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First HDTV, picture seems grainy. Is this how they are? (1 Viewer)


Apr 9, 2003
Hello again.

Had my Toshiba 50H82 HDTV delivered last week and hooked up my Cable for TV. I have digital cable subscription and have an S-Video cable running from the digital box (from the cable company) to my new TV. I had assumed that the picture with digital cable on a HDTV set would not be like a HD signal, but I had thought that it would be pretty good.

I am having a very grainy picture come through my set. Is this a typical problem? The lines are not very sharp, and it is like I can see individual pixils (what I mean by grainy). I have ordered Avia, so have not calabrated my set much yet, is this something that will be fixed with Avia when it arives?

I guess I am a bit bummed, I had hoped that the picture would be much better.

Any help most welcome,


Jan 18, 2001
Make sure you are using the correct screen mode. Also, the sets do need some time to break in, and the image should get better over some time. Unfortunately, most HDTV's don't do good with digital cable due to poor stretch modes and line doublers. The Toshibas are supposed to have good stretch modes though, and I'm not sure about the line doubler. It upconverts the incoming cable signal to 540p and likely adds some artifacts. I would do some of the following:

1. Hook up a dvd player and make sure that it's image is good, so you can rule out any problems with the set itself.
2. Try multiple cable channels to see if there is any difference between channels or if they are equally bad.
3. Make sure you're using the correct stretch mode.
4. Make sure you have turned down the contrast on the set and that it is not still in "torch" mode.
5. Calibrate with Avia as soon as possible.
6. Make sure sharp level is down, or off.
7. Try and switch out your S-video cable to make sure it's not bad.

Ken Custodio

Second Unit
Dec 5, 2001
Well the picture on a large screen HDTV from regular isn't going to be as sharp as say on a 27inch tv (at the same viewing distance). If you think about it you are blowing up the picture to fit a bigger screen so you are going to see all the problems with regular cable. I have the same TV, and regular comcast cable looks horrendous, digital channels like HBO and Cinemax look fine, HDTV channels look great! So do DVD's although after watching HDTV, DVD's look a bit soft now.

Also using that touch focus feature is useless. You should do the manual 56 point convergence in the service menu.
When I first entered the service menu and tried to do a manual 56 point convergence it seemed a little tricky but it is actually easy after you do it a couple of times. Check out the link below how to do general tweaks on a toshiba.



Stunt Coordinator
Mar 5, 2003
My guess is that the graininess you see is due to high sharpness and extreme picture and brightness settings.

I got the EXACT feeling when I hooked up my Sony kp46wt500. I was pretty bummed. But after I did the soft calibration with the Avia DVD the graininess went away. The standard content AND DVD playback was smooth and vibrant. I was quickly un-bummed. Kind of delayed euphoria but worth the wait :)

Something I would recommend is to try using your RCA inputs for the digital cable. I did this with the Dish Network and liked the results. It seems that S-Video made the compressed signal's faults more noticeable, and the RCA connection gave it a warmer feel more suitable for the "old school" video source.


John Royster

Oct 14, 2001

True about using composite from a source, especially cable. when using s-vid the input is split into color and black/white leads...relying on the source device to have a good comb filter.

Many times the comb filter is better in the TV than in the cable box. I get severe dot crawl and grain when using s-video from my cable box so I use composite, giving up a small loss in color fidelity.

BUT - many new HDTV owners are disappointed with their satellite/cable viewing. Properly setting sharpness/svm/white level/black level/color/tint helps A LOT, but at the end of the day you are at the mercy of the source.

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