NTL Picture Issues

Discussion in 'Cable TV & Virgin Media TV' started by Astaroth, Sep 28, 2004.

  1. Astaroth

    Astaroth
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    I have just upgraded my TV/Home Cinema setup including buying a Denon AVR 2805 and a Panasonic TX32PD30 TV.

    My DVD has component output (but not progressive scan) and this goes through the AVR which steps up the signal to progressive scan. The picture quality I get is outstanding.

    My NTL box is currently connected via a QED RGB Scart cable to one of the RGB Scart inputs to the TV but the picture is not great. The main 2 issues I have is that block solid colours have what I can best describe as movement in them and colour blending is very poor (eg if you have a light in a dark room on the screen you get rings of lightness surrounding the light rather than a smooth blending).

    Unfortuantly I cant get Sky in my flat due to building/tenancy regulations so I am stuck with NTL.

    Does anyone have any ideas on how to fix this? Would using a scart -> s.video cable (ie not RGB) but going through the AVR that would step up the image to progressive scan component help? (I dont have £50 to spare to buy a decent cable just to see)

    Many thanks
     
  2. Steve_P

    Steve_P
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    Silly question but do you have your cable set-top box set to RGB output and not composite, if you have an old digital box like me then the options are S-video and composite.

    The other issue that I have read about is that some streets that have many ntl customers seem to get a worse collective picture than those streets that only have a few ntl takers on the cable feed. I think in those cases there's not much that can be done :confused:

    S.
     
  3. Astaroth

    Astaroth
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    It is supposidly the oldest model of digibox still in circulation but it is the only ones that will work on our area supposidly.

    The NTL box is set to give the signal in RGB & widescreen
     
  4. Steve_P

    Steve_P
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    Short of moaning to ntl (good luck) then I am fresh out of ideas... sorry :( As you say above you could try the s-video route to your AVR and let that upconvert to a progressive image but I doubt it would improve the picture quality enough to the standard that you require. Again, I agree with you, an expensive test at 50 odd quid... could you find a retailer that would be prepared to loan you an s-video cable for trial purposes?

    S.
     
  5. Nelviticus

    Nelviticus
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    Try playing with the TV's picture settings. I have the same TV and digital NTL as well (is it a Pace 1000 box?) and I get brilliant picture quality using RGB.

    The TV stores different display settings for different inputs, so it's possible that the settings for the socket that your NTL box is connected to are dodgy.

    Pictures from digital TV will rarely be as good as those you get from DVD because they are usually compressed more. I've noticed that with some "premium" broadcasts the picture quality is loads better than, for instance, a repeat of a home improvement show. Try BBC News 24 when you're setting it up, that's normally broadcast in pretty high quality.

    As for your amplifier converting things to progressive scan, correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think this will actually make any difference. If your original source isn't progressive then all the amp can do it make it compatible - it can't add detail that isn't there.

    If you do decide to try it though, be warned that the TX32PD30 is locked into widescreen mode for the component input. Quite why is beyond me - it's the only bad point about it though. If it weren't for that I would use component all the time (my NTL box goes through a DVD recorder that has prog scan component output), but it's just too annoying for those programmes that are broadcast in 4:3.

    Regards

    Nelviticus
     
  6. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    The picture on most channels via NTL digital cable is well below the quality you may feel is average........NTL know they have reduced the bit rate to cram all the channels in and the picture you describe is the result, short of hundreds of NTL viewers ringing in and complaining on mass, nothing will be done.....Is it surprising that their customer service is currently rated the worst in the country (well second worst).......

    Changing to SKY resulted in a picture nearly twice as good.....

    For info the bit rate on BBC2 via NTL was just about 2.5mb/sec with fast action scenes and far worse with stationary objects (cloudy sky looks particularly bad). SKY in comparision has 4.5mb/sec normally and gets wound up for some events (look at channel 5 for good picture).

    NTL get a DTT feed and normally wind the quality down......

    One of their senior traning staff recently came back to work with us and the stories he tells are simply not printable.......
     
  7. Howbury

    Howbury
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    After a 3 and a half month wait, I received my Philips 32PF9986 LCD TV. I have had it for a week now and am very pleased with it, but then again I would probably have been pleased with whatever I got after managing with a 14 inch portable for 6 months. I haven't experimented with it very much yet. Pixel Plus 2 does make the picture sharper and the blacks are good enough for me.

    I have connected the TV SCART outlet of my digital ntl stb direct to the 32PF9986. The TV displays the connection as CVBS, not RGB as I was expecting so I wonder if the ntl stb SCART connectors labled TV & VCR are in fact identical and are both composite video. I am not aware of any way of setting up the stb to anything different. I am using a new IXOS SCART cable so that cannot be causing a problem.

    I am looking at getting a cheap All-in-one system to boost the surround sound with the intention of getting a good HD/DVD system and sound system in about a years time. I noticed the Samsung DVD-CM250 All-in-one system the other day which must be fairly new as I have not seen any reviews of it. It is extremely cheap (€190 from QED-uk) and has VCR & DVD. It also has progressive scan component video which I thought was very good. I was put off by the fact that it did not have RGB connections for digital TV, only composite video in/out, but this may not now be a problem if my ntl stb only delivers composite video. In any case if the sound system is reasonable I may go for it.

    Any views, feedback would be welcome.

    Regards
    John
    (Bedford, UK)
     
  8. Nelviticus

    Nelviticus
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    If you have the Pace 1000 box you have to go into Guide and then into Settings. Somewhere in there you'll find options for changing the format to RGB (the default is composite). The socket labelled TV can definitely output RGB, not sure about the VCR one.

    Regards

    Nelviticus
     
  9. Howbury

    Howbury
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    My ntl stb is a PACE D14001NC. There are no instructions and I don't know anything about "Guide" etc. I guess that it may not be available on this stb.

    Thanks
    John
     
  10. Stellavision

    Stellavision
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    It doesn't help with ntl only broadcasting in 4:3.
    I had NTL for 3 years then couldn't beleive the difference when I changed to Sky in April. All of a sudden I was seeing things like the ITV2 logo nearer the middle of the screen and not right on the edge, and the picture was loads better.
    I too was originally restricted because of living in a flat, so you have to make the best out of your circumstances.
     

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