How about a show to show basis on the same channel? Also, at what distance from a 50" screen can the human eye tell the difference between 1080i at Full HD and HD Lite?
I watched Frozen Planet on Discovery during my transition from DirecTV to Dish. I did not have both services simultaneously, so I could not do a true A/B comparison, but I think the comparison I made was valid. I used a 50" 1080p plasma television. Detail was visibly less on Dish, viewed at 8'. I also had to significantly boost color in my television settings to get a proper picture from the Hopper. Boosting leads to an increase in artifacts, in my experience, but sports like football appear totally washed out with settings that look correct for both Blu-Ray and DirecTV. In other words, color depth (which is an easy way to overcompress a signal) is very lacking on Dish. Another channel I frequently watch is the Tennis Channel, and again, my opinion was that Dish lacked that sharp-as-a-tack picture I had seen on DirecTV.
I don't think color depth would be viewing distance dependent. And a wall prevented me from viewing further away than 8' but I could see that the picture detail was less on Dish. Others have asserted the opposite - that Dish's picture is more detailed, but I haven't seen it. Some have argued that I was sitting too close to the television, but I was actually at the outside edge of THX's recommended viewing distance.
So my programming wish for Dish is not more channels (I have plenty, thank you) but a higher quality on existing channels. This obviously means dedicating more bandwidth, and since they are unlikely to be tossing bandwidth they have, would mean they must eliminate duplicate SD channels to create the space. I'd also
Ike to see a tuner for the Hopper, as local channels are terrible.