Major issues with HDTV Digital Cable and Sony Vega 40" HEEEEELLLLLPPPPPP!

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Adam_Reiter, Jul 10, 2003.

  1. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    Ok, I just got a HDTV Digital Setup box yesterday. Its a Pioneer model delivered from the cable company. My problem is, I can only get it to work through the component cables by shriking the screen down to like a 27" screen. Basically I have like 3-4" border all around the screen.

    My damn Sony TV is automatically formating the signal, so that when I tell the HDTV Box that my tv is a 4:3, my picture is squished into a 16.9 mode because my TV thinks its a DVD signal. I have to tell the cable box that I have a 16.9 ratio tv, and to display 4:3 material with the black bars on the side. Only then does my Sony correct the picture, however, I am looking at about a 27" picture. The only 2 Channels that come out exactly how they are supposed to in the two HD channels HBOHD and ShowtimeHD. They look awesome by the way. Makes all the other channels look like crap.
    I posted this in Displays to because it involves both my TV, and Digital HDTV Cable Box. I dont know which one is at fault.


    The only way I can get this think to work properly is run the Composite or SVideo to the TV to get the correct FULL SCREEN 4:3 and 16:9 to come in how it should look.

    I cant turn off the 16:9 mode on my TV (that I know of) Its either Automatic or ON. Is this the fault of the new Cable Box, or is this the fault of my TV?


    The Cable box out a DVI out. Will using the DVI connection solve my issue I wonder? What kind of DVI cable to I need? I am pretty sure the regular computer to DVI LCD monitor cables are not the same as the HDTV cables. Am I right? I went to a couple places last night (tweeter, goodguys) they dont carry DVI cables.

    Help me. Using the S-Video connection is not ideal for me.
     
  2. Doug_H

    Doug_H Supporting Actor

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    I believe that all HD broadcasts are in 16:9 even if the media is 4:3. That means that on a 4:3 set the HD signal is always 16:9 and will display 4:3 media within a letterbox.

    I don't know if there is a zoom that would help with this. The TV's I am familiar with do not have a zoom or stretch feature that works with an HD broadcast.

    I am by no means an expert however so if I am wrong someone please correct me.

    Also, to the best of my knowledge you can't pass an HD signa via S-video which is why you can see the show displayed in full screen.
     
  3. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    Yes, HD Broadcasts are in 16:9. However, if I set the Cable box to 4:3 EVERY Channel is squished. As in my SONY TV in changing all the 4:3 ratio channels into a 16:9 ratio so that eveything looks retarded and squished.

    I have to tell the Cable box that my TV is a 16:9 format TV and to use Black Bars to get correct 4:3 picture. Only that turns my 40" TV into a 27" tv because I have a 4 inch black border around the entire image. However, in this mode only, does HDTV look correct, but it also looks like a 2.35:1 ratio instead of probably a 1.85:1 ratio. Very nice tho. Too bad Time Warner doest have Discover Theater so I can see what 1080i looks like. [​IMG]

    BTW, I have tried every since zoom, and strech and crop feature availible and they all look like crud.

    BAsically, everything works like it is supposed to with Composite or S-Video, so I know its the Sony Wega that is turning the Component Sourse into 16:9 when it shouldn't.

    HOW CAN I DEFEAT THE AUTO 16:9 through Component Video on my SONY VEGA!?!?!?!?!
     
  4. Dmitry

    Dmitry Supporting Actor

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    Adam, first of all, you won't get HD through composite or S-Video, only through component. Second, AFAIK the TV autosqueezes all 1080i input and there's no defeat. Third, because sometimes 4:3 content is transmitted, it's fitted with black bars on the side before being broadcast and the resulting image is then transmitted. Black bars on the side are part of the HD picture, whereas top and bottom are added by the TV. Finally, HBO and Showtime HD most likely transmit the full 16:9 image, so when TV autosqueezes, everything looks the way it's supposed to. Short of getting 16:9 TV or using composite/S-Video you have no alternative to windowboxed picture.
     
  5. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Adam, the 40-inch Sony, when dealing with native 16:9 programming (HD broadcasts, 16:9-encoded DVDs), is supposed to be a 16:9 device. Do not tell the settop box you have a 4:3 set, but instead a 16:9 set. The Sony will then display everything properly within a 16:9 window by collapsing its scanning-line raster.

    I will close your other thread in Display Devices. Only post once on a given topic.
     
  6. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    I have this problem too. As my cable box seems not to have configuration options as such, I just watch most things using svideo (since I have to through my tivo, anyway) and hd using component and coax digital.

    Honestly, with a source like regular cable I don't think there will be an appreciable difference between component and svideo.
     
  7. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    Jack, this is my problem tho, When I tell the setop box that I have a 4:3 display and tell it to display 16:9 images at 16:9 and I connect it to the tv using s-video or composite, everything is displayed properly. I have FULL 40" 4:3 and I have correct 16:9 images.

    However, it isn't until I use the COMPONENT in that the TV screws everything up and displays 4:3 content as 16:9. This is how I know its a problem with the TV itself, it is auto formatting because the signal it comming over COMPONENT.

    Also, yes I know that HDTV only comes in through COMPONENT at 16:9, this is why I am so iritated. If I want HDTV which is only 2 measly channels, I have to watch a 27" screen for every other channel. That is rediculous to me. It litterally looks like this with Component in

    [​IMG]

    And this is how the picture looks with s-video and composite.

    [​IMG]

    I mean, if Sony or the setup box makers cant get around stupid crap like this, I will lose faith in the whole damn HDTV thing. I want to get the new SUPER DISH with the HDPVR when it comes out. Will I have to watch my TV as a 27incher if I want HDTV? This is the dumbest thing I have ever seen.
     
  8. Levesque

    Levesque Supporting Actor

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    I have the same "problem" with my Sat HD decoder. So my HD goes in the component in (everything is in 16:9), my Denon DVD-3800 in the other component in (if I tell the Denon my TV is a 4:3 then I CAN have 4:3 in the component in). So for standard NTSC, I use S-video in Video 1.

    It's impossible for me to have HD in anything else then 16:9. I really can't accept a 27 inches screen for HD, when my Tosh 65HDX82 in the other room gives me an incredible 65" 16:9 image! I'm really annoy by this problem. I don't understand why the Denon DVD-3800 can give me a 4:3 using the component (just by setting it in the menu), and my HD-box CAN'T give me a 4:3 even when (like in the Denon) I set it for a 4:3 tv in the menu. Strange behavior.

    Because of this, I don't use the Sony for HD. I use it for standard NTSC 4:3 braodcast, X-Box... And I use my Tosh 65HDX82 for DVD and HD. Best of both world.
     
  9. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Chances are that box sends only 1080i out of it's component outputs, locking the tv in 16/9 mode. Hughes clone DirecTV boxes do the same thing--output only 1080i via component and 480i is only available via S-video.

    Since this is only a problem with watching 480i cable channels and you do have S-video connections on the set, and the difference between S-video and component video for interlaced 480i is miniscule, and it only takes a couple of button presses on the tv remote to switch inputs I fail to see what's so earth shaking about this "problem".
     
  10. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    Like I said and Steve more elegantly put, everyone has this problem. You don't have to watch tv as 2/3 the size. Use the svideo cable. Take deep breaths.
     
  11. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Too bad you can't return your TV.

    We (this forum) need to educate the public to stop purchasing these TV sets with such an irritating problem. That is the only way to send a message to the manufacturer.

    I myself will be happy to maintain a Don't Buy list of TV makes and models, however I don't have the time to do the research and other folks will have to email me one at a time the makes and models to add to the list.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  12. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    [​IMG]
     
  13. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Allan,

    It's tough though to avoid all HDTVs that don't allow aspect ratio control for HD signals. Seems like extremely few allow it. That would severely limit our shopping choices. Also, this issue is most problematic w/ 4x3 HDTVs and much easier to work around w/ 16x9 HDTVs -- and the TV makers have pretty much phased out nearly all 4x3 HDTVs now anyway. Basically, just avoid 4x3 HDTVs if one expects to use it for HD viewing.

    Seems to me that it'd be easier and more practical for people to get set-top boxes that can work around the problem and/or a good universal remote to run macros to do all the necessary input/output/signal changes between 480i and HD programming.

    Adam,

    IMO, the fault should be evenly distributed to the TV makers, the set-top box makers AND the TV broadcasters/service providers. It's actually a tough issue to solve in this period of programming transition since all the major players involved do not like to play nicely together. You basically have to live w/ the problems and try to find ways to work around them (and shop wisely). This is one reason why people should stop buying 4x3 HDTVs by now -- unless, of course, this problem doesn't bother you.

    _Man_
     
  14. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    Wait, what? I thought that was sarcasm...

    I'm operating on the assumption that your tv is 4:3, is it not? Because otherwise I agree with you. But if it is 4:3, this is something that as far as I can tell, everyone has to live with. 4:3 hds seem to be a dying breed, anyway...

    What really annoys me is the lack of 720p and the inability of the tv to figure out when to squeeze a 480p source.
     
  15. Grady

    Grady Extra

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    Adam,

    Are you sure you want to fix this problem? While I'm not 100% sure I believe the problem is the component output of your receiver upconverts everything to 1080i. Hence, your set has trouble. I'm not sure why what Mr Briggs suggested won't work but I would simply continue to use S-Video for the non HD channels. This is what I do on my Elite 510 because I get a better picture from a standard signal, using the sets electronics, than upconverted 1080i. While it is a pain to have to use two video inputs its worth it for a better picture. In addition, if I watch an NTSC signal upconverted to 1080i on my set I get black bars on the side I can't get rid of. If it's a letterboxed NTSC signal I get a window boxed picture like you do. I avoid it by using S-Video for non HD and suggest you do the same if possible.
     
  16. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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  17. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    If the original poster's set is locking into 16/9 mode it is doing so because it is receiving a 1080i signal from the cable box.

    The box is converting his normal 480i channels to 1080i and outputting it thru the component cables. My DirecTV stb does the same thing.

    The fact is that for 480i, he will get better picture quality using the S-video output and letting his tv do the line doubling. STB's upconversion of 480i to 1080i is definitely inferior to the tv's upconversion of 480i to 480p (or, in "interlaced" mode on a Sony, 960i).
     
  18. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    Ahhhh.

    Now you are speaking my language Steve. Now I understand.
     
  19. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Adam,

    It's too bad you have a Pioneer cable box. I just did some research and found that the Motorola DCT-5100 HD cable box can be configured to output 480i or 480p via it's component connections when it's not recieving a 1080i, 720p, or 480p 16/9 (what Fox uses instead of true HD) signal, thus "unlocking" the set's 16/9 mode for regular SD television and eliminating the "windowboxing" for all but station-originated upconverts of SD on HD scanrates.
    Did you get a user manual for that Pioneer? perhaps it has the same capability, you might have to dig for it.

    If you have a model number for that Pioneer, you might be able to do a search over at the AVS Forum to get more info on it's capabilities and any hidden menus.

    Wish I could be more help.
     
  20. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    Oh my god!!!!!! I feel like such a tool. I was playing with the menues again. The Pioneer outputs all formats. 480i, 480p 720p 1080i. I could have sworn I had allready played with these and it didnt work. Well, I added 480i to 1080i and violla.... I get a full 4:3 screen.

    Its still doesnt work however, cause now when I go to HDTV channels, the 16:9 format gets the 16:9 treatment twice, and now squishes the 2 HDTV channels. So, I can just hit a couple of keys if the HDTV channels have something on I want to watch.

    As a side note... how cow... I cant believe the difference hdtv makes. Man!! I soooo wish I had Discovery or HDNET so I could see what 1080i looks like on my tv. If 720p looks that good..... yikes.

    I have seen 1080i Discovery on lcd screens at good guys... it is VERY impressive.

    I cant wait for the superdish to come out so I can swith back to Dish Network. At least then there should be 6 or so HDTV channels by then.
     

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