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Comast HDTV Failed Install

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Scott_W, Apr 4, 2003.

  1. Scott_W

    Scott_W Stunt Coordinator

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    Comcast came to setup the new HDTV box for me. Its new to the Boston area. I have a Sony 36" XBR 400 which accepts 1080i, 480p, etc. Basically hdtv ready, though not widescreen.

    Cable person shows up early, leaving my wife to help (I wasn't home yet). After 20 minutes, with me on the phone, he finally gets the box working. Of course, there isn't any red showing on the screen, and the speakers are buzzing. He had mixed up the red sound and component cables. My wife was able to figure this out.

    After all that, how does the HDTV look? It looks exactly the same as the rest of the lineup. Flipping between HBO HD and HBO, no difference. Of course, that's when HBO HD is working. The same with ABC and CBS. No differences. The PBS demo channel looks bad as well.

    Does the cable box need to be configured specially for the HD signal? Is it possible its just not on correctly in my area yet? I'm pretty sure nothing on my tv needs to change.

    Anyway, anyone with Comcast HD working, how is it, and was it a pain to get running?
     
  2. Gregory Pauswinski

    Gregory Pauswinski Supporting Actor

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    I wonder if your TV can display a 1080i HDTV signal or if it gets converted to 480 Standard Definition. In that case maybe you won't notice any difference or the downconverted picture could look worse.

    Gregory
     
  3. Scott_W

    Scott_W Stunt Coordinator

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    DVDs look a lot crisper on the TV, so I'm betting that it should at least do 480p. That should look better then normal cable. Its possible of course, but I thought my tv was definitely capable of more.
     
  4. Trenton McNeil

    Trenton McNeil Second Unit

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    Turn the cable box OFF, then hit 'Menu' and set the output to 1080i, and turn off the 4:3 override.
     
  5. Scott_W

    Scott_W Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Trenton, that seemed to help. I had my wife try it, so I'll check when I get home. The cable box was setup to 4:3 pan & scan, 480i. Amazing that the cable company doesn't have that as instructions for there employees. Now if I can make sure HBO HD shows up when it should, I may be set.
     
  6. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    And, for the record, the Sony XBR400 is a 1080i-capable set. Also, agreed about the ignorance of the cable guy. Wonder if he even knows what 1080i is?
     
  7. Scott_W

    Scott_W Stunt Coordinator

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    I doubt he knew what 1080i was. He complained to my wife that the TV didn't have 'HDTV ready' on it, and that it wouldn't work. Frustrating.
     
  8. Scott_W

    Scott_W Stunt Coordinator

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    The feed is working now. The PBS channel looks great. Didn't watch NBC or ABC last night. I don't have CBS yet, which is to bad as the NCAA game was on last night.

    My question, I have to turn the 4:3 override on, else all the channels (even non-hdtv ones) have bars on all sides, making the picture smaller.

    My current settings:

    TV: 4:3 Letterbox
    HDTV: 1080i
    4:3 Override: 480p

    Does that mean that all the input is filtered to 480p, and I'm losing some signal, even for the hdtv channels? Or do I still see '1080i' on hdtv channels, and the override kicks in for the non-hdtv channels? What does the 4:3 override do?
     
  9. Aaron H

    Aaron H Supporting Actor

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    I, too, don't think HDTV looks all that better than SD. I have Time Warner digital with the SA 3100HD box hooked up to a Pioneer 64" widescreen TV. I tried turning the power on the box off, and then looked for a MENU button, which I don't seem to have. I tried the SETTINGS button on the box, but nothing happens when the power is off.

    Anyone know how to get into the HDTV settings in the SA3100HD box?

    Aaron
     
  10. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    I had a similar problem with Cablevision when the guy came over to swap a HD-ready box (Scientific Atlanta) for the regular digital one. He did not properly go through the setup to allow 1080i output (via an undocumented method that required the right tech support). For an 80" wide screen, the 1080i signal is noticeably better than 480i from the other channels (although there is 480i variance), plus the wide screen image to boot. Unfortunately, the Rangers didn't make the playoffs [​IMG] (MSG and FSNY are in HD; guess I'll have to watch Devils and Islanders).

    Doug
     
  11. Trenton McNeil

    Trenton McNeil Second Unit

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    Scott: the 4:3 override only kicks in when EDTV (SDTV 480p) is output. I forgot you had a 4:3 tv...sounds like your settings are about right! When receiving 1080i, as long as the cable box is set to 1080i, you should see it on your monitor.

    Sure wish Comcast in Atlanta would add ABC and PBS...
     
  12. Scott_W

    Scott_W Stunt Coordinator

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    Excellent, thanks! HDTV looks really good.
     
  13. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Aaron,

    I have no idea how to configure my SA 3100HD box from Time Warner either, but true 1080i content look MUCH better than typical SD content on my Panny 53", except for the occasional MPEG artifacts and video dropouts. Even the SD content on HD channels look significantly better than on SD channels.

    If you can't find any info on how to do it yourself, I suggest complaining to Time Warner that either your feed or your cable box is not set up correctly. Tell them you KNOW it should look MUCH better than what you're getting.

    One thing: Are you sure you're using an HD component video connection? You'll only get 1080i from the component video output of the box. Just making sure that this wasn't overlooked.

    _Man_
     
  14. JeremyFr

    JeremyFr Supporting Actor

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    yeah unfortunately the trick that was described was probably on the Motorola DCT 5100 I would assume since thats what we use here in Washington. so it would not do the same thing on a Scientific Atlanta or General Instrument box etc.
     
  15. Trenton McNeil

    Trenton McNeil Second Unit

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    Jeremy perhaps you could shed some light on why some channels (NBC/CBS tonight horribly) would break up/pixellate and have major audio dropouts while some other channels worked flawlessly over Comcast's service?

    I'm in the Atlanta area, and tonights' NBC and CBS broadcasts were particularly horrid. Both during HD programming and SD.

    What gives? Is comcast goofing up, or are the affiliates conspiring to make me watch analog?
     
  16. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Trenton,

    I suspect it's not Comcast as much as the affiliates or something else along the broadcast chain before it gets to Comcast. I have Time Warner here in NYC, and have similar dropouts/breakups and pixellation issues on a regular basis w/ the few HD locals, but no other channels, including HBO HD and maybe FOX EDTV as far as I can recall. And I've seen plenty of other HTFers w/ the same over in the HDTV Programming forum section.

    _Man_
     
  17. JeremyFr

    JeremyFr Supporting Actor

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    Yeah most commonly reception problems are from the progrommer and not the cable company, Up here we only have HBO/Showtime HD and I've heard seen no problems with them yet, I would imagine that there where you live they recieve the HD signal locally through fiber, it could be many things that would cause that, I would try calling those affiliates and also Comcast and let them know of the problems. The only way anything will ever get fixed is if someone complains about it. I wish I could help more but things in each market are different than the others unfortunately.
     
  18. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Premium
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    How has HD on cable been for most of you? I have had problems with hum the last time I had cable. I live in Whittier, CA and the cable company is Charter. Digital cable here is a joke and alot of the channels are grainy. I can not see paying top money for substandard cable. Hopefully most others here are getting much better picture quality. How does HD-HBO etc... look for most of you?
     
  19. Scott_W

    Scott_W Stunt Coordinator

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    Tried watching High Crimes on HBO HD last night. Its a pretty bad movie [​IMG]. About halfway through, their was a lot of stuttering, it looked like HD content was being delivered quickly enough. It became unwatchable, and I eventually stopped watching. Quality wise, HBO HD looks about as good as a DVD, but I haven't been wowed yet.

    The demo channel, from PBS, that shows various nature scenes, does look very good though. Not as good as store demos, but still much better then dvd quality.
     
  20. BenK

    BenK Stunt Coordinator

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    I've had pretty good luck with Comcast HD cable. HD HBO and Showtime look phenomenal with some movies looking better than others of course. But noticeably better than DVD. I've had the occasional audio dropout but its been rare especially recently. All in all I've been very happy with it.
     

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