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Component cables hooked up....no diff in cable signal?

03-19-2005, 04:00 PM
Hi guys! I'm a new owner of an ED TV 42 inch Maxent plasma. I realize I won't be able to get the full HD benefit, but I went ahead and got Comcast's HD digital cable box. I was told by a rep at Best Buy that I would need component cables (I got Monster brand) to enjoy the enhanced signal to its fullest extent. Well, after installing them I discerned no noticeable difference in picture quality.

Needless to say I'm bummed that I may have wasted time and money on "upgrading". Are there any troubleshooting ideas? I have the component cables going out of the HD cable box and into the TV. The image off of the component input is brighter, not better. My digital reception is poor to begin with, so I don't know if this can even be helped. Any ideas or suggestions would greatly be appreciated!

03-19-2005, 09:25 PM
Monster cables are overpriced overkill. You can buy decent cables for 1/3 the price of Monsters that will work just as well.

Your best bet will be to setup the STB to output all res'es at 480p.

Why do you say your digital reception is poor? Digital is perfect or nothing. Here, it's analog below 100 & all digital above.

03-20-2005, 12:49 AM
Well, I bought two pair........one generic, one Monster.......I COULD tell enough difference to warrant keeping the Monsters for dvd/progressive scan goodness. As far as my reception goes, its just really grainy and artifact ridden (always has been, at least here in Dallas).

Pardon my newbiness but what is "stb"? I did manage to get the HD channels to display, (found out the HD versions of the networks were simply elsewhere on the channel lineup) but most of them have letterboxing on the sides. I fiddled with the menu controls on the HD cable box and I think I have the setting on 480p. How can I make the letterboxing go away (its all the major network channels and my remote won't give me all the options......just 4:3 and 16:9 *but again, its not filling the screen).

Thanks in advance for shedding light on this for me.

03-20-2005, 01:07 PM
From our Glossary (http://www.highdefforum.com/terms.html):
Set-top Box (STB)

Also called converter boxes, these receivers convert broadcasts (either analog cable, digital cable, or HDTV) for display on a television. HDTV-ready TVs (those without a built-in HDTV tuner) must be connected to a compatible HDTV tuner set-top box in order to receive digital television programs.

Anytime your TV receives a 16:9 signal it will fill the screen because it is full size to the TV. The station has merged a 4:3 picture into the 16:9 frame, thus the pillarboxes. You should read this thread for more info: Bars, Bars and More Bars (http://www.highdefforum.com/showthread.php?t=4705)

If your TV will not zoom when a 16:9 signal is being displayed, the only thing to do is to go to the SD channel.

03-21-2005, 06:40 AM
I'm not sure wich set top box you have, but on mine you have to hold down the # button on the remote control for 5 seconds. This will open a blue box where you can set your desired aspect ratio (wide, zoom, standard, & wide zoom) and also set your screen resolution (480i, 480p, 720i, 720p, or 1080i). I have Brighthouse HD Cable. Not sure if this will help you. Good luck.

03-21-2005, 10:56 AM
That is a good point. The STB might have a method to stretch the picture. You didn't tell us what STB you have, but then in fairness, you didn't know what a STB was to tell us.

03-21-2005, 03:42 PM
Any ideas or suggestions would greatly be appreciated!

Like noted above, check the cable box to make sure it is set to output a 720p or 1080i signal. If you give us the model number of your cable box and the cable company you're using, it would be easier to help.

Next, check the manual for your EDTV to make sure that it can scale 720p or 1080i signals to your screen -- and that it isn't just built only to "upscale" standard definition signals. If it can't, you may be able to buy an external scaler that can scale the picture to the native resolution of your screen.

Good luck!

03-21-2005, 08:38 PM
I have a silver Comcast HD box, made by Motorola. (didn't see a model number).

On the menu screen user settings, I have selected:
TV TYPE: 16:9
yPbPr output: 1080I
4:3 override: 480 I (or P)?????

What do the 4:3 override settings do? I couldn't really tell a difference. When setting the yPbPr output to 1080I, I DID notice the major networks primetime shows filling the screen (the commercials had the side letterbox though, is that normal?).

Can someone please confirm that these settings are (in)correct?
Much thanks!!!

03-23-2005, 08:19 PM
They should be:

TVShape = 16:9
Y/Pr/Pb = 480p
4:3override = 480p

Consider what happens with your current config when you receive a 720p signal... it is converted to 1080i by the STB, then to 480p by the TV. Multiple conversions degrade PQ. If you set 720p, you have the same problem with 1080i channels. Your EDTV is going to output 480p - that's all it can do. Feed it what it needs.

05-05-2005, 08:21 PM
Please help!

I have a silver set top box Motorola. i can not figure out how to get to the settings menu and change the output. I will contact Mediacom cable tomorrow and see if they can help me. Do i have to do anything different to my Hitachi 51s715 settings when watching sd versus hd?

The box is hooked up via component cables provided by Mediacom.

Any help would be greatly appreciatted because i had to wait approxamitly 2 months before this hd box was available.
Right now i just have the local stations broadcasting in Hd, and yes i did watch when it said broadcasting in Hd.

Thanks alot!

05-06-2005, 09:33 AM
To view best picture you should use the HDMI connection from your STB to your TV. As for accessing the menu on STB and TV you can do that with your remote. Refer to user manual for specifics.

05-06-2005, 05:34 PM
atyourmercy - since you have a 1080i CRT RPTV, you will want to stretch your SD to fill the screen & avoid burn in...

To enter the Moto cable STB setup, with TV on & STB turned off press 'menu' on STB remote. Use cursors to set values. 'Menu' again to exit. Power on.