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Direct TV PQ (SD & HD)

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by the4lams, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. the4lams

    the4lams Cool Member

    Jun 27, 2006
    I have not been following the Direct TV forums for a long while and in fact the last time I read them, HD lite was the buzz for Direct tv. I was able to get Fios (which had a very good SD and HD PQ, but slower STB and such) in my old house, but now will only have the option of Comcast or Satellite. So, my question is has Direct TV's PQ improved dramatically since having the HD lite title? Has their SD PQ improved too or is this still compressed really bad? Does anyone have experience comparing the New Direct TV to Comcast (I am in Central Maryland if that makes a difference). Thanks for all the help and I apologize before hand if this is an everyday question on here!!
  2. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    SD is still SD, but my Sony can help make it look fair/better.
    "HD lite" was with the old HD MPEG-2 channels.
    The MPEG-4 can't be called "lite" as it comes in full resolution.
  3. CoachGibbs

    CoachGibbs Godfather

    May 23, 2007
    The HD has improved quite a bit. I think at time it's still a little bit starved but still much better than before. The SD channels are still the same overcompressed crap they've been for the past several years.
  4. raott

    raott Hall Of Fame

    Nov 23, 2005
    I agree with Coach Gibbs.

    IMO, the MPEG4 HD looks great. Some SD stations are "ok", others look absolutely horrible, to the point they are unwatchable.
  5. davring

    davring Hall Of Fame

    Jan 13, 2007
    Don't forget when considering the quality of SD programming that most of those stations are now available in HD:)
  6. tkrandall

    tkrandall Hall Of Fame

    Oct 3, 2003
    HD quality is generally very good now. Still see some exceptions, like moving water shots on a recent Mythbusters episode involving sharks, but sometimes I wonder if it is the networks.

    I noticed NBC Olympics did a really really good job with the canoe/kayaking coverage. I think they had the bit rate turned up for that beacause fo the water, and it came through with little if any macroblocking either OTA or via the DirecTV feed.
  7. Hdhead

    Hdhead Hall Of Fame

    Jul 30, 2007
    The "new" MPEG-4 standard by D* is awesome! No comparison to the HD Lite fuzz days. PQ is incredible even on my 106" projector.
  8. the4lams

    the4lams Cool Member

    Jun 27, 2006
    Thanks for all the quick replies. I was wondering if anyone knows what or how Comcasts HD quality is? Do they compress their signal?

    How many of Direct Tv's HD channels actually broadcast HD material? Like CNN, Disney, Bravo, CMT, Nick, etc?
  9. jsmuga

    jsmuga Godfather

    Jan 3, 2008
    New Hope, PA
    I left Comcast 1/08. I live in PA. The HD picture was about the same as D*. When I left Comcast I only had about 20 HD channels. None of the above channels were available in HD in my area.
  10. mosoccer

    mosoccer Legend

    Apr 28, 2008
    I just switched from Comcast in May and the first thing I noticed was how much better the HD channels looked on D*...just seemed like Comcast was over compressing theirs way too much.
  11. Redlinetire

    Redlinetire Icon

    Jul 24, 2007
    The problem with comparing 'Comcast' to DirecTV is that DirecTV is a truly national provider, the great HD you get in Wyoming is the same great HD you get in Florida. Everyone, everwhere gets the same quality.

    The quality of HD on Comcast - because it's really a collection of small cable companies - varies from town to town, heck even block to block. I get great quality HD from Comcast in my area - but technology wise it could be an entirely different system compared to your town. With different quality, delivery and capacity issues. The only way to really tell is to find someone who has it and see it for yourself...
  12. the4lams

    the4lams Cool Member

    Jun 27, 2006
    mosoccer - how would you compare the SD PQ on both comcast and Direct TV? What tv do you have?

  13. mosoccer

    mosoccer Legend

    Apr 28, 2008
    I would say that the SD PQ from Comcast (in my area) and DirecTV are about the same....no real visual difference that I can tell. I have a Panasonic 30" HD TV (CT-30WX54).
  14. Brian Hanasky

    Brian Hanasky Godfather

    Feb 22, 2008
    I have no visual reference to Comcast HD.

    I do know that after looking at Comcast's HD channel line up (on their website) that the offering of HD channels remains sparse when you compare it to Directv's.
  15. ordovice

    ordovice New Member

    Jul 21, 2008
    I know we're technically Time Warner here, but D* beats the pants off any of the local providers. A lot of the Comcast territories in the Northeast were either Adelphia or Time Warner owned and you'll find the D* will beat the pants off them as well.
  16. jacksonm30354

    jacksonm30354 Icon

    Mar 29, 2007
    IMO, I wouldn't call any of the SD channels unwatchable. Going back from HD, yeah they look bad, but that's HD compared to SD.

    Unwatchable to me means the picture breaks up badly and frequently, is snowy like pulling in a distant analog tv station, constant lack of sound or hiccups.

    While the SD pictures are not as sharp as they could be, they are far from unwatchable.

    Directv's SD is pristine compared to alot of the cable systems that still have an analog tier. And even if they have gone digital, if the analog was crappy, the digital is likely to have breakup issues.
  17. Tom Servo

    Tom Servo Icon

    Mar 7, 2007
    What they broadcast is purely dependent on what the networks provide.

    That being said, there are several available HD channels that seem nothing more than "placeholders" for future HD expansion: MTV, VH-1, CMT, Cartoon Network and Fuel all come to mind.

    Channels like CNN, The Weather Channel, Bravo and others offer a mix of HD and SD programming - some more HD than others.

    The Discovery Networks are all on my bad list at the moment. They have far less true HD content than one would think and compensate by doing a 14:9 partial zoom on the SD content, cutting off the top and bottom of the picture. It's really not that bad until text gets cut off, but.. :rolleyes:

    If you have a TV that can "squeeze" a 16:9 widescreen picture back to 4:3, you can get good 4:3 PQ off SD progams on TBS, A&E, Bio, History and Cartoon Network who all stretch SD programming to fill the 16:9 screen.

    Of course, all these foibles are true no matter what provder you pick.

    I'll tell you, so far I've been impressed the most with Toon Disney, Speed and USA. They seem to have more HD programming than I personally would have expected. TBS is coming along, as well. MGM HD is awesome looking if you're into movies, too.
  18. onan38

    onan38 Legend

    Jul 17, 2008
    My Directv HD mpeg 4 channels are as good as my local over the air stations when they show HD programming with my outdoor antenna on a 40 foot tower.When comparing the 2 i can't tell any difference in picture quality on my 50 inch plasma.
  19. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

    Jul 24, 2006
    Columbia, MD
    You really needed to watch the Ravens/Vikings game on MASN or just about any MASN SD production to see unwatchable. But that is pretty much MASN's fault, not DirecTV. Even looks horrible on analog TVs.

    Anyway, question for the4lams. What part of Maryland? Comcast differs a bit from location to location. I have Comcast in Howard County and DirecTV is as good or better on all the HD channels they have in common. Comcast is not better on any of them.
  20. the4lams

    the4lams Cool Member

    Jun 27, 2006
    I am in Anne Arundel County, next to the airport (Linthicum). I know this isn't a popular question here, but how would you compare the SD channels on both Comcast and Direct Tv? I know that the number of HD channels between the 2 is no comparison, but most of the ones that Direct TV does offer does not deliver HD content. Some of those same channels are ones that I watch too and would be very eager to get them, but not if all they are showing is stretched SD. I need 5 Tv's hooked up and on Direct Tv that runs the bill way up when trying to compare. I also have a current offer from a Comcast rep that includes HD, HD-DVR and HBO for one year @ $53. It wouldn't cost me anything on the additional TV's because they simply need basic cable. What are your thoughts?

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