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2 things have to happen. first, your tv has to be set for the correct resolution, second, You need to be recieving high def from your cable/sat provider.Your tv does not make programming high def, it allows high def.
This actually common I worked in electronics for 13 years. Did they tell you that it has to be hooked up to an High Definition source. A digital cable or Sattelite reciever does not mean its HD also using Coaxle cableor composite(yellow,red,white) will not produce a good picture. You need HDMI or Component(RED,Blue,Green for video and red white for audio) to get a high def pic. Also not all station are broadcast in high def. One other thing is even if you have a High Def reciever you need to go into the menu of the reciever where it says display and and make sure its set for 1080i or maybe 1080p(most dont have this option yet) If you are using a normal DVD player and use the yellow red and white once again picture will be poor. Need to use Component or hdmi and again with component you need to set DVD to either 480p and if its upconvert to 1080p
Couple of items come to mind. In the menu of the receiver, is there a way to choose video and RGB? Set the receiver to SAT Connect the HD Cable Box to SAT Check the TV is on Monitor RGB. Check the input being used by the monitor RGB cables is selected on the TV. Have a picture? NO, receiver has issues. Yes? Do this with each input to confirm they work. You can reset the whole receiver to factory by holding the tone button down and holding the standby button for three seconds. (This clears your speaker setups, too.)
it is important to understand the difference in digital cable and high def. high definision is on a fiber optic display alwing milions of pixels per square inch on your tv. the resolution effects your fuzzy picture you are recieving . the only real way to fix that fuzzy dull picture is to get a HD box from your cable provider and an HDMI cable to conect it to your HD TV. this is the only connection you will need for picture and top line sound. In the end the fee is usually $9.95 or less a month and it is well worth the difference in quality of TV viewing.
if I understand your question properly.. its because your direct tv output doesnt broadcast in high def so its giving you the standard tv definition inputs which are RGB or Component.so you will lose picture quality cos its running at fewer lines or pixels. hope this helps
s-video is a legacy connection. legacy means obsolete and this will impare your image.
what you should do is connect the cable box and blue ray directly to tv with hdmi cable, then run audio cables back to the reciever from these devices. the vcr and regular dvd player would be routed through the reciever the conventional way. you would have to change the inputs on the tv between the cable box, and blue ray if u have one, and a seperate single tv imput for components running thru the stereo. you would have to use the reciever to select between audio sources, and the video sources between the vcr and dvd only.