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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently upgraded from a 13 year old 32" CRT to a 37" LCD. WOW, it looks great, but I now realize just how horrid the D* picture is. After reading up, I guess that's just the way it is. I can't believe D* SD channels basically look like Youtube quality video with fuzzy backgrounds and halos around everything.

How does digital cable compare? Are most cable companies sending out heavily compressed video now too? I've been with D* for about 12 years, so I'm pretty ignorant to current cable quality on a good display.

Even HD channels have lots of compression, especially locals. It's pretty scary that our displays have made huge leaps, only to let us realize that the feeds we are getting are so bad.

WHere in the heck do people get the pristine sources that are used for posts to newsgroups, etc? THose files are usually of perfect quality video with absolutely no compression or artifacts.

Jason
 

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rastuso said:
I recently upgraded from a 13 year old 32" CRT to a 37" LCD. WOW, it looks great, but I now realize just how horrid the D* picture is. After reading up, I guess that's just the way it is. I can't believe D* SD channels basically look like Youtube quality video with fuzzy backgrounds and halos around everything.

How does digital cable compare? Are most cable companies sending out heavily compressed video now too? I've been with D* for about 12 years, so I'm pretty ignorant to current cable quality on a good display.

Even HD channels have lots of compression, especially locals. It's pretty scary that our displays have made huge leaps, only to let us realize that the feeds we are getting are so bad.

WHere in the heck do people get the pristine sources that are used for posts to newsgroups, etc? THose files are usually of perfect quality video with absolutely no compression or artifacts.

Jason
Hmm that doesnt seem right. I know that things are compressed but my DTV looks outstanding on my 46" RPTV, it actually looks better on my larger TV then it does on the my smaller Tube tvs

My friend has a new DLP with digital cable, his HD looks fantastic but he SD looks like he is using rabbit ears.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Staszek said:
Hmm that doesnt seem right. I know that things are compressed but my DTV looks outstanding on my 46" RPTV, it actually looks better on my larger TV then it does on the my smaller Tube tvs

My friend has a new DLP with digital cable, his HD looks fantastic but he SD looks like he is using rabbit ears.
I would think a 46" RPTV would not show the low quality. I'm assuming this is a CRT?

It's not until you have an image with no pixel blur that you realize it. I can be 1" away from my CRT and barely see any artifacts, but you can see them from 3 feet away on the LCD. CRT RPTV's produce such a soft image, I doubt you see anything wrong, just like me with my old 32".

Jason
 

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Are you sure the problem is with the delivery medium and not the display of the new TV. My 50" Toshiba HDTV produce a pretty good picture unless I feed it a DISH RF input. It is connected to both D* and E*.
 

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boba said:
Are you sure the problem is with the delivery medium and not the display of the new TV. My 50" Toshiba HDTV produce a pretty good picture unless I feed it a DISH RF input. It is connected to both D* and E*.
The problem is with the signal sent by D*. It is most definitely highly compressed, although the effects will be seen to a greater or lesser degree depending upon program material (and of course display size and type). Sports in SD can be particularly bad on large displays.

Are the issues here to stay? Perhaps not. As D* moves HD material to MPEG4, we should be able to see less compression on both the HD signals and SD signals. The SD pictures when D* first began were actually pretty good (before locals were put on the 101 bird).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
boba said:
Are you sure the problem is with the delivery medium and not the display of the new TV. My 50" Toshiba HDTV produce a pretty good picture unless I feed it a DISH RF input. It is connected to both D* and E*.
Define "pretty good".

My picture, up closee as I said, looks like a Youtube video. The backgrounds are very compressed, and any scrolls across the bottom have all sorts of compression artifacts around the text. The picture is very clear, just full of artifacts. It seems like that's just the way it is, but maybe I do have an issue.

One unusual thing I've noticed is this:

I have a TIVO unit, not sure of the model number, I'll look it up. When I bring up a program and get the two choices for delete, or not delete (or ANY Tivo graphics), the oval lines around the choices are not smooth. I would expect those ovals to be generated by the Tivo, so they should be a very smooth, exact line, but on my TV, the line has a couple of spots where there is some noise around the line. It is always the same pattern. Perhaps I should take a photo, since it's probably hard to understand what I'm saying. Basically, the graphics generated by the Tivo are not perfect graphics. Even the little animated Tivo TV has compression artifacts around it, which sorta surprises me, since again, I'd think that was generated by the Tivo box, and should be a perfect picture with no artifacts, like my laptop when I feed it to the LCD via VGA. This is through a decent quality S-Video cable direct from the reciever to the TV.

But, as for picture quality, even my H20 gives the same Youtube quality picture for SD channels, and that connects via HDMI. I'd love it if this is just a problem on my end, but after reading a lot, it seemed like this is just the crap quality D* delivers now.

Your post has me thinking otherwise.

Jason
 

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Adjusting / fine tuning your input to the source connected to it makes a big difference for most users of newer large screen tv's. If you have not done so, you should explore that option.

Carl
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
carl6 said:
Adjusting / fine tuning your input to the source connected to it makes a big difference for most users of newer large screen tv's. If you have not done so, you should explore that option.

Carl
I used a THX optimizer, with blue glasses, which ended up really amping up everything too much.

I need to put the Avia disk to #1 in my Netflix queue, I guess, but that won't cure compression problems.

Jason
 

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carl6 said:
Adjusting / fine tuning your input to the source connected to it makes a big difference for most users of newer large screen tv's. If you have not done so, you should explore that option.

Carl
That is most definitely true.

Some folks even find that it's worth the trouble of using two outputs from their HD box (S-Video for SD, component or HDMI for HD), calibrating them seperately and switching between them based on whether SD or HD is being viewed.
 

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DTV has to compress the signal to get more channels crammed into the limited bandwidth they have available. The level of compression has noticeably increased over the years due to increased channel demand in the same limited bandwidth. Mpeg4 actually compresses the signal even more than mpeg2 but the compression algorithm provides for a less lossy image so the results are less bandwidth used and higher picture quality.

Standard definition programming looks lousy on a HDTV, regardless of the source, but DTV is worse than any other source available at the moment, except perhaps analog cable. Digital cable and FIOS should provide a better picture since they have more bandwidth to play with than DTV. Still, you can't expect a 480i program source to look anywhere near as good as 720p or 1080i, even uncompressed.
 

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captain_video said:
Standard definition programming looks lousy on a HDTV, regardless of the source, but DTV is worse than any other source available at the moment, except perhaps analog cable.
Not necessarily true. My sister and her husband get better picture quality from DirecTV on their 54" Samsung than they get from Comcast digital or analog cable on SD channels. Again, setting up your inputs and tuning them to the source is really critical.

Carl
 

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It goes without saying that any TV should be properly calibrated for the best picture quality using either AVIA or Digital Video Essentials (although many folks still need to hear it). I haven't had Comcast in so long I only assumed they had improved their SD picture quality with digital cable. I guess you really can't teach an old dog new tricks after all.
 
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