Picture quality, sound quality vs TiVo


#1

I'm using a wired Apple TV 4K with an HD Homerun Prime (cable card). I'm running the latest firmware on the HDHR. When I compare the picture quality to a TiVo Roamio, Channels looks dull and slightly blurry - noticeable if you look at the chyron. Is this a symptom of the Prime, the cable card, a connection? All of the above or is this what I can expect? I'm watching a 75" Samsung 4K TV.

I've dabbled with Channels DVR on and again, hoping that over time it would be able to replace my TiVo. I was reminded of one reason it didn't work out for my family. I wanted to get a better idea if it's something I can fix on my end.

Also, last time I used Channels it did not support surround sound. Does it support DD 5.1?

Thanks!


#2

For me, the picture looks as clear, if not clearer than the TiVo. I'm in the process of testing out Channels so I can get rid of the TiVo. So far I don't see a real reason to stick with TiVo.


#3

Not sure, but there's a noticeable difference for me when viewing live TV. I'll share photos of both later, maybe someone can help.


#4

I switched from the TiVo to Channels a long time ago. I didn't notice a quality difference, but my TV was 55" (then) so you might see more differences on the 75". Technically the picture is exactly the same, but the TiVo could be doing something for upscaling that Channels isn't (I actually don't think the Roamio does any upscaling), or it's outputting at 1080p and your TV is upscaling better to 4K better than Channels is upscaling on the ATV4K.


#5

Are you sure you're watching HD feeds from your PRIME? There's an HD filter in the app, and you can also hide SD channels via my.hdhomerun.com

It's possible that your cable company is compressing feeds more than the signal you can receive OTA, but usually when I hear users describe issues similar to yours its because they're watching the SD channels.

Yes DD 5.1 is supported and has been for a long time now.


#6

It's definitely the HD channels. Attached are two photos, which might better explain what I'm seeing.


#7

The lower vertical resolution here looks like Channels's deinterlacing algorithm. Channels uses a decent but somewhat rudimentary deinterlacing algorithm that runs efficiently on the Apple TV's CPU, but results in slightly less vertical detail. The deinterlacing Channels uses looks especially bad in still frames but should look a little more detailed (albiet jittery) when unpaused. Keep in mind that while your TiVo equipment is designed to handle decoding raw TV signals and likely has dedicated hardware support for deinterlacing, the equipment that the Channels app runs on does not, so it's not going to be as good at it as your TiVo (but it still does a decent job).

Do you see similar discrepancies in picture quality on 720p channels (some examples of 720p channels: most ABC stations, most FOX stations, ESPN, ESPN2, Disney Channel, Fox News, Fox Business, FSN1, FSN2, Big 10, MLB Network)? Those don't require any deinterlacing, so they should look nearly identical when comparing Channels to TiVo.