Horrible Picture Quality (2 Viewers)

avkv

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Oct 1, 2017
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2
Los Angeles
I had DISH many years ago, at the very dawn of HDTV, and it was great. Even on my 10-foot wide image, local channels were essentially indistinguishable from OTA quality. Years went by, and I wanted to be able to view recordings while traveling, and DirecTV claimed to be able to do that, but after years of attempts, it was clear that it would never work. So, I switched back to DISH, with their latest 4K DVR, a couple of 4K Joeys, and "DISH Anywhere." The good news is that DISH Anywhere actually works extremely well.

But the bad news totally overwhelms that fact because the HD picture quality is horrible. I was certain that it must have been set to SD, but that was not the case. Even on a 55-inch set, the ultra-soft picture quality is obvious. It is so bad that we resort to watching streaming versions of the same shows that we recorded--which then have commercials that you cannot skip. The 4K quality stinks too, but they don't have much of that, so it isn't the immediate concern. The signal is very strong. I have tried to see what overscan adjustment is pixel-perfect, but every setting results in a soft mess. Has anyone else seen this? A senior moderator at AVS Forum says DISH alone is just 1040 x 1080, instead of the real HD standard of 1920 x 1080. That would at least help explain it, but how are they in business if that is really the case? Does anyone have any suggestions? I would really appreciate it, as I don't want to have to buy-out the contract.

Kevin
 

dweber

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Jul 29, 2005
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I have 2 Hopper 3 receivers. Both Hopper 3 pictures look fine. In fact you can not see any difference between an OTA channel and the Satellite channel on either my Sony 55 inch 1080p TV or my new 65 inch Sony 4K TV. I have tested this with my family and they can not tell the difference between the OTA and the Satellite local channels.

Tonight I compared the 4K skating versus the NBC HD skating. The 4K showed the stadium details much clearer but in most cases the actual skater was smaller. I liked the announcers better on the 4K broadcast. Also no commercials. I wish they would zoom in on the skater more. Tomorrow the opening ceremonies in 4K should be great since the field of vision is so much larger with the 4K
,
 

HipKat

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Pekin, IL
I had DISH many years ago, at the very dawn of HDTV, and it was great. Even on my 10-foot wide image, local channels were essentially indistinguishable from OTA quality. Years went by, and I wanted to be able to view recordings while traveling, and DirecTV claimed to be able to do that, but after years of attempts, it was clear that it would never work. So, I switched back to DISH, with their latest 4K DVR, a couple of 4K Joeys, and "DISH Anywhere." The good news is that DISH Anywhere actually works extremely well.

But the bad news totally overwhelms that fact because the HD picture quality is horrible. I was certain that it must have been set to SD, but that was not the case. Even on a 55-inch set, the ultra-soft picture quality is obvious. It is so bad that we resort to watching streaming versions of the same shows that we recorded--which then have commercials that you cannot skip. The 4K quality stinks too, but they don't have much of that, so it isn't the immediate concern. The signal is very strong. I have tried to see what overscan adjustment is pixel-perfect, but every setting results in a soft mess. Has anyone else seen this? A senior moderator at AVS Forum says DISH alone is just 1040 x 1080, instead of the real HD standard of 1920 x 1080. That would at least help explain it, but how are they in business if that is really the case? Does anyone have any suggestions? I would really appreciate it, as I don't want to have to buy-out the contract.

Kevin
Something sounds like it's not right. Need more info on which Dish you have, for one thing and if you're even getting the HD feed, which could be a problem if your dish isn't pointed in correctly.

Best bet is to hit the Home Button 3 times, drop down to or Hit 3, then Hit 5 for Check Installation and either tell us or take a picture of the results.
If you're on Western Arc, you want to see 110, 119, 129 with all green Check marks, particularly on the 129. If Eastern Arc, 61.5 and 72.1 with all green check marks.
 

ncted

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I see these threads pop up from time to time, and it really makes me wonder what is up. I've had cable, DirecTV, OTA, and Dish over the recent past, and all but cable have been perfectly acceptable. Yes, OTA is the best as it provides the smoothest motion thanks to MPEG2. Dish and DirecTV (I switched to Dish in September 2017) are very close on my 70" UHD Sony TV, and it really depends on the channel which is better IMHO. My local cable (Spectrum legacy TWC cable market) looks slightly better than 1990s web video in comparison. I calibrate all of my TVs, so perhaps that has something to do with it, but, even in torch mode, Dish and DirecTV look pretty good.

Not sure what the AVS guy was talking about. Last time I checked HD Lite was 1440x1080 (Dish) or 1280x1080(DirecTV used to do this, but not any longer?). If it really is 1040x1080, it would probably look really bad.
 
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MikeD-C05

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Nov 25, 2003
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Nederland , Texas
I had DISH many years ago, at the very dawn of HDTV, and it was great. Even on my 10-foot wide image, local channels were essentially indistinguishable from OTA quality. Years went by, and I wanted to be able to view recordings while traveling, and DirecTV claimed to be able to do that, but after years of attempts, it was clear that it would never work. So, I switched back to DISH, with their latest 4K DVR, a couple of 4K Joeys, and "DISH Anywhere." The good news is that DISH Anywhere actually works extremely well.

But the bad news totally overwhelms that fact because the HD picture quality is horrible. I was certain that it must have been set to SD, but that was not the case. Even on a 55-inch set, the ultra-soft picture quality is obvious. It is so bad that we resort to watching streaming versions of the same shows that we recorded--which then have commercials that you cannot skip. The 4K quality stinks too, but they don't have much of that, so it isn't the immediate concern. The signal is very strong. I have tried to see what overscan adjustment is pixel-perfect, but every setting results in a soft mess. Has anyone else seen this? A senior moderator at AVS Forum says DISH alone is just 1040 x 1080, instead of the real HD standard of 1920 x 1080. That would at least help explain it, but how are they in business if that is really the case? Does anyone have any suggestions? I would really appreciate it, as I don't want to have to buy-out the contract.

Kevin
I've said this many times before. I had both DISH and DIRECTV in the last decade when HD was starting to fill up the channel guides. Both services were set up on their own inputs and both had to have the picture controls set different to maximize the picture quality. DIRECTV had sharper picture ,but there were noticable jagged artifacts in the backgrounds on HD channels ,especially with darks scenes. I had to adjust the sharpness and contrast down to compensate and turn the brightness down to had the artifacts. DISH has a more uniform smoother picture , still does. I had to turn up the sharpness and contrast and brightness to make it look good to me. When inputs were adjusted for their own services and picture qualities , I saw little to no difference. It is about doing the research and see what looks good to you so the picture looks its best. I have a Vivid mode on my tv and it does a pretty good job of making the picture pop. One other thing, you will adjust to the more softer, uniform picture of the DISH service after a few weeks, as you get used to it. By the way I kept DISH over DIRECTV for many reasons, but the main one was the receivers at DISH were like light years ahead of DIRECTV and still are. If you have the Hopper 3 you will see for yourself that there are trade offs for every service you use. The Hopper 3 has the most tuners out in the market and they still support ota support with the dual ota tuners dongle added to your receiver.
 

avkv

Thread Starter
Member
Oct 1, 2017
6
2
Los Angeles
Something sounds like it's not right. Need more info on which Dish you have, for one thing and if you're even getting the HD feed, which could be a problem if your dish isn't pointed in correctly.

Best bet is to hit the Home Button 3 times, drop down to or Hit 3, then Hit 5 for Check Installation and either tell us or take a picture of the results.
If you're on Western Arc, you want to see 110, 119, 129 with all green Check marks, particularly on the 129. If Eastern Arc, 61.5 and 72.1 with all green check marks.

HipKat- Thank you so much! Yes, 119, 110, and 129 are all showing green checkmarks. Signal strength is 52. The installer insisted that the levels were higher than he had ever seen, and he may have attenuated it. I tried several times, but it always gave me a message Attention 1212, this feature is unavailable during the PrimeTime Anytime session, whenever I tried to test the installation (#5). I made sure that a PVR recording was playing, but it still wouldn't do it.
 

HipKat

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Pekin, IL
HipKat- Thank you so much! Yes, 119, 110, and 129 are all showing green checkmarks. Signal strength is 52. The installer insisted that the levels were higher than he had ever seen, and he may have attenuated it. I tried several times, but it always gave me a message Attention 1212, this feature is unavailable during the PrimeTime Anytime session, whenever I tried to test the installation (#5). I made sure that a PVR recording was playing, but it still wouldn't do it.
DO you actually USE Prime Time Anytime?? If not, you can turn it off in settings Home/Settings/Prime Time Anytime.

I don't know what the signal strengths are supposed to be in LA, but on a Western Arc in Illinois, using Transponder 21 to test (you can do this on that Test Installation Screen) I get peak signals of Satellite 119: 78, 110: 77, 129: 60. MAYBE in LA 52 is good, but to me sounds weak. However, if you're not seeing an error of HD reverting to SD, then it's probably good enough to still get HD. Not sure if you posted this, but have you tried other HDMI inputs on your TV? You don't want to use ARC if the Hopper is directly connected to the TV, btw.

It's tough diagnosing problems without being there and anything is possible from a potentially bad Hopper with Video issues to a tech that did something wrong to a whole host of things, but I can tell you, I've never had a Hopper 3 with a picture like you describe
 

Bobby

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Just for reference, I just tested mine on transponder 21 from 50 miles north of San Francisco. I get: 110: 73, 119: 75, 129: 48. I never have picture issues on any channel and never go to SD except, very occasionally, when we have torrential rain.
 

HipKat

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Just for reference, I just tested mine on transponder 21 from 50 miles north of San Francisco. I get: 110: 73, 119: 75, 129: 48. I never have picture issues on any channel and never go to SD except, very occasionally, when we have torrential rain.
Those seem way more in line with what I expect
 

richeydog

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Apr 22, 2009
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OP, have you checked your picture resolution in the hopper settings? What is it set at? 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, etc...
 

budda

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Mar 21, 2006
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Just as a point of reference. I have Samsung TV's If I hit the info button on my TV remote it will tell me the resolution I am viewing. Not sure of your equipment. But maybe try that. Also I have seen a few channels soft and others much better. Example: Ch.140 1920 x1080. ch. 147-05 3840x2160.A channel like Freeform 180 sometimes is soft. Says 1080I but looks crappy. I must be spoiled. lol A show called Beyond I like but is very soft. Locals on my OTA or from Dish look great. I am not sure if the soft is from the the provider or from the source. Like MTV,ESPN,History channel or whatever. USA is like that sometimes as well depending on the show. Good luck
 

Tampa8

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I had DISH many years ago, at the very dawn of HDTV, and it was great. Even on my 10-foot wide image, local channels were essentially indistinguishable from OTA quality. Years went by, and I wanted to be able to view recordings while traveling, and DirecTV claimed to be able to do that, but after years of attempts, it was clear that it would never work. So, I switched back to DISH, with their latest 4K DVR, a couple of 4K Joeys, and "DISH Anywhere." The good news is that DISH Anywhere actually works extremely well.

But the bad news totally overwhelms that fact because the HD picture quality is horrible. I was certain that it must have been set to SD, but that was not the case. Even on a 55-inch set, the ultra-soft picture quality is obvious. It is so bad that we resort to watching streaming versions of the same shows that we recorded--which then have commercials that you cannot skip. The 4K quality stinks too, but they don't have much of that, so it isn't the immediate concern. The signal is very strong. I have tried to see what overscan adjustment is pixel-perfect, but every setting results in a soft mess. Has anyone else seen this? A senior moderator at AVS Forum says DISH alone is just 1040 x 1080, instead of the real HD standard of 1920 x 1080. That would at least help explain it, but how are they in business if that is really the case? Does anyone have any suggestions? I would really appreciate it, as I don't want to have to buy-out the contract.

Kevin

You have to stop and think. There are some here who have and kept DISH for many many years just as MikeD posted. We would not stay with a provider with an obvious inferior picture quality. So as much as you have checked everything there is something not right, either adjustments to the input, or an actual wrong setting. When I set up my Daughter's Hopper 3 the picture was excellent. I was using my TV because they had not moved theirs into their house yet and the PQ was sharper to my eyes than even my good VIP picture.

Further I use OTA directly from my TV and with a TIVO in addition to DISH. I can say there is virtually no difference in picture quality from the three certainly not anything that someone would pick out simply watching.
A long time ago some VIP receivers had a problem where it was set to 1080I but it actually was not. You had to toggle going from 480I, resetting the receiver and then going to 1080I and that fixed it. You could try that. (If hopper has those settings) Also you can forget worrying about the signal it has zero to do with what you are talking about.
 

avkv

Thread Starter
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Oct 1, 2017
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2
Los Angeles
Those seem way more in line with what I expect
Thank you HipKat and others! I just tried turning-off Prime Time Anytime, and it won’t turn off until th end of the session. Since I am going out of town, I may not be able to get the results until I return, and I didn’t want to think your responses were being ignored.

BTW, I have a Hopper 3 connected via a certified 19Mbps HDMI cable to my processor, and then to the Sony 885ES projector via a hybrid fiber/copper cable. I have tested the system, including the same input and cables, using a Kaleidescape, which I have “stress-tested” with a 4K UHD HDR 60Hz test, as well as UHD test discs via an OPPO UHD player. The system is calibrated, as I would never think of casually changing settings. I have a 4K Joey on a 65” Samsung UHD display, which has been calibrated by the foremost calibrator in the LA-area, as well as other HD Joeys on calibrated displays. The results are the same on every one of them. Since I am pretty ignorant regarding satellite hardware, I really appreciate the support from people who are into satellite.
 
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ncted

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Thank you HipKat and others! I just tried turning-off Prime Time Anytime, and it won’t turn off until th end of the session. Since I am going out of town, I may not be able to get the results until I return, and I didn’t want to think your responses were being ignored.

BTW, I have a Hopper 3 connected via a certified 19Mbps HDMI cable to my processor, and then to the Sony 885ES projector via a hybrid fiber/copper cable. I have tested the system, including the same input and cables, using a Kaleidescape, which I have “stress-tested” with a 4K UHD HDR 60Hz test, as well as UHD test discs via an OPPO UHD player. The system is calibrated, as I would never think of casually changing settings. I have a 4K Joey on a 65” Samsung UHD display, which has been calibrated by the foremost calibrator in the LA-area, as well as other HD Joeys on calibrated displays. The results are the same on every one of them. Since I am pretty ignorant regarding satellite hardware, I really appreciate the support from people who are into satellite.

Check your Diagnostics. Under the History, are there any HDCP Notifications logged? I know some HD STBs will down-rez if there is an HDCP handshake issue.
 
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bobvick

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Is the Hopper 3 and any of the Joeys connected to the television sets directly? Or do you have them connected to an A/V receiver or some other device between the Dish equipment and the television(s)? Try connecting the Dish equipment directly to the displays to see if that makes a difference.
 

ncted

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Is the Hopper 3 and any of the Joeys connected to the television sets directly? Or do you have them connected to an A/V receiver or some other device between the Dish equipment and the television(s)? Try connecting the Dish equipment directly to the displays to see if that makes a difference.

He appears to have a video processor.
 

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