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BUG REPORT?:SD (Standard Def) Quality Problem!

Discussion in 'Other HD Receiver Support Forum (811, 921, 942)' started by House, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. House

    House New Member

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    Jan 16, 2004
    I just received my 921 HD Receiver and the HD (High Def) channels have outstanding quality (particularly the HDNET and Discovery HD channels). On my Samsung 43" DLP TV (HLM437W), viewing SD (Standard Def) channels has been very bad. The picture quality is grainy and distorted. I have tried Component, S-Video and Standard connections, but have not found much difference in quality. I have tried all combinations of the display settings and 720P and 4x3 #2 seems like it works best.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Is there any chance that the next software update will help this problem? :grin:
     
  2. dfergie

    dfergie Hall Of Fame

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    Feb 27, 2003
    House, did you have a HD receiver before the 921? I have the 6000 and a sd 501 and have a direct reciever hooked up but not activatied. They all have poor pq (after watching hd).
     
  3. rudolpht

    rudolpht AllStar

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    Nov 6, 2002
    The 921 lower def quality is much worse than the 6000 or the 811. Garbage In, garbage out. You should try to go out S-Video but go from HD to SD and note the difference.
     
  4. MattG

    MattG Legend

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    Dec 30, 2003
    Compared to my 6000 the 921 SD programming on component out looks much darker. The HD quality appears to be about the same.
     
  5. Mark Lamutt

    Mark Lamutt Your Neighborhood Liasion

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    Mar 23, 2002
    Really MattG? The SD programming output on my 921 looks much better than it ever did on my 6000.
     
  6. MattG

    MattG Legend

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    Dec 30, 2003
    Viewing SD channels at 1080i appear darker on my 921 than they did on my 6000 but bumping up the brightness on my TV compensated for it. Shows that have dark tones to begin with such as west wing off satellite locals looked particulary bad but tuning the same show on OTA HD had the correct brightness and contrast. I'm using a sony 36" xbr wega with component inputs.
     
  7. Mark Lamutt

    Mark Lamutt Your Neighborhood Liasion

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    Mar 23, 2002
    Ah, ok that makes more sense - On my 6000 I watched 480i channels in 480i, never 1080i. And on the 921 I watch 480i channels at 480p.
     
  8. rudolpht

    rudolpht AllStar

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    Nov 6, 2002
    I could live with the 1080i on the 6000, but the 921 lower def channels are nearly unbearable. I can understand 480i vs 480p, but plasma doesn't support 480p. Really would like discretes to change res & HD/SD as well as on & off.

    Incidentally I sold my 6000 nearly a year ago because I was getting the 921 real soon (right!) so it could also possibly be that the low res (it's not SD, SD OTA on other boxes looks fine) has just been compressed that much more in the past 9+ months.
     
  9. House

    House New Member

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    Jan 16, 2004
    Thanks for the response on this problem. To clarify, before my 921, I had the 508 and the SD (Standard Def Channels) picture quality was much better. I purchased a DVI cable and that has improved the quality somewhat, but not what it should be. I then went out and purchased the Terk 55 HDTV OTA (Over The Air) antenna. Although I don't have it installed outside yet, I was able to get most of the network HDTV channels (inside). The CBS HDTV was excellent for the Patriots game today.

    I'm still not satisfied with the SD and I'm hoping the next software update will address this. :grin:
     
  10. jeftut

    jeftut New Member

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    Jan 18, 2004
    i had the 508 also,p.q. was lots better .
     
  11. rudolpht

    rudolpht AllStar

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    Nov 6, 2002
    Not to put a fine point on it. Real SD, meaning over the air 480 i or p Standard definition, blows away Dish over compressed non-HD (really not ATSC SD the same way Digital Cable and other non-ATSC sourse are really not SD).

    That said mny 508 is better in PQ, which is a better comparison of my distant memory of 6000 non-HD.

    Whatever you want to call, non-HD on 921 is even worse than non-HD boxes.

    And I hope you were watching the Pats win in real HD!!!! The kind I can NOT record on my 921 :(
     
  12. Mark Lamutt

    Mark Lamutt Your Neighborhood Liasion

    12,527
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    Mar 23, 2002
    Are you guys making an apples to apples comparison here, watching the 921 output in SD (480i) mode via svideo cable, or are you upconverting the 480i to something else? SD mode 480i from the 921 via svideo looks identical to me to the output from my 508s.
     
  13. Slordak

    Slordak Hall Of Fame

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    Dec 17, 2003
    ... Perhaps if the 921 could output unconverted 480i over the HD outputs, we wouldn't have to switch SD/HD modes on the 921 and switch video inputs on our television in order to get an equivalent video signal?

    I don't mean to sound like a whiner, but people who buy a $1000 Dish receiver are likely to be using very high end HDTVs, scalers, or high-end projectors. There's every reason to believe that the 921 would have inferior video scaling and de-interlacing circuitry compared to companies that make their money off of high-end video products. The receiver needs to output the signal exactly as it receives it (after MPEG decompression, of course).
     
  14. rudolpht

    rudolpht AllStar

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    Nov 6, 2002

    I'm talking about low res staying in HD mode. No switching outputs, no macros on receiver, no HD/SD buttons, just playing all channels at a constant setting. Is it too much to expect that an upconverted low res channel to approach the quality of a low res channel output on Svideo with the attendant lack of separation, etc.
     
  15. Mark Lamutt

    Mark Lamutt Your Neighborhood Liasion

    12,527
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    Mar 23, 2002
    Actually, I think in this case, yes. I never watched SD upconverted with my 6000 because it looked so soft and washed out I couldn't stand it. I find that the 921 converting 480i to 1080i to be a little better than the 6000 was, but still nowhere as good as just passing 480i straight through (and that's not saying a lot). But, as I've posted elsewhere, I find the best SD picture quality comes from converting 480i to 480p.
     
  16. tahoerob

    tahoerob Godfather

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    Mar 22, 2003
    I agree with this.
    I tried different display settings using component output (my wife will not tolerate too many changes to "just watch TV"). I found that the 1080i setting at 16*9 on my Sony GW 50XBR800 looks just as good as or better than the other settings. I chose not to use a s-video & the SD\HD button choice due to the wife factor above!
    She even thinks that the SD looks better than the 501. I concluded that I do not mind 4*3 framed SD format with the 1080i setting. Not trying to WideZoom actually keeps the SD satellite image looking better.

    BTW, the Sony GW is a LCD RPTV that automatically progressive scans any input.

    I guess you have to play with all options for each type of HDTV to see what looks best.
     
  17. Schaefling

    Schaefling Mentor

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    Jan 4, 2004
    I was using just composite video cables on my 921 for SD at 480i. The picture was not as good as my 501 using the exact same cables. When I went to s-video cables connecting my S-VHS VCR to my TV and to the 921 my picture quality for the 921 with SD at 480i improved dramatically. I would say the picture quality matches or exceeds that of my 501. It's hard to tell since both pictures look about the most of the time although every now and then it seems like the 921 picture for SD at 480i is just a tad bit sharper than my 501 picture. I suspect there may be some broadcasts which the 921 simply shows better than my 501 ever did.

    I also like to watch 480i SD broadcasts at 480p in the 4X3 #1 aspect ratio setting. Using a DVI connection the picture quality is better at this setting for some SD broadcasts than just watching SD at pure 480i but for other broadcasts pure 480i is better than upconverted 480p broadcasts. Right now it seems like shows which have a poor picture to begin with like many local channel network broadcasts are better at 480p while many satellite channel shows such as those on HGTV or A&E or HBO actually seem better at 480i. This is only an initial impression, however, which could change after I spend more time watching various shows on the 921 at different settings.

    As for HD quality I find the best picture for my TV to be 1080i at 16X9 aspect ratio. With this setting I get consistently excellent pictures on all satellite HD channels with little or no distortion of images. I can't say anything about OTA HD channels because after a couple of nasty crashes trying to watch HD shows on OTA channels I am staying away from OTA HD until the next major patch comes through. What is strange about HD satellite channels in my situation is that I have a 4X3 direct view TV namely a Sony 40XBR800 and my best HD picture comes from 16X9 aspect ratio and not from either of the 4X3 aspect ratio options. Any ideas why this may be the case?

    With all my switching around from 480i to 480p at 4X3 #1 to 1080i at 16X9 do I have to worry about any long term negative effects for my seven month old HDTV? Would I be better off watching everything at one aspect ratio all the time for the sake of my TV? I must say I sure hope not as that would really defeat the whole point of having a 921.

    Finally, is there any chance that the 921 will eventually have memory settings? By this I mean it would be great to be able to designate specific channels for watching at 480i or 480p at 4X3 #1 while designating others for say 720p and 1080i at 16X9. Of course, being able to actually designate specific shows on specific channels at specific times would be even better.

    Schaefling
     
  18. rudolpht

    rudolpht AllStar

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    Nov 6, 2002
    The 6000 had a setting for low def (e.g., greybars for all low def channels) and one setting for HD (assume most people keep normal. I keep normal on both so don't know if 921 behaves the same.

    IMHO low def upscaled to 1080i still looks worse than Svideo and/or non-HD recievers, enough to probably have me drop the non-HD movie packages.
     
  19. House

    House New Member

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    Jan 16, 2004
    It seems that the SD picture quality must have to do with the way the 921 is upconverting the signal. When displaying the guide or PIP, the small video window looks very clear, sharp and good color. When swapping the PIP or viewing the full screen SD video, it takes the same resolution and stretches it across the screen.

    Any comments or suggestions? or does this seem like something Dish will address with a software update? :grin:
     
  20. tgerrish

    tgerrish Mentor

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    Jan 19, 2004
    One of my brothers also has a DLP / 921 PQ issue.

    Since the SD PQ on my Sony 65" XBR2 (CRT-based) / 921 is actually better than my older 501, I went over to investigate and try to help him fix this.

    When we hook up his older 508, the SD picture is noticeably better than using the same exact setup & channels for the 921. We have tried all video modes (480i/p, 780p, 1080i) and all bars/stretch formats on the 921, but still there are artifacts and some pixelation. Nothing so far has helped, but the reason that he is keeping the 921 for now is that the HD PQ is really good. He is ordering a DVI cable to see if it improves the SD PQ any, I'll report back his results...
     

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