Tivo HD, Sony 46XBR4, and Comcast

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by rrkessler, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. rrkessler

    rrkessler Member

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    Dec 9, 2003
    I have a new TivoHD, Sony 46XBR4, and 2 new cable cards from comcast (this is my first move into HD). Everything was pretty painless. LCD arrived on Monday, picked up the Tivo yesterday, walked into the local Comcast office and they gave me two single stream CC's. Hooked things up and called Comcast to have them activated. They did so and it all "seems" to work. I can see the HD channels and reran guided setup (after one false start) and it works.

    Now my question - for our local affiliates (CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox) all of them show in the Tivo guide show what they are sending their signals out as (1080i or 720p). Fine. But I only get HD on some of them. The rest of them show up as boxed (lines on the right and left).

    Other things: I am connected via component input, not HDMI yet (I just used the component cables that came with the Tivo) - I believe that this doesn't matter. The LCD says 480i SD when I do a display (even though it clearly will show HD).

    CSI NY (CBS) last night in full HD, widescreen, while the other stations were all in the boxed mode. When the news came on our local NBC news station was widescreen and the others were boxed (including CBS). All of them claim to be broadcasting HD.

    If for some reason, I'm not getting a good enough signal, does something downgrade to 480 mode? Or is it the case that a digital signal sent out at 1080i is either there or not?

    Is this an issue with the TIVO or with the LCD? I looked at the Sony manual and I don't see anything where I can muck with upscaling or anything else related to the type of signal that it sees. The only adjustment is Wide mode (Wide Zoom, Normal, Full, and something else that I don't remember).

    Thanks gang.
    Bob.
    p.s. The Tivo hasn't updated itself to the latest software and I only saw pixelization issues maybe twice in an hour of watching. It was the kind of thing that I used to see with my digital STB, so it didn't bother me.
     
  2. dolphus

    dolphus New Member

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    Aug 3, 2007
    Hey Bob,

    God job on getting the Cable Cards picked up. What number did you call to get them activated? After mine were installed, I am not getting any digital channels and I think they need to be re-activated. I am also having the same issues with my new Sony, but I was waiting to see what happens when I am actually receiving the channels I am supposed to get.

    thanks
    Jon
     
  3. GoHokies!

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

    2,657
    1
    Sep 21, 2005
    KFME
    Not all of the programming being broadcast in HD is actually HD source material. It's likely that you are seeing 4:3 SD being pillarboxed and upscaled to go out on the HD channel.

    What shows in particular are you having trouble with? The NBC Nightly News is in HD, the CBS evening news is still in SD (and I'm not sure about ABC, I think that they are still SD).

    Local News depends completely on where you are.
     
  4. rrkessler

    rrkessler Member

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    Dec 9, 2003
    I live in Park City, UT and when I picked up the cards they said that I had to call down to the Comcast Salt Lake City office. That is what I called (but I am pretty sure that I got some national people). In any case, I called 801-485-0500.
     
  5. rrkessler

    rrkessler Member

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    Dec 9, 2003
    I did a ton of experimenting last night and I believe that you are completely correct. The shows that said HD in the Tivo guide really were HD. The ones that didn't say it were pillarboxed. Even though the comcast online guide says that they are broadcasting in HD (such as local news), they aren't HD, wide screen.

    I also found the Tivo video setting that lets you set the output of the TIvo to Native. The default is apparently 480i. That was why when I hit the display button it always showed 480i. In Native mode, it passes the signal through and let's the TV do its thing. That worked wonderfully. I'm going to experiment with the other settings, but as near as I can tell, the Tivo is working beautifully, the Sony is working great, and the cable cards are perfect. I am definitely a happy camper. Now all I have to do is do the activation by transferring one of my S2 boxes to the new one.

    Thanks.
    Bob.
     
  6. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

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    Oct 17, 2003
    Pittsburgh
    You are one lucky guy! Great equiment and a smooth setup. It's nice to hear stories like this, especially the part about doing it without a service call to install the cablecards.

    You seem to have everything set up as you like it. One thing you may want to consider (I never leave well enough alone): As you have found out, using the the Native mode passes thru the input resolution and allows your TV do the scaling and de-interlacing (if needed), and the Sony does a great job at that. However, some people have reported that there is a flutter and delay when changing channels when a resolution change is involved ( e.g. ABC to NBC, or even to the Tivo menu). If you notice this and want to experiment, you can change the tivo setting to fixed 1080i. This way Tivo does the scaling and de-interlacing (you have to decide if it does it as well as Sony) and outputs everything at 1080i. This will eliminate the flutter if you have any.

    Enjoy. You're off to a great start.
     
  7. Chimpware

    Chimpware New Member

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    Jan 30, 2002
    Agree with your comment, but one issue; I have an XBR also and it has a nice scaling mode to automatically scale standard resolution to widescreen if it detects 480i. This scaling preferentially scales the outside of the picture more than the center and gives a nice result to fill the screen for 480i shows. I like it much better than Zoom which eliminates portions of the pictures.

    In the end it is a tradeoff between better scaling for 480i, compared to flicker between resolutions (including switching to menus).
     
  8. rrkessler

    rrkessler Member

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    Dec 9, 2003
    I have noticed the "flutter", mostly when hitting the Tivo button and going back to the Tivo menu. I'll experiment, but the XBR really does a fine job (it clearly is making the SD shows better - considering how little content is there).

    The only thing that I really hate is Multi-Room Viewing is missing (it is more important to us than TTG). Yeah, I know that it is coming, so I just need to be patient. We have (had) 3 S2's and we used it ALL of the time. So, I'll be patient, but..... :)

    Thanks.
    Bob.
     

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