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HD picture quality... Native On/Off?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by carillon, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. Dec 27, 2010 #1 of 125
    carillon

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    I recently had D* installed and coming from Comcast I was expecting better HD picture quality. What I've seen is that it appears that my HD picture is not quite as good as my Comcast picture. It's good, but I guess I was expecting more. Same TV and same TV settings.

    If I want the best HD picture quality and I'm not concerned with how long it takes for me to change channels, would I be better off with setting Native to "On"? Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Dec 27, 2010 #2 of 125
    Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Make sure you are hooked up via HDMI if possible, and turn Native ON. Then go into Setup, and tell it to HIDE SD DUPLICATE so you dont accidentally tune into the SD version of a HD channel, and you should be ok.

    If you dont want NATIVE ON, try setting the box to 1080i/Original Format and see how that looks. It will upconvert everything to 1080i that way, and may look better depending on the scaler in your TV.

    Just experiment a little. Use a known good channel, like HDTheatre, or HDNet or even The Weather Channel...Something that will give you lots of crispness, and see which setup looks better.
     
  3. Dec 28, 2010 #3 of 125
    Rich

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    I've always used "Native on" and "Stretch" and I'm quite satisfied with my PQ.

    Rich
     
  4. Dec 28, 2010 #4 of 125
    Satelliteracer

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    On for me with a 1.4 HDMI cable connection.
     
  5. Dec 28, 2010 #5 of 125
    wilbur_the_goose

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    I too prefer "native on". Channel changes are very fast on my Panny VT25 HDTV.
     
  6. Dec 28, 2010 #6 of 125
    Steve

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    What exactly is different about the PQ? I'd be very surprised if Comcast's HD is higher quality than DirecTV's. I say this because my HR MPEG-4 sat channels look as good as my New York City OTA HD MPEG-2 channels from normal viewing distance on a 1080p 65" display, and you generally can't get any better than OTA quality.

    I would re-tweak the Sharp's Brightness, Contrast and Sharpness controls specifically for the HR24. It's possible the settings appropriate for the Comcast box are slightly different than the HR24's, and that's the difference you're seeing in PQ.

    Also because your Sharp is pretty new, it probably does as good or job or better as the HR24 at re-scaling, so I agree with others... use "Native On" and let the Sharp reprocess the picture to the display's native resolution. Just my .02.
     
  7. Dec 28, 2010 #7 of 125
    carillon

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    Hi Steve... thanks for the reply. What I see are more compression artifacts around static parts of the image. For example, any non animated graphics used during sports or news broadcasts. I also notice an overall very slight fuzziness of the overall image compared to my Comcast HD.

    Perhaps it could be my TV does need to be readjusted but I honestly don't know what kind of adjustments would be appropriate to make between Comcast and D*. I believe I have read that Comcast uses MPEG-2 compression where D* uses MPEG-4 when delivering HD content. Is MPEG-4 more or less sharp than MPEG-2? Maybe I'm seeing an over sharpened or under sharpened image now. What other differences should I look for between the two?

    Thanks again!
     
  8. Dec 28, 2010 #8 of 125
    BattleScott

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    Make sure that the HR has the appropriate HD resolutions checked in the setup as well. Even with native set to on, it still needs to have the resolutions enabled in order to output them. It's not uncommon for installers to hook them up and leave them set for 480i. When you notice a low PQ, what resloution is the TV reporting? (most TVs have an info display showing resolution, zoom mode, etc.)
     
  9. Dec 28, 2010 #9 of 125
    Steve

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    Maybe it's an LCD thing? I did my comparison on a 65" 1080p plasma. I'd look at that Sharp's sharpness control. Dialing up sharpness too much can cause artifacts, and I've never owned a display where the default sharpness setting wasn't too high when I used a calibration DVD to set it properly. I'd also turn off any MPEG or other noise reduction settings that may be trying to "improve" the picture, so as to let the HR24 signal come across as pure as possible.

    Like I said earlier, from about 8' away, except for smoother MPEG-2 trickplay, I see no difference between the same program recorded MPEG-4 on my HR24-500 or OTA MPEG-2 on my HR20-700. And I believe my OTA feeds are the same ones used for the East Coast feeds that are transcoded to MPEG-4, so very high quality. Thanks to MRV, I'm able to view them both on the same screen and A/B them by using the PREV button. I just did this a couple of months ago as part of another test I was conducting.
     
  10. Dec 28, 2010 #10 of 125
    Richierich

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    I have Native On with Resolutions of 720P, 1080I and 1080P Selected. I have a Samsung LCD (LN-T5281F) and it looks Great!!!
     
  11. Dec 28, 2010 #11 of 125
    carillon

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    All resolutions on the HR are selected and the appropriate resolutions are being reported by the TVs info button so it appears that the native resolutions are being passed to the TV. Thanks for the reply!
     
  12. Dec 28, 2010 #12 of 125
    carillon

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    So I just checked and my HR has all of the resolutions selected. Should I deselect 480i and 480p and leave the rest selected? My TV is 1080p. What happens if I view an occasional SD channel.
     
  13. Dec 28, 2010 #13 of 125
    Steve

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    I'd check them both and let the TV's scaler deal with up-converting SD to your display's native 1080p.

    Also, some TV's offer an anamorphic "stretch" mode for 4:3 material that only works if the display sees it's getting 480i/p, so if that mode is your preference, it may not be available to you if you let the HR upconvert SD to 720p.
     
  14. Dec 28, 2010 #14 of 125
    carillon

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    Thanks Steve, I now have all of the resolutions on the HR selected. I'm still trying to tweak the HD PQ.
     
  15. Dec 28, 2010 #15 of 125
    Richierich

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    Most people that I have talked to who know about these things have stated that you should Deselect 480I and 480P and let the TV Scale them and then let 720P and 1080I natively pass thru so the TV doesn't have to Scale them.

    Some people prefer to just Select 1080I and 1080P so 480I, 480P and 720P are Scaled upwards to 1080I prior to passing it to the TV. You just have to try different settings to see what works Best for your Display Device (TV).
     
  16. Dec 28, 2010 #16 of 125
    anleva

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    You need to select 480i and 480p as formats your TV supports if you want the ability to pass them through with native on and let the TV scale them. If you deselect them, and only 720p, 1080i and 1080p are selected, the box will have to scale/process a 480i/p signal in one of those 3 formats.
     
  17. Dec 29, 2010 #17 of 125
    BattleScott

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    It will always output them as 720p in this scenario, the next highest available resolution is used. Also, only 1080p sources (PPV movies) are output at 1080p.
     
  18. Dec 29, 2010 #18 of 125
    akw4572

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    I always use native on, it takes a bit longer to switch channels, but I think it results ina better picture.
     
  19. Dec 29, 2010 #19 of 125
    tkrandall

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    I think the HRs do a very good job of converting formats, so I have Native OFF, my HR20-700 set to just 1080i for my DLP set, and my HR24-200 set to 1080i/1080p for my new LED LCD set.
     
  20. Dec 29, 2010 #20 of 125
    Richierich

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    EXACTLY and a lot of people do not know this so you get the DBSTALK AWARD of the Day for noting that.

    I don't mind my DVR Upscaling my 480I or 480P up to 720P because I don't really watch any channels in 480I or 480P other than occasionally tuning in to HLN in Fabulous Blur-O-Vision!!! :lol:
     

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