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· OTA ONLY and Loving It!
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1,737 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I realize that in the age of the Premier there will be limited interest in new information about use and differences between the Series 3 models, but here it is anyway. The basis for this post is that I have discovered a distinct difference between the S3 and HD boxes if you use the HDMI output while trying to record from any other output.

I constantly record programs and DVDs from my TiVo boxes. Although I sometimes copy those programs to my computer for editing and authoring, I much prefer to record directly from the TiVo output in real time. I have found two methods that work very well for this:
  1. Use the s-video output to feed a standalone DVD-R machine.
  2. Use a Hauppauge HD-PVR to capture the high definition component output signal and burn AVCHD Blu-Ray compatible DVDs from my computer.
The Direct feed to a DVD-R machine is perfect for all the 4:3 format movies I record, as well as the majority of wide format programming from HD channels. The PQ of these recorded programs is excellent from my Panasonic DVD-R for 2 hours or less per disc, and very good for 3 hours per disc.

The real problem is when I want to capture a movie that is recorded in letterbox format from a non-HD channel, such as TCM. In this case, all programs from the channel are broadcast in 4:3 format, and wide-screen content is letterboxed within the pillar-boxed 4:3 picture. To enjoy these programs on a modern HD TV screen, the TiVo output must be zoomed, and that's the rub. The TiVo HDMI or component output has an excellent PQ when zoomed, but the s-video output PQ simply SUCKS.

So that's where the Hauppauge HD-PVR comes in. This box has some huge problems and lots of annoying bugs, but it is still the only reasonably priced option I have found to directly record TiVo HD output.

So now we get to the difference between the S3 and the HD for this recording. My S3 has been my primary recording platform for years, but I have recently isolated numerous situations where the S3 has audio sync problems on some programs that play perfectly on the THD, so I decided to swap the boxes and start using the THD as the basis for my recording.

My TiVo is connected to an AV receiver via HDMI, and the s-video and component outputs are connected only to the recording devices. I have often started recording a program, then shut the system off to do other things while the recording continues. With the S3, this has never been any problem - I can turn the other components off or on with absolutely no effect to the recorded signal on the other outputs.

The THD box, however, is a real problem with this behavior. When the device connected to the HDMI output of my THD is turned either off or on, there is a complete disruption of the signal on the other outputs. The component signal briefly blacks out and shows a TiVo message that HDMI output is not permitted, and the s-video output just simply goes blank. I used to be able to tell my wife that if something was being recorded to DVD that she did not want to watch, she could just switch the system over to native TV, but this is no longer an option with the THD as the recording source.

I have been trying to find someone to compare program audio-sync issues on a different S3 box to find out if the problem is inherent in all S3s (which I suspect) or just my specific box, but so far no one seems interested. So that leaves me with no clear option or suggestion for others - either record from the S3 and suffer the occasional audio sync problem, or record from the THD and deal with the unpleasant HDMI behavior.
 

· TiVoholic by the bay
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14,943 Posts
When you output to Video or S-video you are only getting 480i/analog , which is why HD output is letterboxed.

Here is what I do to put content From Tivo to DVD:

1. Transfer the program to the PC.
2. Use VideoReDo TVSuite to edit out commercials/unwanted content and then burn to DVD.

The content is left as it is, 480i/SD and HD/720p/1080i. There is no connection between the Tivo and the PC except the network. The TV can be off and not involved.

One time I had HD content record to a DVD and it was squished to 4:3 and I later on, using VideoReDo, was able to stretch it back to 16:9.
 

· OTA ONLY and Loving It!
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1,737 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When you output to Video or S-video you are only getting 480i/analog , which is why HD output is letterboxed.
Well Sir, that comment is just flat wrong. The reason that programs are letterboxed on channels such as Turner Classic Movies and Fox Movie Channel is simply because that is the way those stations choose to broadcast their signal on non-HD channels.

The TiVo aspect correction can stretch or zoom output so that it looks correct on most TVs when the TV aspect is also set to match it (including s-video output), but as I stated in the original post, the TiVo output on s-video looks great in panel mode, but really nasty in zoom. The component output looks excellent when zoomed, so this is a great choice for recording letterboxed 4:3 content in 16:9 IF you have a device that can capture the component output.

As for your preference for using VideoReDo on your PC - to each their own.

Although I have found much to like about VideoReDo, it is TOTALLY unacceptable for changing the format of letterboxed 4:3 content to 16:9. Yes, it does have this capability, but the PQ on many of the programs so modified is horrendous. I worked with them on this problem for several weeks, and then they just quit responding. So apparently they were either unable to fix it or just decided it wasn't worth the effort.

Although I certainly appreciate any ideas offered about alternate ways to make these recordings, the main purpose behind my post was simply to advise others who might have the choice between using an S3 box or a THD box for this type of recording about how touchy the THD video processor seems to be compared to the S3.
 

· Cheesehead
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11,788 Posts
Although I have found much to like about VideoReDo, it is TOTALLY unacceptable for changing the format of letterboxed 4:3 content to 16:9. Yes, it does have this capability, but the PQ on many of the programs so modified is horrendous.
Darn. I get a lot of letterboxed 4:3 content via analog cable. When I watch it on my Tivo, I can just use my TivoHD's Zoom feature, or the aspect ratio feature on my TV, to blow it up to 16:9 preserving the aspect ratio. I was looking for something similar to do this for programs I've transferred to my PC via Tivo Desktop. Maybe VideoReDo is at least worth looking at?

This was the thread I posted yesterday. http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=465962
 

· Registered
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6,888 Posts
I realize that in the age of the Premier there will be limited interest in new information about use and differences between the Series 3 models

<snip>

I constantly record programs and DVDs from my TiVo boxes.
Huh? Do you mean you copy the output of the TiVo to DVD? If not, what?

Although I sometimes copy those programs to my computer for editing and authoring, I much prefer to record directly from the TiVo output in real time.
In God's name, why? You prefer it to take more than twice as long (12 times for SD content)? You prefer to have to sit in front of the TiVo, rather than doing it while you sleep or while you are at work? You prefer piddling with editing to watching something interesting? You prefer degraded video (in the case of analog recording)?

I have been trying to find someone to compare program audio-sync issues on a different S3 box to find out if the problem is inherent in all S3s (which I suspect) or just my specific box, but so far no one seems interested.
Go figure. :rolleyes:
 
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