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liv2cod
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:45 pm

Re: 1080i Discussion thread

Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:40 am

To those of you confused about how a TV can be "HD" and not accept 720p signals...

The issue is that sets before about 2004 or 2005 commonly did scaling within the TV tuners inside the set. The external inputs are limited to 480i/p and the native resolution of the TVs display device, either 1080i or 720p. Most displays from this era are native 1080i sets, but a few (I think some of the Panasonics) were native 720p sets.

Oftentimes these sets cost upwards of $5000, so owners of perfectly-functioning sets are somewhat less inclined to kick them to the curb because their newly-acquired Roku won't play nice with them. (I know of someone who paid nearly $20K for his Pioneer plasma set. Just tell him he needs to ditch it because Roku supports only 720p...)

It is a disappointment that the Roku player cannot scale the image itself. This capability, once the domain of very expensive video processors, is now a commodity. Every Blu-ray player I've seen which supports Netflix, also supports scaling in the player to match 1080i sets. Maybe it's due to the complete customer-orientation of the Japanese and Koreans compared to the American designers of the Roku.

I was also an early adopter of the Roku box. When I bought my box Roku said they would support HD in the near future, which they did (at least in limited form). However, I was never informed during the purchase process that their HD support would be limited to 720p or I would never have purchased the device. My Roku now sits in a drawer with other things which once excited me but turned into disappointments.

After determining that there would be no movement on the Roku front, I bought a Blu-ray player and how happily stream HD content to my aging-but-excellent-quality HDTV set. I have recommended players to many other friends, since they all know I am the early adopter. I have always advised the Blu-ray route, as the Roku products are just as expensive and very limited by comparison.

No sense in whining about it -- if you have a 1080i display and intend to keep it just ditch your Roku now and get on with life.
 
Arwen
Posts: 366
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Location: Middle Earth

Re: 1080i Discussion thread

Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:12 pm

liv2cod wrote:
To those of you confused about how a TV can be "HD" and not accept 720p signals...

The issue is that sets before about 2004 or 2005 commonly did scaling within the TV tuners inside the set. The external inputs are limited to 480i/p and the native resolution of the TVs display device, either 1080i or 720p. Most displays from this era are native 1080i sets, but a few (I think some of the Panasonics) were native 720p sets.

Oftentimes these sets cost upwards of $5000, so owners of perfectly-functioning sets are somewhat less inclined to kick them to the curb because their newly-acquired Roku won't play nice with them. (I know of someone who paid nearly $20K for his Pioneer plasma set. Just tell him he needs to ditch it because Roku supports only 720p...)

It is a disappointment that the Roku player cannot scale the image itself. This capability, once the domain of very expensive video processors, is now a commodity. Every Blu-ray player I've seen which supports Netflix, also supports scaling in the player to match 1080i sets. Maybe it's due to the complete customer-orientation of the Japanese and Koreans compared to the American designers of the Roku.

I was also an early adopter of the Roku box. When I bought my box Roku said they would support HD in the near future, which they did (at least in limited form). However, I was never informed during the purchase process that their HD support would be limited to 720p or I would never have purchased the device. My Roku now sits in a drawer with other things which once excited me but turned into disappointments.

After determining that there would be no movement on the Roku front, I bought a Blu-ray player and how happily stream HD content to my aging-but-excellent-quality HDTV set. I have recommended players to many other friends, since they all know I am the early adopter. I have always advised the Blu-ray route, as the Roku products are just as expensive and very limited by comparison.

No sense in whining about it -- if you have a 1080i display and intend to keep it just ditch your Roku now and get on with life.


Excellent description of the problem and solution. Many Blu-ray players with
built in streaming video are cheap, so that is a good alternative to Roku for
those that need 1080i.

Since my 1080p monitor can do 720p quite well, I will stick with Roku. No
sense for me at present to get involved in new technology. I have other
things I want to spend my money on. But for others, their are choices.

To be fair, Roku has a slight advantage over some Blu-ray players. The
SDK, (Software Development Kit), is free and reasonably open for the Roku.
Not so with some Blu-ray players. So Roku gets lots of new channels from
part time developers even over the short period that the SDK has been
available.
Arwen Evenstar
Middle Earth
 
stratcat96
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Re: 1080i Discussion thread

Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:00 am

No sense in whining about it -- if you have a 1080i display and intend to keep it just ditch your Roku now and get on with life.


Probably equally no sense in resurrecting a 5 month-dead thread to get out the soapbox. Sounds like the guy who paid $20k for a TV that supports just 1080i is one who could characterized as "more money than brains"
 
ApK
Posts: 286
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:00 am

Re: 1080i Discussion thread

Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:25 am

stratcat96 wrote:
No sense in whining about it -- if you have a 1080i display and intend to keep it just ditch your Roku now and get on with life.


Probably equally no sense in resurrecting a 5 month-dead thread to get out the soapbox. Sounds like the guy who paid $20k for a TV that supports just 1080i is one who could characterized as "more money than brains"


I appreciated the description of the issue, as I was one of those wondering about it.
But I still wonder, wouldn't plasmas from that era be nearing end of life now? I had thought that those earlier plasma didn't hold up well... dimmed pretty steadily, suffered burn in, etc?

Can there really be a significant number of people who 1) have those older set with those issues, 2) aren't ready to replace them, 3)want to add a roku to them and 4) didn't read the specs of the roku before buying? I mean, I don't know the costs or reasons involved on not having the roku ouput other formats, but we have to assume that they made that decision for some reason. Can there really be enough people in my above stated 1) 2) and 3) position (we'll forgive 4, that's just why it would rate a whine here) for roku to care?
 
hbherman
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:08 pm

Re: 1080i Discussion thread

Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:16 pm

I have an older Panasonic plasma which was purchased for $4000 in 2005. It has resolutions of 1080i and 460i/p, and not 720i/p. To my eye, the picture looks about the same as when I got it. I would have liked the Roku to support 1080i, although it looks OK at 460p.
 
digduggler
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:59 pm

Re: 1080i Discussion thread

Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:42 am

Add me to the burned-by-this-too list.

I moved it off to a crappy SD tv in my wife and I's 'workout room' so it will get good use, but I held out to get a XDS specifically for component and had to buy this proprietary component cable. Judging by the thread there is a lot of blame the victim going on here which has inspired me to get on my soapbox. It's obvious this isn't getting fixed and I understand. But, Roku is certainly the outlier here despite what some are trying to characterize it as. Any brand of HD Tivo handles 1080i just fine. Any gaming console does. Apple TV (gen 1) does, and while it's pointed out that Apple v2 only does 720p it's HDMI only, so that's a moot point. My iPad and iPhone (current gens) handle 1080i just fine via a component cable. In fact, I can't name one other popular product that doesn't. Someone chime in here and tell me what it is.

I understand the strategy and that none of the current gens of Roku offer component, but having a component output and not supporting 1080i is an outlier and is unusual. Roku is a popular device that is advertised heavily in stores such as Best Buy, and if you think your common consumer (or even a Best Buy sales rep for that matter) read specs beyond HD and even know of a 1080i problem you are delusional. For a common consumer this is a little box that gives you Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and others in HD. Parsing what HD means via component simply does not enter anyone's mind, especially when every other popular consumer product on the market handles it just fine. I agree resources are better directed to new things and this problem at this point should go unsolved due to the small user base impact, but Roku is the outlier and your common consumer should be confused and mad if they ended up with a component HD model. It's not that big of a deal, just return it and get something else. But don't characterize these consumers as morons who should have known better. When you are the only one that does this, it's really on you. And now I feel better.
 
philsoft
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Re: 1080i Discussion thread

Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:20 pm

digduggler wrote:
but having a component output and not supporting 1080i is an outlier and is unusual


I disagree, I have TWO DVD players (from different manufacturers) around here that have component out and they output at only 480p.
 
ApK
Posts: 286
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:00 am

Re: 1080i Discussion thread

Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:35 pm

philsoft wrote:
digduggler wrote:
but having a component output and not supporting 1080i is an outlier and is unusual


I disagree, I have TWO DVD players (from different manufacturers) around here that have component out and they output at only 480p.


DVD players are not HD devices.
If it was a an UP-SCALING DVD player, it would almost certainly do 1080i, which I think would be more to his point.

Still though, we are only now starting to get to the time when HD formats can be safely assumed.
To date, you really do need to read the specs. A little unusual to not support 1080i? Maybe, but I just don't think we've had enough 'usual' yet that it should be very surprising.

ApK
 
dwynne
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:34 am

Re: 1080i Discussion thread

Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:43 am

digduggler wrote:
Add me to the burned-by-this-too list.


Add me to the list as well.

I purchased an older model XDS 2100x because that model had (via optional cable) component out which I needed for my 1080i set. Thank goodness I got a good deal on the Roku and got a cheap clone component cable to use with it. Image my surprise when I find the box will only do 480p, 720p, and 1080p. 1080i is one of the broadcast HD standards and one would assume that a box with component outs would work in 1080i. Shame on Roku for it not working, but the real gripe is not publishing that fact anywhere so we could find out pre-purchase.

The other gotcha is HBO go, which works with a Roku box UNLESS (now I find out) you are a Comcast or DirecTV customer. This is listed (by omission) on the Roku page if you drill down to see the providers.

480p Netflix and Amazon streaming and no HBO. Whoopie!
 
hozedhead
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Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: 1080i Discussion thread

Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:05 pm

http://www.amazon.com/Roku-XDS-Streamin ... lectronics

No mention of 1080i in the product description. As for HBO Go, complain to your cable/sat provider. Roku is a content delivery device, not a provider.
Roku Express 3900RW software v8.10
 
FalconFour
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:35 am

Re: 1080i Discussion thread

Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:57 am

I really can't stand to muddle through twenty-four pages of semi-informed bickering and repeat arguments (mostly "blame-the-victim" nonsense) to get some information, but I'm going to squish the "blame-the-victim" arguments flat here and explain why Roku has *absolutely* no conceivable reason to sit around complacent with this firmware bug - because let's call it like it is, it's a bug.

It's really this simple:
a CD-R drive can burn CD-Rs, and that's it (I've only seen these in the 1x-4x range MANY years ago)
a CD-RW drive can burn CD-Rs and CD-RWs.
a DVD-R drive can burn DVD-Rs, CD-RWs, and CD-Rs.
a DVD+-R drive can burn DVD-Rs, DVD+Rs, CD-RWs, and CD-Rs.
a DVD+-RW drive can burn DVD-Rs, DVD-RWs (the biggest "late-comer to the game" EVER), DVD+RWs, CD-RWs, and CD-Rs.
a DVD-RAM drive is a bit of a market oddball, sometimes uber-multi (DVD+-R/W), sometimes DVD-R only, always CD-R and CD-RW.
a BD-RW drive can burn BD-RW, BD-R, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RAM, CD-R, and CD-RW.

What the flower does all this have to do with Roku 1080i?

A composite device can only output SD video at what I understand is 480i.
A 480p component device can output SD video at 480p or 480i - and the only device I know that does this is the Wii.
A 720p device can usually output component video at up to 720p, as well as 480i and 480p.
A 1080i device can output 480i, 480p, 720p, or 1080i - or in the case of my TV, it can "input" that.
And last but not least...
A 1080p device can output 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, or 1080p.

Except in the case of Roku. And only Roku.

Now here's the funny thing. My TV is a Sony Grand WEGA 60" LCD rear-projection HDTV from around 2002. It's got 1 HDMI input and I use an automatic 5-port HDMI switch to connect my BD player, TiVo Premiere, living room PC (laptop, desktop, whatever I happen to hook up), and the Roku 2 XS I just bought. The Roku 2 XS, like everything else I own, says it supports 1080p and denies the existence of a "1080i" standard like a forgotten standard. Yes. Everything else I own never acknowledged the existence of 1080i, yet somehow I can always push "display" on my TV remote and see "1080i" for the picture mode.

Including the Roku 2 XS.

..."Wait, what? um... didn't you just... wait, what... what's this bug... uh... WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?"

Yes, my Roku 2 XS also ran in 1080i mode for a while. I remember quite clearly, because my TV changes aspect modes when something feeds 480p video to it via HDMI. I watched videos on Vudu in "HDX" mode - 1080p mode - and got all the quality out of it. And I had 1080p mode selected from the start. However, about a week into owning it, suddenly my TV changed. It was a squished box. It was pixelated and ugly all of a sudden, when I rebooted the Roku box after crashing during a video.

It dropped its own 1080i support - which it was doing for a while. When I went to the TV mode menu, it had 1080p selected, but selecting it did nothing. I could switch it to 720p and everything became crisp again - but it was now in 720p mode, not 1080i. I hit "1080p" again, and it blipped back to 480p crunchy mode again. I plugged the Roku box in directly and it did the same thing.

The bug? I think the Roku box software is "falling back" to SD mode when it sees that 1080P isn't supported. Instead of trying 1080i, it goes all the way back to "absolute unwatchable crap mode". If it would simply tick back a notch to 1080i - a mode that's undeniably supported by the underlying video-output chip that the Roku box uses (probably a common chip that pretty much every video player on the market today uses, guessing by how these devices work on the market). But since the software is reading that 1080p isn't supported, the software is telling the chip to fall back to Ghettomode 480p instead of ticking back a notch to the next-highest supported mode. After all, if I wanted a lower quality HD signal, I'd use 720p mode specifically - the option is there in the menu, leave that up to me!

All Roku needs to do is have the "1080p" mode fall back to "1080i" on the graphics controller. That's it. Every chip that supports 1080p also supports 1080i, and it's absurd to think there's some technological limitation that would prevent 1080p video from being converted to 1080i on a commodity chip like that with *no* additional effort. It's a bug, plain and simple, and I wish after 4 years and 24 pages of semi-informed babbling, Roku would simply edit a few lines of code and let us get our 1080i back.

It's a fair guess that poking the "reset" button on the Roku with the HDMI cable plugged in and the TV powered on will get 1080i mode back if I don't touch any of the display settings. :lol:
 
FalconFour
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:35 am

Re: 1080i Discussion thread

Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:48 am

So, I just ran that reset - assuming it would bounce back using the Roku's serial and key right up with my account with all its data. It grabbed the channels, thank goodness, but it lost all their data. Wonderful. Re-linking everything, a little bit of a pain.

But the TV is only reporting 720p now from the default setting. That doesn't make sense, since I was watching "HDX" videos on Vudu a few nights ago, but when the "squished screen" came about on 480p for no good reason (that prompted the above research and reply), it only let me "rent" in SD or "buy" in HDX - presumably because "buying" would add to my collection to play in HD on a different device, but "renting" would be buying quality it couldn't display - and it knew this.

1080i is possible, there's no excuse as to why it would only work with 1080p. None at all. And the bugger is that there's no perceivable difference I've ever seen between 1080i and 1080p, so when I'm getting 720p video, I'm getting half of what my TV is capable of, when the device is capable of supporting its full potential if the software would quit limiting it.

And I'm not about to buy a new TV for the Roku. I bought the Roku for the TV, not the other way around.
 
philsoft
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Re: 1080i Discussion thread

Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:02 am

FalconFour wrote:
And the bugger is that there's no perceivable difference I've ever seen between 1080i and 1080p, so when I'm getting 720p video, I'm getting half of what my TV is capable of.


1080i is 540 lines of resolution at a time, 720p is 720 lines of resolution at a time. That isn't half, and if you can't see the scan lines in 1080i then it is unlikely that you can see a significant difference between a good 720p signal and a 1080i signal either.

Edit: I see you responded to a thread that is almost a year old, it will almost certainly get locked.
 
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lion7718
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Re: 1080i Discussion thread

Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:34 am

This article might shed some light, I just sent it to a friend a few days ago.
http://tv.about.com/od/hdtv/a/whatisHDTV.htm
Roku Stick: 3800RW
Roku Stick: 3800X
Roku Stick: 3600X (Died)
Roku 1 SE: 2710X (Retired)
Roku 2 XS: 3100X (Retired)
 
FalconFour
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:35 am

Re: 1080i Discussion thread

Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:52 pm

philsoft wrote:
FalconFour wrote:
And the bugger is that there's no perceivable difference I've ever seen between 1080i and 1080p, so when I'm getting 720p video, I'm getting half of what my TV is capable of.


1080i is 540 lines of resolution at a time, 720p is 720 lines of resolution at a time. That isn't half, and if you can't see the scan lines in 1080i then it is unlikely that you can see a significant difference between a good 720p signal and a 1080i signal either.

Edit: I see you responded to a thread that is almost a year old, it will almost certainly get locked.

Because that's a valid reason to lock a thread. Because it's "old". :roll: If the issue hasn't been resolved, the thread is still valid. There is zero reason to lock this thread, as it's still on topic and the issue has not been resolved.

1080i is simply 1920x1080px resolution at a different frame rate showing on the screen. It's 540 lines of resolution displayed 30 times a second, effectively 1080 lines of on-screen resolution moving at different rates. It's a 60" HDTV and I run PCs on it all the time at full 1080i - the difference is clearly visible between that and 720p.

720p looks nice - don't get me wrong, but my TV is capable of better detail than the Roku is giving it. Misleading pseudo-tech explanations merely gloss over the issue, but the issue is still there: Roku won't output 1080i just because some product design genius decided to make it fall-back to 480p instead of 1080i when the device doesn't support 1080p. Instead of just telling the display controller to switch to 1080i when 1080p isn't supported, it goes all the way back to "F-you" mode. Suave.

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