Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cableone & Comcast HDMI/DVI Settings

Setting video display options via User Settings

The DVR has several options to configure the video output format for your TV or display. This includes HD modes, SD mode, screen format (4:3 or 16:9), and closed captioning. Some newer models with the latest firmware also have options to fine tune DVI or HDMI settings.

Accessing User Settings

To access the video options, you need to go to USER SETTINGS

  1. Turn the DVR off.
  2. Press the Menu button on the remote or the front of the DVR.

Perform the following steps quickly (pauses between button presses may prevent the menu from appearing):

  1. Turn the DVR off
  2. Press the OK button on the remote (or the Select button on the front of the DVR)
  3. Press the Menu button on the remote or the front of the DVR.
  4. If your current aspect ratio does not display (16:9, 4:3L, or 4:3P) you may have waited too long between button presses. Turn the DVR on and try again.

Note that with this approach, the menu will go away when the DVR finishes booting (in a minute or two):

  1. Unplug the DVR for 30+ seconds.
  2. Plug in the DVR
  3. Press the Menu button on the front of the DVR when --:-- shows on the front of the DVR.
  4. If your current aspect ratio does not display (16:9, 4:3L, or 4:3P) you may not have had the DVR powered off long enough. Repeat the steps above but leave the DVR unplugged longer.

While in the user menu, the up or down arrows move between options. The left and right arrows will change the selected option.

To exit User Settings, press the Power key on the remote or the front of the DVR.

If you are unable to see the video on your display, most of the options will also display on the front panel of the DVR.

If you tune into an SD channel before turning off the DVR, the USER SETTINGS menu will display in standard 480i

TV Type

TV TYPE is where you specify the screen format. This only appears to affect how HD material is displayed when down-converted to 480i (SD) or 480p (ED).

The options are:

TV display

LED Display

Description

16:9

16:9

For most widescreen displays. HD will be displayed in its native format.

4:3 Letterbox

4:3L

For 4:3 displays. HD will be downconverted with letterboxing.

4:3 Pan Scan

4:3P

For 4:3 displays. HD will be downconverted with the sides cut off.

HDMI/YPbPr Output

HDMI/YPbPr OUTPUT sets the HD format used by the component, DVI, or HDMI outputs. The RF, composite, and S-Video outputs will ALWAYS be 480i.

The DVR can only output one HD format. For example, if you set it to 1080i, all HD will be output as 1080i. Any source that is 720p or 480p will be converted to 1080i. This is only done when on playback or viewing live video. Recordings are ALWAYS saved in their native format.

WARNING: If HDMI/YPbPr OUTPUT is set to anything other than 480i, and you are watching HD material, you will NOT be able to see the on-screen menus on the RF, composite, or S-Video outputs.

WARNING: As you scroll through the options, the output will change to that format. If you are using the RF, composite, or S-Video output, the video may go blank until you go back to 480i.

The options are:

TV display

LED Display

Description

Ypp/OUt

Alternates Ypp and OUt to show you are on that setting

1080I

1080/80 i

Alternates 1080 and 80 i. Maximum HD resolution of 1080i

720P

720P

HiDef HD resolution of 720p

480P

480P

Low ED resolution of 480p

480I

480I

Standard SD resolution of 480i

[Which HDMI/YPbPr Output Setting Should I Use?

If your display is not HD capable, then set HDMI/YPbPr OUTPUT to 480i. This will guarantee you can always see the menus. Set the TV Type selection to match your display aspect ratio and letterboxing preferences when viewing HD material (which will be downconverted for your TV).

If your display is HD capable, there is no hard and fast rule. You need to check the owners manual, or information on the back panel of the TV to find out what resolutions it accepts.

If it's an EDTV, then a setting of 480P will probably work best.

If it's CRT-based (direct-view or projection), then 1080i may be the best option, as most display 1080i natively.

If it's a fixed resolution panel such as Plasma, LCD, DLP, LCoS, SXRD or similar, it depends on its vertical resolution. That is typically the second number listed: 1920 x 1080 would have a vertical resolution of 1080 lines. If that number matches one of the HDMI/YPbPr OUTPUT options, try that first. If it's an oddball number like 768 or 786 or 1024, then it's a matter of trial-and-error to find which format you like and that works best with your display.

4:3 OVERRIDE

4:3 OVERRIDE tells the DVR how to output SD programming. This option is disabled if HDMI/YPbPr OUTPUT is set to 480i.

The options are:

TV display

LED Display

Description

OFF

OFF

SD is converted to the HDMI/YPbPR OUTPUT format with pillarboxes on the sides

480I

480I

SD is not converted

480P

480P

SD is converted to 480p

STRETCH

Strh

SD is converted to the HDMI/YPbPR OUTPUT format and stretched horizontally for a 16:9 screen

Don't assume that upconverting SD will give you an improved picture. The DVR's upconversion is not the best. Some displays can do a better job of converting SD material to their native format with fewer artifacts. Also, some displays may offer more choices in handling SD modes, such as a ZOOM mode for material that is already letterboxed.

Additional HDMI Settings

The 641x-PIII and 341x include an HDMI output instead of a DVI output. As of Firmware 16.20, a new option, "ADDITIONAL HDMI SETTINGS >>>" was added to the menu. Highlighting it and pressing OK/Select will switch to a second screen.

You can arrow down to each option and press the OK/Select to change it.

The options are:

Setting

Selection

LED Display

Description

HDMI/DVI MODE:

DVI

duI

You can use this option if you are using an HDMI/DVI converter cable or adapter to connect to a DVI port on your TV. Note that you may notice some stutter in the video with this setting. Try the HDMI mode, even if you are connecting to a DVI port. You can also try switching between modes temporarily, to solve stutter/jitter problems or HDCP errors. If you lose the video output because of HDCP errors, use the LED display to navigate switching back the output mode.

HDMI/DVI MODE:

HDMI

hdnI

Use this option if you are connecting to an HDMI port on your TV, or if you notice some video stutter when connecting to a DVI port on your TV. You an also try switching between modes temporarily, to solve stutter/jitter problems or HDCP errors. If you lose the video output because of HDCP errors, use the LED display to navigate switching back the output mode.

COLOR SPACE:

RGB

rgb

Use this setting if your TV uses RGB color decoding. The color will be obviously wrong if your TV does not. The conversion from MPEG2 colorspace (YCbCr) to RGB is performed in the DVR.

COLOR SPACE:

YCC 4:4:4

yCC

Use this setting if your TV uses YCbCr color decoding (YCbCr is abbreviated "YCC"). The color will be obviously wrong if your TV does not. YCbCr is the native colorspace of MPEG2. The conversion from YCbCr to RGB will occur in your TV.

AUDIO OUTPUT:

AUTO

AUdI

This is the preferred setting. Use this setting under normal conditions to receive Dolby Digital when available and supported by your A/V equipment, or L-PCM when Dolby Digital is unavailable or unsupported by your A/V equipment.

AUDIO OUTPUT:

L-PCM

AUdI

Use this setting if your TV does not decode Dolby Digital. This will convert all incoming Dolby Digital audio to Linear PCM. PCM is normal stereo audio, similar to what is contained on an audio CD, so you will lose any surround sound.

AUDIO OUTPUT:

PASS THROUGH

AUdI

Use this setting if you want the native format of the incoming signal to be passed on unchanged. This will normally be Dolby Digital for digital channels, or L-PCM for analog channels. Note that this may corrupt an HDMI->DVI conversion.

Closed Caption

The DVR's handling of closed captioning can be confusing.

It is very inconvenient, but you must turn the DVR off and go into the User Settings menu to make changes to the closed captioning settings. There is no interface to change the CC settings without turning off the DVR.

If 4:3 Override is set to 480i, then closed captioning will NOT be output by the DVR on SD programming. You will need to use your display's closed captioning capabilities.

Closed captioning on HD programming is converted to standard closed captioning that can be displayed by your display's own decoder when the output is set to 480i, or you are using the RF, composite, or S-Video outputs.

The only time the DVR displays closed captioning on its own is when the video format output is NOT 480i and CLOSED CAPTION is set to ENABLED.

Closed captioning is NOT passed through the digital video (DVI/HDMI) connections. If you want to use the digital video connection, you must use the DVR's captioning options.

Some have reported that the DVR's closed captioning tends to be slow and has many other problems.

When CLOSED CAPTION is set to ENABLED, the options below it are enabled and can be changed. Most of the options are self explanatory.

For ANALOG, CC1 is the standard closed captioning channel. CC2 is often used for spanish captioning.

Subtitle Settings

As of Firmware 16.20, the user menu has a SUBTITLE SETTINGS >>> option at the top of the display. Highlighting it and pressing OK/select will switch to a second screen.

The second screen offers options for STATUS (ON or OFF), and LANGUAGE (ENG [English], FRE [French], SPA [Spanish], and POR [Portuguese].)

To exit the screen, highlight the RETURN TO MAIN MENU >>> option at the bottom.

It's unknown what the subtitle settings are used for.

Restore All Defaults

RESTORE ALL DEFAULTS will reset all options to common defaults.

This will typically be:

Setting

Selection

TV TYPE

16:9

HDMI/YPbPr

1080I

4:3 OVERRIDE

480I

CLOSED CAPTION

DISABLED

2 comments:

Jeremy said...

whenever i make changes to these settings, they only keep for a session or two. usually by the 3rd time i power off and on again, i lose the hd settings and have to go in and restore them all once again. how do i prevent these settings from being lost?

Jasinek said...

This is some great advice.

I have a quick question though. I was outputting HD via the component output and the signal came to my TV as 1080i. Just recently I switched to the HDMI output and now the signal "switched" to 720p without me doing anything. I don't mind this knowing that the native format of my tv is 720p. I'm just curious as to if there is some sort of auto-detection when using HDMI.

By the way, when I switched back to the component, the source stayed as 720p.