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Has DTV's Picture Quality Changed?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Janice805, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. Avder

    Avder Hall Of Fame

    Feb 6, 2010
    I suspect its because the 1080i material responds better to DirecTV's Mpeg-4 compression of source material than it does to my affiliates Mpeg-2 compression for over-the-air broadcast.

    For what its worth tho, most of the NBC/Universal HD channels such as Syfy behave only very slightly better than my over-the-air NBC affiliate, so I suspect that there is something that could be improved system-wide within the NBC/Universial content distribution system.

    Other 1080i sources, particularly RSN's and 1080i Sports channels, are WORLDS better.
  2. Beerstalker

    Beerstalker Hall Of Fame

    Feb 9, 2009
    Peoria, IL
    Also, sometimes DirecTVs antennas that are used to pick up the OTA stations are in better locations and get a better signal than some cutomers do. For example I am around 30 miles away from the Peoria broadcast towers, where D*'s antennas are much closer. I have to deal with a lot more signal issues than D* does because of that so their signal is sometimes better than mine.
  3. Gocanes

    Gocanes AllStar

    Jul 15, 2007
    I think what he meant was that another 1080i DirecTV channel looks much better than his local OTA networks in 1080i, not that the particular NBC or CBS picture looked better on DirecTV.
  4. Dolly

    Dolly Hall Of Fame

    Jan 30, 2007
    Gee I was thinking my picture had changed, but for the better :sunsmile: I was just going around in the guide when I came across The Animal Planet Channel. This is not a channel I normally watch, but they had these shows on about cats. The picture was awesome :hurah: I mean it looked like those cats were right in our living room! I felt that I could almost pet them. But I don't think my dog would have liked that :D
  5. barryb

    barryb New Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    I don't see any change in picture quality here.
  6. Laker44

    Laker44 Godfather

    Jun 18, 2008
    Yes and no for me. Has the picture quality changed recently, no. But since i started receiving D* 2 years ago, the picture quality on History International, QVC is worse now then when i first started with D*. They had been better on D* then cable, now they're worse on D* then on cable.
  7. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    I think directv is giving me the same feed and quality... I think as usual, some stations care more about PQ than others...

    Fox doesn't care at all... Discovery cares a lot, and everyone else is somewhere in between...
  8. texasmoose

    texasmoose Icon

    May 24, 2007
    Still looks gr8 to me!
  9. thedawgg

    thedawgg Cool Member

    Jan 15, 2010
    I have 4 HD DVR's and all looks great as usual:D
  10. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    The only time I see what the TS is talking about is after watching DVDs on my BD player. Last night we finished up last year's Big Love and switched to an HR to start watching this year's Big Love and it does take a while to adjust to the difference between 1080i and 1080/60p. The 1080i from the HR did look washed out, didn't notice anything that would approximate the loss of picture you see in the older LCD sets, tho.

    Sure would be great if D* started using 1080/60p instead of 1080i. The difference in PQ is great. I'm not asking for BD quality, just the quality you see in a standard DVD upscaled to 1080/60p.

  11. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

    Jul 9, 2006
    One problem with your assessment here, which can be captured with a basic question: how does Fox News look on other providers' services?

    I have FiOS, and FNC HD and FBN HD both look spectacular. I watch both all the time as well, and I see no degredation in PQ at all with either recentlly. Which means that it's probably not the channel provider that's at issue for the OP.
  12. Guardian

    Guardian AllStar

    Oct 30, 2009
    Could not be happier :joy: with the HD quality* It soars in comparison over the competition
  13. JeffBowser

    JeffBowser blah blah blah

    Dec 21, 2006
    This is such a stunningly subjective assessment, with so many variables, as to make any individuals statement nearly meaningless. Your eyes, your TV, your personality, ambient lighting, and on and on and on. The only way to assess this is with bit-rates and resolution figures, really, and those are hard to come by.
  14. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    I haven't noticed that on the new LED TV's, except for the cheaper ones. I'm about to pull the trigger on a $3000+ Sony LCD LED TV and I've spent a lot of time in Costco studying the picture from all angles and see no degradation of picture. Looks just like my plasmas. I have a hard time believing that a TV, any TV is worth three grand and I've been hoping the price goes down, but I'm getting closer and closer. My wife will eventually spend that money if I don't do something soon. :)

    Do you recall which makers of LCD LED TVs you saw that degradation on?

  15. Janice805

    Janice805 Legend

    Nov 26, 2005
    The problem I originally posted about seems to have disappeared. And, it was on "all" 3 of my LCD TV's (or I wouldn't have posted, thinking maybe it was my primary Sony 52XBR4). I love Direct TV's picture - it was just a few days of a mysterious? problem. Now, gone. Was just trying to get feedback if (at that time) anyone else was experiencing the same thing.

    OT: Rich, I'm also looking for a new, larger TV. I was all set to buy (because of size) a 60-65" plasma TV but then read on the AVS forum (and other places) about problems (Panasonic has a black level rising problem and Samsungs buzz). Most LED's I've seen are "edge lit" and I've read a lot of negative about that, shiny screen vs. matte. Whew! I've been looking at Best Buy and at Costco. Now, I'm slowing down and waiting a bit until I get more info, I think (blonde here, who knows). I say one thing then get impulsive ... lol.
  16. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    I've got six Panny plasmas and I wouldn't be afraid to buy another one. But they are coming out with new ones soon and I'd wait for them. Don't be afraid of the plasmas, mine work well in bright rooms and dark rooms, I have no problem with burn in and my son constantly plays video games on his 50" plasma and has no burn in.

    If you buy a TV at Costco, you have 90 days to bring it back and also have 90 days of price protection. If you see that they have dropped the price, all you have to do is bring in your receipt and get a price adjustment. If the price drops because of a manufacturer's rebate you might have to bring the set back and get a new one. A hassle, to be sure, but if the price drops $500 or $1000, well worth it. They have no problem with you doing that, I just checked yesterday and they assured me that if the price of that 60" Sony dropped during the 90 day period I would get the difference one way or another. Gotta love Costco!

    I've had a bunch of older LCDs and took them all back. The Panny plasmas just fitted our viewing habits better. The new Panny plasmas will use less electricity than the older ones do. That Sony I've been looking at does have a glass screen and is a bit "shinier" than the older ones that don't have the glass screen, but I've got a dog that watches TV and attacks dogs and cats constantly. He is afraid of dinosaurs and werewolves tho. :)

    I've also read about the Sammy's humming. I'm not a big fan of Sammys and would much rather have a Sony. The picture on that one I've been looking at is really good. And it has the Bravia 3 engine (whatever that is).

  17. dubber deux

    dubber deux Icon

    Mar 7, 2009

    I definitnely can concur on this aspect as well.

    I have noticed that QVC, TLC, CHILLER, and a few others have VIDEO level issues if not digital compression issues....an interesting aside was that Shop NBC looked as awful as the others I listed above but about a year ago the quality became on par with the best available on D*. Strange but true. Specifically the video levels were terrible and then with the change become excellent...

    For awhile I noticed that my locals Greenville, SC looked llike they extremely over compressed even though the video levels were fine..as of a few months ago or so the locals quality has looked very good overall.
  18. baratono

    baratono Cool Member

    Jan 19, 2009
    :lol: "Faux" News has a LOT of problems. :lol: Beck is only one of them. ;)

    Seriously though,... as the bulb ages, there is always a reduction in picture quality. I just replaced my DLP bulb, and it's like having a "new" TV.
  19. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    DirecTV's HD uses 7-9 Mb/s of bandwidth. Blu-Ray has 40 Mb/s of continuous bandwidth available (and peaks up to 50 Mb/s!). There's just no way a picture on DirecTV, or any broadcast source, is going to match the quality of a Blu-Ray.

    The format has almost nothing to do with it; these shows are shot on film and transferred to digital in 1080/24p format (well, some shows are shot in HD video in 1080/24p). The issues caused by converting that into 1080/60i or 1080/60p aren't the issues you're seeing.

    The reason you're seeing the picture "washed out" is due to the additional compression that all broadcasters have to use to squeeze the content into a smaller "pipe". Increasing the compression reduces the filesize of the video, and the bandwidth to stream it, but at the expense of picture quality. And it isn't all about macroblocking; much of what is discarded is color information, which takes up a huge amount of space. Reducing the number of colors used on each frame will save space and bandwidth, but compared to a less-compressed example, will look washed out.

    DirecTV is among the best TV services when it comes to bandwidth per HD channel, but Blu-Ray quality wouldn't be possible without slashing the channel counts by 2/3 or so. That obviously isn't going to happen. Just be happy you aren't using a service with considerably less bandwidth per HD channel, because that's the case with most of them. FIOS uses more bandwidth per channel, but they also use MPEG2 compression, which requires more bandwidth to maintain the PQ that DirecTV can achieve with less bandwidth using MPEG4.
  20. Jason Whiddon

    Jason Whiddon Hall Of Fame

    Aug 17, 2006
    If you are unhappy with Directv's PQ, you should see Dish. I've had both, and now that Dish has went to 8 channels per TP, the channels that generally look a little worse (ESPN), look even worse on Dish.

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