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Poor SD picture quality

Discussion in 'ViP612/622/722/722K DVR Support Forum' started by AlxG, Apr 6, 2007.

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  1. Apr 6, 2007 #1 of 16
    AlxG

    AlxG New Member

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    Apr 6, 2007
    Hi,

    My ViP622 HD receiver is hooked-up to Pioneer plasma TV model PDP-5070HD via HDMI cable. The 622 is set to 1080i – 16 x 9 mode. I’m using NORMAL aspect ratio and the picture looks beautiful on HD channels.

    I’m using the STRETCH mode in order to view SD channels full screen. The geometry of the SD picture looks weird – distorted like with fuzz added to the objects in this stretch mode.

    For reference, the same picture looks crystal clear in the smaller windows of the GUIDE or PIP modes.

    How do I improve the picture quality of SD signal that will properly fill-up my 16:9 screen?

    Alex
     
  2. Apr 6, 2007 #2 of 16
    wje

    wje Godfather

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    Basically, you can't. SD is 4:3 format, and there's no way to turn that into 16:9 without stretching. I really don't like stretched images, so I just put up with the blank space at each side.
     
  3. Apr 6, 2007 #3 of 16
    Mr.72

    Mr.72 Icon

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    Feb 2, 2007
    not only that, the reason it looks good in the guide mode and that sort of thing is because the pixels are much smaller. SD programming on a big HD display always kind of looks like crud because the pixels are so big.
     
  4. Apr 7, 2007 #4 of 16
    podder320

    podder320 Mentor

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    Mar 4, 2007
    Try "Zoom" instead of "stretch." When you use "stretch" it just widens everything horizontally, makes people look short & fat. The "zoom" mode also stretches vertically, cutting off some of the picture but removing that distortion. Alternatively, try leaving the 622 set to "normal" mode and use your TV's controls to "fill the screen." Some TVs have a mode that stretches the sides more than the center, which can look better without cutting off any of the image.

    You are probably seeing the SD-to-1080i line-ordering bug I documented in this other thread. Assuming your TV does a decent job of upscaling (most do), you might be happier watching SD channels with your 622 set to "720p" or even "480i" (which is an SD channel's native resolution).

    I find it's a pain to switch back and forth between 720p for SD and 1080i for HD, but I hate the SD-to-1080i "fuzz" enough that it's worth it.
     
  5. Apr 7, 2007 #5 of 16
    AlxG

    AlxG New Member

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    Apr 6, 2007
    Hi guys,

    Thanks for your input. I agree with you that SD – 4:3 will look a bit a stretched out on the 16:9 displays. Prior to the 622 receiver, I was using 501 with my plasma display in the WIDE mode. Pioneer’s WIDE mode wasn’t prefect but good enough for me to watch SD signals.

    About 2 weeks ago, I’ve visited a friend who also has the Pioneer 5070 plasmas but instead he uses DirectTV HD receiver. The SD content looked very sharp. Obviously it was not as good as HD but definitely sharper than my 501 PVR receiver. Somehow, 5070 had less geometric distortion on the wide screen display with DirectTV receiver.

    Being a loyal Dishnetwork customer, I called Dishnetwork and explained that I wanted to improve SD playback on my plasma. I was assured by the DN technical support that the 622 receiver would properly stretch the SD signal on the wide screen display. I was told that it will be definitely better then my 501 receiver.

    After messing around with the 622, the SD picture looks the best in the 480i – NORMAL mode while I’m letting my Pioneer do the stretching. The SD signal still looks better with the 501 PVR and nowhere near the DirectTV quality. The 622 STRETCH mode is simply broken. It’s out focus, distorted and noisy and way to unproportional compared to everything else I’ve seen before. The signal looked ever worst through the COMPONET cable. Also, it’s a pain on the rear to keep changing between the 480i, 720p and 1080i modes. I wish DN would implement a transparent pass-though and let my plasma properly rescale the content.

    After 7 years of being loyal customer and referring may people to Dishnetwork, I feel that I was suckered into to 622 – HD upgrade. There’s simply not enough HD content for me to keep busy. And at this point, the SD content with 622 looks so bad that I’m thinking of just using my old 501 receiver.

    -Alex
     
  6. Apr 9, 2007 #6 of 16
    AlxG

    AlxG New Member

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    Apr 6, 2007
    Podder320,

    I was able to replicate 622's bug in the 1080i mode which you have previously discovered. When I'm watching SD or HD signal with rolling text at the bottom of the screen, I can clearly see interlacing and distorted signal around the letters, at time the letters are unwatchable. The NFL HD signal consistently displays this issue. This problem goes away in the 720P mode.

    I can watch the HD signal in 720P. However most of DN HD content is streamed in 1080i and it softens the focus in the 720P mode due to additional scaling and deinterlacing process.


    I'm dealing with DN tech support with a person who clearly doesn't know what I'm trying to convey. How do I deliver the message to DN who will take the ownership of this problem and solve it?

    Alex
     
  7. Apr 9, 2007 #7 of 16
    BobaBird

    BobaBird EKB Editor

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  8. Apr 9, 2007 #8 of 16
    podder320

    podder320 Mentor

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    Mar 4, 2007
    Yes. When I wrote to that address I got a response I consider meaningful. (Much more than a form letter "We value you as a customer" type response.) As more people write about this it could get more attention and more priority on a fix.
     
  9. PhantomOG

    PhantomOG Legend

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    Feb 7, 2007
    Instead of changing the modes, which involves giong into a sub menu on the 622, if your TV also has an S-Video input, try using that instead. I have a 4:3 CRT so I'm not sure if it will improve the SD quality on a plasma or not. I have to use both component cables (for HD), and S-Video (for SD) for the appropriate picture.

    Here's just another user where different resolution settings for SD and HD channels would be an appropriate solution. We know the 622 differentiates and stores settings separately for SD/HD channels as evidenced by the retained "format" setting, Dish simply needs to store the resolution as well.
     
  10. Hall

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    Mar 4, 2004
    That is a very common suggestion and probably the best solution to this problem.
     
  11. Rob Glasser

    Rob Glasser Hall Of Fame Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Speaking as a plasma owner, it depends. If your Plasma has a good scaler in it then it will look pretty good, if not it may look worse. I used to have a Vizio plasma and on it anything in through the SD inputs (RCA or SVideo) looked like pure crap. When taking in a HD source it looked pretty good. I then returned it and bought a Pioneer and SD content now looks pretty darn good over the SD inputs and HD looks great as well of course. I am definitely a believer of you get what you pay for when it comes to TVs.
     
  12. tomcrown1

    tomcrown1 Hall Of Fame

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    True my SD on my Sony TV looks great in spite of the reviews that I have read stating that the SD picture on Sony Bravia tv looks bad, not true.

    I could have paid less to get 1080I, but I do scarface picture quality in doing so---their is no free lunch.
     
  13. podder320

    podder320 Mentor

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  14. Mike D-CO5

    Mike D-CO5 Hall Of Fame

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    What happens if an sd show is recording on tuner 2 and you are watching it on tuner 1? Does this still work or is the problem just the tuner?
     
  15. podder320

    podder320 Mentor

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    Mar 4, 2007
    I did notice that while recording one program and watching another, I was seeing the "bad" decoder - and I couldn't use SWAP to get to the "good" one for the channel I wanted to watch. So it seems that recording does "tie up" one of the decoders. Makes me want to figure out how to arrange for recording to tie up the "bad" decoder. I seem to recall there's a way to configure which "tuner" will be favored for recording...
     
  16. Mike D-CO5

    Mike D-CO5 Hall Of Fame

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    Not anymore. They took the record plus option to tv 2 and grayed it out in single mode after that last software update L4.01. I don't know about in dual mode.
     
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