811 "Darkness" problem


SatelliteGuys Family
Original poster
Sep 7, 2003
I just got my 811 and I can verify that the "darkness" issue is true, all channels look a lot darker, i connected my 6000 back and the picture was fine. Is DISH aware of this problem?? Are they going to provide a fix for this? And when would this be. I have my 811 connected via S-Video and Component, and the darkness is present in both outputs.
I called Dish last week and asked the advanced support tech about the high black level issue with the S-Video on the 811. (Picture is extremely dark). They said that it was not a known receiver issue and they asked me to submit an "unknown trend report" on this. They took down all my reciever info and said it would go directly to the engineers. I thought that when they get enough of these reports they will address this issue. I called DISH up yesterday and he said that it still is not on his list of known problems. I can get into the service menu on my TV and setting the black level to its brightest setting still does not help. I believe DISH is avoiding this issue by not putting it on their list of KNOWN 811 PROBLEMS. I consider this to be the biggest problem with the 811. So please, If you have this problem with your 811, please call DISH tech support to let them know and be sure to fill out an "unknown trend report," so this problem will be addressed.
Yes, please call Dish about the dark picture issue! The more calls they get the better. Is it possible that this is a hardware problem and not a software one? Maybe the only way to fix it is to replace the defective receivers and maybe that's why Dish doesn't want to acknowledge it.

811 darkness

Thanks guys I will call inmediately.
I hope they do address this issue soon cause it it extremely annoying, I recorder a program via component to my dvd recorder yesterday and still the pciture is too dark!! it seems to be darker with S-video than component, but it is still dark on component.........
Scott do you know anything about this? or could you advise your contacts at DISH about the problem and see what they have to say about it?
I totally agree that all who are experiencing this issue should call Dish Technical Support and ask to submit an unknown trend report. I am on my second 811 and both have this issue. An unknown trend report was submitted on first 811. Today I filed another report on the second 811. It is very hard to belive, considering the number of reports on this issue I have read in various forums, that the tech support person I spoke with did not have this problem as a known issue. Either there is a lack of communications at Dish or people experiencing this issue are failing to report it.
I got my 811 last Friday and e-mailed tech support on Saturday about the darkness problem as primary and some other issues with the 811. I got an e-mail response Sunday that said Dish was aware of the issues and working on them. In any event, software 263 didn't fix the problem.
I got my 811 installed on Sunday, and I have only noticed a slight darkness difference between the component input and the s-video input. I have a 501 also connected to my Sony (PIP) and the s-video level from that is about the same as the s-video from the 811.

I have more issues with the local channel programming problems and the fact that during partial zoom or full zoom, part of the top nd bottome of the video gets chopped off.
hemway said:
... the fact that during partial zoom or full zoom, part of the top nd bottome of the video gets chopped off.

What would a zoom be if it didn't move the outer edge of the picture off the screen? What should the zoom function do? What you are asking and expecting are contradictory to a zoom function.
On my 53" 4:3 ratio Sony, when watching non-HD content though the component feed, if I stretch or view normal mode, nothing gets chopped off the top or bottom of the picture. Stretched video looks a little weird but at least all of the picture is there. In the partial zoom or full zoom, you lose a good portion of the top and bottom of the picture. My question is, is this normal? Is having the S-video or RCA video hooked up to the TV my only option for watching SD on the Sony so it covers the whole screen?
I'm not sure how your TV handles HD signals. Does it add the black bars top and bottom to give a 16x9 aspect ratio? If it does, your TV is providing the black bars top and bottom and the 811 is giving the program info within this frame that is created by your TV. In this case the 811 can't zoom to fill the screen. It zooms to fill the artificial 16x9 screen the TV creates.

Is this what you're seeing?
On my Sony is a 4:4 ration screen an when watching true HD content, I get the black bar on the top and bottom of the screen. This viewing area is the same as that of a true 16:9 wide-screen HD monitor. My question is this, weather you have a 4:3 ratio screen that displays the component video signals in 16:9 format or a true 16:9 ratio screen getting the same feed, when viewing in partial or full zoom part of the top and bottom of the picture is chopped off. Should this be happening?
Yes I think this should be happening.

No matter what you do, when viewing a Component signal on the TV, you'll have black bars top and bottom. They will always be there unless your TV can get rid of them through a zoom feature.
I'm not trying to get rid of the black bars, I know they are going to be there when viewing video through the video5 port (DTV). On the Sony when viewing non-HD content, i.e. SD programing from video5 input, it is displayed as 4:3 ratio on the viewing area (between the top and bottom black bars) just like a true 16:9 screen. My question is when a SD signal is displayed on a true 16:9 screen and the 811 is set to one of the two zoom modes, does it cut off part of the top and bottom of the picture like it does on my Sony when displaying my picture in 16:9?
No darkness with SD through Component HD input

I received a replacement 811 for my two week old flakey unit. The new box has the 263 update. I can view all HD and SD through my component HD input on my Sony TV. Now I can use the * format button to zoom the SD content to fill the screen. I don't have to use the S-video for SD tv anymore just to get the wideZoom on my 16:9 screen. (yes it chops off some of the top and bottom)

Also the SD channels are not dark when going through the component/HD input on my tv....through the S-video it is still too dark. Therefore I am watching everything HD and SD through the component HD input.

BTW this box works much better than 811 it replaced. Not as buggy and so far the guide with video feature actually works!!!
Folks, you all need to be aware that the 6000 HD picture is a bit too bright. The 5000 with Modulator will actually provide you a proper comparitive for 720p and 1080i.

480i is fine on the 6000.
Well if the 6000 is too bright, my TV's internal tuner must also be too bright! I better call the ISF certified tech. who charged me $400 for my ISF calibration!!!

The fact of the matter is that the 811 has black levels way above where they should be. The 6000 is not too bright, I say this because there is no perceptible level changes between my TV's internal tuner and the 6000 (on my 65" Mitsubishi) whereas when the 811 (currently hooked up to a standard def 20" TV) is hooked up to the same 65" Mitsubishi, the picture is unacceptably dark. This is particularly noticable when watching darker shows such as X-Files.

I don't know if Dish can correct this with a software update, but if they can, I'm willing to give them a chance to make it right. If it isn't fixed in six months, I'll be pushing them for either a replacement 811 or selling it off and rolling my 6000 over to that TV (I'll hopefully have my 921 on the Mitsubishi by that time).

Dish? Get on it!

Happy Holidays!

Matt_Stevens said:
Folks, you all need to be aware that the 6000 HD picture is a bit too bright.

That's interesting. I was doing some comparisons between my 6000 and a Comcast Moto 5100 HD box, and the 6000 is substantially brighter than the Moto on 1080i output. I was beginning to wonder if the black levels on the Moto are set too high for component out.

Is there any reference when it comes to the black levels? Neither the Dish or the Moto boxes have any user settings for contrast.
I have already sent back both my 811 recievers. I will not be part of the "Beta" team for Dish. I will not put up with the darkness issue, I will not put up with jagged screen seen on large TV's, I will not put up with a inferior guide, I will not put up with two remotes that are not working properly. I have Dish sending my 301 back and when Direc TV get their HD Tivo or Zoom gets their DVR I will switch. I have stood with Dish for a long time and they have disapponited me for the last time. Competition always brings better service. Until Dish allows other to make competing set top boxes, Dish will always have inferior hardware. Programming and pricing are great, but good hardware is needed to finish off the whole system.
There is a darkness problem w/ the 811s that the 263 software didn't affect. I e-mailed E* technical support about the darkness issue and they replied that they were aware of the issue and were working on it.

I'll wait for now, since, in general, PQ through the 811 to my Samsung 50" DLP is the best I've seen on anyone's TV. SD channels look like DVDs even in "Partial Zoom".

Add me to the list of hosed Dish customers

DISH Takes Locals List to 100 Markets

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