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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Picture quality of other services


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33 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   mweathers

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 08:57 AM

This is something that's been talked about before, but I don't think recently. I have been with Direct since 1999. Due to ever increasing pricing I have started thinking of leaving for the first time ever, basically to save money and to get more HD, which Direct doesn't seem to want to give us (National channels). I don't care about the Sports Package, or the football package. Currently I have Choice Extra, HBO, and the HD Extra pack and pay around $105 a month. I feel I can get MORE HD stations elsewhere for the same $$ or less (especially the first year).....But picture quality is my first priority.

So here's my question: Is Dish picture quality as good in HD? (I only watch HD). I am also considering U-verse, even though I know EVERYONE here hates this service. I live in Atlanta. I've seen the service at an AT&T store with Direct right next to it: both showing sports programming. I saw this on a 50" (maybe larger) screen at the store. I DID see a difference, with Direct being better. But it wasn't HUGE. I have a neighbor that has U-verse and owns the same TV I do (Samsung 59" plasma). The service looks good on his set, so maybe we have a good signal in our area. I know it depends on how close you are to the "box".

So....does anyone like the HD picture on Dish or U-verse? (I will NOT consider Comcast).

Thanks in advance.

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#2 ONLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:45 AM

U-who is an IP based system, so the distance from their VRAD determines how many channels you can get at one time.
I tried their service a couple of months back.
Like many, I figured their PQ would be my first complaint, but somewhat surprisingly it wasn't.
My biggest complaint is their crappy user interface on the receivers/DVRs. I found this to seriously suck.
If you can get their 32 meg "profile", then you can record 3 HD channels while watching a forth [which doesn't have any DVR functions, so no pausing].
I was able to compare DirecTV bit-rates to U-who, for the same exact show, and found U-who uses only 66% of the bit-rate DirecTV does. While the PQ did look fairly close, U-who seems to drop the frame rate as stuttering [jumping] was what bothered me with their service.
Another problem I had [others may not] was the connection would drop for about 30 sec, which isn't a big deal with internet, but became a real PITA for watching TV.
A.K.A VOS

#3 OFFLINE   PCampbell

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:46 AM

Uverse is not that bad, it dose very from place to place. Give it a try and supend DTV so you can see if you like it.

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#4 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:47 AM

U-who is an IP based system, so the distance from their VRAD determines how many channels you can get at one time.




It's not that it's IP based but that it's using VDSL as the transport which has bandwidth limitations the farther you get from the VRAD. Just like ADSL the farther from the DSLAM or remote terminal the lower your max connection speed will be.

See post My Setup for configuration info.


#5 ONLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:59 AM

It's not that it's IP based but that it's using VDSL as the transport which has bandwidth limitations the farther you get from the VRAD. Just like ADSL the farther from the DSLAM or remote terminal the lower your max connection speed will be.

Trying to get this through twisted pair wiring is tough:

http://www.dbstalk.c...=1&d=1339689526

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A.K.A VOS

#6 OFFLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 10:08 AM

My mind is a little slow this morning VOS; :)

Which specific AT&T service are each of those three bands carrying?

If you happen to know that is ...

#7 ONLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 10:27 AM

My mind is a little slow this morning VOS; :)

Which specific AT&T service are each of those three bands carrying?

If you happen to know that is ...

The yellow are the down streams and the green is the up stream.
The second block [on the right] is the first to go the farther you are from the VRAD.

These combine for:

http://www.dbstalk.c...=1&d=1339691254

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A.K.A VOS

#8 OFFLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 11:12 AM

OK,

Even though I know you don't have the TV service part VOS, but I take it those are the only available bands. So if someone has U-verse TV its IP packets must share that same spectrum and have priority?

Wow, hard to see where one won't get a substantial slowdown in VDSL internet connection speed with U-verse TV service.

#9 ONLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 11:20 AM

OK,

Even though I know you don't have the TV service part VOS, but I take it those are the only available bands. So if someone has U-verse TV its IP packets must share that same spectrum and have priority?

Wow, hard to see where one won't get a substantial slowdown in VDSL internet connection speed with U-verse TV service.

While I no longer have their TV service, the profile I've posted hasn't changed from the "upgrade" to the TV service.
With a 64 Mb/s "max" rate down, I couldn't find a slowdown for anything.
I loaded up my max number of channels [three HR recording and another live] and ran speed tests on my internet connection and still couldn't find a bottle necking of my 12 Mb/s internet service.
A.K.A VOS

#10 OFFLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 11:48 AM

While I no longer have their TV service, the profile I've posted hasn't changed from the "upgrade" to the TV service.
With a 64 Mb/s "max" rate down, I couldn't find a slowdown for anything.
I loaded up my max number of channels [three HR recording and another live] and ran speed tests on my internet connection and still couldn't find a bottle necking of my 12 Mb/s internet service.


You still have 12 mb/s internet without U-verse TV?

I thought you posted many times it was currently only 6 mb/s in a number of threads dealing with VOD?

#11 ONLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 11:52 AM

You still have 12 mb/s internet without U-verse TV?

I thought you posted many times it was currently only 6 mb/s in a number of threads dealing with VOD?

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#12 OFFLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 12:56 PM

Posted Image


OK, after a brief search I see in an older post here for instance back in march you mention having a 6/1 AT&T DSL service while waiting to be upgraded to 12 mb/s (VDSL?) one.

So perhaps thats where my confusion is ....

http://www.dbstalk.c...977#post2973977

#13 OFFLINE   mdavej

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 01:00 PM

This is something that's been talked about before, but I don't think recently. I have been with Direct since 1999. Due to ever increasing pricing I have started thinking of leaving for the first time ever, basically to save money and to get more HD, which Direct doesn't seem to want to give us (National channels). I don't care about the Sports Package, or the football package. Currently I have Choice Extra, HBO, and the HD Extra pack and pay around $105 a month. I feel I can get MORE HD stations elsewhere for the same $$ or less (especially the first year).....But picture quality is my first priority.

So here's my question: Is Dish picture quality as good in HD? (I only watch HD). I am also considering U-verse, even though I know EVERYONE here hates this service. I live in Atlanta. I've seen the service at an AT&T store with Direct right next to it: both showing sports programming. I saw this on a 50" (maybe larger) screen at the store. I DID see a difference, with Direct being better. But it wasn't HUGE. I have a neighbor that has U-verse and owns the same TV I do (Samsung 59" plasma). The service looks good on his set, so maybe we have a good signal in our area. I know it depends on how close you are to the "box".

So....does anyone like the HD picture on Dish or U-verse? (I will NOT consider Comcast).

Thanks in advance.

While Dish HD is technically inferior to DirecTV, It's unlikely you'll be able to see much, if any, difference. I've compared Dish, DirecTV and Uverse. As you saw in the store demo, DirecTV and Uverse are on par until there is motion, then Uverse has more macro blocking. Dish is ever so slightly softer than DirecTV but better than U-verse with motion.

Like you, I dropped DirecTV due to their foot dragging on their HD lineup. I was very happy with Dish until they dropped AMC, so I switched to cable which happens to have more HD in my market than DirecTV and Dish combined. Since they use SDV, the HD PQ is excellent. I my HD cable channels, I get data rates in the 10-14 Mbps on most channels plus 30 Mbps internet, which blows U-verse completely out of the water.

I was very concerned about HD PQ, but found Dish's to be excellent. I just don't like the fact that the drop channels due to disputes more than most everyone else.

Good luck

#14 ONLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 01:04 PM

my HD cable channels, I get data rates in the 10-14 Mbps on most channels...

That would be outstanding if it was MPEG-4, but not so much if it's MPEG-2.
A.K.A VOS

#15 OFFLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 01:30 PM

While Dish HD is technically inferior to DirecTV, It's unlikely you'll be able to see much, if any, difference. I've compared Dish, DirecTV and Uverse. As you saw in the store demo, DirecTV and Uverse are on par until there is motion, then Uverse has more macro blocking. Dish is ever so slightly softer than DirecTV but better than U-verse with motion.


... I was very concerned about HD PQ, but found Dish's to be excellent. I just don't like the fact that the drop channels due to disputes more than most everyone else.

Good luck


Yeah ... I think Dish reduces bandwidth requirements by down-rezz'ing 1920 x 1080 HD images to 1440 x 1080 for their 1080i broadcasts. Of this results in some picture degradation in the spatial domain, though perhaps imperceptible to the average human eye.

But even if perceptible, its not nearly as objectionable as using the full 1920 x 1080 resolution and trying to save bandwidth by degrading the picture in the time domain through increased compression as AT&T's U-verse TV does.

This is why their picture looks fine until there's significant motion leading to pixelization and macro-blocking.

#16 ONLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 01:40 PM

Yeah ... I think Dish reduces bandwidth requirements by down-rezz'ing 1920 x 1080 HD images to 1440 x 1080 for their 1080i broadcasts. Of this results in some picture degradation in the spatial domain, though perhaps imperceptible to the average human eye.

But even if perceptible, its not nearly as objectionable as using the full 1920 x 1080 resolution and trying to save bandwidth by degrading the picture in the time domain through increased compression as AT&T's U-verse TV does.

This is why their picture looks fine until there's significant motion leading to pixelization and macro-blocking.

I'm wondering if this is from actually viewing the U-who product, or merely what you've read.
Why I'm asking is I didn't see any signs of pixelation or micro-blocking. I did see dropped frames which cause the image to jump.
Just a couple of days ago, I was watching an ION OTA channel that has two sub channels and a 720p HD. If there was ever an example of bit starving, this was it. Even their logo would have micro-blocking if there was much movement in the image.
"Some have said" that U-who has a halo effect around players in fast moving sports, but since I don't watch these type of sports, I can only use my experience with motorsports, which didn't exhibit this, but did have the cars jump around on the track.
A.K.A VOS

#17 OFFLINE   Jason Whiddon

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 06:15 AM

Simple.

Dish HD is a little soft on a larger screen, when compared to Directv.

Uverse is a crapshoot, but the two installs Ive seen did not like as good as Directv IMO.
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#18 OFFLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 08:50 AM

I'm wondering if this is from actually viewing the U-who product, or merely what you've read.
Why I'm asking is I didn't see any signs of pixelation or micro-blocking. I did see dropped frames which cause the image to jump.
Just a couple of days ago, I was watching an ION OTA channel that has two sub channels and a 720p HD. If there was ever an example of bit starving, this was it. Even their logo would have micro-blocking if there was much movement in the image.
"Some have said" that U-who has a halo effect around players in fast moving sports, but since I don't watch these type of sports, I can only use my experience with motorsports, which didn't exhibit this, but did have the cars jump around on the track.


No VOS, I concede its been through other's descriptions;

Outside of their VDSL internet service, U-verse TV isn't even available in my area yet.

The complaints about U-v TV when they do occur, always seem to be about pixelating and macro-blocking around scenes of significant movement and never about picture softness. This is usually symptomatic of bit staving in the temporal domain through over-compression and not spatial through resolution down-rez to an HD-Lite format.

There's no attempt to dump on U-v on my part, but just my assumptions of its problem's causes based on the litany of complaints I read about the service including claims of internet slowdown when HD streaming is at the max. allowed.

But YMMV throughout the nation I guess.

Either way, its totally unworkable for my situation with a standard profile of only two HD and two SD streams max.

#19 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 09:34 AM

Simple.

Dish HD is a little soft on a larger screen, when compared to Directv.

Uverse is a crapshoot, but the two installs Ive seen did not like as good as Directv IMO.


The difference between Dish and Direct in HD is also very slight and many/most report not seeing a whole lot of difference. I'm one of those, I literally cannot see enough difference between the two that I never even think about it a day or two after watching.

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#20 OFFLINE   Jason Whiddon

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 10:13 AM

The difference between Dish and Direct in HD is also very slight and many/most report not seeing a whole lot of difference. I'm one of those, I literally cannot see enough difference between the two that I never even think about it a day or two after watching.


Maybe to you, but not to me. Several "Dish" folks at satguys finally bit the bullet and swapped last year, and the majority all commented the HD was better. Also, I did note that youd see it more on a larger screen. On a 65" plasma, it wasn't hard at all. And the OP's question was:

Is Dish picture quality as good in HD?

Simple answer: No.
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#21 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 10:32 AM

Maybe to you, but not to me. Several "Dish" folks at satguys finally bit the bullet and swapped last year, and the majority all commented the HD was better. Also, I did note that youd see it more on a larger screen. On a 65" plasma, it wasn't hard at all. And the OP's question was:

Is Dish picture quality as good in HD?

Simple answer: No.


Note that I didn't say that some can see the difference, I can also. The point is that it is only slightly different to most, and that has been reported here and at satguys.

At one time, I had both D* and E* hd service at my home, both connected to the same TV via the same AVR. The TV at that time was a 61" JVC HD-iLA rear projector. The difference was slight enough that I really didn't notice when I was on one or the other for almost every channel.

Now I have a 55" Panasonic plasma and had Dish on it, and in the last year changed to Direct. The difference was miniscule on that set from 8' away. I realize that is very subjective, but frankly in many conversations with friends and relatives that have one or the other, no one ever complains about the quality of the picture and some of them are like me and have switched at times.

So yes, the picture on D* is better, how much is the question from a subjective viewing.

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#22 OFFLINE   billsharpe

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 12:04 PM

I couldn't notice any difference in HD picture quality between DirecTV and FiOS on my 40-inch Sony. But the SD picture on Turner Classic Movies is much better on FiOS than DirecTV.

About the only other SD channel I watch is BBC World News, which looks great on FiOS but isn't carried, AFAIK, on DirecTV at all.
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#23 OFFLINE   Athenian

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 10:15 AM

This is something that's been talked about before, but I don't think recently. I have been with Direct since 1999. Due to ever increasing pricing I have started thinking of leaving for the first time ever, basically to save money and to get more HD, which Direct doesn't seem to want to give us (National channels).


I'm not familiar with the channel issues you mention but it's not hard to get price concessions. Research the ads you've been seeing to determine the going rates for competitors then call DirecTV and say that you want to cancel. You'll be routed to "retention" where they will definitely make a deal. You don't have to take whatever it is on the spot; just tell them you'll think about it and whatever was offered will be in the notes when you call back.

We were with DirecTV for nine years when we had a series of bad experiences that made us vulnerable to AT&T U-Verse marketing and we ended up switching. The picture quality for SD content, which was all we had when we switched, was much better on AT&T.

After 14 months of U-Verse annoyances, we returned to DirecTV. In the interim, we had upgraded our televisions and we immediately appreciated the superior HD quality.

Our specific complaints about U-Verse included:
  • Unacceptably poor guide data - recordings were cut off due to inaccurate times in the guide, errors in desciptions, etc.
  • Zero Technical support - the tech support representatives don't know anything beyond what is in the user documentation -- less actually. They don't know the software and their only answer to everything is to replace the DVR. Since they don't actually know the system, they can't even recognize a software bug and have no idea how to report one when.
  • Frequent freezing
  • Four stream limitation caused problems sometimes
  • Extra billing for 3D content - there's not much 3D content available so why the extra charge?
We really liked the built-in/no extra charge MRV capability but we much prefer the TiVo interface and we returned to DirecTV as soon as the THR22 became available.

Edited by Athenian, 16 June 2012 - 10:51 AM.


#24 OFFLINE   txfeinbergs

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 11:19 AM

I was in a AT&T store the other day upgrading my cell phone and had to wait since it was busy. They had two HD TVs on the wall with Uverse playing, and I was shocked by how soft the picture looked. Previous to that I had been considering switching because I swear I get an advertisement from them every single day in the mail usually hocking a $400 to $500 money back offer.

After seeing that though, I am very happy with my DirecTV service. I figured the AT&T store would have had a pristine picture since they would have "cheated" by not actually usuing the typical Uverse data rate, but apparently they were being fully honest in what it could do. I suggest you go look at the picture as well in one of their AT&T stores before making a rash decision to save a few bucks.

And yes, it really just amounts to a few bucks for much better service (and more channels) if you are diligent and harass DirecTV every 6 months or so to get the latest promotions added to your account). (and before someone brings this up, I asked the CSR about getting too greedy and asking for promotions too often when calling a few days ago about my expired 24 month free-HD despite receiving the email saying I was still getting it). She said that I had nothing to worry about because it is due to fraudulent service or accounts in bad standing that triggers that. FYI, I got yet another credit for 6 months for the free HD although it isn't called that in the system).

My credits are:

06/09 07/08 PREMIER Save on HBO for 6 Mos -5.00 Credit

06/09 07/08 PREMIER Save on MAX for 6 Months -5.00 Credit

06/09 07/08 PREMIER Save $5/6 Mos on STARZ -5.00 Credit

06/09 07/08 PREMIER Save $5/6 Mos on SHOWTIME -5.00 Credit

06/09 07/08 PREMIER $10 Off SPORTS for 6 Mos -10.00 Credit

06/09 07/08 Auto-Bill Pay / Paperless Billing -10.00 Credit

This brings my bill down to $120 or so a month for the Premier package.

Note, I also have 3 receivers, and whole house DVR setup included in the $120.

Edited by txfeinbergs, 16 June 2012 - 11:23 AM.
Adding additional details.


#25 ONLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 12:07 PM

I was in a AT&T store the other day upgrading my cell phone and had to wait since it was busy. They had two HD TVs on the wall with Uverse playing, and I was shocked by how soft the picture looked.

Since I've seen it in my home, on my own equipment, and the right settings, "I suspect" the store didn't have theirs setup right.
"Softness" was not how my picture looked compared to my DirecTV.
A.K.A VOS




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