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Toshiba 50h12 focus prob. or poor cable? (1 Viewer)

Terry Badour

Mar 15, 2003
I was able to convince my wife to allow me to purchase a wide screen t.v. After getting it all set up surround sound system, progressive-scan DVD, V.C.R., and cable box.
To say the least we are disappointed. Depending on channel and it even seems certain days the picture will look out of focus or grainy.
I did have cable box issue which after two boxes being replaced, it at least now functions fine. (Comcast cable.. digital).
After cable box issue was resolved. I called Toshiba looking for help. They gave me the phone # of local service center, and after waiting a couple of days for Toshiba to approve service the tech came out. I knew I was in trouble when I spoke to him on the phone and he said wide screen TV'S are nothing but trouble........He proceeds to tell me he went to a two hour class to tell them how to fix....." OH GEEZE", this guys really knows his stuff.
Well all he did was a 56 point convergence, channel surfed 20 channels and said that's all I can do.
Don't know what to do is it me? Am I being to picky?
I did also purchase the the Sound and Vision Home Theather Tune Up. Which did help with the color and contrast issues, but thats about it.


I will add the I was concerned about cable signal, because I have 4 tv's and 1 cable modem hook up, so I did purchase a cable signal amplifier. I didn't really notice any great improvement....

Thanks in advance for your help and suggestions !!

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
May 22, 1999
Hi Terry. Welcome to HTF. :)

First you have to realize that your CATV signal is a VERY poor quality signal. Your big screen TV is showing you just how bad it is. (Take anything and start to magnify it and you will start to see imperfections).

A step up in quality would be a DSS system. I highly recomend the DirectTivo or Dish PVR units because they offer very clean signals, and hard-drive recording. (This is my wife's favorite device in my rack.) They also offer SVideo output which gives a 20% better picture over the straight CATV coax or single RCA cable (called "Composite")

Your DVD player with component cables should be your "reference" to see if the TV is having problems. (You are using component cables right? You have to do this or you cannot take advantage of the Progressive Scan abilities).

Use the DVD player and see if the TV picture looks good/bad. Only if the picture from a DVD looks poor (using a modern movie of course) should you suspect the TV.

You can call your CATV company to come out and check your signal strength. They can often back-trace to a poor cable/connector. But I strongly suggest you do your own "Housekeeping" by:

- Find your worst CATV channel and make a note of it.

- Back trace your CATV coax through every connection/break. Unscrew the connectors and replace any that are sloppy/loose. Even for "good" connectors, un-screw them and examine the center wire. Is it bright like a new penny or dull brown? If the center wire is brown, cut the ends off, strip and install new "F" connectors. If you dont know how to do this or dont want to, gently scrape the surface of the center wire with a thin knife to scratch off the oxidization layer and expose clean copper.

- When you re-tighten, use a wrench at least 1/4 turn past finger tight. The number one cause of poor CATV picture quality (and service calls) is loose connectors. If you have your CATV feed coming out of a wall-plate, un-screw the plate. Chances are there is a "F" connector on the back side that should be examined/replaced/tightned.

After all this, check the picture on the 'worst' channel again? If there is no change, or it is still un-acceptable, try calling the CATV company for a service call.

But remember: the CATV signal is compressed, shared, and based on technology that was current in the 1940's. Your HDTV is a modern, high-resolution device built on 2002 technology - so it WILL really show defects in the signal quality.

PS: I am going to move your post to the "Display Devices" fourm where all the HDTV guru's hang out. Dont worry about being a new poster - they are good guys and dont mind even basic questions.

But I would suggest you read through some back-posts and learn about ISF Certified calibrationists. These people are NOT repair people, but they have the training, experience and equipment to tune your display. But they will use your DVD player as your "reference" source when doing this. The CATV or even DSS signals (unless it is a HD signal) just is not good enough to calibrate on.

Good Luck.

Terry Badour

Mar 15, 2003
Hi Bob, !
Thanks for your help. To answer your question my DVD player is component. And you are right the DVD is much clearer than CATV. Comcast Cable is going to be offering HDTV receivers in my area pretty soon. Do you think this will help?
Thanks again!!!

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