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Lower quality watching via whole home setup?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Connected Home' started by Sir Topham Hatt, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. Nov 8, 2010 #1 of 31
    Sir Topham Hatt

    Sir Topham Hatt New Member

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    Nov 8, 2010
    I had DirecTV installed last week, and I have a few questions for you fine folks.

    Here is my setup – HR24 upstairs and H24 downstairs connected via the whole-home DVR service. I also have their Internet connection kit connected to my router. The HR 24 is upstairs where we do the majority of our general TV watching (37”LCD) and the H24 is in the home theater (54” plasma). I went back and forth on where the DVR should be - because even though we watch more TV upstairs, I don’t watch any live TV at all in the theater room. More on this in a moment.

    The install went quite well – aside from the installer telling me I don’t need to hook up my rooftop antenna – because “antennas don’t work anymore.” But that can be an aside for a different day.

    I have a couple questions that I can think of now, maybe more will come later...
    My first question is about the quality I should be expecting from watching a recording on the H24 (via the whole home service). In short – the picture quality of the Packer/Cowboy game last night was nowhere near as sharp as it was when viewing from the HR24 directly. I would equate it to watching a show on Hulu as opposed to a OTA HD signal. I was even able to an a/b comparison directly as I have a 50’ HDMI cable running from the HR24 upstairs to the 54” plasma downstairs as well as having the H24 connected via HDMI to the 54” plasma. Picture quality wasn’t even close when watching the recording through the H24. Should this be the case?
    Along this same line, the speed of the 30 second skip and fast forward functions were much slower when viewing the recording through the H24 as opposed to the HR24. Is this to be expected?

    My other main question is centered on the remotes themselves. I may need to do a little more playing with this, but it seems that either remote will control either box. Is this normal? I have an old remote extender still plugged in, and when I was messing with the TV downstairs my wife yelled down and asked why I was changing the channels upstairs.

    Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.
     
  2. Nov 8, 2010 #2 of 31
    bigjoelee

    bigjoelee Legend

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    I haven't noticed much of a difference watching off the primary DVR vs whole home. If I am being finicky I could tell a difference, but not laying back on the couch. Also I would say that if your show was recorded using an AM21 OTA then that may be the issue. If it was using MPEG-2 HQ then then the whole home doesn't have near the bandwidth to send the signal to the other receiver and has to compress it. If DTV chose a bad algorithm for this or the way your OTA was broadcast-ed was in a bit diff format than "normal" OTA stations do that could be the issue.
    Joseph
     
  3. Nov 8, 2010 #3 of 31
    Sir Topham Hatt

    Sir Topham Hatt New Member

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    Nov 8, 2010
    Sorry. Hulu vs. OTA was a bad example. I was just using that example in terms of general picture quality. Nothing was recorded OTA. I get most of my locals (including NBC) through DirecTV.
     
  4. Nov 8, 2010 #4 of 31
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Within component tolerances, the PQ should be identical. Any differences are likely related to the performance and or calibration of the display itself.
     
  5. Nov 8, 2010 #5 of 31
    futurerebeldr

    futurerebeldr AllStar

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    Jun 8, 2010
    Do you notice this when you are watching programs recorded off of the mainstream D* channels (i.e. TBS/ESPN/USA)? I have 2 HR24's and 1 H24 and don't notice any degradation in picture quality when watching something recorded on either DVR on the H24.

    "You can run a test by pressing the front panel guide and right arrow buttons simultaneously (it can be tricky but I usually hold the right arrow down with one finger and then press the guide button). Select "coax network status". The first screen will show each device and the physical levels, which should all be less than 60.

    If you select "Phy Rate Mesh" you will get another screen with a matrix of numbers. All of these should be greater than 215."
     
  6. Nov 8, 2010 #6 of 31
    CuriousMark

    CuriousMark Icon

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    I have a similar setup and see the same delay at the start of any trick play operation when viewing on the H24. I believe this is due to the latency of sending the trick play commands back to the HR24 which is streaming the content to the H24. Once you get past that initial delay the fast forward and skip speeds themselves seem to be comparable.

    On your other questions, I didn't A/B but the PQ seemed the same to me from either device. With the remotes, there are ways to set them up so that one remote will be able to control multiple DVRs without interfering with each other, I suggest you do that setup and see if it helps.
     
  7. Nov 8, 2010 #7 of 31
    dhickman

    dhickman AllStar

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    Apr 23, 2010
    To speed up the 30second skip, turn of the preview mode.

    This will require that you enable test and advanced features. Check out the cutting edge information section FAQ for more info.

    Note - You do not have do download a test firmware in order to enable the the skip function.


    I found that this makes the MRV quite nice.
     
  8. Nov 8, 2010 #8 of 31
    hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

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    Preview mode? You mean going from slip to skip?
     
  9. Nov 8, 2010 #9 of 31
    WestDC

    WestDC Well-Known Member

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    Suggest you go to each Receiver and Go to menu-System setup-info & Test-Run the system test from each receiver MRV and post the results.
     
  10. Sir Topham Hatt

    Sir Topham Hatt New Member

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    Nov 8, 2010
    Thanks for all the responses thus far.

    I won't have much time to look into it tonight - hopefully tomorrow. I will let you know what I find.

    I'm relieved a few of you have said you don't see a difference between the HDDVR and standard HD box. That is what I was expecting when I signed up.

    I feel confident ruling out the display itself since I can easily A/B between a couple HDMI ports on the display. 1 being from the HR24, and 2 being from the H24. 1 looks good, 2 looks bad. Actually my wife even said something about it when she walked down - before I even mentioned anything. If that's not proof of a problem, I don't know what is.
     
  11. dhickman

    dhickman AllStar

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    Apr 23, 2010

    Yep. That is what I mean.

    Slip can be painfully slow at times over mrv, especially since I came from Dish.
     
  12. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

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    *sigh*

    Running any of the Coax, Phy rate, or general tests won't tell you or us anything.

    Now that we are past that, let me ask the obvious.

    How is the H24 connected to your display?
    Have you tried swapping the inputs on your display between the H24 & the HR24.
    What resolutions do you have selected on the H24? Are they the same as the HR24?
    Are you using any of the distortion screen formatting such as stretch or crop on the H24?
     
  13. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

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    How about this for a test:

    1. Record a show on the DVR
    2. Watch that show immediately (while it's recording) on the non-DVR
    3. Switch to live (same show) on non-DVR and compare quality.

    No need for any fancy multi HDMI cable tests.
     
  14. JosephB

    JosephB Icon

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    MRV is just sending the same bits it recorded to the other receiver. The receivers aren't powerful enough to transcode. Given the same program on the same receiver on the same TV, whether it's watched live or streamed from a remote DVR, it should look the same.
     
  15. jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

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    Note that on most new TVs, each input can have different calibration settings. To do a proper A/B comparison, make sure both inputs have the same settings. Especially, brightness, contrast, sharpness and on LCD TVS the backlight setting.
     
  16. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    It's the same digital source data whether viewed locally or via MRV. It's possible there's a subtle difference in default brightness and contrast on the HR24 vs. the H24, but it wouldn't explain what you're seeing, based on my experience. Harsh is correct when he notes:
    Since you're also seeing a difference on the same display, but via different inputs, then jdspencer's advice is also right on, IMO:
     
  17. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    30skip can be enabled out of the box on any HR2x. The 30skip keyword works on it's own.
     
  18. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

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    None of that is necessary to do the test (assuming you feel it is necessary). Just follow the procedure laid out in post #13.
     
  19. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    Missed that post, but that'll work too, and eliminate the 50' HDMI run as a potential difference, tho I don't think the long run would affect picture quality. If it was an issue, it would probably manifest as picture "breakups".
     
  20. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

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    What it truly eliminates is any difference in input calibrations. It really is the best way to compare MRV PQ to local PQ (though I am not one who thinks there is, or even could be, a difference).
     

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