Best Set Top Box Settings for Pioneer 5080HD? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-17-2008, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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My Pioneer 5080 is on the way, but I need some clarification on the 8300HD STB settings in this thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=471859

-posts on the thread above and others say to let the 8300HD feed the 5080 an unadulterated signal so the TV can do all the signal processing itself. Is that best, and is that what Pass Through does?
- I'm not clear on whether I can use the Pass Through settings even if I use an HDMI cable.
- at least during the 5080 break in period I know I should make sure non-HD images are stretched- not sure what settings to use for that.
- for the optimal standard definition PQ a post suggested using S-Video out from the 8300HD. Is this the best approach for optimizing SD PQ?
-Time Warner here in NYC told be they will be offering a Cable Card option soon- what are the advantages of that in general and with standard definition? It's my understanding "on demand" service doesn't work with cable cards. Can DVR still be used?
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-17-2008, 09:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by like2watch00 View Post

My Pioneer 5080 is on the way, but I need some clarification on the 8300HD STB settings in this thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=471859

-posts on the thread above and others say to let the 8300HD feed the 5080 an unadulterated signal so the TV can do all the signal processing itself. Is that best, and is that what Pass Through does?

In theory pass through is designed to send the digital signal directly to the TV with no changes unless configured @ the box (e.g. I only pass 1080i/480p to my PDPs w/SA8300HDC & SA4250HDC). But when repeating the signal through an STB some additional SNR is inevitable.
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Originally Posted by like2watch00 View Post

- I'm not clear on whether I can use the Pass Through settings even if I use an HDMI cable.

The pass through option is only available w/component. For HDMI the STB will default to "auto HDMI."
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Originally Posted by like2watch00 View Post

- at least during the 5080 break in period I know I should make sure non-HD images are stretched- not sure what settings to use for that.

Your TV & STB both support various stretch/zoom options.
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Originally Posted by like2watch00 View Post

- for the optimal standard definition PQ a post suggested using S-Video out from the 8300HD. Is this the best approach for optimizing SD PQ?

Not necessary. My experience has been that TWs STBs with component & 1080i/480p yield the best results for HD/SD TV.
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Originally Posted by like2watch00 View Post

-Time Warner here in NYC told be they will be offering a Cable Card option soon- what are the advantages of that in general and with standard definition? It's my understanding "on demand" service doesn't work with cable cards. Can DVR still be used?

While CableCARDs can be used to support a direct digital coax connection to your TV & will always generate the best picture w/CATV source, they are frought with problems and aren't worth the effort to pursue. All DCR devices are still one-way so with a CableCARD you cannot use any two-way service; on-Demand, PPV or view any channel using SDV, which is what Time Warner has implemented to free up enough bandwidth to add more HD channels.

You best bet is to switch to Verizon FiOS TV ASAP.

CableCARDs - A Primer
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-17-2008, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by like2watch00 View Post

My Pioneer 5080 is on the way, but I need some clarification on the 8300HD STB settings in this thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=471859

-posts on the thread above and others say to let the 8300HD feed the 5080 an unadulterated signal so the TV can do all the signal processing itself. Is that best, and is that what Pass Through does?
- I'm not clear on whether I can use the Pass Through settings even if I use an HDMI cable.
- at least during the 5080 break in period I know I should make sure non-HD images are stretched- not sure what settings to use for that.
- for the optimal standard definition PQ a post suggested using S-Video out from the 8300HD. Is this the best approach for optimizing SD PQ?
-Time Warner here in NYC told be they will be offering a Cable Card option soon- what are the advantages of that in general and with standard definition? It's my understanding "on demand" service doesn't work with cable cards. Can DVR still be used?

- If you are using HDMI, I suggest disabling all resolutions except for 1080i and 480i. Then, select AUTO HDMI/DVI on the cable box as the Picture Format and the Pio will do most of the work. There is NO Passthrough mode when using HDMI with the 8300HD box.

- The 5080 will come from the factory with the Side-Mask detection ON. make sure the setting for this is set to WIDE-ZOOM and this will automatically stretch 4:3 content after a few seconds of it being on the screen. It will then go back to NORMAL when you switch back to an HD source or a 16x9 feed. It works 90% of the time but some of the sidebars, like ESPNHD will confuse it and it wont stretch. Just limit your viewing of these channels for a few weeks and you'll be fine.

- I would just use HDMI for all connections. I dont about S-Video but that seems lame to me. I could be wrong but SD looks decent on the Pios just using HDMI and getting your other settings dialed-in. Remember, its SD.... its only going to be so good.

- I dont know about cable-cards except that the Pio supports them and should work fine with whichever one you get. You'll have to get more info on that from someone else.
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-17-2008, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by s2mikey View Post

It works 90% of the time but some of the sidebars, like ESPNHD will confuse it and it wont stretch.

Ditto with CNN HD. Both of these Disney companies broadcast sidebars with logos in them. I suspect this is why they still appear on the display regardless of whether WIDE-ZOOM is selected, and wish they'd broadcast an actual normal 16:9 picture instead of "stuffed" 4:3.
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-17-2008, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by optivity View Post

In theory pass through is designed to send the digital signal directly to the TV with no changes unless configured @ the box (e.g. I only pass 1080i/480p to my PDPs w/SA8300HDC & SA4250HDC). But when repeating the signal through an STB some additional SNR is inevitable.The pass through option is only available w/component. For HDMI the STB will default to "auto HDMI.".

.

CableCARDs - A Primer

Using a SA4250HDC which includes a cablecard and I have set on all available signal which I though passes thru whatever source is broadcasted. I do the same on my A2 Tosh. I make no changes to either whether I view a HDdvd or SDdvd or cable broadcast[SD/720p/1080i]. The manual for the STB indicates the pass-thru will occur with HDMI. Please educate me if I am mistaken. Am pleased with the results; however if I can acheive a better picture quality by all means explain how i may achieve this given my assumptions.

Many thanks!

dv
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-17-2008, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by like2watch00 View Post

-posts on the thread above and others say to let the 8300HD feed the 5080 an unadulterated signal so the TV can do all the signal processing itself. Is that best, and is that what Pass Through does?

"Best" is subjective. Generally speaking, a newer TV will do a better job converting signals to the TV's native format. However, unless you try things for yourself, you won't know what looks "best" to you. Many people enable 480i (or 480p) to allow the TV to "stretch" the content on SD channels (ostensibly to avoid uneven phosphor wear, or burn-in). I suggest you do the same. Which one depends on if the 5080 handles one or the other better (some TVs don't play nice with 480i over HDMI). Try them both individually and see if you prefer one over the other.

It's a little different with 720p and 1080i. If you enable both, the TV will go through a reformat every time you tune to/from a 720p channel to/from a 1080i channel. Some folks don't like this reformatting and simply enable one or the other. In my case (with a CRT-based Hitachi), I can't "see" a difference between 720p converted by the 8300 or the TV, so I only enabled 1080i and I avoid the reformat. Again, my advice is to try them both together and see what looks best to you and see if the reformat bothers you.
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- I'm not clear on whether I can use the Pass Through settings even if I use an HDMI cable.

No, you can't, because Auto-HDMI replaces that option, but Auto-HDMI is basically the same thing, so don't worry about it.
Quote:
- at least during the 5080 break in period I know I should make sure non-HD images are stretched- not sure what settings to use for that.

I don't have a 5080, so I assume the other comments you received are correct, the TV will do the stretching if you enable 480i/p.
Quote:
- for the optimal standard definition PQ a post suggested using S-Video out from the 8300HD. Is this the best approach for optimizing SD PQ?

I seriously doubt you will need that. Those comments were made back when the 8300 first came out and didn't handle SD very well. Again, no harm checking to see what you think, but I think you will get awfully tired changing TV inputs every time you want to watch something on an SD channel. I used S-Video way back when with a 3250HD, but switched to Component-only with the 8300.
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-Time Warner here in NYC told be they will be offering a Cable Card option soon- what are the advantages of that in general and with standard definition? It's my understanding "on demand" service doesn't work with cable cards. Can DVR still be used?

AFAIK, current cablecards with the TV will not allow use of On-Demand, PPV, etc. However, if you intend to keep using a DVR, you might be able to view a 3rd live program while recording 2 others on the DVR. I assume the TV has separate Inputs for the cablecard/DVR and you'd simply switch between the 2. Depending on how much TV you watch, this may be a useful option to have at a fairly low cost. I'm surprised though that you can't already get a cablecard for the TV.

As I said in my PM (and for the benefit of others), the first post in the Tips thread you mentioned is maintained current. Even though the thread was started way back in 2004, it was last updated on 12-19-2007. Updates have slowed because nothing new has happened lately and probably won't until cableco's start implementing tru2way later this year. When that happens though, you will probably be converted to TWCs Navigator IPG and none of this will mean anything then.

Cheers, Dave
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-17-2008, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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[quote=DoubleDAZ;13139257] ...Many people enable 480i (or 480p) to allow the TV to "stretch" the content on SD channels (ostensibly to avoid uneven phosphor wear, or burn-in). I suggest you do the same. Which one depends on if the 5080 handles one or the other better (some TVs don't play nice with 480i over HDMI). Try them both individually and see if you prefer one over the other...

...It's a little different with 720p and 1080i. If you enable both, the TV will go through a reformat every time you tune to/from a 720p channel to/from a 1080i channel. Some folks don't like this reformatting and simply enable one or the other....

sorry DoubleDAZ, I'm being thick on this issue- what I'm still not understanding is how do I enable or disable certain resolutions while using HDMI? If I use HDMI, the picture format on the 8300HD will only use the Auto HDMI setting, which means I can't use the 8300HD to control which resolutions are sent to the 5080, correct? So, when you say pass-through and Auto HDMI are basically the "same thing", do you mean with Auto HDMI the 8300HD will feed the 5080 the full range of resolutions? If so, then will I use settings on the 5080 to enable or disable certain resolutions? Which 5080 settings are those?

Also, regarding the 720p and 1080i reformatting- how is the reformatting noticeable to the viewer?
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-17-2008, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by like2watch00 View Post

sorry DoubleDAZ, I'm being thick on this issue- what I'm still not understanding is how do I enable or disable certain resolutions while using HDMI?

Not at all. The first item (Setup) in the First Post in the Tips thread tells you how to enable/disable resolutions.

Quote:
If I use HDMI, the picture format on the 8300HD will only use the Auto HDMI setting, which means I can't use the 8300HD to control which resolutions are sent to the 5080, correct?

That's true, as far as it goes, but it was the same with Pass-Through. Either way, you still have to enable the resolutions you want to use. Auto-HDMI and Pass-Through are basically different terms for the same thing, both simply pass the resolutions that have been enabled. The bigger difference is how the 8300 handles audio with HDMI.

Quote:
So, when you say pass-through and Auto HDMI are basically the "same thing", do you mean with Auto HDMI the 8300HD will feed the 5080 the full range of resolutions? If so, then will I use settings on the 5080 to enable or disable certain resolutions? Which 5080 settings are those?

Hopefully my previous comment answers this. Resolutions are enabled/disabled on the 8300 via Setup. I don't know what resolutions you have set now. The 8300 comes set for 1080i only as the default and some cable techs don't bother to change it or show you how to change it.

Quote:
Also, regarding the 720p and 1080i reformatting- how is the reformatting noticeable to the viewer?

It may be slightly different depending on make/model, but my display goes black for a moment and there is some flicker.

May I ask what display and resolutions you are using now? And do you have the 8300 yet or are you waiting on the TV? Also, do you intend to use an AV Receiver for audio?

Cheers, Dave
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post #9 of 10 Old 02-17-2008, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I already picked up the 8300HD from Time Warner, and the 5080HD is arriving tomorrow (2/18). The dealer who sold it to me is setting it up.
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-17-2008, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by like2watch00 View Post

I already picked up the 8300HD from Time Warner, and the 5080HD is arriving tomorrow (2/18). The dealer who sold it to me is setting it up.

Ok, that explains why some things are confusing you.

I think you'll see how all this works a little better once you are able to actually see what various setup options and settings do rather than just reading about them. I would suggest though that you consider posting further questions about the 8300 in the Tips thread, you'll get more views there. And, don't forget, you can always PM me again anytime.

Cheers, Dave
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