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new dish subscriber - not sure I like the HD channels

Discussion in 'DISH™ High Definition Discussion' started by eeegeek, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. eeegeek

    eeegeek Cool Member

    Aug 9, 2010
    Long time cable user. Just had dish installed in my house. an eastern arc and 500plus (for the 118.7 satellite). The tech said everything looked good and left. My first reaction was, is this really how HD looks on dish. My cable (cablevision) HD was vastly superior. I do receive all the channels promised but the the broadcast HD and most other HD look just like SD on cable or may be a shade better than SD on cable. The SD channels look, may be like watercolor paintings. I then went to the menu and pressed Installation and Point Dish. The first box was my zipcode. I entered. The second pull down menu had items (superdish, 500, 300 and may be something else and it was set to 500). In the third menu I was able to select the satellite locations. For each of them I got the following signal strength.
    61.5 West -> 52
    72.7 West -> 25
    77 West -> 16
    118 -> 59
    Are these OK values? Is DISH HD really subpar when compared to cable?

  2. HobbyTalk

    HobbyTalk Hall Of Fame

    Jul 14, 2007
    Make sure the output of the receiver is set to 720P or 1080i.

    On the remote go to Menu > 6 > 7
  3. slt101

    slt101 AllStar

    Jun 17, 2010
  4. domingos35

    domingos35 Icon

    Jan 11, 2006
    signal strength for 77 and 72.7 is pretty low
    thats probably why the HD channels look bad
  5. domingos35

    domingos35 Icon

    Jan 11, 2006
  6. chad73

    chad73 Mentor

    Jan 24, 2005
    I just got Dish yesterday for the first time. I actually think the picture quality on both SD and HD look better on Dish than it did with Direct. I'm very pleased with the quality and channel selection.
  7. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    They should be 60 or above, but even if signal strength was low, it wouldn't affect picture quality.

    First thing: are you sure you are getting HD? You should see the "HD" tags next to the channel numbers in the guide, and you should see "HD" in the info banner.

    Second: is your output resolution set correctly? Menu, System Setup, HDTV Setup. Make sure it is set on 16x9 and 1080i.

    Third: make sure you are actually watching HD content. Many HD channels show lots of SD content during the day.
  8. levibluewa

    levibluewa Icon

    Aug 13, 2005
    WA, OR, CA
    I have both DISH and Directv...and both HD pictures look, for the most part, the same. Sometime a DISH feed looks clearer & other times the Directv feed looks clearer, but not by much..."HD-Lite" claim a lot of Directv subs...! They really love their soap boxes!

    Also re your HD picture...did they hook your tv up with an HDMI cable...that can make a difference. Those readings do appear low, but I'm not on those birds, so not a good judge here.

    I'm more and more happy with DISH...they're beating Directv's *ss with their national HD offerings. If Charlie ever gets his RSNs full-time HD, Dtv will s**t!
  9. eeegeek

    eeegeek Cool Member

    Aug 9, 2010
    Yes they are HD channels and I see HD stamp on guide.
    The tech had set my output resolution to 1080i. I have a 720p samsung. I changed the setup from 1080i to 720p. I can't say it made a lot of difference.

    I am connecting through HDMI cable (same one I used on the cable box).

    PS: someone mentioned about my TP numbers. I am still learning about satellite TV. What exactly are these and how do I look 'em up?

    thanks for all the help
  10. levibluewa

    levibluewa Icon

    Aug 13, 2005
    WA, OR, CA
    Please keep everyone posted. Those HD pictures should be as clear as you've seen elsewhere...if of course they're broadcasting an HD feed and not something videoed 20 years ago...like some old "Cops" or recycled series.
  11. tedb3rd

    tedb3rd Godfather DBSTalk Club

    Feb 2, 2006
    Signal strength should not matter unless it drops down REALLY low (like single digits) when you start getting 'rain fade' looking blocks and loss of audio. I think you're seeing COMPRESSION issues on the channels. I've had Dish since before they had HD and I've watched the HD quality slowly decrease as they added more and more channels. The VOOM channels were wonderful quality picture (of garbage content IMHO). I would categorize most of the HD channels now as nothing much better than an old good/clear SD reception. (1080p capable HDTV w/HDMI cable from ViP722). Palladia, before I dropped the HD package, was about the best picture quality that I noticed... I've never had HD cable but I bet it's better than what you would get over a DBS system.

    Do you know anybody else who has Dish w/HD? Compare their PQ to yours. If yours is bad compared to theirs (taking into consideration HDTV capabilities/size) then you might have a setting wrong. ...but everything I can think of has been posted in a reply.

    Remember, the bigger the screen, the more you can notice the pixelation too.

    Good luck.
  12. shadough

    shadough Icon

    Dec 31, 2006
    Yea signal strength is not going to affect PQ at all until it drops so low that it starts to pixelate. So transponders are not the issue. I"m watching the NFL game now in HD and IMO, there is not much different between dish an OTA, certainly slightly less quality but PQ looks pretty good to me.....of course I'm watching KTTV LA via All American direct on a Sony 32 inch TV via Compenent video cables that are close th 50ft long, if that even makes any difference.

    Is your TV 103inches??? Size does matter. We installed a 103in plasma at some arabian princes house last year. Maybe your TV is just TOO good for DBS :)
  13. patmurphey

    patmurphey Godfather

    Dec 21, 2006
    There is something wrong with the OP's settings/TV or the OP. Dish's HD does not match his description in any way.
  14. E91

    E91 Godfather

    Oct 7, 2008
    I'm about to switch to D* myself - from E*. But, this is strictly a programming issue. From what I can see, there is not a damn bit of diff in HD quality. Half of my friends have D* and I see no difference between what they get and what I get with my 722.

    That is for HD quality - SD quality there is no comparison. E* kills D*, IMO.
  15. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Mar 4, 2006
    Herrin, IL
    Technically D*'s HD is better, but most are like you and I. Different yes, but very slightly so and one is not better than the other to the naked eye.

    I assume that the programming you are switching for is sports?
  16. olguy

    olguy Hall Of Fame

    Jan 9, 2006
    This is what amuses me about every one of these D* HD vs E* HD discussions. "It's better but you can't tell with the naked eye". Well, maybe when I start viewing with something other than my naked eye I might get concerned. See, to my old worn out brain, if I can't see the difference, there is no difference.
  17. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Jan 7, 2005
    Kittrell, NC
    In some cases it's like... 20/10 vision is better than 20/20... but for most people 20/20 is more than adequate to have a fun visual experience in life.

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