Please help me with HD set top cable box set up please.

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Rolando, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. Rolando

    Rolando Screenwriter

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    Hi guys,

    I have signed up with local cable provider here and got an HD set top box. It is the Scientific Atlanta 3250 HD.

    I think I got it figured out but want to confirm a few things.

    First off my TV is the 34HFX84 from Toshiba and as it does 1080i or 540p I have set output to 1080i on the box. Is that best? options seem to be to chose an output (from everything from 480i or 480p to 1080i) or set to auto or something like that.

    I assume one option has the set top upconvert it all to 1080i and the other send the signal as is to the TV and IT does the upconverting. Should I assume the TV will do a better job?

    Second is audio. under settings for Audio the is one called Digital out. the options are Dolby Digital or Other. I had it set to DD and I was occasionally getting audio drop outs. When I called tech support the tech made me change the setting to other. Well now all channels give me pro logic rather than 5.1

    Now my amp is the Pioneer 814 so it tetlls if the signal is Dolby Digital but does not specify 5.1 or 5.0 etc...

    So with the setting to Dolby Digital my amp tells me all HD channels have Dolby Digital (theoretically 5.1) and all other channels Dolby Pro-Logic.

    which is best? are the channels 5.1? or is it upconverting?
     
  2. Alexander Kuch

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    Your questions are confusing but, I'll try to answer. 1080i and 720p are your HD broadcasts. 1080i techically is better, but 720p looks much better on fast moving images like sports or movies. 540p? Not sure if there is such a thing. You want to pick either one between 720p and 1080i. Your HD box is your tuner, so your TV doesn't have to do anything but receive the signal via HDMI, which I believe your TV has or component, which isn't as good of a picture. I am not familiar with your receiver, I am not from Canada, I have DirecTV, and I believe it is illegal in Canada. Each HD receiver has different options for receiving an HD receiver. Unfortunately its not plug and play.

    Regarding audio, all non HD broadcasts will be in stereo sound or Pro Logic, except certain pay-per view movies. About 99% of all HD broadcasts are available in 5.1 Dolby Digital. In order to get DD, you need to either run an optical or digital coax cable from your HD box to your receiver. You didn't specify how you had it hooked up, so FYI. Your two channel stereo sound will work with your optical or digital coax cable also. No need to run separate cables.

    I can't diagnose a problem with the info you gave me regarding the audio. You need to be more specific. If you have any other questions, e-mail me at [email protected]
     
  3. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    You want to set the box's output to 1080i and the digital audio setting to Dolby Digital(assuming you have a digital coax or optical cable running from the box to the receiver). If you are using an optical cable make sure it is securely fastened to each component and not crimped because that can sometimes cause dropouts.

    DD 5.1 streams will play as such and DD 2.0 streams will generally be pro-logic decoded depending on the mode the receiver is in.

    DJ
     
  4. Rolando

    Rolando Screenwriter

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    thanks for the help guys. yes I was running the single coax cable. When I was troubleshooting I changed it to optical and works the same. You just reminded me I left it with th optical cable.

    So I was right that him asking me to set it to "other" rather than Dolby Digital is wrong right?

    here are the settings I had questions about.

    Audio: Digital out

    options are Other or Dolby Digital

    then there is

    Audio:Range

    and options are Narrow, Normal or Wide

    and last

    Set[​IMG]icture Format

    options are

    Fixed, Pass Through or Upconvert 1 and 2.

    I have it at fixed and then in another menu have it set to 1080i

    I figured since my TV will convert any HD signal to 1080i anyway I might as well get the box to send out 1080i.
     
  5. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    Yes, he was wrong to have you use "other" because everything would be stereo or pro-logic decoded, but he might of meant for you to temporarily switch it to help diagnose the problem. At any rate, keep it on "Dolby Digital." If there is a discrete DD track then you'll want to use it.

    I assume Audio Range is for compression. I would keep it at "Wide" to get all of the dynamics, but if you are going to be listening at very low levels, say at night, then "Narrow" will bring up some of the low level sounds that might be lost when listening at very low volumes. If I had my choice though, I would keep it at "Wide" on the box and let the receiver do the compression when listening at those very low levels.

    As for the Picture Format, I assume Fixed will keep it at the rate you have set in the other menu(for HD signals), Pass-through will display whatever is being broadcast, and the upconversions will upconvert everything to the rate you have set in the other menu. Your manual should explain specifically what those settings do.

    If you are running into the HD input on your set, it should pass it through without alot of extra processing(at least that's the hope), but every set is different. CRT's generally operate that way, unlike their digital fixed pixel counterparts.

    DJ
     
  6. Nathan_W

    Nathan_W Stunt Coordinator

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    Rolando,

    If you select Pass-Through for the Set[​IMG]icture Format option, your TV will do any conversions...480i-->1080i, etc. You may or may not like that picture better, particularly for non-HD stuff. Give it a try. Also you should be able to use your TV's zoom/stretch modes on SD stuff instead of the box's.
    Upconvert1 will output 480p/1080i, Upconvert2 will do 480p/720p, and Fixed will do whatever you chose in the first menu screen.

    I wish my cable co. would update our 3250HDs to the firmware that allows pass-through. They're so far behind on that!
     
  7. Rolando

    Rolando Screenwriter

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    Excellent guys.

    My biggest concern was the Audio and I feel better now. I think I will opt for Pass through on the video as my TV can take 720p and 1080i so I figure I will let it display them as it seems fit rather than have the box do the switch from 720p to 1080i.

    thanks a lot guys, you rock!
     
  8. John S

    John S Producer

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    Some experiementation would be in order to see which is best on the video side. Enjoy some real HD, it is really a sight to behold!!
     

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