Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by kathymoore, Sep 10, 2006.
will DirecTV ever improve the picture quality on the SD channels?
DTV uplinks the SD signal in the format it is received from the broadcaster, which is 480-I resolution.
480-I looks pretty good on the old 27" conventional TVs, but looks like crap on the big widescreen sets because 480-I was never intended to be blown up that large.
Compare to taking digital photos with a cheap 1 megapixel camera. Your photos don't look too bad until you blow them up to fill the screen on a 1024 x 768 (or higher) high-res monitor.
The higher the native resolution of your HDTV set, the worse SD is going to look unless you're able to shrink the size of the image. However, the very newest 1080P sets that perform up-conversion, do an admirable job with SD considering what they're initially given to work with.
In order for the SD PQ to improve, the broadcaster will have to improve it. If you are able to look at digital SD with an OTA antenna, that's the best it will ever be.
DirecTV compresses the hell out of everything they uplink, HD and SD. The source material they receive from the broadcaster generally looks MUCH better than what they send out to us. It's still 480i, but the number of lines in a picture is only one way to measure PQ. You have to look at the bitrate as well. And the bitrate of the stuff DirecTV sends out is simply too low, because they don't have the bandwidth to go any higher.
I have a D11 hooked up with SVideo to a 50"Phillps Magnavox RPTV that was
professionally adjusted.I always have people ask me when they enter my home if
the picture they see is an HD picture and of course I tell them no.
There is several ways to improve a picture.Use the SVideo connection/Have your
TV professionally adjusted/Have your dish tweaked and peaked.But without knowing your setup these are a few suggestions.Good Luck!
There is nothing you can do to your dish that will improve the picture quality. And believe me, many of us on here are using higher quality connections than S-Video (component and HDMI) so it has absolutely nothing to do with that. The bottom line is that DirecTV over-compresses everything, period.
I receive my local sd via D* and OTA. No difference! Both look fine on my 2 sd sets as well as my 46" Sony HD 1080i set. I think some tv's can just upconvert the 480i much better than others! If you have a 65" or larger set then I think that your just trying to blow the picture up to more than can possibly decent same as it would be if you try to enlarge a photograph too much.
I dont think anything will be imporved until a few more birds are put up. If you check another thread here, it looks like DirecTV is very limited on bandwidth and has to even cut off some channels every Sunday just to make the NFLST work correctly.
It was the motion artifacts that always bothered me with DirecTV. Even on a small TV I would see them, most noticeable when there was a quick camera pan or a fast fade-in/fade-out. The locals were the worst for it.
I haven't seem the artifacts with FiOS TV when watching live. But now the recordings made by my 2 year old DVD recorder don't look as good. The difference between DirecTV and the recorder wasn't that great, but now I want a better DVD recorder or maybe a DVR.
If you think so.There's always Comcrap or Dishnotwork.
It's all about the bandwith and the encoding technology.
So untill there is more bandwith (which includes moving HD to MPEG-4), the PQ isn't going to change much...
You can switch the screen size from Full to Widescreen.Works for me.
If you don't like your picture on D you should compare it to E. E may have the edge in HD, but when it comes to SD, D offers better contrast and detail. I also noticed better audio with D. With E when I listened to Dolby Prologic, I noticed a lot of noise and leakage coming from my surround channels.:nono2: With D there is rarely any noise or leakage and the sound is close to that of a non DD DVD. If anyone is using more compression with SD, it's E.
Hmm, I thought it was my imagination, but I too felt the quality of both was better when I switched from E* to D* last April.
Kathy - have you ever watched SD analog cable? I thought so.
My SD analog cable, using shortest runs possible and the best cable I can find is pretty comparable DirecTV. My analog antenna reception is way better than D*, as obviously is the digital OTA SD broadcast too.
My Digital cable SD blows DirecTV's SD pic out of the water. No comparison. I rarely bother watching HD except for sports.
And by the way, 480i has little to do with PQ, other than the limitation to 480 lines. Does anyone have a DVD recorder? You can use the highest bitrate to burn 1 hr on a single layer disc, or you can use the lower bitrates to squeeze 6, sometimes 8 hours on that same disk. The picture quality difference is obvious, but both pictures are output to my TV at 480i. The compressed 6 hour disc may look blotchy, and not good for fast moving scenes, but it's still 480i.
In fact, the usable resolution in pixels is actually about 1/2 at the lower bitrates, at least with my DVD recorder.
So when DirecTV claims they are 100% digital, and perfectly clear, they are telling the truth, they just don't finish the sentence that says "Only utilizing half of the available standard definition pixels .
D* still looks great on a 27 inch TV, which is what it was originally intended to be viewed on. However the big screen craze has left them with limited bandwidth.
This is purely my opinion, but I see D* as coming to a crossroads several years back. They could have had all of their channels look superb on the main sat, and then put all locals on other birds. This would anger a lot of people becasue their little 18" dishes would no longer get their locals. Instead D* went the other route. They decided to compress the hell out of everything, and squeeze every single channel, and every local market they could possibly squeeze on to the main bird. Great because something like 80% of the nation can get their locals on the main bird, but everything is compressed to all hell. So much of their bandwidth is being hogged up by dozens and dozens and dozens of local market channels, all broadcasting the same exact thing. You can watch Rockstar:Supernova tonight on about 50 channels if you wanted.. what a waste.
I know FCC law probably affected this decision too.
It would be so nice if they removed all locals from the main bird. Increased the bitrates of all channels, and offered NY and LA feeds for the networks. Then if you chose to get you locals too, you could either get the OTA, ot else get a dish that could point to another sat.
Unfortunately, I think the law screwed them out of this option.
So we're all stuck with this picture, and I agree, it stinks. However, there will be more birds, and possibly a wholesale mpeg4 conversion and I bet things do improve.......... someday....... UNtil then, I've been pretty impressed with digital cable PQ, but who knows when they will run out of BW too. Fiber is the future.
I tend to agree with ClubSteeler, but since I don't have a screen over 50inches at the present it isn't a real issue for me. But having 3LNBF's and only able to use one for all my SD programming, just doesn't make much sense to me. :nono:
Glad your cable is so good. Comcast here looks terrible in SD analog - I watch it at friends houses and at the club.
So the answer really is dependent on where you live vs D* that is consistant everywere.
When I had analog cable, some channels were great. Others were not that good. On a 27 inch TV, it's about as good as D* in my opinion. Now I have a 50" screen. Luckily, my cable company now broadcasts all channels digitally, even the ones that are also broadcast analog, so it's no longer a concern for me.
If all cable companies went all-digital, D* would have to look at the compression issue sooner than later.
The other consideration in this is the monthly cost for the STB with digital cable. My local cable costs about twice what D* costs for each STB. So if you are only looking at one, or possibly two, tv locations, it isn't that big an issue. If you are looking at multiple, the cost adds up.
Right now, I've got 3 DVR's and 1 standard receiver. Cable would be $20 a month higher than D* just for the number of STB's - and they wouldn't all be DVRs either.
When I switched (back) to D*, my local cable was not all digital. They have since implemented all digital with analog simulcast (so you can still get analog without an STB if you want).
Some of us have very poor cable offerings.
My wife's cousin got tired of her cable picture being snowy half the time, so she got digital cable.
Now the screen is black half the time!
DTV's SD doesn't look very good even on a 32-inch LCD, but it is still preferable to many cable systems.