HD Cable Boxes Tuning Systems - Please Help

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by RussellTodd, Dec 22, 2004.

  1. RussellTodd

    RussellTodd Stunt Coordinator

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    I am currently using a Motorola DCT 6200 cable box with my my 4:3 HDTV set. Most of what I watch is not in HD although I do subscribe to the HD channels. However, whenever I switch to an HD channel the box automatically recognizes the signal change as either 720p or 1080i and displays the image in the the proper aspect ratio of 16:9. When a change the channel back to a non HD channel it automatically changes the aspect ratio back to 4:3 which is what it needs to be.(All of this is a good thing I don't mind black bars on top and bottom for true HD programs.)

    However, yesterday I tried the new Motorola MOXI DVR cable box and was truly disappointed. Every time I wanted to watch an HD program I had to manually go in and change the settings to 1080i or 720p. Then if I switched back to a non-HD channel the black bars would remain there and the picture was very poor quality. I think because the cable box was trying to up convert the 480i signal being sent for the non-HD channel to a 1080i which was the setting I had selected in the box. In addition, the overall picture quality as a whole was not as good as what I had experincced with the Motorola DCT 6200 regardless of which video output and widescreen settings I choose. Also there were horrible delays when changing channels or accessing the menus, none of which I encounterd with the DCT 6200. Needless to say I took the MOXI box back and got my old DCT 6200. DVR is nice but the drawbacks don't outwiegh the benefits.

    My question is this are there other cable boxes out there that automatically recognize the signal being recieved and switch the output accordingly to either 480i(non-HD) or 1080i(HD). Or am I giving the DCT 6200 credit for something that it is not actually doing. Also, how does this work with Satelite systems are you constatntly having to manually change in order to watch HD and Non-HD in the proper ascpect ratio.

    Thanks for your help.
    I'm relatively new and I'm just trying to learn.
     
  2. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    On most Motorola HD boxes, you can switch the default 4:3 (non-HD) output to 1080i/720p/480p/480i. This is done by turning the HD box off, hitting the "Menu" button on the front of the box (not remote) and switching the "4:3 Override" setting to the desired resolution (480i/p, in your case). This changes the output for non-HD programs to 480i/p, so you can use the stretch modes on your TV if you so choose to (or in your case, to properly display on a 4:3 native TV). The 6300 obviously had this set to 480i/p when you got it and the other did not.
     
  3. RussellTodd

    RussellTodd Stunt Coordinator

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    But how do you make the MOXI cable box distiguish bewteen an HD source and a non-HD source. It simply forces all channels into one aspect mode or the other. Therefore, you either have to watch nonHD streched and in poor quality but get good HD reception or watch nonHD at its intended 4:3 aspect and get poor quality on your HD. To me it just seems as though the the DCT 6200 recongnized the signal and adjusted the picture accordingly where the MOXI box it was either one way or the other unless you want to manually go in and adjust the settings based on what you were watching.
     
  4. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    I'm not familiar with the MOXI, but if you just switch the "4:3 Override" to 480i and save, all non-hd channels are in 4:3 480i and all HD channels are in in 16:9 HD. The box does the switching for you. You can duplicate what the MOXI looked like by going into the 6200 the way I described and switch "4:3 Override" to 1080i. It should react just like you described the problem in you first post. I'm guessing the MOXI just had to be switched to "4:3 Override" = 480i instead of 1080i.
     
  5. RussellTodd

    RussellTodd Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually I wanted the MOXI to look and autoswitch like the 6200 does. I guess I should have tried the override procedure you are referring to before I took the MOXI back. However, for some reason I'm not sure that would have worked. It seems like all of the settings you are referring to were available thru the MOXI menu settings there were 2 "video output" settings which controls the 480i/480p/720p/1080i settings and "widesrceen" settings which essentially diffrent forms of screen stretching I tried them all and could never exactly duplicate the superior look the 6200 gave me. Plus the MOXI had the awful delays with channel surfing.
     

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