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Native on or off? Dumb Q's???

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by w84mike, Oct 10, 2006.

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  1. w84mike

    w84mike AllStar

    Sep 12, 2006
    My TV supports all 4 resolutions available from the HR20. I have had Native on and all 4 resolutions selected since installation 5 weeks ago, but I notice nothing seems to be broadcast in 480p and the only channels broadcasting in 720p are Fox and ABC. I have noticed a few posts on this board where people have recommended setting the HR20 for only 1080i and 480i, then switching Native to off and manually changing between the two resolutions. My dumb question (part one) is how does this affect a show broadcast in 720p? Dumb question (part two): if I then only have two resolutions to switch between would that cut down on the time it takes to get a picture and determine the sound input when I change channels (currently seems takes several seconds)? If I set the HR20 for only two resolutions instead of the four I have it currently set for, will that speed up the process if I leave Native set to On? I guess that was dumb question part 2-b.

    What's everybody else doing about Native?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. ExUltimateTV

    ExUltimateTV AllStar

    Oct 6, 2006
    In regards to picture quality, you want to a) avoid re-resampling the signal, and b) do the one resampling in the box with the best hardware/firmware.

    I don't know if anyone reading this has one, but if you've got something like the DVDO VP30, your put the HR20 into Native mode and connect it to the DVDO and then set the DVDO output to the native resolution of your TV display (what the pixles actually are) and you're done.

    For those of us not yet willing to spend $2K on a scaler, we have to figure out how we can control where and when video scaling occurs. The ideas behind doing 480i and 1080i are to do as little processing the HR20 as possible, letting your (hopefully better) TV scale the input to match what it can display. 480i is the native SD signal while 1080i is either the native HD signal or an upsample of the 720p (this upsample can be done pretty simply). Now it's up to your TV to do the 3-2 pulldown for progressive, and to scale up (from 480) or down (from 1080) to its native display. Some AV receivers have video up/down scaling as well - and those that have the Farouda chip (or similar) may be doing a better job than the HR20.

    I don't know what's in the HR20, but my Pioneer Elite Plasma scales 480i to its native 768p better than when the HR20 scales to 720p or 1080i and then the Pioneer scales those to 768p.

    Another issue is that for the current software in the HR20, I've found that turning Native On leads to problems when 30 sec slipping/6 sec replaying - the output loses its resolution setting and then everything has to relock. Turning Native off keeps the HR20's output resolution locked for a more stable experience. For some reason, it also seems to improve audio stability as well.
  3. shamus46

    shamus46 Legend

    Sep 29, 2002
    I turned native off and leave it on 1080i all the time and it looks great.
  4. w84mike

    w84mike AllStar

    Sep 12, 2006
    Thank you guys so much! Wish I had asked my dumb questions sooner - I won't hesitate next time. I had no idea I could let the TV do the work of resolving the resolution issue, but setting the HR20 to 1080i and turning Native off works great - very smooth, no more choppy "burping" of picture and sound each time I change a channel. Appreciate the help!

  5. rkester

    rkester AllStar

    Sep 21, 2006
    For me I just keep it on 1080i all the time. I do not see any change in the picture between 720 and 1080. And when it auto switches res, my receiver gets confused and loses the signal alot.
  6. netronin

    netronin Cool Member

    Oct 10, 2006

    Same here... native off and set to 1080i.
  7. jaywdetroit

    jaywdetroit Hall Of Fame

    Sep 21, 2006
    Hmmm. I tried both ways while watching DiscoveryHD. I'm connected to my TV with an HDMI cable. I have a new Sammy LCD.

    I turned off Native, and flipped through the 480p and 1080i modes with the format button. To be sure, I checked the info on the TV to see what resolution it was getting. 1920x1080 in 1080i, and 720x480 in 480p.

    I could not see a difference in the picture quality. I even focused in on some small lettering to see if it was more legible at the higher res. No difference.

    What am I missing here?
  8. bonscott87

    bonscott87 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

    Jan 21, 2003
    Yep, same. Native off and set to 1080i along with 480i if I want my TV to do the stretching work and upscaling on some programs.

    Now if your HDTV is a native 720p set then you can do this same thing except set the HR20 to 720p output and 480i. The only difference is that the HR20 will "downconvert" the 1080i to 720p before sending to your set.
    In practice I have never noticed a difference either way with upconverting 720p to 1080i or the other way around from 1080i to 720p YMMV.
  9. rkester

    rkester AllStar

    Sep 21, 2006
    I should also note that my TV (Sony KDFE42A10) does 720p. So I wouldnt see any difference anyway. But it has been my experience that its scalers and such just do fine with 1080i across the board when downscaled. Like bonscott said, ive not noticed a diff either way.
  10. Carbon

    Carbon Godfather

    Sep 22, 2006
    Another vote for 1080i all the time.
  11. Xram

    Xram Godfather

    Nov 18, 2005
    And another hand up for 1080i all the time.
  12. rkester

    rkester AllStar

    Sep 21, 2006
    So with all this hands up and whatnot...

    For someone like me wiht a tv that does 720P. is there any benefit or detriment to using 720p over 1080i all the time? Can someone maybe explain why one ver the other in situations like mine?
  13. hasan

    hasan New Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Ogden, IA
    There are two basic rules:

    1. Run your source device (HR20) at a fixed output resolution matching the native resolution of a fixed pixel display (DLP/HDMI) Your source device (HR20) handles any scaling that may be required. If it does it well, you're in great shape. If not, see rule #2.

    2. Try the HR20 with a variety of source channels (720P and 1080i), with its output resolution set to 720P. Repeat the experiment, setting the HR20 output resolution to 1080i. See which of the two settings gives you the most "pleasing" picture. Use that setting.

    For my part, my Sammy HL-R5667W 720P native display looks best when the HR20 is set at 720P and does the scaling at those times when the source is 1080i. (not to mention I don't have to fiddle with it)

    There is no ABSOLUTE answer, although rule #1 would cause one to think there might be. The only safe "rule" is #2.
  14. Guindalf

    Guindalf Legend

    Nov 19, 2005
    Believe it or not, there is a simple answer to the OPs question and it is this....


    Ignore the tests and the "My way's best" brigade. Run your own and see what looks better to you. After all, it's watching the darn thing that gives most people pleasure - others get it from watching a crappy picture but being able to go on a forum and impress people with their "knowledge"!
  15. Mixer

    Mixer Hall Of Fame

    Sep 28, 2006
    Sounds like when i get my HR 20 in less than two weeks I should have it set to Native off with 1080i always. My Mitsubishi does not support 720p so it sounds like leaving the resolution of the HR20 always on 1080i will be my best bet.

  16. uteotw

    uteotw Legend

    Sep 30, 2006
    I have the same situation: I don't see much of a difference at all (if any), and at 480p my guide fits perfectly on the screen, while on 1080i it somehow drops a little off the bottom of the screen. I have an older RP Samsung that doesn't do 720p. Should I leave it on 480p, or am I really missing out on clarity? Either way, I'm keeping Native OFF.
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