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Old 11-09-2005, 06:56 AM   #1 (Print)
SJBrooks
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Question Going beyond best quality?

I would be interested in improving the quality of recordings on my Thompson series 1 Tivo. I tend to watch (and archive to DVD) cycling. There is a lot of fast movement and this causes blockiness. I believe someone on here tried to improve the recording quality but the result was an offset screen.

Has anyone else managed to improve the quality of recordings?
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Old 11-09-2005, 07:20 AM   #2 (Print)
6022tivo
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The Mode 0 hack works for me and my plasma. Also a file from LJ (I think) fixes the shift issue.

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Old 11-09-2005, 09:56 AM   #3 (Print)
blindlemon
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Get a flask of tea, find a comfortable chair and have a look at these threads :-

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-v...threadid=128288
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-v...threadid=157650

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Old 11-09-2005, 10:02 AM   #4 (Print)
Deano-b
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So without tivoweb it's not possible?? (sorry - but couldn't be bothered reading all 6000 pages ). Would be nice for an improvement in picture quality as I run my Tivo through a 6 and a half foot wide hidef display.
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Old 11-09-2005, 10:13 AM   #5 (Print)
blindlemon
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It is possible if you have a network connection (even via the serial port) to run a script to change the values. I posted one a while back.

Alternatively, you could send your drive away and have Mode 0 installed for a small fee

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Old 11-09-2005, 10:31 AM   #6 (Print)
Deano-b
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Yeah thought as much. I haven't got it networked and refuse to pay people as I'm a tight fisted sod
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Old 11-09-2005, 11:58 AM   #7 (Print)
blindlemon
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I guess you must have obtained your 6.5 foot hi-def display for nothing too then?

Unfortunately the way of the world is that (normally) either you can pay somebody to do something for you, or you can invest a bit of time and some materials costs and do it yourself.

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Old 11-09-2005, 01:32 PM   #8 (Print)
Deano-b
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blindlemon
I guess you must have obtained your 6.5 foot hi-def display for nothing too then?

Unfortunately the way of the world is that (normally) either you can pay somebody to do something for you, or you can invest a bit of time and some materials costs and do it yourself.


LOL - I Agree. Actually the reason is I don't want to invest too much time in Tivo (I know - sorry!!) as it will not take a hidef sky source, and unfornutally I think in a years time I may have have to look at Sky Hidef+ (again - I know the shame!). Unless anybody knows of a Tivo hidef box (now that would be v.nice ). Would the new US Tivos work over here as I've heard there NTSC/PAL??

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Old 11-09-2005, 04:54 PM   #9 (Print)
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No, the new USA Hi-Def TiVos aren't going to work very well over here unfortunately.

You can hack the US non-hi-def TiVos, but without the UK metadata they aren't very useful.
They are only as useful as something like Sky+, i.e. very limited compared to a subscribed UK TiVo

To get the best possible picture out of a UK TiVo, get the SDI mod and a nice scaler -ask Heuer.

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Old 11-11-2005, 07:46 AM   #10 (Print)
childe
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I know this is subjective, but can anyone indicate just how much improvement can be achieved? ie for a non techie who likes good pictures (and is becoming a bit disillusioned with Tivo video quality) is it going to be worth either the effort or the cost?

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Old 11-11-2005, 08:01 AM   #11 (Print)
cyril
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Quote:
Originally Posted by childe
I know this is subjective, but can anyone indicate just how much improvement can be achieved? ie for a non techie who likes good pictures (and is becoming a bit disillusioned with Tivo video quality) is it going to be worth either the effort or the cost?

Yes. it is worth it if you don't like the current quality.

Assuming your friendly techie doesn't charge you much to set it up.

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Old 11-11-2005, 08:46 AM   #12 (Print)
Heuer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by childe
I know this is subjective, but can anyone indicate just how much improvement can be achieved? ie for a non techie who likes good pictures (and is becoming a bit disillusioned with Tivo video quality) is it going to be worth either the effort or the cost?


Using Mode 0 you should be able to get to almost DVD quality images. It really depends on how much money you want to spend. Hacking TiVo to get Mode 0/VBR/LJ patch (there is a very full thread on this) will cost you only time and possibly a network card. The results are very worthwhile.

Next step up (if you are using Plasma or LCD) is a Progressive Scan box which will de-interlace the TiVo output and create a PS image. You will need to set TiVo for RGB output and also get a RGB to Component convertor. PS box would be something like the Zinwell (£300) and JS Technology sell the RGB/Component box (£129). The resulting picture is way beyond most peoples expectations with a definite film like quality to TV programmes.

Want to go further? An SDI modified TiVo (£350) will bypass the TiVo DA convertor and send a digital stream to a scaler (Lumagen sell these and prices are £1200 to £2000 depending on model). These are very powerful computing engines which will scale the picture to the native resolution of the Plasma or LCD, dot by dot, and the picture becomes really quite good. TiVo output will look better than most people will ever get out of their DVD players and when you feed a DVD player into the scaler ...............!

Once you have got this lot together you will find that a pure mains supply makes things even better. I use Pure Power transformers and Isotek mini-subs to clean and protect everything. Don't even think of using Belkin Surgemaster blocks even for a standard TiVo - snake oil and a total waste of money.

Next get the Plasma or LCD professionally calibrated - £300 - no change in detail but at least the colours will be right.

Further still? Lumagen are bringing out their latest scaler - £6,000 - which should be interesting!

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Old 11-11-2005, 09:10 AM   #13 (Print)
sanderton
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Heuer, have you had any experience of the slightly cheaper scalers? Something like the DVDO I-Scan HD + for example.

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Old 11-11-2005, 10:04 AM   #14 (Print)
Heuer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanderton
Heuer, have you had any experience of the slightly cheaper scalers? Something like the DVDO I-Scan HD + for example.


No. The two market leaders are the Crystallio and the Lumagen. The Crystallio seems to favour projectors and Lumagen the fixed pixel devices but not much in it. The guys at Lumagen are real enthusiasts (much like TiVo hackers!) and regularly tweak their software in response to user feedback. There have been over twenty updates in the last year as they keep adding new features (all downloadable from their web site and uploaded via serial port to the device) and fixing bugs. A very well supported product with a lot of happy users - have a look at the Lumagen User Forum - http://www.convergent-av.co.uk/forum/

The cheapest model is $999 followed by the intermediate one at $1499 to the current top of the range at $2499. www.lumagen.com Main differences seems to be the number of inputs, cabinet construction and whether you want an on-board display! The DVDO scalers seem to be in a similar price bracket.

The quality of the output of any scaler is more to do with the algorithms/software than the hardware so choose on that basis.

In my previous post the Lumagen prices I quoted were from memory and should have been in $ - apologies.

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Last edited by Heuer : 11-11-2005 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 12-05-2005, 11:36 AM   #15 (Print)
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Heuer

I am quite persuaded by the lumagen arguement, but at the moment my feed is straight to a pioneer 506 XDE from an unmodded TiVo. I am going to get the Tivo upgraded and switched to mode 0.

The pioneer media box deinterlaces the picture and allows me to make a large number of adjustments to the picture. The problem is I don't know where to start! The main picture problem on Tivo at the moment is over strong red and a strange glow/whiteness to faces in particular. The worst culprit is Johnathan Ross on a friday night. Any suggestions as to which settings I need to adjust to compensate for this?

Thanks

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Old 12-05-2005, 12:29 PM   #16 (Print)
6022tivo
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I have the pio 505XDE. What a lovely plasma you have...

Just to add, got my Xbox 360 in 720p on this set, very nice...

Anyways, I have mode 0 and some luminance changed, and I can not tell the difference between AUX and TIVO, because of the luminance changes, I think the tivo OP is nicer than the AUX.

Re the PIO settings, I did have a Doc of other peoples calibrated settings, but must of deleted it.

If you go to the Plasma forum at http://www.avforums.com/forums/

And have a search for the pioneer, there are a few threads where people have posted the settings after a calibration. They are nearly always the same, I have followed them then tweaked to my liking and am very happy with the results.

I was surprised to see the preferred settings are well out from the default zero values.

Also if you get any juddering from normal tivo output, turn off the Cinema enhancement. It worked for me.. Good luck.

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Old 12-05-2005, 01:17 PM   #17 (Print)
Heuer
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You have to be very careful using other people's calibration settings because each screen is individually different and it also depends on the signals you feed in (Xbox, TiVo, Sky, Freeview DVD PAL, DVD NTSC). Ideally the Plasma will be calibrated for each device.

First port of call has to be an AVIA or DVE calibration DVD (£15) and this can get your initial settings looking right, albeit for DVD only. They come with full walk through instructions and correct colour filters. You can then copy the test patterns to your TiVo and calibrate that. LJ's patch helps adjust colour without affecting the DVD settings. Some screens allow settings to be changed per input as well.

Only thing to watch out for is if you get into the hidden service menu. These settings are factory adjusted and whilst a trained calibration expert will be able to use them be aware that there is no 'factory reset' if you make a mistake. Usually the adjustments are by changing hex codes.

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Old 12-05-2005, 02:04 PM   #18 (Print)
paulpenny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6022tivo
I have the pio 505XDE. What a lovely plasma you have...

Just to add, got my Xbox 360 in 720p on this set, very nice...

Anyways, I have mode 0 and some luminance changed, and I can not tell the difference between AUX and TIVO, because of the luminance changes, I think the tivo OP is nicer than the AUX.

Re the PIO settings, I did have a Doc of other peoples calibrated settings, but must of deleted it.

If you go to the Plasma forum at http://www.avforums.com/forums/

And have a search for the pioneer, there are a few threads where people have posted the settings after a calibration. They are nearly always the same, I have followed them then tweaked to my liking and am very happy with the results.

I was surprised to see the preferred settings are well out from the default zero values.

Also if you get any juddering from normal tivo output, turn off the Cinema enhancement. It worked for me.. Good luck.


Interesting. Maybe the mode 0 mod will do the trick. Thanks

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Old 12-05-2005, 02:20 PM   #19 (Print)
paulpenny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heuer
You have to be very careful using other people's calibration settings because each screen is individually different and it also depends on the signals you feed in (Xbox, TiVo, Sky, Freeview DVD PAL, DVD NTSC). Ideally the Plasma will be calibrated for each device.

First port of call has to be an AVIA or DVE calibration DVD (£15) and this can get your initial settings looking right, albeit for DVD only. They come with full walk through instructions and correct colour filters. You can then copy the test patterns to your TiVo and calibrate that. LJ's patch helps adjust colour without affecting the DVD settings. Some screens allow settings to be changed per input as well.

Only thing to watch out for is if you get into the hidden service menu. These settings are factory adjusted and whilst a trained calibration expert will be able to use them be aware that there is no 'factory reset' if you make a mistake. Usually the adjustments are by changing hex codes.


I used the DVD essentials to sort out the dvd input, but if I use the same settings for TiVo I still get what I would describe as saturated reds and this weird shiny/white glow on faces - not on all programming but on some where the colours seem particularly vivid.

I don't think I will cause any harm playing around with the various settings as they are all readily available from the main setup menu. My problem was understading what adjustments need to be made in respect of this particular problem!

I am sure that after I have upgraded the TiVo, bought a Video processor, had it all professionally calibrated then things will be great, but in the meantime it would be nice to tone thngs down a little on the tivo input. Luckily each input can be adjusted individually.

As for getting the test patterns on to the Tivo, the only way I could do that would be by hooking the DVD player to the Aux input and recording it. Does that make any sense?

Thanks for your help

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Old 12-05-2005, 03:55 PM   #20 (Print)
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I've recently got the Pio 436XDE and like 6022tivo, follow avforums.com (do all the geeks hang out in the same forums?!). My TiVo is running Mode 0 on Best & High, with LJs patched fpga7114.o and also the iicsetw script - this gives an identical picture (in terms of colour etc.) whether on Aux bypass or through the TiVo's live buffer.

The only changes I have made (so far!) to the Pio is to turn off all of the Pro Adjust bits & pieces, with the exception of CTI, take contrast down to 30, colour to -5 and sharpness to -1. These are adjusted on the 'Standard' setting and so apply to all my inputs (Tivo on RGB, DVD on component & PS2 on RGB). I'm pretty happy so far. (Of course, this is one of those discussions where everybody will have their own 'special' settings Opinions are like a***holes; everyone's got one!)

Having said that, I will definitely be getting Gordon from avforums to come and do a full ISF calibration next year, once the set has been run in
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Old 12-06-2005, 01:56 PM   #21 (Print)
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I also used Gordon at Convergent for my setup - he also supplied the Lumagen. Eric Salih (AVTalk forum along with Gordon) to set up my second one. Both equally good.

As regards the TiVo picture being saturated you will find LJ's patch a step in the right direction but feel free to chane his settings to get the colours you need. Only other way is to get into the Plasma Service Menu and start tinkering there.

Best bet would be to calibrate for TiVo and wing it with the DVD if you can't get deeper into the settings.

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Old 12-06-2005, 04:03 PM   #22 (Print)
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Agreed, LJ's patch made some difference (for the good) but iicsetw (which makes changes to the input to the mpeg encoder as opposed to LJ's patch which changes the output, IIRC!) made things great
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Old 12-07-2005, 05:11 AM   #23 (Print)
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Fozzie

Good to hear. I tend to bunch iicsetw with LJ's patch as they were part of the original thread but glad you managed to figure it out despite my vaugeness!

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Old 12-07-2005, 08:07 AM   #24 (Print)
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You may find that your plasma looks better when fed a component signal than a SCART one. You can convert either by buying a JS SCART->Component adaptor (c. £129 plus leads, as mentioned earlier) or by getting a SCART->Component lead, connecting the correct pins to get sync-on-green, and then changing one of the other setting with iicsetw, and you can get component direct from your TiVo. I've done this and it looks great on my set, and only cost me about £25 for the lead!

Mode 0 and use of iicsetw to sort the luminance and colour made a huge difference on my plasma (Panasonic PHD8). Unfortunately I've not yet watched all of the old recordings I made before Mode 0, and when I see them now they look really horrid!

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Old 12-07-2005, 01:52 PM   #25 (Print)
Fozzie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowlandhills
...or by getting a SCART->Component lead, connecting the correct pins to get sync-on-green, and then changing one of the other setting with iicsetw, and you can get component direct from your TiVo. I've done this and it looks great on my set, and only cost me about £25 for the lead!
Yeah, I was reading about this on another thread, but that was butchering a cable which tbh, I can't be bothered with! Did you buy your cable ready made, and if so, have you some more details.

Thanks.
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Old 12-07-2005, 02:29 PM   #26 (Print)
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Actually, what I did was to buy a SCART->RGBs lead (ie SCART to 4 Phono) and then an adaptor which joins together two phono plugs, so that I could join the "G" and "s" leads. It's probably not as good as joining the two together in the plug at the SCART end, but it's much less bother! Also, I'll be switching back to RGBs rather than component early next year when I get a scaler, so I didn't want to knacker the cable.

The cable I bought was actually made up for me by the people I bought my plasma screen from, but search for Profigold for some reasonable spec good value cables. If you don't mind spending a little more, I'd recommend http://www.markgrantcables.co.uk/. Although they don't list SCART breakout cables on the website, Mark will make up cables to order (in fact, he'd make you exactly the lead you need if you ask. Cost would be about £50 or so.

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Old 12-07-2005, 02:30 PM   #27 (Print)
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Oh, and the two-into-one adaptor was this one:

http://www.maplin.co.uk/module.aspx?ModuleNo=1018&doy=

cheap, but it does the job for me, since I don't have a SCART in on my plasma screen!

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Old 12-22-2005, 01:51 PM   #28 (Print)
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Hi All,

Just trying to catch up with all this.

My TiVo currently inputs into a Lumagen HD scaler using an RGB to 4-phono lead built by Lektropacks.

The inputs are component/ w sync, so the scaler input is selected as RGBs

I also have Mode0 VBR and iicsetw running.

Am I to understand that I could improve PQ into the scaler even further by using the iicsetw component hack?

Being brave I just experimented and typed in the following lines from the Howto thread

/var/hack/iicsetw 0x8Ch 0x3AH 15
/var/hack/iicsetw 0x8Ch 0x2Dh 63

The first line turned the screen green, the second line had no visible effect. I then fiddled around with the the scaler input selection and lost picture and couldn't get it back so had to reboot TiVo.

Assuming that the current cabling syncs on green, should I just unplug the sync, set the Lumagen scaler input to component, and retry?
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Old 12-27-2005, 05:03 PM   #29 (Print)
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Anyone able to offer any guidance on this one?
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Old 12-27-2005, 05:21 PM   #30 (Print)
blindlemon
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What makes you think that running component into your scaler would give a better picture than RGB?

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