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Am I really getting the max resolution?

10-02-2004, 08:18 PM
This is my first post here(after searching the forum for quite some time)...

My specs: I have a Sony 36XBR800 TV, and a Motorola DCT6200 set-top box from Comcast. The box is directly connected to the TV via the YPbPr cables, and the box also has an additional coax hookup to my VCR, which then goes to my TV via standard RCA cables.

My problem: When I go to the menu on the set-top box, and set it for 480i, I can see the menu on my TV. However, when I set it for 480p, 720p, or 1080i, the TV screen is blank when the menu is on. Also, when I turn the set-top box back on, the bottom menu (time, channel, etc. display) only appears when I am in 480i mode. It's gone in the other modes.

The set-top box manual says this will happen if the TV is not capable of receiving a 1080i signal. However, as far as I can tell, the TV is capable of handling the 1080i signal. The specs sure say so (http://www.downtownaudio.com/sonykv36xbr800.html).

Furthermore, the HD channels appear to be in HD (the channels come in fine; it's only when the menu is up that the screen is blank). But I am not sure if I am seeing 1080i HD, or if my TV is up-scaling the resolution. It sure looks good! But I can't tell if I'm getting max resolution or not.

Help! I tried Sony's online help, but it will be a long time in the future when I don't chuckle ironically at their use of the term "help". Also, the Comcast techs I have spoken to have no clue either. They say it's the TV setting. Arg!

10-04-2004, 06:00 AM
Sorry if I can't be much help on the setop box problem.

What vid input are u using to watch 1080i?

10-04-2004, 11:14 AM
I am not sure what you mean. The cable coming into the box is a standard coax cable. From there it goes to the TV via the YPbPr cables; a five cable bundle which includes two audio cables. I have been told by several people not to bother with a DVI cable yet, since the technology is not as good as using the YPbPr cables.

I watched the INHD station last night (an amazing documentary about caves) and the picture was so good I am thinking my resolution must be set correctly. But the lack of a menu when I am in 1080i mode still irks me.

10-04-2004, 03:28 PM
It may be that the menu will not work through the HD output. I have run into other boxes that have this bug. Since you have the VCR connected, you might try that input to see if the menu is comming through the VCR. Quite often we have to have dual connections (HD & SD) to a TV to solve the issue you are speaking of.

10-04-2004, 05:37 PM
Hmmm... that's a thought. That would be odd, but we are talking about Comcast here. :D

10-06-2004, 10:02 AM
Into what input on the tv are the YPbPr plugged into? I think that would be inputs 5 or 6, right? If so, and your box is set to 1080i, and your watching a HD channel with HD content, you should have a very noticable diff in pic. Did the tech happen to hook up a S-vid cable for you? To what input ?
Cycle thru your imputs and let us know. Hope you can get that bug worked out with the onscreen display.

10-12-2004, 06:16 AM
Furthermore, the HD channels appear to be in HD (the channels come in fine; it's only when the menu is up that the screen is blank). But I am not sure if I am seeing 1080i HD, or if my TV is up-scaling the resolution. It sure looks good! But I can't tell if I'm getting max resolution or not.

I'm pretty sure your DTV has enough lines of resolution to qualify as a HD-Ready monitor. There is no need for up-scaling if your set has the lines already available, which it does. It will not be able to do a full 1080i but it comes close for a 4x3 display. IMO rest-assured that your set is maxing out when receiving HD signals and your eyes probably agree.

Regarding the STB menu blanking out your screen :confused: I feel Comcast is obligated to come out and fix this or at least determine that it is not their box causing the problem. If that's the case then a call to Sony service would be in order.

10-12-2004, 02:19 PM
As far as I can tell, the HD channels are in high-res. They look fantastically better than the other channels. I still haven't checked about running S-video through the VCR yet.

I may very well call Sony, but that's a major last respite; their customer service is not the best. ComCast hasn't been helpful either; almost everyone to whom I've spoken has no idea what's going on with this! But having someone come out and see isn't a bad idea. Thanks.

09-05-2005, 08:33 PM
Just give it a hard kicking BA. That'll fix it!


09-05-2005, 09:56 PM
rbinck is correct in noting that some folks have had to have a dual connection in order for the menu displays to work correctly. Not technically a fault of Comcast, but they are providing the faulty equipment after all.

The 36XBR800 is indeed a true HD television. I think actual max resolution is something like 980 lines, but Sony doesnt like to talk about that. I'm not sure why, I dont think any HD CRT displays the full 1080, although the latest XBR's are purported to display something like 1020.

Does the XBR800 have a DVI input? I didnt think it did. My XBR400 only has the component inputs on Vid 5 and 6. Try DVI if you can...

Also, the only mode you should really need to work is 1080i on the STB. Your TV displays all HD content at 1080i and is having to upconvert when you use 480p or 720p.

That comment about DVI not being the standard yet is kinda a funny thing around here. DVI is pretty much already out of the picture. Its all HDMI now, although DVI can use an adapter. The big problem is going to be HD-DVD and BlueRay players which will use HDMI almost exclusively.

09-06-2005, 06:24 AM
BA - if you are going to call out Comcast you might want to consider upgrading to a Moto 6412 Dual tuner DVR - only about $5 a month. I used to be a slave to the VCR but now rarely use it - mainly for playing old tapes. Until you've had a DVR you don't know what you are missing!

Oh, and the menu works just fine with the output set to 1080i all the time (no need to ever change it).