WEGA 36XBR450 owners: how does your (digital) cable programming look?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Rock, Aug 27, 2001.

  1. Chris Rock

    Chris Rock Supporting Actor

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    Hallelujah! My Sony WEGA 36XBR450 and Progressive Scan DVD player arrive tomorrow, and I am chomping at the bit to bust out my AVIA disc and start the calibration.
    When we were in the store making our purchase, they were playing a cable broadcast of the Phils/Astros game, and the cable programming went through the Composite video in connection on the back of the WEGA that we were looking at. The picture looked awful! Very blurry, colors smeared together, faces washed out...everything. I assured my wife that it was because the signal was degraded by the time it got to the WEGA, (it was going through 40+ sets in the room), and that they (stupidly) used Composite-in instead of S-Video. Plus, the set was probably not calibrated properly anyway.
    We currently have Time Warner Digital Cable going through our Receiver into our 27" Trinitron TV via S-Video. The picture is very nice - as good as it's gonna get.
    Can any of you who own similar sets, preferably the same model, or last year's model - tell me how your cable programming looks? Anyone have Digital Cable?
    I know DVD's will look fantastic, but my wife will be really depressed if everything on TV looks like crap.
    Thanks.
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    "You advance yourself only by my good graces."
     
  2. Richard Watt

    Richard Watt Agent

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    I would like to see a response to this as well. I was planning (I may still get it) on getting a Dish system when I change apartments, however that may not happen. I may not get a good Southern view with my deck and I found out I have to put down a $150 deposit with my apartment complex.
    My current cable provider is Comcast here in Nashville. They have an option for digital cable. I have seen digital cable up close in Atlanta at my sister's house and the image is very sharp -- not pretty at all.
    Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  3. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    I am also interested in finding out about how digital cable looks on the 36XBR450. I currently have standard Comcast cable in DC. Some channels look better than others. For some reason, the local news channel (News Channel 8) always looks great. I haven't watched any sports yet, but I can't wait until the football season starts. Anyone in the DC area have experience with Comcast Digital?
    From what I understand, there is a bit of regional differences on how cable/digital cable will look on your TV. The old saying, "garbage in, garbage out" applies here. The Sony DRC doubles horizontal and vertical resolution. A good picture looks 4 times as good. A bad picture looks four times worse.
    -Chris
     
  4. Matt_Stevens

    Matt_Stevens Supporting Actor

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    DISH will look at least twice as good as Comcast cable. The XBR's have a hard time with 480i coax/composite signals. The Wega line actually does a much better job at 480i, but of course, does not have 480p or that 960i XBR res (they can't do full 1080i so I guess they came up with 960i).
    Anyway, I have seen these side by side with coax cable and the XBR clearly looked worse and I calibrated both the best I could. Of course, the XBR450 didn't have the damn uneven brightness problem that plagues the Wega lines.
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  5. Frank Frandsen

    Frank Frandsen Stunt Coordinator

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    I have AT&T Digital cable here. Let me tell you it was awful with the 36xbr400. Everything looked pixelated and then when you think you got it right and changed the channel it was lousy again. Ended up sending it back and getting a Mitsubishi rptv, non HD. The Sony was great with a good DVD signal but for now my family watches more standard TV and could not justify the picture for a weekly DVD.
     
  6. Chris Rock

    Chris Rock Supporting Actor

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    Frank,
    Was your digital cable connected to your WEGA via S-Video, or using a regular coax cable? That might explain why it looked so poor.
    My picure is super-sharp on my 27", and I can't imagine it looking "awful" on the WEGA. I'll know for sure in about 6 hours, though....
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    "You advance yourself only by my good graces."
     
  7. bently

    bently Extra

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    I have att digital cable and when i 1st hooked it up to my 36" xbr450 the picture looked terrible, i was forced to use the twin view (pip) since it improves the picture qualtiy dramatically.
    searching to improve my cable signal i bought an ac line conditioner and the diference is day and night, my cable
    improved by 300%, so now i enjoy watching all my cable channels in full 36" splendor.
    the line conditioner also improved the sound on my DTS stereo system [​IMG]
     
  8. Matt_Stevens

    Matt_Stevens Supporting Actor

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    Chris, that's the point. Cable will look very sharp on most smaller sets, but blown up RPTV size or on a 32"/36" Digital TV that upconverts all 480i material to 960i, well, you have a serious problem. Cable looks downright horrible on my 47" HDTV, top the point of some channels being unwatchable.
    Sony's XBR line is not designed for cable. It is designed to show DISH type signals, HDTV and DVD. Cable looks horrible on it, while the cheaper WEGA line does not upconvert 480i to 960i and therefore, looks much better.
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  9. Andy Overby

    Andy Overby Stunt Coordinator

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    I have had my XBR450 with Time Warner Digital Cable through s-video for 2 months now and Im pleased with the picture, previously I had the cable hooked to a 27" trinitron. I cant say the quality of the cable is anywhere near what dvd's look like, but I can say there hasnt been a channel Ive had to ever change due to picture quality. But I do also believe that it all really depends on what is coming in that really matters. quality signal=quality picture.
    - Andy
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  10. Chris Rock

    Chris Rock Supporting Actor

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    I am happy to say that the picture looks fine. The TV certainly does maginify the imperfections in the signal, though. Fortunately for me, the channels we watch most are the most clear.
    It doesn't look anywhere near as good as DVD's though. I'm not disappointed, though, because I bought it mainly for its progressive scan DVD playback capability.
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    "You advance yourself only by my good graces."
     
  11. Frank Frandsen

    Frank Frandsen Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris,
    My AT&T box is a general instruments which lacks a SVHS output. I ran the RCA jack to the set, not the coax. I did not try the line conditioner, however. Dam, now I wish I Had.
    Frank
     
  12. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    Has anyone compared analog cable to digital cable on the XBR450? I want to upgrade to digital cable, but not if the picture will be worse.
     
  13. Chris Rock

    Chris Rock Supporting Actor

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    Chris,
    The picture certainly won't be worse going from regular cable to digital cable. If you already have the XBR450, than you know that this set just accentuates what is already there. Good signal = better picture. Bad signal = worse picture. Upgrading your programming source is a good idea!
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    "You advance yourself only by my good graces."
     
  14. derek

    derek Second Unit

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  15. Mike-H

    Mike-H Agent

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    searching to improve my cable signal i bought an ac line conditioner and the diference is day and night, my cable improved by 300%, so now i enjoy watching all my cable channels in full 36" splendor.
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    bently, can you provide more information on this ac line conditioner? Is this for the AC to the TV? How does that affect the cable signal?
    Thanks...
     
  16. DaveSt

    DaveSt Auditioning

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    The digital cable service delivered by AT&T Broadband in Eugene Oregon is ABYSMALLY BAD on *any* TV. It's LAUGHABLE. I can't believe anyone would think it looks better than analog cable. AT&T boasts about its "Digital Clarity!!" but never mentions the actual resolution. And if you ask them that question, they cannot or will not answer it. They will simply parrot the "digital clarity" slogan and express disbelief that you don't like the picture quality (of course this also applies to DirectTV's standard broadcasts). They are selling gullible users a horribly defective product and I myself will never subscribe to their digital service as it's currently being delivered.
    (It's worth noting that our analog cable service is quite good, with some stations being outstandingly clear at all times, probably a reflection of source material as well as the cable system's ability to deliver the signal relatively untainted.)
    -dave
     

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