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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Problem: I just got a new TV (type noted below) to replace a 32 inch CRT TV that needed to be repaired. I paid 900 dollars for the new TV and I’m not happy with my picture quality at all. I’ve already talked to Direct TV and they weren’t any help at all. They suggested the obvious things like checking cables or messing with the TV settings. I seem to have all the settings on the TV set correctly and I know the cables are correctly connected.

So I thought I would list my setup and see if anyone had any comments/suggestions that might help. The picture is usually pretty good, but does have fuzzy spots that jump around the screen and can be noticed from time to time. For 900 dollars I want to be happy with my picture I’m getting. Is that so crazy?

Here is my equipment:

DirectTV receiver (RCA – Model# DRD485RG) – about 3.5 years old
Standalone TIVO Series 2 – 3 months old
30” Samsung SlimFit widescreen HDTV (TX-R3079WH) – 1 week old

Here is my setup:

Coax cable brings signal from satellite to junction box where it is split into two signals (living & bedroom).
Coax cable takes the signal from the junction box to the receiver above.
The receiver is connected to the TIVO via a S-video cable and RCA audio cables.
The TIVO is connected to the TV via a S-video cable and RCA audio cables.

I’m no expert, but as I understand it S-video is the best connection I can get without going to component cables, but neither my TIVO nor my Receiver have these. Last night I tried all different connections including the following:

All Coax
All RCA video
Mixtures of two of the above.

I have to say keeping it all S-video all the way looks the best, but I’m still not satisfied. Short of getting HD and replacing my TIVO and receiver…what can I do????
 

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TechKnow Guide
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4,779 Posts
Not much. You're most likely seeing the big screen TV exagerations of DirecTV's video compression artifacts. About all you can do, short of upgrading to HiDef channels, is to optimize your video settings. How have you adjusted them? The most accurate way is by using a calibration DVD, like Avia or Digital Video Essentials, to optimize your video settings. Sharpness, contrast, brightness and "edge enhancement" settings have the most effect on the digital "noise" inherent in compressed standard definition video.
 

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OTA ONLY and Loving It!
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I think that your new HD TV is just making it painfully obvious how crappy the compressed signal is in the TiVo. I also have a Series 2 and a big screen HD TV. I was already disappointed with the noticeable degradation in the signal coming out of the TiVo even on a standard TV (at all times, while watching live TV, so recording quality is not a factor in this discussion), but it was something I could tolerate. But it was a real shock to get an HD TV; feeding a TiVo signal into a big screen HD TV is like a hard slap in the face! All of the graininess in the TiVo signal is constantly obvious. If you think the picture is bad on a 30" HD, don't ever try looking at it on something over 50"!! The signal inputs from my DVD recorder, cable box, and coax are all fantastic, but the only way to describe the TiVo output is just plain bad.
 

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V7Goose said:
If you think the picture is bad on a 30" HD, don't ever try looking at it on something over 50"!!
It should be OK if you double the distance. NTSC was designed to be viewed at 7-10 times the screen height. HD can be viewed at 3 times the screen height. But if you put NTSC - let alone digitized compressed (by a consumer-priced real-time encoder) NTSC on a screen and view it at 3 times the screen height, that's going to hurt a bit.

However, once the screen has been calibrated, most people say it then looks "OK". Not good, let alone great, but tolerable until they can get rid of NTSC altogether.
 
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