Comcast Bad SD picture - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-01-2007, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a Samsung 40" LCD HDTV (Model Number - LN-S4041D) and I've noticed that the HD stuff LOOKS GREAT but the SD stuff (especially) over the HDMI cable looks horrible. Just horrible with tons of noise every where and those "artifacts" around every edge that REALLY REALLY stick out and lines down the TV like every inch its weird.



Ive tryed Component Cables, S-Video, AV, and coax, while the component showed the same result as my HDMI the other 3 (s-video, av and coax) did a much better job but it was still not very good at all. I know it can be better because I've seen better on it and I've seen other SAMSUNGS (at bars) with MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH better SD PQ (and yes they were LCDs and had cable and not satellite). So I really dont know whats wrong.


My cable STB is Motorola DCT3412 HD capable and I have HD on it. I've tried changing the settings on the box with its "4:3" overide setting to either "480i (shows it in 480i) 480p (upconverts to 480p which by the way makes the component and HDMI looks ALOT WORSE) Stretch (Stretches it to fit a 16:9 TV, still not good) and OFF (Shows it in 4:3 also no good) So its just horrible picture all over.

I dont thinks its my cables or my TV and I'm suspecting my house wiring (which is RG59 and NOT RG6, which we are replacing with RG6 in a few days), or my Cable Box.

PLEASE ANY HELP WOULD BE A LIFE SAVER I'VE BEEN TRYING TO GET THIS PROBLEM FIXED FOREVER!!!!!!!
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-01-2007, 08:24 PM
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I just posted this in the Video Processors board, you might wanna try this option, I'm very glad I did!

Quote:
DVDO iScan Plus Deinterlacer from eBay

Laserdisc looks alittle better, but on a whim I hooked up my (Motorola) HD cable box via S-Video (and VGA to my Samsung DLP, using the "Expand" or the "1:1 Pixel Mapping" picture mode) to see how the Comcast SD channels look.

Wow.

This thing kicks both my cable box and my TV's ass at 480i SD. Switching back between the DVDO and my TV processing 480i over Component, there's no contest. Of course, bad looking channels (i.e - haze, interference) still generally look bad, but on good ones it looks awesome over the DVDO, especially the digital ones. For some reason the Home Shopping Network is one of the best looking.

One thing I see with the TV is a lot of small artifacting/mosquito noise on many of the channels, but on the DVDO it's either greatly reduced or gone. Also on the TV everything is very edge enhanced (even the Comcast menus with the TV's Sharpness at 0 it looks terribly "crispy"), on the DVDO this harshness of lines is gone. Another thing is overscan, on the TV there has to be nearly an inch cut off the bottom, but all four sides suffer. The DVDO must have nearly none to zero overscan, it's like someone magically zoomed out on the picture. The DVDO is just generally more "naturally" sharper and colorful (even when matching the TV's picture settings on both inputs). This device caused an immediate improvement.

The craziest thing is my DLP has the Faroudja DCDi FLI-2310 chip for analog processing. It's internal settings must be WAY off. Wonder why Samsung decided to basically make a solid chip for SD produce such a trashy picture?

For $60, this now ancient DVDO device kicks absolute butt. The only problem is if I really look, I can be soft hum bars rolling up the screen, but I can live with it given the noticable improvement. It's most likely because I can't plug the wall wart into my conditioner.

Of course, it's still crappy ol' broadcast SD, but I never figured it could look this nice.

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post #3 of 8 Old 03-01-2007, 10:08 PM
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Since you have the DCT3412, it means all your channels are digital.

Because all your channels are digital, and you aren't reporting picture breakup, your wiring is not the problem. Your wiring does not affect the quality on digital channels. The problem is the video processing in your TV, which quite frankly, sucks. Many manufacturers skimp on video processing in the LCDs, and that results in mediocre to poor SD quality.

Your options are limited if you can't return the TV for one with a better video processing. The first is a quality external video processor, but those don't come cheap -- they'll run you $700-$1300. Another option would be Verizon FiOS, if it is available in your area, as their SD quality tends to be a little better.

Btw, what is your viewing distance?
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-02-2007, 03:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

Since you have the DCT3412, it means all your channels are digital.

Because all your channels are digital, and you aren't reporting picture breakup, your wiring is not the problem. Your wiring does not affect the quality on digital channels. The problem is the video processing in your TV, which quite frankly, sucks. Many manufacturers skimp on video processing in the LCDs, and that results in mediocre to poor SD quality.

Your options are limited if you can't return the TV for one with a better video processing. The first is a quality external video processor, but those don't come cheap -- they'll run you $700-$1300. Another option would be Verizon FiOS, if it is available in your area, as their SD quality tends to be a little better.

Btw, what is your viewing distance?

my viewing distance is about 6-8 feet
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post #5 of 8 Old 03-02-2007, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by goavs71 View Post

my viewing distance is about 6-8 feet

That certainly doesn't help.

What was your previous size SD display? You can't expect SD from digital cable to look as good on a 40" screen as it does on say, a 25" screen.

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Just horrible with tons of noise every where and those "artifacts" around every edge that REALLY REALLY stick out and lines down the TV like every inch its weird.

The noise and artifacts are either in the digital picture signal (overcompression) or added by your display's video processing. It's probably some combination of both. However, the lines you mention don't sound normal -- could you describe those a bit more? Is your power outlet grounded? How about your cable installation, is that grounded?
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-02-2007, 10:58 AM
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Here's the fix I found for poor Comcast SD quality -- I feed the signal through a JVC 702B receiver, which has a very good DCDi processor in it. The PQ is much better. If you search, you'll even find refurbished units available at good prices. The less expensive 402B also has the processor, I believe. One caveat -- it won't process digital input, so you can't use HDMI or DVI from the cable box to the receiver. The HDMI output to your display is fine.
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-02-2007, 08:19 PM
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I was at a call the other day explaining the same thing. It isnt a "Comcast SD issue" its stretching a 480i picture across a 60'' screen upconverted to 1080i. Refusing to use the tv or boxes ability to show you the SD as it was meant to be shown because some yahoo paid 5k for a tv and wants his picture stretched across every dam inch of it.

Im sorry, if "Murder She Wrote" is sent out at 480i then it will be passed on in 480i until it gets to your set and you upconvert it to 1080i and then stretch/zoom it across a 60'' screen.

And a 60'' tv in a small condos living room with your couch 5' from it isnt helping either.

These conversations happen everyday. And suck. They sound like excuses but thats what happens when you go to BestBuy and view your tv showing some DVD or HD feed then get it home and expect everyones content to match what you saw.

"Sir is this tv 1080i or 720p?"
" I dunno.. but that picture looks like sh*t! Just fix it!"

Have a clue before you pull out your visa..

This isnt directed at the OP.. just have had a rash of these "escalations" lately. Someone electronic salesman in my area is working overtime.
"The guy form BestBuy said its the cable companies fault because the info bar looks crystal clear but the picture looks fuzzy and jagged, he said if you fixed it my picture would look as clear as the flip bar!"

wtf...
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-03-2007, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CableTool View Post

"The guy form BestBuy said its the cable companies fault because the info bar looks crystal clear but the picture looks fuzzy and jagged, he said if you fixed it my picture would look as clear as the flip bar!"



I guess Comcast needs to figure out a way to make the flip bar fuzzy when viewed on larger TVs.
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