April 22, 2011

Standard Definition channels on the TiVo

Kevin Lloyd comments:
I've just left a comment on the Tivo blog about picture quality on the Tivo service. HD better; SD softer. There also seems to be a slight zoom effect which I think is accentuating the softening on SD. This may just be part of acclimatising to the new service (only installed yesterday)and I'm still playing around with the TV settings to see if I can improve matters but it is a little disappointing (our TV is a fairly high end Sony which does generally provide really sharp definition).
The majority of viewing is now in HD but for those of us who spend quite a lot of time with BBC4 this softening in SD is still significant.
Anyone else picking up the same effect?
I agree with you Kevin: seems to fair bit softer than my V+ (which I still have, albeit now on a different TV). The only non-HD channels I watch regularly are BBC4, More4 and BBC News and I'd say they all look softer on the TiVo. They're perfectly watchable on my modest 32in but anyone with a  48in or larger screen won't be too happy. It's a soft rather than pixelated picture, and some SD channels are better than others (BBC4's Rubicon last night looked okay - but why isn't it on BBC HD?!). I don't think it is as anywhere near as bad as comments on some forums have suggested and it very much depends on the size and general PQ of your TV. On my Toshiba it looks very close to the same channels on the built-in Freeview tuner, whereas when compared with the V+ Freeview was weaker.
Like Kevin I will almost exclusively be watching HD from hereon, which makes the comparison perhaps more jarring.

9 comments:

D said...

My picture on HD,and SD,is a little bit grainy which i did not get on the Samsung V.PLUS box,i am rather dismayed about this.I expected better not worse.

sibod said...

Id say it's pretty even on my 45 inch Panny Plasma - cant really notice any worsening of the SD on my Pannny.

D said...

I have a 42" panasonic,latest model with 3d.a beautiful tv with a very sharp picture,with the Tivo it is nowhere as sharp as with the Samsung V.Plus box.I am not impressed with the box at all.No channel number shown,and no time shown when in standby.I know this can be got by going into information.When playing back my shows,when stop is pressed,it still keeps playing on the small picture,perhaps i am doing something wrong.Takes ages to start,i am so fed up with things pausing without touching anything.I have a technician coming on Tuesday.i am thinking of going back to the Samsung.

Nialli said...

@D: If you watch a lot of SD channels then I'd suggest you revert to the V+ as you won't need the additional capacity of the 1Tb TiVo and it's better suited to your needs.
With regards to the "Stop" not stopping: I noticed that too, and now press Pause before Stop.

D said...

Thanks very much,i do mainly watch HD.channels.Thanks for the advice,best wishes (D)

Kevin Lloyd said...

One other thing to try on the quality is different permutations of the aspect ratio and the 'fit' on the video controls for the TV. I've now found a combination which secures proper fit for pictures and as a result improves quality. Its now perfectly acceptable but I still think Virgin should consider seriously whether there are fixes that could enhance upscaling etc.

Nialli said...

@Kevin Lloyd: Interesting. My TV is not full HD but an older "HD Ready" set, maximum 1080i rather than the full 1080p. The TiVo autoset itself at 1080i but I think the 720p is actually sharper on the SD channels. HD channels look good with the new setting too. Thinking about it, I had my old V+ at 720p too as there was a fuzziness to the menus at 1080i.

Nialli said...

Hmmm. SD definitely a little sharper at 720p, HD better at 1080i. I'll stick with the latter as I watch so little on SD channels now

manu76 said...

Had my TiVo installed today. Took all of half an hour to set up, and also install my Samsung HD box in another room in the house. First impressions are very good indeed. Know what you all mean about the SD picture, but after messing around with a few settings both on my tv and Tivo box, all now is fine. Ready to enjoy!!