Watching regular cable on HDTV Display

Discussion in 'Displays' started by DarrenW, Apr 9, 2003.

  1. DarrenW

    DarrenW Auditioning

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    Hi all,

    Just bought a Pansonic CT-32HL42 which is a 32" HDTV Tau and I am NOT happy.

    Watching DVD's are great...but watching regular cable, the image becomes pixelated and computer-ish, digitized looking. Especially on sports broadcasts (hockey, basketball).

    My question is - I have heard that an HDTV set gives you a more pixelated image than a non-HDTV set (same model, except for HDTV difference.

    Can anyone verify if this is myth or fact?

    THanks,

    Disgruntled HDTV Owner
    Toronto, Ontario
     
  2. Ottis Fletcher

    Ottis Fletcher Stunt Coordinator

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    I recently bought Sony KP46WT500, and digital cable looks much better over my old set Sony 36 inch Wega. I guess it depends on your TVs modes for converting non digital signals.
     
  3. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Darren,

    Is this problem only w/ digital cable channels? Could be excessive MPEG artifacts being compounded by your TV's linedoubler. I see what you mean all the time at various stores I visit. If you can disable the linedoubler for those channels, try that.

    FWIW, I'm not sure, but as I think about it, I don't generally notice the same problem to such extent on HD RPTVs. Maybe that's partly due to the softer/warmer look of RPTVs vs the harsher/punchier look of direct-views.

    Also, it might be due in small part to your TV not being well calibrated. Have you done any calibrations w/ AVIA or some similar setup disc? Have you tried turning off SVM, if you can but haven't already?

    _Man_
     
  4. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    Cable looks fine on my HDTV. But on my friends Hitachi it looks horrible. I don't notice it on mine, but I could never watch it on his. Guess it depends on tv and what service you have. I have cable, my friend has satelite.
     
  5. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Steve,

    Are you using digital cable?

    Satellite is ALL digital, so MPEG artifacts will always factor in. Also, the Hitachi forces 540p upconversion, which may or may not compound the problem. Also, if you use the Hitachi's stretch/zoom modes, that could possibly make it worse as well.

    Actually, Michael_TLV recently pointed out how bad many Hitachi's look w/ posterization/pixelation even for DVDs(!), which when done well shouldn't exhibit excessive MPEG artifacts. Check the Keohi site under the Hitachi section(?) to read more about that:

    http://www.keohi.com/keohihdtv/index.htm

    _Man_
     
  6. sean_pecor

    sean_pecor Stunt Coordinator

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    I own the Sony kp46wt500 rptv and after some user menu and service menu tweaks, regular satellite television looks great.

    With my Sony I can have different view settings for various PIC modes (Movie, Standard, Vivid, Pro). I have Standard set for standard satellite content viewing (calibrated with Avia, red push and soft picture tweaks found on the Sony HS user group site at groups.yahoo.com, edge enhancement enabled to make text more crisp), and Pro set for DVD viewing (same as Standard, except with edge enhancement DISABLED).

    By default the Sony treated standard satellite content rather harshly. Text (like on CNN) looked good but organic things like people and trees looked pixellated and surreal for all their detail. I suspect the default clarity enhancements work well for HD content, but since we don't watch HD content, the softer format is REALLY nice.

    I'd suggest doing some research to see how much of your picture format you can tweak. Like the Avia DVD states, most tv's are shipped by default with sharpess set way too high. The softer format takes a little getting used to but the overall detail is actually more realistic and accurate.

    Sean.
     
  7. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    I found that it really dependson ont he tv's Line doubler, out of the 36" XBR TAU and Toshiba cinema series i found the XBR was the worst on cable/sattilite, with toshiba the best.

    IMHO the xbr showcased the flaws, the Tau was middle of the road and the toshiba actually improved the picture noticably.

    it all depends ont he tv's line doubler liek Man said.

     
  8. DarrenW

    DarrenW Auditioning

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    Thanks all for the advice.

    To Man: the problem is with analog signal, not digital cable.

    I am a newbie and will try your suggestion of using an AVIA setup disc. I have turned off the SV, and yes it does make a difference.

    Well, at this point I am hoping I will either get used to the look or the TV will miraculously get better as it passes the wearing in phase (if there is such a thing) [​IMG]

    Darren
     
  9. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    Oh, just pointing out that I have an XBR also, forgot to mention that
     

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