New customer disappointed with PQ

riverawynter

Thread Starter
Member
Jul 27, 2006
7
0
The reason why I signed up with E* was that I was disappointed with the picture quality of the SD channels on cable. So yesterday I got my E* installation done(ViP211). All I have to say is that I am disappointed with the picture quality. I still have my brighthouse(Central Florida, Melbourne) connection hooked up, so I can still compare it against E*. I was expecting "Digital" quality out of the locals and other channels(CNN, Bravo,...) and I just can't see any difference. Sometimes even some channels(SD) from cable would be better than in E*. Initially I thought it was the component cables. So I switch to HDMI. I barely could notice any improvement. HD channels are on par with cable but the rest are just the same(if not worse). Has anybody seen this? My display is a Samsung HLP4663wx.
 

branchbouncer

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Apr 5, 2004
1,205
4
Massanutten,VA
We have Adelphia Cable in VA (soon to become Comcast)and the PQ is actually better on a couple HD channels than it is on E*,Discovery,HDNET,HDNET Movies the rest of the HD channels are about the same.SD quality is definately better on cable(SD Digital channels)analog channels are crap though
 

Need

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 20, 2004
467
18
You are lucky that SD PQ is about the same as your old cable company. Mine is actually much worst especially the SD premium channels like HBO, STARZ, etc. On Adelphia digital cable, the premium channels look amazing, and standard channels look pretty good. On E*, the SD premium channels look about the same as the standard channels on Adelphia.

I switch back to E* for the HD channels though, and they do look good. :)
 

Minsk1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 19, 2005
485
0
Muskego, WI
I prefer for SD viewing S-Video connection. The PQ is better then with component and HDMI. Use component and/or HDMI fo HD viewing. Try it.
 

grb

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 7, 2005
809
0
Southern CA
Minsk1 said:
I prefer for SD viewing S-Video connection. The PQ is better then with component and HDMI. Use component and/or HDMI fo HD viewing. Try it.
I, too found s-video or RCA jacks preferable to the component picture on the 811. however, on the 622, I find that there is very little difference.

Don't know about the 211...
 

Tom Bombadil

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 5, 2005
3,601
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Chicago-Milwaukee Region
It has been years since SD PQ has been good, from either E* or D*. Back around '97 or so, it was very good. But they started compressing it too far in the late 90's, it got pretty bad around '02-'03, now it is improved somewhat from then, but is still mediocre.

One should never equate the term "digital" with quality. Anything digitally recorded can be compressed to the point of where quality is much worse than what you can achieve with analog.

For a while it looked like anything that was advertised as HD digital meant it was going to be of superb quality, but that too is now going by the boards. I think we are going to have to interpret SD digital video as mediocre and HD digital video as good. There will be no excellent except for pre-recorded commercial video that is specifically designated as high quality (which most DVDs are not).
 

riverawynter

Thread Starter
Member
Jul 27, 2006
7
0
What sucks about all this is the way they advertise their product. They say that all their channels are digital, and the impression that you get is that you will get the quality that you get with BrightHouse digital channels on ALL of their channels. I also got the same impression from reading a quite a few post from people here. I guess that other cable providers are very bad... At least I have the 30 day money back. What sucks is that I would loose a bunch of HD channels if I go back to cable.
 

davemich

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 8, 2006
83
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SW Lower Michigan
Man, what a difference location must be. I'm in SW Michigan and my pic quality is blissful on my locals as well as all of the other channels. I've had E* for 2 years and it has not waivered much at all as far as the pic quality. I use S Video on my Toshiba 32" flat screen in my living room and obviously a coax split to 3 other TV's on the second tuner and even those TV's have great quality! May upgrade to a HD box for my Sony Wega XBR but even on that TV the quality is great even tho its a HD TV receiving a standard def signal.
 

Tom Bombadil

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 5, 2005
3,601
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Chicago-Milwaukee Region
Location makes no difference whatsoever when it comes to E*'s picture quality. Unless you are in a location that cannot lock onto their satellites.

My wife thinks it looks good too. She has no eye at all in picking up digital compression artifacts, short of gross pixelation.

I should add that one reason why it is what it is, is that John and Jane Public are perfectly satisfied with the present PQ. Most people don't notice the degradation, or else aren't bothered much by it.
 
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riverawynter

Thread Starter
Member
Jul 27, 2006
7
0
Could it be the signal strength? I am not sure how this works but in one of the screens that I went in teh set up it was showing a green bar with 102. I have two 500 dishes.
 

Tom Bombadil

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 5, 2005
3,601
1
Chicago-Milwaukee Region
Nope, it's not signal strength related, unless you have a marginal lock and you are seeing macro pixelation and freezing on your images. If your strength is above 55-60, then it will look the same as when it is 110.
 

rickaren

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Mar 7, 2004
421
3
IN
The problem may be in the set-up of the receiver, hook-up (cables & type), or the TV set-up. These things can really make a difference. There is no plug & play when it comes to this. Also the TV and it's age affects the picture quality too. I was surprised with the SD DISH picture when I went to LCD from CRT in other rooms. Very pleased with DISH SD and use it when I can, but mainly for HD. Since I have DirecTV too, I usually use it for SD due to a modified TiVO, and HD only when I need to. Re-check all of your set-up and Good Luck!
 

Tom Bombadil

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 5, 2005
3,601
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Chicago-Milwaukee Region
Just FYI, my observations on SD quality are based upon using the following setups in my house and a few friends that I have helped.

4900 to Toshiba 32" CRT via s-video
510 to Toshiba 32" CRT via s-video and composite
510 to Sony 24" via s-video
311 to Sony 27" via s-video
311 to Sharp 20" LCD via s-video
625 to Mitsubishi 36" CRT via s-video
625 to Sony 36" via s-video
811 to Panasonic 47" HDTV via s-video, component, and DVI
942 to Panasonic 47" HDTV via component and HDMI
622 to Panasonic 47" HDTV via component and HDMI
622 to Samsung 46" HDTV via component and HDMI

On which could I see the digital compression artifacts? Why, all of them. The same artifacts are present on all, they are just harder to spot on smaller sets. The picture is actually fairly good on 27" and smaller, if you are sitting at least 7-8' from the set.

And it is better if you have calibrated using the Digital Video Essentials DVD or at least a THX Optimizer. That's what I was doing at my friends' houses, tweaking their settings and connections to get the picture as good as possible.
 

griz_fan

Pub Member / Supporter
Pub Member / Supporter
Jun 13, 2004
265
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Meridian, Idaho
riverawynter said:
I was expecting "Digital" quality out of the locals and other channels(CNN, Bravo,...) and I just can't see any difference. Sometimes even some channels(SD) from cable would be better than in E*. Initially I thought it was the component cables. So I switch to HDMI. I barely could notice any improvement. HD channels are on par with cable but the rest are just the same(if not worse). Has anybody seen this? My display is a Samsung HLP4663wx.
The term "digital quality" is pretty much meaningless. In many ways, digital opens the door for degredation of image quality through over compression, etc... On a 32" or smaller NTSC TV, you probably won't notice the effects of a bad digital signal. But, on a higher resolution, big-screen TV, these flaws really jump out.
Some have suggested using either S-Video or even (gasp) composite video connections. To me, this sounds like making a bad situation even worse. If you're already dealing with an over-compressed digital signal, I can't see how using a low quality video connection could improve things. It probably just masks the effects of over-compression with other image flaws. Besides, jumping inputs on my TV just to switch between HD and SD seems pretty silly, too... Chances are, the HDMI or composite inputs are callibrated diferently than a composite or S-video input.
In the end, SD will always suffer in comparison to HD. Once you've experienced HD, SD is a lot tougher to live with. Spend some time calibrating your TV, turn off any edge-enhancements, make sure the sharpness control is not set too agressively and finally come to terms with the fact that SD, even in digital, still pretty much sucks :D
 

riverawynter

Thread Starter
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Jul 27, 2006
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But see... it is not that I am comparing SD with HD. What I am coparing here is the "digital" image quality comming from E* thru an ViP211/HDMI connection to the analog image quality comming from BrightHouse thru an Explorer8300HD/HDMI. I was just switching the inputs in the tv and comparing the same channels(TennisChannel/Speed/E!/Bravo).
 

riverawynter

Thread Starter
Member
Jul 27, 2006
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I guess I should have not stated ""digital" image quality" or analog image quality. It should have been Digital Channel from E* and Analog Channel from BrightHouse
 

Kaydigi

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 1, 2004
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Tom Bombadil said:
Location makes no difference whatsoever when it comes to E*'s picture quality. Unless you are in a location that cannot lock onto their satellites.

My wife thinks it looks good too. She has no eye at all in picking up digital compression artifacts, short of gross pixelation.

I should add that one reason why it is what it is, is that John and Jane Public are perfectly satisfied with the present PQ. Most people don't notice the degradation, or else aren't bothered much by it.
What a desperate man does for better PQ

I have HDTV on order but I couldn't take the terrible compression on my locals anymore. With Prison Break starting in about 10 days I purchased a HD OTA tuner for my SDTV.

Running it down converted on a SDTV is 1000X better than what Dish provides. Black levels are great, skin tones are vibrant, and no macro blocking.

Too bad the wife wont let me turn off the dish Locals yet. I can’t wait for my HDTV to arrive.
 

Tom Bombadil

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 5, 2005
3,601
1
Chicago-Milwaukee Region
I did the same thing about 2.5 years ago, about a year before buying my HDTV.

Heck, if I didn't have a HDTV now, I'd probably pick up a 622 and downconvert output from it to SD.
 

sonnyboy11

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 5, 2005
415
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I did a thorough test between SD PQ between s-video and HDMI (dunno about component) with my 622 on a dark space battle sequence of BSG. There was a difference. HDMI just overwhelms the SD transmission and I could see artifacting and macroblocking. But the s-video connction showed no such problems. If a show is really important to you and it only airs in SD, hook up an s-video cable on a different input and give it a try.
 

tkorcal

SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 27, 2006
51
0
Grand Rapids, Michigan
I too love my dish. I had comcast for 20 years and had digital cable for the 6 month deal. I could never get all the channels I was supposed to get. Dish hooked up and I have not one problem and I am using same cabling as cable company, rg 59 to boot. I think the install has allot to do with PQ.
 

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