Help with Dish local video on SD sets (1 Viewer)

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Hard6

New Member
Jan 19, 2008
2
0
Turlock, CA
Around 12 weeks ago my local stations ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS received through my Dish receivers started receiving center cut video instead of letter boxed video on HD programs. This "center cut" video as it was described by my local Sacramento PBS (KVIE-6) affiliate broadcast engineer is a DISH problem he said. The video Dish is sending of course cuts off on the left and right side of the screen all graphics as well as changes what I can see image wise on my standard 4:3 sets. The engineer told me to contact Dish as he has had hundreds of complaints thinking that KVIE had done something to the video. The station ID bug in the lower right corner shows just the K instead of KVIE-6. It also interferes with captions that producers add to their programs when in post. The CC service runs behind on PBS programs with a lag that did not happen when the letter boxed programs were shown 12 weeks ago.

I have contacted Dish and spoke with level-1 tech support who could not understand me; their level-2 techs/supervisors have me check my software version on my 522 DVR which of course is up to date. Around 6 weeks ago they insisted that a troubleshooter come out to check my equipment; this was an installer and he confirmed the problem and said it is not my DVR or 301 or 311 boxes. So far I have complained four times and the only solution left seems to be asking for a credit on my bill since they are not delivering a proper video feed. I have asked to speak with a broadcast engineer at Dish and so far have been denied. The engineer at KVIE has spoken with a Dish engineer and yet Dish is not correcting the problem.

Does anyone have a suggestion(s) for a resolution? I can not afford an HD set and I have a new 32" SD set that will have to do for the time being. I do not want to go to Direct TV as I do not care for their equipment (remotes and DVR) or programing packages. I did notice that Direct TV does not "center cut" their video on locals as my parents have Direct TV and will be upgrading to an HD DVR next week.
 
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noremac

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 28, 2004
251
0
Wash, DC
It sounds like Dish has started picking up the DTV feed of those stations, which leaves them with the dilemma of what aspect ratio to display when converting it to 4:3 SD. Most local affiliates are choosing to broadcast a widescreen DTV/HDTV signal (either 1080i or 720p) all the time, rather than switch to 480i/p when the originating video is only 4:3. This means that the widescreen field has black bars on either side, and if this is further converted to 4:3, there is a black border on all four sides.

The exact same 'problem' occurs when someone uses a DTV converter to display DTV on a legacy 4:3 set. You will have to manually choose which 'zoom' mode is best, depending on the nature of the programming. I don't expect that Dish intends to manually monitor each and every local station to set this optimally. They could default to 'zooming' all programming, such that there would never be any black bars, but doing this would defeat letterbox programs. Dish's newer boxes (mainly the HD ones) have various zoom modes which you can set yourself.

I expect this very issue is going to become much more problemmatic when the DTV transition occurs next Feb.
 

Hard6

New Member
Jan 19, 2008
2
0
Turlock, CA
Zooming issue on local channels.

Sorry I am late in replying. I appreciate the information and the center cut vs. zooming which I suppose Dish employees would understand the word zooming. It is frustrating when a 16:9 letter boxed program looks fine on a 4:3 SD TV. I would rather have the option of watching a program in the resolution it was shot in.

I find it disgusting that Dish will not even admit that they have chosen to zoom in on the video feed.
 
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