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SD Quality...it is true!

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Sea bass, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. Beerstalker

    Beerstalker Hall Of Fame

    Feb 9, 2009
    Peoria, IL
    Actually, the porn industry backed HD-DVD at the beginning because it was cheaper and easier for them to produce. In the beginning they weren't able to get any Blu-Ray production lines to press their movies to disc (they were all too busy with mainstream movies). Since HD-DVD used much of the same production equipment as DVD to press their discs the porn industry had more access to gettting movies pressed to disc on it.

    Like Fleckrj siad the big thing in the HD-DVD/Blu ray war was the division on manufacturers and movie studios. HD-DVD was pretty much just Toshiba (and RCA a bit) and Microsoft, and only had Universal I believe as a exclusive studio. Sony, Fox, MGM, and Disney studios were behind Blu-Ray as well as the manufacutrers fleckrj mentioned. WB and Paramount supported both (until Paramount made the really strange decision of going HD-DVD exclusive like 2 months before HD-DVD gave up).

    The PS3 was also a huge factor like he mentioned. At first pricing really helped drive HD-DVD adoption since the players were $500 or less, and most Blu-Ray players were $1000 or more. But then the PS3 came out at $500-600 and was able to play blu-rays so it really got rid of the price differential. I personally returned my $1000 Samsung Blu-Ray player and bought a PS3 instead, and still use it as my main player in my theater room just because it works, and I haven't bothered to replace it. I'm moving my theater room this weekend though, so it will most likely finally be replaced by a dedicate player.

    This is all from memory though, so some of it might not be 100% accurate. I supported both formats and still have players and movies for both.
  2. dishrich

    dishrich Hall Of Fame

    Apr 23, 2002
    The reason why VHS won out was more because the companies that built the first VHS recorders (RCA in particular) gave the "mass market" consumers more for their money than Sony did:

    - VHS had a 2 hour record time, then went right to 4 hours w/the LP speed; Beta only started out with 1, then 2 hours max at the time (since blank tapes back then were fairly costly, this won over the masses, regardless of the picture quality loss on LP speed)

    - VHS recorders had the timer built-in; it was an extra-cost add-on on the first Sony's; the VHS units were one of the first to then add a 4-event timer (we had one of those such units)

    - VHS decks came with remote pause standard; then started adding more functions to their (wired) remotes than the Beta machines did

    Of course later Beta had all these features & others; they even had some new features BEFORE VHS got them as well, (speed search & Hi-Fi audio come to mind) but by then the VHS format was SO entrenched with the masses, it was too late for Beta to make a come back.

    And remember, even SONY eventually had their OWN lines of VHS decks for several years... :D
  3. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    The reason VHS won out is primarily because Sony required licensing fees where VHS did not. It was all about the money. Beta was better quality. I had beta for many years until they pretty much ceased to be a factor in the market. I don't recall anyone choosing one over the other based on recording time (among the people I knew). VHS won the consumer market because they were able to flood the market and offer a VCR at lower cost.
  4. Mike Greer

    Mike Greer Hall Of Fame

    Jan 20, 2004
    Salt Lake...
    Good old BUD (Big Ugly Dish) with C Band analog satellite had incredible SD picture quality. I do miss the look of a good analog signal – none of the garbage that goes along with 100% digital quality. Sure it was lower resolution than today’s HD but it sure looked good. It beat the pants off of any SD quality on Dish Network or DirecTV… Not even close – ever!

    Ah, the old days….
  5. Tekneek

    Tekneek New Member

    Feb 19, 2013
    Compression is bad. The analog channels on a cable system almost always looked better than the digital ones back in the day. SD on DirecTV looked good up to a point, which they passed sometime in the first decade of operation. It has been diminishing returns ever since, but they are helped by cable going to digital in a race to show the maximum amount of lower quality channels as possible.

    To really compare what SD can look like on an HDTV, see what OTA SD channels look like. From stations that have 1 HD feed and 1 SD feed on a subchannel, I can say that DirecTV (and Comcast) doesn't compare favorably at all.

    As well, I can stream SD programming from Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu and have it look better than satellite and cable.
  6. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Mar 4, 2006
    Herrin, IL
    I have looked at SD from broadcast that looked pretty good on my 73" HDTV, but one local that does the CW is a low-power station that is so bit starved that it looks pretty equally terrible on OTA, D* and E*. Fortunately the shows on that channel I want to watch are on HuluPlus in HD so that problem is solved.

    When I had D* almost all the SD channels were not good at all with some exceptions that seemed to not only be by channel, but by some shows.

    Now with E* and the Hopper, almost all SD appears to be about DVD quality and is very watcheable. Most notably not so good is sports in SD which seems about the same regardless of where it comes from.
  7. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

    Jul 24, 2006
    Columbia, MD
    I'd buy better quality in dish but not DVD quality. Even fios Sd is not DVD quality and they are considered the gold standard for Sd.

    I think we forget how good DVD quality actually is.
  8. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Mar 4, 2006
    Herrin, IL
    Compared to watching a DVD played on my upscaling BD player and the Dish SD on most, but not all, channels, I haven't noticed a real difference though it is slightly in favor of the DVD.

    So yeah, not QUITE DVD quality! :)
  9. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 16, 2005

    Which satellite arc are you on BTW? If its eastern all your SD channels are MPEG-4 correct? And if west some are either MPEG-2 or 4?
  10. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Mar 4, 2006
    Herrin, IL
    I'm on the Eastern Arc which is all MPEG-4 as you note. I'm assuming the differences in SD between channels is caused by the channel themselves in their uplinked signal. But it isn't a night and day difference other than the one broadcast channel that is really bad no matter where you get it.

    I noticed the difference when I was switched to EA when I was with Dish before, but the Hopper seems to be even better than was my 722K at that time. Of course, I could be misremembering and I didn't and can't do a side by side comparison. :)

    I will say that the worst SD on my Hopper right now is very much better than what I got from D*.
  11. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

    Jul 24, 2006
    Columbia, MD
    As it is MPEG4 and they are probably not needing to squeeze as much onto the bird, that makes sense.

    Oddly, watching fios SD versus DirecTV SD side by side for years, I do see a much better SD (almost watchable on some channels) on fios overall, but on some SD channels, they are virtually identical. We know that DirecTV does squeeze its SD but it would appear to me that some SD channels are more equal than others on DirecTV. I am pretty sure we would never get them to admit it, but it looks that way. Although the bigger difference I see between the two is on channels that are not all that good to start with, so maybe it is just that the combined lack of PQ from the source coupled with the DirecTV squeeze is just enough to send it over the edge and make it bad.

    I have posted before that I don't think the HD DVRs do SD justice at all on DirecTV. Since I have gone to original format 480i output on SD channels, I have seen a better PQ. I can switch back and forth and see the difference. Still not great, but substantially better and watchable on a case by case basis.

    And yet, with all the garbage SD even on Fios, the local subs that do SD reruns I watch are much better than all of them.
  12. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Mar 4, 2006
    Herrin, IL
    When I had D* there was a very noticeable difference in differing SD channels, sometimes it even seemed on some shows vs others. But overall not very good at all.

    My AVR did a pretty good job of conversion and upscaling with them, but still not really good which meant the show had to be a 'not miss' to watch it in SD.

    Here locally, all the broadcast are in HD with the exception of the CW which is not only SD, but an extremely bit-starved one. And neither D* nor E* nor my equipment could massage that enough to make it tolerable.

    The MyTV outlet here is 720p HD, but neither D* nor E* have them in HD on SAT. Fortunately for me, that channel has exactly zero shows of interest! :)
  13. acostapimps

    acostapimps Hall Of Famer

    Nov 5, 2011
    usually shows that air in hd format are the exception of why they don't suffer pq wise as much as the others.
  14. dishrich

    dishrich Hall Of Fame

    Apr 23, 2002

    And most of the (analog) subscription channels even back then, DID have stereo digital audio, which was part of the VCII scrambling system!

    The analog feeds that were TOTALLY incredible, were the main NBC Network Ku band feeds for the local stations. (there were NOT scrambled back then) The picture quality on these feeds was probably THE most pristine I had seen in an SD picture; NO compression artifacts, etc. And the audio may have been analog stereo, but it too, was pristine as well.
    They had an east, mountain & west time zone feeds, so 3 chances to see NBC prog each night.

    The PBS Network feeds were awsome as well; IIRC, while most of the feeds were VCII scrambled, they were in "fixed key" - so that as long as you had a decoder, you could watch those channels. Part of the reason why they did these like this, was so they could have "stereo digital audio" for their programs; but they still had an unscrambled feed as well.

    Ah, those WERE the days... :)
  15. Dude111

    Dude111 An Awesome Dude

    Aug 6, 2010

    Indeed because CRT is much better (Always has been)
  16. fleckrj

    fleckrj Icon

    Sep 4, 2009
    Cary, NC
    Not always. Good analogue will always be better than the best digital, but VHS was not good analogue, and broadcast NTSC can be better than or worse than VHS.

    A closed circuit NTSC signal as seen on the studio monitor will beat any digital format, but once the NTSC signal is broadcast, there are far too many things that can affect the quality. An analogue recording on 2" Quad recording systems is far better than Betamax and Betamax is better than VHS. A good DVD is better than the best VHS, but I agree that no DVD is better than 2" Quad, and most DVD are not as good as Betamax. I also agree that some DVD are over-compressed and are not as good as VHS, but just because VHS is analogue does not mean that VHS is better than any digital.

    The same is true with audio recordings. There is no way that a pre 1940 78 rpm analogue recording is as good as a CD. For that matter, land line telephone transmissions (which are analogue) are not as good as many digital audio formats.

    I will accept that the best analogue will always beat the best digital, but that is as far as I am willing to go. There are far too many bad analogue systems to go any farther than that as an absolute statement.
  17. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

    Dec 2, 2010
    I can agree with the latter statement, but not your opener.

    But it seems we're leaving out economics: For an analogue system to match very good digital, we're talking big bucks.
  18. klambert

    klambert AllStar

    Feb 8, 2008
    One of the biggest shocks we had when we switched from DTV to Comcast a few years ago was how much better the quality of SD channels were. DTV's are way overcompressed.
  19. mark40511

    mark40511 Legend

    Jul 18, 2008
    Lexington KY
    When I first moved to Directv from Dish a few years ago - I noticed that the SD on directv looked better. I will agree this this is NOT the case now. It's almost blurry looking. Some SD channels are better than others SD channels.......I mean, they are watchable but still, after watching an HD channel, going to an SD channel is like MMEEHHHH.
  20. acostapimps

    acostapimps Hall Of Famer

    Nov 5, 2011
    It used to bother me when watching SD blurry channels before when I signed up, Now that I've seen worse or the same on some comcast cable channels and watching too many low quality YouTube videos, I've gotten used to it:)

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