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Wash DC Locals - SD vs HD?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by senorgregster, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. Apr 5, 2009 #1 of 15
    senorgregster

    senorgregster Mentor

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    Apr 29, 2006
    All,

    in the SD DVR forum I posted a "problem" I am having with SD on my local channels. I get the Washington DC locals. The megablocking artifact from compression is unbearable now. I've had to de-optimize my TV settings so that there is no difference between very darks and relatively darks. I still see the blocking but it is not as bad. Its so sad because the potential picture from D* is fantastic. Some of the other channels are simply superb. In fact, on those channels I really don't feel the need for the extra lines that HD brings -it just wouldn't improve my TV viewing experience.

    Anyhow, to my main point. I was wondering if anyone had a "side-by-side" comparison of SD and HD in the DC area ? What can I expect if I change to HD? I certainly don't want to end up paying more just to see megablocking and I would have to buy a few HDTVs. As I point out above I really don't care about the extra lines - I just don't want youtube-like megablocks anymore.

    Thanks in advance,

    senorgregster
     
  2. Apr 5, 2009 #2 of 15
    Rob-NovA

    Rob-NovA Icon

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    Jan 10, 2008
    Let me caveat this up front by saying I don't watch any SD any more, so this may be a moot point. However, I've not noticed any megablocking recently except during some rains storms. There were some problems on WJLA for a while, those seem to have disappeared (at least for me), but I don't watch a whole lot of ABC shows these days.
     
  3. Apr 6, 2009 #3 of 15
    patsrule316

    patsrule316 Legend

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    Sep 28, 2006
    I have two HD DVRs, one hooked to an antenna, one not. Back in the day, I used to only use the antenna (on the unit with the antenna) for WJLA because it had so many problems. However, I kept track of the progress on the unit without the antenna, and it hasn't had a problem in many months. Its been good enough that I feel safe using the satelite feed on both units. Of course, the antenna doesn't use the compression that the sat feed does, so antenna still looks a little better, but sat is fine. Fox had a brief problem last fall as well, but that has been gone for months as well.
     
  4. senorgregster

    senorgregster Mentor

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    Apr 29, 2006
    thanks for the responses. Anyone else?
     
  5. Allen1973

    Allen1973 New Member

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    Apr 5, 2008
    Hello Senorgregster,
    I have had DTV since May 08, and I have only had HD.
    I have not had any problems with the local channels here. Their pictures have been excellent.
     
  6. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

    7,384
    196
    Nov 16, 2005
    Los...
    Just a note of correction;

    It's actually called "macroblocking" not "megablocking" :) .
     
  7. smokes20

    smokes20 Godfather

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    Sep 17, 2007
    Get the HD. My H20 is connected to a SDTV and the PQ is really good. Since Fox5 went HD I haven't tuned into any SD channel. Only HD channels are in my favorites.

    HR20 is connected to a new Sharp 1080i-120 52" puppy and the PQ on it is amazing.
     
  8. senorgregster

    senorgregster Mentor

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    Apr 29, 2006
    Thanks for the responses so far and sorry to bump an old thread but I thought I'd see if anyone else has input.

    I misspoke when I called it mega/macro blocking in the OP. Its actually banding. Here is the type of thing I see:

    [​IMG]

    I'll try and find a better image but I see something between the left and center images. As mentioned before it is channel specific. The NBC/ABC type channels are awful. Something like BBC America is simply a perfect sharp and high dynamic range picture and I couldn't ask for anything better!

    I would go HD but I just can't justify the 2 new receivers and HDTVs.

    Any input would be appreciated. I'm not sure calling DTV would get me anywhere. Probably ask me to try a red button reset :(
     
  9. coreese

    coreese Cool Member

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    May 6, 2007
    I have the Washington DC locals in HD. I occasionally notice a briiiip and get the typical rain fade during a heavy storm. Other than that, I feel the picture is great.

    I kept my Comcast broadcast basic package because it is cheaper to get internet and I have side by side comparison on the locals. D* picture is much better.
     
  10. senorgregster

    senorgregster Mentor

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    Apr 29, 2006
    Do the D* locals only come in HD or do the receivers allow you to view both HD and SD? If the later I wonder if you could compare them for me? The biggest culprit are shows like Lost and Heros whereas commercials tend to be clearer. In some instances where the image is dark half my screen can have about only 20 shades of a particular color so I end up with 20 long bands rather than a nice progressive change in shade. I'll attempt to capture a picture of it.

    Thanks for your input.
     
  11. coreese

    coreese Cool Member

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    May 6, 2007
    Both HD and SD can be viewed.
     
  12. senorgregster

    senorgregster Mentor

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    Apr 29, 2006

    If you or anyone else would be willing to do a side by side comparison that would be great. As I said earlier shows like Lost or Heros are terrible for me. I'm not after the comparison of picture sharpness that comes with HD. I think it is more of a dynamic range issue so dark scenes are the ones to look out for.

    FIOS is coming to my area and I want to decide if I should jump ship. I love D* and don't want to leave but this banding is really driving me insane. I'm hoping it is just my set up and can be fixed without a big $ input.

    Thanks!!!
     
  13. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

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    Jun 24, 2007
    Northern VA
    I have only SD service and am I definitely not seeing what you are seeing. I have an R22 hooked up to an HD-ready TV via component and s-video and the picture appears very clear.

    - Merg
     
  14. radiomandc

    radiomandc Legend

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    Jul 22, 2009
    I have the HD service and for a while WJLA was the worst of all the HD channels by far. I did notice alot of blocking on WUSA this past Sunday during the Ravens game. Don't know what could have changed there. Over all though, I am very pleased with the HD picture for the DC locals.
     
  15. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

    10,289
    35
    Jun 24, 2007
    Northern VA
    Just for some info... You can have HD service without an HDTV. Many people state that the picture quality of using an HD receiver on an SDTV is still worth the upgrade.

    - Merg
     

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