Finally signed up....Disappointed

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callmebob

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 23, 2009
26
0
US
So I got DirecTV hooked up last Friday, but I am disappointed in the picture quality. I have mid to upper 90s signal strength, the DVRs are set to 1080i output and I am hooked up with HDMI. The problem is that on premium HD channels I'm seeing a lot of compression artifacts and on all HD channels everything looks like it's been smoothed out. What I mean are that faces have no definition, the picture seems a little blurry and skin looks like mannequin skin. Faces look like they've been airbrushed like magazine pictures, but much more noticeable.

I still haven't turned off my cable service so I hooked up my cable DVR next to the DirecTV DVR, turned on the same programs and then swapped the HDMI cable back and forth (to compare apples for apples on the same input) and cable consistently looked better. This is on and ISF calibrated display. Additionally, I'm seeing this on all my TVs and have done the A-B comparison with cable on two of them already.

Is there anything to try? I'm considering eating the cost of the additional equipment (three HD DVRs and internet connection kit) and paying the early termination because I don't think I can ignore the picture difference. I don't suppose DirecTV will at least credit me back for the equipment if I send it back after only 5 days, will they?

Any help?
 

cashmonee

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Dec 24, 2008
34
0
Fresno, CA
The thing that kind of stands out for me is ISF calibrated display. As I understand, the calibrator would have calibrated the TV for a particular source on a particular input, making it look as good as possible. The problem is you now have a different source feeding that input. That could explain most of your problems except the artifacts. If that is the problem, then a recalibration will fix it. To verify, try both boxes on one of the inputs that wasn't calibrated (if there is one) and see if you see the same results, or if the pictures are closer or further apart.

On a side note, what resolution should the boxes be set to output? My installer put them all at 720p.
 

uncrules

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 15, 2005
1,977
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High Point, NC, USA
You can either set the resolution to 1080i or turn the native video on. This switches the output resolution on the DVR to what the channel itself is. For instance SD will switch your box to 480i, ESPN HD will switch it to 720p and USA HD will switch it to 1080i. This is what I do. But beware it will slow down the channel switching a little bit whenever the box has to switch it's output resolution.
 

callmebob

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 23, 2009
26
0
US
I realize that the ISF calibration is done on each input for each source, but my point is that this big a difference shouldn't be seen. At the same time, my TV upstairs has not been ISF calibrated and I see the same difference in picture. What really stands out for me is the pulsating noise in the picture. I was just watching the picture and could see compression noise and grain pulsating in and out like a heartbeat on DirecTV.

My resolution was set to 1080i, changing to native has made no difference. I really want to love DirecTV, but MRV and more channels can't make up for my constantly noticing the picture issues. I don't want to knock DirecTV, maybe I'm just more sensitive to these picture differences.

Does DirecTV have any type of 30 day satisfaction guarantee? Anything that can help me not be out a bunch of money?
 

JAG72

SatelliteGuys Master
Feb 16, 2006
8,524
57
Earth
I think that there is something else wrong here. You should not be experiencing that type of picture quality. If it was that bad for people there would be a lot more complaining going on.
 

tvropro

On Vacation
Mar 9, 2007
6,872
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I noticed Direct's tint is different than what I was watching on C band and there video is softer. I had to adjust my tv's to Direct's parameters, after that all is fine. MY HD set can set each input to whatever I want so its no biggie when switching between sources.

Direct is doing allot of reprocessing of the original source to fit it in the bandwidth they have and make it look the best they can. All this processing causes what your seeing. I would recalibrate the set to directs source and see how it looks before dumping it. If you have a good eye and been adjusting tv's as long as I have you don't need someone to calibrate it.
 

Jimbo

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Jul 14, 2005
64,412
4,530
NW Ohio - Buckeye Country
I realize that the ISF calibration is done on each input for each source, but my point is that this big a difference shouldn't be seen. At the same time, my TV upstairs has not been ISF calibrated and I see the same difference in picture. What really stands out for me is the pulsating noise in the picture. I was just watching the picture and could see compression noise and grain pulsating in and out like a heartbeat on DirecTV.

My resolution was set to 1080i, changing to native has made no difference. I really want to love DirecTV, but MRV and more channels can't make up for my constantly noticing the picture issues. I don't want to knock DirecTV, maybe I'm just more sensitive to these picture differences.

Does DirecTV have any type of 30 day satisfaction guarantee? Anything that can help me not be out a bunch of money?

What channel are you watching ?
Is the program in HD or just on an HD channel ?

What TV are you using ?
 

cashmonee

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Dec 24, 2008
34
0
Fresno, CA
I would agree with tvropro, try some basic calibration of your own, though maybe not on the input you paid for. See if you can't get some more realistic skintones and better sharpness.
 

callmebob

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 23, 2009
26
0
US
I noticed Direct's tint is different than what I was watching on C band and there video is softer. I had to adjust my tv's to Direct's parameters, after that all is fine. MY HD set can set each input to whatever I want so its no biggie when switching between sources.

Direct is doing allot of reprocessing of the original source to fit it in the bandwidth they have and make it look the best they can. All this processing causes what your seeing. I would recalibrate the set to directs source and see how it looks before dumping it. If you have a good eye and been adjusting tv's as long as I have you don't need someone to calibrate it.


Soft is definately a word I would use. I honestly thought it was my eyes until I hooked up the cable DVR again. I was seriously thinking I needed glasses. I have been tweeking my master bedroom TV, but no amount of settings seems to dial it in. I notice the skin tones are off and everything has a green/yellow push in the color that I can't quite dial out as well (switching the same input back to the cable DVR and colors are cleaner and more accurate). I have been messing around with home theaters for 15 years and I am pretty experienced at calibrating a display.

Jimbo said:
What channel are you watching ?
Is the program in HD or just on an HD channel ?

What TV are you using ?

I only watch HD channels. I am having problems on these channels.

Fox News
CBS Local
Fox Local
HBO (all variations)
Starz (all variations)
Showtime (all variations)
History Channel
Science Channel
Discovery Channel
NBC Local
ABC Local

So far, those are the only ones that I've really messed with. But it seems that all channels experience the soft, blurry picture and most have the pulsating compression noise.
 

Jimbo

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Jul 14, 2005
64,412
4,530
NW Ohio - Buckeye Country
Soft is definately a word I would use. I honestly thought it was my eyes until I hooked up the cable DVR again. I was seriously thinking I needed glasses. I have been tweeking my master bedroom TV, but no amount of settings seems to dial it in. I notice the skin tones are off and everything has a green/yellow push in the color that I can't quite dial out as well (switching the same input back to the cable DVR and colors are cleaner and more accurate). I have been messing around with home theaters for 15 years and I am pretty experienced at calibrating a display.



I only watch HD channels. I am having problems on these channels.

Fox News
CBS Local
Fox Local
HBO (all variations)
Starz (all variations)
Showtime (all variations)
History Channel
Science Channel
Discovery Channel
NBC Local
ABC Local

So far, those are the only ones that I've really messed with. But it seems that all channels experience the soft, blurry picture and most have the pulsating compression noise.

Tghis is definitly NOT the Norm with D* as someone else mentioned, people would be complaining all over the place.
Your saying it's happening on all your sets ?

If thats the case, maybe it's a switch or bad coax or water ?
Something has to be causing it .
 

Jimbo

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Jul 14, 2005
64,412
4,530
NW Ohio - Buckeye Country
Soft is definately a word I would use. I honestly thought it was my eyes until I hooked up the cable DVR again. I was seriously thinking I needed glasses. I have been tweeking my master bedroom TV, but no amount of settings seems to dial it in. I notice the skin tones are off and everything has a green/yellow push in the color that I can't quite dial out as well (switching the same input back to the cable DVR and colors are cleaner and more accurate). I have been messing around with home theaters for 15 years and I am pretty experienced at calibrating a display.



I only watch HD channels. I am having problems on these channels.

Fox News
CBS Local
Fox Local
HBO (all variations)
Starz (all variations)
Showtime (all variations)
History Channel
Science Channel
Discovery Channel
NBC Local
ABC Local

So far, those are the only ones that I've really messed with. But it seems that all channels experience the soft, blurry picture and most have the pulsating compression noise.

I just flipped thru the HD HBO channels and all of them look VERY good, at least here, No Artifacts or blurry or softness here.

What TV did you say you were using ?
 

callmebob

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 23, 2009
26
0
US
I just flipped thru the HD HBO channels and all of them look VERY good, at least here, No Artifacts or blurry or softness here.

What TV did you say you were using ?

2006 Sony SXRD XBR2 - with new optical block. 2009 Mitsubishi DLP 737 series. 2008 Pioneer Kuro.
 

Jimbo

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Jul 14, 2005
64,412
4,530
NW Ohio - Buckeye Country
2006 Sony SXRD XBR2 - with new optical block. 2009 Mitsubishi DLP 737 series. 2008 Pioneer Kuro.

Sorry, didn't mean to say it was the TV's as it's happening on all of them, so that eliminates that.

Curious, the Sony and the Pioneer have a ton of different settings that you normally can't get into, I wonder if something is turned on, on one of them that is causing it.

I have a newer Pioneer Kuro, the Pioneer Elite 60" and LOVE it.
It has WAY more settings than I'm wanting to mess with although I do from time to time.

I use to be strickly a Sony guy till I got my Pioneer Elites.

I wonder if there is a Factory reset on these TV's, I'm almost sure of it , but not sure where to go to find it.
Wondering if the factory reset would help to straighten out your situation. Starting from a clean start might help.
 

JAG72

SatelliteGuys Master
Feb 16, 2006
8,524
57
Earth
I have had this issue before and the only thing needed was to disable the video resolutions you don't want in the menu of the receiver. I have seen HD that looks the way you are displaying and setting the menu to only 1080i and making sure the front is also set to 1080i has solved the issue.
 

callmebob

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 23, 2009
26
0
US
Sorry, didn't mean to say it was the TV's as it's happening on all of them, so that eliminates that.

Curious, the Sony and the Pioneer have a ton of different settings that you normally can't get into, I wonder if something is turned on, on one of them that is causing it.

I have a newer Pioneer Kuro, the Pioneer Elite 60" and LOVE it.
It has WAY more settings than I'm wanting to mess with although I do from time to time.

I use to be strickly a Sony guy till I got my Pioneer Elites.

I wonder if there is a Factory reset on these TV's, I'm almost sure of it , but not sure where to go to find it.
Wondering if the factory reset would help to straighten out your situation. Starting from a clean start might help.

I've been in the service menus before, but I don't want to make too many adjustments there. I really don't believe it's my displays. I'm at a loss.
 

callmebob

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 23, 2009
26
0
US
I have had this issue before and the only thing needed was to disable the video resolutions you don't want in the menu of the receiver. I have seen HD that looks the way you are displaying and setting the menu to only 1080i and making sure the front is also set to 1080i has solved the issue.

Already checked that setting and only 1080i is selected. Also on the front of the DVR it reades 1080. I don't know what to do as my signals are all good. I hate to lose the money, but every time I turn on the TV now, I get pissed. I can't believe that DirecTV locks you into a contract for a product you can't see until you have been locked in. It's frustrating.
 
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