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I have a bit of an observation of the local HD channels. I haven't seen too many complaints about local HD racing being poor. But, todays Busch race and last weeks Cup race looked horrible. I can't believe they'd be over compressing the channels already! (if that's what this is, it looks similar to the PQ back in '98). Extremely blocky and almost like your only viewing with a partial color palette!

Anyway, does anybody else notice this? OTA on my HR10 is fine, so I don't think it can be the source station. This is the Orlando WESH Channel 2 HD station supplied via D*. When there isn't alot of camera movement (about 5% of the time in a race) the picture is fine. The wife even mentioned as she was passing by that the pavement didn't look like pavement... She can't even see a that big of a difference between SD and HD, so that's how bad it looks.

Also I notice that the video frames will be normal speed, then for a few frames they will speed up, then return to normal. This is really noticeable if you are watching the scrolling position ticker tape, but also makes the race cars look like they just took a 200 shot of nitrous!! During this speedup, the audio remains the same, so it seems like the normal speed is maybe too slow, then tries to catchup to the audio.

Otherwise, I haven't had too many problems with the HR20. I'm not on the newest EB release, but one behind (can't remember it off the top of my head). Maybe the EB release fixes this.

Anyway.. I'm not *****ing, just letting the situation be known!
 

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jjaromin said:
I have a bit of an observation of the local HD channels. I haven't seen too many complaints about local HD racing being poor. But, todays Busch race and last weeks Cup race looked horrible. I can't believe they'd be over compressing the channels already! (if that's what this is, it looks similar to the PQ back in '98). Extremely blocky and almost like your only viewing with a partial color palette!

Anyway, does anybody else notice this? OTA on my HR10 is fine, so I don't think it can be the source station. This is the Orlando WESH Channel 2 HD station supplied via D*. When there isn't alot of camera movement (about 5% of the time in a race) the picture is fine. The wife even mentioned as she was passing by that the pavement didn't look like pavement... She can't even see a that big of a difference between SD and HD, so that's how bad it looks.

Also I notice that the video frames will be normal speed, then for a few frames they will speed up, then return to normal. This is really noticeable if you are watching the scrolling position ticker tape, but also makes the race cars look like they just took a 200 shot of nitrous!! During this speedup, the audio remains the same, so it seems like the normal speed is maybe too slow, then tries to catchup to the audio.

Otherwise, I haven't had too many problems with the HR20. I'm not on the newest EB release, but one behind (can't remember it off the top of my head). Maybe the EB release fixes this.

Anyway.. I'm not *****ing, just letting the situation be known!
For the use you describe 720p would fare better then 1080i.
 

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jjaromin said:
I have a bit of an observation of the local HD channels. I haven't seen too many complaints about local HD racing being poor. But, todays Busch race and last weeks Cup race looked horrible. I can't believe they'd be over compressing the channels already! (if that's what this is, it looks similar to the PQ back in '98). Extremely blocky and almost like your only viewing with a partial color palette!

Anyway, does anybody else notice this? OTA on my HR10 is fine, so I don't think it can be the source station. This is the Orlando WESH Channel 2 HD station supplied via D*. When there isn't alot of camera movement (about 5% of the time in a race) the picture is fine. The wife even mentioned as she was passing by that the pavement didn't look like pavement... She can't even see a that big of a difference between SD and HD, so that's how bad it looks.

Also I notice that the video frames will be normal speed, then for a few frames they will speed up, then return to normal. This is really noticeable if you are watching the scrolling position ticker tape, but also makes the race cars look like they just took a 200 shot of nitrous!! During this speedup, the audio remains the same, so it seems like the normal speed is maybe too slow, then tries to catchup to the audio.

Otherwise, I haven't had too many problems with the HR20. I'm not on the newest EB release, but one behind (can't remember it off the top of my head). Maybe the EB release fixes this.

Anyway.. I'm not *****ing, just letting the situation be known!
I'll check back tomorrow after I watch the cup race. I'm in your local market and normally watch the race on WESH. I don't watch the Busch races or I'd let you know now. I just got my HR20-700 up and running 2 days ago. I have noticed that the OTA cup races on WESH HD have been looking a lil ragged lately. In fact, I mentioned it to the wife just 2 weeks ago and last week it didn't seem any better.

What I know about MPEG 4 is this, if the source is poor, the compression is going to make it much much worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
cybrsurfer said:
For the use you describe 720p would fare better then 1080i.
Damn... I just deleted the race. I was watching it in 1080i. During the cup race tommorrow, I'll give it a go at 720p.

I'll let you know how it goes!
 

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FWIW, I've had the same exact experience here in Austin with all three stations that are available in HD via DirecTV. MPEG4 looks like looking at a normal TV picture through a screen door. If this kind of MPEG4 is the future of DirecTV, I'm outta here.

The best way to see the effect is to look at a crawl at the bottom of the screen, you can usually find these during local newscasts. The HD version will skip and stutter, the SD DirecTV feed will move smoothly across the screen.

I don't know what the problem is, but as of this evening my three weeks with my HR20 have been more than enough. When you put the poor quality MPEG4 video on top of the remote control problems, the lack of local OTA and the fact that some allegedly recorded programs never show up in the list, well, this thing's going in the closet and my old Samsung DirecTivo is going back into service.

And don't even ASK how badly DirecTV has fouled up the billing on my account due to the HR20 buy! That one will take months to straighten out.
 

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jjaromin said:
Damn... I just deleted the race. I was watching it in 1080i. During the cup race tommorrow, I'll give it a go at 720p.

I'll let you know how it goes!
I hope all goes well, but keep in mind, that it should be broadcast in 720p to get best results. You can make the TV up convert 1080i to 720p in settings, but it may not help. It's not an issue with DirecTV, it the same with all carriers like Comcast, Dish etc.
 

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First, I do have the latest s/w update.
I am having the worst luck with the hr20s (2) and NASCAR.
Over the past couple weeks, I have lost a Busch race and the end of the Cup race.
Last Sunday, both hr20s stopped recording after 4 hours and 11 minutes...I had them padded for an extra 3 hours.
Today, I went to watch the Busch race about 2 hours after the start and found that one hr20 had recorded 2 minutes of the race and the other didn't record anything. I checked the history and NOTHING showed up...no "partial" and no "deleted."
I dread tomorrow. Instead of padding the race, on one hr20 I scheduled several programs to record after the race's scheduled end. The other machine I padded 3 hours. I will see which, if either machine gets the whole race.
As a final backup, I have the race scheduled on my hr10 which is now connected to a 27" SD tv in the living room. (It's not as great a picture as on my 73" Mits, but at least the hr10 is reliable.)

Addressing the issue, when the races do record, the PQ is excellent.

Remember, when it comes to audio/video, more is always better.
 

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Actually NBC broadcast the races or actually all broadcasts in 1080i, so I don't know what down converting it would do for you. I watched it on both OTA and direct (due to football) and I couldn't tell any difference. I watched CBS's coverage of USC-Florida on my HR20, and it was spectacular! What I can tell you is NBC is the one that couldn't care less about their Hi-def performance, search out the complaints about last weeks Colts-Pats game, and you'll see what I mean.
 

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Umm, Mpeg4 isnt meant for any type of motion other the lips moving. Example. Watch The talk shows in HD, David Letterman, Jay Leno, The View etc.. Not much movement and the picture looks terrific, however any sports, action, entertainment (specially blinking lights) and the picture is horrible. I hope once they iron out all the current issues (by next summer) they get the MPEG4 working better before they start putting lots of stations on mpeg4. Im not trying to be sarcastic or negative but its the truth.

One example. Miami Heat games are now in HD and last tuesdays game was so tough on the eyes (with the stuttering, and poor compression techniques) I eventually watched it on the SD station because I was starting to get dizzy watching.


ALSO.. Anyone notice how bad ESPN HD (MPEG2) is lately. In the past week(s) there is more compression then picture. For Example. turn on the football game on 73 now. I know they need space to add all these religious stations but nuff is nuff. They just keep taking bandwidth.

ARGHHHH
 

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Are you experiencing the 8mm effect? It only happens on MPEG4 locals, CBS and NBS (1080i) feeds, not on ABC and Fox (720p). The broadcast has a film-like gloss, like it's missing data (frames). In Philly, I see it on NFL games, and it's downright annoying. I even have a 1080i plasma (new Hitachi), but no matter. It's the same on my H20, non-DVR D* HD receiver.

Only solution is to use the MPEG2 feeds if you have them (NY and LA).

Earl and others claim D* is going to fix the issue with new equipment in the months ahead. Who knows? But when they turn off my MPEG2 channels, it will suck if they haven't fixed it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
tstarn said:
Are you experiencing the 8mm effect? It only happens on MPEG4 locals, CBS and NBS (1080i) feeds, not on ABC and Fox (720p). The broadcast has a film-like gloss, like it's missing data (frames).
Actually, when the frames do their catchup sequence, it does appear to be missing frames while it doing it. This happens several times a minute, but is not continuous!

I don't know if it will help, but I'll lodge a complaint with DirecTV about it. It seems alot of Florida users are having the same issue on football games..
 

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flipper2006 said:
ALSO.. Anyone notice how bad ESPN HD (MPEG2) is lately. In the past week(s) there is more compression then picture. For Example. turn on the football game on 73 now. I know they need space to add all these religious stations but nuff is nuff. They just keep taking bandwidth.

ARGHHHH
I'm watching 73 right now, swithing it between 72 and OTA ABC, and although there is a small difference between OTA and 72/73, you have to look hard to see it.
 

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Well this is one area we noticed the difference right away, my husband said the minute he saw speedvision on this new box (the old one was much clearer) Of coarse I am not sure if SD is in mpeg2 or mpeg4, but overall the picture quality of the HR20 is a bit below the HR10.
Tonight I also set up the Busch race and forgot to add a few minutes at the end and it stopped playing or recording the last 4 laps, my husband watched it about an hour late and so missed the last four laps and was not too happy. Seems like it could at least get it to the end, so I am thinking I have to add a minute or so to each recording now.. Of coarse with racing I usually always add a 1/2 to an hour extra in case of rain, but I knew this one was ok there is why I didn't...

Anyway we notice the pixalation too, the fast moving scenes are just not handled as well on this box compared to the HR10. I also notice a blur on SD channels, this is very annoying as we have about 95% of those compared to the very few HD channels at this time. The HR10 had some blur and grain but nothing like this. DTV came back out here today (had this new box for two days) and they said there is nothing they can do, it's probably in the box itself and can hopefully be fixed by software upgrades, or maybe the problem will go away when they output a better signal...bottom line is it's different than the HR10, worse and my setup, hookups and everything are identical, including the same wires and plugs... I only changed out the box and or coarse the two converter boxes for the sat 1 and 2 for the locals. So there is really no excuse why it's changed other than box to box is different...
BTW: High def is good on the HR20 but looses the wow factor, it's like a tiny part of the detail is not quite there as it was in the HR10, I just can't pinpoint it, and most would not notice it, but I am verrrrrryyyyy picky, so I do. It almost looks like at times HD looks like it has a soft focus filter set on it on this HR20. You can still see the detail, but it's a little fuzzy... make sense?:nono2:
 

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flipper2006 said:
Umm, Mpeg4 isnt meant for any type of motion other the lips moving. Example. Watch The talk shows in HD, David Letterman, Jay Leno, The View etc.. Not much movement and the picture looks terrific, however any sports, action, entertainment (specially blinking lights) and the picture is horrible. I hope once they iron out all the current issues (by next summer) they get the MPEG4 working better before they start putting lots of stations on mpeg4. Im not trying to be sarcastic or negative but its the truth.

One example. Miami Heat games are now in HD and last tuesdays game was so tough on the eyes (with the stuttering, and poor compression techniques) I eventually watched it on the SD station because I was starting to get dizzy watching.

ALSO.. Anyone notice how bad ESPN HD (MPEG2) is lately. In the past week(s) there is more compression then picture. For Example. turn on the football game on 73 now. I know they need space to add all these religious stations but nuff is nuff. They just keep taking bandwidth.

ARGHHHH
MPEG-4 has nothing to do with motion artifacts or anything else. It is a compression algorithim that has not been optimized or properly implemented by either D* and/or the local providers. There's nothing wrong with MPEG-4 in and of itself...it's the way it's being implemented/delivered. It will improve with time.

All HD via D* is bit starved. Some much worse than others. Until they get more birds up, that's how it's going to be....spotty...sometimes very good, other times so so to poor. That is why so many of us call HD via D* HD-Lite, and are clamoring for OTA HD for the HR20. All SD is bit starved to, but we're not talking about that much.

And, yes, ESPN-HD is a mere shadow of what it was a year ago....but even it can be pretty good at times (for being HD-Lite)

We're just going to have to be patient, while providing our feedback.

p.s. NASCAR is a great torture test for HD...and it looks tortured to me most of the time via D*
 

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hasan said:
MPEG-4 has nothing to do with motion artifacts or anything else. It is a compression algorithim that has not been optimized or properly implemented by either D* and/or the local providers.
Why would you think local providers are using MPEG4 for OTA broadcasts?
 

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Wolffpack said:
Why would you think local providers are using MPEG4 for OTA broadcasts?
They are using MPEG-2, not 4...and having invested in the -2 setup, (dragging their feet and complaining all the time about the new equipment) they are not about to convert to MPEG-4 all of a sudden.

(That is MPEG-2 for true local OTA, not via sat) The MPEG-4 you are seeing is transcoded from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 (another introduction of loss). It's kinda clunky, but I'm sure it will get better as D* is betting the HD farm on MPEG-4 for the future.
 

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mnassour said:
FWIW, I've had the same exact experience here in Austin with all three stations that are available in HD via DirecTV.
MNASSOUR, have you contacted D* about this problem? I have a number of times and they make it sound like I'm the only one calling about it.
 

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jjaromin said:
I was watching it in 1080i. During the cup race tommorrow, I'll give it a go at 720p.
It is being broadcast in 1080i. You can't change that by watching it in a different mode.
 

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jjaromin said:
She can't even see a that big of a difference between SD and HD, so that's how bad it looks.
Bear in mind that several of the cameras are actually SD cameras.

I was watching the cup race last weekend at a video store who feeds their TVs with Comcast and it was a gut-wrenching experience to watch on what is perhaps one of the best TVs out there: Sony XBR2 60" SXRD.
 
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