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Discussing the DCT-6412, Home Theater Devices, Entertainment, Celebrity and the Cable Industry. Not affiliated with any Cable Company, Hardware Manufacturer or Software Developer.



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#1 12-13-2006 2:23:12 AM

Sean
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From: West Orange, New Jersey
Registered: 07-15-2005
Posts: 28
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Just got an HDTV, need help with setting it up properly with my DVR

I just got a brand new HDTV, it's a Polaroid 32" the model number is FLM-3232. I have a few questions about it, this is my first HDTV and I don't know too much about them.

1) My box does not have an HDMI port, it is a 6412 but I guess it's an older revision. I have it hooked up via component cable right now, is it worth it to request a newer box and buy an HDMI cable? Are there any problems with the newest revision boxes or are they better then the older ones?

2) The iGuide software is not showing up in hi-definition - it doesn't cover my whole screen. I took two pictures to show what I mean:
http://static.flickr.com/141/321082883_61f31089fd_o.jpg
http://static.flickr.com/143/321072443_45929090eb_o.jpg

3) Do I set my TV to 720p or 1080i? According to specifications list for my TV the resolution is 1366x768. I just want to get the best possible picture.

4) Standard definition content looks awful now, not only is it more blurrier then before but there are black borders. Is there anything I can do to make it look nicer? My Xbox 360 converts DVD's to 720p which makes them look better on an HDTV but can the DVR do that too?

(I am not sure if I set it up right or not, I did the thing where you press power and then menu and I switched YPBR(?) output to 1080i. Maybe I missed something...)

Thanks for any help!

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#2 12-13-2006 9:15:11 AM

jganyard
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Registered: 09-09-2005
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Re: Just got an HDTV, need help with setting it up properly with my DVR

1)  Check out monoprice.com and pick up a HDMI cable and DVI-HDMI adaptor.  Very good pricing (way cheaper than the big box stores) and why trade in a perfectly good DVR?

2)  The iGuide does not display in widescreen unless you use one of your TV's stretch modes.

3)  Every TV is different (we all wish the 6412 had native resolution pass through).  Experiment with both and see which looks better to you.

4) Common problem with HD sets.  SD will never look as good as on a good old CRT.  Experiment with the settings on the 6412 and tweak your TV's settings (the "other" forum is a good place to search for TV setting tweaks).

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#3 12-13-2006 9:22:15 AM

Bob
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Registered: 12-12-2006
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Re: Just got an HDTV, need help with setting it up properly with my DVR

I'm also wondering if HDMI will be an improvement over component for what I assume to be compression artifacts. Slower images are sharp and breathtaking, but once the action picks up I get lots of pixelization. Plus, color gradients are not smooth (such as cloud scenes at night), but rather have clearly defined boundaries, like a jpeg image with too much compression. Will HDMI fix that, or is that simply the best my DVR (6412 pIII / Comcast) or TV (30" Sony Wega CRT HDTV) can do?

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#4 12-13-2006 9:29:07 AM

jganyard
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Re: Just got an HDTV, need help with setting it up properly with my DVR

Compression artifacts are caused by the head end.  Bad input = bad output.  Color gradients can probably be helped some by tweaking your video settings on your TV.

BTW:  HDMI and DVI will always be an improvement over component.  Component is analog while HDMI and DVI are both digital.  Being a digital connection eliminates a DA conversion step.

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#5 12-13-2006 12:05:02 PM

GoGyrosWin
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Registered: 02-16-2005
Posts: 23
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Re: Just got an HDTV, need help with setting it up properly with my DVR

Don't forget that if you use a dvi/hdmi converter, you will lose the digital sound portion of the HDMI interface.  When I used my converter and switched the Comast 6412 to DVI, I was unable to get the sound directly out of the DVR to my HDTV.  So, I switched it to component cabling and its all fine now.  I haven't had time to fiddle with the DVI/HDMI setup so maybe someone else has this hooked up the correct way.

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#6 12-13-2006 12:56:06 PM

Sean
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From: West Orange, New Jersey
Registered: 07-15-2005
Posts: 28
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Re: Just got an HDTV, need help with setting it up properly with my DVR

Wouldn't using an adapter hurt the image quality a bit? It would probably be best to hook HDMI up directly to the box wouldn't it? I don't mind getting a new box if thats the case. I am not that impressed with the picture quality of this TV (unless I have it set up wrong) so perhaps that would help.

The only channel that looks good in my opinion is "INHD", the rest of the channels labeled HDTV look grainy. I was switching back and forth between Showtime and Showtime HD and the image quality looked the same to me - just that the HD channel actually filled the whole screen. I thought HD was supposed to be significantly better.

Last edited by Sean (12-13-2006 12:59:43 PM)

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#7 12-13-2006 1:07:50 PM

shj
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From: San Jose, CA
Registered: 02-24-2005
Posts: 99
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Re: Just got an HDTV, need help with setting it up properly with my DVR

My TV is a Sony KD34XBR960 - a 34" CRT.  I originally connected it to the DVR via component cables.  Later, I tried HDMI.  I can't see any difference between them.  In fact, I can't see any difference between the picture I get with the TV's own digital/HD tuner and the picture than comes in from the DVR. 

A lot of people, in this forum and elsewhere, say that a digital connection gives a better picture than a component connection.  I don't doubt those who see a difference, but that hasn't been my experience.

I can't comment on whether a digital connection improves audio - my hearing is sufficiently impaired that I wouldn't notice any difference.

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#8 12-13-2006 1:48:40 PM

jganyard
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Registered: 09-09-2005
Posts: 344
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Re: Just got an HDTV, need help with setting it up properly with my DVR

GoGyrosWin wrote:

Don't forget that if you use a dvi/hdmi converter, you will lose the digital sound portion of the HDMI interface.  When I used my converter and switched the Comast 6412 to DVI, I was unable to get the sound directly out of the DVR to my HDTV.  So, I switched it to component cabling and its all fine now.  I haven't had time to fiddle with the DVI/HDMI setup so maybe someone else has this hooked up the correct way.

Just use composite or digital audio inputs (if your tv supports those) like you are with component.

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#9 12-13-2006 1:54:04 PM

jganyard
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Re: Just got an HDTV, need help with setting it up properly with my DVR

Sean wrote:

Wouldn't using an adapter hurt the image quality a bit? It would probably be best to hook HDMI up directly to the box wouldn't it? I don't mind getting a new box if thats the case. I am not that impressed with the picture quality of this TV (unless I have it set up wrong) so perhaps that would help.

The only channel that looks good in my opinion is "INHD", the rest of the channels labeled HDTV look grainy. I was switching back and forth between Showtime and Showtime HD and the image quality looked the same to me - just that the HD channel actually filled the whole screen. I thought HD was supposed to be significantly better.

An adaptor would not hurt the image quality at all because it's a digital connection... e.g. a bunch of 1's and 0's rather than waves.

You'll notice that especially on your local channels.  Even though you may be watching the HD channel, the product your viewing may not be HD, especially if it's not prime time network shows (in which case it usually is now). 

I've also noticed that not all material on HD channels is native HD (as INHD usually is native).  It's undergoing an upconversion at the broadcast point in a lot of cases. 

If you didn't notice a difference between Showtime and Showtime HD other than the widescreen aspect I suspect you need to do some tweaking on your TV's video settings.  Most come out of the box "hot" with brightness and contrast all jacked up high.  Search for your TV model family on that "other" site (AVSForum.com, don't be mad at me Frank!) for tweaks.  Your bound to find a wealth of information if you have the patience to really dig there.

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#10 12-13-2006 1:56:05 PM

dar
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Registered: 12-01-2005
Posts: 85
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Re: Just got an HDTV, need help with setting it up properly with my DVR

Think twice before investing into DVI/HDMI solutions!

One of the major reasons the studios are pushing DVI/HDMI interfaces in upcoming players is because those interfaces provide COPYRIGHT PROTECTION!!! Component output, on the other hand, provides no way to protect the content transmitted over it. Quality-wise, I can't tell the difference between component and DVI in any of my systems, so I always use component.


Mitsubishi WD-52528, Motorola DCT-3416, Denon Recvr, Sony DVD, Panasonic DVD R/VCR, Harmony Remote, KEF Speakers

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#11 12-13-2006 1:57:47 PM

jganyard
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Registered: 09-09-2005
Posts: 344
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Re: Just got an HDTV, need help with setting it up properly with my DVR

shj wrote:

My TV is a Sony KD34XBR960 - a 34" CRT.  I originally connected it to the DVR via component cables.  Later, I tried HDMI.  I can't see any difference between them.  In fact, I can't see any difference between the picture I get with the TV's own digital/HD tuner and the picture than comes in from the DVR.

You shouldn't see a difference between your TV's HD tuner and the HD tuner from the DVR.  Its the same thing being output as they are both HD tuners as long as your viewing an actual HD broadcast (720p or 1080i).

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#12 12-13-2006 2:03:29 PM

jganyard
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Registered: 09-09-2005
Posts: 344
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Re: Just got an HDTV, need help with setting it up properly with my DVR

dar wrote:

Think twice before investing into DVI/HDMI solutions!

One of the major reasons the studios are pushing DVI/HDMI interfaces in upcoming players is because those interfaces provide COPYRIGHT PROTECTION!!! Component output, on the other hand, provides no way to protect the content transmitted over it. Quality-wise, I can't tell the difference between component and DVI in any of my systems, so I always use component.

It's not an investment when all newer equipment comes with those inputs/outputs.

Buy your HDMI cables at monoprice.com for about $6 (a DVI adaptor if you have an older 6412 like I do is only about $4 more).

You must have invested big $$ into some name brand component cables that are monstrously overpriced and don't want to realize it was wasted dough as technology has moved on.

Your right about copyright protection.  Because of it your component cables are going to limit you to 480p in the future (as is already becoming more common).  Did you really spend all that money on an HD so you could watch 480p?

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#13 12-13-2006 3:23:31 PM

dar
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Registered: 12-01-2005
Posts: 85
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Re: Just got an HDTV, need help with setting it up properly with my DVR

Actually I view both. The HDMI runs from the DVR to the TV which is used when bypassing the receiver and surround sound.  The COMP goes into the receiver and out HDMI, without any upconversion. Got most of my cables at Home Depot- very reasonable.  Comparing HDMI and Component, believe it or not, Component looks better than HDMI.

Last edited by dar (12-13-2006 3:26:13 PM)


Mitsubishi WD-52528, Motorola DCT-3416, Denon Recvr, Sony DVD, Panasonic DVD R/VCR, Harmony Remote, KEF Speakers

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#14 12-13-2006 7:32:08 PM

shj
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From: San Jose, CA
Registered: 02-24-2005
Posts: 99
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Re: Just got an HDTV, need help with setting it up properly with my DVR

jganyard wrote:

You shouldn't see a difference between your TV's HD tuner and the HD tuner from the DVR.  Its the same thing being output as they are both HD tuners as long as your viewing an actual HD broadcast (720p or 1080i).

I meant to say that I don't see a difference between the TV's tuner and the DVR connected via component cables.

My TV is a CRT, which is intrinsically analog.  Maybe that's why I don't see a difference between analog & digital connections between the DVR & TV.

Anyway, my advice to Sean is get an HDMI cable (cheap on the internet, as jganyard said), and try it.

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#15 12-13-2006 9:06:30 PM

Sean
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From: West Orange, New Jersey
Registered: 07-15-2005
Posts: 28
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Re: Just got an HDTV, need help with setting it up properly with my DVR

Thanks for all of the help so far guys... I decided that I will swap my current box tomorrow for an HDMI capable one, and I'll be ordering the HDMI cables from monoprice.com too. That's a great price at just six dollars, compared to the (Monster Cable) ones I saw at circuit city for a whopping $120!


jganyard wrote:

12)  The iGuide does not display in widescreen unless you use one of your TV's stretch modes.

Can you clarify more on this please? I am not sure what you mean by this... Also why would the iGuide not be widescreen, I thought the DVR boxes were HDTV capable?


Thanks for recommending AVS Forum too, that looks like a great helpful resource for HDTV stuff.

Last edited by Sean (12-13-2006 10:03:52 PM)

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#16 12-13-2006 9:23:49 PM

Christine85
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From: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Registered: 02-21-2005
Posts: 49
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Re: Just got an HDTV, need help with setting it up properly with my DVR

This is one informative thread! I just got the 37'' Polaroid so I have no idea how to hook it up. I have a 27'' Sharp that runs on RCA a/v inputs from the DVR. I just got the HDMI cable from Wal-mart for $31. The new TV is still in the box but I will come back to this thread when i'm ready to set up.

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#17 12-14-2006 1:18:38 AM

shj
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From: San Jose, CA
Registered: 02-24-2005
Posts: 99
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Re: Just got an HDTV, need help with setting it up properly with my DVR

Sean wrote:

Can you clarify more on this please? I am not sure what you mean by this... Also why would the iGuide not be widescreen, I thought the DVR boxes were HDTV capable?

All the displays & menus the DVR generates are in 4:3 (not widescreen) format.  I suspect it's using software that was originally written for non-HD boxes.   My father has a non-HD Motorola cable box (not a DVR), and its displays are the same as I have on my DVR.

Also, that way they they don't have worry about modifying the displays depending on the type of TV being used.

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#18 12-14-2006 11:07:59 AM

jganyard
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Registered: 09-09-2005
Posts: 344
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Re: Just got an HDTV, need help with setting it up properly with my DVR

Christine85 wrote:

This is one informative thread! I just got the 37'' Polaroid so I have no idea how to hook it up. I have a 27'' Sharp that runs on RCA a/v inputs from the DVR. I just got the HDMI cable from Wal-mart for $31. The new TV is still in the box but I will come back to this thread when i'm ready to set up.

Wow... $31 at Walmart of all places?!  Take that sucker back and order one from monoprice.com!

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#19 12-14-2006 11:09:11 AM

jganyard
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Registered: 09-09-2005
Posts: 344
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Re: Just got an HDTV, need help with setting it up properly with my DVR

shj wrote:

Sean wrote:

Can you clarify more on this please? I am not sure what you mean by this... Also why would the iGuide not be widescreen, I thought the DVR boxes were HDTV capable?

All the displays & menus the DVR generates are in 4:3 (not widescreen) format.  I suspect it's using software that was originally written for non-HD boxes.   My father has a non-HD Motorola cable box (not a DVR), and its displays are the same as I have on my DVR.

Also, that way they they don't have worry about modifying the displays depending on the type of TV being used.

Yep, you just said it better than I did.  I also have a non-HD/DVR Moto box and the menu's and guide are the same as on the 6412.

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#20 12-15-2006 3:17:07 PM

Sean
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From: West Orange, New Jersey
Registered: 07-15-2005
Posts: 28
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Re: Just got an HDTV, need help with setting it up properly with my DVR

I just got a new box, it is model DCT-3416. It's got a 160 GB hard drive, which I think is 40GB more then my old one. The lady there said the same remotes would work, but it doesn't seem to be working for me. Still waiting for the guide data to load (I believe it takes up to 24 hours) so I suppose that might fix the remote problem too.

I will be ordering an HDMI cable from monoprice.com, thank you guys for all the help. Epsecially the AVS Forums recommendation, I've found great color settings and advice for my TV from there.

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#21 12-15-2006 11:59:01 PM

Frank
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From: Bucks, PA
Registered: 02-12-2005
Posts: 2881
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Re: Just got an HDTV, need help with setting it up properly with my DVR

Sean wrote:

I will be ordering an HDMI cable from monoprice.com, thank you guys for all the help. Epsecially the AVS Forums recommendation, I've found great color settings and advice for my TV from there.

You'll like it over there right up until the time you say something that Jabba disagrees with and deletes, or when they edit the content of your "Private" messages.

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