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Question regarding COX HDTV

intotkd
12-16-2004, 09:24 AM
Hello everyone!
In Fairfax, VA cox provides HDTV in the form of 1080i signal. Now from reading I understand that 720p is actually the best quality that you can view.
My question is this, since I have a DVR capable of viewing 720p and a TV capabilities as well, am I simply limited to 1080i since that is all that cox sends at this time.

Restated, I guess I don't understand how the signal process works from the cable company, I see fox stating that they broadcast their HD signal in 720p.

As all users, I want the best pix possible ;-)
thanks for your feedback,
regards intotkd

slowmo
12-16-2004, 10:04 AM
You sure Cox is delivering only 1080 to you?

I would have assumed that you are receiving the format (720 or 1080) as broadcast by the given network on their HD channel.

However, some cable STB's only output at 1080i or default to 1080i absent a viewer's setup changes for a box with variable output capability. For example, a SA3100HD is fixed at 1080i while the output of the SA3250HD and SA8000HD is adjustable.

I set my 8000HD to 720p for viewing sports on ESPN and Fox who both broadcast in a 720p format.

intotkd
12-16-2004, 10:19 AM
I do have the SAExplorer8000, so I do have the ability to change. I've tried putting it into 720p mode but there is some conflict with this.
I assumed that it was auto-detecting 1080i and wouldn't let me switch or that was the only signal being received.

As previously stated still not sure how the signal is sent or is it the box that does all of the processing and upgrades from a generic signal?

thanks again

slowmo
12-16-2004, 12:28 PM
I'm a Charter customer so I can't confirm the HD format that is coming thru your cable. However, you should at least rule out your box as the problem by checking the output settings and initial setup.

See my posts to a thread called "Cable signal friend or foe" in the Flat Panel section of this site. Though the thread is not directly relevant, my posts on that thread describe how to (1) initially setup and (2) vary the output settings on a SA3250HD. Those comments also apply to the 8000.

You should check to ensure that your box has been setup to accept and display multiple format settings that are compatible with your monitor. The setup menu walks you thru several steps that test if your monitor can display the various output settings (480i std, 480i wide, 480p std, 480p wide, 720p, and 1080i).

Chances are, your box has only been setup to accept 1080 and therefore you are not able to change output settings via the General Settings and Quick Settings menu pages.

If you've already performed the initial setup steps and were able to display / save other formats (meaning that your display can accept 720p - not all can) but still can't change the output, then I'm afraid I'm out of suggestions.

intotkd
12-16-2004, 01:24 PM
I will try this first thing tonight. Before I let you go...what are your thoughts on 720p vs 1080i?
I am going to post a thread on this as well, but will wait for your advice or input before continuing.

slowmo
12-16-2004, 01:36 PM
First of all, I'm watching on an EDTV (Pany PWD6UY) plasma. Thus all HD is technically downconverted to 480p on my set.

That said, I believe I can tell a difference between 720 and 1080 with respect to fast motion (sporting events) especially with certain colors such as red.

Thus, I prefer 720p for sports events. With CBS' 1080 broadcast of a football game (as well as NBC sporting events), I'll notice a little video distortion in fast moving sequences. I don't notice this problem with Fox or ESPN games in 720p.

I think this issue is a pretty good debate. Many will prefer 1080. If my set was truly high resolution (1080i or 1080p), I might feel different. But I think there is a good reason as to why ESPN, Fox and ABC have chased 720p especially for NFL broadcasts (the most viewed sport on TV).

Runaround
12-17-2004, 12:00 AM
I would set the box up to output the signal at whatever the native resolution you TV is at. The least adnl processing used the better. That being said, I really wish they would just drop all the 'i' resolutions and list it what it is equilivent to in progressive. All the interlace signals are really half the resolution they list. That is why it is pretty well known that 720p is a better picture. Plus you don't get all those scan line artifacts.

Here is how they should have listed resolutions:

240p (480i)
480p
540p (1080i)
720p
1080p (won't be out for a while)