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    Moderated By: claudio
    Agoraquest Forum Index Television Configuration
      
    36XBR800 does not have a clear picture!! Dashboard
    Replies: 46 | Views: 11,045
    Last Reply: February 20, 2004, 7:04 am

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    MECHANOID1 | eezeepro | ckolsen | kranston | kanihoncho | -W- | dschroll | NOVAwhiteTypeS | wrich55416 | pjd999 | jwrebl | jimltec | jttar | sharmar | bru87tr |
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    Author 36XBR800 does not have a clear picture!!
    jwrebl

    Rank: Sony Enthusiant


    Joined: Aug 27, 2002
    Posts: 39
    From: Langhorne, PA

      Posted: 2002-09-19 07:42

    Any help on this would be greatly appreciated:

    Here's the deal--
    I have digital cable and a high definition decoder box. I also have a DVD player.

    HDTV-- Picture looks awesome
    DVD-- Picture looks awesome
    Digital Cable-- my 8 year old 27 inch Magnavox looks 10x better!!!!!

    Since I watch standard cable 95% of the time I have a MAJOR problem with this. Every station looks as if I am watching it from behind a screen. It has a 'snowy' effect and some stations have shadowing. Other stations are pixally. Is this a cable problem? I am really close to calling Circuit City and sending this TV back. I don't like paying thousands of dollars for a WORSE picture. Somebody please save me!!!


        


    kranston

    Rank: Sonyphile


    Joined: May 19, 2002
    Posts: 509
    From: Orlando

      Posted: 2002-09-19 08:47

    jwrebl,
    You've asked this before on a different post and I asked you some questions but you did not reply.
    If you would like help, answer the following questions the best you can:
    1) what digital cable system and STB do you have.
    2) Are you looking at analog channels from the digital box or the digital (non-HD) channels when the set shows poorly? (All the channels are usually not digital)
    3) Are you comparing the 8 yr old TV's picture when you were using a regular digital cable box (or did you use the S-video/composite jacks of the HD box to the magnavox to compare since you obviously cannot use component connections)
    kranston



       
    jwrebl

    Rank: Sony Enthusiant


    Joined: Aug 27, 2002
    Posts: 39
    From: Langhorne, PA

      Posted: 2002-09-19 08:54

    Kranston--

    Thanks for you response. Here are my replies to your questions:

    1) Comcast Digital Cable-- what to you mean by 'STB'?
    2) All channels are poor when looking through the regular digital cable box. Some are worse than others which could be the analog vs. digital. Still upset because I could not see the difference with my older set!
    3) When viewing regular digital cable-- the signal does not go through the HD box so basically the connection is exactly the same as when I had it hooked up to my Magnavox.

    Let me know your thoughts!!

    Thanks!


        
    kranston

    Rank: Sonyphile


    Joined: May 19, 2002
    Posts: 509
    From: Orlando

      Posted: 2002-09-19 10:32

    Let me give you my thoughts to make things easier.
    Cable companies that do HDTV usually offer the following: (1) basic cable - analog (2) Digital cable - lower channels are still analog, upper chanels are digital, all using a digital cable box (STB). (3) HDTV - some channels are high definition, some are just upconverted, lower channels are still analog, upper channels are digital; all using an HD STB (set-top-box). The HD box has component and/or RGB, S-video, and perhaps composite outputs.

    Now you said that you have an HD box, and you also said that "All channels are poor when looking through the regular digital cable box". Does that mean you have 2 boxes?

    If you have one box that does HD, Digital channels, and analog channels, then it is not uncommon to have the lower analog channels look absolutely terrible because the bandwidth for HD is so large, the lower channels suffer. You will only notice this on your XBR because you cannot hook up the old magnavox to the HD box for a fair comparison.

    If you have 2 boxes (one for HD and just another regular digital cable box), and the XBR is worse, then my question is what connections are you using? I sometimes find that the composite (RCA) jack will do a better job overall compared to the S-video with cable because the TV has better comb filters (I believe is the reason).

    There are many factors that need to be considered. It is not just as simple as the "XBR is worse". Let us know what you are doing to compare the TV's, what connections you are using (and when, if necessary) and any other useful information. It is easier than me writing out all the possibilities.
    kranston




       
    jwrebl

    Rank: Sony Enthusiant


    Joined: Aug 27, 2002
    Posts: 39
    From: Langhorne, PA

      Posted: 2002-09-19 10:37

    kranston

    Yes-- I have to boxes (STB-- thanks for the explanation ). For the regular digital cable box, it is a standard COAX cable that I used before I got the TV. Could this be the problem? Believe me when I say 'I do NOT want to return this TV'. I would rather find a solution. Thanks for all of your help.


        
    jwrebl

    Rank: Sony Enthusiant


    Joined: Aug 27, 2002
    Posts: 39
    From: Langhorne, PA

      Posted: 2002-09-19 10:55

    Whoops!! That's TWO (2) (not 'to') boxes. To clear things up even further here's the way it works:

    Coax coming from wall jack to Digital Calbe Box
    Coax going from Digital Cable Box to TV
    RGB type cables from Digital Cable Box to HDTV Cable Box
    RGB type Cables from HDTV Cable Box to TV
    Standard DVD jacks (1 video and left/right(2) audio jacks) going from DVD player to TV

    Hope this explains things even better!


        
    kranston

    Rank: Sonyphile


    Joined: May 19, 2002
    Posts: 509
    From: Orlando

      Posted: 2002-09-19 14:26

    Now, if we left everything hooked up the way you described, but then (1)disconnect the coax cable from the back of the XBR and put it into the Magnavox...it will be clearer, correct? If not, and you are (2)doing some other hookup (like disconnecting the HD box) let me know.
    If it is (1) above, I would then use good quality RCA jacks to connect the digital box to the TV (the thick gauge yellow with the smaller red and black). Could try S-video too.
    That's my first step...not using the coax.

    Also, you then want to turn your contrast and sharpness down on the XBR. If you have premium digital channels and they look good (after the previous steps) then your set is fine. I do not have an XBR800, but you may want to turn off the DRC for the analog channels since it will make the picture worse than your magnavox. The picture may look better on the premium digital channels with the DRC on (cinemotion, for example).

    I am not familiar with the set-up you have, that is, tapping the digital box for the HD feed to go to the HD box. Usually, having an HD box will reduce the quality of the analog channels, but I'm not sure if it will with your set-up.
    Finally, the XBR800 does not have RGB inputs. Are you referring to component inputs? And, if you are using regular RCA jacks from your DVD to your XBR800, then you are really doing yourself a dis-service with your TV...get component cables for your DVD.
    In fact, GET some CABLES! (ie no coax)

    kranston


       
    jwrebl

    Rank: Sony Enthusiant


    Joined: Aug 27, 2002
    Posts: 39
    From: Langhorne, PA

      Posted: 2002-09-19 14:59

    kranston--

    Yes to your point number 1. That is how it is set up. I went to circuit city at my lunch break today and they said the same thing. They also said that if the problem is there after I swap out the coax, to contact their support being that they would come out free of charge and look at it (I'm no dummy-- I purchased 5 years of support on this thing).

    Anyway-- I can't believe my DVD picture could look any better than it already is (like I said, the DVD's look incredible on this set) but your comments have me curious to see how much better it can go . Thanks again for your help. I'll let you know how my venture goes!!


        
    jwrebl

    Rank: Sony Enthusiant


    Joined: Aug 27, 2002
    Posts: 39
    From: Langhorne, PA

      Posted: 2002-09-20 07:49

    What I did was swap out the coax cables for Monster brand RCA jacks. The 'snow' problem is still there for ALL major stations (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX) as well as the basic cable stations (MTV, VH1, E!, ESPN, HGTV, History Channel)- you know, 95% OF THE FRIGGIN' CHANNELS I WATCH!! Not as bad as before but still unacceptable. It went away for some of the basic movie channels that come with digital cable (Encore, Flix, Sundance, etc). Hooray! Now I can watch some crappy foreign film clear as day but when I want to watch my Philadelphia Eagles beat up on the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday, I'll think it is December with all of the SNOW I am seeing on my screen! Also- I watched Push, Nevada last night on HDTV and even that is not as clear as before. I am beginning to wonder if this is even worth it. This is getting frustrating...

    Anyway-- I guess my next step is to get someone out to the house.


        
    jwrebl

    Rank: Sony Enthusiant


    Joined: Aug 27, 2002
    Posts: 39
    From: Langhorne, PA

      Posted: 2002-09-20 09:45

    One more thing-- I think it may be a weak cable signal coming from the cable company. Why else would my digital channels be clear and my analog be snowy? I think I am going to have them check the signal.


        
    dschroll

    Rank: Sony Aficionado


    Joined: Aug 17, 2002
    Posts: 102
    From: Chicago, IL

      Posted: 2002-09-20 09:49

    See if you can just swap this set for another new one. It's possible the set is defective although unlikely. I really think you're getting a poor cable signal. The reason your new TV is showing all these atifacts is because it is really good and showing you what you're really getting. You know the saying, garbage in garbage out? If you're sending a super nice TV a crappy signal, that's exactly what it'll play. I have a 34XBR800 and regular analog cable looks amazing on the thing. Try and unhook all your cable boxes, and just plug in the coax cable from the wall to your TV, so that the cable is not going through any cable boxes. This should just give you analog channes. Try that and see if it's any better.

    I have a friend who had digital cable and the 40" Sony and my analog cable looks much better than his digtal.

    I really think that in a lot of areas people get a really crappy cable signal. If you think you could manage it, I would highly recommed satellite. The picture quality is much better. In any event, see what just straight analog cable looks like on your set first. I know that even through the digital box that the lower channels are analog, but the more things you put between your signal and your TV, the more likely the signal will be lesser quality. Report back with what you find. Good luck and I can certainly empathize fwith you in the amount of stress you're going through.


       
    jwrebl

    Rank: Sony Enthusiant


    Joined: Aug 27, 2002
    Posts: 39
    From: Langhorne, PA

      Posted: 2002-09-20 10:09

    dschroll-

    nice to hear from ya. Anyway-- I have a call into the cable company to come out and check the cable signal on Sunday. As much as I understand you comment on how this TV shows what your really getting, all that makes me want to do is return the TV and wait until the technology gets better so that what I am really getting is a good picture. Is it that I am on the bleeding edge?


        
    dschroll

    Rank: Sony Aficionado


    Joined: Aug 17, 2002
    Posts: 102
    From: Chicago, IL

      Posted: 2002-09-20 12:24

    Hey jwrebl,
    I understand your concern. No point in spending a ton of money on a TV just to watch regular TV and have it look crappier than before. I still think you may wanna try my method just to see what regular analog cable through no boxes looks like. I've had digital cable and analog, and to me, analog looks much better. Have you calibrated you set at all using the Avia DVD or something similar? That may help with the picture. Most TVs have a very bight default setting that could make the picture look somewhat fuzzy and such because the colors are too bright. What are your TV's settings at, i.e. which pic mode are you watching this in. I highly recommend Pro mode as I believe it is the most accurate of them all. From there, I would recommend calibrating your TV using one of those calibration discs and that may help with the snowy picture.

    Remember again that a bad signal is gonna look bad on almost any high grade TV. I know lots of TVs have circuitry to help make the picture look better, but usually if you feed it a bad signal it will just enhance the artifacts. Good luck though and I hope you can fix your problem. I know you've been looking forward to having this set, so it's sad to see you're not as happy with it as you expected.


       
    kranston

    Rank: Sonyphile


    Joined: May 19, 2002
    Posts: 509
    From: Orlando

      Posted: 2002-09-20 12:57

    jwrebl,
    Having digital channels clear and analog channels fuzzy is quite common, if not ubiquitous, especially on high end TVs. The XBR's line doubler may also slaughter an analog signal, but works wonders with digital good quality signals (especially DVD and HD, even digital cable).
    Also, some stations are just terrible on cable and there is nothing the cable company can do.
    Let me make a distinction. The digital box has lower analog channels and then upper digital channels on most cable systems. This is what I am referring to, not OTA (over the air). I personally have not seen any difference between the analog channels using a direct cable connection from the wall to the TV vs. going through the cable box. All the channels available are there in the cable in the wall so the quality *should* be the same, unless the box is bad. Also if you want to compare them you cannot use coax from wall to the TV (for a direct connection), and then compare to something like s-video from box to TV...the s-video could look worse because the TV has a better comb filter than the cable box and you would be bypassing it (I believe)
    Anyway, it is not a bad idea to get you cable checked.
    kranston

    [ This message was edited by: kranston on 2002-09-20 13:01 ]

    [ This message was edited by: kranston on 2002-09-20 13:10 ]


       
    jwrebl

    Rank: Sony Enthusiant


    Joined: Aug 27, 2002
    Posts: 39
    From: Langhorne, PA

      Posted: 2002-09-20 13:30

    straight from the wall to the tv is where it looks the worst. I really hope the Cable Company will say it is a poor signal! We're not talking 'a little degradation' here. We talking NOTICABLE degradation. We're talking being embarrassed because the pic is sooooo bad. Imagine have people over your house thinking 'He paid 2 grand for that picture? What an idiot!'


        
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