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HR24-100 Soft Picture Quality

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Chris22, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. Aug 9, 2010 #41 of 125
    Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    Lower...
    If it's the "blacker than black" and "whiter than white" issuse Audioholics referenced in your post above, I'm not sure that would result in a "washed out" picture, since I'm pretty confident no one broadcasts any highlight information above 235. And as far as loss of shadow detail in the 0-16 range, without a test pattern to view, I'm not sure any D* channels broadcast data in that range either. Blu-ray is a different story.

    When I AB'd my HR24 (connected to HDMI2) with my HR20 (connected to HDMI1), I just had to tweak brightness and contrast slightly on that input to make the two pictures virtually indistinguishable. I guess since you're using your Denon to switch, you need to find a "one size fits all" brightness/contrast setting for anything connected to the Denon. That's why I don't like using a receiver to switch between video inputs. I'm a PQ fanatic who calibrates his own displays, so I like to be able to tweak each input source differently, if need be.
     
  2. Aug 9, 2010 #42 of 125
    Jason Whiddon

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    I've calibrated mine with my own meter, or had a professional do it with a signal generator so the input is reference also. After that, I don't mess with it. If I ran everything in to the tv, and could adjust inputs, yeah, fine, but with the one I won't adjust reference to suit the DVR, thats tail wagging the dog.

    I coulda waited till Wed, when the DVDO goes in, to let it's capabilities work out the problems,and it would be the video hub, but I'm tired of not being able to record OTA too.

    When I see those reports change, Ill bring it back out.
     
  3. Aug 9, 2010 #43 of 125
    Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    DVDO Input
    Video Source : HR24 (Auto)
    Signal Type : 1080i 60hz
    Color Space : RGB (Video, 24-bit)
    Sync Type : +H / +V
    Aspect Ratio : 16:9 (Auto)
    HDCP : Off
    PReP : Off
    Game Mode : Off
    Audio Source : HDMI (Dolby or DTS)

    DVDO Input
    Video Source : HR22 (Auto)
    Color Space : YCbCr444 (BT.709, 24-bit)
    Sync Type : +H / +V
    Aspect Ratio : 16:9 (Auto)
    HDCP : Off
    PReP ; Off
    Game Mode : Off
    Audio Source : HDMI (Dolby or DTS)

    DVDO Output
    Display Name : Sharp HDMI
    Output Format : 1080p 60hz (Auto)
    Frame Rate : 59.94hz (Locked)
    Color Space : YCbCr444 (BT.709, 24-bit)
    Aspect Ratio : 16:9 (Auto)
    HDCP : Off (Auto)
    Audio Output : Optical
     
  4. Aug 9, 2010 #44 of 125
    Wire2Wire

    Wire2Wire Cool Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to post this info! I was hoping that the Edge would convert the 24's RGB input into YCbCr output.
     
  5. Aug 9, 2010 #45 of 125
    Robert L

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    Well, I can say I don't see a difference in actual picture quality between a HR24-500 and a HR20-700. I run them both through a video processor, to a front projector. I looked close when I first got the HR24. I also read some of the other threads about some having problems.

    It does appear that maybe the RGB output is making things more complicated for some, because of devices reacting different to RGB. But that is usually just something to do with black levels. Because RGB of course does 0-255 and 16-235.

    I know I have to adjust the HR24 different or it can look too bright on dark scenes, which would look washed out. I know its a different chip set but not sure why they picked RGB on a consumer DVR. I noticed the different colorspace right after I got it. Actually some where asking about in that HBO thread.

    Still, for me on a 110 inch screen, its just as sharp as the HR20, if it wasn't then I'd see it.
     
  6. Aug 9, 2010 #46 of 125
    Jason Whiddon

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    You are also in good shape with a pre/pro. I have one to hook up, but my HD locals on Directv just do not look as good as the OTA versions, so until the HR24 can work reliably on that, I dont want it with the AM21.

    I'd like to hear why RGB too, just for curiosity's sake.
     
  7. Aug 9, 2010 #47 of 125
    Chris22

    Chris22 Mentor

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    Ok, I did all my tweeks and i notice it still has (softening) of the picture. I also paid attention to my colors and they seem washed out, they are not as colorful as before. The picture looks like it has a (haze) on it. So, now i want to call Directv and i need some help guys. What should i tell or explain them what the problem is? I know they are gonna tell me reset the receiver, and so on. So what should i say?
     
  8. Aug 9, 2010 #48 of 125
    TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    I can't imagine that this would matter, since all consumer HD content is original 4:2:0 anyway. 4:2:0 reproduced through a chain using 4:4:4 will resolve as 4:2:0, in the same way that 480i content reproduced on a display that is 1920x1080 will still only resolve at 480i. IOW, 4:4:4 in this scenario provides no advantage or anything effectively different than if it were 4:2:0. The chroma information for adjacent lines or adjacent pixels will be unique, but it will be the same information, just like 4:2:0 where it is derived from the same information.

    I would be very interested in a source for this info, if you please :)
     
  9. Aug 9, 2010 #49 of 125
    TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    I really can't agree, as that is actually not the case.

    A 720p signal viewed with the DVR set to 1080i will scale it just once, from 720p to 1080i, followed by a reinterlace to 1080p in your (assumed 1080p) display. That will not be softer than a 720p signal displayed natively through the DVR and natively on a 720p display or up-rezzed to a 1080p display. It will have the identical perceived resolution in each case (holding all other factors equal). The reinterlace also does not make the picture "more softer".

    More scaling is absolutely not going on, because if you set the DVR to native or to 1080i the single rescale/ single reinterlace still happens. With native on the rescale happens once, in your display. with it set to 1080i it also happens once, in your DVR. And rescalers are pretty transparent and all pretty much act the same, so it will likely not matter which rescale you choose.

    Having the box set to 720p and watching 1080i content is a completely different scenario, and it definitely does make a difference and it definitely will make the picture "more softer". In this case, 1080i content is down-rezzed to 720p and also reinterlaced in the DVR, then passed to the display which up-rezzes it to 1080p (already interlaced). But the effective resolution remains at 720p (actually a bit less, because of the interlace artifacts introduced when the signal was in 1080i format).

    To avoid the problem just above, I suggest using either native or 1080i. Either will provide identical resolution on a 1080p set and the best posible resolution (though less than 1080p) on a 768p set, and neither will provide an "all around better picture" than the other.

    Use 720p only if that is the only way your set is compatible, or if the interlace in the set is not that great compared to interlace through the DVR (applies generally only to older pre-2005 sets). I like native on, but you may find the channel acquisition time a bit quicker with native off.
     
  10. Aug 9, 2010 #50 of 125
    Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Before you go to calling DirecTv, is there anyone you know with DIrectv and a different brand TV that might be willing to let you plug your HR24 into their system and tv, and see if you have the same problems? Or perhaps you have another TV you could try? If the whole picture looks like it has haze, assuming the box is working correctly, I would suspect the TV brightness gain circuitry, a setting to AUTO BRIGHT depending on ambient light in the room, or an overly bright backlight setting.

    Id just kind of like to know for sure its your HR24, and not the TV, or you might get DirecTv to replace one problem with another.

    As for what you tell them, just tell them exactly what its doing. Tell them it looks like crap, they will verify, as we did, that your settings are correct, and hopefully, they will send you a new box. Worst case, they might schedule a truck roll, which might not be a bad idea, as then the installer can verify the problem, and probably swap out the box and if the new box isnt any better, you can just refuse the swap, or ask for an older receiver which will work with your TV.
     
  11. Aug 9, 2010 #51 of 125
    TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    Thanks Steve. There is a very good reason why your pix are identical from unidentical digital DVRs, which is that the DVR has no say in the resolution or the PQ due to the fact that the signal never leaves the digital domain. Either DVR will output the same exact PQ that was input to the system post compression. The pix don't lie, and completely uphold the facts, which are that the resolution is fixed and unmutable while in the digital domain (all the way from encoding at DTV to the HDMI input on your TV, which takes the DVR completely out of the equation).

    If the OP is seeing a loss of resolution, something else is at work here other than the DVR (assuming the DVR is decoding an HD signal). Most suspect is the display or display input calibration. Also a candidate is subjective viewing. Slight changes in contrast, gamma, or brightness can be perceived as changes in resolution by the untrained eye.
     
  12. Aug 9, 2010 #52 of 125
    Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Tomcat: Just to clarify...If the signal is digital (which it is), are you saying a bad video decoder chip, or bad processor/interlace chip, or whatever they call it, couldnt cause the OP's sharpness to change?

    Reason I am curious, is my DVDO is digital throughout, and I can make all sorts of modifications to the signal before it reaches the monitor. Since the OP is using a 720p monitor, and all the rest of us (I think) are using 1080p monitors, I am wondering if that has anything to do with the problems? Like maybe the pre-HR24 models added sharpness gain when they detected a 720p monitor? Im not up on the broadcomm chip so dont know if they have anything like that built in or not.
     
  13. Aug 9, 2010 #53 of 125
    Chris22

    Chris22 Mentor

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    I don't have another tv, nor i know anyone with Directv. I read your post before i called. The tech support, the tech told me that the HR23 and the HR24 are identical and that the H23 has RGB too, except for the DECA. A case manager will call me tomorrow and they will be sending me a new receiver. I asked for an older receiver and they said they can't guarantee me i will get one. I told them if i get the HR24, than i will have the same problem. So, hopefully when i talk to the case manager tomorrow, i can ask for the old receiver.
     
  14. Aug 9, 2010 #54 of 125
    Jason Whiddon

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    Good luck!
     
  15. Aug 9, 2010 #55 of 125
    Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Well, you might have a bad HR24...I really dont know. As for the HR23 using RGB, I cant verify that either, as that is the one model I skipped over, and dont have one to test. Maybe someone else with a DVDO and a HR23 can verify.

    In any case, good luck, and let us know what happens.

    BTW, if you put your city under your user CP, instead of "midwest" you might find someone locally on here who would volunteer to bring a box over to test. I do that if I see a local having a problem. Aligned several dishes for neighbors.
     
  16. Aug 9, 2010 #56 of 125
    TomCat

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    I think this theory has the same problem as the 4:4:4 theory, as consumer HD also only uses the quantum levels of 16-235, so should not look different whether the transport protocol uses 0-255 or not. A test disk providing 0-255 will not appear properly if the set is only accepting 16-235, that is obvious. But content that already is limited to 16-235 (all consumer HD) should not suffer from this. The fact that consumer HD is already restricted to 16-235 could explain the author's "for some reason" puzzlement over why set manufacturers would do things this way. It was apparently by design to match consumer HD.

    I do not see this as a fatal flaw of the HR24. It makes no business, economic, or competive sense to intentionally put out a DVR with a PQ shortcoming previous DVRs do not have, for one thing, and the DVR has been out for months now without anyone even noticing it. This may be as much a tempest in a teapot as the iPhone 4 antenna.

    I understand that human nature tends to want to believe what it perceives, but that is not always what is really happening. Human perception is a highly-malleable thing and can play a lot of tricks very easily. It might be important to not get too carried away with what one thinks they are seeing, at least without a matching foil hat.

    I once believed I saw David Copperfield "disappear" the statue of liberty. Common sense indicates that it was only perceived that way, and never really happened. But boy, it sure looked that way, and I believed that this was what my eyes were telling me. Obviously, my eyes were wrong.
     
  17. Aug 9, 2010 #57 of 125
    Chris22

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    Thanks Elwaylite and Davenir. Will let you know, what happens.
     
  18. Aug 9, 2010 #58 of 125
    Jason Whiddon

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    If someone with a Denon AVR has an HR23, you can go into input and it'll give you status of the input signal type too.
     
  19. Aug 9, 2010 #59 of 125
    TomCat

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    I think you are correct, in that a bad decoder chip or associated hdwe in the DVR could indeed degrade things. It would be at the level of binary coefficients being mis-read, however, which while not impossible is highly unlikely. But yes, you could have a "bad HR24". Obviously, all of my assertions earlier are based on a properly-working DVR. Yours may not be.

    Just for grins, is there a way for you to bypass your intermediate equipment? That would be a great experiment. While skeptical, I would not entirely rule out some sort of local processing incompatibility, even one that might relate to the colorspace or RGB level differences alleged to the HR24. But to repeat my earlier assertions, that should not matter. But then that doesn't mean it absolutely does not matter. As a (hopefully) good troubleshooter, I am merly trying to gauge the likelihood of possibilities (pushing some down in rank at the behest of others), not simply eliminating them out of hand. While the odds are certainly with me, odds can still be beaten.

    But it's a great mystery. Try without the intermediate equipment and please report back. Try to post some hi-rez snaps of screen closeups that might show the dif in rez between your HR24 and the previous DVR, if possible. I would love to see what you are seeing.
     
  20. Aug 9, 2010 #60 of 125
    Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Im not having a problem. I have bypassed the DVDO initially, and didnt notice any problem either. I was just speculating for the OP.
     

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