: Pace DC551 HD box
In order to get the stretch modes to work with the 4041, you'll need to use the component video connection. I believe the HDMI connection only allows 720P, 1080i and no 480i/p on that TV.
Since it's an LCD, there is no reason to stretch, so why not leave it in "normal" to watch programming undistorted?
Sadly I'm returning my Pace 551 tomorrow for a SA3250. I've had just too many issues with the new Pace box. I initially liked it for its HDMI support and digital audio but after a few days I began to have issues.
1) Lost program guide 5 times in one month. Unplug it and plug it in and all is fine. Our other SA regular digital box does not loose its guide and it receives it signal from the other side of the same splitter.
2) 3 times while accessing Rogers On Demand the Pace box has just plain shut down.
3) No consistency with HDCP. Sometimes its good and sometimes its will not find it so I just have to wait for the message to go away.
All connections are with HDMI cables and ToSlink audio.
2007-01-26, 09:29 AM
Odd to hear people having so many problems. My only issue with it is that, quite frankly, HDMI makes 0 difference on my screen and switching channels is slow on HDMI so I find myself using component more often then not.
Having said that, the box itself really hasn't given me many issues and since I fought tooth and nail to get one, there's no way in hell I'm returning it ;)
Well, I'm back to using a PACE 551. The SA3250 that I exchanged my first PACE unit for was faulty (turned out to have a bad DVI port). The new PACE box doesn't have the issues so far that my first box had. The firmware is also newer. It seems the new firmware doesn't allow us to access to the internal menu of this box. I used to be able to hold the HD/# key for 5 secs and access this menu and set up all sorts of options including enhanced SD picture quality. Has anyone else noticed this since the firmware was upgraded? I've got it hooked the same way as the first time using HDMI in from my HTIB to the TV and HDMI out from the PACE to my TV. I've also re-hooked up the digital ToSlink audio cables to the HTIB and my sons Xbox.
I believe the firmware may now function like an SA STB. See the Digital Home FAQ (under help) "Tips for SA STBs". I understand it works in one of the ways indicated there.
See post 138 where this was mentioned.
Thanks 57, I'll check this out and report back.
You are correct 57. The original PACE internal menu which used to be accessed by holding the HD/# button for 5 seconds is gone. I had it when the tech dropped off the box. Set up the menu for 480P-720P-1080I, enhanced SD picture, HDMI worked like a charm.
Overnight the firmware was upgraded and now we get the old SA3250 menu but sadly HDMI no longer works to the TV. I had to use the composite cables from the PACE to the TV. Does that seem right? All channels are being output to the TV at 1920x1080I which is obviously stretching them a bit (still looks okay) on SD and on HD the PQ is fine.
If you don't want all the channels to be output at 1080i, then you'll probably need to run the advanced setup wizard to enable whatever formats your TV will accept.
You may also need to go into the STB settings to enable "passthrough" or auto-HDMI, which may currently be set to "fixed".
It's up to you though if you're happy with 1080i only use it that way.
Hi 57, I've run the wizard and have 480P normal, 720P and 1080I selected. Since I can no longer run the HDMI cable like I used to (had the STB set to Auto-DVI then) I have it set at fixed now using the component cables. Any idea's why the HDMI cable would just suddenly stop working? Would this be a result of the firmware upgrade ? For what it's worth I think the firmware had nothing to do with the HDMI not working. It was working in the morning but after reading some posts on trying to access the advanced menu of the PACE box I held some buttons on the front of the unit. Since then I cannot use the HDMI cable? Thanks again.
That's odd. You may wish to check the HDMI connection by unplugging and replugging it a few times at both ends to ensure you've got a good electrical/mechanical connection. Perhaps it got loose when you pressed the buttons.
BTW, Passthrough is the same as Auto-HDMI or with the formats you currently have enabled you could use upconvert1, which would send SD as 480P and HD as 1080i. It would depend on the TV whether this gives you a better picture than "fixed" at 1080i.
Thanks 57. I agree it is odd. I have a HDMI cable going from my HTIB to HDMI 1 on the TV. I'll exchange it with the other cable from the STB to TV HDMI 2 and see what happens. As for the 480P being upconverted, I was under the impression having the bars at each end of the screen was not good for the screen? The stretched pic quality isn't that bad bud. I will report back on this.
I was under the impression having the bars at each end of the screen was not good for the screen
That's only for CRTs and plasmas. See below:
Update: This morning I unplugged the PACE box and reversed my HDMI cables. I swapped the one from the HTIB to TV to connect the PACE to TV and moved that HDMI cable over to HTIB to TV. Turned on the PACE box and voila HDMI works fine. Not sure what I did on the weekend to cause the HDMI cable to malfunction but all seems fine now. I have the STB menu set to FIXED so I can stretch the picture on SD channels. I tried Upconvert 1 and 2 and this would not allow the stretch mode only normal and zoom. With zoom I would miss some of the picture. Auto-DVI (passthrough) also did the same thing not allowing me to stretch the SD picture.
I don't understand your desire to stretch, but to each his own.
As indicated in post 150, the HDMI cables don't have the best connector and simply a slight nudge may loosen them, hence my suggestion to unplug/replug the cables.
57, curious why you ask about the stretch mode. Do you feel the PQ is that much worse stretched? Remember my screen is only 40" so the stretch effect is not that much. What would you do? Auto-DVI and let the signal do what it wants? As for HDMI, I wanted to keep everything digital if possible but I am not experienced enough to tell you that it is any better than RGB component. Do you think they are?
The stretch effect is the same on all HDTVs, no matter the size. The impact is about 33%.
I don't usually see any/much difference between properly calibrated component or HDMi connections, so use what you want there.
I would use auto-DVI/passthrough, or Upconvert1/2 (to minimize the "mad scramble between HD channels of different format). And watch the signal in the original format unstretched for best PQ and also so as not to see "fat people".
2007-03-15, 06:55 PM
Does anyone know what the latest firmware version is on this box? I just picked mine up and it says it was produced Sept. 2005. Right now it's running Power TV OS 2.4 and Sara v.1.58.12.a104. Is this good, bad, or does it make no difference?
The latest firmware will have been downloaded to your STB by the service provider at the appropriate time. This is done automatically.
Please put your location and service provider into your UserCP Profile (location). It often helps us help you.
2007-03-15, 07:13 PM
Thanks for the quick reply! I'll update my info, but I live in Toronto and i am with Rogers.
2007-03-18, 03:14 PM
So, I have hooked up my new pace box and the HDMI seems to work fine. However, when changing channels it takes about 4 seconds to go from one channel to the next (for both component and HDMI connections). Also, when changing channels on HDMI the screen flickers (especially HD) and then stabilizes. Lastly, the picture quality seems to be poorer on the pace box than the SA.
I was wondering if the PQ is in my head or if there are known differences between the two and if I can make it so channels will change faster. I have read both FAQs but still can't find the answer using basic diagnostic. My QAM is -9/-15, the S/N is 25 and the FDC is "fixed". Rogers is coming to put a new line directly into the TV room, could the signal strength effect PQ?
Thanks! (Sorry for all of the questions)
Pace 551 HD