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Can't Decide...Convince Me To Switch To Dish and The Hopper!


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55 replies to this topic

#26 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 08:58 PM

The current limit is 2 Hoppers and 4 Joeys. You can modulate the output of a Hopper or Joey and use it in a second location (showing the same content on both/all sets).


I thought that was just the limit of leased units and that you could buy past that.

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#27 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 09:19 PM

I thought that was just the limit of leased units and that you could buy past that.

That's one way to get into the $500+ range for equipment.

I have not seen three Hoppers mentioned ... and with so many looking at two Hoppers (and paying extra) before hitting three Joeys (DISH's threshold) one could run out of tuners quickly.

#28 OFFLINE   coolman302003

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 09:21 PM

Do you know if there are plans to up the amount of hoppers you can have?

Check this out, over on the "other satellite forum" D.I.R.T. confirmed 3 Hoppers & 9 Joeys as the new maximum allowed. (Its actually been allowed for over a month now)
http://www.satellite...ew-maximum.html

Edited by coolman302003, 30 April 2012 - 09:29 PM.


#29 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 09:22 PM

Nothing public but somewhere in the future I see it as an important improvement. NOT as important as a lot of the other stuff already on the list (intertwining two Hoppers, adding OTA) but limiting a home to six tuners forever? Not a good choice (in my opinion).


I agree. While you or I might not need them in our homes... there are customers who do... and if they are willing to pay, why not let them have more tuners...

I thought that was just the limit of leased units and that you could buy past that.


With the Hoppers, I'm not sure that it isn't a technical limitation.

We have single node and dual node devices... these can only support 1 and 2 Hoppers respectively.

It's too early... but I don't know how many DPP44 (or similar) switches you can stack and also stack single/dual nodes for the Hoppers onto that.

It could be they just don't want to do that until they get more Hoppers in the field... they could just be waiting for the firmware that right now doesn't even support 2 Hoppers "seeing" each other as planned... or there could be some other limitation.

Perhaps, for example, only Hoppers on the dual node can see each other (when the firmware update comes)... maybe they have to create a triple node or something else to support another Hopper shared like that.

I think it is too early to say for sure (unless someone knows something I've missed) whether this is just a "not right now" situation OR if it is a technical limitation of the setup.

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#30 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:32 AM

With the Hoppers, I'm not sure that it isn't a technical limitation.

We have single node and dual node devices... these can only support 1 and 2 Hoppers respectively.


Since each Hopper is designed to be able to support 3 Joeys, a logical conclusion would be that with 2 Hoppers you would get support for 6 Joeys. At least on the surface it seems that way.

But then I think about when they get the ability for 2 Hoppers to see each other, and what that means in the way of how many Joeys can be supported. I suspect that what will happen is that if Hopper #1 is providing video to 3 Joeys, that if a 4th one attempted to view something on that Hopper, it wouldn't be able to. Probably get an icon of some sort, similar to what you get with the HRs when someone is already using the single remote view that is allowed with them (up to the HR24 of course).

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#31 OFFLINE   patmurphey

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:06 AM

3 Hoppers and 9 Joeys have been approved for some customers - best to contact a DIRT team member for setup. The third Hopper and its Joeys will be an independent network for the foreseeable future.

#32 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:14 AM

3 Hoppers and 9 Joeys have been approved for some customers - best to contact a DIRT team member for setup. The third Hopper and its Joeys will be an independent network for the foreseeable future.


So basically one MRV network of 2 Hoppers + 6 Joeys on one network, and one Hopper + 3 Joeys on a seperate network, right?

That indicates that the 2 Hopper + 4 Joey limit is a lease limit and not a technical one at all. That is what I thought I read quite some time ago too.

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#33 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 03:09 PM

So basically one MRV network of 2 Hoppers + 6 Joeys on one network, and one Hopper + 3 Joeys on a seperate network, right?

That indicates that the 2 Hopper + 4 Joey limit is a lease limit and not a technical one at all. That is what I thought I read quite some time ago too.


Actually... it sounds like it is both a lease limit and a technical one.

Since each Hopper supports 3 Joeys... 2 Hopper + 6 Joey should be the technical limit for that configuration. If they limit to 4 Joeys, that would be a lease limit not a technical one.

Now... it seems my guess was right about a third Hopper not being able to be linked into the other 2-Hopper network... so even though you can do it, it means those Joeys connected to that third Hopper will be outside the other network... so the "whole home" thing goes out the window even when they enable Hoppers to share with each other.

That, then, is a technical limitation that probably leads to a lease limit because it is easier to do that than field the calls from customers asking why their Joeys can't see their other Hoppers when people don't understand the multi-isolated-network thing.

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#34 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:09 PM

Since each Hopper supports 3 Joeys... 2 Hopper + 6 Joey should be the technical limit for that configuration. If they limit to 4 Joeys, that would be a lease limit not a technical one.

Perhaps ... but two hoppers four joeys is six devices using the MoCA bandwidth - which is a potential reason for a limit. Once Hoppers are tied together each device will need bandwidth to receive a signal from another device.

The original MoCA standard calls for up to eight devices on a channel ... two Hoppers and six Joeys would meet that standard (although the standards have improved since the original).

A separate system would require two DPP44s, a duo node for one pair of Hoppers and a solo node for the second Hopper. Or separate dishes for each system. Since the switches required to get five DPP feeds to serve the nodes provides eight DPP feeds, from a technical standpoint four Hoppers should be supported ... five if all eight DPP feeds are used.

#35 OFFLINE   n-spring

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:11 PM

Two things I've noticed with the Hopper....

DirecTV DVRs buffer the tuner for at least 90 minutes. At the time you switch to a tuner, as long as that tuner had not been moved off its channel, you could rewind previous to the time you switch to that tuner. Not so with the Hopper. You can only go back to the point at which you switched to that tuner. This only allows you to record the remainder of a program. You can't record the entire program because there is no buffer. This lack of buffer is a real bummer.

There is no double play feature on the Hopper, where you can pause one tuner, switch to the other, pause, and switch back to first tuner and resume watching. Probably related to the lack of buffer mentioned above.

Other than these two shortcomings, the Hopper/Joey offering is pretty solid. There have been a few minor problems since I installed about a month ago, but no show stoppers. PQ is as good if not better than DirecTV, even on HD.
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#36 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:46 PM

PQ is as good if not better than DirecTV, even on HD.


Sad to say, this has not been the case for me. DirecTV's HD picture quality is better, sometimes much better, depending on the channel. But Dish's SD is worlds better than DirecTV's.

If I compare a Twins game on Fox Sports Net North HD, Dish is a fuzzy, blurry mess. DirecTV was sharp and clear. Frozen Planet on Discovery was pretty good on Dish, but there was a slight loss of detail and some macro blocking on Dish, none on DirecTV. The Tennis Channel feels like looking through dirty glass on Dish, was very sharp on DirecTV. ESPN looks the same to me.

On the other hand, Top Gear on BBC America is so much better as to be beyond comparison - since only Dish has it in HD, and DirecTV's SD makes worn out VHS look good.

#37 OFFLINE   n-spring

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:53 PM

Sad to say, this has not been the case for me. DirecTV's HD picture quality is better, sometimes much better, depending on the channel. But Dish's SD is worlds better than DirecTV's.


My point of reference is Hopper/Joey only. I stand by my statement. I switched from DirecTV to Dish in March.
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Bedroom: XiP110 Joey (S286) to Sony KDL-26M3000 via HDMI
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#38 OFFLINE   bb83

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 05:31 PM

Two things I've noticed with the Hopper....

DirecTV DVRs buffer the tuner for at least 90 minutes. At the time you switch to a tuner, as long as that tuner had not been moved off its channel, you could rewind previous to the time you switch to that tuner. Not so with the Hopper. You can only go back to the point at which you switched to that tuner. This only allows you to record the remainder of a program. You can't record the entire program because there is no buffer. This lack of buffer is a real bummer.

There is no double play feature on the Hopper, where you can pause one tuner, switch to the other, pause, and switch back to first tuner and resume watching. Probably related to the lack of buffer mentioned above.

Other than these two shortcomings, the Hopper/Joey offering is pretty solid. There have been a few minor problems since I installed about a month ago, but no show stoppers. PQ is as good if not better than DirecTV, even on HD.


You can double play with the hopper. Use the swap button to switch between the the two tuners. you can pause, swap to other tuner and swap back to first tuner. the swap feature is always on. you don't need to enable it like on the HRs. This acts more like the old sony tivos.

#39 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 06:25 PM

Two things I've noticed with the Hopper....

DirecTV DVRs buffer the tuner for at least 90 minutes. At the time you switch to a tuner, as long as that tuner had not been moved off its channel, you could rewind previous to the time you switch to that tuner. Not so with the Hopper. You can only go back to the point at which you switched to that tuner. This only allows you to record the remainder of a program. You can't record the entire program because there is no buffer. This lack of buffer is a real bummer.

There is no double play feature on the Hopper, where you can pause one tuner, switch to the other, pause, and switch back to first tuner and resume watching. Probably related to the lack of buffer mentioned above.

Other than these two shortcomings, the Hopper/Joey offering is pretty solid. There have been a few minor problems since I installed about a month ago, but no show stoppers. PQ is as good if not better than DirecTV, even on HD.


Both of your shortcomings here point to you perhaps misusing your remote.

The Hopper should be buffering two tuners all the time (except when recording with one of those tuners or during DVR playback) like the other Dish DVRs.

The Swap button on the remote should take you back and forth between the two tuners currently being buffered. There is only 1 hour buffer, though, not 90 minutes... but the buffer should be active for as long as you have been tuned to that channel (up to an hour of course).

I don't have a Hopper... but it uses an updated version of 922 firmware... so I'd be surprised if they took the effort to take that capability away.

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#40 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:16 PM

My point of reference is Hopper/Joey only. I stand by my statement. I switched from DirecTV to Dish in March.


I switched from DirecTV to Dish (HR22-100 to Hopper) on April 21st. I view on a 50" 1080p plasma at 7'. I am well acquainted with the ways in which MPEG2 and MPEG4 save on bandwidth, from reducing color depth to macro-blocking. I would consider myself very discerning when it comes to video quality, so much so that I can tell a poorly mastered Blu-Ray from a well-mastered one. I used an HDMI cable for both the HR22 and the Hopper.

It simply is impossible that Dish, by down converting 1080i to 1440x1080 instead of 1980x1080 can surpass DirecTV in image quality, assuming similar bandwidth. I see evidence of this lack of detail on multiple channels, but Fox Sports Net is by far the most obvious.

On Discovery, I watched all but the last episode on DirecTV. On Dish, even the title sequence gave away slight hints of being less detailed. But there was a scene involving flocks of birds that was very busy on the screen - exactly the type of scene that would show bandwidth issues. The birds turned into a mess of white blocks. On another scene showing sunset at the north pole, the blue sky obviously consisted of large blue blocks. I wouldn't say that DirecTV's picture is perfect, but these problems and flaws were far less obvious, and the overall feeling of the picture was sharper.

On the Tennis Channel, my impression before was of sharpness over the whole screen, even on wide, full-court shots. On Dish, the image appears soft, like looking through a slightly dirty window. Even on closeups, the players appear less clear. On DirecTV, it felt like I was really looking at them. I find it hard to maintain eye focus on Dish's picture on the Tennis Channel, because it is so soft.

On HD Local-into-Local, I can't compare DirecTV's MPEG4 because it is not available in my area. On Dish, the channels are washed out and there is strong macro-blocking visible everywhere. These look like very bandwidth starved channels to me, and I will be buying an OTA tuner for the Hopper the minute they become available. They are barely viewable for me.

I cannot answer for how you might think you're getting better video quality from Dish, or even equal. But I can assure you, the only video that looks better on Dish is SD, and even that is a sad degradation from the early days of satellite television, when SD was the only game in town and the picture was as perfect as the best DVDs.

I love my Hopper, and I do not regret my decision. No one should have to suffer with what my DirecTV DVR put me through. But until Dish gets more transponders or converts everything and everybody to MPEG4, they simply don't have the bandwidth to support the programming they're carrying at a quality level comparable to DirecTV.

#41 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:24 PM

I switched from DirecTV to Dish (HR22-100 to Hopper) on April 21st. I view on a 50" 1080p plasma at 7'...

...I cannot answer for how you might think you're getting better video quality from Dish, or even equal.


Maybe he isnt sitting inside his TV :)

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#42 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 09:12 PM

It simply is impossible that Dish, by down converting 1080i to 1440x1080 instead of 1980x1080 can surpass DirecTV in image quality, assuming similar bandwidth.


Two questions about that...

1. How do you "know" that Dish is converting 1080i from 1920x1080 to 1440x1080? I'm not disputing it, I'm just asking how you "know" this? Do you have a way of measuring this yourself somehow? Or are you just relying on what you read somewhere on the internet? There are lots of false rumors about BOTH companies... and people who leave one for the other tend to have bad things to say about the one they just left.

2. To say it is "impossible" for 1440x1080 to look as good as 1920x1080 is not a good statement. MPEG2 and MPEG4 look different at the same resolutions... and both encoding schemes can be bitstarved... so it is possible for high bitrate 1440x1080 to look superior to low bitrate 1920x1080. Again, I'm not saying it does in this case, I'm just questioning the absolute nature.

I haven't had DirecTV in many many years... and I never had DirecTV with HD... so I can't make a direct comparison. Most customers don't have both Dish and DirecTV at the same time... so most of the comparisons I read on the internet come partially jaded by other bad experiences OR came from improper setups. Some DirecTV customers like their Dish better but it happens that their DirecTV setup was never configured correctly... and vice-versa.

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#43 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 03:31 AM

1. How do you "know" that Dish is converting 1080i from 1920x1080 to 1440x1080? I'm not disputing it, I'm just asking how you "know" this?

2. To say it is "impossible" for 1440x1080 to look as good as 1920x1080 is not a good statement.


As a new, first-time Dish customer, and a long-time and now disgruntled DirecTV customer, I don't think a "bad experience" explains my viewpoint. In many ways, I like and prefer the Dish service, but for someone who desires picture quality above all else, Dish pales in comparison. And there's no point in trying to convince people to switch based on incorrect information - an unhappy customer is worse than no customer at all. At best, Dish's picture matches DirecTV's, but I would say that most of what I have seen is not equal, and nothing has surpassed DirecTV.

I suppose you could say I don't know for sure. But I see a loss in detail with my own eyes. Something is causing that, and the "HD Lite" argument seems to be valid. Perhaps they are sending it at full resolution but at such a lower bit-rate than DirecTV that it looks like it must be 1440x1080. The end result is the same: a slightly less detailed picture on static images.

As to point #2, please read my words again. I state "assuming similar bandwidth." I did not see frequent evidence of bit starvation with DirecTV. I do see it with Dish. And that's on top of a loss of resolution.

Make no mistake, I think Dish's picture quality is quite good on most HD channels. We're talking about some rather minor picture differences that a typical viewer will never notice. But for the discerning viewer, DirecTV's is a bit better on some, and much better on Fox Sports Net North, at least based on what I've seen so far. If you must have the absolute best picture you can get, DirecTV is the right choice.

#44 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 03:36 AM

Maybe he isnt sitting inside his TV :)


According to CNET and other sites I checked, I'm right in the sweet spot for my television size: http://reviews.cnet....up-your-screen/

THX puts me on the long side of ideal: http://www.thx.com/c...er/hdtv-set-up/

If you sit too far away, picture quality becomes a moot point - your eyes can't resolve the detail on the screen. And if you can't see the picture detail, you can't know how good or bad the picture is unless things are really bad. A 26" set at the foot of your bed is too far away. Even 480i looks good at that distance.

#45 OFFLINE   domingos35

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 04:05 AM

As a new, first-time Dish customer, and a long-time and now disgruntled DirecTV customer, I don't think a "bad experience" explains my viewpoint. In many ways, I like and prefer the Dish service, but for someone who desires picture quality above all else, Dish pales in comparison. And there's no point in trying to convince people to switch based on incorrect information - an unhappy customer is worse than no customer at all. At best, Dish's picture matches DirecTV's, but I would say that most of what I have seen is not equal, and nothing has surpassed DirecTV.

I suppose you could say I don't know for sure. But I see a loss in detail with my own eyes. Something is causing that, and the "HD Lite" argument seems to be valid. Perhaps they are sending it at full resolution but at such a lower bit-rate than DirecTV that it looks like it must be 1440x1080. The end result is the same: a slightly less detailed picture on static images.

As to point #2, please read my words again. I state "assuming similar bandwidth." I did not see frequent evidence of bit starvation with DirecTV. I do see it with Dish. And that's on top of a loss of resolution.

Make no mistake, I think Dish's picture quality is quite good on most HD channels. We're talking about some rather minor picture differences that a typical viewer will never notice. But for the discerning viewer, DirecTV's is a bit better on some, and much better on Fox Sports Net North, at least based on what I've seen so far. If you must have the absolute best picture you can get, DirecTV is the right choice.


i completly disagree with you.
i had directv years ago and on my tv, dish's HD PQ is just as good if not better than directv's
are u sure u even have dish ?
going by your join date(forum)i would say u are here to bash dish
but i could be wrong

Edited by domingos35, 02 May 2012 - 04:13 AM.


#46 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 05:01 AM

i completly disagree with you.
i had directv years ago and on my tv, dish's HD PQ is just as good if not better than directv's
are u sure u even have dish ?
going by your join date(forum)i would say u are here to bash dish
but i could be wrong


Wow. I seem to have enemies on every side. A mod slapped me on the wrist for posting too many positive messages about Dish on a DirecTV forum, and now I'm getting hit from the other side for being a Dish-basher.

Read the thread over on DirecTV General Discussion about how DirecTV denies problems with their receivers and see if my purpose here is to bash Dsh. I posted a video showing off the speed of my Hopper, but I suppose anyone could claim it as theirs if you're into conspiracy theories.

I can only say what I see with my own eyes. You are free to have a different opinion. I am happy with Dish and find their picture quality adequate on most channels. But I am in the 1% who are super-fussy about video quality, and I see issues most people do not. I cannot speak of DirecTV's HD quality of a few years ago, because I only had HD from them from 2010-2012. I cannot speak of Dish's PQ before mid-April, as I had never had their service before.

#47 OFFLINE   akw4572

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:00 AM

I'm on the fence as well, about switching to Dish. My biggest fear is the pointing of the Dish. My DTV dish is on the side of my house, and has just enough clearance behind the house they just started building next door. I don't want a Dish mounted on my roof, I'd much rather keep the location where it is. The Hopper has me very intrigued, as does a $30 price break for a year.
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#48 OFFLINE   Inkosaurus

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:52 AM

I'm on the fence as well, about switching to Dish. My biggest fear is the pointing of the Dish. My DTV dish is on the side of my house, and has just enough clearance behind the house they just started building next door. I don't want a Dish mounted on my roof, I'd much rather keep the location where it is. The Hopper has me very intrigued, as does a $30 price break for a year.


I could be wrong here, as i just woke up. But if memory servers correctly when it comes to degrees and angle the D* birds are slightly lower then E* birds, so if you are just barely peeking over your neighbors roof you should be able to grab the E* ones.

Assuming ofcourse were talking about the ones in the same direction :P

#49 OFFLINE   Jhon69

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:08 AM

As a new, first-time Dish customer, and a long-time and now disgruntled DirecTV customer, I don't think a "bad experience" explains my viewpoint. In many ways, I like and prefer the Dish service, but for someone who desires picture quality above all else, Dish pales in comparison. And there's no point in trying to convince people to switch based on incorrect information - an unhappy customer is worse than no customer at all. At best, Dish's picture matches DirecTV's, but I would say that most of what I have seen is not equal, and nothing has surpassed DirecTV.

I suppose you could say I don't know for sure. But I see a loss in detail with my own eyes. Something is causing that, and the "HD Lite" argument seems to be valid. Perhaps they are sending it at full resolution but at such a lower bit-rate than DirecTV that it looks like it must be 1440x1080. The end result is the same: a slightly less detailed picture on static images.

As to point #2, please read my words again. I state "assuming similar bandwidth." I did not see frequent evidence of bit starvation with DirecTV. I do see it with Dish. And that's on top of a loss of resolution.

Make no mistake, I think Dish's picture quality is quite good on most HD channels. We're talking about some rather minor picture differences that a typical viewer will never notice. But for the discerning viewer, DirecTV's is a bit better on some, and much better on Fox Sports Net North, at least based on what I've seen so far. If you must have the absolute best picture you can get, DirecTV is the right choice.



I would suggest you lower your backlight setting on your HDTV if you have never tried that.That was the main thing I did with my 55" LED/LCD HDTV(I used a 50" RPTV before) and my HD PQ with DISH is nothing short of outstanding.My nephew came over the other day and asked me"When did DISH start broadcasting the SYFY channel in 3D"?.I had to tell him it's not 3D,he has DirecTV HD and watches it on his 65" Mitsubishi DLP HDTV.:)

#50 OFFLINE   sregener

sregener

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:53 AM

I would suggest you lower your backlight setting on your HDTV if you have never tried that.That was the main thing I did with my 55" LED/LCD HDTV(I used a 50" RPTV before) and my HD PQ with DISH is nothing short of outstanding.My nephew came over the other day and asked me"When did DISH start broadcasting the SYFY channel in 3D"?.I had to tell him it's not 3D,he has DirecTV HD and watches it on his 65" Mitsubishi DLP HDTV.:)


I'd lower the backlight setting if I could, but I don't have a backlight on my plasma. It is pretty close to professional calibration settings.

Your anecdote is interesting, but rather inconclusive in my book. When comparing things, you want to control for as many variables as possible, so that you really are comparing the thing, and not stuff around it. In your case, you controlled for the viewer and the channel, but nothing else. Things that could be different include quality and age of the display, display type, display settings, connection type, environment (brightness or darkness of viewing area), and audio. It is a scientific fact that quality audio leads to an increased perception of video quality, which means you should spend double on your speakers and receiver compared to your display.

For me, the only thing that changed was the satellite provider. Same television input, same television, same settings, same audio connection and speakers, in the exact same environment. The only thing I couldn't do was a true A/B setup, since one dish had to go down to make way for the other.

I have to rescind my comments on the Tennis Channel. In watching a little today to confirm my earlier report, I see that the picture is much better. Which leads to believe there was a problem of some sort at the last event I watched, where the cameras were inferior or encoded poorly. Not uncommon with overseas events, but it caught me by surprise. The Tennis Channel looks no worse or better than other HD national channels.




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