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Dumping DirecTV & Signing Up with Dish

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by DEC, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. tampa8

    tampa8 Godfather/Supporter

    Mar 30, 2002
    What I am saying has nothing to with the cost or being a brand name. I know what I am talking about on this issue. My LG came with an insert stating a known compatibility problem with my TV and Tartan cables. Exactly what I had. Well it worked perfectly. That is until I tried to order a PPV. Said I had to use HDMI to order. I remembered the insert, tried a different cable, and no problems. I have seen in AV forums the suggestion to first try a different brand of HDMI cable if having problems even if they worked in another application.

  2. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 5, 2006
    Allen, TX
    Those are compatibility issues...We're talking PQ issues.
  3. tampa8

    tampa8 Godfather/Supporter

    Mar 30, 2002
    Well if your advice is to not even try a different HDMI cable, that is bad advice. I am giving an option to try that is not altogether out of the question. You can argue theories all day long. But actually trying it will give the final answer. Of course I can't say that will definitely be it, by why rule it out without not even trying it? I don't buy your assumption that non compatibility does not mean possible PQ problems.
  4. RasputinAXP

    RasputinAXP Kwisatz Haderach of Cordcuttery

    Jan 23, 2008
    You say that, except we've already uncovered that he was viewing HD in Stretch mode, not Native. There are likely other issues that we're trying to figure out, and you're not contributing. You're just saying RARR PQ without acknowledging that the OP's description is not indicative of Dish's actual PQ.

    Pretty please, with sugar on top, shut up if you're not going to be constructive in your comments.
  5. adkinsjm

    adkinsjm Icon

    Mar 25, 2003
    That's not the issue since the OP didn't like the quality on an HD test channel.
  6. RasputinAXP

    RasputinAXP Kwisatz Haderach of Cordcuttery

    Jan 23, 2008
    Hoosier likes to come in and say that regardless of anything, it's not going to help. He said:
    Except it was. Muddy smearing, "shimmering blurs, "painting" effects, edge/halo effects, and general "grime"" is not what Dish's HD looks like.
  7. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Apr 17, 2003
    The "HD Test Channel" is simply a free version of HD Theatre. Nothing special. Tuning to that channel does not magically fix problems with the settings on the receiver or wiring.

    If one wants a better test they should record the HD Net test on Saturday morning (6am-6:10am this coming Saturday - channel 362 on DISH). One can see if they have a calibrated picture or not.
  8. bnborg

    bnborg Icon

    Jun 3, 2005
    TV's vary.

    I have to keep my Dynex at "Wide" mode for the 1920x1080i from the 722k to fill the screen when the 722k is in "Normal". The modulated TV2 output has to have the TV at "Normal".

    I just looked at all the OTA channels I get using the TV's tuner. I saw resolutions from HD 1920x1080p to SD 704x480. I saw some of them with black bars on the sides and even some with bars all around. But all digital signals displayed the correct aspect ratio with the TV in wide mode. That is they did not look "stretched" or "compressed".

    The only images that view correctly with the TV in "Normal" mode are the analog modulated ones on TV2. This would seem to be the fault of the TV.
  9. MattScahum

    MattScahum Legend

    Oct 26, 2010
    Short of being a receiver issue, since the tech did say he might have E* send out a new receiver to replace that, I am going to agree with the OP that the PQ they are seeing is something that you have to get used to.
    Changing the HDMI will do nothing and honestly isn't worth the hassle. As has been stated already, it works or it doesn't. The PPV ordering issue that was mentioned before is not the same as what the OP is getting.
    PQ is a perception thing. Everyones eyes are different. Personally I've seen both companies HD offerings on the same model tv with equal settings. Aside from some "minor" differences in crispness, and I mean really minor, the D* and E* HD has always looked the same to be.
    As long as the OP's needs are met, which sounds like they are even though PQ is slightly disappointing, I don't see what the big issue is.
  10. scottchez

    scottchez Icon

    Feb 4, 2003
    I have had BOTH Dish and DirecTV over the years.

    Switch several times. Dish, Direct, Dish, and now Direct

    Each time it was a MUST to adjust both the Brightness and Contrast on the TV
    I found that the Dish HD channels where more soft untill adjusted. I had to do this even with HDMI or DVI

    Each time I used the
    "HD Net test on Saturday morning (6am-6:10am this coming Saturday" -which is on Both Dish and Directv.

    They key seems to be the brightness with DirecTV.
    With Dish it was the Contrast setting.
  11. mdavej

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

    Jan 30, 2007

    Is it possible D* looked just as bad but you didn't notice? I say this because my cheap LCD introduces a lot of the compression artifacts you describe on all sources. My good tv (LCOS) does not. If you have OTA, you can easily compare it to Dish and see if there is a difference. When I do this myself on my good tv, I see virtually no difference and none of the compression artifacts you describe. On my cheap tv, I see mosquito noise, etc. on all sources, just as I did with DirecTV.
  12. DEC

    DEC Legend

    Jan 6, 2008
    OK, for what it's worth, here is something of a final verdict after my wife and I have done quite a bit more program watching and tweaking with our new Dish HD service.

    Before I get into this, let me say the following:

    - We were actually quite satisfied with DirecTV, right up until they permanently took our HD locals away on April 4th.

    - The only driving reason for us switching to Dish was to get our HD locals back, and without really thinking much about it, I suppose we assumed that most of the HD and SD programming on Dish would essentially be equivalent to that of DirecTV in terms of picture quality.

    - I am not really into brand wars, and I have nothing against Dish or people who prefer Dish over DirecTV for whatever reasons.

    That said, we spent several more hours on Wednesday & Thursday night critically viewing a LOT of channels and different programs, in both HD & SD. I also went with another (new) Belkin HDMI cable from the 922 DVR to our Vizio HDTV and it made no difference in PQ. I also switched from HDMI1 to HDMI2 as the input on the Vizio for the 922 DVR and that made no difference. I even went as far as to switch to the second new coax cable coming in from the dish and that also made no difference in PQ.

    We also tried numerous settings both in the 922 DVR as well as our Vizio HDTV. This included changing picture aspect ratios, resolution, brightness, contrast, sharpness, etc. etc. ... sometimes individually and other times in combination.

    Now, I will openly admit that the initial glitch of having "stretch" on for our Tuesday night viewing didn't help matters, and when we (for the most part) subsequently went with "normal", some PQ improvement was noted. But the bottom-line is this ... we remain convinced that on average, HD programming on DirecTV was "better" than what we have been seeing on Dish from a clarity, definition, and resolution perspective. And in terms of SD, other than a couple of isolated instances, we saw no across the board situation where SD programming PQ on Dish blew away what we would typically see on DirecTV, like so many folks here have rather unequivocally stated was the case. In fact there were a couple of examples where the SD PQ on Dish was absolutely off the wall bad. At best, I would say that on average, DirecTV and Dish SD programming were on a par with one another from what we saw with our set up.

    It is true that there is a lot of variability between channels and individual programs. Some HD programming is "better" than other HD programming, and the same can be said for SD as well. We did find a few channels (one being TNT HD with a basketball playoff game), where the HD picture was crystal clear, highly resolved, crisp, and just downright excellent. In this regard, it was like a lot of HD channels we previously had on DirecTV, so if anything, that took the 922 out of the equation in terms of questioning whether we had a bum unit (which we really didn't feel was the case from the beginning).

    In any regard, as an interim "report card", here is how we would grade Dish in comparison to DirecTV by way of Pros & Cons:

    - We have our HD locals back!

    - The ViP 922 is an absolute gem of an HD DVR with an excellent user interface and functions galore. It's clearly a big advance over the HR23NC-700 DirecTV Plus HD DVR we previously had.

    - The speed of the remote in terms of scrolling through the Guide, changing channels, and addressing other functions is lightning fast compared to DirecTV (the latter of which could be glacially slow quite often).

    - Both the Sirius and Dish music channels are so much better than the lame SonicTap stations on DirecTV. We really like the sound quality as compared to the over-compressed and tinny sound of SonicTap.

    - Overall, there seems to be quite a few more channels on Dish as compared to DirecTV for essentially the same package.

    - We can't say enough positive things about the Dish installer. He was professional, knowledgeable, thorough, and friendly. Probably the best installer we have ever dealt with over the years.

    - Although this is no doubt subjective and others might disagree, we feel that on average, Dish HD doesn't quite come up to what DirecTV provides in terms of overall PQ. Some folks have referred to it as "soft" when compared to DirecTV; we would say in some isolated instances that it worse than just soft. YMMV

    - The outside hardware (especially the dish mount and LNB arm) are quite a bit more flimsy than DirecTV's hardware (it appears to be thinner gauge). We hope this will hold up to our often high winds here without excessively vibrating or moving around too much.

    So, in summary, we are just going to live with our switching to Dish decision. We may be a bit disappointed with some PQ issues, but there are a lot of positives as well, most important of which is getting our HD locals back.

    In the meantime, as suggested, we will record the HD Net test on Saturday morning on channel 362 to see if we have a calibrated picture or not.

    I want to thank everyone for the valuable and helpful input.

  13. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 5, 2006
    Allen, TX
    And thank you for being a level headed class act through it all. You were not ridiculous in your comments and never portrayed an entitlement attitude through your locals issue. I hope to see you around more and hope others will learn from your topics how to deal with an issue and receive help. :)
  14. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

    Mar 4, 2006
    Herrin, IL
    Don, good postings and followups. Glad you made them, and it was interesting.

    There is a difference between D* and E* in HD although I don't find it to be much, others disagree. What I can say is that over time, you won't even remember the differences I suspect. I've had both, and for a short time had both at the same time, so I got to see the differences doing a direct at-the-same-time comparison.

    I switched from D* to E* because of the equipment. I was very disappointed in the sluggishness of the HR20/21 that seemed to get worse instead of better with each update.

    I know you will enjoy the 922. Welcome to Dish!
  15. DEC

    DEC Legend

    Jan 6, 2008
    I completely agree, and it was one of the reasons I wanted to back-off for a couple of days and just continue to watch the programming (although we admittedly did quite a bit of tweaking during that time). Time often has a way of leveling things out, so I believe our ability to make the comparison in our mind's-eye will fade and it will be fine. And as I also said to my wife last night, if we had never had any HD before to make comparisons against, the HD presentation through our new Dish set up would no doubt have been very impressive to us after so many years of SD only.
  16. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    Are you able to see the mast foot easily? It should be stamped with a "W 4" stamp near the bottom of the foot. This indicates a mast and foot that are made with heavier-gauge steel than the older masts designed for smaller, lighter dishes. Dish requires the W4 mast to be used for the 1000.4 dish, though some techs will slap them on anything. If that's the case, you should call Dish and have the mast replaced.

    The W4 mast (also referred to as the "short" mast; there is a "long" mast that is also approved, but it comes with, and is required to use, two support arms) is more than strong enough for the 1000.4 dish.
  17. DEC

    DEC Legend

    Jan 6, 2008
    I had heard elsewhere that my current DirecTV HD mast was too big in diameter for the 1000.4 dish to fit on it, and that the installer would have to install a new, smaller diameter Dish mast (which I was trying to keep away from, as the DirecTV HD mast was very heavy duty and well-mounted, and I was trying to keep that many more holes from being punched into the front of our house).

    So, thinking that was going to be the only route to go, I was subsequently very glad to hear from the installer when he got here last Tuesday that he had an adapter to re-use my DirecTV HD mast and that the 1000.4 dish would fit on it just fine. Anyway, I got busy doing other things, but when I finally took a look at the adapter he used, I have to admit that I was disappointed. Instead of it being some kind of sleeve that either would slip over or slip inside the DirecTV HD mast pipe, it had a slot cut in it with two jam bolts and it basically hung off the front lip of the DirecTV HD mast pipe. I'm not saying this won't work, but it just strikes me as not as structurally strong as an OD or ID sleeve more positively fitting respectively outside or inside the DirecTV HD mast pipe.

    Here are a couple of shots of what we ended up with:

    New 1000.4 dish on our old DirecTV HD mast:

    Close-up of new split sleeve adapter:

    I used to be able to grab the LNB arm on our old DirecTV HD set-up and gently try to wiggle it back & forth and it was essentially rock solid. However, when I do the same to the LNB arm on the new Dish set-up, the arm just sloppily moves back & forth and gets the actual dish vibrating. At 7000 feet in elevation on a wide open mountain slope, we get some big time winds around here on a regular basis and my concern is that something is going to get shaken loose or out of adjustment somewhere down the road.
  18. Matt9876

    Matt9876 Hall Of Fame

    Oct 11, 2007
    That pipe clamp adapter is durable,I would loosen the lock nuts and run the bolts in another full turn each and re lock them.

    I would have insisted on the installer leaving the normal arm and braces just in case the mount clamp failed.

    I would double check the tightness of all the clamping blots in both assembly's old and new.:)
  19. DEC

    DEC Legend

    Jan 6, 2008
    I will do that, however, what I'd really like to do first is cut my old DirecTV HD mast pipe down a bit (about where the yellow arrrow is):

    I'd like to do this, as the 1000.4 dish is sitting up quite a bit higher than the DirecTV HD dish was and the upper lip of the new dish is under my eave as well as a small portion of my aluminum rain gutter (which probably isn't an ideal situation ... although the Dish installer thought it was OK and got acceptable signal strengths).

    Yeah, that probably would have been a good idea, but it's too late now. (Due to our remote location, the nearest Dish installer had to travel 200+ miles over a 4+ hour round trip).

    I believe the installer did that just before he left, but I'll double check everything.
  20. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    Using a pipe adapter on a DirecTV mast is a violation of installation rules and can result in a full chargeback to the installer if caught. I'm guessing the installer is betting that no one will go all the way out to where you are to inspect his work. I see a couple of other code violations as well.

    You really should have let the installer install the proper mast.

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