New Appreciation

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by MalibuRacing, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. MalibuRacing

    MalibuRacing Legend

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    Mar 2, 2007
    After my parents visited our house a few times and witnessed how good D* HD looks, they decided to take the plunge. My Dad bought two HDTV's. Unfortunately, he decided to use Charter bundle package (phone/internet/TV). Thing is, he was already a DirecTV sub, but didn't have HD. I tried to talk him into keeping D* and upgrading to HD, but he wanted to save a $$ by getting the Charter bundle and no up front costs.

    They get it installed, and my Mom calls complaining about the picture not filling the screen. I go by yesterday to check it out..... After playing around with it for about an hour, I now have a new appreciation for D*! I hate the HD DVR they have. It is a Scientific Atlantic 8000. The remote is very complicated, and not intuitive at all. I read the STB manual, but could not find a menu setting to automatically "stretch" SD content. I show them the Aspect button on the remote, this is annoying and confusing to them. I explain D* can automatically do this.

    The guide is very confusing. I could not find a way to remove duplicate SD channels from the guide. Again, this confuses my parents. My parents weren't even watching the locals in HD, because they have them listed for SD and HD (far apart in the guide). I explain D* can automatically remove duplicated SD channels in the guide.

    HD looks "pretty good", but not as good as D*, in my opinion. It gets pixelated during high speed movment on both their TV's. So, I believe it's the cable compression and not the TV. SD looks terrible, much worse than D*.

    If you guys think the brrrrip problem is bad with the D* recievers, you should have seen what was going on while watching Discovery HD with their Charter cable. About every minute, it would lock for about a second and lose audio. :nono2:

    Not even close to as many HD channels as D*. I could go on, but what's the point.... Luckily, I talked them into just suspending their D* account. So, maybe there is hope I can sway them to swap to D* HD.

    Long story short, I'm further convinced that I'm a happy D* customer. :)
     
  2. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    That matches what I've seen too. I know several Charter subscribers who only watch HD programming for "special occasions" because it's hard to find in the guide and not always reliable. The DVR's capacity for HD also means they have to choose what programs to record in HD.
     
  3. jodyguercio

    jodyguercio Active Member

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    Aug 16, 2007
    I guess the old saying is true, "The grass isn't always greener on the other side."
     
  4. Mertzen

    Mertzen Hall Of Fame

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    In the end, you get what you pay for. Anyway do some more convincing :D
     
  5. skyviewmark1

    skyviewmark1 Godfather

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    Sep 28, 2006
    Just convince them to drop the Video, and keep the phone/internet part.. I wouldn't give up my satellite TV for anything. But the phone/internet from my cable company is actually pretty good.. But the video from the Cable Company sucks.
     
  6. TigersFanJJ

    TigersFanJJ Hall Of Fame

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    Too bad Mediacom still won't run cable less than two miles from you or I'd have it for internet/phone too. :nono2: :lol:
     
  7. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    There's a reason that Charter is on the verge of bankruptcy...
     
  8. Yoda-DBSguy

    Yoda-DBSguy Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 4, 2006
    A Galaxy...
    He could have stayed with DirecTV and received at least 1 if not 2 HD Dual Tuner DVR(s) for free as well as the new dish installed for FREE. He could have stayed with Charter for his internet and gone with vonage or mypeople for voip and still have saved $$.

    Their box's don't have the ability to autohide SD duplicates, and the guide as you mentioned is clunky and retro compared to DirecTV.


    The pixilation issue is more so their TV's then the provider. I assume they bought 2 LCD TV that do NOT incoporate 120Hz automotion technology which reduces if not eliminates motion blur/pixilation lag.

    The freeze or lock up every min you described is a signal issue. The cable box (or boxes) dont have the proper db signal level---a marginal signal can cause intermitant droppouts, freezing or worse total loss of signal specifically on the HD lineup channels. Either the incomming cable line is low when referanced to signal or they need to reconfigure the splitters at the distribution point (most likely in the attic or basement as the case may be) with the possibility of a bi-directional drop amplifier being added prior to the splits.

    No joke about cable companies not having near the selection and availability of HD channels on their available tiers BTW. I n regards to having the DirecTV account on suspand; remember if he is still under contract they will only let him keep that on suspend for upto 6 months. at that point he will either have to reactivate or be billed the remainder of months left on his contract as well as return any "leased equipment" that he possesses. Pretty much everything either purchased or replaced after Feb of 2006 is "leased". If those receivers are not returned then he will be a tad upset when they bill him for the equipment full price on top of any contract comitment he has left.

     
  9. Tom Servo

    Tom Servo Icon

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    Mar 7, 2007
    Macroblocking is just part of HDTV because it's a digital signal. It would be nearly impossible for each channel to have the necessary bandwidth available for a full screen of motion. The cable company could be re-compressing the signal to gain additional space however, which would further degrade the picture.

    But I've never not seen macroblocking in motion scenes on any HDTV set, even with Blu-ray players attached.

    Also, why would anyone want to stretch and ruin SD content? I've never understood that logic. :nono:
     
  10. Kheldar

    Kheldar Icon

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  11. ciurca

    ciurca Godfather

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    Apr 14, 2009
    I can't stand stretched pictures. It's like watching a tv in a funhouse mirror.

    FWIW, I just switched from Comcast to Direct TV, and couldn't be happier. I made the switch due to losing the NFL network, but everything about Direct TV slays Comcast. SD/HD channels being 200 channels apart, no hiding of SD, and the crappy guide are just the start.

    When my contract is up, and if FIOS comes my way, I doubt I will even consider a switch.
     
  12. Greg Alsobrook

    Greg Alsobrook Lifetime Achiever

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    Apr 1, 2007
    I've sent TBS many emails regarding this... :(
     
  13. bb37

    bb37 Godfather

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    Dec 27, 2007
    It's bad enough that the cable companies around here shift the SD channels so that the cable channel isn't the same number as the OTA channel (so they don't get ghosting from the OTA channels leaking into the cable system). For instance, we have 4, 6, 8, 13, 20, and 59 as the OTA network channels in this area. On Brighthouse, which I have for the time being, those SD channels appear at 4, 7, 3, 12, 20, and 11. But the HD equivalents appear at 704, 706, 708, 713, 710, and 711. Makes no sense to my feeble mind.

    Oh, well, the clock is ticking on my relationship with Brighthouse. I'm ready to go back to DirecTV, but I'll have to keep Brighthouse for Internet. :(
     
  14. mx6bfast

    mx6bfast Hall Of Fame

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    Delray...
    Macro blocking is NOT a part of HD. It is a by product of stations/providers not allocating enough bandwidth to keep up with the action in the scene.
     
  15. musicman0725

    musicman0725 Cool Member

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    Oct 21, 2007
    When I lived in Madison, WI and had Charter, we had a Moxi brand DVR. It was by far the best UI of any DVR I've seen to date (and that was back in '04-'05). I'd recommend contacting Charter to see if they can set your parents up with one of those DVRs instead :D
     
  16. bobnielsen

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

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    Bainbridge...
    I didn't know any cable companies supplied Moxi DVRs. You can purchase them, but the price is $800.
     
  17. musicman0725

    musicman0725 Cool Member

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    Oct 21, 2007
    You can purchase them, but Charter is one of the few cable companies (possibly only) that actually rents them. When i had it, it was the only dvr they offered. The following year my friends told me they had to ask for it and because it was in such high demand, it took awhile before they actually got one.
     
  18. Tom Servo

    Tom Servo Icon

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    Mar 7, 2007
    Then someone should talk to the people who master Blu-ray discs, because I've seen it in several demo discs in use at the electronics stores. I thought those were supposed to be nearly perfect?
     
  19. bidger

    bidger Hall Of Fame

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    I'm with you, but the logic seems to run like this: "I bought a xx inch screen and I want every square inch filled with picture, even if it has to be stretched to do it."

    The thing that doesn't help the situation is that every provider, including DIRECTV, has the default setting that if the user does keep it Original Aspect Ratio that the unused sidebars are gray. Problem is most bezels are black. I change all mine to display the bars as black in order to not have it be so apparent. Also on any HD DVRs, which is all I have right now, I edit out the SD channels where an HD equivalent is available and I only keep two or three SD channels, ESPN Classic, E!, and VH-1 Classic. It's part of re-training yourself to look for HD.
     
  20. mx6bfast

    mx6bfast Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 8, 2006
    Delray...
    I don't know what they do/don't do for the demo disks you have seen at those stores, so I wont comment on that.

    I'm seen Indy car racing on ABC with no motion blocking. I've seen football on CBS with no motion blocking. Both OTA, and saw football on CBS before our local started multicasting.

    Just because D* and E* HD channels suffer from it doesn't mean it should be there. D* HD used to be the best I've seen before they went HD Lite, I don't recall seeing blocking at all. The HD PQ is much better with mpeg-4, but I still constantly see motion blocking on every single HD channel I watch. I know we will never get to that level again with D*, but that doesn't mean it's a part of HD.
     

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