I just bought a new Panasonic VIERA 32" 16:9 8ms 720p LCD HDTV TC-L32X1 for my in-laws when they finally had Verizon FIOS brought into their neighborhood last month.
Install was by the Verizon tech using the HDMI cable I also had shipped to them.
The HD channels quality is excellent, but the SD quality is smeared -- almost looks like an impressionist painting.
It is not the TV -- the TV menus are crystal clear, as are the HD channels.
And, it is not just the broadcast HD -- the DVR box menus are also smeared when viewing as SD channel, as is the guide and the pop up channel info.
We've tried all the settings on the TV -- Zoom, 4:3, etc.
The other TV (an older CRT) actually has better SD quality than the Panasonic.
My research indicates we're not the only ones on FIOS with this problem. Someone suggested using the component hookup rather than HDMI?
Other say that IMG 1.7 is supposed to solve the problem, that the SD quality was fine before IMG 1.6.
Any suggestions, solutions, or updates?
The picture is virtually unwatchable.
Check the SD Override setting on the STB. I use the off setting and it works well. You may need to use either 480i or 480p.
in case you don't know how to get there, it's going to be "menu>settings>video settings and then SD override. that is the only setting that affects SD channels. try setting it to 480i or 480p. Even try turning it off. Stretch is also an option and it makes SD go full screen, but you will naturally have picture distortion with that, so it sounds like that may be the current setting.
If the menu's are getting smeared as well as the broadcast, that at least eliminates a signaling issue since the menu's are internally generated by the STB and are not broadcast to it. That Isolates it down to one of 3 things.
1. problem with the STB itself
2. Problem with the HDMI cable
3. Problem with the TV.
Does the TV have more than 1 HDMI input? If so try another. Not likely to be an issue but for troubleshooting its a good place to start.
Do you have another HDMI cable you can try?
Try going into the STB video settings and make sure that it is set for 720p instead of 1080i. (likely already done but its another thing to check)
Thanks for all the replies.
The TV and STB were setup by the Verizon tech, but I confirmed all the settings anyway.
Yes, I've have gone into the STB settings and confirmed 720 dpi, as well as trying the other settings.
The issue is only with the SD channels, the HD channels are crystal clear.
Before posting on this board, here's what I found in my research:
I haven't been back to my in-laws to try the component cables, as suggested in the last link above, but it seems to be clearly an issue with Verizon FIOS, and how it handles HDMI.
So, I guess I (we) are stuck, unless there's a solution forthcoming.
Maybe it's Verizon's way of selling the upgrade packages to more HD channels?
Here's a particularly relevant post if you don't want to wade through all the above links:
"Re: bad pq on std.def. channels
01-06-2009 03:55 PMJoe01880 - Being a new customer as of last October, I have never seen anything other than IMG 1.6. My understanding from other posts is that before IMG 1.6, the SD PQ on an HD box was just fine. I'm not sure what the complaints/gripes/begs were for IMG 1.6 but it seems to me that, if Verizon knows what changes were made, it should be straightforward to determine which changes caused a deterioration of the PQ. I think it's been at least 6 months since the first complaints of poor PQ, so I don't really see how anyone can claim that Verizon is in danger of "rushing" an update to address this problem. I also don't think that a forum topic, no matter how much it complains or gripes, will cause Verizon to rush. I am much more worried that during a large portion of my 2 year contract that the issue won't be addressed at all, so I'm happy to add my voice to those complaining."