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Nextbox 4K PVR might look best with 1080i output!

LSTA
I Plan to Stick Around

Hi folks,

 

Not sure about the HD PVR as I haven't confirmed its settings, but on the Nextbox 4K, the single best thing I did to improve video quality was:

 

  • Go to Settings, then Appearance and pick 1080i HDTV output, hitting Continue when prompted.

 

Now, I know what you're thinking -- why would you pick 1080i, isn't it better to use 720p or 1080p, the "p" means they support a full resolution, full 60 frames per second, after all...

 

Well, according to previous forum posts, it used to be that some channels would broadcast in 1080i at 30 frames per second while others went 720p at 60 frames per second. But I have yet to find an HD channel that streams in 720p or 1080p on my box, let alone 60 frames per second. Even the sports channels I tried (again, not all of them), would stream in 1920x1080, interlaced, at 29.97 frames per second (which rounds up to 30 for shorthand).

 

Okay, so now you might be thinking: but if I set it to 1080p at 60 frames per second, doesn't that mean I'm getting every frame of your 1080i signal, just doubled or something? Sort of -- there's a conversion going on here, but it's not entirely from 30 to 60 frames per second. Instead, it's a de-interlacing, which means every two frames are combined into one frame by the processor in the Nextbox 4K.

 

Now, this sort of de-interlacing can be unnoticable, but from what I can tell, the box is *terrible* at it. Content can seem to flicker or get mushy; or will appear clear when nothing's happening, but edges or contrast might get slightly pixelated when there's a lot of motion. For more on de-interlacing, and why it's best to never convert interlaced footage to progressive, see Wikipedia or the examples of interlaced "blur" at http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/05/learn-the-basics-of-deinterlacing-your-online-videos/

 

The best way to "de-interlace" footage is to show it on the big screen, and transmit it there in its raw, interlaced glory. And so, I have a feature suggestion: allow me to set the NextBox 4K to decode the MPEG2 frames with "passthrough" settings: to dynamically change resolutions and interlace settings based on the primary (full-screen) video being displayed.

 

Now, the default, which might currently be 720p, I would change to 1080i and encourage folks to keep it at that setting *until HEVC becomes more common and interlacing is dropped from channel signals* but it's even easier to have a setting that is called "dynamic - up to 1080p" or "dynamic - up to 1080i" and use the appropriate resolution on every channel change. A dynamic setting would also allow for easy switching from 4K to 1080i without having to go to the Settings menu every time, that said, maybe this is already possible? (I don't yet have a 4K TV.)

 

I'd also like to know why the 30 second skip forward button on my new RF remote control is not enabled when the skip back button obviously works. 🙂

 

Finally, why can't I plug in a USB key and backup my recording/PVR settings to it? Or transfer all recordings & settings to an external hard drive for easier replacement of PVRs? Obviously future IPTV PVRs will never need this -- I figure by then we should just have PVR functionality off-site in the cloud, and your "recordings" are nothing more than bookmarks on previously recorded and ready-to-stream content.

 

And one last thing -- any timeline for switching from poor MPEG2 encoding to something better like MPEG4 or HEVC in 1080p? I mean, yes, you can get some amazing results with MPEG2 1080i, but it makes hand-held footage of busy scenery look absolutely terrible. By comparison, HEVC dynamically adjusts how much data it encodes in each frame, which is horrendously complex, but indicates just how much better encoding has become since MPEG2 was state-of-the-art: https://sonnati.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/h265-part-i-technical-overview/

 

Need I remind folks that MPEG2 is what's used on DVDs? So if you've ever felt like your HDTV was playing back slightly more detailed DVDs, this is why -- why Blu-Ray, Netflix and YouTube all look nicer than most people's HDTV streams. For the best mix of compression and image quality, cinemas actually encode videos as a series of JPEG 2000 photos, for practically lossless encoding. That would be the opposite of MPEG2, or the sometimes mushy video we're stuck with currently.

 

But enough ranting from me. Any thoughts? Did 1080i improve things for you too? Try a few different video settings and see what you get. Pay close attention to sports channels or wildlife channels. Watch CP24 or other news channels and look at how smooth text might fade or appear. Also remember that your TV has picture settings that can interfere with the image -- smoothing or sharpening the image unexpectedly.

 

 

Louis.

29 REPLIES 29

Re: Nextbox 4K PVR might look best with 1080i output!

toolcubed
I'm a Senior Contributor
So I was playing around with the resolution setting on my NB3 since I hadn't touched it in a long time. Looks like they fixed the 1080p setting. 1080p now looks better than 1080i. I have to believe the 4K boxes are the same.

Re: Nextbox 4K PVR might look best with 1080i output!

I've had my Nextbox 3.0 outputting 1080p for a few months now. I also notice it outputs better at 1080p vs 1080i.
I can't wait for Rogers to launch the X1 platform next year, hopefully they change the compression scheme currently in use to something that offers higher quality. Remember X1 isn't true IPTV, it's a hybrid setup.


Re: Nextbox 4K PVR might look best with 1080i output!

jeff7y
I've Been Around
My nextbox3 died. Went to Rogers store for replacement. No 3's available so they gave me a 4k box with the 4k feature deactivated. The picture seems not as sharp as nextbox3 in 1080p. Slightly fuzzy. I think the 4 may be worse than the 3 for non-4k. Considering returning it for a 3. Anybody else experience this?

Re: Nextbox 4K PVR might look best with 1080i output!

57
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@jeff7y :  On another forum, people who have Bell and 4K boxes complained of a similar problem, however, Bell sends all HD channels out as 720P, so when they changed their boxes to 720P, they had good quality on the HD channels.

 

Have you tried 1080i instead of 1080P?  It's possible that disabling 4K has an impact, but I've never heard of that.  I've heard of lots of people getting 4K boxes, but not of them being "hobbled".  If you have a 4K TV have you tried the 4K setting?

 

Also, are you using the same input on the TV as before? Sometimes inputs are different and TV inputs always require optimization (calibration). Different devices can have different outputs and different inputs on the TV can have different settings - for example, contrast, brightness, tint, colour, sharpness, etc.



Re: Nextbox 4K PVR might look best with 1080i output!

gp-se
I'm an Advisor

@jeff7y wrote:
My nextbox3 died. Went to Rogers store for replacement. No 3's available so they gave me a 4k box with the 4k feature deactivated. The picture seems not as sharp as nextbox3 in 1080p. Slightly fuzzy. I think the 4 may be worse than the 3 for non-4k. Considering returning it for a 3. Anybody else experience this?

@jeff7y

Have you tried calling into other Rogers stores to get the Nextbox 3?

Also as @57 mentioned, try setting the box to output 1080i

Re: Nextbox 4K PVR might look best with 1080i output!

wayner92
I'm a Reliable Contributor

@gp-se wrote:

@jeff7y wrote:
My nextbox3 died. Went to Rogers store for replacement. No 3's available so they gave me a 4k box with the 4k feature deactivated. The picture seems not as sharp as nextbox3 in 1080p. Slightly fuzzy. I think the 4 may be worse than the 3 for non-4k. Considering returning it for a 3. Anybody else experience this?

@jeff7y

Have you tried calling into other Rogers stores to get the Nextbox 3?

Also as @57 mentioned, try setting the box to output 1080i


Does Rogers actually send out any content at 1080p or is it all just 1080i and 720p, depending on the channel?  I don't think 1080p is part of the ATSC standard, is it?  That may not technically matter since this isn't OTA but it likely is important for setting standards.


@gp-se wrote:

@jeff7y wrote:
My nextbox3 died. Went to Rogers store for replacement. No 3's available so they gave me a 4k box with the 4k feature deactivated. The picture seems not as sharp as nextbox3 in 1080p. Slightly fuzzy. I think the 4 may be worse than the 3 for non-4k. Considering returning it for a 3. Anybody else experience this?

@jeff7y

Have you tried calling into other Rogers stores to get the Nextbox 3?

Also as @57 mentioned, try setting the box to output 1080i


 

Re: Nextbox 4K PVR might look best with 1080i output!

57
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@wayner92 wrote:

Does Rogers actually send out any content at 1080p or is it all just 1080i and 720p, depending on the channel?  I don't think 1080p is part of the ATSC standard, is it?  That may not technically matter since this isn't OTA but it likely is important for setting standards.

 


Some On-demand programming may be 1080p, however, all of the HD channels are 720P or 1080i. See the following FAQ.

 

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/30-57s-home-theatre-faqs/76129-faq-hdtv-formats.html



Re: Nextbox 4K PVR might look best with 1080i output!

Makaveli99
I Plan to Stick Around

I recently went from a 8642pvr which is Nextbox 2.0 and skipped the 3.0 and went straight to the 4k pvr. Now that I have it set to 1080p I think it looks much better. I haven't picked up the 4k tv yet but soon. The speed alone compared the NB 2.0 is worth it.

Re: Nextbox 4K PVR might look best with 1080i output!

Mr_Me
I've Been Around
Your correct, I think what You where saying, that video should always be watched in the recorded format. However You don’t have the knowledge to realize allot of what You said is wrong

Resolution is not a big but changing timing with deleting or inserting frames cause ALLOT of video artifacts like jitter

*THERE IS NO ROUNDED UP OR DOWN* the reason the NTSC chose 29.97 Hz for *color* is because B/W TV’s where using PLL & Hetro at 30 Hz and the middle stages would still lock on with added chromo (color) they needed a colour burst signal/sync for the color carrier at 29.97. There IS NO ROUNDING UP OR DOWN, it’s based on always a very accurate TCXO (temperature compensated crystal oscillator) for transmission and a phase locked loop on the receiver. Now it gets millisecond corrects from often GPS but for Canada Wide main transmitters atomic clocks for the CBC - Because it was the doomsday network for Canada and part of the DND/Defence Network with secure data communications (closed captioning x allot I dunno, even if I did - I dunno)

Also for the last 30 years, and totally in the last fifteen Years (with exceptions) professional movies and TV no longer have a DI-Digital Intermediate/telechine

Instead it’s shot at a multiple of the ‘film’ (rarely do theatres Actually use film except for niche audiences with film not digitized yet) DVD and 30/60p. DVB-T is already compressed and has the frame rate

So normally You shoot in digital with a frame rate that is divisible for DVD/UHD-3840-2160/HD-1920-1080

Don’t forget as noted above 4K is not actually 4k*Anything-Good marketing good for manufactures bad for US


Things get complicated working to try to support old equipment to its dying breath and still provide better viewer experiences


So it’s often recorded with $50,000 Professional variable frame rate recording (excluding Len/s that’s around a few hundred thousand more) ‘Varicam’ or not trade marked look alikes

Sony used to be king with Beta, BetaMax and Digital Beta however it was all closed and with the rapid changes executives managers and techs all together got skiddish about being “Locked In”

But Panasonic released its DVC, DVCPRO, DVCPRO(25/50) then HDDVCPRO all using open license Rice *Lossless Encoding/Compression*

The problem solver with film versus video ‘is to shoot it’ from the ‘big screen’ is a bit crazy. It will add flicker and aliasing. It is a 1980/60 “cutting edge flicker” but I may of misunderstood You

The reason You can’t plug in a USB storage device/key in is because of the media rights, which is a Actually close to a huge bookshelf on its own !!

Everybody has to remember the quantization errors (Nyquest’s law) aliases and most of all frame rate changes which are not evenly multiplied or decided *EVENLY* cause allot of ‘artifacts’/distortion & a bad experience for the viewer

Louis please check out the Dunning Kruger ‘Effect’
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