First HDTV, can't tell if it works - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-17-2013, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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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.
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-17-2013, 02:27 PM
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"Since I don't have HD"

Yes you do.......

Try connecting the TV to an antenna and start receiving Free Over The Air HDTV signals. You can then connect your "service" to one of the other video/audio inputs.
You didn't mention what city......
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-17-2013, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I live in Dallas.

I don't have an antenna, but like I said, it's not the service. DVD player, XBOX, everything has this crappy picture. The only reason I said "I don't have HD", was just meaning I don't have an HD box, and no HDMI cable.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-17-2013, 03:33 PM
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I don't quite understand when you said you tried component(3 video wires), what was it from? SD cable boxes generally don't have component or HDMI output, generally RF, composite and if older maybe S-video. None of the latter carry HD only SD, component or HDMI can carry HD or SD.
What are your STBs outputs?
Most any HDTV can look good displaying HD but only better ones can make SD look watchable. You may have read good things about your Sceptre but IMO that brand is generally one that may look with HD but not so good with SD. Something like Sony, Panasonic, LG, Samsung, or even Vizio would probably make SD look more watchable. I have a Sony, Panasonic, LG, Samsung and Vizio(ya I've got lots of TVs biggrin.gif) and they all display SD quite well. I also have a Insignia and had a Dynex and Westinghouse(returned the last two) and they don't look so good with SD, HD was more watchable.
I'd do what Jimboy said except instead of hooking your TV to a non existent antenna I'd hook it directly to your cable coax(no converter box inline) do a channel scan and you should get at least your locals in HD. Analog cable is notorious for looking bad on a HDTV and SD digital only a bit better. The pixelation your describing sounds more like a bitstarved cable channel than a TV issue but I'm not sure why your roommate's TV is looking better other than if he's getting the HD version of the channel while your watching the bitstarved SD channel.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-17-2013, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
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My DVR/STB has composite, component and S-Video output on it. It's a Verizon FiOS box.

I'll try hooking the Coax right up to it and let you know if that changes anything. When I hooked it up with Coax earlier it wasn't coming right from the wall, it was running through a couple of other things (because my DVR doesn't have coax output, I had it going through a switch).
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-17-2013, 03:46 PM
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I'm not familiar with FiOS but it's possible you'll get nothing by hooking the coax up direct(and doing a channel scan) they may not have anything clear QAM. If your STB is a DVR and has component output I can't believe it wouldn't be HD but hopefully someone more familiar with FiOS will respond, good luck smile.gif
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-17-2013, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Well the channel search did pick up 30 digital channels, but I think it's supposed to be run through the box, because just plugged directly in, the picture is even worse, and after a minute each channel will cut out.
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-17-2013, 06:01 PM
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Typically FiOS has clear QAM channels. They do in my area. I can plug the coax cable from FiOS into any of my TVs and do a scan. When done the local channels will be mapped to the same location as if I'm using an antenna.

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post #9 of 11 Old 01-18-2013, 04:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCode0680 View Post

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..

Ask your roomate if you could test your TV in his/her room. If problem still exists, your TV is on the fritz. If picture looks great, then you may want to get Verizon to come out and check your service. With the coax connected directly to the TV, you should have excellent picture quality.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-18-2013, 06:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Ask your roomate if you could test your TV in his/her room. If problem still exists, your TV is on the fritz. If picture looks great, then you may want to get Verizon to come out and check your service. With the coax connected directly to the TV, you should have excellent picture quality.

I'll do that Ratman. I'm at work right now, but when I get home this evening I'll give that a shot.
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post #11 of 11 Old 01-19-2013, 09:38 PM
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Perhaps you were scanning for OTA channels instead of Cable Channels???
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