Active Member

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    You should NOT be doing this. You want it passing the native source to the TV so it's only upscaling once. If you set it to 1080P it will go through two upscaling processes (Tivo upscales to 1080p, TV upscales to 4K) adding more artifacts.
     
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  16. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Two problems, but only one can be corrected. It was possible with TE3 to see the size of a program and compute the bit rate. That would let you know that the compression of your signal is affecting the PQ and by how much.

    If the TiVo says 1080i is "Preferred" you may have a problem. A television reports back to the TiVo what resolution it works best with, and you paid for 4k. This is all explained on the screen. I have a TE3 and TE4 Roamio feeding my TV, a Sony 1080p. When I use TE3 it "prefers" 1080i. When I use TE4 it "prefers" 1080p. The video selection screen with TE3 looks like this on my TV:
    video_res.JPG
    Since I use an AVR, there's only one HDMI cable that goes to my TV. I can switch inputs with one button, and I can not see any change between 1080i and 1080p coming out of my Roamio boxes.
     
  17. Greg Lovern

    Greg Lovern Member

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    Mar 8, 2003
    Bellevue, WA
    Mine looks exactly like your picture.

    I think my old TV, a Toshiba 62HM196, only accepted 1080i inputs. Could the Tivo setting be leftover from that? All I did was unplug it from the old TV and plug it into the new one. I tried restarting the Tivo now but it still says 1080i.

    But even if I could get it to prefer 1080p, I've already tried 1080p and it didn't look better. Or have I misunderstood something?
     
  18. fyodor

    fyodor Active Member

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    Do NOT set it for just 1080i or 1080p. This will add extra upscaling/downscaling steps. For example, a 720P signal cannot be upscaled cleanly into 1080i so the Tivo needs to do interpolation to hit 1080i/1080p and then another upscaling step would be used by the TV to get to 4K. A 720P signal, if fed to the TV, can be cleanly upscaled to 4K (3x3). I would enable all of the resolutions so that your Tivo feeds whatever is coming in to your TV and the signal gets upscaled by the TV.

    Is there still a "Native" option? If available, that's what you should be using. You don't want the Tivo doing any upscaling.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2019
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  19. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Really? I thought you were running TE4? This is my TE4 Roamio:
    TE4-Vid-Res.JPG
    Both are using the same TV through my AVR.

    TiVo Series 4 or 5 do not have a "native" mode, but you can check all the boxes. I forgot to mention that "pass-through" is for streaming content only.
     
  20. jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    I understand. This was only a test.
     

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