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HR-20 700 and resolutions

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by kpmd, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. kpmd

    kpmd New Member

    Jul 14, 2008

    I need some help with my HR-20 700 please. I'm having a few issues...

    First of all, this is my first post, I found this forum through AVSForum :) , so hi everyone!

    Second of all, my tv is the Panasonic TH-50PX60U (50" plasma).

    I have the HR-20 set to:

    native - off
    screen - original format
    widescreen 16x9
    all resolutions checked

    The first thing I notice is that I've I go to 1080i, the guide is blurry. The only way I can get the guide to be clear is on 480p. Does DirecTV not have a "hd" guide template for higher resolutions?

    Secondly, some shows like Dirty Jobs in HD seemed stretched up and down with like 1 or 2 inches of black on the left and right sides (not as much as if they were pillar boxed which they aren't). It seems like this is the only show that I can remember that does this, most other HD channels look awesome and fill the screen properly.

    Thirdly, as I looked in the setup screen to find out which HR-20 I had (100 or 700), I scrolled down to the bottom of that window and noticed that my tv's resolution is 480p which is incorrect, it's 720p.

    How do I get the HR-20 to know that my tv's res is 720p? Will this solve my blurry guide and weird HD not filling the whole screen issues? Did the tech not setup my box correctly?

    Thanks for any advice.
    - kpmd
  2. bigwad

    bigwad Godfather

    Oct 19, 2006
    I keep my "Native" off and keep it on 1080i. Not much diffrence from 720p. If I'm watching a game on ESPN, I'll sometimes switch it to 720p. I have a 42" panny plama.
  3. kpmd

    kpmd New Member

    Jul 14, 2008
    I have tried to keep it in 1080i but then my guide is blurry and I can't stand that...
  4. DogLover

    DogLover Hall Of Fame

    Mar 18, 2007
    :welcome_s Welcome to DBSTalk!

    With the setting Native=off, you are saying that you don't want the DVR to change resolutions when the channel changes. You are saying that you want to change resolutions yourself. It will stay on the last selected resolution until you change it. This can be done from the front panel of the DVR with the res button. It can also be done from the remote. I believe it is the format button that will cycle through the various reslution/format combinations. (I use a universal remote, so I'm not sure if the remote button is labled format or something else.)

    If you wish it to change resolution when you change channels (based on the channels broadcast resolution), then you can change to native=on. Channel changes will take a little bit longer and the format button will then only cycle through the different formats (pillar bar, stretch, etc) in that reslolution.

    Choose whichever option works best for your situation.
  5. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    Sep 3, 2004
    Welcome to DBSTalk, kpmd. :)

    Since the native resolution for the TV is 720p, I'd check that resolution alone. The DVR will upconvert (or downconvert) everything to 720p. This will also make your channel changing faster.

    Check your Panasonic's Aspect button for that one broadcast that is wrong. Sometimes you have to work the two aspect buttons, the one on your DVR and the one on your TV, in tandem to get everything to come out right. Once you do that, you can generally ignore one the two and just use one. I use the one on my Panasonic plasma as my main aspect changer, for example.

    The guide is an SD guide. It will look blurry in HD.
  6. durl

    durl Hall Of Fame

    Mar 27, 2003
    I believe the "blurry guide" is a common thing when an HD resolution is currently active. I can't recall seeing a comprehensive explanation of why that is, but it's one of those things I've learned to live with.

    I do Native On, and have only 480i and 1080i checked for display on my Sony SXRD.
  7. davring

    davring Hall Of Fame

    Jan 13, 2007
    My guide looks fine no matter what the resolution is. I have never seen the guide change its appearance regardless. I know if I use "original format" the guide is much narrower, I use pillar box and then the guide fills the screen properly.

    And kpmd, welcome to DBSTalk!
  8. cygnusloop

    cygnusloop Hall Of Fame

    Jan 26, 2007
    This is from the broadcaster. The Discovery networks still do this on occasion when airing an SD show on the HD channel. (Yes, Dirty Jobs is HD now, but some of the early episodes are still aired in SD.)

    It's called 14:9 crop. It is part zoom and part crop. It leaves thin pillarbars on the side, and crops a small bit of the top and bottom of the frame.

    Worst of both worlds...
  9. kpmd

    kpmd New Member

    Jul 14, 2008
    Thanks everyone for the replies.

    I just went and played some more. I tried just checking 720p in the HD tab and using native "on". Nothing seems to really change when I'm on an HD channel except the guide is not as sharp and clear as on the 420x settings. :(

    Playing with my TV rez, I found that I'm using a setting called "Full" that when on Discovery HD (channel 278) is the only setting I can use on my tv to see the entire logo at the bottom right of the screen. While on this setting is where I get the "smaller" black bars on the sides of the screens (just confirmed that I'm getting them on Deadliest Catch). I can change my TV setting to use H-Fill or Just to get rid of the black bars but when I do that I can see the right edge of the DiscHD logo. /cry
  10. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    Try native off and 720p.
  11. kpmd

    kpmd New Member

    Jul 14, 2008
    No change =(
  12. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    Sep 3, 2004
    But that's what people have been saying upthread. The guide is not an HD guide. It's an SD guide. It won't change with switching to 720p. It won't be clearer. Going native off and 720p will give you the best and quickest channel changes. That's the advantage there.

    Plus, how blurry is blurry? Got a good digital camera around? Take a picture and let us see it.

    As for your framing issue, if it's only on that one show, and switching various aspect buttons around doesn't make a difference, I'd suspect the broadcast itself was incorrect. Try recording another episode.
  13. finaldiet

    finaldiet Hall Of Fame

    Jun 13, 2006
    I have mine set to native ON
    Picture set to PILLAR BOX
    Res. set to 720 and 1080

    Seems like the best settings for my Vizio LCD and Sony CRT.:D
  14. rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

    May 28, 2007
    I have two Panasonic plasmas – a 50” 1080p and a 42” 720p, both connected to their own HR20-700’s. Both look great, and both are set to native=off and 1080i only. I have no issues with the guide looking blurry, but of course it does not look “HD crisp” like the text on a computer. Keep in mind that a “720p/1080i” HDTV is actually “768p”, so no matter how you set the output of the HR2x, the TV will have to do some rescaling to make the incoming signal match its native pixel resolution.
    If your guide really is blurry to the point of being almost unusable, it could be an issue with the TV. Maybe the rescaling circuitry is doing something wrong. Also, your TV likely has a lot of settings that allow you to adjust things like “mosquito noise” and such. You might try playing with those to make sure they aren’t affecting the picture.
  15. kpmd

    kpmd New Member

    Jul 14, 2008
    Thanks and I haven't had a chance to take pictures of it yet so you all can see the difference, but there definitely is when I switch between 480p/i and higher resolutions. On 480 settings the guide is clear, sharp, perfect....as soon as you go higher it gets this blurry like - you want to rub your eyes while looking at it - type of blurry, it's usable, just not as nice.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to whine about it, just looking to see if someone else out there noticed this and found a way to fix it (I'm very anal about graphics, etc). I can deal with it, it's better than the HR-20 popping up a box on almost every other HD station telling me that I should up the resolution to take full advantage of blah blah blah...:)

    What makes sense is that it's a 480 resolution guide and putting the HR-20 in a higher rez mode just makes it have to "blow up" the guide, so there's loss of clarity (same thing happens if you resize a jpg to a higher resolution) - can't create pixels that weren't there to begin with...

    What would be nice is that if DirecTv would have created a HD guide template that gets used when your box is in that mode...

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