HDTV Hookup and Image Quality

Discussion in 'Displays' started by SebastienST, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. SebastienST

    SebastienST Auditioning

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    Hi.

    Finally got my tax refund and dished out for a new plasma Tv. After some shopping and looking around and my wife wanting the biggest screen (surprising hunh? [​IMG] ), we got the Sampo PME-50X6 50" plasma.

    Now i know, Sampo isn't the best quality and i was initially leaning towards one of the 42" Panasonics. But then again for just a little more could get 50" and native 720p.

    Now, comparing in the store, the Panny did look better but the Sampo didn't look that bad, personally it looked better than some of the Sony's they had out there. But once i finally hooked it up yesterday, things are definetly not up to par. I'm no videophile nor am i looking for the best looking TV in the world but my assumption is that i should be able to acheive quality similar to what i saw in the store. So my post is to ask for advice on things i can do to get the most out of my purchase.

    Basically, here is my setup...

    We currently have basic Comcast Digital Cable (will be getting the HDTV version next week). Which goes to a DVD/TIVO box through RCA cables (yeah i know, only option on the Comcast box). The Tivo box has a built-in de-interlacer which outputs 480p through component (Monster THX cables) to the TV.

    The first problem i am noticing is compression artefacts. I did notice them on our previous 36" TV but not to this extent. From reading around, it seems like TIVO is notorious for using lousy compression and considering the fact that the Comcast cable is compressed to start with probably agravates this. So i guess my question here is as to if i should simply split the signal, one straight to the TV and one through the TIVO so i can at least bypass it when i'm not using it?

    Also, do you think the quality will improve if the new Comcast HDTV box has something better than a plain RCA output even for non HD channels?

    The second issue is the fact that the TV is 720p and there is obvious upscaling going on. I'm sure the scaler in the TV is not that good, probably one of the reasons they can keep the prices low. Anybody has any suggestions on this or can propose any external upscalers which could have a significant impact on the image quality?

    The third issue i'v noticed is that there is a fair amount of noise, color bleeding and ghosting on the final image. I guess this problem could be at different point down the chain but i did notice the ghosting even when going into the TIVO menus which seems to imply my component cables are introducing some noise. Now, the Moster cables i have are on the low end of their price scale, which might account for it. There is also the fact that most of my devices are clustered together and located near the electrical outlet. Any suggestions on this? And is there a way to see if it is the actual incoming signal or the TV itself that is causing the ghosting and noise.

    Like i said before, i know Sampo isn't the best out there and i did't blindly buy it without comparing them next to each other. I'm no videophile and don't care about a little noise, non perfect black or color reproduction. But then again, i would assume i should be able to acheive quality similar to what i saw in the store. So any help will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Sebastien St-Laurent
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Welcome to Home Theater Forum, Sebastien. While this post can work in the Basics area, I think you'll get a wider variety of responses here in the Display Devices section.
     
  3. Ralph B

    Ralph B Supporting Actor

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    the high def comcast box will make a huge difference. but if you dont have too many splits before the sampo split your signal so each component has its own feed. a drop amp couldnt hurt either.

    interesting and cant wait to hear how this turns out for you.
     
  4. SebastienST

    SebastienST Auditioning

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    Thanks for the replies. I will forward my post to the displays section in the hopes of getting more feedback.

    Beyond this, so far, i go grom the outside, to the cable box to the TIVO then the Plasma. I'm starting to think the two big issues are the Tivo lousy compression and some form of noise between the tivo and plasma.
     

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