720P stations look like watercolor - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 01-09-2013, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello all,

I live in shoreline, and just bought a 65gt50 panny plasma.
I live on top of the hill and get great reception. I have an old but good rooftop antenna.
My signal strength is all green on antennaweb.

My problem is that I've been reading the scaler in the particular panny is not great at upscaling a 720p signal to 1080.

The 1080i stations look fabulous on the tv. However all the 720p stations have a watercolor, loss of resolution look. The colors are ok, just the resolution / sharpness is not great.

Is anybody else noticing this?
I'm wondering if it's my tv or are the 720p stations really bad in seattle?

thanks
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-09-2013, 11:46 AM
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How does your TV look if you change the output of your DVD player to 720p? If that looks good I'd suspect a tuner issue on your TV, odd but I guess it could be.
Note I always like the look of 1080i channels compared to 720p but I wouldn't say 720p looks bad, just not as crisp as 1080i can be.
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post #3 of 14 Old 01-09-2013, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
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jjeff,

Thanks, I was going to try exactly that this evening.
What i have tried is the following:
I have a really good sony vx-2000 SD camcorder (480p).
I have the raw minidv tapes as well as some footage I have downloaded, edited and endoced onto DVD.

I played the DVD on my blu-ray player (set to upconvert to 1080p) and also hooked the camcorder directly to the TV and watched the tape.

The dvd footage was much sharper!

So I suspect the scaler in the tv is not that great.

I think the tuner is ok, because it receives and displays 1080i OTA broadcasts very well. It's just the upconversion from 720p to 1080p that what the tv seems to have trouble with.
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-09-2013, 12:58 PM
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Funny thing is I have a older 720p Panasonic and you'd think I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between 720p channels(like ABC and FOX) and 1080i channels like PBS(in my and most markets PBS is 1080i), CBS, NBC and CW but I can. 1080i channels look noticeably sharper than 720p ones. Again not that 720p channels look bad but just not as crisp, especially titles.
BTW the whole 1080i vs 720p issue can be quite contentious, some preferring the smooth nature of the progressive 720p format(especially with sports) and others the crispness(but occasional macroblocking) of 1080i. I'm firmly in the latter camp but don't like what I see when watching something like hockey on my local NBC channel which tends to macroblock frequently as the players pass the backboards.
Your BD player test should help point to whether the issue is your tuner or panel with the tuner being the easiest to correct smile.gif
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-09-2013, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow,

So on your 720p panel, the 1080i looks sharper?

I would not have expected that.
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-09-2013, 09:11 PM
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I agree that 1080i channels have sharper images than 720p channels which appear softer and smoother. Some call it a 720p oil painting effect on Panasonic plasmas, but it is also noticeable on Samsung displays as well. But perhaps Samsung does a better job of upscaling in this regard. But the Panasonics do have very good OTA tuners. And you can also try turning up the sharpness.
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post #7 of 14 Old 01-09-2013, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Jeff

I set my bluray player to 720p and the watercolor effect is still there. It basically shows up on fine details. They look low res and blocky.
I also played sd DVD with the bluray player first outputting 480p, then outputting 1080p and the 1080p setting was a good bit sharper. Again it shows the upscaling on the panel sucks.
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post #8 of 14 Old 01-10-2013, 09:01 AM
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I've also encountered a similar problem then I changed a tuner
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post #9 of 14 Old 01-10-2013, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Katie,

Thanks very much.

Could you please tell me what tuner did you use? I've been all over the internet trying to find one but they all seem to have problems.

Do you also have 2012 panny plasma?

thanks
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post #10 of 14 Old 01-10-2013, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman123 View Post

Jeff

I set my bluray player to 720p and the watercolor effect is still there. It basically shows up on fine details. They look low res and blocky.
I also played sd DVD with the bluray player first outputting 480p, then outputting 1080p and the 1080p setting was a good bit sharper. Again it shows the upscaling on the panel sucks.
Then your best bet is probably going to be a HD tuner that has the option for 1080i fixed output. My Tivo HD DVR has such a setting and I take advantage of it, 720p still doesn't look as good as native 1080i but it's better than letting my panel do the upconversion, the Tivo is hooked to my 1080p Sony LCD.
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post #11 of 14 Old 01-10-2013, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
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jjeff,

I was thinking of the tivo route, but was wondering if you could answer a few questions.

I wasn't interested in any dvr capabality, so If i used a tivo i was was wondering if it would work without a subscription as a tuner only?
I have read that it can, but puts banners on screen everytime you change channels.
Can you confirm or deny this?

second, do you find the tivo tuner to be as good as the tv tuner for general reception quality, colors etc? or will it make other picture aspects worse instead?
I would probably even run the tivo output through an oppo blu ray player to let it do all the signal processing to upscale to 1080p.

thanks
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post #12 of 14 Old 01-10-2013, 02:22 PM
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I've read what you have in regards to a unactivated Tivo, it will work but may give you a brief message when changing channels. I have lifetime on my Tivo so I don't know first hand how a unactivated Tivo works.
I find my Tivo HD to be as good for 1080i channels, slightly better for 720p but not as good for 480i SD channels(I see the occasional interlace lines watching 480i stations upconverted to 1080i). I don't watch a lot of SD so I have mine set for 1080i fixed. I believe the newer Tivos have a option for 1080p fixed but you might want to verify that.
I don't understand your statement about your Oppo BD player, are you saying it has a HDMI input? That sounds nice, if thats the case then any quality HD tuner would work too, the Oppo would receive 480i-1080i HDMI signals and upconvert everything to 1080p output.
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post #13 of 14 Old 01-10-2013, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
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jjeff,

Thanks again for your input.
Yes the oppo does indeed have a hdmi input. People use it as a video processor. Some people have said their cable tv quality vastly increased by running their signal through the oppo.

Yes any quality HD tuner would work, however I'm having a heck of a time finding a good one.
The market has severly shrunk and the few that are on the market all have major problems.

That's actually why i was considering a tivo hd. People say it is a great tuner, however i don't really want to pay the fee because i just need the tuner capacity.

Also I'm wondering can you get the tivo to output a native signal (with no processing applied) over hdmi? Since i would use the oppo to process, i would rather have the oppo do all the processing from scratch rather than have the tivo output to 1080i, then the oppo taking that signal to 1080p.

thanks
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post #14 of 14 Old 01-10-2013, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman123 View Post

Also I'm wondering can you get the tivo to output a native signal (with no processing applied) over hdmi? Since i would use the oppo to process, i would rather have the oppo do all the processing from scratch rather than have the tivo output to 1080i, then the oppo taking that signal to 1080p.

thanks
That makes sense and yes Tivos have the option of "native" which is what you'd want.
I used to use native but like I said I like the quality of 720p stations upconverted to 1080i with the TIvo. The HD also has a very good tuner for both long distance and multipath if you can find one for decent price it sounds like your best bet.
If you haven't already checked out this forum you might want to. Currently a thread talking about using a Tivo for a tuner is near the top of the list.
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