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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought the Toshiba 57H84 CRT and am experimenting on how to get the best picture. It has an HDMI input, as well as two component HD inputs, and others. I have Cox Communications cable HDTV, digital and SD channels. The cable box is a Motorola Digital Video Recorder with component and DVI outputs.


Currently I've tried the monster DVI to HDMI cable as well as the component cables from the cable box. I've also run the cable line to VCR and then back to the coaxial input on the TV (bypassing the cable box).


For SD channels, the later connection from the VCR (bypassing the cable box), gives the best reception.


For digital and HD channels, the component connection running from the cable box is better than the DVI to HDMI connection from the cable box. However, the SD channels from the box have the WORST reception (lots of noise and generally bad picture). I'd really like to have one connection, either HDMI or component, be the superior picture on all SD, digital and HD stations, to avoid having to bounce around between inputs to get the best reception.


Anyone have any idea what might be the problem with the component connection from the cable box as it relates to the SD channels? I'd tried changing around the connection and the formats from the box (720p, 1080i, etc.) but no matter what the set up, or setting, the cable box just can't equal the picture obtained by running the connection directly from the wall to the tv or to the tv via the vcr. My only theories are twofold, either the box is defective, or the component cables are inadequate. Maybe I don't notice the defective/inadequate result on the digital/HD channels because the signal is so good that it makes up for those inadequacies?


I'm going to try some different cables, and I'd like to avoid feeding the Monster, so if anyone has advise on other high quality component cables that may be available without mail order (in case I need to return them), I'm all ears.


Also, I've heard a digital connection (DVI to HDMI) has no benefit over component when using a nondigital (CRT) tv, is this true?


Any other advise on this issue would be appreciated.
 

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I doubt different cables would help since SD channels are low bandwidth. I believe it is a matter of processing the signal. You TV has better circuitry to process SD signals than the cable box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response. You may very well be right. I'm going to try some better cables, and if it doesn't help, I'll just take them back, then try a different box. If it is the same result, I guess I'll have to just live with it (or get a different provider!).


Any advise on good cables?
 

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Sorry (not to be rude) but you're gonna have to live with that. As long as you have that Moto. box SD/analog is not going to be pretty, you could change boxes all day but it's not going to help. Only real choices are to split the coax coming into set(which I believe you're doing & don't like switching inputs) or wait til cable co. broadcasts analog channels in digital (this is sooner then many would think), depending on provider/location.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jon,


So the issue you think is with the box, not the signal from the cable company? It must be, I suppose, but, why would they have such an inferior box?
 

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I believe Gorak7 maybe correct here. The t.v. does a far better job in processing analog signals and therefore when the cablebox process analog signals and deinterlaces them for 720p or 1080i upconversion it puts out garbage and the t.v.'s uspcaling or processing can only do so much for the picture. I know the good thing about Cable HDTV is that the box is available at no extra cost as oppose to satellite, but at least satellite sends all it's channels SD and HD digitally which gives a better picture for the t.v. to work with. If you have an upscaling player, choose which input looks best for the player (if you get or have a Zenith DVB 318 or Momitsu 880 with old firmware) and use it and of course all HD through the other accepting inputs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I did feed the Monster yesterday and bought their best set of component video cables (VIDEO 2?) and connected them to the cable box. It did help the SD picture a bit, less noise and a little better picture, but the direct feed to the TV on SD is still quite a bit better. What I did notice though is a fairly significant improvement in the HD channels compared to the old cables. The old ones were obtained from the cable company (Cox Communications) for $25. They were gold plated, and supposedly as good as Monster (according to the Cox people) but the connection wasn't very tight and the picture is clearly not as good with these as with the new Monster cables. The Monster cables weren't cheap, but for the improved picture in HD, and SD, they are worth it. Could I save $40-50 and buy Acoustic Research or some other brand that might be just as good, or almost as good? Probably, but I'm happy with the reception now and I'm not going to mess with it. Even if the difference is only slight between Acoustic Research and Monster, it is worth $50 to me when considering I'll be using them for years and years. If I'm going to watch a SD channel for an extended period of time, I will switch to the other direct line input, because it is a bit of an improvement over the component signal coming through the box via Monster.


I would like to know if there are video cables that are BETTER than Monster Video 2, and what the cost of those might be, where to get them, etc.


HDMI looks good on HD, though not any better than, (maybe not even as good as), the component connection. So the DVI to HDMI cable will be going back to BB.


If anyone has any further advise, I'd love to hear it.


Particularly, is the all digital signal through HDMI supposed to have a positive impact on the picture when viewed on a CRT? I'm thinking I'll save my HDMI input for a HDMI DVD player in the future. I was told since the CRT's aren't "digital" that there is really no benefit to the all digital signal coming in? I'd be curious how this works, particularly for DVD viewing.
 

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I too found the Antenna input to be superior to the Component input when viewing SD programs from my Motorola cable box. What I did is calibrate my DVD input (also Component) using Digital Video Essentials (Avia is another good one), and then I used those same picture settings on the other Component input used by the cable box as a starting point. Those settings were pretty good, and I did not feel much tweaking was necessary. I now use that Component input for all my cable viewing and am pretty satisfied.
 
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