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Discussion Starter #1
I picked up a Panasionic TU-HDS20 receiver today ($450 - great price) for use with my Panasonic 36HX41 4:3 HDTV. As of now, I only have it hooked up via an OTA antenna. A couple of things:


-I'm a little disappointed in the image quality. CBS and NBS are broadcast hi-def here (Minneapolis), and I see lots of motion artifacts on pans. I've also noticed that the backgrounds seem a little grainy.


-What aspect ratio should 1080i display in? Using the 'aspect ratio' feature of the Panny stb, I can set it to 2.35:1 or 1.85:1. Both images appear horizontally stretched, but the 1.85:1 image is stretched less. Which AR is it supposed to be?


Anyone have any recommendations on how to improve my picture quality? Could I have things set improperly?


Any help would be appreciated...
 

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I've got the same set as you, but I don't have a HD receiver yet. My belief is that the set should squeeze a 1080i picture just like it squeezes an anamorphic DVD. Thus, you should be able to set the STB to the 16:9 aspect ratio, not 4:3.


As far as the picture quality on NBC and CBS, the shows that they were broadcasting likely weren't HD, just SD shows re-broadcast on their HD station. NBC only has two shows in HD (Crossing Jordan and the Tonight Show). CBS has most of their primetime shows in HD except for news shows and reality (Survivor, etc.) shows.


Please post back with what you find since I am curious as to how HD is going to work on my set.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Quote:
Originally posted by drewba
I've got the same set as you, but I don't have a HD receiver yet. My belief is that the set should squeeze a 1080i picture just like it squeezes an anamorphic DVD. Thus, you should be able to set the STB to the 16:9 aspect ratio, not 4:3.
That didn't seem to fix the problem. :( I've tried setting the stb to both 4:3 and 16:9. When using 16:9 mode, hitting the 'aspect ratio' button for the stb does nothing. The picture appears slightly stretched. Using 4:3 mode, I have the choice of 3 different aspect modes: zoom, 2.35:1, and 1.85:1. Zoom is obviously out, 2.35:1 is really stretched horizontally, and 1.85:1 is slightly stretched horizontally. How can I get my set to display properly? This is driving me nuts...


I was really excited to pick up an HDTV stb, but find myself very disappointed now that I have it. The hi-def picture is good, but the amount of programming is so little, that it hardly seems worth the effort. I'm also wondering if you can really fully appreciate hi-def with a 36" 4:3 set...
 

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Its a Panasonic set and a Panasonic STB so I'm sure they'll work together.


If you set the STB to 16x9, how does the picture appear on your screen? For a HD program, I would expect it to appear letterboxed with black bars top and bottom. With a standard definition program, I would expect it to have black bars on all 4 sides of the picture, but the picture itself would be in the correct 4:3 aspect ratio. I'm pretty sure that 16:9 is the correct setting.


I don't think that any of the 4:3 settings on the STB are going to work if you are outputting a 1080i signal to the set. This is because the set detects an incoming 1080i signal and squeezes the picture into a 16:9 aspect ratio. This would result in the horizontally stretched picture that you are seeing.


The two things that I can think of if you want to set it to 4:3 are:

1) Set the STB to output 480p rather than 1080i so the set won't squeeze the picture.

2) Try setting the aspect ratio through the TVs menu to 4x3 rather than Auto.


Let me know how this works. I am considering getting this STB for my TV since the price dropped.
 

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I've got the same setup almost except that I have the 4:3 32" Panasonic. So far I haven't had a lot of time to play with it since I only got the STB today. But the AR isn't really bothering me too much. I have it set so that HD programming shows the black bars top and bottom and when an HD station switches to SD (such as during a commercial) it shows black on all 4 sides. Looks pretty natural to me.


As far as the picture quality, I'm not seeing any artifacting on HD signals, but boy do I see them on non-SD channels. Adjusting the set though has been tiresome. I've found the best settings for me seem to be with the contrast (Picture) turned almost all the way down and the brightness almost all the way up. Sharpness is way down too.
 

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Midas,


I actually posted this question in another thread as well. I am interested in using the Panasonic STB to scale DirecTV channels to 1080i since I am less than pleased with the line doubler in my CT36HX41. However, in order for this to really work, I need to be able to set the TV's aspect ratio to 4:3 for SD broadcasts. Is the TV's aspect ratio menu item available with a 1080i broadcast or is it locked into Auto?


Thanks.
 

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I'm not sure I really understand the question. I originally had the set on auto and it wouldn't let me change to 4:3 when feeding it a 1080i signal. But I was able to change it when feeding it an SD signal.


I can't honestly say if what you want to do will help or not. I only have the STB fed with the 119 signal. I watch all regular sat. signals through the DirecTivo. But for the few minutes I did have it hooked up to 101, it did look slightly better.
 

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Actually, you got the question right. I was wondering if the aspect ratio menu item was available when receiving a 1080i signal and it looks like it isn't. If I'm going to use the STB to upconvert a SD satellite signal, its going to have to be outputting 480p.


I've got a DirecTiVo also. While the picture is OK with most shows, sports really look poor. I am hoping that the picture will be better by using a STB outputting at 480p to the TV to bypass the line doubler. I'm planning on keeping my DirecTiVo and the new STB hooked up to the TV.


Thanks for your help.
 

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Well, I think I'm starting to understand the question a little more. When feeding the set with a 480p signal you have a choice of 4:3 or 16:9. When sending a 480i signal, it's just 4:3. Of course, both also offer AUTO as an option. When fed with a 1080i signal, the only option is 16:9.


The Panasonic STB does offer the option of feeding everything out at 1080i. I'm not sure it was much of an improvement with SD broadcasts. And I bought a 4:3 set because most of what I watch is 4:3 and wanted it full screen. The 1080i output option sends the TV into 16:9 with no option.


I just use the hybrid mode of the STB. It sends 720p and 1080i as 1080i and it sends 480i and 480p as 480p.
 

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I think hybrid mode sounds like the perfect setup for this set. You mentioned that 16x9 is an option with 480p. Does it appear on the aspect ratio menu on the TV or does the incoming signal have to trigger it?


Thanks for the information. It has really helped me sort out what STB would be best for me.
 

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Yea, I was kind of shocked. But yes, when you feed the TV a 480p signal, you can choose 16:9 or 4:3.


Hey, I don't know squat about HDTV. But the general concensus here seemed to be that other than the slow guide, the Panasonic was the best STB on the market until the Zenith came out. For the $300 price difference, I was willing to take 2nd best. And I liked the fact that coupled with the Panasonic TV, the remotes are almost identical and you can program either one to operate the other and all functions (even the most minor) are available from one remote.


And for me, the picture looks great on HD content. I have already found myself watching things I'd never watch just because it looked so good. And the reception for the OTA signals seems pretty good too considering I'm just using an indoor antenna. I don't really care too much about the SD content since I'll watch that using my Tivo.
 
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