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Cable PQ vs Direct Tv PQ

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by efy007, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. efy007

    efy007 New Member

    Aug 18, 2008

    I have been looking over various threads here but cannot see any definitive, detailed answers so I figured Id ask. Pardon me if there is a thread devoted to my question already.

    I am really getting sick of Comcast and want to make the switch to D*. I am not concerned over pricing, or channel lineups. My biggest issue is PQ on both SD and HD. I just got a 58" Plasma and am not happy with PQ on SD. On HD channels I notice a lot more "tiling" or "artifacts" during fast motion scenes. I have read on these threads that tiling/artifacts are caused because of compression issues. I am going with the assumption that as Comcast keeps adding channels, they have to compress more and more so my PQ gets worse because of that.

    So basically I just want feedback from all you D* users (preferably the people who have switched from cable to D*) Is there an improvement in SD channels over cable? On HD channels do you notice the same, more, less tiling/artifacts vs cable? I dont mind equipment issues, set up issues, pricing, etc. My issue is quality! Im very picky or rather anal about it PQ and want the best PQ I can get.

    Normally, from everything I have already read, I would just make the move, and if I wasnt happy I could go right back to cable. But the fact that I know I am locked into a contract with D* makes "the move" more difficult. So, any feedback on your experiences regarding PQ, tiling, artifacts, HD, SD would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Ken S

    Ken S RIP

    Feb 12, 2007
    Comcast for us has a far better SD picture. HD is very close between the two.
  3. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    In general SD is going to look like crap on a set of that size. DVD's won't be too bad, but not great.
  4. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Mar 4, 2006
    Herrin, IL
    My experience goes back a bit.

    I had our local cable system for a few years, and the analog channels really were not good, but OK on my 36" set. When I upgraded to a 61" HDTV, it became quickly apparent that cable was rotten on it. The analog channels really sucked now, and some of the digital weren't much better.

    So I switched to Dish, which at the time was better for HD. Both SD and HD from Dish were better by far than they were from Cable.

    Early this year I switched to DirecTV because they had the HD channels I wanted and also had my locals in HD. IMO, the picture from Direct was different from Dish, but still much better on SD and HD than was cable.

    But that is my experience with my cable company. I don't know how your cable would appear to me.
  5. Upstream

    Upstream Hall Of Fame

    Jul 4, 2006
    I just switched from DirecTV to Comcast in central NJ.

    I didn't have HD with DirecTV, so I can't compare DirecTV's HD to Comcast's HD.

    For SD, I get some analog and some digital SD channels from Comcast. The picture quality on the Comcast analog SD channels is comparable to DirecTV's SD channels. On the Comcast digital SD channels the PQ is much better than the PQ on DirecTV's SD channels.
  6. Grentz

    Grentz New Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    I have only really seen side by side HD between Mediacom and Directv, and Directv was a far better HD picture compared to Mediacom (who also only has around 15 HD channels)
  7. rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

    May 28, 2007
    I can't really tell you much about cable vs. D* (it was over 10 years ago when I switched from Charter analog cable to all-digital D*). I can tell you that for my local HD channels, D* is indistinguishable from OTA. During the Summer Olympics, I was seeing some compression artifacts in the water during the swimming coverage. I switched to OTA on my TV's ATSC tuner and it was exactly the same.
  8. BattleScott

    BattleScott Hall Of Fame

    Aug 28, 2006
    Time Warner SD here is slightly better than the DirecTV SD channels, but neither look GOOD. HD is very good on both.
  9. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    Generally....Cable HD and DirecTV HD are very similar in picture quality. Since there are several cable outfits, and their company-to-company results may vary...I've neutralized the response.

    As for SD....watching SD on a 58" plasma in general will be painful with any provider, especially once you've seen HD on the same display.

    SD on my 55" RP LCD is tolerable with DirecTV (my wife occasionally watches her couple of shows still on SD channels), but its painful on my 116" Home Theater screen. HD on that large screen, on the other hand, is a joy with DirecTV.

    I have seen TWC and Comcast SD and HD many, many times on larger displays and even on screens located in Home Theaters. I'm not sure that when any provider features SD on that large of a display it is not somewhat painful to see in comparison to the much superior HD channels.
  10. jimmyv2000

    jimmyv2000 Hall Of Fame

    Feb 15, 2007
    Manchester NH
    my brother has comcrap in the same town i live in ad the PQ quality is horrible
    He's in the process of switching to D*
    see this thread:
    He comapred my HD to His and likes mine way better especially on the national HD,plus more choices than crapcast,also he says the locals look better through D* than comcrap
    He's running a 37inch Sony,2 panny 32 inch sets all HD and 1 RCA SD set
  11. makaiguy

    makaiguy Icon

    Sep 24, 2007
    Aiken, SC
    Sorry, but it is impossible to give a definitive answer because "cable" varies all over the map. Even the same cable provider can have drastically different quality in one city vs another, or even in different parts of the same town, at least for analog standard definition signals.

    I'd expect cable digital signals to at least be about the same for a given franchise/town, but may still vary quite a bit from franchise to franchise.
  12. Matt9876

    Matt9876 Hall Of Fame

    Oct 11, 2007
    Charter vs DirecTV

    DirecTV wins big time on the number and quality of HD channels.

    Charter feeds come in about four seconds sooner than DirecTVs feeds.
  13. Xalky

    Xalky Cool Member

    Nov 9, 2008
    I agree. Cable companies, even the same company, vary from one area to the next. DirecTV is pretty consistent nationwide. Limited only by your clear view to the southern sky.
  14. n3ntj

    n3ntj Hall Of Fame

    Dec 18, 2006
    Our local Comcrap provider's PQ does not even compare to D*'s from what I've seen. Comcrap also can't compare in HD channels compared to D*. This may vary from area to area, but I can only tell you what I've personally seen. I can also tell you that the Time Warner HD PQ where my parents live absolutely stinks compared to D*. When I directly compare the TWC HD PQ to D*, D* is much more clearer and crisper.
  15. rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

    May 28, 2007
    And pure OTA about two seconds ahead of that. You do have to be careful when talking to someone on the phone while watching a live broadcast (sports, American Idol, etc.) if that person has cable.
  16. GBFAN

    GBFAN Godfather

    Nov 13, 2006
    The one factor a lot of people forget to include is that with cable, you can have PQ issues due to the coax cable length. With a satellite dish, you only have the coax from the dish to your receiver. My subdivision was established in 1979, the cable pedestal is in my back yard and hasn't been upgraded in a long time.
  17. Piratefan98

    Piratefan98 Icon

    Mar 11, 2008
    I switched from Comcast to DirecTV back in March, and had some of the same questions and concerns you have.

    My thoughts in general:

    SD is probably going to look pretty bad on a 58" TV, regardless of whether the signal is coming from Comcast or DirecTV or Dish or whatever. SD just can't be blown up that much and still look very good.

    In my particular circumstance, Comcast PQ was pretty good on both HD and SD, but HD channel selecton was sparse, so I switched. DirecTV PQ is very good, but I wouldn't say that it's appreciably better than the PQ I was getting from Comcast.

  18. Alebob911

    Alebob911 Hall Of Fame

    Mar 22, 2007
    That is what I switched from almost 2 years ago. At that time Charter only had about 10 HD channels so that was the main reason we switched. Digital PQ was good but analog was bad. Not one regret on making the switch. I am getting more for a tad less even though I had to pay upfront "lease upgrade" fees.
  19. Getteau

    Getteau Icon

    Dec 19, 2007
    I see the same thing between my R15 and my HR21's. I think the R15's is a few seconds behind the 21's or it's the reverse. I'm not at home right now to check.
  20. looney2ns

    looney2ns Legend

    Sep 20, 2007
    Some LCD and Plasma's simple handle SD better than others do. It's not all the providers fault.

    I have a 60" rear projection WEGA Sony, and SD looks very acceptable on it...I'm on WOW cable.
    It also can depend greatly on how you have the picture settings setup.

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