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Lycurgus

@verizon.net

Regular Fios STB vs. HD STB

I have verizon fios and I just purchased a high def tv. My problem is that the image quality is pretty bad. It looked great at the store, and looks bad at home. I have the normal set top box, and the channels tend to show a lot of image quality issues. If I get the HD set top box, will it increase the quality of the image on all of the channels, or is the High def set top box made specifically to watch the High Def channels.

If someone could help me out here that would be greatly appreciated.


KenAF

join:2006-01-23
Arlington, VA

said by Lycurgus :

I have verizon fios and I just purchased a high def tv. My problem is that the image quality is pretty bad. It looked great at the store, and looks bad at home. I have the normal set top box, and the channels tend to show a lot of image quality issues. If I get the HD set top box, will it increase the quality of the image on all of the channels, or is the High def set top box made specifically to watch the High Def channels.

If someone could help me out here that would be greatly appreciated.
It could improve the quality of SD channels, although would depend on how the SD processing in the box compares to the processing in the TV.

That said, I'm not sure you want to watch SD. Verizon has upwards of 50 HD channels now and will soon have 75+ in most markets.

techygeek6

join:2008-04-30

1 edit

From what I understand and have read in this forum, with the exception of the set-top box or the need for an conversion, Verizon does very little to the signal. In fact, the only conversion I think they do at all is from MPEG-4 to MPEG-2 for older boxes that don't support MPEG-4.

There are different factors to consider, did you watch this channel, this show in the store or was it a DVD.

Verizon cannot usually, if at all, make the originating signal better than it already is. They are just passing it along to you as far as I know.

As far as an HD box, the answer is probably - if you have an HDTV, you should be using an HD box.



NorthShoreJoe

@verizon.net
reply to Lycurgus

For the most part by design HDTV's are made to watch HD programing. It has to do with SD being at 480i resolution and the way your HDTV up converts that image to 720p, 1080i or 1080p whatever the native resolution of you HDTV is.
Some HDTV's do a better job then others at reproducing SD content, it varies by manufacturer. A HD-STB or HD-DVR STB may give you a little better SD picture but not by much and not like a 4:3 tube TV like your probably use to will.

Solutions to your delema could include using S-Video for SD content. To me the more sensible solution would be to get the HD-DVR from Verizon and enjoy HD content. In many areas Verizon is offering almost 100 HD channels and should be expanding that to all markets by years end. You will only need one HDMI cable for both video and sound from your STB to your HDTV IF your HDTV has HDMI inputs.

I suggest the HD-DVR because after you get use to DVR if you have never had one you will wonder how you ever got along with out it, its as handy as a cordless telephone.

Below i have provided a link to an article that will help you understand the conversion from SD to HD and how HD is reproduced in your TV. It is 7 pages long and after reading it you will have as good an understanding as most and more then many.

»www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_1···t-1.html

Enjoy!



gwlaw1999

@fcc.gov

Get the HD box and watch HD channels you WILL NOT regret it. The picture quality is amazing.


scottbrown77

join:2007-02-15
Downingtown, PA
reply to Lycurgus

Try connecting the cable directly to the tv and does a digital scan for channels. Most new TVs have a QAMs tuner in them and will pickup the unscrambled channels from verizon. The locals will be in digital and some will be in HD. Look for channels like 10.1 or 3.1 and so on.
What model do you have?


afiggatt

join:2007-07-12
Sterling, VA

1 edit
reply to techygeek6

said by techygeek6:

From what I understand and have read in this forum, with the exception of the set-top box or the need for an conversion, Verizon does very little to the signal. In fact, the only conversion I think they do at all is from MPEG-4 to MPEG-2 for older boxes that don't support MPEG-4.
Verizon does not send out any live channels in MPEG-4. Only the very recently introduced QIP STBs and DVRs support MPEG-4 and those probably represent only a couple of percent of the STBs and DVRs Verizon has installed at this time. MPEG-4 use is probably some years away from implementation for Fios as Verizon will have to swap out several million? STBs and DVRs to support MPEG-4.

As for the OP's question, get a HD STB or DVR! You have spent a lot of money on a HD TV - why drive a high performance car on dirt roads? After you get HD, SD will look crappy, but in general to get the best picture quality for the SD channels on a HD STB, set the box to output 480i for the SD channels so the TV can do the upconversion.

PS. As posted, the TV likely has a clear QAM tuner, so you can get the locals in HD by splitting the co-axial and connecting a co-axial run to the TV & doing a digital cable scan. You also can hook up a VHF and UHF antenna and see what digital broadcast local stations you can get in HD that way.

lets456

join:2008-01-21
Hainesport, NJ

said by afiggatt:

said by techygeek6:

From what I understand and have read in this forum, with the exception of the set-top box or the need for an conversion, Verizon does very little to the signal. In fact, the only conversion I think they do at all is from MPEG-4 to MPEG-2 for older boxes that don't support MPEG-4.
Verizon does not send out any live channels in MPEG-4. Only the very recently introduced QIP STBs and DVRs support MPEG-4 and those probably represent only a couple of percent of the STBs and DVRs Verizon has installed at this time. MPEG-4 use is probably some years away from implementation for Fios as Verizon will have to swap out several million? STBs and DVRs to support MPEG-4.

As for the OP's question, get a HD STB or DVR! You have spent a lot of money on a HD TV - why drive a high performance car on dirt roads? After you get HD, SD will look crappy, but in general to get the best picture quality for the SD channels on a HD STB, set the box to output 480i for the SD channels so the TV can do the upconversion.

PS. As posted, the TV likely has a clear QAM tuner, so you can get the locals in HD by splitting the co-axial and connecting a co-axial run to the TV & doing a digital cable scan. You also can hook up a VHF and UHF antenna and see what digital broadcast local stations you can get in HD that way.
Yes, I agree with this. You probably spent $1500 for your set and it's worth the extra $5 per month to get 87 HD channels (area dependent)....In the end, that's why you bought your HD set, right? Also, I have a Hitachi RP and a Samsung 46A650 and the Moto box does a VERY good job upconverting SD and stretching it instead of letting the TV do it.....keep in mind the 46A650 has a very good upscaler as well, but I prefer that the Moto HD box take it from 480 to 1080I then let the Sammy do the rest!


Lycurgus

@verizon.net
reply to Lycurgus

Thank you all for your replies. I understand that the tv is meant for high def channels, however, there are still tv shows that I enjoy watching that are not on the high def. channels. I have the basic set top box which can only be connected to the tv with coax cable and the channels look like garbage when I watch them. If I get a high def set top box, which can be connected to my tv with a hdmi cable, would that make the regular channels come in clearer? Also, verison channels are only offered around my area with a set top box. No channels can be picked up by running the cable straight to the tv.


JrzyDave

join:2008-01-31
Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
reply to Lycurgus

Your standard definition picture will probably always look much worse as stated above. I'm an installer and see different high def/larger screen pictures every day and the "regular" channels look anywhere from passable to terrible depending on the make of the TV. The High Def channels look fantastic.


KenAF

join:2006-01-23
Arlington, VA

4 edits

1 recommendation

reply to Lycurgus

said by Lycurgus :

Thank you all for your replies. I understand that the tv is meant for high def channels, however, there are still tv shows that I enjoy watching that are not on the high def. channels. I have the basic set top box which can only be connected to the tv with coax cable and the channels look like garbage when I watch them. If I get a high def set top box, which can be connected to my tv with a hdmi cable, would that make the regular channels come in clearer?
Standard definition will never look great on a larger TVs because it was never intended to be seen at such larger sizes. Standard definition TV, compressed as it is, is targeted at those with 25-35" screens. Larger screens magnify the flaws in the picture and the lack of detail in standard definition content. That's why we have high-definition -- to provide a quality picture on larger displays.

As indicated above, there's a good possibility that SD from the HDTV STB will look better than what you are getting now. But it is never going to look great. If you want a great picture, you need to watch HDTV channels. And again, most regular channels now have HDTV versions too. Pretty soon, there won't be any popular channels left without HDTV versions. All locals networks are in HD, all major cable channels are already in HD, and essentially all sports channels are already in HD.

said by Lycurgus :

Also, verison channels are only offered around my area with a set top box. No channels can be picked up by running the cable straight to the tv.
Every Verizon FiOS market offers unencrypted local channels in HD, which you can receive by connecting the cable directly to the input on your TV, provided it has a QAM tuner. Make sure you do the right type of channel scan. The HD locals may not be on their typical numbers when using a TV's built-in QAM tuner; they'll be on numbers like 88-3, 89-1, 87-2, etc.

Tune in at 8pm tonight and check out the high-definition on FOX, CBS, NBC, etc.


NorthShoreJoe

@verizon.net
reply to Lycurgus

said by Lycurgus If I get a high def set top box, which can be connected to my tv with a hdmi cable, would that make the regular channels come in clearer?
[/BQUOTE :


In a nuts shell....NO!

Uncle Stevie
Premium
join:2008-05-28
Bloomfield, NJ
reply to Lycurgus

I can't believe no one here has suggested the possibility that something is wtong with your new TV. Call in a serviceman for the TV set and let him/her decide if the TV is in need of a new STB. Someone has suggested playing a DVD and you can judge the performance from that. If it is still garbage then I would conclude a defective TV set.


jaw2012

join:2008-08-01
King Of Prussia, PA
reply to Lycurgus

I also was initially disappointed with Fios HD. BUT, after I calibrated my TV, I couldn't believe how much better the channels looked. It was stunning the difference! Definitely check out AVS Forums for your make/model HDTV for specific calibration settings.


lets456

join:2008-01-21
Hainesport, NJ

1 edit

You took the words right out of my mouth...My Samsung 46A650 and Hitachi RP HD sets are considered one of the best on the market at their respective times. However, before they were calibrated they looked like to CRAP! Yes, even on HD channels!

To the OP, what set do you have? What are your connections...even if it's a SD box are you connecting via coax? If so it will look like total JUNK!! I also have a Toshiba in my BR (32" HD LCD) and have FIOS connected directly and the HD is stunning, but only after proper calibrations....even the little digital adapter hooked up (composite) for the other channels looks decent.

Please advise of your set (make and model) and the way it's connected. if you have a DVD player hook it up via COMPONENT, as someone suggested....you can actually get these cables at Walmart for $5 if you don't have them.

After you report back I'll PM you recommended calibration settings....



Lycurgus

@verizon.net
reply to Lycurgus

My TV Make is SYLVANIA and the model is LC370ss8. I thought the tv was messed up at first, but i took it to the store and they hooked it up there and it came in clear again. So I don't think the tv is messed up now. What does it mean to calibrate the tv?



Lycurgus

@verizon.net
reply to Lycurgus

The connection is from a standard fios set top box, to my tv with standard coax cable. THe standard set top box does not allow hdmi connection.



matcarl
Premium
join:2007-03-09
Franklin Square, NY

1 edit

You have it hooked up the worst possible way.
You are not even getting a stereo signal.


KenAF

join:2006-01-23
Arlington, VA

2 edits
reply to Lycurgus

said by Lycurgus :

The connection is from a standard fios set top box, to my tv with standard coax cable. THe standard set top box does not allow hdmi connection.
A coax connection should not be used from the STB. That will not yield an acceptable picture on any TV.

For now, you should use s-video from the STB for video and composite for audio. You can order cheap cables from Monoprice.com.

But you should really run, not walk, to get the HDTV DVR. I really don't understand why you are procrastinating.


Lycurgus

@verizon.net
reply to Lycurgus

What other way is there to connect it from the standard set top box. The only other way is through the composite, red, white, and yellow cable. This way leaves me with the same picture.



matcarl
Premium
join:2007-03-09
Franklin Square, NY

1 edit

That way would at least be a slight improvement and you would get stereo sound.



amarryat
Verizon FiOS

join:2005-05-02
Marshfield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Lycurgus

said by Lycurgus :

What other way is there to connect it from the standard set top box. The only other way is through the composite, red, white, and yellow cable. This way leaves me with the same picture.
As you have been reading, you need to get an HD box. The HD-DVR is an even better choice. Then you can run a single wire from the box to the TV. This is an HDMI cable, and someone already mentioned monoprice.com - should be less than $10 for a 6 foot HDMI cable. This will carry the stereo sound as well as the picture to the TV.


Lycurgus

@verizon.net
reply to Lycurgus

Why is the dvr better than the regular stb. Other than being able to record programs?



keyboards

join:2001-02-14
Doylestown, PA

said by Lycurgus :

Why is the dvr better than the regular stb. Other than being able to record programs?
That's the only reason I know of - it does make life very convenient though
--
REMEMBER: Stupidity should be painful !!


darcilicious
Cyber Librarian
Premium
join:2001-01-02
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:4
reply to Lycurgus

We don't have the DVR versions ourselves -- don't record much and when we do we use our PC-based PVRs

So if you don't want to record, just get the regular old HD STB -- it'll be way better than the SD STB you're trying to use now.


KenAF

join:2006-01-23
Arlington, VA

4 edits
reply to Lycurgus

said by Lycurgus :

Why is the dvr better than the regular stb. Other than being able to record programs?
It eliminates the need to watch TV on the network's schedule. That makes it much easier to get into shows which carry over from week to week, because you don't have to worry about missing an episode. The DVR can be set to only record new episodes and ignore repeats.

With a DVR, you can watch your favorite programs whenever you want, skipping commercials to watch one-hour shows in 40 minutes. Watch your favorite shows without commercials for a week or two and you'll wonder how you ever tolerated them in the first place. It's quite worthwhile if you value your time. If you don't value your time, and don't care about missing your favorite shows, and enjoy watching commercials, then there is no reason to get the DVR.

Many feel that a DVR does for TV what the microwave did for food preparation / cooking. If you thought the microwave was a nice invention, then chances are you will love a DVR.

lets456

join:2008-01-21
Hainesport, NJ
reply to Lycurgus

Do you have guide data? It sounds as if you have the "digital adapter" and not the SD box.Please, just get the HD Box and an HDMI cable is included.Either get the box and enjoy all of the HD channels or do the following:

Go to Walmart and get a -3.5 dB "gold plated" 2 way splitter and 2- 3' RG6 cables. Attach the splitter to the main feed and then the 2-cables to the splitter. Now you have the (2)-3' cables...connect one to the TV's RF (antenna) input and the other to you SD box. Go to settings and on "antenna" hit "cable" then "scan channels"....this will allow your QAM tuner to pick up your local HD staions in the clear, then switch inputs to get to your SD box's input to get the rest of your channels.

BTW, calibrating your TV...in simple terms, is basically getting your set to accurately show details and colors as close to real life as possible.


KenAF

join:2006-01-23
Arlington, VA

said by lets456:

Go to Walmart and get a -3.5 dB "gold plated" 2 way splitter and 2- 3' RG6 cables. Attach the splitter to the main feed and then the 2-cables to the splitter. Now you have the (2)-3' cables...connect one to the TV's RF (antenna) input and the other to you SD box. Go to settings and on "antenna" hit "cable" then "scan channels"....this will allow your QAM tuner to pick up your local HD staions in the clear, then switch inputs to get to your SD box's input to get the rest of your channels.
His Sylvania TV doesn't have a QAM tuner.

Hence, his only option to get a quality television picture is a HDTV STB or better yet, the HDTV DVR.


NorthShoreJoe

@verizon.net
reply to KenAF

Stereo picture?...What???


KenAF

join:2006-01-23
Arlington, VA

said by NorthShoreJoe :

Stereo picture?...What???
HDMI does audio and video in a single cable. That's all they were saying.