Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

 
wejones
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Location: Maine

Basic question about HD modes

Mon Apr 16, 2007 2:33 pm

Sorry, this is a very basic question.

I've been using a Roku for several years, but I don't have an HDTV. I've just been running the Roku into my SD TV via the SVID output. I'm now in the process of looking for an HDTV, and wanted to make sure the inputs on the TV were compatable. I notice that the Roku just has component output for HD, and not HDMI. If I understand correctly, when using component outputs, the Roku needs to be set to a resolution, ie 720p or 1080i.

If the native resolution of the HDTV is say 1080 (I'm thinking about getting a 1080p TV), would I be right that it is best to set the Roku on 1080i?

What is troubling me, is assuming that I am going to send it media that is sometimes 1080i and sometimes 720p, I assume that the Roku does an upscaling process to convert 720p into 1080i??? Or does it convert to 1080p?
Since in my experience, 720p seems to be superior to 1080i, might it be better to put the Roku in 720p mode, and let the TV do the upscaling to 1080P??? And in this case, I guess the Roku would be downscaling 1080i back to 720, but I'm not sure if it would be p or i ???
There is also a chance that instead of an HDTV, I might get a monitor and use a separate OTA ATSC tuner. These tuners seem to output component, again in either 720p or 1080i, and again I seem to have a choice of having this tuner either downconverting the 1080i to 720P or upscaling from 720 to 1080. Which is best. If I pass this through the Roku, when the Roku is turned off, I assume it doesn't care what mode is passed through?
As you can see, I am very confused about this upscaling process, and I'd appreciate a quick explanation of what the best way of dealing with this would be. I thought I was ready to purchase an HDTV, but I just realized that I have a lot to learn.
Thanks in advance.
 
jm_maclaren
Posts: 329
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:03 am

Mon Apr 16, 2007 3:02 pm

The roku can output 1080i and 720p through its component video outut. Your TV even if its 1080p will likely accept and convert those signals. Remember all us ota hdtv signals are either 720p or 1080i NOT 1080p. I have a 720p screen and have used a networked hdhomerun with TheEndless's application it plays both 1080i and 720p station feeds fine. I have my output set at 720p as the menus look better.
 
wejones
Topic Author
Posts: 82
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 3:16 pm
Location: Maine

Mon Apr 16, 2007 3:48 pm

jm_maclaren wrote:
The roku can output 1080i and 720p through its component video outut. Your TV even if its 1080p will likely accept and convert those signals. Remember all us ota hdtv signals are either 720p or 1080i NOT 1080p. I have a 720p screen and have used a networked hdhomerun with TheEndless's application it plays both 1080i and 720p station feeds fine. I have my output set at 720p as the menus look better.


Yes, the TVs I've been looking at will do both formats, but I guess I was confused because you have to set the Roku to one of these 2 formats, so I assumed that the Roku must be doing upscaling or downscaling when it encounters a stream other than what it is set to. Just wondering if it is better to set the Roku on 720, which I assume means that the Roku would be converting 1080 to 720, or to set the Roku on 1080, which is the native resolution of the TVs I'm looking at, and which I assume means that the Roku would be converting 720 to 1080. From what you are saying it sounds like I might be best off using the 720 setting. I guess it's something I'll just have to experiment with.
Thanks.
 
Burkhardi
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Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:43 pm

IMHO, 720P looks better then 1080i
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jm_maclaren
Posts: 329
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:03 am

Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:42 pm

I believe the roku does up or down scale as a 1080i broadcast played through the roku set at 720p looks fine and the tv says its getting a 720p signal. Coincidentally mythtv does that too as I have an xconf line for 720p for X that mythtv will scale 480i, 730p, 1080i recorded programs to a 720p output as stated by the tv.
Furthermore I tried to output the hdtv from the hdhomerun through a roku set to 480i attached to an sd tv and it played fine. I thought it wouldnt, so it clearly downscaled 720p and 1080i to 480i and it looked very good.
Its one clever box in some ways! (and as developers know stupidly irritating in others)
 
dgburns
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Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 9:37 am

Sun Apr 22, 2007 1:09 pm

Your mileage may vary.

It's really going to come down to what looks best to you. If your set is native 720p you will likely want to set your Roku to 720p and let the Roku scale everything (it is going to anyway).

As for what would look better on a 1080p native set, that will be hard to pre-judge. You might think setting the Roku to 1080i (since it doesn't do 1080p) would be best as all the set has to do then is deinterlace, BUT if the deinterlacer in the TV isn't the greatest (and MANY are not) you may have better results setting the Roku to 720p and then your TV only has to scale (but again MANY do not have great scalers). It's really going to come down to your own eyes evaluating which gives best results, via your TV's deinterlacer or via your TV's scaler.
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na9d
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Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:21 pm

The key is what is the native resolution of the TV set you are purchasing. If it's a 720p/1080i model, then the best resolution to output is 720p. Everyone "thinks" 1080i is better because it has more lines of resolution. It really doesn't. The lines are interlaced and therefore the picture is not as sharp. 1080i basically uses alternating sets of 540p images. 720p is generally the best and if you look at the resolution of most sets, you will see that they are generally something like 1360 x 720. Now, if you buy a 1080p set, the resolution is higher, but the only thing I know of that supports 1080p at this time is HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.
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dgburns
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Sun Apr 29, 2007 6:32 am

na9d wrote:
Now, if you buy a 1080p set, the resolution is higher, but the only thing I know of that supports 1080p at this time is HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.

And for the original questioner, keep in mind there is NO (and likely never will be) broadcast 1080p. ABC and FOX broadcast in 720p, CBS and NBC broadcast in 1080i. MOST of the other HD stuff on cable/sat/etc. (NatGeoHD, DiscoveryHD, etc.) are 1080i, with the exception of ESPN/ESPN2 HD (which are 720p, as they are owned by ABC).
HD-1500 RevB #1 (media room)

Mitsubishi WD-62528 62" LCD RPTV

Kenwood VR-407 receiver w/PSB Alpha's

PS/3 60GB (now 250GB) w/750GB Seagate ext

M1000 (upstairs)

HD-1000 RevB #2 (bedroom)

Visco 32" LCD

AR 2.1 audio system

PS/2
 
na9d
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Sun Apr 29, 2007 2:15 pm

I agree with Doug, 100%. The 6 MHz wide channel bandwidth won't support 1080p and higher resolutions. Perhaps, some day there will be some funky stuff done over fiber to the home in very high resolutions, etc. but it won't be broadcast.
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scans
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Sun Apr 29, 2007 4:48 pm

Agreed with all above. Given the current installation of HD boxes in homes (cable/satellite), it is extremely unlikely any 1080p broadcasts are coming. Since the station would need to provide the original 1080i or 720p signal for older boxes, adding the 1080p signal would at least TRIPLE their bandwidth needs. Even with fiber providers, it is going to be very hard to push through that data, especially given the small number of sets.

Based on the discussion, and given my primary use for DVD playback with MPlay, I switched to 720p from 1080i and agree the picture is sharper.

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