Sunday, January 20, 2008

Time-Warner Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300 HD-DVR "480p" Software Update

I'm not 100% sure, but I think there has been a software upgrade over the last couple of days Time-Warner's Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300 HD-DVR that has actually been an IMPROVEMENT.

You see, I have a REALLY old HDTV. It is a tube-based Zenith. It is 4 X 3. I bought it back when there was VERY little HD programming. It has no tuner. It's only HD input is a single set of component jacks that can digest 480p, 720p, and 1080i. That's right - no 480i. What the heck were they thinking when they made my TV?

Now, when I first got the infamous "OCAP" box, after I messed with the settings (Settings/Display/Output Resolution), I called up customer service and I asked them, "Say ... can you change the firmware on this box so that when the source of the channel is 480i that it will pump a 480p signal out the component lines?" Of course I don't think the front line customer service person I was talking to knew what the hell I was talking about, but maybe she did shoot off an email to a higher-up because that's EXACTLY the way the thing works now.

Now, this would only apply if you have an older HDTV that is actually 4 X 3, but what you do is go to Settings, then Display, the Output Resolution and then check JUST the "1080i" and "480i" settings. If you go to, say, Time-Warner Channel 948, WCET's HD channel, your TV (if it's similar to mine) will AUTOMATICALLY switch to 1080i. Then if you switch back to, say, Time-Warener Channel 49, MSNBC, your TV will switch to 480p. Now, of course MSNBC's native signal is 480i, but - wow - I'm thinking that the signal is pretty much digital all the way up to the component lines, so those reds are SPECTACULAR - ALMOST HDTV stable.

So pretty much now the only input I have for my composite (RCA) lines is my DVD player.

Of course what's a bit of a pain is the fact that good contrast / brightness settings for the component lines is not as good for the composite lines, so every time I watch a DVD I'm going to have to start messing with that.

Yes, my friends, I am in DIRE need of a new TV ...

And If Any Of You ARE Thinking Of Buying Me A TV: :)



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