Comcast and Motorolla 6208 video quality problem

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Sergey M, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. Sergey M

    Sergey M Stunt Coordinator

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    Just had Motorola 6208 DVR installed last Friday. Love the DVR part. New cable box is kind of noisy but I can live with that.

    What I do find problematic is video signal quality on lower channels, like Fox or WB for instance. It looks a lot grainier than with the old non-DVR cable box. I've even double checked that on my 2nd TV that's still on the old cable box.

    I have it hooked up to Sony 61HS10 via component cables. BTW, HDTV channels look great.

    Does anyone know if that's a known problem with a box or/and Comcast? Any ideas on how to improve the picture quality? Please share your experience if you have a similar setup. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Brajesh Upadhyay

    Brajesh Upadhyay Supporting Actor

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    The new hi-def digital boxes (like the 6200 & 6208) have to take the analog signal on SD channels & digitize them. If you're using component out, it's going from analog-to-digital-to-analog. With satellite, SD channels remain digital/MPEG2.
     
  3. Sergey M

    Sergey M Stunt Coordinator

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    That makes sense. I had a technician stop by and he said that Comcast will be rolling out new 6412 model in few months. The new Motorola suppose to help with this problem but we'll have to see what happens. Thanks.
     
  4. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Try a composite connection from the cable box to the TV, just to see if analog channels come out that way without intermediate digitizing (or without the likely mediocre comb filtering within the cable box).

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  5. Sergey M

    Sergey M Stunt Coordinator

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    Alan,

    Sorry for a late reply. Was away on a business trip.

    In addition to component cables, I have a coax cable going from the Motorola to the TV. When switching to a different video input on a TV (the one that takes that coax cable), I do see slight picture quality improvement. The picture doesn't look as grainy as on component input.

    But even on that RPTV input it's not as good as on my 32" tube TV with old non-DVR cable box. I guess it's a combo of Motorola, analog channels and 61" 4:3 TV makes it look a lot worse that it used to.

    Thanks for your suggestion though.
     
  6. ClintS

    ClintS Stunt Coordinator

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    Its a common problem w/ Motorola 6208. I watch analog cable on my TV tuner its way better picture quality. I do watch some analog cable on the DVR if I record/timeshift something. Really wish they would improve the picture quality I would use the cable box all the time.
     
  7. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    That won't really do anything useful. The 6208 is a PVR, so analog channels have to be MPEG encoded before the video is stored to disk (which is still done in "live TV" mode; everything is really a recording, no way to bypass this without bypassing the entire box); that is where the real bulk of the quality loss occurs, not in the initial A->D conversion before compression. There is inherent loss in the compression process that you just can't avoid.

    There are a couple things one can try to help - try an amplifier, the signal going into the box may be low. Also try using 480i output for those signals to avoid the box's line doubler which is not that great. (menu while box is off, select 4:3 override = off).
     

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