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HD on a SDTV!

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by igator99, May 12, 2009.

  1. igator99

    igator99 Godfather

    Jul 28, 2006
    119 has been unreliable for me for quite some time. By mid summer it usually is gone along with my locals. I get the other sats fine in the 90's and I only have one SDTV left. I was waiting for Uverse but with all the complaints and the fact I don't know when it would come here forsure I decided to recommit to D* and ordered HD receivers even one for my SDTV.

    I'm blown away by the difference in clarity. I really wasn't expecting much if any difference. This what D* looked like when it first came out. It is crystal clear. I'm really in awe. Anyone else have this experience?
  2. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    No question that an HD source looks better than an SD source, even on an SDTV. But it looks so much better on an HDTV... :)
  3. roadrunner1782

    roadrunner1782 Icon

    Sep 27, 2008
    I wasn't really blown away when I switched to HD. Mainly because I had been around it so much at my friends houses. Although I was really happy when I made the switch since it was then in my house.
  4. djrobx

    djrobx Godfather

    Jan 26, 2009
    Yep. HD converted to SD, while not HD, is still superior to DVD quality, which is generally far better than the compressed SD you get from DirecTV.

    The only real annoyance is the aspect ratio issue. HD channels expect that you are watching them on a widescreen set. To maintain a proper aspect ratio when downconverting, you must watch HD channels in letterbox format. That works great for HD material. However, when a 4:3 program comes on, the station will likely add bars on the left and right sides , leaving you with a "windowboxed" SD program. Unfortunately I don't think the DirecTV boxes offer a zooming function. LCD HDTVs have gotten cheap enough that I doubt I'd put up with an SD set for very long.

    U-verse has better SD channel quality and a zoom function that can get around the windowboxing problem if you're watching "SD in HD" on SD. But DirecTV's HD quality is better. :)
  5. xzi

    xzi Icon

    Sep 18, 2007
    Make sure you have Settings > HDTV > Standard (4:3) selected and the 'FORMAT' button will then offer a Zoom setting for you on D* boxes. I use it with my SD Slingbox all the time on an H21.
  6. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 16, 2005
    I noticed the same myself of a much sharper picture when I used to watch down-rezzed HD on an SD set with the exception of one very annoying problem. For some reason during sports mainly basketball games for instance, while the picture was sharp the lines on the court would break-up some or were jagged and like had a sort of interference pattern running through them as the camera would pan to follow the action. I also noticed problems with small objects such as the audience members had moiré type patterns in them it seemed. All these were particularly noticeable whenever I would select 480i letter-box so I could see the entire HD picture.

    I assumed it was due to the fact of the original HD signal magnifying the temporal effects of interlace at 480i, but was never sure. Anyhow ever since I switched to an HD set with progressive scan of course, I haven't had any such problems viewing basketball games.
  7. igator99

    igator99 Godfather

    Jul 28, 2006
    I was just shocked. I wasn't expecting any difference. I wonder if my old SD equipment had something to do with it. I had a 5 year old Samsung SDDVR. I have a Panisonic top of the line SDTV. It is my bedroom TV I don't plan on getting rid of it anytime soon plus this 32" tube was like 1,000 lbs.
  8. bobnielsen

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

    Jun 29, 2006
    I use my HR21 with a 19 in. Sony Trinitron. The only issue I have is that with letterboxed programming there are sometimes white dots at the top of the picture (closed-caption data?). It seems to vary by program/station.
  9. Newshawk

    Newshawk Hall Of Fame

    Sep 3, 2004
    No, they don't. DirecTV HD receivers have a "crop" feature.

  10. igator99

    igator99 Godfather

    Jul 28, 2006
    What does the crop feature do? I didn't have much time to fool around with it yesterday.
  11. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 16, 2005
    It changes the aspect ratio from the widescreen display of 1.78-to-1 (or 16:9) to 1.33-to-1 (or 4:3) by lopping off the sides of the picture by ~25% or 12.5% on either side. This allows a "window-box" picture caused by down-rezzing an HD signal in 4:3 "pillar-box" format to fill out the entire screen on a conventional 4:3 television set.
  12. dishbd

    dishbd Cool Member

    Feb 7, 2007
    This is how I watch most of the time on our upstairs SD TV. I agree with everyone here about the way HD downconverted looks on an SDTV. Pretty spectacular. Didn't realize a SD picture could look so good.
  13. ClubSteeler

    ClubSteeler Godfather

    Sep 27, 2005
    Like watching a DVD.... Way better SD quality than on D*.
    Just shows you their philosophy of quantity over quality and the enormous picture degredation that has occurred over the years.

    And in actuallity, I think this has helped their sales.... It has driven so many more people to HD. I understand how so many feel that they couldn't live without HD.... It's because they are watching MUCH less than SD quality TV.

    For years my local cable was much better than D* in both HD and SD. Well as they added more and more channels, and D* went to MP4, they are about the same now.

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