ESPN HD Picture Quality Question?



Original poster
Good morning,

This weekend I had for the first time the opportunity to watch a HD
telecast by ESPN via Dish Netowork. My question is the following, the picture was not that good especially in far shots. The yard lines, the player's numbers and it seems everywhere where there is a line, I could see significant artifacts, dots. The problem was not as much when they had close out shots. On Saturday HD Net had a HD game going on at the same time and the difference in picture quality was significant. So much that the Miami game did not seem High Definition. The same happened last night during the NFL game.

My question: Did anybody else experience this issue? Or could it be
something about my TV? Does this have to do with the transmission
facilities of ESPN and we just have to be patient?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

I did not see the game so I can't comment on it, but the majority of the games on ESPN-HD are NOT in HD.

Check ESPN's HD website at for a listing of what games are in HD.

Also for HD games, not all the camera are HD and thus may explain why some shots look great and others do not. :)

Hope you will consider registering MP. :)

Welcome to SatelliteGuys!

The 720p HD format used by ESPN/ABC does not offer the same level of detail for distant shots seen on 1080i channels like Hdnet. Also, if you television is 1080i-only, there will be some minor quality loss with the conversion from 720p to 1080i. That said, the picture quality on last night's NFL game wasn't as good as the two previous games on ESPN-HD; picture quality will always vary somewhat from game to game due to differences in stadium lighting and camera location.

Also, the networks do occasionally mix in shots from SD cameras with the HD broadcast. We aren't yet to the point where the networks offer every possible shot in HD.
I've had no issues with HD games on ESPN. Most people who see it on my TV can't tell its not 1080i. If you TV can handle 720p, it should look just as good as 1080i to most people.

The bigger issue with HD sports is the camera's. I don't always think ABC/ESPN puts their cameras in the best location. Anyone who saw the superbowl last year in HD would understand what I'm talking about.

HDNet has always produced top notch HD and given the choice of watching a sporting event on HDNet or ESPN-HD, I would chose HDNet every time.

Do Dish subs get HDNet or did you just get the HD Net movie channel?
Don't forget about the Dish 6000 720p bug. You can use the adjust in the HDTV setup menu of the 6000 to adjust the screen. That often clears up odd 720p errors.

Oh, and ESPN-HD was using a SD camera in the endzone for a few shots. So if out of nowhere your picture got real crappy, it was likely that they where using that camera for a few seconds.

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