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Compression artifacts - am I too sensitive?

982 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  scooper
I got DirecTV a week ago, and boy am I disappointed in the quality of the picture. My eye just homes right in on the compression artifacts. Most of the time I can ignore it, but the dancing rectangles are particularly bad on fade-ins and fade-outs on my local stations... and watching "Larry Sanders" on Bravo sometimes I feel like I'm watching them in Quicktime. Over dialup.

Analog cable was awful in terms of channel selection, but at least the picture was clear.

Will the quality ever improve?

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#1 - how big of TV ?
#2 - Have you calibrated your TV with either Avia DVD or Video Essentials DVD ?

The plain fact is that DBS looks best on 27" or smaller NTSC sets. Even there, sometimes there are not enough bits to give a good picture. Your big-screen HDTV-Ready sets will really show up the picture problems.

As far as it ever getting better - overall - I don't think so, PQ varies depending on each channel from day-to-day.
Well you should have checked out the PQ at a retailer who has DTV & HD sets.

DBS is a quantity over quality business regardless of the supplier. It's like going to a fast food restaurant for a wedding reception.
I used to ***** and moan about the Picture quality of my Dish Network setup on my HDTV, that was until I had my HDTV calibrated by Gregg Loewen who is ISF calibrated.

Gregg's work went way beyond a normal ISF calibration, and I was very happy with his work! (Even my wife noticed ahuge diffrence!)

Now my PQ looks acceptable to me and the HD looks like I am looking out my window!

You can read more about what Gregg did to my set at http://www.geocities.com/scottct1/isf.html

If he is in your area I highly recommend him. Tell him I sent ya. :)
When I originally got Directv it took me a while to get used to the artifacts but now I usually never notice it, so I would give awhile. I also think setting the black level and contrast correctly on your tv does minimize the artifacts. I used video essentials dvd but I have seen the necessary test patterns you need to set the black level and contrast on some regular dvds too.
Do any of these DVDs have a grid generator? I have an analog big screen and have had it calibrated through my Circuit City extended warranty. I've had three visits from two different guys. They each preface their work with "this is an analog set?..we can come close, but not perfect" then have a closing statement of "well, with analog, this is the best I can do!". I think it's a matter of having the time and patience to do this and would like to have a grid to work with to set the convergence.
I have an old and unsophisticated 27" analog TV. DVDs look fine played back over the TV. So do the premium and sports channels for the most part; I'm guessing they get more bandwidth and less aggressive compression.

Bub2001 -- thanks, at least I know it's not just me. :)

I'll play with brightness and contrast, but I doubt anything will fool my eye now. I'll live with it.

The bazillion channels, oodles of movies, and NFL Sunday Ticket through a DirecTiVo more than compensate for a few dancing rectangles.
Old and unsophisticated 27" analog set ? - Turn DOWN your sharpness until you can get one of the DVD's and run through it. What excessive sharpness does is cause additional noise around each object on the screen (including the blocks you are seeing). My Dish system looks fine on my 27" Sony analog set, especially after running through Video Essentials.
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