On a lark... Another thing to try would be to set the Dish receiver to some other mode... 720p or heck even 480i/p.. let it settle into that mode... then go back and change it back to 1080i. This will do two things: 1. It will let you see IF there is a difference on the same channel output at 720p vs 1080i and especially 480 vs 1080. 2. It will possible reveal if the receiver was "lying" about the mode it is in. In reverse order... I have seen Dish receivers sometimes indicate they are in a given display mode but not actually be in that mode... For #1, IF you have the tuner on a known HD channel say like HDNet Movies where you know it is a 1080i channel.... you should see a stark difference between output of 480 vs 1080. IF you do not, then that indicates a potential receiver problem too. I haven't had DirecTV in many many years and long before they launched HD service... so I can't say directly... but even the most rabid DirecTV fans who swear DirecTV has better PQ, I never heard any of them say Dish looked as bad as Brian... so I tend to think there is an issue here, though we are running out of things to eliminate.