Directv ordeal, terrible picture on my HDTV


New Member
Original poster
Jun 22, 2004
I'll try to keep this long story short but it requires some back story. I initially tried to sign up with DirecTV through circuit city who sent an installer out to my house. He took a look around for about 15 minutes and left saying it was impossible to install. I wasn't prepared to give up that easy so I called a local guy out who did a little more investigating and found a perfect spot in my back yard with no trees.

I took the Circuit City stuff back and decided to go with this guy and get the almost the same DirecTV deal. He turned out to be a great installer but a flakey business man. I eventually went through the dealer he buys his stuff from and explained my ordeal. He was out the next day and hooked me up no problem. He did a great job and even ran completely new coaxial through my house because he said the stuff I had was old and outdated. He setup DirecTV on the three TV's in my house and all was working well.

I was a little worried about the reception I was getting on my 34" Sony 16x9 HDTV but he said that was just a preview channel and they didn't put much money in it. I decided to upgrade to a better Hughes receiver for my HDTV to use component cables but the other TV's, a 27" Sony Analog TV and a small 14" Samsung in my bedroom use the basic Hughes free receiver that comes with the deal. The analog Sony is using an S Video connection and the little Samsung is using coaxial, it does not have even composite connections.

The reception on my analog 27" Sony and my little Samsung look absolutely perfect. The picture quality on my Sony 34" 16x9 HDTV looked almost unwatchable. Badly pixilated, blurry, and soft. Some of it may be due to fact that I use the wide zoom on my TV to stretch the 4:3 picture to fit my 16x9 screen, but it shouldn't look as bad as it does. I stretched the analog cable that I had before and it didn't look that bad. Even when I don’t stretch it and view the image with the black bars on the left and right it still looks like crap.

I called direct TV and they said it may be because my TV is HD and I'm using an analog box. Like my TV may be trying to up convert the picture and it doesn't like it. She said I needed to get a DirecTV HD STB or force my TV to go to 480i. My TV switches resolution automatically so that’s not an option.

I decided to take matters into my own hands and went to Circuit City and bought a Samsung HD receiver. A Samsung SIRTS360 to be exact. I hooked it up using the DVI port in my TV and the picture quality greatly improved. Still not great but it is an improvement. I see less pixilation and the picture is not as blurry. Some channels, like local ones still look horrible.

Does anyone know if this is this my solution? Does it make sense that an HD receiver would improve the picture quality of DirecTV even though I'm not getting HD broadcast through Direct TV?

I thought about getting that new Hughes HNS HTLHD receiver because I heard it’s better than the Samsung and I like the Hughes channel guide and remote. Then again Sony makes their own version of the Hughes receiver made by LG and its called Sony SAT-HD300. I thought it might work better with my TV if I have a Sony receiver.

I also heard stuff on this forum about DirecTV picture quality getting worse with more compression. I hope I didn’t make a mistake getting DirecTV. Cable sucks really bad and I want to get rid of it. I almost signed up with voom but the channel lineup wasn’t there.

Anyone have any advice or ideas?

The model of my Sony TV is Sony KV34XBR910. It’s supposed to be one of the best HDTV’s made, but that may not mean much when viewing analog or non HD. I bought it mainly to watch DVD’s on and excels at that, but getting DirecTV to look good through it would be nice also.



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