Comcast HD Actually 480p???

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Bill_Br, Feb 9, 2007.

  1. Bill_Br

    Bill_Br Agent

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    Hi,

    I subscribe to Comcast Cable in Minneapolis. A few days ago, I upgraded from a Scientific Atlanta 8300 standard definition DVR to an 8300HD. No matter what HD settings I input into the DVR, the window on the front of the DVR says that the output is 480p.

    I could phone Comcast to ask if they are broadcasting HD programs at 480p (which, of course, isn't actually HD), but I never know if (a) the tech reps know what they're talking about and (b) they are telling me what they think I want to hear, whether or not it's the truth.

    Does anyone know if in some markets Comcast is using 480p instead of a true HD resolution? I've read that FOX does that in some markets.

    It's a moot point right now because my home-theater projector is XGA instead of HD, but I'm curious for any upgrades I might be making in the future.

    Thanks!
    Bill
     
  2. Jeremy_Watson

    Jeremy_Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    I know on many boxes there is an internal menu setting (have to input code on remote, not user-accessible) where the cable guy can set the output for various inputs (720p, 1080i, etc). I know this because I have the same box in my living room (HD) and my bedroom (SD) and I watched him change the settings. Originally my bedroom box was set to output all as 1080i so I wasn't getting any picture on my TV until he set to box to output 480i signals for all input signals.

    My guess would be that the "480p" you see is the output from the box set by the cable technician during installation. Obviously, I could be completely wrong, though.
     
  3. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    How is your box connected to the projector?
     
  4. David Forbes

    David Forbes Supporting Actor

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    It's a setting on the box. With the Motorola boxes you need to turn them off, then hit menu to bring up the screen where you can modify output resolution and close captioning. I know this is an SA box but I'm sure there's something similar going on. Comcast is definitely broadcasting a higher resolution than 480p.
     
  5. Bill_Br

    Bill_Br Agent

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    Jeremy, no technician was involved. Comcast has a self-install option where the users do it themselves. That's what I did. On the Scientific Atlanta DVR box, you can access a setup feature by pressing two buttons simultaneously on the front of the box, and you can make other adjustments by going to Settings --> Picture Format. I followed the instructions in the user's guide.

    Joseph, the video is connected via component cables and the audio via RCA cables.

    Bill
     
  6. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    My box is also the 8300HD and you just press the "Settings" button, and then the "A" (yellow triangle) for more settings. You scroll down to "Output Formats" and you can choose any combination of 1080i, 720p, 480p or 480i. If you have a set than can do more than one, you can choose more than one.

    I have Brighthouse, though, not Comcast.
     
  7. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Comcast is definitely HD. Are you sure you are watching HD channels? The set top box has an option that will override the upscaling of SD channels and output them at 480i/p, which allows your TV to do the scaling/stretching if you wish. If this is on, all non-HD channels will output in SD. HD channels on Comcast networks are usually mapped to the upper hundreds channels (700, 800, etc). All others are SD.
     
  8. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Question: Are you speaking of recorded shows or HD feeds? And if you are talking about HD feeds, are you watching them through the DVR capability?

    If you are viewing the recorded shows or watching through the DVR function (for the ability to pause live TV), maybe the box will only output at 480p because it's technically recording as you are watching live TV. Can the DVR record at a higher setting? That may be your problem.

    Is there a way to watch TV without viewing through the DVR? My brother has a Comcast DVR and I know he mentioned something about better picture when he isn't in DVR mode.
     
  9. Cavan.B

    Cavan.B Stunt Coordinator

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    I have the 8300HD also, and it sounds like your box is set to output 480p only. You can change this by pressing GUIDE and INFO simultaneously on the front of the box while it is off, and run through the advanced setup. I have mine set to output 720p and 1080i depending on the channel (set the picture format to "Pass-Through" in the regular setup menu). If that doesn't work, I'd say your box is a lemon. [​IMG]
     
  10. Bill_Br

    Bill_Br Agent

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    Thanks everyone for your ideas. It helped to know that Comcast is in fact broadcasting HD programs with a full HD signal.

    Everything seems to be working fine now. I have a hunch that when I was testing the equipment, the HD channels I was viewing happened to be broadcasting non-HD signals at that time. Now the pictures look fine, and the DVR display indicates that HD signals are being outputted.

    It seems that even though my projector is XGA, not HD, if I set the DVR to the "easy" option, which is 480i and 1080i, the projector shows a picture as sharp as it's capable of for cable TV, and the picture quality is close to what I get off of DVDs.

    Bill
     

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