Toshiba D-R560 Tuner Question - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 11-12-2008, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello.

This is my first post at AVSForum, but I've been coming here for years and think it's an excellent community. I searched this forum, checked Amazon.com, downloaded all the support information from Toshiba.com, spoke with sales and technical people at Toshiba, but no one had a certain answer to my question.

I am looking at the Toshiba D-R560 DVD Recorder mainly for its ATSC/NTSC/QAM tuner. I have a tunerless 720p HDTV and am looking to get 720p resolution from my Comcast cable (I have another HDTV that has a ATSC/NTSC/QAM, a 32" Toshiba and I'm very happy with the tuner). Can anyone tell me if the D-R560 tuner will give me 720/1080 resolution?

Second question: My Toshiba television takes my basic Comcast signal and puts the channels in relatively similar order to what an analog TV would for channels 1 - 75 (with lots of additional channels, including repitions of the same channel at different locations), does the D-R560 behave similarly?

Thanks for the help!
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post #2 of 37 Old 11-13-2008, 01:57 AM
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Originally Posted by eDrummist View Post

Can anyone tell me if the D-R560 tuner will give me 720/1080 resolution?

No, just 480i. It will "upscale" it to 720/1080, but it won't be true HD and won't look as good.
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post #3 of 37 Old 11-13-2008, 09:03 AM
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The channel layout should be similar to your Toshiba TV. You'll find the QAM channels will be something like 5.2 or 35.66 etc.
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post #4 of 37 Old 11-13-2008, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses. Rammitinski (or anyone who can answer this question), you're saying that the ATSC/NTSC/QAM tuner only gets in a 480i for cable or OTA TV stations and upconverts just like it does with DVDs?

I just want to be clear on this, as the resolution I am concerned with is mainly QAM and OTA HDTV, not from DVDs or for recording, which I understand is not true HD.

Thanks.
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post #5 of 37 Old 11-13-2008, 09:28 AM
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Any DVDR with a digital tuner will tune the HD channels but they will all immediately "downconvert" them to 480i. I know it doesn't make sense. Many people would like HD passthru but that's not how any work
I've never had a Toshiba DVDR but I know the Panasonics, especially the EZ-28 does a excellent job with HD channels, particularly 720p ones, but again it isn't true HD.
To get a true HD tuner you'd need something like a Samsung 260 which runs around $180 new.
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post #6 of 37 Old 11-13-2008, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks jjeff. I suspected that might be the case. Funny that the salesperson at Toshiba, who was a really nice person, didn't know and the customer support rep said he was pretty certain that the tuner produced 720/1080 HD.

I actually just bought and hooked up the Samsung DTBH260F HDTV Terrestrial Receiver/tuner but as it does not get in all of my basic cable stations like my HDTV with a ATSC/NTSC/QAM tuner, I was ready to return it.

The Samsung tuner doesn't get in all of my basic analog cable channels and many of the channels it does get are on all sorts of odd numbered channels and some are repeated (that is, they are not in as orderly a fashion as my Toshiba HDTV's with the ATSC/NTSC/QAM tuner where the analog cable channels are numbered 1-75 like they are with my analog TVs and my digital cable). Is this because it lacks an NTSC tuner or does some other function control the ordering of cable channels?
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post #7 of 37 Old 11-13-2008, 10:05 AM
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Yes the 260 does not have a analog tuner so you'll only get the digital channels like x.x. The Sammy should get all the digital QAM channels your TV does though and from what I've read the numbers should be the same from device to device although they will be different than a STB that you get from your cable supplier.
One thing to check on the Toshiba DVDR is if it can delete specific sub channels. Some DVDRs you cannot do that and you would need to delete the whole group. The Panasonic does allow you do delete specific channels, I don't know about the Toshiba but the Philips 3575 which is made by Funia(I believe they also make the Toshiba) doesn't allow that. I would think with digital cable that would be a handy feature.
Edit: I'm remembering back to when I tried a Tivax digital tuner on cable and it did have a different channel layout for a few of the digital channels so I'm not positive on what determines what order the channels fall in. Maybe someone else might know.
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post #8 of 37 Old 11-13-2008, 10:22 PM
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I've been going back & forth witht the digital tuner recorders. I am looking at the two hard disk/dvd recorders and the Toshiba560. Has anyone experience good recording from a digital tv? Easy to use &.. I can't get an answer on this HDMI set up- if I need it or not.. Any help in deciding this purchase is appreciates. I am looking at $100.00 difference & my main objective is daily timer recording.
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post #9 of 37 Old 11-14-2008, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eDrummist View Post

The Samsung tuner doesn't get in all of my basic analog cable channels..

It has RF pass-through, so that you can use your TV's NTSC tuner to watch the analog channels from your extended basic cable (without having to split the signal). The Samsung's QAM tuner will only tune the digital ones like jjeff said.

There should be instructions in the manual on how to use the pass-through feature - if not, just ask here.
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post #10 of 37 Old 11-17-2008, 02:31 PM
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I finally ran across this thread. I've been burning too many brain cells trying to figure out what my mother (89 years old) is going to do with her old 32" analog TV sets in her basement that are currently hooked up to cable without using an STB. I'm fairly certain I'm going to get a call in the middle of next year - "My TV's quit working!!" and i'm going to be the one having to haul them up the stairs to the dump. I've been searching everywhere for a cheap, external digital TV w clear qam tuner and the only devices I've found are dvr's -- but they aren't really cheap. Most of the 4 mentioned in this forum aren't even available any longer. And, every device I've found also requires that I use a VCR or RF modulator in between to convert the signal to the analog tv coax input. Will this device (D-R560) actually output direct to the tv and can I use it for this purpose? It is quite a bit cheaper than the HDD dvr's I've been seeing. I see in the product documentation that it appears to have analog /video coax out.

P.S. along with this govt mandated digital conversion, I don't think many of the general public realize that their old analog sets hooked up to cable without a STB are probably going to be screwed by the middle of next year as the cable companies go totally digital. And the general public is NOT going to want to pay to rent STB's for all these TV's. Our dumps are going to be FULL!.
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post #11 of 37 Old 11-17-2008, 02:47 PM
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I should add that, yes I'm aware that even if I have a digital tuner capable of clear qam, I'll only get the 'local' channels as required by law. I'm fine with that -- 5 channels is better than hauling a 100lb tv set up the stairs and to the dump.
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post #12 of 37 Old 11-17-2008, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nalawod View Post

P.S. along with this govt mandated digital conversion, I don't think many of the general public realize that their old analog sets hooked up to cable without a STB are probably going to be screwed by the middle of next year as the cable companies go totally digital. And the general public is NOT going to want to pay to rent STB's for all these TV's. Our dumps are going to be FULL!.

Your mother's analog TV should work fine with a cable TV feed... cable TV is not affected by the digitat transition, which applies only to TV received via OTA antenna (indoor or outdoor antenna).

I think the FCC mandated that cablecos carry at least their local network channels thru 2012. I think that, after 2012 or between Feb 2009 and 2012, cablecos MAY do something different, but will be required to provide at least one converter box if they do change their transmission mode.

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post #13 of 37 Old 11-17-2008, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nalawod View Post

P.S. along with this govt mandated digital conversion, I don't think many of the general public realize that their old analog sets hooked up to cable without a STB are probably going to be screwed by the middle of next year as the cable companies go totally digital. And the general public is NOT going to want to pay to rent STB's for all these TV's. Our dumps are going to be FULL!.

C'mon - you live in Chicago - you know every last one of those sets will be garbage-picked and re-used.
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post #14 of 37 Old 11-18-2008, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

C'mon - you live in Chicago - you know every last one of those sets will be garbage-picked and re-used.


It's true though I put out my old old old 13" kitchen tv this summer- gone inside an hour- I live in Chicago

Cable and Dish folks have no clue what we are talking about- They have to remember the small tv's that are not hooked up to cable- like a kitchen or guestroom etc..

I was hoping to get one room done today and check out this toshib560-- I HAVE NO DISKS- to test it!! Thursday-fingers crossed.

& the reason I didn't go with basic cable in Chicago- 1- the cust service is terrible- hangin on the phone forever and get 3 -5 different versions- They are running a $10.00 a month basic service for 1 year- no contract- that scares me. So, I figured w/ tax & if they kept it at $10.00- it would be approx $150.00 for the year-- still no tape & view options- pretty much the same as a converter box - or one rep said I could rent the dvr w/ basic cable- one said no- you need the digital cable.. That was enough to make me head out for the dvd recorder w/ tuner.. Anyone? what should I pick up- dvd-rw or dvd+rw? I want to record the easiest and erease with ease - like the old vcr. Any suggestions? Somewhere it said +rw formats itself- whatever that means? Thank you
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post #15 of 37 Old 11-18-2008, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

C'mon - you live in Chicago - you know every last one of those sets will be garbage-picked and re-used.

LOL!! Absolutely true -- will be gone from my alley in 5 minutes. They'll still be good for OTA if you buy the converter boxes.
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post #16 of 37 Old 11-18-2008, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by wajo View Post

Your mother's analog TV should work fine with a cable TV feed... cable TV is not affected by the digitat transition, which applies only to TV received via OTA antenna (indoor or outdoor antenna).

I think the FCC mandated that cablecos carry at least their local network channels thru 2012. I think that, after 2012 or between Feb 2009 and 2012, cablecos MAY do something different, but will be required to provide at least one converter box if they do change their transmission mode.

Did they mandate that they are ANALOG on cable through 2012 or that they at least be clear QAM so a digital tuner can get to them? Even if they are required to keep analog going for local channels, I'd still look at the option of a digital tuner for her as her 1 or 2 local channels in Laramie WY is BORING!. So my question still stands, will this DR-560 output to the coax cable input of an old analog TV or will I need to put a VCR or RF modulator in between?
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post #17 of 37 Old 11-18-2008, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by nalawod View Post

So my question still stands, will this DR-560 output to the coax cable input of an old analog TV or will I need to put a VCR or RF modulator in between?

No HDD or single-disc DVDR outputs internal stuff (menus, channels, or HDD/DVD titles) thru their coax outputs. The coax is strictly a passhthru of the incoming signal from an antenna or cable.

DVDRs output internal stuff, like digital channels, thru their line connections,. so if your TV doesn't have at least a Composite Y/W/R RCA connection, you'll need a VCR or modulator between the DVDR and the TV, and you'll connect line outputs from the DVDR to the VCR for modulation on channel 3/4.

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post #18 of 37 Old 01-27-2009, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Any DVDR with a digital tuner will tune the HD channels but they will all immediately "downconvert" them to 480i (and then upconvert to TV Out). I know it doesn't make sense. Many people would like HD passthru but that's not how any work.

Can anyone provide a link to a technical article or review that describes why it is done that way, and if its without exception? Do they have to add an extra chip to provide an HDTV passthrough from STB Tuner to TV? Amazon reviews for Toshiba D-R560 are positive in terms of HDTV picture quality and don't mention that.

Edit: Toshiba Rep told me that D-R560 has no HDTV Tuner, and hence can't pass through HDTV signal without first upconverting standard digital signal to HD.

Also, I have other questions:

a) Samsung DTV-H260F uses 5-th gen. 8-vsb OTA TV Tuner chipset allowing to tune plenty of channels using a plain indoor antenna under other adverse conditions. What generation of 8-vsb TV Tuner chipset is used in Toshiba D-R560 and also in older STB HD OTA Tuner LG 3510?

b) Where can I download Toshiba D-R560 Manual?

c) Is it correct that every OTA and/or Cable Analog Channel is currently repeated on one of corresponding OTA or Cable Digital Subchannels? Meaning, there is no need for a NTSC Tuner or Analog Coax pass through from HDTV STB, if TV has a Composite or Component Input.
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post #19 of 37 Old 01-27-2009, 05:53 PM
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You might try the sticky thread having to do with HDTV, it may have specific links. All I can say and I don't think anyone will argue with me on this is, no current or older DVDR with a digital tuner has ever been capable of outputting true HD using it's built in tuner. It might be confusing when someone says HD passthru. All that means is the RF is passed through from the RF input to the RF output. If you have a HD tuner or HDTV hooked up to the DVDRs RF output you could use that HD tuner or HDTV to tune true HD. Most all of us with a DVDR with a digital tuner feel your pain, it's just the way it is and personally I don't think it will change(at least anytime soon).

I could guess on, a) but I'll let someone who knows for sure answer that one.
c) I don't think there currently are too many analog stations that aren't simulcasting in digital OTA, possibly Low Power Stations and maybe translators. Cable is a different story. The majority of analog cable channels are probably not "in the clear" QAM. Usually only the locals and a few others are simulcast "in the clear". You'd need a rented cable box to be able to pick up the majority of QAM channels(not a Samsung 260). If you had one of those rented boxes and paid for digital service I would think the majority of the popular channels are simulcast in digital but probably not all.
Some people are able to get 10 or 20 QAM channels but not nearly the number of analog channels they might get.
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post #20 of 37 Old 01-27-2009, 06:33 PM
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Thanks jjeff, it was helpful.
I still didn't catch it, if a DTV Tuner is technically capable to output HDTV signal via HDMI Out (i.e. HDMI Pass-through)? It looks like bandwidth is there due to available upconversion option, but probably some components are missing. Is an HDTV Channel just another digital channel from a Tuner standpoint (requiring more bandwidth though), or its identified differently?
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post #21 of 37 Old 01-27-2009, 07:27 PM
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It's the SDTV DVD std that requires anything that can be recorded to be input as 480i.

While DVDRs can pass an HDTV signal thru the coax in/out loop untouched, anything that goes "internal" must be in 480i format or it can't be recorded.

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post #22 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 11:19 AM
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I seem to remember reading a year or two ago about why DVDRs with digital tuners downconverted the HD channels not only for recording but also passthru. I believe the answer was to enable HD passthru would require a different chip with 2 distinct paths, one for passthru and one for recording. I guess for whatever reason, probably economic to keep the boxes as low as possible, no one ever implemented the HD passthru and they go the cheaper route which just downconverts right after the tuner and that downconverted signal is sent to both the burner and passthru.
Ideally for DVDRs w/HDD we could record HD directly to the HDD in MPEG2/4 or even AVCHD then have the ability to play that to our HDTVs or downconvert it when burning to DVD.
Considering how dead standalone DVD recorders are as a product I doubt anyone wants to put much effort into trying to make them better, most people seem more interested in meeting the $99 or $199 price point
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post #23 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

I seem to remember reading a year or two ago about why DVDRs with digital tuners downconverted the HD channels not only for recording but also passthru. I believe the answer was to enable HD passthru would require a different chip with 2 distinct paths, one for passthru and one for recording. I guess for whatever reason, probably economic to keep the boxes as low as possible, no one ever implemented the HD passthru and they go the cheaper route which just downconverts right after the tuner and that downconverted signal is sent to both the burner and passthru.
Ideally for DVDRs w/HDD we could record HD directly to the HDD in MPEG2/4 or even AVCHD then have the ability to play that to our HDTVs or downconvert it when burning to DVD.
Considering how dead standalone DVD recorders are as a product I doubt anyone wants to put much effort into trying to make them better, most people seem more interested in meeting the $99 or $199 price point

I don't understand. This doesn't seem to jive with what wajo said in the post right above you:

While DVDRs can pass an HDTV signal thru the coax in/out loop untouched, anything that goes "internal" must be in 480i format or it can't be recorded.

If we hook up our DVDR the way wajo suggests with the incoming coax signal going to the DVDR first...it sounds like jjeff is saying we'd actually be sending a downconverted 480i signal to all of our other equipment downstream.

jjeff, I hear you on the way HDD DVDR's should work. There's no reason why Hollywood should prevent us from recording to the HDD in HD. Just downconvert anything dubbed from HDD to DVD to 480i. I'm not holding my breath on this, either.
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post #24 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 12:19 PM
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Passthru can be a confusing term. For "RF" passthru your downstream tuner if HD will be able to tune a program in HD (if it's broadcast that way). The way I was using the term "passthru" may not have been the best choice of words. I meant using the DVDRs built in tuner and passing that signal on to a monitor with the component or HDMI outputs. It's that passthru that is only 480i.
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post #25 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Passthru can be a confusing term. For "RF" passthru your downstream tuner if HD will be able to tune a program in HD (if it's broadcast that way). The way I was using the term "passthru" may not have been the best choice of words. I meant using the DVDRs built in tuner and passing that signal on to a monitor with the component or HDMI outputs. It's that passthru that is only 480i.

I got ya. You want true HD output from the HDMI out (not 480i upconverted). Question...when a DVDR is tuned to a QAM channel, can't it pass the signal on to a monitor in true 480p with component or HDMI? I know I'm splitting hairs, but it seems to me wajo's guide suggests that it does (he sets his HDMI output to 480p to his Vizio HDTV). I think (?) anything recorded is 480i, but can't you watch live TV through the QAM tuner in true 480p?

I know anything I record off my cable STB will be 480i because I'd be recording through L1 via S-Video which isn't capable of producing a progressive scan image. But, if I record an HDTV show (unscrambled local channel) off the QAM tuner directly, this gets dumbed down by the stupid Hollywood copy protection to 480 i or p?

This is more a question for me trying to understand the circuitry more than it is to do anything useful with that information.
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post #26 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 01:15 PM
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You can "convert" anything going thru a SDTV DVDR's output side, once it's recorded or just goes thru the SDTV tuner.

An HD signal can be converted to 480p or upscaled and converted to 720p or 1080i/p, but it's still an SDTV downcoverted image that went thru the internal circuitry of the DVDR.

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post #27 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 02:02 PM
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I believe since the DVDR is capable of only recording in 480i, to be able to simultaneously output something different eg. 480p, it would require 2 signal paths which all DVDRs lack. If they did have 2 different signal paths then they would be able to give us not just 480p but also 720p and 1080i.
The way I understand it the tuner chip tunes both HD and SD channels. Since the burner is only capable of 480i the tuner chip downconverts all HD to 480i(internally) and outputs that. From there the signal is split to both the burner and the DVDR output circuitry. Some DVDRs w/upconverting may then upconvert that 480i to 480p-1080p, but it all starts at the output of the chip at 480i. This is why they would have to redesign the chip to output 2 separate streams, one possibly HD the other 480i for the burner.
I'm not so sure it's all about Hollywood copy protection. I think it's more about simple economics and trying to keep DVDRs as cheap as possible. After all you can buy things like the Samsung 260 HD tuner(and others) that output 480p-1080i, just no DVDRs do that.
Note don't take my description of the chip design as gospel, it's just more the way I understand it from reading various posts and makes the most sense to me. It's possible the chip has 2 480i output streams and the splitting is done inside the chip itself, but for sure it doesn't output HD or even 480p.
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post #28 of 37 Old 01-28-2009, 03:01 PM
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Thanks guys. I'm obviously quite new here, so I don't always understand what you are trying to tell me, but I really do think I get it now. That bit about all DVDR's lacking 2 different signal paths to make them cheaper to produce helped a lot.

Also, I sometimes forget what the meaning of SDTV is...I think because I skipped right over the EDTV thing (knowing I might as well wait for HDTV). I really hate the term component video. Component video can send signals up to 1080p, but I can't think of anyone who actually does this (1080i, yes, but 1080p?). Is it analogue? Is it digital? Is it RGB, Y/Pb/Pr, Y/Cb/Cr? Ahhhh! To muddy the waters further, S-Video is technically a poor quality form of analogue component video.

I also needed to brush up on video scaling and how upconversion works because I really didn't understand exactly why wajo was sending his video 480P over HDMI. It looks like if our DVDR's had a really fancy upconverter (like an Oppo), he'd be sending it 1080P to the HDTV but the DVDR's upconverter is the cheap SoC design.
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post #29 of 37 Old 01-29-2009, 09:57 AM
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Steeltownguy, not sure if you've seen this thread but it talks more about DVDRs and digital tuners and why/how they downconvert. At first they were thinking the tuner outputted 480p but later someone else suggested 480i. I would tend to agree with 480i.
http://forum.videohelp.com/topic3341...80768b8f3f604e
BTW you're correct on the Oppo vs. a DVDR. The Oppo will probably have a better upconverter than your TV and a DVDR will probably have a worse one. As far as choosing 480i or 480p as DVDR output I'd just choose the one that looks best to you. I have mine set for 480p also and think, for whatever reason it looks better on my display.
The only reason I use S-video is because newer DVDRs don't have component inputs, I despise composite and think for DVDRs anyway it looks poor. For most VHS players it's the only option since they don't have S-video.
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post #30 of 37 Old 01-29-2009, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zamar View Post

a) Samsung DTV-H260F uses 5-th gen. 8-vsb OTA TV Tuner chipset allowing to tune plenty of channels using a plain indoor antenna under other adverse conditions. What generation of 8-vsb TV Tuner chipset is used in Toshiba D-R560 and also in older STB HD OTA Tuner LG 3510?

The LG uses a 3rd or 4th generation chip, but if you want something for QAM, which also does NTSC and ATSC, that's the tuner of those three that you'd want. Their older ATSC chips are generally a cut above the others with the same gen. chips. They are known for making the best all-around standalone digital tuners, bar none (or at least were, back then).

The Toshiba would probably be 6th gen, if it's the newest model, and the Samsung is 5th.

The Samsung isn't really recommended for 4:3 TV's, though. And the Toshiba, being a Funai, usually isn't recommended as a first choice for a QAM tuner, either. They have a reputation of being a bit funky.

But with the LG, don't be surprised if you pick up all kinds of stuff in digital that you don't get with the other two. The old LG's (and sometimes the Sony's) have a habit of doing that. Plus, you'll have all the analogs integrated in there.
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