AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked up my new HD cable box from Time Warner Cable in Lincoln, NE and plan to hook it up this evening. I hadn't received a call about it yet; I only found out that the boxes were in because I paid my bill in person and asked. The only HDTV channels we have I believe are HBO and Showtime (channels 998 and 999). I don't have HBO, but I do have Showtime.


Documentation with the box is limited. It appears to be the standard box manual plus a color supplement on the 2000HD. Comes with component cable, sync cable, stereo cable, power cable, and VCR Commander cable. Since I already had their non-HD box, I didn't get yet another remote. If this one works out, I'll return my other box tomorrow and only be charged one day for having two boxes. (There is an additional surcharge for having two digital boxes, for which they admitted to no reason.)


From my readings here though, I may be in for problems. My RCA HDTV is a 32" 4:3 set, not a 16:9. I am hoping it will letterbox the video for me, preferably only as appropriate, though I saw no mention of being able to control that in its manual or in the menus. Such options may only be enabled in the menus when a suitable input signal is present.


My setup has other problems. Currently my TV is in separate room from all my other components (other than speakers). I can see that the cables they provided won't reach through the wall to my rack, and my TiVo's IR Blasters won't reach from the rack to the rack where this box will go. I'll have to pick up some extension cables for the IR Blaster, and get a longer cable to connect the digital audio output back to my stereo receiver. It isn't feasible to move everything into the TV room. Stereo receiver, 2 TiVos, S-VHS VCR, cable box, input switcher box (for use with TiVos), and still there's the DV converter so I can get video from the TiVos into my PowerMac G3 via Firewire that has to stay in the separate room.


Yes, I know my TiVo won't record the HDTV signal. I'm hoping the box will provide simultaneous HDTV and S-Video output. The TiVo will have to get the stereo signal while the receiver gets the digital. This means I'll have to watch non-HDTV channels through the TiVo due to the delay without digital audio (which I expect to do anyway--I'm not even set up for surround sound right now let alone 5.1) until I can split the analog audio for possible fallback by my Onkyo.


Things will get really hairy once RCA ships me my free progressive DVD player. My HDTV has only one set of component inputs and my stereo receiver can't route component video.


This will be my first experience with HDTV. I'll try to post more about the installation tonight. If there's anything I should watch out for, let me know.


------------------
http://www.war-of-the-worlds.org/tivo/HTH.gif
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts


Hi HTH,


I'm in nearly the same boat. I just ordered my HD box from TW, and expect it in a couple months, but I also have a Tivo I want to keep integrated in my setup.


There is another thread that has started to cover similar territory here.


I'll post if I come up with an economical solution. I really don't want to keep a separate cable box or purchase an expesive switching box.


--Karl
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
From what I can tell from what I've read and what connections exist, one should be able to use a PVR with an HDTV box to record non-HD programming. As long as the channel doesn't provide an HDTV signal, the box should still output a signal on the S-Video and composite outputs as well as an upconverted signal on the component output. You just won't be able to both watch and record an HDTV signal. In the case of a TiVo, you can just tell it you don't receive channels that have HDTV content and it won't try to record any suggestions from those channels. It would still try to record those channels on their non-HD alternates if they exist. The problems come along on channels that are sometimes HD, sometimes SD, like HD network programming in prime time, local programming in SD only.


Basically the same problems you'd have if you were changing channels on the cable box directly behind the back of your PVR: the wrong thing would get recorded, or the PVR changing the channel on you while you're watching HDTV.


So schedule your recordings on the SD channels and, if you're around, you can switch the box over to HD and watch live. Let the PVR continue recording anyway so it knows you're watching. And remember to switch back to SD when the show is over.


At least, that's my theory based on what I learned today.


------------------
http://www.war-of-the-worlds.org/tivo/HTH.gif
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, I must say that this new 2000HD is working fine with my 4:3 HDTV. 4:3 programming doesn't fill the screen (black bars on the left and right) and yet also doesn't appear to be overscanning (some noise at the top and bottom of the screen). I was able to see Showtime in 4:3 and 16:9 modes. The HDTV signal didn't have the initial image building artifacts normally found on digital cable movie channels, and when showing some movies, the image expanded from 4:3 to 16:9 letterboxed. Temporarily I apparently have all pay channels except pay-per-views available to me, and HBO was showing a full-screen 4:3 movie on its HDTV channel in HD.


But no joy on the audio end. Digital audio out is indeed only enabled when you have an HDTV signal on this box. Non-HD channels provide no digital audio. I'll be letting my local TWC know of this problem. However, since I only intend to use the digital audio for Showtime, I can handle it (except for the cumbersome problem of how I have to switch to using digital audio on my Onkyo--at least it has 3 digital audio inputs (1 optical, 2 coaxial), so I'm okay for DVD later on that front).


There are other problems though. The box seemed to lock up on me once trying to change channels rapidly, requiring a power cycle. I also currently can't control it with my TiVo as the IR Blasters don't reach and I can't find my stereo plug gender changer. I'll also need to get a new, long S-Video cable to reach from the receiver to the TV, and stereo cables to match. (Using an ADB A-B switch intended for use on a Macintosh got me a B&W S-Video signal going into the TiVo (luminance, no chrominance).)


And while tuned to an HD channel, the box does output a black screen. If it just wouldn't output a video signal at all on those video outputs when viewing an HD channel, at least a PVR won't try to record, waste storage space, and screw up its recording history wrt repeat airings. (Though it would be nice if it knew about there being two Showtime channels and provide the video from the SD version when tuned to the HD version, avoiding the need to downconvert.)


But in any case, I'm going to enjoy the Stargate SG-1 marathon in HD. I'm going to keep the HD box and return the SD.


------------------
http://www.war-of-the-worlds.org/tivo/HTH.gif
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
HTH,


Again, thanks for the observations. I've been quoted 2-6 months before I can hope to get my cable box exchanged, and I'm considering junking TW cable for Directv or Dish.


I don't know if HDNET will be worth all that expense, but TW is being rediculously inept.


--Karl
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
HTH,


I live in Lincoln too. Just wondering what your monthly bill is for TWC, & if you know how many HD-box's they have in? You said you have Showtime, but not HBO. Are you thinking about switching or maybe getting both, because HBO's HD-programming is generally considered to be superior to Showtimes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by mikeg:
I live in Lincoln too. Just wondering what your monthly bill is for TWC, & if you know how many HD-box's they have in?
Right now I'm paying $71+ a month for everything I'm subscribed. That's the basic cable digital value tier, Movie Tier (Encore package), 14 Showtimes, 4 TMCs, 5 Starz!, and the Music Choice package (40 channels).


There's no difference in charges between the digital box and the HD box.

Quote:
You said you have Showtime, but not HBO. Are you thinking about switching or maybe getting both, because HBO's HD-programming is generally considered to be superior to Showtimes.
I got the Showtime package because of the sci-friday programming of The Outer Limits and Stargate SG-1. With both of them moving to Sci-Fi Channel (TOL already there), I'd consider it except the Showtime package has more channels and fewer unwanted channels. If I could just get HBOHD at a reduced price without having to get all the HBOs, I'd consider that.


If I added another tier of movie channels, it would probably be the 11 Cinemax channels.


I'm still upset though that with the elimination of extended basic, they eliminated the 100-series digital channels where the extended basics were offered in duplicate. When Sci-Fi was available on channel 162, it finally had stereo sound, something I've repeatedly asked for from the cable company back when they were still CableVision (and you could order individual extended basic channels a la carte). I was so glad I could finally hear it stereo on digital cable! But now they won't echo them because they aren't in a special category anymore. I need to compile a list of channels which should be in stereo and aren't and get them to duplicate them in the 100-tier so that those of us with digital cable can get them in stereo again.


------------------
http://www.war-of-the-worlds.org/tivo/HTH.gif
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top