Roamio plus vs cable company dvr - PQ

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by davidg716, Jan 22, 2015.

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  1. davidg716

    davidg716 Member

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    Maybe it does, like is said, that's how I understood it to work from an article I read, I could be wrong.
     
  2. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    There is no transcoding involved in the Mini. The video data is sent to Mini the same way it is sent between two TiVo DVRs (i.e. MRS) and involves no transcoding.

    The TiVo simply records the data exactly as received from the cable company, just as the cable company DVR did. The description of "squiggly lines around the edges" sounds like aliasing. This is what happens when you have a curved edge. Since the pixels are square, the curve is actually rendered as a series of steps. If compression increases sufficiently, the "squares" get larger (caused by more shades of color being averaged to a common value) and the aliasing gets worse.

    The puzzling thing is that this is all a function of compression and neither your old DVR nor the TiVo are doing any compression and SHOULD be delivering exactly the same data to the TV and therefore the exact same PQ. None of the variables that the DVR does control (like colorspace) would produce what you describe.

    Rather than changing contrast, look for a TV setting called something like "edge enhancement" or anything that hints at the TV trying to "improve" the picture and make sure it is turned off. Sometimes these will add some edge noise.
     
  3. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Good idea. For a view of what this "stepping" looks like, check Discovery channel. The logo "D" is always showing the jagged edge. It's Discovery, not the TiVo.
     
  4. Roveer

    Roveer Member

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    Let's face it. The tivo gear does not produce a picture of the same quality of a QAM tuner or a good cable box. It just doesn't.

    I've had my Tivo gear for almost 2 months and one of the things I was really worried about was 1, The ability of my Romaio to replace a total of 7 STB's and 2, Picture Quality.

    I went to great length to segment my network so that ONLY tivo traffic would be on the dedicated GIG switch that I bought specifically for IPTV. I wired all 6 of my mini's via Cat 5 (each cabled tested with a micotest unit for cat 5 quality) to a netgear switch. I wired my Roamio to that switch as well. I uplinked from that switch back into my network so all the tivo gear could phone home and use streaming services. What this _should_ yield is a network where only Tivo streaming traffic will be present. There will be some broadcast traffic related to network protocols but almost exclusively tivo only traffic. This single segment approach also ensures the tivo traffic will NOT have to traverse multiple switches like in traditional networks. This is as clean as I can get it from a network perspective.

    I used all the same HDMI cables that I had used with my STB's

    My observations:

    1. I would say the PQ is 90% of what I had with the STB's

    2. I have had some disconnects of the Mini's with an error message (not many)

    3. I have seen the PQ change and become momentarily blocky then snapping back

    4. I would say the color gamut and PQ (non network related) to be slightly fuzzy (very slightly) on my Mini's vs the STB's Just not that stunning sharp HD quality that I would get from STB's. Some chalky color and macro-vision type artifacts at times. Understand that I'm coming at this from a super critical point of view. My family can't see any of this. I'm using the highest possible resolution that each TV is capable of. The same as with the STB's

    All in all I'm still very happy with my decision to get rid of all my FIOS STB's and run off of a 4.99/month cable card. So far I haven't had any Tuner collisions (running out of tuners). We don't DVR a huge amount of content right now and it might be a concern if we were recording on 3-4 tuners and we started turning on TV's all over the house. Right now, not a problem.

    I do think that at times there are network performance issues. Last night right before a Mini disconnect I saw the PQ start to degrade with lots of artifacts, macroblocking etc. Maybe most of the Mini's were still displaying live TV even know the kids had turned the TV's off. I am in the habbit of hitting the Tivo button before I turn off a TV just so it doesn't continue to stream for 4 more hours. I would like to think I could train my family to do that, but I can't even get them to watch shows in HD so good luck with that.

    I have an enterprise grade Cisco 100Mbps switch that I think I'm going to give a try. At first I wanted to throw GIG at this project then found out the Mini's are only 100 meg. Now I'm thinking throw the best possible quality (read fast processing) switch I possibly can at it and see what happens. That's what I'm going to try next.

    But in my humble opinion the PQ is NOT the same as STB's on several levels. I still love my Tivo setup. We have started to use the Amazon Prime streamig app as well. Being able to pause live TV on ALL of our TV's is something Verizon did not provide with their basic full house DVR. I believe it can be done with their higher end solution.

    Oh, one more thing. I definitely see the stepping on horizontal lines even on the best HD content. It's one of the biggest things I saw and felt was a problem. Just didn't have that on my STB gear.


    Roveer
     
  5. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    When I had Premiers and a Cisco box on TWC, I could not tell the difference between the picture coming from two boxes. The differences were all functionality-related. When I switched from Dish to OTA/Tivo, I could definitely tell a difference. While the Hopper looked pretty good, the Tivo with an OTA signal looked much better. Perhaps the Cisco boxes do a better job in bitstarved environments?
     
  6. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    Disagree, this is completely YMMV based on local setup. There is no discernable difference between the upscaled 1080i/p video put out by all 4 of the various HD Tivos I've had over the years and what the craptacular Comcast Moto DVRs put out. Nor was there any diff between them and the clear QAM channels that my Panny plasma received before they all got scrambled by Comcast.

    None.
     
  7. Roveer

    Roveer Member

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    Your opinion. What I see here is definitely not the same as my FIOS STB's that stood before them. It's just that simple.
     
  8. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    An opinion that is shared by very few people on this forum, methinks.
     
  9. Roveer

    Roveer Member

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    i'm comfortable with that.
     
  10. jcthorne

    jcthorne Well-Known Member

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    My experience moving from Comcast CATV to Tivo using OTA was exactly the opposite. MUCH improved picture quality with the Tivo.
     
  11. trip1eX

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

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    I'd just wait a month and you'll forget about it.
     
  12. davidg716

    davidg716 Member

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    It makes me sad all of the people who experience Tivo as a better picture from their old boxes. My cisco 8640HD definitely had a better picture, I guess i was really spoiled to have had such a good box before. Wish everyone had the ability.
     
  13. davidg716

    davidg716 Member

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    I just want you to know i agree with everything you said and it echoes my experiences exactly.
     
  14. davidg716

    davidg716 Member

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    so, just an update, I hooked up a Samsung HD STB (non dvr) and I actually cant tell a difference. and the Tivo might actually have a slightly sharper picture! haha. Wish I could check against my old Cisco 8640 but oh well.
     
  15. HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

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    Is everyone saying that the picture is "better" trained enough in video quality aspects to say whether their units are actually "better" in the sense of being "accurate" and sure they're not just in "store demo" mode with the fake, blazing contrast, colors and sharpness mode???

    In other words, which is more accurate in its video representation, TiVo or MSO cable boxes, etc?

    I find that my TiVos have been more accurate and I have used pro gear (in the past) to determine this. I don't have any MSO boxes to check now, so I guess YMMV.
     
  16. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    How can TiVo spit out a lower quality image than a Comcast/FIOS/TWC/BHN/GenericCableCo box? That simple makes no sense. It's taking the same MPEG-2 signal, recording it bit for bit, and spitting it back bit for bit, and then decoding it. I suppose there could be some post-processing going on after the decoder, but that shouldn't affect things a lot. Cable companies aren't putting serious video processors in their STBs.

    The only thing I can think of that's causing issues like that are improper setups. Wrong resolution? Different picture settings from HDMI port to HDMI port?
     
  17. qz3fwd

    qz3fwd Member

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    Maybe the OP is running his Tivo's outputs at 480p and his cableco DVR was running at 1080i/native???? haha.....
     
  18. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I agree. While the Tivo does process the data to send it out over HDMI, the variables there (like colorspace) would not produce the effect the OP describes. The bits delivered over the wire should be identical regardless of who is decoding and sending them.
     
  19. davidg716

    davidg716 Member

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    Please. I know the difference between a 480p and 1080p signal. Im talking about such minute differences in quality that most people probably wouldn't even notice.
     
  20. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    I was thinking more like fixed 720p on the TiVo vs. native on the cableco DVR, but yeah, that's the general direction I was thinking.
     
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