I recently just got rid of my tube TV and bought an HDTV. I didn't get anything fancy, it's just a Sceptre, but it had good reviews. I haven't upgraded my service to HD yet, and I'm not going to until I know this TV works. I know the go-to answer is that I should upgrade my service, I've been told by every Best Buy employee, person on the internet I asked, etc. But I know what a standard signal looks like going to an HDTV, friends of mine have it, and this is not it. It's not a matter of the picture not being quite to my liking, it is unwatchable. Any screen change, or God forbid a movie with a bunch of quick cuts, and the TV can't focus. Pixelation is insane, and it doesn't even have to be fast moving. Just watching a guy sitting in a chair talking and his face looks like I'm watching him on a cell phone video.
Since I don't have HD I didn't have any HDMI cables or anything like that. I had just been using a coax cable. But when I tried to hook the old coax line to the TV it was very staticy. So I switched to composite cables, which got rid of the static, but landed me in my current predicament. It was my understanding from talking to some folks that the composite cables were likely the cause, as they couldn't carry the signal. And that if I didn't have HDMI, that component cables could do the trick. I switched to component cables and it's no different at all, not in the slightest, from what I was seeing with the composite.
It doesn't appear to be any settings. I used a setup disk to do all the adjustments you can do, at least as an amateur, and while the colors might be better, it did nothing for the pixelation. I don't even have to be running an HD signal to it for this to happen. I just hooked up my regular DVD player to it, and was getting the same pixelation and focus issues. One guy at Best Buy was trying to tell me that because the screen stretches out the SD signal I was always going to have this until I upgraded, but when I put the TV on standard mode, where it doesn't stretch out the picture, it still has the same thing. So that's not it.
Does this sound like a TV issue? Since the component cables didn't even help?
It should also be noted, my roommate also has an HDTV, no HD box, and running the same service through his TV without any issues. The only difference is he has an HDMI cord going from his DVR to the TV. But I'm not buying any more cords or making any more changes until I know what the issue is. The component cord, while not as recommended as the HDMI, is SUPPOSED (at least from what I've read and been told) to be able to handle HD signals. So unless that's wrong, it doesn't really sound like the cords are the problem.