My New Voom-First Impressions

D

DragonLips

Thread Starter
Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 15, 2004
32
0
I need to start this off by thanking a few of you who responded to my post on Friday about waiting 1 month to get service. I finally go the dish install the very next day, thanks to Joe Harkins. I only had the dish installed, and I'm pending on my OTA because everyone including Voom knows the stock aerial won't pick up anything. BTW- if you can recommend a RETAIL antenna I can go pick up that would give me about 40 miles...please respond. Something I can mount that is not overly large- 16in maximum.

I had to say first off, my installer was VERY good. 40ft ladder, tool belt, VERY CLEAN installation. He knew his stuff, especially for never having installed a VOOM sytem before.

I have to preface my analysis by first saying that I have digital cable, and I do get about 13 HD channels through my Moto set top box. I can clearly compare my cable to my Voom dish by switching the inputs quickly. My cable box is coming in VIA component connection with TSOS link out to audio, while my voom is coming in via DVI-D- audio out via TSOS link as well. I spent most of my day comparing HBO HD to cable's version, as well as comparing Discovery HD as well. My cable delivers other channels with notoriously high PQ, like HDNET and PBSHD. HDNET can be had over the air in my area, but I'll need to get the ant. for that. I'm using a simple 46inch rear projection Sony set- which delivers very nicely in HD.

Here's what I've found so far.
First day of Vooming.

The first thing that I noticed was the microstutters. Anyone know when this will be fixed because it was apparent on most channels. Perhaps if this happens with OTA signals, we can safely say it's the DSR 550 to blame. Someone with OTA, please let us know if you get the stutters OTA.

I did also notice that my SD channels looked BETTER on CABLE. This I was NOT expecting. The SD images are very pixelated and grainy at times. Not that my cable image is the best, I think the STB for cable is of higher quality. I'm running the pillar bars for voom. Non stretched, and my cable stretched looks a lot cleaner.

PQ on Hi def cable channels to Voom is VERY close. I'm sure to most, it's likely unnoticeable. I did notice cable was a little better of a sharper picture on HD premiums. For instance, Chris Rock was a HAIR sharper on cable HD, than Voom, although the image was a bit darker by contrast. Microstutters on Voom about every minute or so. It started to annoy me.

Discovery HD looked better on cable than Voom.

Voom seperate themselves with variety. Most of the Voom only networks looked very sharp. PQ was high on most, although the 'inside voom'- lady on the red couch is soft. She's out of focus, and they need to fix that because she comes up on each channel between shows. I also enjoyed the variety of the premium channels like encore, starz and showtime HDs. I think that's where I'll save most of my money vs. cable. The PQ on most of those is fairly strong, but it depends on the transfer. Some movies are not better than DVD quality.

Bravo HD was beaming through loud and clear for me. That is a nice addition to the Voom lineup. High PQ on their event programming.

World sport channel is nice, but their Soccer coverage does not compare to HDNET's MLS soccer coverage. The longshot cameras do not capture the focus and brillance that the HDNET's do.

I do like the RAVE channel, which presents more of an eclectic mix than MTV or VH1. I love the live stuff as well. Very strong quality on sound stage. I'm watching artists I would never even both to watch on SD. Although, Tom Petty is simply not fit for HD. The wrinkles in his face remind me of a Manhattan road map. He's like an old wallet that mumbles!! WOW! He almost belongs on the Monsters channel.

I just received my program guide update, so no more "no info" on each channel, which make the service a bit more watchable.

Overall, I'm content. I went to Voom for variety. I was a bit shocked at how bad some of the SD channels look, but I remind myself that I'm not interested in those channels. I will keep my cable HD because I can get all of the locals in HD for the cost of the converter rental. There is nothing quite like watching a program that is both SHOT and BROADCAST in HD. You can have the upconverts, give me the straight stuff. Voom needs ESPNHD, HDNET, and INHD/INHD2. Add in the home networking, dtv and dish will have a hard time competing with that!

Thank you for creating a forum customers like us! This is a great place for information! :)
 
vurbano

vurbano

On Double Secret Probation
Supporting Founder
Apr 1, 2004
23,813
104
Newport News, VA
your locals OTA will probably put cable to shame. When Voom goes Mpeg4 later this year I expect the SD to become much better. the PQ quality on HD dropped recently due to some hardware problems i believe. I had no experience with OTA until I got D* and had to learn or use their D* locals which are awful. You should be impressed with the SD and HD OTA signals. I was I simply couldnt believe it because I had never seen them before. The cable company here gives us digital only after channel 100! all locals are analog. lmao. I believe you will see espnhd and their other channels as well as inhd1 and 2. I dont think you will see hdnet, thats something I decided id just have to live without when i left D* for voom.

If you need a directional antenna check the range on a channel master 4228.
 
R

rang1995

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 30, 2003
904
0
Bergen co NJ
Dragon: what cable service do you have and if you don't mind approx. where do you live(state)
 
D

DragonLips

Thread Starter
Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 15, 2004
32
0
I have RCN service, and "I'm living here in Allentown", Pa, about an hour drive up the turnpike from Philly!

I think that Billy Joel song put us on the map!

The only reason I'm hanging onto RCN right now is my bundle- I get a 5mbps internet speed- which is NASTY fast, plus ALL locals in HD. CBS/ABC/NBC/FO:mad:yeah right). :yes

What will MPEG4 do for us exactly? I know it will create smaller data sizes to make transmission easier, but what about quality! That's my concern. Any other services using mpeg 4 now?
 
R

rang1995

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 30, 2003
904
0
Bergen co NJ
mpeg-4 will give more capacity, a little better quality, and this is the only service that has it(or will)
 
T

TheHammer69

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
DragonLips said:
Overall, I'm content. I went to Voom for variety. I was a bit shocked at how bad some of the SD channels look, but I remind myself that I'm not interested in those channels. I will keep my cable HD because I can get all of the locals in HD for the cost of the converter rental. There is nothing quite like watching a program that is both SHOT and BROADCAST in HD. You can have the upconverts, give me the straight stuff. Voom needs ESPNHD, HDNET, and INHD/INHD2. Add in the home networking, dtv and dish will have a hard time competing with that!

Two things...hook up S-video or Composite from Voom box to your display and report how SD looks over those cables. You may be surprised on how well Voom SD can look. Another thing is, I would like you to post your A/B comparison between Cable HD and Voom HD on the Voom Yahoo groups mailing list. That will help alert Wilt at Voom that picture "softness" still needs some attention.

Hammer
 
S

Sean Mota

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
19,039
1,738
New York City
I think Wilt has made mention that until the decoder/encoder work is done the picture will still look fuzzy. The Cinema 10 haven't still gone back to 1080i. This is why the PQ is still not as clear as it was before.
 
rtt2

rtt2

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
903
0
OT: I had experience with RCN Lehigh Valley. Probably one of the best cable companies in the country. I know a lot of other RCN systems are screwed up but the Lehigh Valley is top-notch. They were one of the first in the country to offer Voice, Video & Data bundled together.
I used them when I had to get a place while working on a project in the area for a year. Was a hard to leave such a good provider.
Dragon, How is RCN doing? I heard they were hitting some rough times. Are they selling the LV system?
 
D

DragonLips

Thread Starter
Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 15, 2004
32
0
rtt2: RCN is likely going to sell off their Lehigh Valley market to cover some of that debt. I can't complain. I pay a lot of money, but everytime I hit the internet it's worth it. I've been at 5mbps on my net connection about 6 months before everyone else starting switching over. I'm a bundled customer, so I get free speed upgrades at no extra cost. I've had a few STB's swapped out, but they're very quick on the service calls.

In comparison to Voom, I feel the PQ is superior, but the variety it simply not there. I know Voom is working through some encoding issues, so I'll hang tight on that. One of the things I think that aids in the PQ being higher on cable is that my STB from RCN is just better. I have it setup that ALL signal that is NOT 1080i, will convert to 480p, which is nice. I think it helps out those SD channels a lot. I watch them stretched out, it's not pretty, but it's not as bad as the SD on Voom. I'll drag both RCN and VOOM along and ultimately have to make a decision on one of them. :eek:
 
E

Ernesto

Member
Apr 12, 2004
8
0
poor PQ

I belive the problem of the poor picture from Voom is their receiver, let me explain why. I have two Sony 34" HDtv, one connected with the Motorola DSR550 receiver from Voom "using DVI cable" and the other connected to a Sony SAT200HD receiver for Directv "using DVI cable". Both receivers are connected to an antenna to receive the OTA channels. I checked Voom versus Directv, Directv was better picture, but when I compared DSR550 receiver versus SAT200 receiver with OTA channels, the SAT200 receiver came much sharper and clear.
 
D

DragonLips

Thread Starter
Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 15, 2004
32
0
Ernesto said:
I belive the problem of the poor picture from Voom is their receiver, let me explain why. I have two Sony 34" HDtv, one connected with the Motorola DSR550 receiver from Voom "using DVI cable" and the other connected to a Sony SAT200HD receiver for Directv "using DVI cable". Both receivers are connected to an antenna to receive the OTA channels. I checked Voom versus Directv, Directv was better picture, but when I compared DSR550 receiver versus SAT200 receiver with OTA channels, the SAT200 receiver came much sharper and clear.


Ernesto- I strongly believe thats some of the issue here. The 550 is not that good of a box, so I feel that some SD suffers. RCN uses the 5100 series moto box, which allows the user more freedom to customize the picture quality.
 
NOHDjunkie

NOHDjunkie

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Mar 20, 2004
417
0
Lacombe La
My experience with voom so far (30 days into it)

The install was fine. I have experienced all of the problems noted here on these forums ( stutter - audio - PQ - etc.) I believe this will all be remedied.

So... I usually watch Voom for an hour or so, scanning for something to watch. I usually wind up switching to E* to watch programs I have recorded on PVR or watching a DVD. I still find little content on much of the VOOM "exclusive" HD channels.

1) MOOV - agreed with most that it's a waste of time

2) Gallery - Ehh.... I'll never watch it

3) The fashion channel thing - I'll never watch it. Good PQ but.... zero interest

4) Cinema 10 - Great idea. but I'd rather see some newer movies and would agree with several others that reducing it to five channels with two alternateing movies on each would be a better way. Especially after the DVR comes out. ( you can record whichever you want to and watch whenever.

My viewing habits are centered around PVR/DVR so I will not be dropping E* until VOOM rolls out the HD DVR.

The dilemma I have now is that the shows I regularly watch are on CBS, NBC, ABC, HBO and Showtime, all of which are available on E*. I already have two Dish PVR's so have a lot invested in E* equipment and the Dish 921 will be available shortly (supposedly)

I am however reluctant to give E* any more money and would love to drop them. I don't see them expanding HD content much

So I will be sticking with VOOM since they seem to be committed to providing HD content/channels. For all intents and purposes VOOM should be "THE" HD provider.... provided they continue to improve content, fix bugs and that their HD DVR works well.

On the new DVR, both Output and strectch modes must be available as a simple button on the remote. And the stretch modes must be much more comprehensive than what they have available on the current box.

I believe the DVR will really put VOOM on the map. (If it's done properly)

Jim

http://www.nightskyscopes.com

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
 
vurbano

vurbano

On Double Secret Probation
Supporting Founder
Apr 1, 2004
23,813
104
Newport News, VA
Sean Mota said:
I think Wilt has made mention that until the decoder/encoder work is done the picture will still look fuzzy. The Cinema 10 haven't still gone back to 1080i. This is why the PQ is still not as clear as it was before.
Sean what is the schedule for this work? Tell WIlt to hurry I want my bragging rights back.
 
rtt2

rtt2

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
903
0
DragonLips thats a shame about RCN LV. They really did a great job there and gave Service Electric CATV a run for their money. You are lucky to live in one of the only places in the country with two competing cable companies.
I was always amazed at how cheap the prices were because I was from an area that statistically has the highest cable prices in the nation. I also had some of the worst service.

Can you pick up locals with the Voom box? If you can how do they compare with RCN's HD?
 
M

madpoet

Too Much Hi Def!
Supporting Founder
Mar 3, 2004
1,154
0
Vernon, CT
"The fashion channel thing - I'll never watch it. Good PQ but.... zero interesst"

I don't know... until they added PBHD, those see-through outfits were the closest thing we had to HD porn :)
 
E

eschu97611

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 4, 2004
573
0
L.A. CA
vurbano said:
Sean what is the schedule for this work? Tell WIlt to hurry I want my bragging rights back.
Don't hurry Wilt-take your time and do it right!
 
vurbano

vurbano

On Double Secret Probation
Supporting Founder
Apr 1, 2004
23,813
104
Newport News, VA
Ernesto said:
I belive the problem of the poor picture from Voom is their receiver, let me explain why. I have two Sony 34" HDtv, one connected with the Motorola DSR550 receiver from Voom "using DVI cable" and the other connected to a Sony SAT200HD receiver for Directv "using DVI cable". Both receivers are connected to an antenna to receive the OTA channels. I checked Voom versus Directv, Directv was better picture, but when I compared DSR550 receiver versus SAT200 receiver with OTA channels, the SAT200 receiver came much sharper and clear.
wrong. V* picture was superior until a week ago when an encoder/decoder broke according to Wilt. They are working on the problem. I see no difference in my D* OTA vs V* OTA.
 
E

eschu97611

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 4, 2004
573
0
L.A. CA
vurbano said:
get it done already and do it right.
Oh, now the impatience comes out-I guess we all have our "breaking point" lol
 
D

DragonLips

Thread Starter
Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 15, 2004
32
0
rtt2 said:
Can you pick up locals with the Voom box? If you can how do they compare with RCN's HD?

With a 60 to 80 mile antenna, I could get every local out of Philly. I don't have that hooked up yet because I want to look into an antenna that I can mount that is NOT the size of my roof. I'm taking a hard looking into the Square Shooter SS1000 from Winegaurd. 60 miles, unpowered - more if you power the signal. I've heard it's the best innovation in antenna in last 4 years.

What nice is that WFMZ D3 simulcasts HDNET OTA!!! I'm two miles from that tower, so I'll likely get bunny ears to pull that in. I keep everyone posted!
 

Similar threads

mdanderson
Replies
5
Views
1K
Mr. Biggles
M
A
Replies
15
Views
2K
azfrog
A
Scott Greczkowski
Replies
52
Views
11K
traxxs
T
B
Replies
3
Views
946
fastfed
F

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 0, Members: 0, Guests: 0)

Latest posts

Top