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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

#26 OFFLINE   randyk47

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 06:01 AM

[ATTACH]29046[/ATTACH]

I have been having pixilation issues that just seem to be random. Had been great for years. Hope you can see my video.


Really looks like a signal issue, maybe your dish alignment has slipped. After years of my dish and signal being as solid as a rock it went south on me a couple of weeks ago. Turned out the mounting board my original dish installer insisted on using had started to rot and the dish was settling. It had been so solid for so long I'd kind of got lazy and hadn't checked my signal in months so no telling how long or when the dish and signal started to slip. All redone and the DirecTV tech and I worked on nailing the signal. I've been with DirecTV since 1999 when I cut TWC back to locals and Internet back in Virginia. When I moved to San Antonio in 2003 I didn't even bother with TWC and use DSL for Internet and DirecTV only. Actually wanted TWC for Internet only back then but they had no interest so they broke two install appointments so they're not welcome around here. This house does have a great OTA antenna in the attic and I use that as a back-up.
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#27 OFFLINE   KAL

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 03:18 AM

Left DirectTV two weeks ago for what I felt was a great FIOS triple play price. After two weeks, im completely underwhelmed and disappointed by FIOS (refering to TV service specifically) The FIOS phone and internet services have been very decent so far. Right off the bat, I noticed that FIOS HD in general was not nearly as sharp as Directs was. Add to that the very very distracting pixelation and micro blocking. I can say without a doubt that compared to FIOS at least (in my case), Directs HD quality is top notch. Got a re-connect offer from D a few days ago and I decided to take them up on it. I will admit that it was nice to have CSN Philadelphia again though

#28 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 03:22 AM

Left DirectTV two weeks ago for what I felt was a great FIOS triple play price. After two weeks, im completely underwhelmed and disappointed by FIOS (refering to TV service specifically) The FIOS phone and internet services have been very decent so far. Right off the bat, I noticed that FIOS HD in general was not nearly as sharp as Directs was. Add to that the very very distracting pixelation and micro blocking. I can say without a doubt that compared to FIOS at least (in my case), Directs HD quality is top notch. Got a re-connect offer from D a few days ago and I decided to take them up on it. I will admit that it was nice to have CSN Philadelphia again though


Looks like the grass wasn't greener. Glad it worked out for you with the re-connect offer.

DIRECTV customer since 1995.


#29 OFFLINE   KAL

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 03:42 AM

Looks like the grass wasn't greener. Glad it worked out for you with the re-connect offer.


Oh my friend, you dont even know just how much I have missed D!!! After FIOS was installed, I noticed in a very short amount of time that there was a moderate HD quality drop off from the DirecTV picture I was so used to watching for years. By breaking up my bundle (will still keep a double play phone and internet) I'm actually going to be paying more. its worth it to me though. I wont bore you with a ton of more details and examples, but lets just say I couldnt go for more then a few minutes at a time watching a basketball or hockey game without getting aggravated. Thats what happens when one is used to HD perfection I guess :lol:

#30 OFFLINE   jal

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 03:48 AM

I'm with been with TWC for about 10 months after having been with Directv for 6 years. Had them both side by side for about a month.

Picture qualty HD: Cannot tell difference. Both very good

Picture quality SD: TWC wins hands down.

Picture quality on numerous HD channels not on Directv: TWC wins

Picture quality on all local channels and sub channels: TWC wins, because Directv doesn't carry many of them (me tv, RTN, etc.)

Picture quality when it rains: TWC wins, because Directv has no picture.

Picture quality when in snows: TWC wins, because I can't get to my roof to knock the snow off the dish.

Ability to use TIVO Premieres vs old software on new Directivo: TWC wins.

TWC Signature home service: Superb

Directv CSRs: Do you have protection plan? Have you unplugged your receiver? Did you hit the red buttom to reset? Are you sure you set it to record the program it missed? The noise the receiver makes is normal......

Bottom line: There's no real advantage to Directv anymore unless you are a sports fan and want NFL Sunday ticket

#31 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 05:00 AM

I'm with been with TWC for about 10 months after having been with Directv for 6 years. Had them both side by side for about a month.

Picture qualty HD: Cannot tell difference. Both very good

Picture quality SD: TWC wins hands down.

Picture quality on numerous HD channels not on Directv: TWC wins

Picture quality on all local channels and sub channels: TWC wins, because Directv doesn't carry many of them (me tv, RTN, etc.)

Picture quality when it rains: TWC wins, because Directv has no picture.

Picture quality when in snows: TWC wins, because I can't get to my roof to knock the snow off the dish.

Ability to use TIVO Premieres vs old software on new Directivo: TWC wins.

TWC Signature home service: Superb

Directv CSRs: Do you have protection plan? Have you unplugged your receiver? Did you hit the red buttom to reset? Are you sure you set it to record the program it missed? The noise the receiver makes is normal......

Bottom line: There's no real advantage to Directv anymore unless you are a sports fan and want NFL Sunday ticket


We have TWC here. I use it for internet service (goes off line frequently due to unannounced maintenance and other issues). Some of my neighbors have their service. After viewing my DirecTV service one is switching to DirecTV and the other is seriously considering switching. It rains and snows here too but we don't always experience rain/snow fade as you infer. I've been a DirecTV customer for seventeen years. Have had many different types of receivers during that time but never experienced noise problems with any of them. Sounds like "your" DirecTV experience is a isolated one and not the norm as you would have us believe. :sure:

Edited by MysteryMan, 03 May 2012 - 05:05 AM.

DIRECTV customer since 1995.


#32 OFFLINE   randyk47

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 06:23 AM

We have TWC here. I use it for internet service (goes off line frequently due to unannounced maintenance and other issues). Some of my neighbors have their service. After viewing my DirecTV service one is switching to DirecTV and the other is seriously considering switching. It rains and snows here too but we don't always experience rain/snow fade as you infer. I've been a DirecTV customer for seventeen years. Have had many different types of receivers during that time but never experienced noise problems with any of them. Sounds like "your" DirecTV experience is a isolated one and not the norm as you would have us believe. :sure:


I'm kind of in the if-it-ain't-broken-don't-fix-it camp when it comes to DirecTV versus cable. Back in 1999 we switched from an almost unusable cable system in Northern Virginia to DirecTV and have been with them ever since even when we moved to Texas. Granted I got hooked on NFL Sunday Ticket and that helps keeping me a customer but that wouldn't necessarily keep me if there were quality or dependability issues. Luckily weather is generally not an issue here in San Antonio but in the four years in Virginia we basically got through bad weather there with relatively few outages though far less than the then really crumby cable. I guess I could chase costs, price breaks, special offers, etc., etc., but I don't, it's not worth the hassle to me.
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#33 OFFLINE   studechip

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 06:32 AM

I'm with been with TWC for about 10 months after having been with Directv for 6 years. Had them both side by side for about a month.

Picture qualty HD: Cannot tell difference. Both very good

Picture quality SD: TWC wins hands down.

Picture quality on numerous HD channels not on Directv: TWC wins

Picture quality on all local channels and sub channels: TWC wins, because Directv doesn't carry many of them (me tv, RTN, etc.)

Picture quality when it rains: TWC wins, because Directv has no picture.

Picture quality when in snows: TWC wins, because I can't get to my roof to knock the snow off the dish.

Ability to use TIVO Premieres vs old software on new Directivo: TWC wins.

TWC Signature home service: Superb

Directv CSRs: Do you have protection plan? Have you unplugged your receiver? Did you hit the red buttom to reset? Are you sure you set it to record the program it missed? The noise the receiver makes is normal......

Bottom line: There's no real advantage to Directv anymore unless you are a sports fan and want NFL Sunday ticket


I have no doubt there are advantages to every provider, but if your signal is going out when it rains, then you have an issue with the installation. Heavy rain may disrupt the signal for a short time, but not a complete loss just because of rain.

#34 OFFLINE   oldengineer

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 06:37 AM

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.


I was with D* for 4+years and switched to E* mainly to save a few bucks. I personally don't see much difference in PQ between them. However the E* Hopper shows the exact file size for recorded shows so here's some info for comparison:

In Plain Sight - 1 hr, USA - 1.729G = 3.84MBps
Fairly Legal - 1 hr, USA - 1.538G = 3.42MBps
Magic City - 1 hr, Starz - 1.407G = 3.13MBps recorded 4/27 (latest episode)
Mad Men - 66 mins, AMC - 1.709G = 3.45MBps recorded 4/29 (latest episode)

Edited by oldengineer, 03 May 2012 - 06:42 AM.
Network correction

2H/1J


#35 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 06:41 AM

On the flip side of the weather, when there's a storm that takes down lines, if your dish doesn't get blown around, you have service as soon as power comes back. You have to wait for the cable company.

Also, the problem with cable comparisons is it is very dependent on the city. Here, it is very obvious that DirecTV has better quality. It does not take a videophile to see it.

#36 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 07:59 AM

I was with D* for 4+years and switched to E* mainly to save a few bucks. I personally don't see much difference in PQ between them. However the E* Hopper shows the exact file size for recorded shows so here's some info for comparison:

In Plain Sight - 1 hr, USA - 1.729G = 3.84MBps
Fairly Legal - 1 hr, USA - 1.538G = 3.42MBps
Magic City - 1 hr, Starz - 1.407G = 3.13MBps recorded 4/27 (latest episode)
Mad Men - 66 mins, AMC - 1.709G = 3.45MBps recorded 4/29 (latest episode)

Thanks,
While I don't have copies of those to compare apples to apples, with DirecTV being in the 3.5+ GB/hr, it suggests these are even below U-verse.
A.K.A VOS

#37 OFFLINE   mdavej

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:35 AM

Also consider that Dish has only 75% the horizontal resolution of D*, so that will have a significant impact on file sizes. Is U-verse MPEG4 or MPEG2?

#38 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:45 AM

Is U-verse MPEG4 or MPEG2?

MPEG-4
A.K.A VOS

#39 ONLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:13 AM

I was with D* for 4+years and switched to E* mainly to save a few bucks. I personally don't see much difference in PQ between them. However the E* Hopper shows the exact file size for recorded shows so here's some info for comparison:

In Plain Sight - 1 hr, USA - 1.729G = 3.84MBps
Fairly Legal - 1 hr, USA - 1.538G = 3.42MBps
Magic City - 1 hr, Starz - 1.407G = 3.13MBps recorded 4/27 (latest episode)
Mad Men - 66 mins, AMC - 1.709G = 3.45MBps recorded 4/29 (latest episode)


Wow, that low?

Even if the Hopper's file measurement is only approximate, those low numbers still give a comparable PQ to DIRECTV's which uses approx. 2 1/2 times that bitrate on average? Even during moving scenes?

Boy, Ill say the human eye must not be that discriminatory.

BTW, just to note:

If those are actually *binary* GBs for file size the Hopper is referring to as computers typically do. Then those bit rates should be a tad higher as the formula for an hour recording in "megabits per sec." ("mb/s"), not "MegaBytes" ("MB/s"), is actually;

File size in GB * 1024 * 8 / 3600.

I see you must have used a factor of only "1000" in the previous computations.

Edited by HoTat2, 03 May 2012 - 09:36 AM.


#40 OFFLINE   oldengineer

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:35 AM

I assumed it was a decimal representation. If it was a "binary" representation 2**30 = 1.074 exp 9 so the extra multiplier would be closer to 1.074 than 1.024 right? Even so it doesn't come close to what VOS says what D*s bitrate is. OTOH with a good LCD TV I can switch the resolution to 720X480P and watch a 16:9 picture and scenes without a lot of action still look good.

BTW my calcs are megabits per second. Excuse the upper case on the b.

Edited by oldengineer, 03 May 2012 - 09:39 AM.
add content

2H/1J


#41 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:40 AM

I think I need to comment on MPEG-4 bit rates.
They're a bit hard to quantify since they vary so much.
Using DirecTV2PC you can see the rate in seconds, and it can be down as low as 1 or 2 Mb/s, and then be over 14 Mb/s, depending of the image content.
Collecting [sampling] over time tends to give a better idea.

I've downloaded HBO VOD through a 5 Mb/s connection and had 1:1 HD for a good 10 programs, which surprised me and the PQ didn't show any loss. :confused:

I was able to compare DirecTV & U-verse by streaming the same program sync'd within a second or so, and monitored each of the router port's traffic over many minutes.

"I think" the general difference is that DirecTV passes the peak high bit-rates much more than U-verse.

Dish does reduce their 1080i by 25%, so there is a savings, but it looks like they go further and may also cap the peak rates too.

Looking at the total file size should give a good overall idea.
The U-verse DVR [sent mine back over a month ago] did have a higher number of hours for HD than my HR2x, with the same size drive, which generally matched the bit-rate difference I measured.
A.K.A VOS

#42 OFFLINE   oldengineer

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:56 AM

Hey VOS, let's try an experiment. I have the AEP with E* so I can record most anything. Can we pick a few shows and compare results. One good one would be the Flyers/Devils game on NBC Sports tonight. Maybe we can get a better handle on this.

2H/1J


#43 ONLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 10:06 AM

I assumed it was a decimal representation ...


Yes if the Hopper is reading in decimal then your previous calculations are correct, but if binary then the numbers are slightly higher was my point.

... If it was a "binary" representation 2**30 = 1.074 exp 9 so the extra multiplier would be closer to 1.074 than 1.024 right?


Only if you are converting from "bytes" to binary "GBs." If you are converting only one step from GB to MB though its 1024. That is to say its a factor of 1024 per step for binary to binary conversion. This is why the 2**30 figure you quoted is also equal to 1024 * 1024 * 1024.

... Even so it doesn't come close to what VOS says what D*s bitrate is. OTOH with a good LCD TV I can switch the resolution to 720X480P and watch a 16:9 picture and scenes without a lot of action still look good.


Did you mean the 720p HD format which is 1280 x 720?

... BTW my calcs are megabits per second. Excuse the upper case on the b.


No problem ... :)

#44 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 10:07 AM

Hey VOS, let's try an experiment. I have the AEP with E* so I can record most anything. Can we pick a few shows and compare results. One good one would be the Flyers/Devils game on NBC Sports tonight. Maybe we can get a better handle on this.

You would pick something I wouldn't watch. :lol:
So what do you want to do, or what is AEP?
A.K.A VOS

#45 ONLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 10:44 AM

You would pick something I wouldn't watch. :lol:
So what do you want to do, or what is AEP?


dish Networks' "America's Everything Pak" I would assume. :)

http://www.dish.com/...everything-pak/

#46 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 10:49 AM

dish Networks' "America's Everything Pak" I would assume. :)

http://www.dish.com/...everything-pak/

Then how could this be used to measure bit rates?
I'll be glad to record something and try to quantify the bit rate, but someone with Dish needs to be able to do the same to get to "apples and apples".
A.K.A VOS

#47 OFFLINE   oldengineer

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 10:51 AM

Yes if the Hopper is reading in decimal then your previous calculations are correct, but if binary then the numbers are slightly higher was my point.



Only if you are converting from "bytes" to binary "GBs." If you are converting only one step from GB to MB though its 1024. That is to say its a factor of 1024 per step for binary to binary conversion. This is why the 2**30 figure you quoted is also equal to 1024 * 1024 * 1024.



Did you mean the 720p HD format which is 1280 x 720?



No problem ... :)


If an entity refers to a "binary" 1K it represents 2**10 = 1024 (decimal) things, or 1.024 times whatever things represents.

If an entity refers to a "binary" 1G it represents 2**30 = 1.074 exp 9 (decimal) things or 1.074 times whatever things represents.

Since the file sizes listed are between 1 and 2 G I say that 1.074 is the better multiplier, but then I've been retired for 5 years and I don't think as good as I used to.:)

2H/1J


#48 OFFLINE   oldengineer

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 11:59 AM

You would pick something I wouldn't watch. :lol:
So what do you want to do, or what is AEP?


I won't watch the whole thing either because I'm a Flyers fan and also a jinx. The reason I suggested it was because it's a 3+ hour sports show with lots of fast moving scenes.

As noted AEP is the E* everything pack. Pick some shows that interest you and I'll also record it, and we'll be able to compare apples to apples.

2H/1J


#49 ONLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 12:02 PM

Then how could this be used to measure bit rates?
I'll be glad to record something and try to quantify the bit rate, but someone with Dish needs to be able to do the same to get to "apples and apples".


Oh I don't think oldengineer meant the programming package can be used as a specific methodology to compare bitrates, but means that the package has more than an ample supply of available channels in which many are sure to coincide with those carried in any DIRECTV package to make for a good representative cross-sample of programs for comparing bitrates between the two providers.

Edited by HoTat2, 03 May 2012 - 12:46 PM.


#50 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 12:13 PM

I won't watch the whole thing either because I'm a Flyers fan and also a jinx. The reason I suggested it was because it's a 3+ hour sports show with lots of fast moving scenes.

As noted AEP is the E* everything pack. Pick some shows that interest you and I'll also record it, and we'll be able to compare apples to apples.

I was hoping you'd have some way of monitoring the feed.
Trying to compare "viewing" isn't worth much, because our systems [TV, etc.] aren't the same.
You get to read the file size on the drive, but I don't, "other than" knowing 1 hr takes 1% of a drive with 400 GBs, which is about the crudest measurement
possible.
A.K.A VOS




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