when I burn a DVD the image is often not right....1:3:3 will fill the screen cutting off top and bottom and HD can a frame line across the top. If I use the cable input it looks fine but I cannot record off that input. I have spent hours trying to figure it out and it is probably very simple.
Can I record directly from the TV and getting the image I see when in Cable mode? I am trying to figure it out but no luck so far. If I can that should also mean I could make DVds of YouTubes, etc streaming from my laptop onto the TV.
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You are not making much sense. More info required. What hardware/software are you using ?
No you cannot record directly from the TV. TVs do not have outgoing video connections.
You are right...too late at night after struggling with this thing.
The TV is a Panasonic PT-56Dlx25. It has multiple inputs. The best picture is seen when using the "cable" input choice.
My cable is Cpmcast with a Motorola DVR-HD box
My DVD recorder is Toshiba DR-5.
I have the Toshiba recorder going through the top DVD input choice on the TV. My other DVD, laser disc and VHS are through the second DVD input on a switcher box. They all look good as do DVDs played back through the Toshiba.
My problems are that if I watch something from the cable or that I recorded on the Cable box via the Cable input, it looks great. Old movies are in the correct aspect ratio. Others tend to fill the screen or have appropriate letterboxing as needed.
But if I watch it via the Toshiba, mainly when I am going to burn a DVD, the picture is not only degraded but old movies do not retain their 1:3: squarish ratio but fill the wide screen. If they are from HD (such as TCM HD) the aspect ration is usually correct but there will be an out of frame line at the top. Similarly if it is a new show in HD the frame line appears which is very distracting and will record on the DVD that way.
Playing back a newly recorded DVD has good (not great) picture quality but includes the above flaws.
Does this make more sense?
I tried bringing a line from the back of the TV's output into the Toshiba but no signal. I tried going from cable box RF Out into the Toshiba In and then RF out to the TV. I get a fuzzy image of what I want behind much interference and unwatchable.
I have a Comcast HD cable box (not a DVR) and a DVD recorder, plus an LCD TV. I make my connections differently than you do, to be able to record in the best quality I can, but some things are beyond my control. More about that later. This is how I connect everything.
1. I connect the coax cable from the wall to my Comcast box. Other than that I do not use any RF connections with my equipment because of the bad picture quality available using the cable box's RF out. The RF out from the cable box gives a picture formatted in the same way as composite out, except it is on channel 3 or 4 and in worse quality.
2. I use one of the DVD recorder's line inputs to record from my cable box, not its analog tuner. Composite out is the best standard definition video connection the cable box has, since there is no S-Video out. So, I connected my Comcast box to my DVD recorder using composite out and and stereo audio out from the cable DVR.
3. I connect the HDMI-out from my Comcast box to the TV. If I could not use the HDMI-out from the Comcast box, I would use component out and stereo audio out.
4. I connect the HDMI-out from the DVD recorder to the TV. If I could not use the HDMI-out from the DVD recorder, I would use component out and stereo audio out.
Beyond using different connections, I don't think that there is anything you can do to make the recordings from the Toshiba look better. Many HD and SD cable channels are no longer interested in providing material they broadcast using the correct aspect ratio. For example, I watched the movie "Contact"back in July. The HD version of the channel showed a 4:3 picture stretched to fill a 16:9 screen, not a 4:3 picture pillar boxed to fill a 16:9 frame. Presumably this makes all the subscribers who hate black bars on the sides of the picture happy even if it makes everything in the picture disproportionately wide. The SD version of the channel and the composite out from my Comcast box also had a 4:3 picture stretched to fill a 16:9 screen, but it was sandwiched between black letterbox bars on the top and bottom. None of the picture aspect ratio controls on the Comcast box can make the picture the DVD recorder produces look good under these circumstances.