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In several different forums, I have seen people mention that from their HD-capable cable box, they connect "component (or DVI) to one input for the HD channels, and S-video to another input for the SD channels," implying that they have to switch inputs when they want to go from watching HD to watching SD.


I have the Motorola 5100 box, and I have only component cables connected to Input 5, and I am able to watch ALL channels on this input, HD and SD. The only time I switch inputs is to watch DVD (input 6), play video games (input 3 or 4 - can't remember), or watch VHS (input 1).


Are some HD boxes not able to work this way? How do you channel-surf across HD and SD channels?


This seems like a major problem with some cable boxes, or maybe I'm not understanding the issue.
 

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The only reason I could see is if you wanted to hook your HD box up to a PVR unit or a VCR. They usually only have S-Video or composite inputs. Or maybe even if you wanted to hook your HD box up to another standard TV.
 

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The main issue is that on many (most?) TVs the picture stretch/aspect controls will not work on a 1080i signal. So if the station is broadcasting a 4:3 picture in a 16:9 frame (i.e. digital TV but not HD) you get black bars down the side. If you select the S-video connection you can use the stretch modes on the TV.
 

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Another reason, at least in my opinion, is SD channels look terrible via the component output. I tried s-video, composite, and component for the SD channels, and they looked best in that order. With a macro-capable remote, it's no big deal - plus I can adjust contrast, etc. for SD on a different input to improve PQ.
 

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Makes sense, IMO, to at least compare image quality between S-video for SDTV and component for H/DTV. With so many program sources, types of STBs, and displays, it's hard to pin this down. With my CRT-based RPTV and HD cable boxes from Time Warner I've found SDTV via component is poor looking compared to S-video. Attempted a more-detailed description recently of some issues involved. -- John
 

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Question for the group...


I have a Zenith 520 HDTV off-air/sat receiver. I took a power surge two days ago, and this caused the 520 to lock up, unable to power. Despite unplugging/replugging would not come alive. So I remove all the cables to return to CCity for service, and decide, lets try one last time. Of course it comes alive (good for superbowl reasons). So has anyone else had this unable to power up issue? Or should I send in for service after superbowl?


2nd question, the 520 continually adds channels to my channel list. That is, I only want to display the HDTV channels as I have 2nd TIVO unit for DirectTV, but it will add 1 or 2 or 3 channels to my "ok" or watch list. This is very annoying as I am always having to remove the added channels. Any comments?


Thanks.
 

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Follow up question regarding the Motorola 5100 S-video and Component outs. Does the S-Video out have to be enabled in some way when being used with component outs?


The reason I ask is, I have the Motorola 5100 going directly to my Sony 36XBR800 via component cables. I just bought a ReplayTV and tried to connect the cable box S-Video out on the 5100 to the Replay TV S-Video in. I get a no video signal screen from Replay TV.


I then switched the connection and tried to run the S-Video out of the 5100 into another input on my TV to see if the S-Video worked at all. All I get is a black screen with flashing images moving sideways, but no picture.


Shouldn't the Motorola DCT-5100 provide a simultaneous output to both the S-Video and component video on my Sony HDTV? I read that others toggle between S-Video and Component because S-Video offers a better picture on basic cable, but I can't get a picture.


Do I have a bad box?
 
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