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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just upgrade my 32" tube to a 62" HM95 DLP. On my SD TiVo, the picture quality looks pretty bad. On a local channel commercial, the face was so blurred you couldn't even make out any features. I got the locals with the OTA and they look sharper, clear, and less blocky on upconverted SD. Would a change to HD TiVo help improve picture quality on the SD channels? Does the reciever upconvert or simply pass through the 480i?
 

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The Tivo will upconvert SD to whatever output resolution you select. I doubt it will offer much if any PQ improvement for SD channels though.
 

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A corollary to "upconvert" is "garbage in, garbage out".
 

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I was in your exact same situation. I had a D* reciever with an stand alone SD Tivo. My 61" 4:3 died and I replaced with a 57" 16:9. I noticed the exact same thing you listed: the upconverted OTA locals looked fine, but the SD Tivo over S-Video looked no better than a VCR.


There are two reasons, one is the 1080i/720p digital reception for the OTA vs the 480i S-Video connection, and two, even the upconverted OTA SD stuff is often streteched ~10% left/right by the broadcaster to fill the 16:9 a little more, where the strict 4:3 Tivo had very wide sidebars with the TV set to 4:3 nomal.


Try the second part for yourself. Look at a sidebared OTA SD and note the image edge, then switch to your SD Tivo with your TV in normal 4:3 sidebared and you'll see the difference.


I bit the bullet and shelled out $750 to D* for the for the HD10-250, but at least got a free Triple LNB dish and installation. I'm much happier. It's now $500 with a rebate.


Now everything is HDMI, I can still view and now record OTA HD with the ATSC tuner. The sidebared SD from the receiver (instead of the TV) does the same 10% stretch trick the OTA SD does so it looks as good as the OTA SD (minus the normal D* compression artifacts which are still noticable and vary station to station). Plus I've found that the reciever does a better job with the 480i->480p with SD than trying to use Sony's "DRC" settings on the TV. I watch everything as 1080 with "Panels" (SD only) off the reciever with the TV on Vid 1 and in Full mode, except for letterbox 4:3 where I set the reciever to 480p/Full and zoom the TV just to fill the screen.


The monthly cost was almost a wash. I canceled the $14 to Tivo directly, and added the $10 for D* HD and $5 for the integrated Tivo service. I still get locals from D*, even with the OTA reception, which is nice because anything local that isn't HD I just record SD off D* instead, saving drive space over the upconverted OTA HD. (The unit is 30 hour HD / 250 hour SD, so why waste space recording HD carring upconverted SD if you can record the SD instead.)


When I should have been excited over my new HTDV I was upset to the point of being almost sick over trying to get the SD Tivo to be watchable. Since I was such a Tivo addict it took me spending the extra dough for the HD Tivo before I was happy with my new HDTV. What greywolf said is still true, and the upconverted stuff over D* suffers compared to the OTA stuff, the HD Tivo is a much better fit for an HDTV than trying to use an SD Tivo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
mg_01,


Wow! I'm glad that I am not the only one with the same situation. I do notice that on certain channels the compression can vary. I watched USA last night and its quality was good with very little blocks. I wanted to jump on the HD TiVo but I can't afford another toy.
 
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