Originally Posted by rack04
Also, what are the advantages of disadvantages of running in 1080i mode versus 720p? It's a real shame that this box doesn't have an auto select for the channel resolution.
Well what James said is pretty much true. It all depends on the TV. In my experience (I have a Samsung HP-T4254 Plasma), I notice that if the Motorola DCT is not set to output in the native resolution of the current channel, the image is soft and lacks detail.
With the box set to 1080i, channels that broadcast in 1080i look real crisp and clear. These are networks like Discovery, CBS, NBC, Premiums and all Comcast HD-VOD.
If tune to a 720p channel however, the sharpness is just not the same. There's more noticeable overscan issues too, where sometimes I can see the closed captioning data or artifacts at the top most edge of the screen on FOX. 720p channels include FOX, ESPN's, ABC, National Geographic, A&E HD.
Changing the output resolution to 720p and then viewing one of those mentioned 720p channels results in a much sharper picture, and no top edge artifacts.
But it's purely a hassle to power off the box and change the output resolution. Not to mention it's impossible if you have a recording, as hitting Power will prompt you to cancel the current recording(s). So I usually keep the DCT set to 1080i, because the majority of the networks, and not to mention all Comcast HD-VOD are encoded in 1080i natively.
Native HD pass through is such a simple, yet novel idea. I wonder why Motorola is the only set top manufacturer to not get this right? SA/Cisco, Pace, D*, E*, Tivo HD all have native or dynamic resolution support, so you know it's not an impossible feat.
My headend is based on Motorola gear, so I can't get a SA/Cisco set top. But if they offered PACE DVR's, I would choose that over a Motorola in a heartbeat. 1)Multiple Selectable resolutions and 2)eSATA DVR Expansion WORKS. A friend of mine has a PACE HD-DVR with Service Electric Cablevision. He also has a Motorola DCT-6416 III. The Pace is the better of the two, hands down.
Maybe when the Motorola DCX series is released it will be a different story. Motorola employees or contacts, are you reading this? Now's your chance to redeem yourselves!