AVS Forum banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

· Registered
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wondering if anyone can solve this mystery.

Setup: older 50 inch Panasonic Plasma HDTV, fairly new (1 year) 55 inch Panasonic LED SmartTV. Both have a Tivo HD hooked up to them

The Tivo HD on the 55 inch started to die, so I upgraded to a new Tivo Roamio.I plug the Roamio in, and after watching it, start getting eye strain headaches, the muscles around my eyes feel tired and sore. I had none of these symptoms using the Tivo HD.

I am using the same television, the exact same video settings, same cable card, even the same HDMI cable, the only difference is the Tivo unit. It is much worse when streaming content, not as bad when watching live TV, and the Tivo menu's don't seem to be causing it to much, if at all. When I use the Tivo HD, I have zero problems.

This is not unprecedented for me, I had previously tried a Roku stick on the plasma and got the same eye strain issues when I watched anything on the Roku stick, yet watching anything on the Tivo HD caused zero problems.

Apparently the TV has the ability to generate an image that bothers me, but only certain hardware actually causes it to do so.

Does anyone know the difference in the video card output used in the Tivo HD vs the Roamio? I tried messing with video settings on the TV, no real difference, I couldn't find any video settings on the Roamio that I could use to change the display.

This occasionally happened with some content on the Tivo HD, Amazon On Demand HD content would trigger me, but Amazon On Demand SD content would not. YouTube videos on the Tivo HD do not trigger me, YouTube videos (the same video) on the Roamio do. YouTube videos on the Panasonic Smart TV (which has the exact same YouTube app that the Roamio has) do not trigger me, I even tried the same video on both devices, TV fine, Roamio triggered. I was also triggered watching videos transferred/streamed from pyTivo to the Tivo HD, even when ffmpeg was doing no transcoding at all.

It's mostly academic since I ordered a replacement drive from weaknees and am going to return the Roamio, but it is quite the (painful) mystery, so I thought I'd throw it out there.Any ideas from the calibration experts?

· Registered
6,723 Posts

So if you lowered the contrast on the plasma TV by a bit ... would this still happen? Ditto for the backlight on the LCD set? If yes, then you know how to fix it.

Why does it happen? Who knows. There might be some internal controls that crank up the contrast of the output ...


· Registered
533 Posts
A possibility is that you are sensitive to flicker rates.
Aprox 25% of people are sensitive to flicker effects which can raise cortisol levels in your blood, the stress hormone. The effects of flicker rates coupled with eye strain and other chemical body changes was discovered researching the effects of fluorescent light driven by 50/60hz ballasts, hence why these light sources now have 10000/20000+ flicker rates now.

If you are sensitive to light flicker rates, Plasma's are not the best, neither are DLP's. You are better off with make and hold technology like LCDs or similar.

Other solutions to this are setting a higher hz rate of the display, as per adding extra frames technology with the display type. This may help.
Also field of view has an effect, sit further back so that the FOV is closer to 20deg or less. Your peripheral vision is more sensitive to flicker.
Room light balance can have an effect, if you watch the Plasma in the dark with a flicker sensitivity the effect can be worse, so raise room light levels so the screen is not so dominant.

This is only a possibility, test some of these solutions to see if you have less strain.
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.