Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

 
masmithky
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Netflix has poor picture quality

Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:28 pm

Just hooked up Roku HD (the cheapest one) yesterday using wireless connection. I have an old TV with one co-ax input so I am using a VCR for the Roku and the HD converter I have to connect to the TV. I have composite video cables connecting the Roku to the VCR and a coax cable from the VCR to the TV. The wireless signal strength is "excellent" and the picture quality I see 4 dots (I assume this is the 4 dots I see when the program is "retrieving"). My issue is that the picture quality is very poor. The picture typically starts good, but gets very dark and there are lines that will roll up the screen. And it will gradually get better, look good for maybe 10 seconds and cycle through the same state. I have played a couple different episodes of different shows with the same problem. Sound quality is not affected.

Crackle worked perfectly.

I have verified that the cables are attached tightly and have moved them around with no changes.
 
stratcat96
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Re: Netflix has poor picture quality

Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:34 pm

masmithky wrote:
Just hooked up Roku HD (the cheapest one) yesterday using wireless connection. I have an old TV with one co-ax input so I am using a VCR for the Roku and the HD converter I have to connect to the TV. I have composite video cables connecting the Roku to the VCR and a coax cable from the VCR to the TV. The wireless signal strength is "excellent" and the picture quality I see 4 dots (I assume this is the 4 dots I see when the program is "retrieving"). My issue is that the picture quality is very poor. The picture typically starts good, but gets very dark and there are lines that will roll up the screen. And it will gradually get better, look good for maybe 10 seconds and cycle through the same state. I have played a couple different episodes of different shows with the same problem. Sound quality is not affected.

Crackle worked perfectly.

I have verified that the cables are attached tightly and have moved them around with no changes.


sounds like mainly what you are seeing are the effects of the Macrovision copy protection on the Netflix stream being as you are going through the VCR. To experiment, hook the Roku directly to the the TV and those lines should go away
 
masmithky
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Re: Netflix has poor picture quality

Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:46 pm

That's part of the problem, I can't connect the Roku directly to the TV, it only has a coax in and I don't have any adapters to make it work with the comp video cables. I can see that this might not be a standard hook up though.
 
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KennyJ
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Re: Netflix has poor picture quality

Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:49 pm

masmithky wrote:
That's part of the problem, I can't connect the Roku directly to the TV, it only has a coax in and I don't have any adapters to make it work with the comp video cables. I can see that this might not be a standard hook up though.


I can guarantee its the macrovision. You'll need to buy an adapter at Radioshack or somewhere similar (fry's, best buy, etc.)
 
masmithky
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Re: Netflix has poor picture quality

Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:16 pm

Obviously I'm trying to avoid spending money, but off to the The Shack I go (tomorrow).

Thanks!
 
Mark12547
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Re: Netflix has poor picture quality

Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:40 pm

masmithky wrote:
Obviously I'm trying to avoid spending money, but off to the The Shack I go (tomorrow).

Thanks!


The device is called an "RF Modulator"--taking the composite, L and R signals from the device (in this case, the Roku Digital Video Player) and modulating them on either Channel 3 or Channel 4 (preferably whichever you don't have locally). Radio Shack lists this as a shade under $30.

Since the Roku is always on (unless you pull the plug), you might have to either unplug the Roku or unplug the composite/R/L cables so the RF Modulator will let the regular cable signal through, or possibly get a cable switch so you can switch the TV input from cable to the RF Modulator. (If your TV has two cable inputs, you won't need this, but my ancient bedroom TV doesn't have this.)

It often surprises people to find that the Roku box is designed to be "always ON", which causes problem with equipment that is designed to switch to it when it is on (such as an automatic A/V switch or, in this case, the RF Modulator).

Forewarned is forarmed. :)
 
QuantumIguana
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Re: Netflix has poor picture quality

Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:52 am

I had the same problem, but I hadn't realized why. For my upstairs TV, I have an old Amiga NTSC monitor. It doesn't have a tuner, so I used an old VCR. I had my converter box for OTA hooked into the one of the VCR's line in ports, and the Roku hooked into the other of the VCR's line in ports. With the Roku, it was fading from dark to light on regular intervals.

I went to Radio Shack and bought a 4-input switch for about $22. Everything works fine now. A 2-input switch was cheaper, but I also wanted to use a DVD player.
 
masmithky
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Re: Netflix has poor picture quality

Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:17 pm

Thanks, QuantumIgauna, it's good to know this is the proper solution. Still haven't bought anything, but I will this weekend.
 
mattv1
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Re: Netflix has poor picture quality

Wed May 04, 2011 12:24 pm

I've been having this similar problem. When I start up a show or movie, the screen will darken for a few seconds, then lighten for a few, wash rinse repeat. Everything else on Roku works, and Netflix on my Wii works just fine. I have a similar setup with both the Wii and Roku going through a VCR. Roku's e-mail support is worthless. If it takes buying an RF modulator, then I'll live with the current setup.
 
stratcat96
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Re: Netflix has poor picture quality

Wed May 04, 2011 1:02 pm

mattv1 wrote:
I've been having this similar problem. When I start up a show or movie, the screen will darken for a few seconds, then lighten for a few, wash rinse repeat. Everything else on Roku works, and Netflix on my Wii works just fine. I have a similar setup with both the Wii and Roku going through a VCR. Roku's e-mail support is worthless. If it takes buying an RF modulator, then I'll live with the current setup.



to alleviate your issue, you will need an RF switch, no way around it. You can get a switch for sub-$20 and you might actually find that it helps simplify the wiring of your components along with clearing Netflix up.
 
-LD
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Re: Netflix has poor picture quality

Wed May 04, 2011 1:42 pm

mattv1 wrote:
I've been having this similar problem. When I start up a show or movie, the screen will darken for a few seconds, then lighten for a few, wash rinse repeat. Everything else on Roku works, and Netflix on my Wii works just fine. I have a similar setup with both the Wii and Roku going through a VCR. Roku's e-mail support is worthless. If it takes buying an RF modulator, then I'll live with the current setup.

It's not actually a problem, it's working as designed. You have connected things in an unsupported manner. Macrovision isn't going away. No need to email Roku, the answer is in this thread.
 
mattv1
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Re: Netflix has poor picture quality

Wed May 04, 2011 2:45 pm

-LD wrote:
mattv1 wrote:
I've been having this similar problem. When I start up a show or movie, the screen will darken for a few seconds, then lighten for a few, wash rinse repeat. Everything else on Roku works, and Netflix on my Wii works just fine. I have a similar setup with both the Wii and Roku going through a VCR. Roku's e-mail support is worthless. If it takes buying an RF modulator, then I'll live with the current setup.

It's not actually a problem, it's working as designed. You have connected things in an unsupported manner. Macrovision isn't going away. No need to email Roku, the answer is in this thread.


Interesting. Any idea why Netflix works fine on my Wii which is also connected through the VCR?
 
vmps
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Re: Netflix has poor picture quality

Thu May 05, 2011 7:27 am

mattv1 wrote:
Interesting. Any idea why Netflix works fine on my Wii which is also connected through the VCR?


No macrovision. Since they don't do HD output it might not have been in their contract.
 
stratcat96
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Re: Netflix has poor picture quality

Thu May 05, 2011 9:51 am

Doesn't Netflix require (to be implemented with copy protection possibly?) a chip? I remember the first WD Live could not get Netflix because it didn't have a certain chip in it, and that's why WD came out with the Live Plus. Perhaps with the implementation onto the Wii they wanted to get NF on it so bad and couldn't have Nintendo start throwing a chip in so they implemented it without copy protection just to get it out there
 
mattv1
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Re: Netflix has poor picture quality

Thu May 05, 2011 11:03 am

vmps wrote:
mattv1 wrote:
Interesting. Any idea why Netflix works fine on my Wii which is also connected through the VCR?


No macrovision. Since they don't do HD output it might not have been in their contract.


Hmmm, that seems odd, but I'll run with it. I think I might just go ahead and get an RF modulator since they're pretty cheap and I can get rid of this VCR. Thanks for the help.

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