DCT6412 degradation in HD quality. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 10-11-2005, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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i just got a 6412 installed. I used to have a cablecard with an internal tuner in my plasma. I was initially going to keep the cablecard and get the DVR but when the tech came, they said i could only have one or the other. So, after a day....i have to say that PQ of HD is not as sharp and realistic as when i was hooked up via the cablecard. I find the picture to be less sharp; and more pixelation when there is fast moving scenes. I would say there is a 15% degradation. I'm going to reinstall my OTA antenna to see the difference. OTA of local channels and cablecard was the same before the DVR. Too bad i did not hear of this problem before i made the swap. The DVR is great but there is a substantial/noticeable decrease in performance. i currently have the dvr hooked up via AR component cables. I'm waiting for my HDMI cables to come to see if that makes a difference.
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-11-2005, 12:15 PM
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Give us more specific's on your setup........
Do you have the newer 6412 with HDMI or older with DVI?
You should at least be using Component to hook into your Set.
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post #3 of 14 Old 10-11-2005, 01:21 PM
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I'll second the poor picture quality with the 6412. I just switched from the old HD box (DCT5200?) to the 6412 and was thinking that the picture was not quite as good on HD channels and was MUCH worse on non-HD channels. I'm also having quite a few problems with pixellation/macroblocking on HD/SD channels. I was wondering if it was a defective box or just known problems...

The audio also seems to be a bit off. I'm getting lots of clicks and pops when using the DVR and in general, it seems like the new box is about 10db louder, since now I'm blown across the room when I listen at my "old" levels. Easily solveable problem, but I figured I'd throw it out there anyway...

Video setup: Panasonic PWD6UY via component cables
Audio setup: B&K Reference 50 + Sherbourn 5/5210A

Scott
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post #4 of 14 Old 10-11-2005, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssteel01
I'll second the poor picture quality with the 6412. I just switched from the old HD box (DCT5200?) to the 6412 and was thinking that the picture was not quite as good on HD channels and was MUCH worse on non-HD channels. I'm also having quite a few problems with pixellation/macroblocking on HD/SD channels. I was wondering if it was a defective box or just known problems...
Make sure you have the newest version of the 6412, known as the phase 3. Those have "Phase III" right on the front, and also have an HDMI output on the back instead of DVI. I don't think there's much different in HD quality between the two versions, but the SD quality is a LOT better on the phase 3.
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post #5 of 14 Old 10-11-2005, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud-man
Give us more specific's on your setup........
Do you have the newer 6412 with HDMI or older with DVI?
You should at least be using Component to hook into your Set.
I have the Sony KDE50XS955 Plasma. Phase III 6412 w/hdmi. Currently connected via component, will soon upgrade to hdmi to see if that helps. I'm comparing picture quality to when i had hd hooked up via internal cable card.
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-12-2005, 09:28 AM
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Friend here at work has the phase 3, he did say the SD looked alot better, my phase 2 6412 watching HD looks great!!.....
After a few days thou he said the sd wasnt as great...?
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post #7 of 14 Old 10-12-2005, 10:37 AM
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I have the 6412 and I notice that some channels (or shows) have a lot more pixelation. INHD and DiscoveryHD seem to be fine for the most part but I was watching Law and Order on NBC and the pixelation was terrible when anything moved quickly.

There is no "best", best is what's best for you...

Have you tried searching first?
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post #8 of 14 Old 10-12-2005, 11:21 AM
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I've been watching some NBC shows in HD over the air lately and have noticed some pixellation too when things are moving fast, so that might be an NBC issue not a 6412 issue.
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-12-2005, 11:57 AM
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Turns out mine is the phase III. I don't know what the phase II SD picture looked like, but the phase III is pretty bad especially for channels like OLN (hey...they're the only station that would still pick up the NHL).

I'm used to a pretty "soft" picture, but this is downright blurry. I've been steadily messing with picture settings, but can't seem to find anything that even approaches the PQ that I had with the 5200 box.

On their website, motorolla acknowledges this issue with SD channels and attributes the poor PQ of analog channels to analog/digital conversion by the PVR. They suggest splitting the cable and running separate feeds to the TV and PVR. Kinda defeats the purpose of the PVR, but I'm curious to see if it makes a difference.

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post #10 of 14 Old 10-12-2005, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssteel01
Turns out mine is the phase III. I don't know what the phase II SD picture looked like, but the phase III is pretty bad
I've had phase I or II (not sure which) then I switched to phase III, and there was a HUGE difference that I noticed. I guess it might still be "pretty bad" but it was REALLY bad before...depending on the channel I can't tell the difference between using the DVR and hooking it up directly to the TV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssteel01
On their website, motorolla acknowledges this issue with SD channels and attributes the poor PQ of analog channels to analog/digital conversion by the PVR. They suggest splitting the cable and running separate feeds to the TV and PVR. Kinda defeats the purpose of the PVR, but I'm curious to see if it makes a difference.
I believe that's been on their site for awhile, so it's referring to pre-phase III boxes. The problem was with the MPEG2 encoding of the analog channels, which is basically the analog-to-digital conversion. They improved the MPEG2 encoder for the phase III. And splitting the signal and feeding one directly to the TV will probably make a difference, depending on the quality of your TV. I have it set up like this anyway, so I can use either connection method depending on my needs.
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post #11 of 14 Old 10-13-2005, 09:31 AM
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I had to return a DCT 6412 to Comcast last week because it was acting up -- couldn't get On Demand, HD channels didn't work properly, and several other issues. The person at the Comcast office said they just got some new units in (Phase III).

I can attest that the picture quality with the Phase III unit is MUCH better. Our old DCT 6412 wasn't very old... got it in June. In addition to improved picture quality, the new unit seems "snappier".
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post #12 of 14 Old 10-21-2005, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssteel01
Turns out mine is the phase III. I don't know what the phase II SD picture looked like, but the phase III is pretty bad especially for channels like OLN (hey...they're the only station that would still pick up the NHL).

I'm used to a pretty "soft" picture, but this is downright blurry. I've been steadily messing with picture settings, but can't seem to find anything that even approaches the PQ that I had with the 5200 box.

On their website, motorolla acknowledges this issue with SD channels and attributes the poor PQ of analog channels to analog/digital conversion by the PVR. They suggest splitting the cable and running separate feeds to the TV and PVR. Kinda defeats the purpose of the PVR, but I'm curious to see if it makes a difference.

Scott
I don't yet know if this is a widespread issue, but I picked up a new Phase III Box yesterday, and have similarly noticed that the HD content looked a bit pixellated -- almost like it was compressed so the finer details weren't there. I then noticed that in the setup menu (power off then press menu) that when I selected 720p as my standard format, that even the text in the menu was ghosted and blurred. Selecting 1080i was a bit better, but I swapped in a Phase II box that I had on another TV and the issue went away completely. Check your setup menu and see if the text is ghosted. Even using S-Video instead of component was better! I'm going to exchange this box -- it even has the dreaded power on blank screen issue as well that I thought was fixed in the newer boxes. Good luck!
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post #13 of 14 Old 10-23-2005, 09:12 AM
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This forum is awesome. I just signed up with Midco using the same DVR you all are speaking about. Mine doesnt say anything about phase III on it so I am assuming it is Phase II since it doesnt have the HDMI output. On my lower numbered Analog channels th quality is brutal. It's blurry, fuzzy and I would say grainy. I have an output going to my AV1 and that seems to help quality a bit. The other output goes to my Analog HD input and I only watch the HD channels on it. At least the HD quality is good so far so I am a little leary to switch to the Phase III because at least the HD quality is good. The midco techs that were here were cavalier about this quality issue. They viewed it as common and a fact of life with cable. A dish is sounding better and better
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post #14 of 14 Old 10-24-2005, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Update: I'm connected via hdmi now and local HD channels are better. There is still some degradation with premium channels like discovery, maybe 5-10% vs the 15-20% when connnected via component. I think i can live with it now.
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