TiVoHD connected to an SD Television

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by AJRitz, Dec 19, 2007.

  1. AJRitz

    AJRitz Princess Anti-Santa

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    OK, I know this looks like a strange topic. But here goes. I'm wondering whether a TiVoHD will downres HD recordings and play them on an SD television (connected via S-Video or Component)?

    I plan on dropping DirecTV and switching completely over to cable soon. My media room is all set for the full HD experience - I've been using an SA8300 for HD content on a 56" Samsung DLP for a couple of years now. But I'm tired of paying two content bills, and I want my Tivo interface.

    The problem is the Great Room TV that is mostly what my kids watch. It's not HD, and I'm not ready to spend the money for a new HD TV set there - probably for at least another year. I could just hook up an standalone S2, but I'm used to dual-tuner capability and also would like the ability to use the Great Room tuners to help deal with conflicts for the Media Room TiVoHD, now that MRV is working. I also don't trust IR blasters, and figure that channel changes via a TiVoHD will be more reliable than on a standalone hooked up in line with a cable box.

    So, would this work? I know that the TiVoHD can be connected to the SD set, but specifically would HD programming be watchable on the SD set (or does it just not output at all)?
     
  2. DaveDFW

    DaveDFW Member

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    I think you can--just set the Tivo to 480i or 480p fixed output, and you should be set.

    I just tried this with my Tivo HD--480i fixed, and played a 1080i program. It looked pretty crappy, but the TV reported a 480i signal.

    TTYL
    David
     
  3. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    yes, and do it pretty well.

    the Svideo and composite out on the TiVo HD are SD. if the TV has a component connection then it will deal with playing the content from that
     
  4. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    well downconverting the signal to a large HD TV will of course look worse
     
  5. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

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    The TiVo HD works great with a SD set. One of mine is hooked up to one now and I use CableCards in it. Digital channels will look much better than analog on a SD set. If you can use a antenna, then you could record the digital locals in HD which will be much better quality than you will get from the analog locals from the cable company. Also, analog channels will actually look better than the S2 DT when using the same recording quality.
     
  6. AJRitz

    AJRitz Princess Anti-Santa

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    Excellent. This is exactly the news I was hoping for.
    Now, I just need to either: a) Convince my wife that now is the time to pull the trigger on the $500 + subscription cost of this transition or b) find an excuse to head out to a casino and pick up another $500 playing blackjack.

    Somehow, I think a) is more likely :D
     
  7. georgepds

    georgepds New Member

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    It looks pretty good to me. I've been displaying the output of and ATSC receiver on a 20 inch SD CRT television for years.

    I realize the resolution changes, but still, the picture is just fine

    --G
     
  8. Graymalkin

    Graymalkin Grumpy Poster

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    I've watched HD content on my SD TV that was transferred to the TiVo HD there from the ones in the living room. I'm using the S-video connection. So it can be done. Picture quality is definitely better that what I see on the SD channels.
     
  9. Marc

    Marc Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I was going to ask why worry about HD content when in many cases there are SD channels available from which you could record and get "native" content for your display device, but then I thought about the few HD-specific channels out there and figured that's what you meant.

    But then as I thought further, I remembered that I'm doing exactly that when I use my Slingbox to watch my TiVo HD on the road. I have a mix of HD and SD content and it's all mostly wonderfully viewable on the Slingbox (although I did have to change the TiVo's concept of having my screen be "Smart 4:3" to being regular 4:3).
     
  10. AJRitz

    AJRitz Princess Anti-Santa

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    Two reasons for wanting to be able to watch HD stuff on the SD set:
    1) Sometimes, I need to be upstairs and want to watch something that was recorded on the DVR that's downstairs in the Media Room. I wanted to be able to MRV the HD recording from downstairs and watch it upstairs.
    2) Simplicity. I don't want my wife and kids to have to worry about whether the show they've picked to record is being broadcast in SD or HD. I want them to just be able to watch it on the Great Room TV either way. The alternative would be a serious blow to domestic bliss - and not in a good way, either.
     
  11. Adam1115

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Only if your SD TV supports SVideo or RCA. The HD doesn't have a coax output...
     
  12. RonDawg

    RonDawg Well-Known Member

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    Neither...
    You'd have to have a set that's really old, or really cheap, for it to lack even a composite in with a mono audio input. In that case an RF modulator will take care of the problem.
     
  13. AJRitz

    AJRitz Princess Anti-Santa

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    No worries on this front. It's a decent SD set, if a bit small for my taste (JVC I'Art line). I've got S-Video, Composite, and Component inputs available.
     
  14. Adam1115

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Yes, I know, but just thought I'd mention it since the op didn't specify.
     
  15. zand94

    zand94 Member

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    Just putting this out there - do a search on my user id to find my posts. I posted a question on this topic back in Nov with regards to what settings should be used. If you look at that post, I replied to it with the settings I'm using that work quite well. If you cannot find it, let me know and ill dig around for the post and re-post the settings here
     
  16. kb7oeb

    kb7oeb Member

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    One thing an HD Tivo lacks is the ability to change the aspect or zoom when viewing an HD channel. This means if you record an HD channel the picture will be stretched vertically, worse if you watch a 4:3 program on an HD channel you will have two pillar boxes that you can not crop out.
     
  17. Luke M

    Luke M Member

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    Huh? It sure does have those features - in fact, there's a dedicated button for it on the remote.

    Tip: By default the TivoHD is configured for a 16:9 TV. You have to change this to 4:3. Maybe this was the problem you had?

    I guess one case where you might have a problem is if you wanted to connect the Tivo to multiple TVs, some 16:9 and some 4:3.
     
  18. azitnay

    azitnay Active Member

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    I think what kb7oeb was referring to is probably the fact that you can't stretch or zoom widescreen content on a 16:9 TV.

    Although I can't imagine I'd ever want to do this on a channel showing 4:3 content with pillarboxes (why mess with the OAR?), the one time it would come in handy is when widescreen content is both pillarboxed and letterboxed on an HD channel. Of course, as long as you have the SD version of the channel, you can simply record it instead and then zoom.

    Drew
     

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