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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Picture Quality of DirecTV


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52 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   jordanhallmann

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 02:07 PM

I am considering switching to DirecTV. I want to compare the picture quality to TWC. Can you attach some videos or pics of the picture quality of DirecTV so I can make my decision.

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#2 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 02:14 PM

The quality would depend on the storage or compression of the pic uploaded. No way to upload it without it being recompressed somehow. I can post a screen grab:

Attached Thumbnails

  • !test.jpg

Tivo Premier XL4, Tivo Premier, Tivo HD whole home on Xfinity HD, DirecTv Whole Home with 39" high gain KaKu dish, Roku3,SageTv 8 TB Win8 Server -> DVDO Edge-> Denon AVR, Klipsch KB15's/Panasonic 55ST60 plasma"


#3 ONLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 02:18 PM

It's great ... Just like you were told here: http://www.dbstalk.c...ad.php?t=204339
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#4 OFFLINE   brucegrr

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 02:41 PM

I have had Directv, Time Warner, and Dish. I am now with Directv again. IMO, Directv wins the best picture award hands down. I think it would be very difficult to post pictures to "show" the quality. Too many variables.

#5 OFFLINE   jimbo56

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 03:15 PM

I am considering switching to DirecTV. I want to compare the picture quality to TWC. Can you attach some videos or pics of the picture quality of DirecTV so I can make my decision.

I don't think a screenshot would give you a true indication of the PQ you could expect. I would suggest that you do a search for satellite installation companies in your area and see if they have a showroom where you can see DirecTV being demonstrated (I know there's at least a couple here in my area). You will find that DirecTV probably has the best HD PQ of all the major providers (FiOS is about equal, but may not be available in your area). Also be sure to check the SD PQ on those channels you might watch regularly; TWC might be better as DirecTV over-compresses their SD channels terribly - it might be a factor in making your decision. If your installer also does Dish Network, check out the PQ (it'll be a little worse, but may be perfectly acceptable to you), but keep in mind that Dish offers quite a few more basic HD channels so that might be a consideration. Dish is sadly lacking in sports programming, while DirecTV is undoubtably the best.

Whatever provider you ultimately choose, there will be tradeoffs. Good luck.

#6 OFFLINE   carl6

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 04:44 PM

Cable varies widely from region to region, based on the local system and infrastructure. The only valid comparison between the two would have to be done on your local TWC system. Comparisons done anywhere else would be pretty meaningless.

However, assuming TWC in your area is doing things right, there should be little noticeable difference in picture quality between them and DirecTV. If that is the case, your choice would then need to be based on channels carried and cost.

#7 OFFLINE   Paradox-sj

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 04:48 PM

THIS Direct has the best pic quality is by no means a given. I just had Direct installed and run it side by side with my Dish as well a Comcast.

Dish is the clear winner in my setup...not only for the nationals but locals by far as well.

I would suggest as other have taking a test drive at a neighbors or local showroom and let YOUR eyes decide.

#8 OFFLINE   raott

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 05:52 PM

SD is terrible, HD is excellent.
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#9 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 06:11 PM

THIS Direct has the best pic quality is by no means a given. I just had Direct installed and run it side by side with my Dish as well a Comcast.

Dish is the clear winner in my setup...not only for the nationals but locals by far as well.

I would suggest as other have taking a test drive at a neighbors or local showroom and let YOUR eyes decide.

Not wanting to disagree, can you give some of the bit-rates for Dish's HD?
Given they too are using MPEG-4, these samples do need to be over time to have some meaning.

I've been able to compare the same show from DirecTV and U-verse and found U-verse to only have 66% of the bit-rate of DirecTV for HD.
I'm curious as to Dish's bit-rates.

BTW: U-verse's goal is to be better than comcrap here, but they're not trying to match DirecTV.
A.K.A VOS

#10 OFFLINE   jordanhallmann

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 09:22 PM

Cable varies widely from region to region, based on the local system and infrastructure. The only valid comparison between the two would have to be done on your local TWC system. Comparisons done anywhere else would be pretty meaningless.

However, assuming TWC in your area is doing things right, there should be little noticeable difference in picture quality between them and DirecTV. If that is the case, your choice would then need to be based on channels carried and cost.


TWC in my area (Greensboro, Charlotte NC) has the worst HD picture. It is over compressed. ESPN, almost all of the channels are so compressed that you see every pixel. But, the internet seems to be faster at night and not slowing down which it normally does.

#11 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 03:54 AM

I am a self-proclaimed pixel-peeper. I can see subtle differences in picture quality, find macro blocking in the background distracting, and can tell if colors are quashed or good. DirecTV's HD is the best. I just switched to Dish Network and I can easily see the difference. Dish's national HD is very good, certainly watchable, but not as sharp as DirecTV's. Dish's HD locals are terrible for me - perhaps because I live in a small market north of 150th. To save bandwidth, Dish cuts the horizontal resolution to 1440 from 1980, which is at least part of the reason DirecTV's HD is better. If you have a 720p native set, you wouldn't be able to see the difference.

However, DirecTV's SD is unbearably bad. Dish's is very watchable. If a channel you really love is only in SD on DirecTV, you will be very upset at how bad the picture looks. Dish has more HD channels in their basic lineup.

Many people have problems with DirecTV HD DVRs being slow or unresponsive. Mine was, and that was the primary reason I switched. Even as a new customer, you may get a pokey DVR. Dish's DVRs are fast, sometimes jarringly so. If you haven't already, read the forums about DVR performance issues and decide if you can live with a dog if you get one. My HR22-100 had great pictures. That's about all that's good that I can say about it.

#12 OFFLINE   Arya Stark

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:26 AM

sregener --

So was the massive increase in DVR speed worth the slight decrease in HD picture quality for you?

#13 OFFLINE   wilbur_the_goose

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 07:07 AM

Put it this way - I can pick up my locals over the air. Here in Philly, the over the air picture has no advantage over DirecTV's picture quality.

And, yes, watching DirecTV SD is painfully bad.

#14 OFFLINE   jimbo56

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 07:31 AM

Put it this way - I can pick up my locals over the air. Here in Philly, the over the air picture has no advantage over DirecTV's picture quality.

And, yes, watching DirecTV SD is painfully bad.


I was using an AM-21 along with my DirecTV equipment in order to get my CW and MyTV affiliates in HD, but I agree with wilbur that the HD PQ of the locals that DirecTV carried was virtually identical with OTA.

SD PQ on DirecTV was so bad that I would never watch it unless there was programming that I absolutely wanted to see. When I switched to FiOS, I was astounded to see how much better SD PQ was on their service. While HD is still so much better, there are actually SD channels I watch now...

#15 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 07:41 AM

So was the massive increase in DVR speed worth the slight decrease in HD picture quality for you?


Hmmm. By itself, no. But I gained BBC America and The Hub in HD, Encore HD, AMC HD and TCM HD, got a blazing fast DVR, a promotional programming discount of $250 and gave up no channels I actually watch. Gaining channels I will watch, in HD, for no net increase in cost, combined with a DVR that is blazing fast... That makes the slight (not unwatchable, just a slight loss in picture detail) decrease in HD picture quality more than worth it for me. And channels that are in SD are watchable again, which means even more decent programming options. You may feel differently. To each his own.

#16 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 07:58 AM

Put it this way - I can pick up my locals over the air. Here in Philly, the over the air picture has no advantage over DirecTV's picture quality.


I was using an AM-21 along with my DirecTV equipment in order to get my CW and MyTV affiliates in HD, but I agree with wilbur that the HD PQ of the locals that DirecTV carried was virtually identical with OTA.

I also have an AM-21, and "virtually" identical is a fair comment. There is an "ever so slight" difference, comparing the MPEG-2 OTA to the same MPEG-4 from DirecTV.
DirecTV SD is reduced to 480 x 480, or even less if it's a 16:9 program being shown in letterbox SD.
I guess I'm fortunate because my Sony can scale these to a "fairly good" image. I zoom the 16:9 SD to fit my display and it "doesn't look that bad". With an earlier Sony HD receiver and TV, SD looked like crap, so the scaler you're using makes all the difference.
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#17 OFFLINE   jimbo56

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 09:53 AM

I also have an AM-21, and "virtually" identical is a fair comment. There is an "ever so slight" difference, comparing the MPEG-2 OTA to the same MPEG-4 from DirecTV.


I'm guessing that what you're saying is that the OTA PQ is "ever so slightly" better than DirecTV, which is a fair statement since DirecTV retransmits the OTA signal and recompresses it. My old eyes really can't tell the difference, but I could never actually compare the two side by side, I could just switch channels back and forth to see if I noticed a difference.

As to the OP, I suppose my decision would be based on what kind of a HD "snob" I was. Personally, I find pixilation (like you're experiencing with TWC) unacceptable, but I probably would put up with a slightly less pristine HD picture (like Dish Network) if there was a significant number of additional HD channels that I would watch regularly compared to DirecTV.

My opinion, based on reading posts here, is that DBSTalk forum members are more concerned about obtaining the best possible PQ than the general public. (I think that that's why blu-ray has not caught on faster; most people are more than satisfied with the PQ of standard DVDs.) The OP needs to assess his needs and properly compare the alternatives before making a decision. If he choose DirecTV or Dish Network he will have a two year commitment to deal with.

#18 OFFLINE   ShapeGSX

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 10:25 AM

The HD on DirecTV is pretty good. The SD is HORRIBLE, especially on my 60" TV. BBC America is a blocky mess. It is so bad that my wife asked if we could just download Richard Hammond's Crash Course rather than watch it on DirecTV. Doctor Who is letterboxed SD and just unwatchable. :nono2:

#19 ONLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 10:42 AM

Hmmm. By itself, no. But I gained BBC America and The Hub in HD, Encore HD, AMC HD and TCM HD...


Encore & AMC are HD on DirecTV.
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#20 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 10:59 AM

The HD on DirecTV is pretty good. The SD is HORRIBLE, especially on my 60" TV. BBC America is a blocky mess. It is so bad that my wife asked if we could just download Richard Hammond's Crash Course rather than watch it on DirecTV. Doctor Who is letterboxed SD and just unwatchable. :nono2:

The VOD program hasn't been reduced, and sometimes with BBCA you'll find more of the program in the VOD than through the SAT, as they haven't cut it for commercials. British shows are normally 1 hour without commercials, so if they air through the SAT in an hour with commercials they've cut 15 mins out for the commercial time.
Top Gear, when it's 90 mins is the full show.
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