Dish vrs Direct Pic Quality Shootout

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bobj2004

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Guru
Feb 9, 2004
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Dish vrs Direct Pic Quality Shootout

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I currently have BOTH, Direct TV and Dishnetwork going on my 65" RPTV Sony.

It has Twin view so I can display both on the screen at the same time.

I have also freeze framed the same picture and then compared. I did this on about 10 Top 60 type channel and HBO.

The Locals were not compared that much as I have found that Pic quality varries from day to day (almost like the local receive points are using Antennas and pic quality varies with the weather).


TEST RESULTS:

1. Both Direct TV and Dish are the SAME IF and only if:

You tweak the TV.

I have found that Dish and Direct need different settings. Dish seems softer than Direct. With the Sonys you get 4 video modes to tweak in the User menu.

Dish seems to look better in Standard mode and sometimes Vivid mode.

Direct seems to look better in Pro or Movie mode.

I tweak all modes based on the source and the content. I started with DVE and AVIA as the base line.

How to Tweak: Pick some shows.
1. the Stars in Star Trek- can you see them all in all?
2. News channels Dark Suites, can you see the buttons or folds?
3. Brava and the West Wing- is it too dark or grainy?


Conclusions

1. Both will look bad if you do not tweak the TV. Both look good if you tweaked it.

2. HBO always looks good

3. Direct TV has about a 2 second more delay. They must have more or slower conpression on the SD Tivo -vrs- the Dish 501

4. Locals- always changes- compared Denver, LA (and Superstions on Dish).

5. You can get DVD like quality if you tweak the TV. It just takes time.
Both Direct and Dish have the same good Pic Quality (minus Locals which we all know have issues).
 
MikeD-C05

MikeD-C05

Pub Member / Supporter
Pub Member / Supporter
Nov 25, 2003
26,378
16,474
Nederland , Texas
Thank you for your evaluation.

I agree with tweaking the sat picture can look good with both services. I had always heard that Dish was more soft than Directv which had a sharper edge to it's picture. I have had both services as well last year and I only saw Directv looking worse to me as I had my tv tweaked for Dish. When I moved Directv to another s-video input and tweaked the input for Directv I noticed that both inputs for Dish and Directv did look about the same. Although I did have different brightness , contrast, and sharpness settings for both inputs. I guess you confirm what I did .

If all people who complain about the satellite picture on the national channels would spend some time with a calibration dvd and readjust their tv setting accordingly the complaints about satellite and compression artifacts would go way down. Some people though are set on what they think a tv should be set at. A great example is my stuck in the mud dad. He agreed after I set his tv with Dish to the calibration dvd , that it looked better , he said he preferred it the old way. He said it was to dark when it was calibrated. He watches the picture with the sharpness turned way up and the brightness and contrast way up as well. It makes for nice jaggies and washed out colors on the screen.

I think most people who complain about the tv picture with satellite , are complaining because they want the satellite to look good with their existing personal presets on the picture controls rather than tweaking their tvs to look good with the satellite picture. Their is a distinct difference in settings for ota , cable and satellite. I have all three on my tv and each one has it's own input which is needed to get the tv picture to look it's best for each service. People who open wallets to cutting edge satellite tv need to open their minds to new possiblities with picture settings for satellite as well or they will always be disappointed.
 
Sharpie

Sharpie

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 17, 2004
230
0
where can one find a calibration dvd? Best buy, Circuit city etc....? I want the best picture I can get but my skills with fooling with tv setting are at best pathetic. Right now, I have directv on my 43" hd ready toshiba rptv. No hd receiver at the moment but hopefully in the near future (wife willing). I have noticed lately that my picture using cable to get my local channels has a better quality than my satellite feeds. With satellite the picture has a grainy, pixelated look that the wife says she can't notice but for me it is driving me crazy. I checked all connection and everthing is tight and my signal strength is at 94%. My receiver box is over two years old and is just your plain RCA box with no gimmiks and only coax hookup. I don't think it is my receiver box because up to about 2 months ago my satellite pic beat cable pic. I really don't know what to do but I thought maybe calibrating would help the situation. I do not want to go out and get a new receiver because Directv gave me their $99 hd customer retention deal but I am waiting until Directv carries my local channels before I go ahead and order that (again, wife willing). Any suggestions? Thanks for your input.
 
BobMurdoch

BobMurdoch

Playing XBoxOne SeriesX/Supporter
Supporting Founder
Sep 12, 2003
5,770
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Brielle, NJ
Also, make sure your brightness is not set too high. My son always cranks up the RPTV brightness for the Nintendo and XBox, but it makes all of the compression visible (blockiness and vapor trails).... Turn the brightness down and most of them go away (Blacks don't normally show as much as dark greys do)
 
MikeD-C05

MikeD-C05

Pub Member / Supporter
Pub Member / Supporter
Nov 25, 2003
26,378
16,474
Nederland , Texas
Sharpie said:
where can one find a calibration dvd? Best buy, Circuit city etc....? I want the best picture I can get but my skills with fooling with tv setting are at best pathetic. Right now, I have directv on my 43" hd ready toshiba rptv. No hd receiver at the moment but hopefully in the near future (wife willing). I have noticed lately that my picture using cable to get my local channels has a better quality than my satellite feeds. With satellite the picture has a grainy, pixelated look that the wife says she can't notice but for me it is driving me crazy. I checked all connection and everthing is tight and my signal strength is at 94%. My receiver box is over two years old and is just your plain RCA box with no gimmiks and only coax hookup. I don't think it is my receiver box because up to about 2 months ago my satellite pic beat cable pic. I really don't know what to do but I thought maybe calibrating would help the situation. I do not want to go out and get a new receiver because Directv gave me their $99 hd customer retention deal but I am waiting until Directv carries my local channels before I go ahead and order that (again, wife willing). Any suggestions? Thanks for your input.

I got my dvd off the internet. Try a google search for calibration dvds for tvs or use the one I did: Sound and Vision Home Theater Tune Up. Either way Google searching on a topic usually will offer you several websites and options for calibration dvds.
 
dlsnyder

dlsnyder

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
1,825
3
Moreno Valley, CA
Sharpie said:
where can one find a calibration dvd? Best buy, Circuit city etc....? I want the best picture I can get but my skills with fooling with tv setting are at best pathetic. Right now, I have directv on my 43" hd ready toshiba rptv. No hd receiver at the moment but hopefully in the near future (wife willing). I have noticed lately that my picture using cable to get my local channels has a better quality than my satellite feeds. With satellite the picture has a grainy, pixelated look that the wife says she can't notice but for me it is driving me crazy. I checked all connection and everthing is tight and my signal strength is at 94%. My receiver box is over two years old and is just your plain RCA box with no gimmiks and only coax hookup. I don't think it is my receiver box because up to about 2 months ago my satellite pic beat cable pic. I really don't know what to do but I thought maybe calibrating would help the situation. I do not want to go out and get a new receiver because Directv gave me their $99 hd customer retention deal but I am waiting until Directv carries my local channels before I go ahead and order that (again, wife willing). Any suggestions? Thanks for your input.

Sharpie -

You might want to go ahead and consider the $99 HD deal from DirecTV now if you can receive broadcast HD locals in your area. The picture quality will totally blow away anything you could get from DirecTV or Dish. As part of the deal they will install an outdoor antenna to make reception of your OTA HD locals as good as possible.
 
K

klmnoah

SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 13, 2004
39
0
What was that mentioned about the $99.00 HD deal from Direct? I have been to their website and haven't found anything about this for HD receivers.
 
J

jnotar

Member
Dec 17, 2003
5
0
Calibrating your TV with a dvd input (AVIA or DVE) is always a good idea. One thing to be aware of is that the output levels from your DVD player will never match the output levels from your Sat. reciever. The setup you do with the DVD is only valid for that input matched to that output. It is a good place to start, but that is about it.

Every display should be set up for each input matched with the output device.
 
S

snathanb

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Feb 26, 2004
2,580
1
DFW
Amazon.com carries both the AVIA and DVE disks.
 

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