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Guest Message by DevFuse

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To Voom or not to Voom, but PQ is the question...


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19 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   RobR

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Posted 15 July 2004 - 10:13 PM

I see a lot of postings about Voom installations etc., :icon_cry: but it seems to me you have to expect that kind of stuff from a new company, so I'm not going to let that shy me away from trying out Voom's free hardware offer. Supply issues, when free - no prob, I still got my DTV to hold me over for a little bit... :contract:

What I'm surprised about is the lack of postings / comparisons about PQ compared to the other services. I believe I read one, and I don't think I'll put much weight on that either... it compared one channel, during one program, not in an optimum setting (split screen? :ewww: ) and not really comprehensive.. what about the other channels, which ones are consistently better on what services? :ramblinon Artifacting, compression, break-up... Overall PQ? :bonk1:

Maybe I missed an older posting, or link, can someone shed more light on the topic? :group: I mean that is the point in going to HD isn't it, the PQ?!? :new_smili



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#2 OFFLINE   stuckinmuck

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Posted 16 July 2004 - 08:45 AM

PQ im assuming stand for picture quality?

Anyway, ALL of the HD channels on voom come in on 1080i. Therefore the absolute best picture quality is received. Now you just have to make sure that your HD tv is 1080 compatible. hint hint if it's an older hd tv or if its a cheap no brand tv there is a good chance it wont do 1080. I install dish and direct as well and i almsot cried at one gentlemens house while i was hooking up a hd box and his tv could only do 480...boooo..Anyway, im a lil confused as to what else your wanting to know

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#3 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 16 July 2004 - 08:55 AM

I am very pleased with the PQ on Voom. I have Dish HD as well, and the two providers' PQ is comparable. After reading your post, I did a split-screen with the Discovery HD Theater channel. I have done this many time before and the results have always been the same - almost no discernable difference in PQ between Dish and Voom. Both are very sharp, brilliantly clear and devoid of any artifacts.

In the interest of full disclosure, I had my Panasonic 53" widescreen calibrated in February, before I added the Voom service. The set's component input #2 currently used for the Voom box was calibrated for my dvd player's component video output. I can't predict whether the Voom picture will be any better when I have the set re calibrated next year. Other than chroma tweaking, I don't think there is much room for improvement from what I am now seeing with the Voom HD signal.

Frankly, if Voom's PQ is foremost in your mind, and why wouldn't it be, you have nothing to worry about.

I'm enjoying Voom every day, and it's great to have more HD choices than what E* or D* are currently offering. I think my current HD channel count is up to 32 with some duplication*, and in addition, my local cableco, Adelphia, has offered me a free tryout of their brand new HD service and, coincidentally, is bringing out an HD stb today. :)

If it's mainly the PQ on Voom you're concerned about, don't worry. I say you should jump on Voom now with both feet - with $0 front end cost and no contractual obligation - how can you go wrong? Keep in mind that their current "free" offer expires 7/31.

*Disc HD, ESPN-HD, TNT-HD

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#4 OFFLINE   stuckinmuck

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Posted 16 July 2004 - 03:04 PM

your tv makes the difference in picture quality. The box has absolutely nothing to do with it. Of course it comes with a dvi cable (which is incredible the size of the cable they include. It's retail is at least $150 for that long of a dvi cable).

Dish 811, voom, or dtv hd all have the same outputs. They will all send out a 1080i formatted picture. It's up to your TV to decode it and display it.

#5 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 16 July 2004 - 07:09 PM

your tv makes the difference in picture quality. The box has absolutely nothing to do with it...Dish 811, voom, or dtv hd all have the same outputs. They will all send out a 1080i formatted picture. It's up to your TV to decode it and display it.

With all due respect, Mr. stuck, that's not exactly correct.

The "box", as you say, has a lot to do with the quality of the signal as it is processed through the stb. In a perfect world, the output of all HD converters would be the same, and as pristine as the originally transmitted signal. Unfortunately, this is seldom the case. As I mentioned in my response to RobR, the PQ from my two HD sources, when viewed split-screen is equivalent. The slight variations may well be attributed to my display, i.e., slight differences in the calibration of the picture from the two sets of component inputs, or it could be due to differences in how the two stb's are designed, or simply differences in compression levels from my two HD providers.

This afternoon, I just finished taking a look at my local cableco's new HD service. The converter was a new Scientific-Atlanta 'Explorer' model 3250HD. My opinion of the box - a POS. The few HD channels they offer didn't look as good as SD, and the analog channels, which look pretty good on my straight-wire cable connection, were severely degraded. The box was just delivered to me today for what was to have been a 30-day free trial. It was so bad that I have already disconnected it and have it ready for return on Monday.

I'm just thankful that I receive a high-quality HD signal from two DBS providers, and that my two HD receivers and my display are capable of producing stunningly beautiful HD pictures.

I hope you enjoy the same.

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#6 OFFLINE   RobR

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Posted 16 July 2004 - 11:29 PM

your tv makes the difference in picture quality. The box has absolutely nothing to do with it. Of course it comes with a dvi cable (which is incredible the size of the cable they include. It's retail is at least $150 for that long of a dvi cable).

Dish 811, voom, or dtv hd all have the same outputs. They will all send out a 1080i formatted picture. It's up to your TV to decode it and display it.


stuck, sorry dude, but you need to do some reading...

Hardware is of course very important (to include the box)... but the source and the provider makes a significant difference as well. Satellite providers need to make compromises because of bandwidth, so their compression schemes and how much they compress degrades the PQ. It can't be avoided, it just depends how much.

I was hoping that since Voom is primarily an HD provider that their PQ would be better as their bandwidth isn't as constrained as the others with all the extra SD channels.

Also, going back to your 1080i assumption... some would argue that 1080i is more susceptible to compression artifacts than 720p. You see where a whole pandora's box of questions gets opended up? Do Voom exclusive channels only come in at 1080i? What happens with channels (sources) broadcasting at 720p, are they relayed as such or is it upconverted by the provider or by the receiver? (Also why the receiver is important.)

I'm really not looking for that technical of an opinion, though facts don't hurt (unless this turns into some 720p vs 1080i war). I'm really just asking for subjective opinions / observations.

#7 OFFLINE   stuckinmuck

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Posted 17 July 2004 - 08:56 AM

99% (you guys are the 1 percent) of people will ever tell the difference between a dtv hd box on the exact same tv vs a voom hd box or any other hd box that throws out 1080i. I watch HD alllll the time with every different provider. I also sell hd tv's and as much as i watch. no difference.

#8 OFFLINE   stuckinmuck

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Posted 17 July 2004 - 09:02 AM

NICK

-Yes, the scientific-atlanta "explorer" is a horrible attempt at making a decent hd box. I swapped a customer out who was using on with a samsung box and he was just blown away with it. Bottom line-CABLE SUCKS! :)

#9 OFFLINE   Sonnie Parker

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Posted 17 July 2004 - 10:13 AM

As far as the same HD channels that Voom and Dish carry... I believe only 4 are the same... Discovery, ESPN, HBO, and Showtime, I think are the only ones. Yes they are very comparable. (oops... forgot about TNT-HD which both E* and V* carry-PQ is the same on both... it's questionable considering it's supposed to be HD.)

V* other HD channels vary from channel to channel. Their Cinema 10 channels are for the most part up-converted movies. The PQ is not so pretty as Discovery HD. Of course you could hardly expect it to be because of the source. I think the Rush and Rave channels are pretty cool and have good PQ. I haven't watched to much Art, Gallery, Moov, etc... whatever those other channels are.

OTOH... HDNet with E* is probably the best of all the HD channels I've seen.

As far as SD channels go... I'd definitely have to give the nod to Voom on these. I don't see motion artifacts with V* like I do with Dish. If it quits raining long enough I'll know more about Directv today or maybe it will be tomorrow.


I like the PQ on V* overall but their exclusive HD channels are just too repetitive for me. Plus their rental fees along with the mirror fee are more than I want to pay for 3 STB's. We do have quite frequent problems with all of our STB's and it's been long enough now and we can't get a larger dish so that we can actually watch V*. It's been raining almost daily here in the southeast and it's pitiful the rain fade we have and have never had these problems with Dish. We also need our DVR... but we need locals too because a lot of the programs we record are on the locals. There's just too many other factors beside PQ that are causing us to switch from V* to D*. We've tried Dish (for 6 years now)... we've tried Voom for about 6 weeks... and now it's time for Directv. But we're not totally giving up on Voom... we may be back on down the road. If Voom gets locals, a realiable STB, larger dish, Tivo, and a few more channels like Turner South, Fox Sports South, (we love Braves baseball), then we might switch back.


Ahh... just caught this thread where he and his wife compared ESPN between V* and D* on a side by side split screen comparison and they both agreed D* was better.

#10 OFFLINE   Cholly

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 12:20 PM

NICK

-Yes, the scientific-atlanta "explorer" is a horrible attempt at making a decent hd box. I swapped a customer out who was using on with a samsung box and he was just blown away with it. Bottom line-CABLE SUCKS! :)

I'm not a Voom subscriber, but I had to add my two cents worth (I was checking the Voom forums, looking for info about spinoff from Cablevision). The Scientific Atlanta box is the only one offered by Time Warner in my area. The PQ and overall performance were so bad that I switched to Dish in Jan/Feb time frame. I'd looked at what Voom had to offer, and they hadn't come out with their new plan at the time. The cost drove me away. I can't justify the cost of subscribing to two services, so will stay with Dish.

#11 OFFLINE   stuart628

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 08:03 PM

I'm not a Voom subscriber, but I had to add my two cents worth (I was checking the Voom forums, looking for info about spinoff from Cablevision). The Scientific Atlanta box is the only one offered by Time Warner in my area. The PQ and overall performance were so bad that I switched to Dish in Jan/Feb time frame. I'd looked at what Voom had to offer, and they hadn't come out with their new plan at the time. The cost drove me away. I can't justify the cost of subscribing to two services, so will stay with Dish.


looking to see what voom is all about stumbled across this, and this is very true I had a antlantica and a pioneer with time warner, lets just say I am very happy with dish, my equipment is much better now and my pq on my sd has improved 100%. so you know my hd is birlliant, and also just wanted to say that the guy who said all hd boxes are the same its how your tv handles it, you must work for a dish install company, because all installers I have seen dont really know what theyre talking about either, not to be mean or anything but you should really read up first before putting a claim like that on here and maybe confusing people with your opinion.

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 10:07 AM

I see a lot of postings about Voom installations etc., :icon_cry: but it seems to me you have to expect that kind of stuff from a new company, so I'm not going to let that shy me away from trying out Voom's free hardware offer. Supply issues, when free - no prob, I still got my DTV to hold me over for a little bit... :contract:

What I'm surprised about is the lack of postings / comparisons about PQ compared to the other services. I believe I read one, and I don't think I'll put much weight on that either... it compared one channel, during one program, not in an optimum setting (split screen? :ewww: ) and not really comprehensive.. what about the other channels, which ones are consistently better on what services? :ramblinon Artifacting, compression, break-up... Overall PQ? :bonk1:

Maybe I missed an older posting, or link, can someone shed more light on the topic? :group: I mean that is the point in going to HD isn't it, the PQ?!? :new_smili



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There is little or no difference between the PQ on Voom and Dish. I have both. I am dropping Dish because I like the PQ better on Voom, plus I rarely watch SD TV.

#13 OFFLINE   jtrayall

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 08:43 PM

After 3 disappointing delays with the install, I finally got it installed a month ago and I can say that I'm 100 % satisfied with the picture quality and the programming that I signed up for. I'm sure that it can only get better. Hang in there because it's worth it.

#14 OFFLINE   brewerdude

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 11:12 PM

I love the PQ on Voom. I used to have DTV and noticed what I called HD "snow" (severe pixelation?) when there was a large area of the same color. I found it extremely annoying, as I felt I should get a "perfect" picture with HD. I thought maybe it was my receiver (I've got that 1st gen RCA DTC-100) or my TV, but one day when I was at Best Buy all of their HDTV's were showing a Discovery HD program, and I noticed on all of their TV's too. Since I've had Voom, I have not noticed this phenomenon.

#15 OFFLINE   Sonnie Parker

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 04:37 PM

I have D* and have not noticed any pixelization with my HTL-HD. I just canceled Voom and there is no doubt my HD with D* is as good or better... especially HDNet.

Voom is good if you like to watch the same programming over and over and over and their Cinema 10 is mostly upconverted SD and 1 to 1.5 star movies.

Voom's RUSH, RAVE, and HD Equator channels looked pretty good for HD but again it's all repeats over and over. After about a week you've seen it all and very rarely is there any new programming to watch.

As far as Discovery, ESPN, HBO, Showtime HD channels... Voom and Directv are pretty much the same quality except that Voom occasionally has sparkles which is annoying (I forgot to mention the sparkles in my above post).

When we first got Voom we thought we'd really like it but after having it for a little while found out quickly that it's not up to par yet.

Since we now have D* and have had Voom and E*... I'd say D* and E* have the upper nod on HD while Voom has the nod on SD. D* is better than E* on SD but only slightly. I have not noticed the heavy motion artifacts with D* that I noticed with E*... though it's there... just not nearly as bad. As stated in my post above, I noticed no motion artifacts with Voom on SD but this was not my only consideration in deciding which service to ultimatley choose.

#16 OFFLINE   RobR

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Posted 03 August 2004 - 09:37 PM

I guess I'm always surprised by the wide variety of opinions on a topic, I suppose on a very subjective issue like PQ you're just asking for it... what may be an eye sore to one may be just fine to another... so maybe I'll break this up to different questions and chase them down to come to my own conclusion...

This HD snow, (I've seen it on regular SD DTV) does it ever occur on Voom? How bad are the fades into black?

Does anybody have the compression ratio/method/bandwidth used by Voom? Numbers are hard to argue.

Also, something I forgot about but was reminded the other day to ask, how many of these channels are real HD and not just scaled up?

Ok, I'm done for now...

:rolleyes:

#17 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 09:22 AM

There is no "snow" with a digital signal, whether it be SD or HD. When a digital signal is interrupted, you will see what is called "pixelization", I have experienced this in varying degrees from time-to-time on both E* and V*. It is usually caused by external factors, such as rain fade, misalignment of, or unstable dish, or partial signal blockage from growing trees or wind-blown tree limbs and leaves.

When I first got Voom, it took almost a week for the receiver to stabilize and get all s/w updates. Ever since, the PQ on Voom has been excellent. Last night I watched the Allison Krause concert for about the third time because I love the music and the HD pic is amazing. I put the braves vs Astros game in the box (PiP).

All of Voom's HD channels are 1080i. It's the source material that can make a difference in PQ. Everything that is originally produced in HD, whether live or recorded is spectacular. Upconverted content, IMO, varies from fair to excellent.

Personally, Rob, I think you have been over-analyzing this from the beginning. Research is one thing, but you seem to be agonizing over issues that have already been well-discussed here and elswhere. If it's a consensus you want, I can't give that to you. I'm only a consensus of one. I'm really sorry your over-analysis of Voom caused you to miss out on the $0 Voom deal, but you only have yourself to blame. I would suggest that the next time a super deal comes along, you be more decisive.

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#18 OFFLINE   RobR

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 11:03 PM

There is no "snow" with a digital signal, whether it be SD or HD. When a digital signal is interrupted, you will see what is called "pixelization", I have experienced this in varying degrees from time-to-time on both E* and V*. It is usually caused by external factors, such as rain fade, misalignment of, or unstable dish, or partial signal blockage from growing trees or wind-blown tree limbs and leaves.


Ok, lingo is getting in the way here... I'm pretty sure what we meant (I and the post referencing "snow") is the heavy pixelization of the image between fades, large areas with similar color, etc. Due to compression, similar colors tend to get lumped together and cause these bands or blotches instead of steady color grades. There is "snow" and the correct usage is in reference to breakup, noise, pixel garbage.

When I first got Voom, it took almost a week for the receiver to stabilize and get all s/w updates. Ever since, the PQ on Voom has been excellent. Last night I watched the Allison Krause concert for about the third time because I love the music and the HD pic is amazing. I put the braves vs Astros game in the box (PiP).


Great, good stuff... the kind of stuff I wanted to hear.

All of Voom's HD channels are 1080i. It's the source material that can make a difference in PQ. Everything that is originally produced in HD, whether live or recorded is spectacular. Upconverted content, IMO, varies from fair to excellent.


Yep, already knew that all the HD channels were coming in at 1080i. Real question was which ones are the notorious "up-converted" channels. The stuff that Voom nay sayers throw out in the other forums. Hell, anybody with a modern receiver can do that on their own, without paying Voom the pleasure of doing it. How many are REAL HD? (Yep, meaning the source.)

Personally, Rob, I think you have been over-analyzing this from the beginning. Research is one thing, but you seem to be agonizing over issues that have already been well-discussed here and elswhere. If it's a consensus you want, I can't give that to you. I'm only a consensus of one. I'm really sorry your over-analysis of Voom caused you to miss out on the $0 Voom deal, but you only have yourself to blame. I would suggest that the next time a super deal comes along, you be more decisive.


Wow, don't even know where to start on that last one. Maybe I'll use your own words from the other post, that you're eluding to...

Good comments, Rob.


I've thought of that as well...


Eh, so where did we go wrong Nick? I thought we had a good thing going, we've been pretty much in tune in previous posts... I get the reach around in one post and then an hour later I get the biatch slap.

I think it may be you who needs to leave the couch psychiatry behind my friend. I've made probably four posts in Voom, three in this thread (agonizing?) to try to keep the dialog going (uh, that's your job now isn't it?) and try to get as much out about why Voom... That was the whole point of the thread... and no, there really isn't much in this forum about any real hard questions or answers re: PQ , I started off calling a bunch of folks as whiners... because this forum is filled about why not to get Voom. If the info to my questions were already here, then why not link them in? Could've been more productive I think. Start off with the technical ones if you'd like...

In regards to being more decisive, I like to think of it as pragmatism... if I have a contract that doesn't expire for a few more months, why wouldn't I try and get some solid answers, some reviews, links, what have ya... uh, as in use this forum, maybe? Some of us don't want to have an avatar of three or more dishes hanging off our patio, we'd like to just pay the man with the best service.

So, Dude, chill out... have a Coke and a smile and help keep this thread going, its only going to help folks make educated decisions.

I'll tell ya what I'm gonna do (if you haven't killed my account already), I'll grab some links and info from those other forums and put them in this thread and maybe we can get a sense of what kind of dialog we should be having, what we should expect from each other, the expert members and moderators... now I need to go get a Coke and a smile...

#19 OFFLINE   RobR

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 12:27 AM

Decided to move the post re: Voom PQ /specs out, it was too buried to be useful I thought.

http://www.dbstalk.c...6457#post276457

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Posted 08 August 2004 - 01:28 PM

I am currently finishing up a new game room where I will install HDTV.Saw an infomercial on TV for Voom. I wanted to find out more about this network (current have Direct) and somehow I got onto this site. Have spent the last hour reading through the postings.

I wanted to take another minute of my time to thank everyone who posted their remarks. Not up on all the technical jargon used. (Took me half a dozen posts to determine which Sat service "Charlie" owned !

But I did learn enough to know Vroom is not yet what I want. Sounds like to many repeats out there. What I want is my Direct TV (I have everything) programs all in HDTV. I am 53 and just hope by the time this happens I will still be able to see and hold the remote in my hand. Bottom line guess I was born to soon.

Thank you again for all the feedback and know that there are a lot of people out here like me who do read and appreciate what you write. This equipment is expensive and what you get from an 18 year old sales kid is not worth much.

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