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Dish pic qlty vs others?


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17 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Auto3

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 11:54 AM

Currently have DirecTV, picture is very good. Would assume Dish would be equal/better. Also, how is Comcast compared to Dish. Thanks.

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#2 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 12:40 PM

Picture Quality is very subjective... I would suggest doing a search here and in the Dish HD forum for Picture Quality and you should get a number of threads and you might be able to form an opinion.

From what i come up with based on the numerious posts regarding PQ is that it is very dependent on usage and both provide an excellent HD offering in terms of both selection and PQ.

That is my opinion. As far as Cable. I don't have any experience and it appears to differ from region to region.
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#3 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 02:03 PM

Ron is exactly right in that PQ is subjective; some will prefer one over another, regardless of actual technical figures. The TV you use can also highlight things that some might prefer and while others would be annoyed.

On the other hand, strictly looking that the numbers, providers would be ranked thusly, from best to worst:

- FiOS
- DirecTV
- Dish
- Uverse

You can't fairly rank cable, because it is different from market to market. Even though big companies like Comcast and Cox are the parent companies, cable is really a bunch of small franchises, usually covering 1-5 cities each, and each franchise will have different infrastructure, so that some may not be able to offer some features that a neighboring city has, and one city may have great PQ while another close by has terrible PQ.

Looking just at DirecTV vs. Dish:

Dish has slightly better MPEG2 SD quality:

Resolution:

Dish - 540x480
DirecTV - 480x480

Both companies typically use 10-12 MPEG2 SD channels per transponder; fewer (6-8) for sports channels, which typically don't compress as well. And both are down-rezzing the SD from the full 720x480 resolution; DirecTV is downrezzing more.


For HD, DirecTV has the better stats:

Resolution:

DirecTV: 1920x1080 (for 1080i channels)
Dish: 1440x1080 (for 1080i channels)

Both also pass along 1280x720p channels without altering resolution.

Dish also typically has 7 HD channels per transponder, compared to only 5 per transponder for DirecTV, which means that Dish is forced to use more compression.

This tells us from an objective view that Dish is better for SD and DirecTV is better for HD. Will you agree? Probably, but no one can say for certain but you.

#4 OFFLINE   Lincoln6Echo

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 03:39 PM

Well, as far as Cable goes, and this is my opinion, is why bother with the middle-man?

I mean, where do the cable companies get their national channel feeds from? Satellite, right? Then they send you that signal to you via miles and mile of cable. (we're not not talking FiOS, here), and from what I understad is that signal quality degrades through cables and for every splice you have.

So the better choice is some sort of direct satellite feed either through E* or D*. Or FiOS, if it's available.
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#5 OFFLINE   naptime

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 04:41 PM

I've been a Dish customer for several years now, but have recently learned that Direct has much better HD offerings here in Alaska. So does...

DirecTV: 1920x1080 (for 1080i channels)
Dish: 1440x1080 (for 1080i channels)


mean that Dish has no 1080i HD content in widescreen? And does...

Dish - 540x480
DirecTV - 480x480


mean that DirectTV's MPEG2 SD content is 4x4 in stead of 4x3?

#6 OFFLINE   Brandon428

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 04:51 PM

Call me crazy because I can't really explain it but the HD on Dish is better than Directv. Not by much though,but I do notice a difference. Maybe its because I have lower standards for pic quality compared to the higher standards I had for Directv.

#7 OFFLINE   Mertzen

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 04:57 PM

I've been a Dish customer for several years now, but have recently learned that Direct has much better HD offerings here in Alaska. So does...



mean that Dish has no 1080i HD content in widescreen? And does...



mean that DirectTV's MPEG2 SD content is 4x4 in stead of 4x3?


Nope. Both resolutions are stretched to their 16/9 and 4/3 ration.

I've seen both dish and directv on the same HDTV concurrently. I'd say directv is a bit better but very subjective. Unless you go for 60+ inch TVs you'd most likely never know.
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#8 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 05:07 PM

I've been a Dish customer for several years now, but have recently learned that Direct has much better HD offerings here in Alaska. So does...



mean that Dish has no 1080i HD content in widescreen? And does...



mean that DirectTV's MPEG2 SD content is 4x4 in stead of 4x3?


Well.. Resolution is just one part of the picture, TV is the other, the person viewing is another, difference in encoding and transport can be another.

IIP made a good post and if you base it on resolution alone then it would be accurate. However, there is a bunch of other variables in the equation and that is why I firmly believe it is subjective and the best opinion one can give is that given their viewing environment that one is better than the other on a given day. I say given day because the external environments can change.

Since I don't have DirecTV in my environment I can say one is better than the other. All I can say is I have seen DirecTV at friends and family and I have Dish and neither have been in the catagory of one appears significantly better than the other.

I have compared OTA to Dish HD Locals and have to say after the MPEG4 conversion that difference between the two is very slight in my configuration.
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#9 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 05:50 PM

I've been a Dish customer for several years now, but have recently learned that Direct has much better HD offerings here in Alaska. So does...

Quote:
DirecTV: 1920x1080 (for 1080i channels)
Dish: 1440x1080 (for 1080i channels)


mean that Dish has no 1080i HD content in widescreen? And does...

Quote:
Dish - 540x480
DirecTV - 480x480


mean that DirectTV's MPEG2 SD content is 4x4 in stead of 4x3?


Max digital resolutions are:

720x480 (standard definition, though most non-digital SD devices aren't capable of this resolution)
1280x720 (HD)
1920x1080 (HD)

With digital, it is possible to capture, sample, or downconvert at a lower resolution and then stretch the information back to original size. Obviously, this means that you'll lose detail and clarity. If you've ever played a YouTube video, and clicked it to Full Screen, you see how this works.

All providers, even FiOS, have limited bandwidth at some point in their delivery chain (eventually, if FiOS goes to switched IPTV, it could have some seriously high limits). This means they can only fit a limited number of channels on their system. By reducing the amount of data used for each channel, they can increase the total number of channels, but there has to be a balance. Everyone wants lots of channels, but no one wants bad looking TV.

Both systems use MPEG2 compression for their standard-definition channels, and for both, their standard-def receivers (with the exception of the R22 for DirecTV) only understand MPEG2 compression. But MPEG2 is an older standard, and newer compression standards, such as MPEG4, are capable of delivering the same picture quality at a much lower bitrate. That's why both systems have moved their HD channels, which have much higher bitrates, to MPEG4. For example, DirecTV used to put 3 MPEG2 HD channels, down-rezzed to 1280x1080, on a single transponder. By switching to MPEG4, they can now put 5 HD channels on a single transponder with no down-rezzing.

Eventually, both systems will move all programming to MPEG4, but this will take 3-5 years at least, because tens of millions of MPEG2-only receivers will have to be replaced before that can happen. Both companies are now deploying MPEG4-capable equipment to all new customers in select areas, and those areas will continue to expand.

Beyond compression TYPE, there's also the AMOUNT of compression used. The MPEG encoders used to compress the signals use an adjustable amount of compression. Crank up the compression rate, and you lower the bitrate used by a particular channel, but at the expense of picture quality. Crank it down, and PQ goes up, but you'll be able to fit fewer channels per transponder.

DirecTV and Dish have each come up with their own standards for establishing a balance between resolution/compression and total number of channels. It's also why both companies are continuing to explore new technologies, such as BSS frequencies, that allow even higher frequencies to be used. Bandwidth is precious.

#10 OFFLINE   Grentz

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 06:13 PM

Purely subjective, but I had Dish at my office for years and Directv at my house.

I used various TVs with both ranging in sizes and technologies (worked for a company that sold consumer electronics).

The HD is very similar between the two, but I much preferred the SD picture on Directv. Just looked crisper to me on many of the channels.

Now many channels vary a lot as well, some like Comedy Central SD have always been horrible in comparison to even other SD channels. So it can be hard to get a good idea of overall which is "better". I think channel selection and packaging is more what to look for than PQ between Dish and Directv.
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#11 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 06:58 PM

I think channel selection and packaging is more what to look for than PQ between Dish and Directv.


Totally agree Grentz.. Channel selection should be your first choice. If one offers something you must have that the other does not then that leans heavy towards that provider. For most.. Locals plays a big roll here.

Next would come the features of the receivers. What do they have now. Where they are going in terms of technology. Does one meet your needs more than the other.

3rd would come price.

Like I said.. PQ is important but I think both deliver more then acceptable in this area. The other two equipment and content selection should be your driving factors in my opinion.
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#12 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 07:44 PM

Totally agree Grentz.. Channel selection should be your first choice. If one offers something you must have that the other does not then that leans heavy towards that provider. For most.. Locals plays a big roll here.

Next would come the features of the receivers. What do they have now. Where they are going in terms of technology. Does one meet your needs more than the other.

3rd would come price.

Like I said.. PQ is important but I think both deliver more then acceptable in this area. The other two equipment and content selection should be your driving factors in my opinion.


Totally agree here. Content is King.

#13 OFFLINE   ZBoomer

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 12:35 AM

I've had both, and regularly watch both on my setup (Dish) and my brother-in-law with Direct; we both have high-end TV's, and regardless of what the numbers say, HD looks the same to me on either, and I'm a picky viewer.

If they are different I doubt you'd notice by eye, maybe with test equipment.
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#14 OFFLINE   Prince Oz

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:32 AM

I was with Dish and switched back to D*. Before I unhooked my E*, I did a test for myself. My equipment; Dish = VIP722, D* = HR23-700, TV = Sammy LN52A550. Using the same HDMI cable, I went from E* to D*. There was a very noticable difference in the HD channels with the HR23 looking better. The SD channel by far were a lot better on the HR23. The VIP722 was not bad, but the HR23 provide a crisper picture and sharper colors. The SD channels were much clearer to veiw. This is just what I saw.
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#15 OFFLINE   paulman182

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 10:22 AM

Well, as far as Cable goes, and this is my opinion, is why bother with the middle-man?

I mean, where do the cable companies get their national channel feeds from? Satellite, right? Then they send you that signal to you via miles and mile of cable. (we're not not talking FiOS, here), and from what I understad is that signal quality degrades through cables and for every splice you have.

So the better choice is some sort of direct satellite feed either through E* or D*. Or FiOS, if it's available.


I'm no fan of cable, believe me, but Dish or DirecTV act as the "middleman" on satellite. They both pick up most channels from C-band satellite, just as cable does, and retransmit it on their DBS systems.

You are correct about miles of cable degrading an analog signal, but unless the signal becomes so weak that it causes freezing or blank screens, it has no effect on digital cable.

My wife's cousin had problems with snowy analog pictures on her cable system, so she switched to digital cable. Now she often gets nothing at all!

#16 OFFLINE   Auto3

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:54 PM

I was with Dish and switched back to D*. Before I unhooked my E*, I did a test for myself. My equipment; Dish = VIP722, D* = HR23-700, TV = Sammy LN52A550. Using the same HDMI cable, I went from E* to D*. There was a very noticable difference in the HD channels with the HR23 looking better. The SD channel by far were a lot better on the HR23. The VIP722 was not bad, but the HR23 provide a crisper picture and sharper colors. The SD channels were much clearer to veiw. This is just what I saw.


Have D* now and thinking of switching to E*. D's pic quality to me is very good. Have not seen E's quality but was hoping they would be the same. Second thoughts now on the switch. Also, why the switch back to D*?

#17 OFFLINE   Brandon428

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 03:37 AM

I'm gonna guess he had billing problems.

#18 OFFLINE   Prince Oz

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 07:01 AM

Have D* now and thinking of switching to E*. D's pic quality to me is very good. Have not seen E's quality but was hoping they would be the same. Second thoughts now on the switch. Also, why the switch back to D*?


Yes, 1 reason was billing. Probably just my luck with them. Other reasons I went back to D*.
1) Cheaper
2) Better signal. Compaired to when I was with D* before, I would lose my signal with light rain with E* even at 94% signal strenght. Have not lost a signal with D* even during a down pour.
3) HR23-700
4) E* drobs there channels like a revolving door.
5) Better HD and SD picture quality.
6) Missed my D*. I was with them for 7 years prior to switching to E*. Just wanted to try E* to see what they were like. My opinion, no comparison.
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