Hooking up a TIVO and Progresive scan DVD to a HDTV...

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Allan, Jan 21, 2003.

  1. Allan

    Allan Stunt Coordinator

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    Okay. My tv died and I am going to buy a new one. I am limited by space (aka the entertainment unit). I am thinking about a 36" Hitachi HDTV unit (36UDX10SA), however, I read that this TV only has 1 set of HD Component Video inputs. I guess my question is: what needs to plug in to this input. I assume that the HDTV receiver must be plugged in. What about a progressive scan DVD player? How can both share one input? (Alternatively, does the DVD player go into a different input?)

    I guess the next question is more general re: HDTVs and TIVO units. How does the TIVO (non-HDTV compatiable) work with the HDTV receiver? What is the wiring like? Currently, my cable comes out of the wall and goes into my cable box, then to the TIVO and then to the (dead) TV. If I add in the HDTV receiver (and HDTV), what is the proper wiring so that I will get HDTV and be able to use my TIVO? Do you have to split the signal? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I really want to understand the capabilities of what an HDTV can do in my system before spending all of that $.

    Thanks so much,
    Allan
     
  2. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    I am wrestling with the same question.

    To start, you would need an HDTV box that outputs a HD signal on its HD outputs (in your case component) AND at the same time a down rez'd signal on S-Vid or Composite.

    The trick is NOT all boxes will do that; its one or the other. I know that the new Samsung boxes are said to do this.

    Next, Tivo would need to be able to change channels on the HD decoder box. As far as I know, it does NOT have the ability to select the Digital channels, and may not support the HD box at all. So, even if the box will send Tivo a SD signal, you have no way to tell the box to change channels.

    This is all a huge PITA for me, since I LOVE Tivo, and would NOT consider doing without. But I just got an HD ready TV, and having seen HDTV, I want it, and want it now.

    I think the only option right now is to have parallel systems; keep your HD box separate, connected directly to the TV (you will also need an external switch box or a receiver with component switching to have both a Progressive DVD and a HDTV box with your set).

    Good news is that at CES, Tivo announced they will have an HD box (DirecTV and OTA) with Tivo. Bad news is not until the end of the year.

    I am not willing to wait that long, and am looking to buy a low price OTA HD tuner. When I watch HD stuff, I will just have to live without Tivo (Which really SUCKS). If only Tivo would add support for HD receivers via the S-Vid input, life would be very simple until the HD Tivo shows up.

    BL
     
  3. Allan

    Allan Stunt Coordinator

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    Brian-
    It turns out that my cable provider (Time Warner) gives out HD enabled boxes (so I won't need to purchase one). Second, I've been told by a friend who has one that you can output the HD signal from the box straight to the TV while at the same time, output the standard signal (via S-Video) cable to the Tivo and then to the TV. Thus, Tivo works; HDTV works, But Tivo won't record the HDTV signal (which it is not enabled to do anyway.)

    In other words, I believe (ant least for the T/W box), that both the HDTV output and the S-video output are live.

    Allan
     
  4. TimothyE

    TimothyE Stunt Coordinator

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    My Hughes HIRD-E86 will only output 1080i OR 480i at any one time. It will not output them both at the same time. When I am away and want to timeshift HD programming, I use my ReplayTV to record the 480i (widescreen) output of the HD receiver. The picture just about matches that of an interlaced DVD player on my Mitsubishi WS-55819 55" RPTV.

    Tim
     
  5. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Allan,

    It sounds right to me about the TWC HD box. I haven't tried the s-video output myself, but I do have the RF coax output going to the TV in addition to HD component. However, I cannot get any of the HD channels via the RF coax connection, so that might be true of the s-video output also. I would've thought the box would just downconvert to 480i, but it doesn't seem to. You might want to doublecheck this for the s-video output, if that's important to you.

    FYI, I have the Scientific Atlanta 3100HD.

    _Man_
     
  6. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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  7. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I have the Time Warner HD cable box that Allan will be getting. I also have TiVo hooked up to it. Here's how it works:

    TiVo can change the channels and control the cable box just fine through its IR blaster. However . . . the box does not convert the HD signal to S-video or composite format. If you tune the box to an HD channel, TiVo will record sound but no picture (similarly, the TV won't display on any input except the HD input).

    In effect, you have two systems: a 480i setup with TiVo or an HD setup without. But the two systems can't be used together. If you're watching HD, the TiVo can't do anything except record the sound.

    M.
     
  8. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Michael,

    Do you have the Scientific Atlanta 3100HD for your TWC service? That's the unit I have.

    I was wondering if you have the same problem w/ the 1080i upconverted 4x3 images of the non-HD channels looking a little stretched. If so, have you found a way to correct this?

    Thanks.

    _Man_
     
  9. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Yes, same box. I think it's the only one TWC/NY has ever used. I've noticed the same problem with the upconverted non-HD channels, and no I haven't found a way to correct it. (Not that I've made any real effort, since all my non-HD viewing is through TiVo.)

    M.
     
  10. Allan

    Allan Stunt Coordinator

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    Man and Michael-
    Thanks for all the help. The TW box is the Scientific Atlanta 3100HD. Michael, just to clarify:

    you have the component video out going form the S/A box to your TV and the S-Video out from the box to your TIVO (and then on to your TV or receiver). When you watch a channel in HD, do you have to change the input on the TV (ie do you have the component video cables on one input and the S-Video from the Tivo on another)?

    Anyway, the Tivo works as normal. The only difference is that you cannot record a HC channel (at least not the video).

    Thanks!!!
    Allan
     
  11. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  12. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Allan,

    I don't think anybody answered your 1st question yet. You can buy a good component video switchbox to switch between DVD and cable STB. Just do a search, and you should find a recent thread on this for something in the $200-300 range, IIRC.

    Even if you choose a different TV w/ 2 HD component inputs, you might find the need for switching between more inputs some day. And then, there's also the issue w/ DVI/HDCP some day.

    _Man_
     
  13. Allan

    Allan Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks _Man_

    I have pretty much decided against the Hitachi for 2 reasons:

    1) It is not a flat screen; and
    2) It only has the one comp vid input.

    IT just seems to limiting and I don't want to spen $300 on a switcher. Instead, I am leaning towards a 32" Sony -- the KV32HV600.

    Thanks for all the help...

    Allan
     
  14. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    There are some HD PVRs in the works. One of these would solve your problems. You just have to wait.
     
  15. PeteyG

    PeteyG Stunt Coordinator

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    Man & Michael -

    I have TW coming to my apt on Saturday to hook up the HD cable box to my system (I am assuming that it's the SA 3100) and this thread peaked my interest and raised a couple of questions:

    I just bought the Sony 32HS500 (love it so far!!) which has 2 component inputs - 1 for the HD box, 1 for the DVD player. I don't have Tivo (next on the wish list), but I do have a VCR w/S-Video - would I hook this up the same way as you suggested to do so with Tivo?

     
  16. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Pete,

    You can just hook up your VCR and use the cable box for channel changing. It sounds like Michael is just using the Tivo to tell the cable box to change channels via IR codes.

    The stretch on non-HD channels is hardly noticeable. If you're used to any TV's stretch mode, you probably won't notice it at all. In fact, I tried measuring the picture last night and found it to be very slight. It actually measured quite close to 4x3, but was a bit off after adjusting for some cropping that I noticed from comparisons w/ composite output and also w/ HD channels (primarily Letterman on CBS). Indeed, one poster elsewhere actually thought this slightly stretched image looked correct (due to him getting used to his TV's stretch mode) while thinking his TV's 4x3 mode to be too narrow(!).

    Anyway, if you're watching non-HD channels via your VCR, you shouldn't see any stretching. The stretching only happens via the HD component connection probably due to 1080i upconversion plus auto aspect ratio control adjusting for the incorrectly(?) cropped 4x3 image from what I noticed.

    _Man_
     
  17. george_clark

    george_clark Extra

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    Allan;

    I just saw the Hitachi 36udx10sa and am considering buying it. How do you like yours? Any issues? Any suggestions?

    Thanks

    geo
     
  18. Allan

    Allan Stunt Coordinator

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    George,
    I ended up buying the Sony 32HV600, rather than the Hitachi. The main reason was that the Hitachi only had one set of component video inputs and I need two (HD and Prog scan DVD). Plus, I found the HV600 for around $1250 -- it just made more sense. As for the Sony, the picture is fantastic (on HD, regular cable, DVD, etc...) You might want to look into the 36" Sony...

    Allan
     

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