: Picture Quality Issue - Hitachi RPTV & SA8300HD

2007-10-01, 10:19 AM
I have an Hitachi 51UWX20b set and have recently changed my stb from SA3100HD to SA8300HD. I have component video and coax connections from my stb to the tv. I have found that the picture quality watching 480i input on component video is generally not as good as what the picture is on my coax connection to the antennae input on the tv. Is this to be expected or is there something else I should be doing. I would like to view everything under component video so to avoid the need for swithcing back and forth. Any help appreciated.

2007-10-02, 02:52 PM
See this FAQ - Why Does My HDTV Have Poor SD Picture Quality? (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=18580)

2007-10-02, 03:19 PM
I have a similar TV and have not noticed a significant difference in PQ between the SA8300HD and the antenna input. I actually prefer the picture from the SA8300HD a bit. This was not always the case as I preferred the internal tuner's picture until Rogers went all channels digital quite a while back.

I assume that you've set up the SA8300HD to output 480i and not upconverted 1080i, which is often the default in these STBs as they arrive in homes. I don't recall the 3100HD configuration (it's been years since I had one) but didn't it require a separate connection for SD? I recall all the signals from the component video connection were 1080i. Perhaps you simply got used to that picture? Perhaps the PQ from the SA8300HD is actually "better", but you're seeing more details than before and perhaps this leads you to believe that the internal tuner has a better picture? A proper setup of the TV may help?

See: http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=17719

Also: http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=57741

2007-10-03, 08:20 AM
57, thx for the reply. I'm not a technical expert but let me address your questions. With respect to the SA8300HD I set it up to recognize 480 i/p, 720p and 1080i and then selected the passtrough setting. With respect to the SA3100HD I believe all signals from the comp video connection were 1080i. With the Hitachi 51uwx20b it was not possible to stretch the picture of non-hd station signals so that was why I used the coax from stb to tv Antennae connection plus the 4:3 expanded aspect setting to watch full screen . I'm not sure if this signal was 480i or not. The 3100HD definitely did not have a passtrough setting. When first setting up my system I was told to use the Antennae for SD and component video for HD.

Re your comments on change in picture quality, there is no question I am in need of some further assistance/ servicing. I have used AVIA in the past (several years ago) and have tweaked my video settings a few times over the last 5 years. Generally speaking I have been really pleased with my picture quality and have avoided messing around with the settings. I just use the basic settings; all advanced stuff turned off. You may well be right in that I have gotten used to watching things a certain way. However, my main concern remains I guess is the color intensity difference between component video and my Antennae connections. Overall certain things are either too dark or too color intense - reds, blues, yellows etc.

I live in Ottawa and believe that you do not provide your business service here. However can you or someone else recommend a service technical expert to check my system out and do a tune up or whatever adjustments might be required. I'm not sure if a full calibration is needed or not and naturally would like to keep the costs under control.

One other quickie - do you use or recommend the use of Magic Focus? If so, how often. If not, why not? I used it a number of time years ago but not recently.

Thx again for your help.

2007-10-03, 09:02 AM
I had a TV similar to yours till it broke one too many times. Anyway, I remember I used to watch the HD channels via component cables and SD channels by an S-Video cable. That seemed to give me the best PQ and the TV remembered zoom/stretches by cable input so I didn't have to fiddle with that...just the input.

2007-10-03, 10:00 AM
Otown, thx for the comment. I have done the same as you as well. I did not notice much difference between the S-video and Antenna connection alternatives on my set.

BTW do know of anyone in Ottawa doing service/set-up related work that you could recommend. Probably similar to what 57 does up in the Toronto area.

Thx again.

2007-10-03, 10:06 AM
Magic Focus?I don't use Magic Focus. I do a full DCAM Convergence every 6 months to a year.


Since the SA8300HD can output 480i via component and since the TV will then properly stretch SD, perhaps rather than switching inputs you can use one of the other picture modes on the TV for your SD channels if they are that different (I don't find it so).

For example, if you have calibrated "movie" mode for your HD channels, you can copy all those settings over to "sports" (or whatever) mode and then modify those settings slightly to suit the SD channels. In order to minimize the mode button presses (I believe there are 4 modes) you could have two set up for HD and two for SD and you'd only need to press the mode button once each time you switch.

I find that the antenna input is more "washed out" than the component video connection from the SA8300HD, so I don't use it, although if I wanted to, I could do as suggested above.

See post 17 of my setup thread for one Ottawa option?


2007-10-03, 11:14 AM
kenlin, not to sound too much like a wet blanket but, your set is probably 5 years old and chances are you will suffer from the dreaded convergence problem that seems to plague Hitachi RPTVs (and other brands) .... there's many threads on this at DHC. Unless you can fix TVs yourself, this will cost you close to $500 for repairs.

So you've got to ask yourself, "do I want to spend money on having my TV professionally calibrated"........something to think about.