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The longer I'm in the HD D* game, the less satisfied I am with the picture quality of my HD Tivo in HD. My OTA quality is so far and away better, it makes me depressed.

I've heard D* reps say the quality of MPEG4 HD over D* is much better than MPEG2. Is this true or are they just full of it? Any opinions would be most welcome.
 

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jeffnebraska said:
The longer I'm in the HD D* game, the less satisfied I am with the picture quality of my HD Tivo in HD. My OTA quality is so far and away better, it makes me depressed.

I've heard D* reps say the quality of MPEG4 HD over D* is much better than MPEG2. Is this true or are they just full of it? Any opinions would be most welcome.
At times my local MPEG4 has performed better than I could imagine. However DirecTV is still working out the bugs, and it's not perfected yet. So hang in there, it will be great soon.
 

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cybrsurfer said:
However DirecTV is still working out the bugs, and it's not perfected yet. So hang in there, it will be great soon.
How do you know this, are you a D* representative? What "bugs" are being worked out? When is soon? Is this a fact or are you expressing your opinion?
 

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btmoore said:
How do you know this, are you a D* representative? What "bugs" are being worked out? When is soon? Is this a fact or are you expressing your opinion?
I have confidence that DirecTV will get it right. It's all new to them (MPEG4) and they didn't prep as they should have. This is the first HD product they have introduced with DirecTV branding and schematics. Tivo had the same headaches and growing pains initially, and they finally got it right. I think DirecTV will also. Plus I can't wait until next summer when many more HD nationals will be available. It's merely my opinion, so do your own research, read the many threads and get your own synopsis.
 

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Reading this thread, I was watching a show on NBC HD, and I noticed something, a commercial shot in HD looked a heck of a lot better than the NBC show my wife was watching (Criminal Intent). Cleaner, crisper, better PQ in general. So don't forget how the content provider can affect HD clarity and PQ. I have one of those new Hitachi 1080i plasmas, and the HR20 is set to 1080i.

Weird, but the commercial looked great, the show was so-so. NBC's HD shows aren't that great, methinks.
 

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HD locals here in Denver are terrible. Currently, "NCIS," which is supposed to be in MPEG4, is broadcasting in MPEG2. And "Friday Night Lights" on the NBC affiliate suddenly popped out of MPEG4 and into MPEG2 in pillar box.

This is ridiculous. Is the problem with the locals or with D*????:( :(
 

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cybrsurfer said:
I have confidence that DirecTV will get it right.
I would like to have such confidence. It certainly behooves them to get it right. Undoubtedly they are working on it and will continue to. But the performance of D* in so many areas lately does not inspire much trust or confidence from me...and I do not tend to be a cynic.
 

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bwaldron said:
I would like to have such confidence. It certainly behooves them to get it right. Undoubtedly they are working on it and will continue to. But the performance of D* in so many areas lately does not inspire much trust or confidence from me...and I do not tend to be a cynic.
Seems counter-intuitive, but could it be they are spending their money on marketing/advertising (a la Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock) and are backing off their internal investments overall. I know, I know, what about all those new sats and HD channels, etc.

But at the same time, they also have those "for sale" (or should I say trade) mentions in the press. If Murdoch is really going to trade DTV for his News Corp. stock, why would he want to spend too much on the company. Just a guess. It doesn't make sense, though, to risk the company's rep and value by being cheap. But why all of a sudden, after years of pretty good customer service, has D* decided to head south supporting the R15 and HR20? Their retention dept. is great, but apart from that, it seems weak. Truth is, I had to hardly ever call them for the first 8 years of being a sub, things went that well. Not any more.
 

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kram said:
HD locals here in Denver are terrible. Currently, "NCIS," which is supposed to be in MPEG4, is broadcasting in MPEG2. And "Friday Night Lights" on the NBC affiliate suddenly popped out of MPEG4 and into MPEG2 in pillar box.

This is ridiculous. Is the problem with the locals or with D*????:( :(
We get those in Philly too. This morning the local ABC feed lost HD, and we have the unnerving 8mm effect on CBS and NBC (1080i feeds).
 

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kram said:
HD locals here in Denver are terrible. Currently, "NCIS," which is supposed to be in MPEG4, is broadcasting in MPEG2. And "Friday Night Lights" on the NBC affiliate suddenly popped out of MPEG4 and into MPEG2 in pillar box.

This is ridiculous. Is the problem with the locals or with D*????:( :(
Replace MPEG4 with HD and MPEG2 with SD for the correct terminology. Those problems are with your local affiliate, not DirecTV.
 

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I have both local D* HD and OTA HD. OTA HD is definitely better.

I believe part of the problem is getting the local HD to D*. They likely get it from another sat feed in MPEG2 compression format. D* decompresses MPEG2 and re-encodes it to MPEG4.

There can be some improvement by using a more sophisticated block rate matching in the process of going from MPEG2 to MPEG4 but I doubt they have that presently.
 

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tstarn said:
Seems counter-intuitive, but could it be they are spending their money on marketing/advertising (a la Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock) and are backing off their internal investments overall. I know, I know, what about all those new sats and HD channels, etc.

But at the same time, they also have those "for sale" (or should I say trade) mentions in the press. If Murdoch is really going to trade DTV for his News Corp. stock, why would he want to spend too much on the company. Just a guess. It doesn't make sense, though, to risk the company's rep and value by being cheap. But why all of a sudden, after years of pretty good customer service, has D* decided to head south supporting the R15 and HR20? Their retention dept. is great, but apart from that, it seems weak. Truth is, I had to hardly ever call them for the first 8 years of being a sub, things went that well. Not any more.
That's not entirely implausible. John Malone does not have a track record of investment in new technology (though he talks a good game). If Liberty does get control of D*, I can see dark (and expensive) days ahead for customers.

As far as service goes, I can't speak from any recent experience. I've always found it to be a strength of D* relative to its competitors, but certainly the install end of things has gone south and the stories I hear about service these days aren't always heartwarming.

The good thing is that we have a reasonable (and in most localities, increasing) amount of competition in this corner of the entertainment business. God help us otherwise.
 

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RCinFLA said:
I believe part of the problem is getting the local HD to D*. They likely get it from another sat feed in MPEG2 compression format. D* decompresses MPEG2 and re-encodes it to MPEG4.
In most cases, DirecTV just grabs the OTA signal, which is MPEG2, and encodes it to MPEG4. Obviously this result in some loss of quality, since it's a compression of an already compressed signal, but usually it's very slight. I can only notice a difference if I'm less than a foot away from the TV, trying to see it. In normal viewing, there is no discernable difference.
 

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I watched Prison Break on FOX out of Milwaukee in MPEG4 and it looked great.

But Sunday Night Football in MPEG4 out of Milwaukee was so so.
 

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The MPEG4 locals in the Wash. DC area are very good in terms of PQ. I have noticed however that the quality can vary based on the station, show, etc. I'm thinking it's more the source rather than the transmission.
 

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cawgijoe said:
The MPEG4 locals in the Wash. DC area are very good in terms of PQ. I have noticed however that the quality can vary based on the station, show, etc. I'm thinking it's more the source rather than the transmission.
I somewhat agree with you. It could be a factor. Most of my MPEG 4 locals look pretty good except for the NBC affiliate. Lots of pixelation. With that said though all of my MPEG 4 locals do not look as good as OTA. Even though some may be source related, D* still has a few issues to iron out on the local level.
 

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2nd only to the promise that "Satellite Radio (XM or Sirius) supplies CD Quality Sound", is the promise of "MPeg4 will provide a dramatic improvement in PQ" in the world of horrible broadcasting lies.

:sure:
 

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cawgijoe said:
The MPEG4 locals in the Wash. DC area are very good in terms of PQ. I have noticed however that the quality can vary based on the station, show, etc. I'm thinking it's more the source rather than the transmission.
I concur on the DC stations, every couple of days I check the PQ of recordings made of an HD LiL channel on the HR20 with the same show recorded in HD OTA on the HR10. There seems to my eyes to be very little difference.
Of course, when OTA is enabled on the HR20, with allegedly improved tuners, the difference may be more noticable.:)
 
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