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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Are SD channels supposed to be THIS bad?


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65 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   john262

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 06:39 PM

misread post... but i agree, most of SD is unwatchable

If SD is unwatchable, how did people get by watching SD for fifty years before HD became available?

However I agree that Directv's SD is pretty bad. On local stations that broadcast in SD I get a much better picture with my antenna than I get from Directv. It isn't as good as HD of course but it's better than Directv's equivalent.

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#22 OFFLINE   SParker

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 06:41 PM

If SD is unwatchable, how did people get by watching SD for fifty years before HD became available?

However I agree that Directv's SD is pretty bad. On local stations that broadcast in SD I get a much better picture with my antenna than I get from Directv. It isn't as good as HD of course but it's better than Directv's equivalent.


Because they had SD TV's to watch the SD programming..

#23 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 07:58 PM

Right, SD tv on an SD box isn't as bad. You also get used to HD.

#24 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 08:28 PM

I just got DIRECTV installed yesterday, went well, dish is installed kinda low, not a big deal I suppose.

Anyways, HD looks beautiful, SD channels look horrible. Especially DIY Network, there are bars on the top and bottom, almost like it's in Widescreen, or is that just how compressed it is?

Is there anyway I can make it so that the SD channels are in the middle of the TV (with bars on the sides) and HD fills the screen? Right now SD also fills the screen, which I hate, and they are extremely pixelated....Receiver is an HR24 and an H25, both look horrible.

I knew SD was going to look "bad" but I didn't expect "unwatchable" Anyway to fix this?


If you could know ... some of SD has 352x480 and some 480x480 pixels ( before it was 720/704x480 ). Plus draconian compression ...

#25 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 08:29 PM

If SD is unwatchable, how did people get by watching SD for fifty years before HD became available?

However I agree that Directv's SD is pretty bad. On local stations that broadcast in SD I get a much better picture with my antenna than I get from Directv. It isn't as good as HD of course but it's better than Directv's equivalent.

Because of ... - see my post above.

#26 OFFLINE   adkinsjm

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 08:40 PM

If SD is unwatchable, how did people get by watching SD for fifty years before HD became available?

However I agree that Directv's SD is pretty bad. On local stations that broadcast in SD I get a much better picture with my antenna than I get from Directv. It isn't as good as HD of course but it's better than Directv's equivalent.


Stretching SD to 16:9 doesn't help for some. There are consumers who still hate any letterboxing done to movies.

#27 OFFLINE   ejbvt

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:57 PM

People overcomplicate this and I don't understand why:

Menu > Settings and Help > Settings > Display > Video then:
Native: Off
Screen: Pillar Box
Bar: Black
THEN
Menu > Settings and Help > Settings > TV Ratio > Widescreen 16:9
THEN
Menu > Settings and Help > Settings > TV Resolutions > 1080i and 1080p (or 720p if your TV is only 720)

ALSO

Your TV needs to be set to 16:9 or Screen Fit (or whatever your model of TV calls it)

Those settings will show HD shows full screen, SD shows pillar boxed LIKE THEY SHOULD BE, and channels will change the fastest. The guide will always look nice and the SD should improve. This has worked for all my friends who whined about SD on DirecTV. D*'s SD is FAR better than Time Warner Cable in NC, but not quite as good as Comcast in New England.

#28 OFFLINE   ejbvt

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:09 PM

HD is supposed to be widescreen. SD isn't. Some (more and more) SD channels letterbox their HD content for display on SD TVs. It will stay in proper aspect ratio if you leave the pillar boxes on the side OR crop/zoom. Never stretch, that hurts.

#29 OFFLINE   djrobx

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 01:50 AM

DIY offers mostly HD programming. It is meant to be seen in HD. DIY pays lip service to SD by letter boxing their HD content, which becomes a mess on a HDTV (as if just being SD wasn't bad enough as it is - kick us while we're down!).

The real solution is for DirecTV to get the friggin' HD feed of that channel so we can watch it properly. :D

AT&T had much better quality SD, but it was still SD. I don't see much point in DirecTV focusing on SD quality. That's what HD is for.

#30 OFFLINE   F1aReD

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 07:32 PM

People overcomplicate this and I don't understand why:

Menu > Settings and Help > Settings > Display > Video then:
Native: Off
Screen: Pillar Box
Bar: Black
THEN
Menu > Settings and Help > Settings > TV Ratio > Widescreen 16:9
THEN
Menu > Settings and Help > Settings > TV Resolutions > 1080i and 1080p (or 720p if your TV is only 720)

ALSO

Your TV needs to be set to 16:9 or Screen Fit (or whatever your model of TV calls it)


I have my receiver and my TV on these exact settings. I like the bars on the sides for SD, but there is still bars on the top and bottom. Even today when I was watching my local Fox, there was bars on all 4 sides. Does ANYONE ELSE have bars at the top or bottom of any SD channel?

#31 OFFLINE   bigtom

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 07:35 PM

I have my receiver and my TV on these exact settings. I like the bars on the sides for SD, but there is still bars on the top and bottom. Even today when I was watching my local Fox, there was bars on all 4 sides. Does ANYONE ELSE have bars at the top or bottom of any SD channel?


Only when the SD channel shows a 16:9 letterboxed program or commercial.

#32 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 08:28 PM

Anyways, HD looks beautiful, SD channels look horrible. Especially DIY Network, there are bars on the top and bottom, almost like it's in Widescreen, or is that just how compressed it is?

Is there anyway I can make it so that the SD channels are in the middle of the TV (with bars on the sides) and HD fills the screen? Right now SD also fills the screen, which I hate, and they are extremely pixelated....Receiver is an HR24 and an H25, both look horrible.


Experiment with the format button on your DirecTv remote.


And with settings on the TV.
Tastes vary, but I prefer as small a picture as possible when it's SD. I never stretch.
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#33 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 08:32 PM

I think something is wrong, because no matter what I have bars at the top and bottom. I can change the Format to 1080i + Pillar box, but then I have bars on all 4 sides. I tried Ch 283, 230, and others, but they ALL have bars at the top and bottom. Does anybody else's have bars at the top and bottom?


Really, bars are generally better for crap pictures: It means pixels are not overly spread as much.
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#34 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 08:41 PM

I have my receiver and my TV on these exact settings. I like the bars on the sides for SD, but there is still bars on the top and bottom. Even today when I was watching my local Fox, there was bars on all 4 sides. Does ANYONE ELSE have bars at the top or bottom of any SD channel?


Yes. I tuned to Ch. 65 which is KKPX here. The black bars next to the black bezel in a dimmed room make for a nice presentation.

Now when commercials that are shot in HD come on, I have the black bars all four sides. When the SD broadcast (the show) is on, there are bars only on the sides.
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#35 OFFLINE   Carl Spock

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 09:06 PM

Menu > Settings and Help > Settings > Display > Video then:
Native: Off
Screen: Pillar Box
Bar: Black
THEN
Menu > Settings and Help > Settings > TV Ratio > Widescreen 16:9
THEN
Menu > Settings and Help > Settings > TV Resolutions > 1080i and 1080p (or 720p if your TV is only 720)

ALSO

Your TV needs to be set to 16:9 or Screen Fit (or whatever your model of TV calls it).

I use this setting on my kitchen TV, a cheap 15", and it works great. With my 50" Panasonic plasma, I get a better picture when going Native On and Original Format. The disadvantage is it takes a few seconds more to get a picture when I change channels.
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#36 OFFLINE   oldcrooner

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 10:21 PM

Because of ... - see my post above.


Definition of "draconian": rigorous; unusually severe or cruel

Exactly correct. It isn't SD that's the problem, it's what Directv does to that SD to squeeze everything on to basically that one satellite. 480i/480p can look quite acceptable if it's broadcast properly, even on an HD set.
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#37 OFFLINE   ejbvt

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 01:40 AM

Bars on all sides is windowboxing. It's a 16:9 image shown in a 4:3 area displayed on a 16:9 TV. It's common. You see it on commercials on pretty much every HD channel. It's the proper way to display SD programming as ALL (well, "most" since there are a few subchannels that are widescreen but SD, but that's different) SD programming is made for a 4:3 screen but display images that are 16:9.

Basic geometry: A rectangle will fit inside a square but there will be a gap at the top and bottom when the rectangle is centered. Put that inside another larger rectangle and you get windowboxing.

I hate to use Wikipedia, but they have a good picture: http://en.wikipedia....Windowbox_(film)

#38 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 08:13 AM

Definition of "draconian": rigorous; unusually severe or cruel

Exactly correct. It isn't SD that's the problem, it's what Directv does to that SD to squeeze everything on to basically that one satellite. 480i/480p can look quite acceptable if it's broadcast properly, even on an HD set.


I receive a few OTA stations as sub-channels to the main digital channels, they look pretty bad as well...in fact they are literally unwatchable compared to HD stations as well...SD is definitely part of the problem, its really not all D*'s fault. Even the most pristine version(OTA) of a station in SD is bad.

#39 OFFLINE   Dan B

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 08:54 AM

I use native always, and make adjustments at the TV. On my set, HD=full mode, SD=4:3 mode, SD windowbox=zoom.
However, on my old 1080i RPTV, I used 1080 pillarbox, and that was the best way to set the output. (still had to zoom windowboxed programming)

...and many of the SD channels do look terrible, yes. The CW feed (Supernatural) is pretty much unwatchable, and also unlistenable.

...and I just realized that you have 20 posts telling you similar things. Where's my coffee??? :icon_cof:

Edited by Dan B, 12 February 2012 - 09:00 AM.


#40 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 01:21 PM

I receive a few OTA stations as sub-channels to the main digital channels, they look pretty bad as well...in fact they are literally unwatchable compared to HD stations as well...SD is definitely part of the problem, its really not all D*'s fault. Even the most pristine version(OTA) of a station in SD is bad.


How is that proved ?

I don't see you got the point: DTV is sending down to STBs over-compressed SD stream/signal with REDUCED resolution to 480x480 or 352x480 instead of 704x480 what OTA station providing for normal (not sub-channels) SD signal.
How dare of you to discard the facts ? :eek2:




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