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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone had a chance to compare the picture quality of a

TiVo compared to the new Replayer 4000 series with

progressive output.


I am not all the pleased with my TiVo's quality. I was wondering

if the Replay 4000 series progressive output better?


Thanks,


Rich
 

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Progressive outputs on a horribly compressed MPEG stream are a bit like a bow tie on a pig. If you are bothered by the pixilation and obvious MPEG artifacts on a stand-alone TiVo, you will not find the Replay 4000 the solution to that particular problem. MPEG has a particularly hard time with noisy input signals and to my eye the encoding on the TiVo at "Best" quality is a bit better than the encoding on Replay, although they are both fairly bad IMHO. The DirectTiVO, which just pulls down the DirectTV stream and saves it directly to disk is the only signal that isn't bothersome to watch on a large screen.


The 4000 has a few other attractive features for plasma folk, like the screen saver mode and some interesting networking capabilities, but PQ doesn't seem to be improved over previous Replay to my eye. The difference between S-Video and Progressive isn't there for me -- the MPEG encoder is the limiting factor, not the output signal.
 

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Check out getting your Tivo modified for an SDI out. This will greatly improve your video. However, consider your source programming which is compressed NTSC stuff and realize that it's not going to make Tivo look like a DVD or anything. Immersive does such upgrades http://secure.cartsvr.net/catalogs/c...prodid=1022208 You'll also need an input card for your HTPC (SDI Silk 100 Card is your only option thus far to my knowledge for this).
 

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Rich,


The best PVR I know that compliments the 503CMX is a HiPix card. Not as convenient or as cheap as a standalone STB (though the new JVC & Echostar boxes will come closer...someday), but even standard definition DTV looks quantum leaps better than alternatives.


Tim



PS, interested in thoughts in the other 503 thread. Appreciate the advice, just wondering next steps and if you are going RGB or DVI.
 

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I had no idea the stand-alone Tivos could be modified for SDI.


It doesn't really make sense to do this unless you have DVI input on your monitor though, right?


I have the comercial variant of the 42 Panasonic plasma display and haven't heard of any available DVI modification; perhaps they are available on the 503s.


--Karl
 

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Actually I don't know about the stand alone Tivo, though I can't imagine that it would be significantly different from the mod that can be made to the DirecTivo units.


I myself plan to utilize this architecture with a plasma that has a DVI in, however, I have no idea if that should necessarily mean to anyone that if you only have a VGA, component, etc. that it wouldn't make sense to do it. The whole point of doing it in the first place is to not utilize the encoder on the video input device but rather let your HTPC do the heavy lifting. I would presume, therefore, that there would be benefits regardless of the type of HD display one would be using. The only requirement being that you use a HD display.
 

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Yes, that's what I thought. Its something to consider though if you have money and a display that takes DVI.


My approach to improving SD picture quality on Tivo has been to do the following:


1. Use good (though not insanely expensive boutique) cables,

2. use SVideo, not composite and

3. increase the Tivo disk size so you can

4. increase the default recording quality to "best" and finally

5. turn of "save disk space".


Of course improving the signal coming in is another avenue to consider. Satellite systems generally have better quality, though not always.


The SDI approach is an intriguing if expensive idea though. --Karl
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Major Astro,


I have done all the same things with TiVo, except "Turn Off Save Disk Space". What does that do?


-- Rich
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have tried using the TiVo S-Video to my PC with DScaler. The PC is using DVI to the 503CMX. This yeilds a noticeable reduction in Scaler artifacts. There is some degradation in Black levels and contrast so I do not use this much.


I though that the Replay 400 would have an advantage since the progressive output would have less scaling in the 503CMX and potential for better color fidelity and reduced artifacts. The color fidelity on TiVo is not good.


I watch all live TV using my Zenith 1080 outputting at 720p. The tuner is excellent the scaler is ok. I think the new STB out this August will be an improvement.


For DVD's, I use an HTPC with TheaterTek's DVD player. This is a complete digital solution and is really outstanding.


My last problem is the PVR. TiVo really stinks out the S-Video port. The same cable signal is really quite good and it looks nice though the DTV1080.


I like the network features of the Replay 4000 so if the picture was better, I may be willing to give up my TiVo.


I think that a Standard TiVo hacked to do SDI would be a nice solution. I already have an SDI card that I am not really using. Immersive does not offer this.


Perhaps I will have to try the 30 day trial offer from Replay see for myself.


Thanks all,


Rich
 

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wanna sell your SDI card?


and a question, when you said


"I have tried using the TiVo S-Video to my PC with DScaler. The PC is using DVI to the 503CMX. This yeilds a noticeable reduction in Scaler artifacts. There is some degradation in Black levels and contrast so I do not use this much"


to what specifically are you attributing the degradation in black levels and contrast exactly? just the fact that you're using the DVI connection from the PC to the 503 cmx??? I don't understand how that would be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am not ready to sell my SDI board. I have come this far, so I though I might get my DVD player updated to see how well that works.


I cannot be sure why the black leves are not as good. It could be the S-Video hardware on the SDI Silk board or D-Scaler. It cannot be the DVI since that is great for DVD and PC images.
 

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From whom did you buy your SDI card? I'm presuming you bought it separately from somewhere. The only place where I've seen it for sale by itself is Cellar Cinemas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

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Immersive's not selling the SDI Silk 100 Card as a standalone, I asked yesterday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
At sdisilk.com AV Science is listed as a reseller.


Perhaps these boards are closer than you think :)
 

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Wonder what my playstation would look like on the plasma feeding it through the S Video in on the Silk 100?
 
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