NEED an Honest opinion on SD Picture Quality!!

Hell Raiser

SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 12, 2004
62
0
Is the SD PQ better on Voom than DirecTV, Dish, Comcast???
I have D now with everything but I am sick of the hidden charges and the slow to get new HD Channels!!

Feel the "PAIN"
 

The Stone Man

Centennial, Colorado
Supporting Founder
Feb 15, 2004
872
0
Centennial, Colorado
I had DISH for 7 years, but got tired of seeing all the upgrades and special offers go to new subscribers, while the long-termers had to stand pat, or pay to upgrade. Decided to take the plunge and buy HDTV, and signed up for Voom. I'm not a sophisticated user, so take this for what it's worth.....

To me, SD picture quality is OK--not great. The picture stinks when compared to HD, and there is so much HD content that you tend to avoid SD. SD picture quality looks funny, with stretched images and faded color, but you get used to it. Good luck with your installation. My approach was similar to yours..what the H. If it doesn't work, send it back and keep what you have.
 

Gr8Reb8

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 8, 2004
204
0
Hell Raiser said:
Is the SD PQ better on Voom than DirecTV, Dish, Comcast???
I have D now with everything but I am sick of the hidden charges and the slow to get new HD Channels!!

Feel the "PAIN"
In my opinion, the Voom SD PQ is softer compared to DirecTV. Since I still have DirecTV in addition to Voom, i find myself turning to the DirecTV receiver when I occasionaly find something in SD worth watching.
 

Sean Mota

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
19,039
1,738
New York City
I agree with the Stone Man. I don't have an opinion a strong opinion on SD channels one way or another. They are compressed and I would not spend time evaluating them. That's just the way I am. Some like the content on SD channels and cannot live without them. I can.

HD is what I care the most and I do not get a picture that is up to part with the other services, I will critize it no matter who the provider is. I will not be an apologist for V*, E*, or D* or anybody. I will give it to you as it is and I hope people see it this way too. Being an apologist does not serve any purpose. You have to objectively say what is wrong with the system. SD is not what will sell VOOM. It is HD. HD looked fine until a couple of weeks ago. I am willing to way and see what improvements are done. The problems have been few but well documented. Hoping that they are fixed when this new encoder/decoder work is over.
 

Wally

SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 8, 2003
97
0
Well, I'm temporarily... on Dish, Adelphia cable, and VOOM.
SD on Dish is pretty bad, mainly due to a soft picture, and sometimes smearing images - but only rare pixelization.
SD on Adelphia (on our "fiber" system) is pretty good, even the analog stations. The digital tier is pretty good except the movies services SD is superb, no ... outstanding.
Okay, SD on VOOM - varies. Spike can be fairly pixelated (a fine type in the background - almost a grain). Some other channels like TBS and esp. the SD movies are quite good. But NOTE: I have found that the SD looks MUCH better if one uses either 1080i or 480p with component feeds. Frankly, the 480i images are not that great. Otherwise, I have to say the images have more sharpness than Dish, and after seeing SD on VOOM, Dish SD looks downright out of focus or something. I prefer the sharper images of VOOM over Dish, even with some pixelization.
 

Mr. Biggles

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Mar 6, 2004
502
0
Hell Raiser said:
Is the SD PQ better on Voom than DirecTV, Dish, Comcast???
Feel the "PAIN"

I really don't see the difference between my V* SD and my D* SD....both look mediocre on a HD set.

Edit: I agree with Wally. One has to determine how ones own set handles scaling the signal. It won't be universal.

In my case, I actually scale/process the signal out of the V* STB (DVI and component) thru a HTPC using an Immersive Holo/AUX combo faroudja processor. It can have a dramatic effect on picture quality.

Bill
 

Hell Raiser

SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 12, 2004
62
0
Well I have 1 65 inch RCA-HD, 1 Sony 17 inch WS LCD HD-TV and 2 standard TV's.
The main set is the 65 incher, but the other 2 standard TV's are in the Bedrooms and people will be watching them. I find D* SD way better than cable ever will be, but one of my reasons to get Voom was that some posts here said the Voom SD PQ was better than D*, E* and Cable. HD is great but there is a lot of content on SD that my wife will need to watch.
So what is better?? I guess I will find out and if the problems with Voom are as bad as everyone is saying, at that point I will have to send all the equipment back with the installers.
 

Mr. Biggles

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Mar 6, 2004
502
0
Hell Raiser said:
Well I have 1 65 inch RCA-HD, 1 Sony 17 inch WS LCD HD-TV and 2 standard TV's.

The deficiencies in SD irregardless of provider will reveal their ugly head in your big screen especially. The smaller the TV the less noticable.

I restrict my SD viewing to my 37" plasma for just that reason and leave the projector for the HD stuff. SD on a projector @ 92" screen is pure ugliness whether it's D* or V*.

Bill
 

compson

SatelliteGuys Family
Supporting Founder
Dec 12, 2003
77
0
On my 65" Toshiba, Voom SD looks a little better than E* SD, and TWC digital SD looks a little better than Voom. Voom SD looks best with the receiver set to output in 480i only.
 

GeneWildershair

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 28, 2004
521
0
Bay Area
my honest opinion on the SD channels is they don't look very good at all. Some channels, have these *sparklies* ( moving white dots, you can really see it in bright reds and blues) all over them, and all the rest just have a soft pixelated *splotchy* look to them. I also have D*, and the sd picture is a little sharper, doesn't have the *sparklies*, and the colors are brighter. I personally like D* feeds much better.
 

Lem52

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 18, 2004
249
1
Cookeville, TN
I just got Voom installed. My opinion on the SD channels are that the quality is very poor. My cable is a heck of alot better than Voom on SD channels.

Lem52
 

Videofx

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 10, 2004
242
0
Sd

when I first got Voom I was disappointed that the SD quality was not as good as my Dish. But now after having voom for 2 weeks my SD is now looking better than Dish.

Bill
 

K4LK

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Pub Member / Supporter
I surfed the SD channels last night. A couple have horizontal streaks due to an overloaded c-band receiver at their head-end. Other than that they look fine. Better than D* and E*.
 

Sean Mota

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
19,039
1,738
New York City
In my opinion, the SD quality of VOOM's channel when compare to another provider will vary. Here are some variables to consider:

1- Your Provider. That is E*, D* or Cable. When it is Cable, we need to be more specific. Which one? Your location? Because it varies with Cable provider and location.

2- Your HDTV input may or may not be calibrated for that specific input (s-video or composite).

3- Channels. It looks like some channels get more bandwith than others. This changes overtime so by the time this specific channel looks good today on a specific provider it may not in a month or so. Specially with E* or D* as they are scrambling to get more bandwith.

I do not watch a lot of SD programming (except for OTA). Sci-Fi used to be one of my favorite channels but E* compressed it so much that it was hard to watch on my display. IMHO, when I compared a small sample of E* SD channels and V*, some of them looked equal or better in V*. My small sample included (if I can remember correctly), TNT, Spike-TV, & the Premium Movie Channels (such as HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, etc).
 

haldol

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Mar 24, 2004
15
0
With my Sony XBR910 using DVI, I have found SD *much* better than D*, which was a PVR 508 (S-VHS). The smearing on D* was horrible (at least with my setup).
 

Dawson9

SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 8, 2004
37
0
I just got rid of D* to get VOOM. For me, some of the SD channels look terrible.. Comedy Central, Spike for example. The majority of the other SD channels look great. I have a 57" Sony RPTV.. I'm going to wait and see if things get better. After all, VOOM is still in it's infancy stage.. isn't it? Seems like problems are getting fixed everyday... so I'll try and be patient.

Dave
 

DarrellP

I Think, therefore, I am.
Supporting Founder
Nov 6, 2003
4,298
0
Salem, OR
I think Voom SD is better than Dish on most channels, though there are a few that are pretty bad. I view a 110" image on my projector and I could never watch Dish SD and dropped all their SD programming about 6 months ago. With VOOM, leaving my PJ on Autoselect and allowing it to do the scaling of SD material, I find VOOM very watchable. They must use a different form of compression because I don't see the same type of compression artifacts that I saw with Dish.

Dish SD always lacked detail in the same hue, such as a face, you could never see any skin detail, it was just a mush of color. With VOOM I can see pores and freckles that I never saw with Dish. Dish had a "morphing" effect, where an eyeball or other high contrast item would move around without the face, I have not seen that with VOOM.

I am happy to say I can at least watch SD now if I choose too. Some of the channels look as good as local OTA SD digital (but then, that's not saying much since my local OTA Analog looks better than the digital).
 

truqui

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 4, 2004
336
0
Miramar, FL
All I have to compare is digital cable non HD and Voom...
SD on Voom is much sharper and provides a nicer overall image on my big screen.
But I got Voom mainly for HD and that has no comparison!
 

andrzej

Board Certified User
Supporting Founder
Feb 18, 2004
690
0
Boston subs
In my situation (Panny plasma over component) I prefer Voom's SD over D*. I still have D* and I have done several A/B comparisons. The only thing that bothers me is that on CNN HeadlineNews channel there is some "sparkling" and "wobbling" effect around bright white text placed on the left side of the screen. Is anybody having this problem? My plasma has been calibrated, and the contrast and brightness are way down.
 

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