Comcast HD DVR(Motorola DCX3400)/DVDO Edge VP / "Play nice together?" - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-23-2014, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Comcast HD DVR(Motorola DCX3400)/DVDO Edge VP / "Play nice together?"

Until recently I had been using my DVDO EDGE HDVP w/ a Tivo Premiere HD DVR (successfully)
for a few years. Fast foward to the present time, I am no longer using the Tivo & picked up the Comcast/Motorola cable box/DVR from Comcast.

Intially, the cable box/DVR > DVDO seemed to make the HDMI "handshake" & I was able to get the 1080p signal I was getting w/ the Tivo, but all was not right w/ being able to get the Comcast box to change channels or control other functions properly. After several system reconfigurations & cable box
"re-boots" I was able regain poper control of the box, but lost DVR > DVDO / HDMI handshake
& the DVDO seemed to be changing the "dui" of the cable box.

Long story short,I ended up removing the DVDO from the system chain. The PQ is still quite good, but, it does'nt have the last "nth"of signal detail that I was getting at 1080p (which rivaled Blu Ray PQ
quite often)

Is there a work around to getting these 2 components to work together that I'm missing ? Can I get the DVDO HDMI inputs to work "passively" somehow ?
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-27-2014, 08:36 AM
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Thread moved to proper forum.

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post #3 of 4 Old 10-27-2014, 09:58 AM
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This won't help the DVDO Edge VP question, but might help the PQ: Have you tried setting the DVR to output "Native" to see if the TV does a better job at rescaling and deinterlacing than the DVR? Cable company equipment doesn't have the best reputation of having the best rescalers.

The down side to setting the DVR to output "Native" (or whatever that specific model calls it when it sends out on the HDMI port the video format the TV signal was received in) is that there is a delay when changing channels between stations of different video formats, a delay that isn't there when the DVR HDMI output is locked to a specific video format.

In my case, since the TV connected to the DVR isn't natively 720p (1280x720) but actually 1366x768, I discovered that having just the TV do the rescaling (DVR HDMI Video Format: Native) produced better picture quality than having the signal double-rescaled (first by the DVR, then by the TV to convert that to the TV Native Format). I did try the DVR set to output 720p, but the 1080i channels didn't look as good, and likewise setting the DVR output to 1080i or 1080p caused the 720p channels to lose a bit of their PQ, and the only way I could get the SD channels to look halfway decent was to have SD channels leave the DVR at 480. (I ended up setting the DVR to NOT output 480i, so 480i SD stations are sent to the HDMI port at 480p because that specific TV forgets that I had turned off overscan when it gets a 480i signal on the HDMI port, but it remembers it and switches back to no overscan when it gets a 720p or 1080i channel.)

So, the moral of the story is to make sure that if you do decide to test whether it is the TV or the DVR that does a better job of rescaling is to test with several channels, and make sure that your testing includes 720p channels as well as 1080i channels, and if you ever watch SD channels, be sure to test them, too. (Yes, I am aware that this is "HDTV > HDTV Recorders", but some content, particularly older TV shows and older, lesser-known movies seem available only on SD subchannels like MeTV, THiS, Antenna TV, Get.TV, MoviePlex, and OPB+, this last one being the SD subchannel of the Portland, OR PBS affiliate. About a third of the hours I record on the HD DVR are SD, which is why my testing included SD channels.)

My very humble setup:
Man Cave:Vizio E500i-A1 "Smart TV" (50-in 1080p 120Hz LED/LCD, has Netflix app.), Sony BDP-S3100 Blu-ray player, Roku N1000 (original model), PC (Windows 7), Comcast Internet (120Mbps/12Mbps).
Bedroom:LG 32LV3400-UA TV (32-in 768p 60Hz LED/LCD), HD DVR (Motorola RNG200N), Xfinity Comcast cable (Digital Preferred Plus), DVD/VHS player.
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post #4 of 4 Old 10-28-2014, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark12547 View Post
This won't help the DVDO Edge VP question, but might help the PQ: Have you tried setting the DVR to output "Native" to see if the TV does a better job at rescaling and deinterlacing than the DVR? Cable company equipment doesn't have the best reputation of having the best rescalers.

The down side to setting the DVR to output "Native" (or whatever that specific model calls it when it sends out on the HDMI port the video format the TV signal was received in) is that there is a delay when changing channels between stations of different video formats, a delay that isn't there when the DVR HDMI output is locked to a specific video format.

In my case, since the TV connected to the DVR isn't natively 720p (1280x720) but actually 1366x768, I discovered that having just the TV do the rescaling (DVR HDMI Video Format: Native) produced better picture quality than having the signal double-rescaled (first by the DVR, then by the TV to convert that to the TV Native Format). I did try the DVR set to output 720p, but the 1080i channels didn't look as good, and likewise setting the DVR output to 1080i or 1080p caused the 720p channels to lose a bit of their PQ, and the only way I could get the SD channels to look halfway decent was to have SD channels leave the DVR at 480. (I ended up setting the DVR to NOT output 480i, so 480i SD stations are sent to the HDMI port at 480p because that specific TV forgets that I had turned off overscan when it gets a 480i signal on the HDMI port, but it remembers it and switches back to no overscan when it gets a 720p or 1080i channel.)

So, the moral of the story is to make sure that if you do decide to test whether it is the TV or the DVR that does a better job of rescaling is to test with several channels, and make sure that your testing includes 720p channels as well as 1080i channels, and if you ever watch SD channels, be sure to test them, too. (Yes, I am aware that this is "HDTV > HDTV Recorders", but some content, particularly older TV shows and older, lesser-known movies seem available only on SD subchannels like MeTV, THiS, Antenna TV, Get.TV, MoviePlex, and OPB+, this last one being the SD subchannel of the Portland, OR PBS affiliate. About a third of the hours I record on the HD DVR are SD, which is why my testing included SD channels.)
Thanks Mark, the PQ was actually pretty good (plugged into a PSAudio PP500 w/ signal output through an Audioquest Vodka HDMI).

I decided to "swap out" the Motorola DCX-3400 to a DCX-3501 at my local Comcast "Store". I'm really not missing having the "Edge" in the playback chain that much,as the 3501 appears to be a better machine than the 3400. I can't scale the output to 1080p24 like I was w/ the Edge, but the output I'm getting is very respectable (& I'm pretty fussy: The PP500 was only a "fair" power conditioner for my Audio system,but it works very well with my Video system.)

It was pretty ridiculous I had to look at the bottom of the DVR to find out it was a DCX-3501, but that's Comcast/Xfinity for you !
They made sure that the box had "Xfinity"clearly displayed on the front display panel though.

(I really don't care for "dumbed down" CE equipment. I like knowing what the equipment I use can or cannot do !)
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