Tivo HD Video Quality

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Chimpware, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. Chimpware

    Chimpware New Member

    334
    0
    Jan 30, 2002
    I just compared my new Tivo HD video quality to my 8300 HD. On HD channels (QAM on Tivo only right now as I do not have cable cards yet) the quality is about the same. On SD Channels the video quality of the 8300 is much better. I made sure all video settings were the same for both inputs, although 8300 is connected by component connections and Tivo is connected by HDMI.

    Will SD quality improve once cable cards are installed? Will Tivo always have lower quality SD? Anyone else noticed this?
     
  2. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
    2
    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    Once CableCards are installed, you should have access to the digital version of the SD channels. Without CableCards, you're stuck with the analog versions.

    Analog channels converted into digital by the TivoHD will rarely look as good as their digital counterparts on cable, which you get on the SA8300 and on the TivoHD once the CableCards are installed. They should look identical when using the same connection with native output selected.

    Until you get your CableCards, I would suggest you set the Tivo's recording quality to "best." That setting reduces the compression on analog channels, improving quality, although still not to the level of the digital versions available with CableCard.

    Be aware the identical display settings on component and HDMI settings will rarely produce an identical picture. There are differences in brightness, color, and contrast between component and HDMI inputs, due to device variations in D/A and A/D conversion. In some cases, very different settings are often required to obtain a comparable picture. That is why modern displays save separate settings for component and HDMI.
     
  3. WeBoat

    WeBoat Member

    243
    0
    Nov 6, 2002
    SWFL
    I actually thought the Tivo HD had worse video than the 8300. That is until I switched the recording quality to "Best". Now it's MUCH better. Very clear and almost as good as the digital on the 8300.

    One other thing. I removed the splitter I had between the 8300 and the tivo because they were on the same outlet. I moved the 8300 to a guest bedroom. Now it's perfect.
     
  4. pkscout

    pkscout Well-Known Member

    4,000
    38
    Jan 10, 2003
    Honolulu, HI
    The quality setting won't affect the HD quality at all. HD is streamed directly to the hard drive without any transcoding, so if you think the quality changed after changing that setting you are hallucinating.

    Also, you may or may not actually get the digital versions of the analog channels once the CableCards are installed. It depends on your cable operator. TWC doesn't provide the digital simulcast channels to CableCard users, so even after the CableCard install you would still get analog channels here.

    How can you tell? Any channel that asks you what quality to use for recordings is in analog. Any channel that provides no option is digital or HD.
     
  5. WeBoat

    WeBoat Member

    243
    0
    Nov 6, 2002
    SWFL
    I don't have the Cable Cards installed yet, say these are ALL analog channels. Here the first 100 channels are analog, and I'm guessing they stay that way even when the cards are installed as you can REALLY tell the differance on the 8300's from the first 100 channels and everything else.

    CCs will be here tommorow......
     
  6. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    2,619
    0
    Oct 17, 2003
    Pittsburgh
    IF your cable provider is using Analog-Digital Simulcast, and IF they map the digital feed for the cablecards, you should see an improved picture for the channels 2-100.
     
  7. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
    2
    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    Just about every cable system still carries a wide range of analog cable channels. However, most major cable companies now have separate digital versions of those channels -- known as digital simulcast -- which is what you get with their STB or DVR. These digital channels show up in the guide using the same numbers as the analog channels, because the cable company has setup their system to map the digital versions over the analog. The digital channels also replace the analog versions on the TivoHD when you add a CableCard, provided the cable company has their system setup to do that.

    Why carry both analog and digital versions of the same channels? Cable companies hope to eliminate the analog versions at some point, freeing up capacity for more HDTV channels. Comcast Chicago did that earlier this year.
     
  8. PeytonRE

    PeytonRE New Member

    27
    0
    Oct 23, 2006

    Just to check here, on my Panasonic Plasma TV you would change the picture settings for each input; therefore, if you had altered the settings for the component input but left the settings for the HDMI input at the default then there could be a significant difference in picture quality -- I know there was on my set.
     
  9. Chimpware

    Chimpware New Member

    334
    0
    Jan 30, 2002
    Thanks for all the replies. My hope is that once I have the cable cards installed I receive digital versions of the stations I was comparing in SD, as many of you have pointed out. I did check and these stations are currently analog.
     
  10. fastep

    fastep New Member

    292
    0
    May 21, 2004
    annapolis...

    I tryed both connections with every dvr I have had with my mits 73713 and component always produced a better SD picture. Needless to say I only use HDMI with my upconverting DVD player.
     
  11. Chop69

    Chop69 New Member

    4
    0
    Jul 28, 2007
    I was hoping this wasn't just my setup. The SD picture looks soft for lack of a better term.

    I don't have CableCards yet, but I don't see that helping, because ~80% of my SD channels are analog, even with a box.
     
  12. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
    2
    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    Are you sure about that?

    Who is your cable provider? Almost 100% of Comcast and Cox markets now have digital simulcast and Time Warner says it will have 100% digital simulcast by year's end. The problem with Time Warner is that some of their systems use SDV to provide the digital simulcast, meaning you can only get the analog versions on the TivoHD.

    As others have noted, if you do currently receive analog channels, be sure to set the TivoHD to the "best" quality setting (only affects analog channels).
     
  13. Chop69

    Chop69 New Member

    4
    0
    Jul 28, 2007

    I'm on Charter in Texas. It's definitely analog on 2-99. I can plug the cable directly from the wall into the TV with better quality, and the service menu on my SA8300 lists them all as analog.
     
  14. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    22,974
    1,011
    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    No digital SImulcast here yet on Comcast. We're on th eupgraded cable plant, but we don't even have Universal HD yet. They diid add more channels after the upgrade, but no more since then.
     
  15. knownzero

    knownzero Seeker

    4,963
    2
    Feb 26, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I have a Mot 6412 on DVI and the Tivo HD on HDMI without the cablecards (tomorrow install) and the analog channels through the Tivo are better by a wide margin.
     

Share This Page