How much variation do you see in PQ from channel to channel??

johnny q

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 7, 2005
54
0
Bergen County, NJ
When I had cable, one thing that used to annoy the hell out of me was the variance in quality from channel to channel. One channel would look great, while the one right next to it had loads of ghosted images, snow and sometimes bars running through it. I thought that would end with Satellite, but apparently not. For example, Fox News, MSNBC, G4TechTv, HBO, PPV always look great, while all my NY Area locals, VH1 Classics, DOC (that new documentary channel) to name a few, look terrible, all washed out and blurry. Those stations are all on different 110 or 119 transponders, so there is no commonality between them.

I'm curious if everyone notices the same inconsistancy from channel to channel??

JQ
 

dougmcbride

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 10, 2004
184
0
I see differences as well. Some SD looks really good, others are a "bit soft"... In many cases, I blame the source material not Dish. In others, especially on the same channel (with relatively recent program material) from one time of day to the next, I'd say it is a compression/allocated bandwidth delivery issue.

On small displays (less than 40") I would imagine the differences may be minimized. On larger displays (I have a 65" RPTV) it becomes fairly obvious when you've got a stinker... !sadroll

Doug
 

JH1949

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 14, 2005
517
0
Corvette City
Would someone tell me how the following channels look on your setup, Good or Soft ? I was thinking about upgrading to 180 or to Gold if the PQ is as good as MSNBC or Hist channel.

119 Bio
121 Hist Int
135 BBCA
137 FX
186 Nat Geo
192 Disc Times
193 Science

TIA
 

Tom Bombadil

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 5, 2005
3,601
1
Chicago-Milwaukee Region
Dish's SD has always had great variation.

And it isn't consistent from channel to channel from hour to hour, although it seems to be more consistent now than it used to be.

The larger the TV you use, the more you will see it. But when I was using a 32" SD set, the differences were quite pronounced.

And Dish's present compression schemes can play interesting tricks. For example, some have cited that some of the news channels look good. Well, news channels frequently air talking heads programs that don't have a lot of movement and they have very good lighting. Dish's compression algorithm can make that type of program look good, while a darkly lit movie on the same channel might look very poor, with motion blurring and contour banding in dark areas.
 

Dishnetisforme

SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 3, 2005
94
0
California
I just switched from Directiv and I notice LESS compression than on Directv.I am only on a 27 inch sd set but it was more noticeable on Directv for me anyways.Not to start a compression war guys lol.
 

dougmcbride

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 10, 2004
184
0
JH1949 said:
Would someone tell me how the following channels look on your setup, Good or Soft ? I was thinking about upgrading to 180 or to Gold if the PQ is as good as MSNBC or Hist channel.

119 Bio
121 Hist Int
135 BBCA
137 FX
186 Nat Geo
192 Disc Times
193 Science

TIA

Personally, I've found most iof the channels you've listed to be among the better SD PQ within the set of channels I usually watch. Again, YMMV based upon souce material, time of day, etc., but overall I've been pleased with these and I watch them a lot.

Cheers,

Doug
 

johnny q

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 7, 2005
54
0
Bergen County, NJ
Can the differing signal strengths between the Satelites and Transponders cause the variation between the various channels PQ?? I know the "company line" is that the signal strength does not affect picture quality, but is it really a coincidence that my lowest signal strength is on Sat 110 transponder 3 and that station (DOC) provides the absolute worst PQ of all my stations???
 

Tom Bombadil

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 5, 2005
3,601
1
Chicago-Milwaukee Region
It's a coincidence, unless your signal strength is so low that your picture is breaking up and showing macro pixelation.

The DOC channel doesn't get much bandwidth, it is one of the fuzziest from Dish. The public education channels (94xx) don't get much either.
 

johnny q

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 7, 2005
54
0
Bergen County, NJ
Tom Bombadil said:
It's a coincidence, unless your signal strength is so low that your picture is breaking up and showing macro pixelation.

The DOC channel doesn't get much bandwidth, it is one of the fuzziest from Dish. The public education channels (94xx) don't get much either.

Would signals in the low "80's" be low enough to start seeing a degradation in the quality?? I used to have signals well up over 100 on all transponders until a tree decided to sprout up.

JQ
 

ralfyguy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Sep 17, 2005
3,212
410
McAlester, Oklahoma
No, it's a digital signal transmitted. It's 1's and 0's transmitted. Either there's a picture, or no picture, or breaking up pixellation. There's nothing in between. A digital picture looks the same at 60% signal or at 100% signal. The difference in the quality lies in the bandwith and compression.
 

berck

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 18, 2006
829
5
Pleasanton, CA (SF Bay Area)
ralfyguy said:
No, it's a digital signal transmitted. It's 1's and 0's transmitted. Either there's a picture, or no picture, or breaking up pixellation. There's nothing in between. A digital picture looks the same at 60% signal or at 100% signal. The difference in the quality lies in the bandwith and compression.

No entirely correct. When the signal strength goes down, you can also find frozen frames when frames are dropped do to error correction not being able to work properly. The quality of the picture can also deminish some what do to some incorrect bits making it through. The last part is minor compared to the other issues. Like you said, the quality lies in bandwidth and compression.
 

Tom Bombadil

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 5, 2005
3,601
1
Chicago-Milwaukee Region
Signals in the low 80s will yield excellent pictures. Shouldn't be a problem.

However you might experience a little more of a problem in losing your signal lock during a medium rain, as you'll have about 20 points less of overhead to lose before you start getting intermittant channel freezes and other problems.
 

dude2

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 20, 2006
254
0
If you want to see what your picture looks like on a small screen, my set is 51 inches, and it looks soft on big screen just push the dvr button once and look at the picture in the upper right hand corner and you will see a much smaller screen that will make the picture look very good. The detail is covered by the small screen and magnified by the big screen.
Also I notice that equator and dschd have the best pq in my opinion especially if the recording was done in 2004 or newer. Stuff done in 1995 etc does not look that great.
Also old movies usually look poor on tnt hd except for the black and white movie "The Train" which really looked good to me. All HD is not equal.
 

johnny q

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 7, 2005
54
0
Bergen County, NJ
berck said:
No entirely correct. When the signal strength goes down, you can also find frozen frames when frames are dropped do to error correction not being able to work properly. The quality of the picture can also deminish some what do to some incorrect bits making it through. The last part is minor compared to the other issues. Like you said, the quality lies in bandwidth and compression.

Very interesting. You say this is minor, would you say its visible to the naked eye?? Ever since I started having foliage issues, my signals dropped from up in the high 100's to down in the 90's and some in the 80's and I swear to God my picture is not as sharp as it once was. The tech that came out recently told me that this is just a coincidence and that assessment would stand to reason given the fact that a digital picture is a digital picture regardless of the signal strength, but this frame dropping has me wondering....................

JQ
 

ravensong

SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 26, 2004
38
0
dude2 said:
If you want to see what your picture looks like on a small screen, my set is 51 inches, and it looks soft on big screen just push the dvr button once and look at the picture in the upper right hand corner and you will see a much smaller screen that will make the picture look very good. The detail is covered by the small screen and magnified by the big screen.
Also I notice that equator and dschd have the best pq in my opinion especially if the recording was done in 2004 or newer. Stuff done in 1995 etc does not look that great.
Also old movies usually look poor on tnt hd except for the black and white movie "The Train" which really looked good to me. All HD is not equal.

All HD definitely is not equal, though I'm shocked that you think Equator looks good. To me that channel usually looks like very good SD, a far cry from even DVD, let alone True HD. To me all the Voom stuff looks that way now. A pity really, since I remember what it used to look like when Voom was a DBS. HDNET and DiscHD look so much better. It's really crazy that Dish thinks Voom is acceptable as HD in its current format. Hopefully the other HD channels have it written into their contract that there is a minimum bandwidth requirement, I'd hate to see them ruined like Voom.
 

berck

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 18, 2006
829
5
Pleasanton, CA (SF Bay Area)
johnny q said:
Very interesting. You say this is minor, would you say its visible to the naked eye?? Ever since I started having foliage issues, my signals dropped from up in the high 100's to down in the 90's and some in the 80's and I swear to God my picture is not as sharp as it once was. The tech that came out recently told me that this is just a coincidence and that assessment would stand to reason given the fact that a digital picture is a digital picture regardless of the signal strength, but this frame dropping has me wondering....................

JQ

I have personally suspected that Dish has turned up the compression to handle more channels within there system. Sense the compression is a lossy compression, just a minor increase can cause a more softer look in the PQ.
 
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