Panasonic 53WX52 / SA 3100HD cable box problems

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff_Lehn, Aug 26, 2002.

  1. Jeff_Lehn

    Jeff_Lehn Auditioning

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    Hey all...new guy here looking for some advice on a problem I can't seem to solve on my own. [​IMG]
    This past Saturday I became the owner of a Panasonic PT-53WX52 HDTV. I spent plenty of time getting all of my equipment set up and hooked up properly, but I ran into a snag when it came to hooking up my cable box.
    The cable box is a Scientific Atlanta 3100HD. I do not have the manual for this box at this time--I need to disconnect the box to get the serial number from underneath it and then I'll be able to download the manual (cramped entertainment center and short cables prevent me from lifting the box up). I only mention this because I don't know if there are settings in the box that are causing my problem. Anyways, I hooked up the cable box to the TV using the "Component 1" input (RGB cables for video and RCA cables for audio).
    The problem I'm having is that I can't change the aspect ratio when the video source on the TV is set to "Component 1". The picture comes in as 4:3 format with the bars on the sides, but I can't change the aspect to full or zoom or just. I ran a coaxial cable from the box to the TV and that allows me to use the zoom features, but the picture stinks (crappy coax cable, most likely).
    What do I need to do to get the zoom functions when using "Component 1" as a video source? Do I need to use an S-video cable instead? Is the S-video cable better quality than the component cable? Do I need to adjust some settings in the cable box (I couldn't find any using the remote, but maybe there's some sort of "service mode" I can use)? Basically, I need to know why I can zoom the picture with the other video inputs (antenna, video 1, video 2, etc), but I can't zoom it with component 1.
    I can't watch my cable in 4:3 mode because I don't want to burn the screen, but I can't take much more of watching cable using the coax connection because the picture is *terrible*. Anyone have any suggestions?
    Thanks in advance,
    Jeff L.
     
  2. brian_olmsted

    brian_olmsted Auditioning

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    yep, get a svideo or composite cable for the 4:3 material.
     
  3. Ming Wang

    Ming Wang Agent

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    I feel there's something wrong with your set. have you tried hooking up some other source to component input?

    I have 53wx42, which should be same as your set, and I have no problem changing aspect for component 1 and 2, connected to 2 DVD players.
     
  4. Jeff_Lehn

    Jeff_Lehn Auditioning

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    I really hope that my set isn't hosed. [​IMG]
    Unfortunately, I don't have anything else that has component video outputs to swap in place of my cable box. I guess the only thing I could do is to try hooking the cable box into one of the s-video inputs (video 1, 2 or 3) and see if I still have the problem--that way I'll know it's the cable box, not the TV.
    I finally got a hold of the manual for the cable box and it didn't tell me anything useful...just a bunch of wiring diagrams. Is it possible that the cable box is outputting a signal that the Panasonic can't adjust via the aspect ratio function? I noticed in the TV manual that depending on the input signal/type, certain aspect ratios would/would not be available. I'm hoping this is the case because it will be much easier to get another cable box than it will be to get another TV.
    On a better note, I bought some new coax cable to see if that would help any for the time being...it made a ton of improvement. The new cable is much better than the stuff I was using before (stuff I found in a box stuffed away in my closet, probably 10 years old). I guess cable quality really does make a difference.
    Thanks for your help so far...hopefully I'll get it figured out soon. [​IMG]
     
  5. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

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    The component output from the 3100HD is 1080i. Since HD signals are technically always widescreen, most manufacturers don't support aspect ratio control with an HD signal.

    A notable exception to this are the new Toshiba models.
     
  6. Jeff_Lehn

    Jeff_Lehn Auditioning

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    Interesting...at least that confirms that the cable box (well, the signal itself) is the issue. Since taking the TV back and picking up a Toshiba is out of the question, do you have any recommendations to what I can do to get a signal that I can zoom? Is there a different type/brand of cable box that allows me to set what kind of signal it outputs (720p or 720i instead of 1080i, maybe)? If it is possible to "downgrade" the resolution, would it even be worth it (as in, would picture quality really suffer)?
    I apologize for being ignorant about all of these different signals and video formats and whatnot...AV stuff isn't my strong suit. I do appreciate all of the help...pretty soon I may actually be able to talk about this stuff without being confused. [​IMG]
     
  7. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

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    Jeff, all you need to do is to connect an S-Video cable between the cable box and Video1 (or whatever) on the TV. Then, when watching non-HDTV channels, just switch the TV to Video1 and you'll have your aspect ratio control back.

    A pain, but this is how everybody else deals with it.
     
  8. Jeff_Lehn

    Jeff_Lehn Auditioning

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    Ah, now I understand. [​IMG] I guess I'll have to wander up to the store and pick up another s-video cable then. Thanks again for the help!
     

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