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Pro Brand HD3150PLUS slightly bad aspect ratio

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I bought the Pro Brand HD3150PLUS (although the brand on the front is Digital Stream) receiver at Circuit City today, and while at the beginning I was quite amazed with the OTA HD image quality (even though I'm using it with a standard TV set through the S-Video output) then I noticed something weird; the aspect ratio was wrong. But I'm not talking about the obvious enlarged display of 16:9 on a 4:3 screen. What I'm saying is that the processed aspect ratio of the HD channels, and the digital OTA SD channels is enlarged vertically a little bit. While it's not as much as the typical 16:9 on a 4:3 when it's not corrected, it's enough to be noticeable. The SD channels are mostly weather and constant local news channels, and they have all kinds of banners and stuff, and the lower and upper banners are cut, they are left out of the action safe area. As for the HD channels, which the receiver converts to 4:3 with the two black bars, the bars are not as big as they should be. And it's not my TV that's uncalibrated, the TV is fine, everything else looks fine, and I verified that the overscan calibration is perfect.

Has anyone else that has this unit noticed that? I am not sure if it's a design flaw, or if it's a unit flaw and I should just exchange it. I really would like to have one that has the perfect aspect ratio because I love the device, the remote control is very well designed, the menues are perfect, and if it wasn't for this particular problem I would have nothing but praise for the unit. The other choice (at this price) seems to be the Samsung SIR-T451, $20 more, but it seems to lack a great feature the Digital Stream has, which is accessing the meter with the click of a button, while on the Samsung you need to go to the menu. Since I have an indoor antenna, I like to access the meter quickly so I can change the antenna orientation if necessary. But if all Digital Stream tuners have this aspect ratio problem, I will have to go for the Samsung.

Sebastian
post #2 of 29
The tuner should have three different aspect modes you can change to. Have you accessed and tried adjusting these? You didn't mention that you had. Look in the manual for how to do it if you haven't. There should be a button on the remote to do it with. Otherwise, it'll be somewhere in the menu.
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

The tuner should have three different aspect modes you can change to. Have you accessed and tried adjusting these? You didn't mention that you had. Look in the manual for how to do it if you haven't. There should be a button on the remote to do it with. Otherwise, it'll be somewhere in the menu.

Yes, I set the aspect ratio to the correct one, that's why I wrote that it's not the obvious enlarged picture that you see when you select that you have a 16:9 TV set but you have a 4:3. This is a slightly vertically enlarged picture, it's still the right aspect ratio, nothing looks deformed, but it's still not what it should be. Instead of 4:3, it would be 4:3.2. At first sight it looks normal, but if you're an A/V geek like most of us in this forum, then you tell right away that something's off.

Sebastian
post #4 of 29
Is that the black one that sells for around $229 or so? If it is, I had one for a week or so.

I was really happy with mine, except for one major flaw. When watching 16x9 letterboxed HD programs on a 4x3 TV there were horrible jagged edges on diagonal lines.

I remember trying to watch a tennis match, and every time the camera panned across the white lines on the court against the green background I would be blinded by all kinds of flickering jagged edges if the boundary lines were at any sort of diagonal angle.

4x3 programs were fine, but anything letterboxed seemed overly squashed and jagged to the point where I had to return the unit. If I had a 16x9 TV I probably would have never noticed the problem and kept the unit, but I'm still stuck with 4x3.
post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebaz View Post

Yes, I set the aspect ratio to the correct one, that's why I wrote that it's not the obvious enlarged picture that you see when you select that you have a 16:9 TV set but you have a 4:3. This is a slightly vertically enlarged picture, it's still the right aspect ratio, nothing looks deformed, but it's still not what it should be. Instead of 4:3, it would be 4:3.2. At first sight it looks normal, but if you're an A/V geek like most of us in this forum, then you tell right away that something's off.

Sebastian

I have the Radio Shack Accurian, which is supposed to be the exact same box as the ProBrand. I also have a Sony DVR/Tuner. On my 4:3 analog TV (which is what I use them on), the RS's 16:9 picture goes a little bit lower and higher (it's "fatter") than the Sony's (which is "skinnier") - is this what you mean? If so, then I don't think there's any way of adjusting this, unless you can do so with your display. On my 4:3 set I actually prefer the Accurian because it fills more of the screen, although I usually use the Sony because the picture quality is better.
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
I did find what was wrong. On the back of the unit there's a switch to choose between different formats, 1080i, 720 p and 480p. It's set to 1080i from factory. I set it to 480p and the aspect ratio was more normal. It's still a little bit off though, because if I play a widescreen DVD (using a Sony DVD player) the black bars are not are exactly the same height. The difference however is not very big, probably 1/8 of an inch. So it doesn't bother me as much as before, and I guess I will keep it because the other choice is a Samsung that according to many people fills the screen with grey bars instead of black, and there's no way to adjust that, which is ridiculous. Grey bars, that's just stupid.
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebaz View Post

I did find what was wrong. On the back of the unit there's a switch to choose between different formats, 1080i, 720 p and 480p. It's set to 1080i from factory. I set it to 480p and the aspect ratio was more normal. It's still a little bit off though, because if I play a widescreen DVD (using a Sony DVD player) the black bars are not are exactly the same height. The difference however is not very big, probably 1/8 of an inch. So it doesn't bother me as much as before, and I guess I will keep it because the other choice is a Samsung that according to many people fills the screen with grey bars instead of black, and there's no way to adjust that, which is ridiculous. Grey bars, that's just stupid.

An 1/8"? The DVD is not a comparison. ARs can be different. You blasted the product without even RTFM?
post #8 of 29
Does the Pro Brand HD3150PLUS have a format button on remote?I have the Samsung 150 and have to toggle the resolutions on the back of the receiver which i hate!...if the Pro Brand HD3150PLUS has to be toggled with switch on the back......then I may have to go with the Samsung 451...that is if it has a format button on the remote...any help with info will be apprecited..I'm going to purchase an OTA receiver soon !!!
post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by quickfire View Post

Does the Pro Brand HD3150PLUS have a format button on remote?I have the Samsung 150 and have to toggle the resolutions on the back of the receiver which i hate!...if the Pro Brand HD3150PLUS has to be toggled with switch on the back......then I may have to go with the Samsung 451...that is if it has a format button on the remote...any help with info will be apprecited..I'm going to purchase an OTA receiver soon !!!

I does have the switch in the back for the formats I specified, plus the Aspect button on the remote which switches between wide (you use it if you're watching 16:9 on a regular TV set), normal (you would use this one if you have a 16:9 set) and zoom (16:9 content enlarged to 4:3, obviously losing some video on the sides).

If you download the manual for the Samsung, you'll see that that unit also has the switch in the back, so you're not better with that one. Plus, I read from many different users that when it has to use bars to compensate for aspect ratio, whether it's the typical top and bottom, or side bars, those bars are grey! If that doesn't suck for you, then you might want to consider it. But I took a good look atthe Samsung's manual and I believe the Pro Brand (Digital Stream) is better in features and convenience.
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfoster View Post

An 1/8"? The DVD is not a comparison. ARs can be different. You blasted the product without even RTFM?

Aspect ratios can be different, but 16:9 is 16:9 always. I don't have a professional device that would show me exactly how tall the bars are supposed to be in my TV set, it may be that the DVD player is showing them wrong and the OTA receiver right, or vice-versa. And I didn't "blast" anything, I tried my best to fin a solution, which I did, so I'm keeping it.
post #11 of 29
I purchased the Digital Stream/Pro Brand 3150 Plus at a local CC last Thursday. After browsing the forums and looking endlessly at user manuals online, I decided to go with that model instead of the Samsung T451... although I wish the 3150 had the 15 pin RGB connection.

So far I've been extremely impressed with the tuner sensitivity, menus, and overable user friendliness of the 3150. I have not noticed any distortion of the 4:3 program when displayed on my 16:9 projector. From the previous posts it sounds like the problem may have been related to the 480/720/1080 output selection.

My setup:
Digitalstream 3150 Plus connected via component cables to Panasonic AE500U LCD projector. Projected image is 92" Cable distance is 35' from equipment closet to PJ. The AE500U is a 16:9 native LCD PJ that supports 720p and 1080i natively. It has composite, Svideo, VGA and DVI inputs.

My next step is to determine if its feasible to attempt a 35' DVI run (using HDMI to DVI cable to the STB)
post #12 of 29
Will the 3150 pass 720p and 1080i thru the component out?

Can't find any info on this please help me out.

Thanks

Also anybody got a quick link to the manufactures web site went to google got nuttin!
post #13 of 29
www.eagleaspen.com

I own the Accurian and Digital Stream 1150 both made by the same manufacturer and love them both. I used to own the Samsung SIRT451 and sold it. The gray bars on the side disturbed me and the distortion (everything too wide) on s-video output drove me crazy on the Samsung.
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTROSE View Post

Will the 3150 pass 720p and 1080i thru the component out?

Can't find any info on this please help me out.

Thanks

Also anybody got a quick link to the manufactures web site went to google got nuttin!

[disclaimer: I have the 3150Plus]

I am running 1080i to my PJ using the component video output. I would assume 720p and 480p (the other settings on the switch on the back) would also use the component video connections. I can't say 100% because I haven't tried - once I saw how beautiful 1080i looked I wasn't tempted to fiddle with the settings

As for the users manual - do a search on these forums. I can't remember the exact thread but I was able to find a link to the manual via a post somewhere. Happy hunting!
post #15 of 29
The www.eagleaspen.com web site for the manufacturer has the operation manual in .pdf
post #16 of 29
Guys thanks for the info.

I figured that 720p 180i thru HDMI was a no brainer, but sometimes equipment will not pass those signals thru component out. Glad to know the 3150 plus will do that.

Mark what type of FP do you have? Looking at the Epson 550 with this box for OTA HDTV want to see if its a good match.

Thanks again.
post #17 of 29
I have the Samsung 150...and have noticed lately that when i select the 1080i format....theres faint 6inch bars that run vertical on my screen......I have to look hard to see them but there barely noticable when watching somtihing bright and with alot of contrast..but when theres a night time scene they are there....but like i said it only does this in 1080i mode ...there are no signs of these bars when in 720p mode or lower.....what do you think is the problem......it has to be the receiver because my H20 D* receiver wroks in 1080i without bars.....P.S.....I called Samsung and they told me they have an update disk ....that they are sending me.....will this help my problem????
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTROSE View Post

Mark what type of FP do you have? Looking at the Epson 550 with this box for OTA HDTV want to see if its a good match.

Sorry for the long delay, I forgot check up on this thread.....

I am running a Panasonic AE500U with my 3150Plus. Right now its connected via the component video cables and the 3150 is set to 1080i output. I haven't really compared 720p vs 1080i to see if there is a difference.

The 500U is a few years old, but I've extremely impressed with the picture quality..even when viewing newer PJ at stores and friends houses. OTA HDTV looks so amazing I have found my weekly TV viewing has gone from 0 to 5-6 hours!!

My screen size is 92" and I think this makes the difference between SD and HD even greater. SD really looks bad @ 92" haha
post #19 of 29
The Pro Brand 3150 Pro is a great receiver. I owned mine until I exchanged my TV for one with built-in tuner, so i had to return the receiver. It is a great piece of equipment indeed... very sensitive with great features. Only CC sells it aparently.

One note of caution: In order to see perfectly scaled ratios, you need the HDMI connection hooked to an HDTV TV. I noticed that everyone having problems with this product are those who hook up via s-video, composite or component to a regular SD TV.
post #20 of 29
Mark,

Thanks for the reply......Ya I know about the projector SD thing garbage in means garbage out. I have pretty much decided that the 3150 is what I'm going to go with along with the Epson 550. Now to only pin down the speakers, receiver, DVD player etc. etc. ect.

It goes on and on and on and on..............

RTROSE
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebaz View Post

I did find what was wrong. On the back of the unit there's a switch to choose between different formats, 1080i, 720 p and 480p. It's set to 1080i from factory. I set it to 480p and the aspect ratio was more normal. It's still a little bit off though

I have been trying this unit with a Vizio L32 HDTV, and I am seeing the same problem of vertical overscan. It is noticeable when using HDMI, component, and composite. Changing the format to 1080i, 720p, or 480p has no effect on HDMI or component, but 480p does improve the composite. The HDMI and component overscan are about the same as the composite in 480p.

Any way around this?
post #22 of 29
I just tried this unit with a 4:3 SDTV and see the same effect as Sebaz; changing the format to 480p does improve things, but it is still not right.

EDIT: I have also updated my previous post based on additional tests.
post #23 of 29
i'm using the 3150plus with a jvc 27" CRT and i notice particularly on weather channels that top and bottom are partially off the screen. also it looks like in wide screen that instead of the picturee being centred it is shifted to the right so more right than left is missing. that could be a provider problem. other than that i love the unit.
post #24 of 29
Hello I am using the HD3150plus on a standard CRT monitor. Also as a receiver to feed cable headend channels where they want composite video and analog audio.

In general I am happy with the unit... The one minor problem is it seems to overscan the picture when displayed on a regular analog monitor. The bottom cuts some graphics. I understand all about resolutions and every thing but what I am watching is a standard 4:3 SD picture transmitted and received. The switch on back makes a big difference I switch it to 480i and yes it is almost right but still has a over scan or picture size or placement problem. What this means is if there are phone numbers down low on screen they are clipped.

Is there any adjustment or fix for this? That anyone knows of?

Maybe I should talk to the manufacturer or tech support?
If they respond
( I sent them a email here -dstreamtech- BTW

I have done a search and others seem to experience this also...

""While it's not as much as the typical 16:9 on a 4:3 when it's not corrected, it's enough to be noticeable. The SD channels are mostly weather and constant local news channels, and they have all kinds of banners and stuff, and the lower and upper banners are cut, they are left out of the action safe area. As for the HD channels, which the receiver converts to 4:3 with the two black bars, the bars are not as big as they should be. And it's not my TV that's uncalibrated, the TV is fine, everything else looks fine, and I verified that the overscan calibration is perfect.""
-avsforum-

Any help would be appreciated as we use these for cablehead end boxes and home units since we are viewer supported cutting phone numbers is not good for us.... its very close to being OK but it just needs a slight tweak. I have tried every setting on the unit with out removing the cover.
I am willing to remove cover and tweak unit if needed.
I have examined the manual for a solution also.

All that said I still like these units.

Vis.
post #25 of 29
It sounds like your TV needs to be adjusted. Someone (who knows what they are doing) needs to go into the Service Menu and adjust vertical size ("V-SIZE" on my TV's service menu).

Find out what the procedure is for getting in service mode for your brand and try that. And write down the original settings before changing anything. Good luck!
post #26 of 29
au,
The problem shows up on multi-tv sets it appears the 3150 box it self clips about 1/4 to 1/2" to low. vis-a-vis it has overscan problems.

I am ready to pop the cover and tweak it.
post #27 of 29
Has anyone ever tried this unit on a standard-definition 16:9 signal, while watching in 4:3 (a regular old TV set/monitor) on the composite inputs?

Any settings I try result in the picture being stretched vertically to full height, with the width still at full. So, the whole thing is anamorphic. 4:3 SDTV is OK.
post #28 of 29
I have the Accurian HST6000(RadioShack 16-3499) which I believe is the same as the 3150 Plus. I recently started distributing the signal to my other TV's, old 4:3 CRTs, using the composite output of the STB. I found that if I have the STB signal set to 480p, TV at 4:3, that when watching HD 4:3 material where the station adds the pillarboxes, I can zoom and it fills the 4:3 frame with no loss. If I have the STB set to 1080i, I can't do this. The zoom is disabled. Set your box to 480p and see if that helps. The resolution doesn't affect the composite outputs but does disable some of the aspect features.
post #29 of 29
Yes I notice the same thing on my local weather channel. It is a SD 4:3 channel, and some of the banners get chopped at the top and bottom. My TV is a SD 4:3 Sony VEGA CRT, and the 16:9 HD look great.
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