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Really Shocked by Difference in PQ bet. H20 and an OTA


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9 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   mya23rd

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Posted 29 January 2006 - 09:28 PM

I have been seriously consideing upgrading my current DTV service to get the new HD locals. This would entail getting the H20, and the AT9 dish and signing up for another two years. I read some posts that mentioned the poor quality of the HD channels but I always assumed it was their setup or just some other technical issue. So now that I am a forced to make a decision, I wanted to see for myself. So I went offer to a friend’s house who just had the new H20 and 5 LNB installed and I was really surprised. He is a football nut who used HDTV’s for the Sunday ticket games. He had the perfect setup for this kind of test. First he showed me the HD locals, Fox, ABC, NBC, and CBS (PBS is not currently available) thru the H20. I though wow, it looks pretty good, especially compared to the SD channels. This was during primetime so we were watching HD shows on every channel. Then he switched on his other HD set connected via an OTA and I couldn’t believe the difference. I knew beforehand that the OTA HD channels would look better but I had no idea they would be that much better. The OTA channels looked much richer in color and the picture was just more clear and crisper. The H20 HD locals looked almost drained of color and I can’t exactly put my finger on it but just didn’t look as good. I’ve read some posts from what I thought were purists or videophiles that OTA HD (if you can get it) is the way to go but I figured I would be satisfied with them thru the STB, but now I don’t think so. I just never wanted to deal with the hassle of putting up an antenna but now I think its so worth it. He also pointed out that he has almost twice the number of HD locals because he is picking up the local PBS stations (WETA, MPT) and even soe of the Baltimore networks.

Just another side-note he showed me a few of the other HD channels including Discovery HD, ESPN HD, and HDNet. Discoery and ESPN looked pretty good but HDNet looked similar to the HD locals thru the H20. I also noticed the low quality of HDNet at an electronics store that had the channel on display. Why does HDNet look so bad. I have heard so many people talk about HD-Lite, but is that really true? I know that the sat companies have to compress and rebroadcast the signal but why is there so much loss of picture quality? Are they just overdoing it.

The bottom line is that I thought HD would look so much better thru the H20. I have read of Dish custoers complaining of the same thing so it isn’t just a DTV thing. It seems as though if you can manage an OTA setup for HD locals, that s the way to go. I don’t know what can be done about the rest though, I guess we just have to get used to it.

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#2 OFFLINE   Wolffpack

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Posted 29 January 2006 - 10:04 PM

DTV doesn't broadcast true HD signals. Some call it HDLite. Check out http://www.stophdlite.com/.

#3 OFFLINE   mya23rd

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 12:45 AM

I don't know much about compression, bitrates, HD-Lite and the rest but how long can the satellite and cable companies offer less than true HD. I mean its kind of ridiculous if people go out and buy these expensive sets and cannot even get true HD on them. Does DirecTV have to broadcast in HD-Lite because they simply do not have enough bandwidth at this time and they will be able to improve on it when all the new sats are up. But as they add more bandwidth hogging HD channels won't they have to broadcast in HD Lite to have enuf room. i don't get it.

I imagine that once HD DVD's and blu ray become more prevalent, the difference between broadcast and HD DVD will become more apparent. I understand that cable companies have bandwidth restrictions as well but is this less of a problem with them. It sounds like FIOS with its enormous bandwidth will be te only one able to provide true HD, or are they also broadcasting in HD-Lite?

#4 OFFLINE   HIPAR

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 06:47 AM

DTV doesn't broadcast true HD signals. Some call it HDLite. Check out http://www.stophdlite.com/.


I checked out the site and did not sign the petition.

I wish the Government would get out of the Cable and Satellite regulation business and stick to regulating OTA on the public channels. It would be nice if cable and satellite provided true HD but I'm for allowing the pressures of the market place to force that.

I agree the situation is totally unfair and frustrating to the few of us who know what we are seeing. We must vote with our wallets.

--- CHAS
But I don't want to go among mad people

#5 OFFLINE   f300v10

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 07:34 AM

DTV doesn't broadcast true HD signals. Some call it HDLite. Check out http://www.stophdlite.com/.


Not totally true. The 720P channels are not down converted, they are 1280x720P, so they are 'Full HD'. Also the HD local channels are being re-transmitted in full resolution so they also count as 'Full HD'. And if the set you are watching on is native 720P, the down conversion done by D* is transparent to you, as your set would do the same before it displayed it.

Not to say D*'s HD picture quality could not be better. They are over compressing things and the PQ does suffer for it. As for the PQ of the HD locals, I have been happy with it. I have done many comparisons with OTA, and 9/10 times I can't see a difference. Football games are the exception to that. The D* MPEG4 version always has visible artifacts in the turf, when OTA does not.

#6 OFFLINE   Claus

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 08:48 AM

D* and E* have to squeeze the HD video some to fit it all into their broadcast plans and the quality may or may not suffer a little. Personally I have done the OTA and D* test and am quite happy with the results. If D* or E* were to deliver HD locals or other HD content to your home without missing a single bit, it would take more satellites and more band width at this point in technological time. Some people bitch and moan saying they are going to sue over “HD Lite” but the bottom line is it would take billions of $$ more in satellites and a nightmare in FCC rulings to pull it off just to deliver us HD as pristine as it came off the tape machine, video server or wherever the F* it comes from. Nice thought, but do you expect D* or E* to do this for the same monthly price your paying now?
Bob (on Claus’s bad ass corn puter)

#7 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 11:52 AM

OK, I was buying into this until he said "Then he switched on his other HD set connected via an OTA and I couldn’t believe the difference.". How can you do a comparision when using two different HD sets? That is unless they are exactly the same model and they went through the same exact calibration process. I just love apples to watermelon comparisions.

See post My Setup for configuration info.


#8 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 12:24 PM

IF you've ever watched a good OTA HD picture, you wouldnt question his findings, whether his methods meet your double-blind taste test standards or not...

;)

THere is a difference, and many times it can be substantial...

#9 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 01:01 PM

IF you've ever watched a good OTA HD picture, you wouldnt question his findings, whether his methods meet your double-blind taste test standards or not...

;)

THere is a difference, and many times it can be substantial...


If you've never seen the D* MPEG4 locals then you wouldn't question my statement. I have the Chicago D* MPEG4 locals and an OTA setup and both look very close to each other, not the same as he's reporting.

See post My Setup for configuration info.


#10 OFFLINE   mya23rd

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 08:43 PM

OK, I was buying into this until he said "Then he switched on his other HD set connected via an OTA and I couldn’t believe the difference.". How can you do a comparision when using two different HD sets? That is unless they are exactly the same model and they went through the same exact calibration process. I just love apples to watermelon comparisions.


Actually the two sets are identical tv's that he spent a few hundred bucks to calibrate. I should have mentioned that. I guess this is just a matter of preference, I'm sure some setups minimize the difference but as was previously noted by another poster, if you see HD thru an OTA, you will notice the difference. The whole point was not to disregard DTV's HD channels, but just to suggest that if you can get it, OTA HD might be the optimal option. The first time I saw HD was the Discovery HD channel I was definitely blown away by the quality so I know there are different levels of pq, even with HD.




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