Oh No... another noob question


SatelliteGuys Family
Original poster
May 18, 2004
LaPaz, Indiana
I've been lurking this forum for quite a while now, and thought it was time to come out of the shadows and ask a question.

I have a Pioneer 610HD and a Dish 6000 receiver. I've been a Dish subscriber since 1992. When I first got my 610, I was amazed by the picture quality - the clarity and depth of detail. However, about 18 months ago the quality of Dish SD degraded something horrible. I don't even try to watch Enterprise on 238/236 anymore - I just sit there fuming. The walls behind the actors are a swirling mass of little boxes, when people move there is a pronounced "smear" until their faces catch up to their bodies, on a closeup of talking faces it looks like an impressionist painting - could be a face or it could be a wheat field, a sun or light bulb will have Saturn-like rings of boxes around it, when a scene goes dark you can see thousands of lighter boxes on the scren until they all finally, gradually repaint to black, and God forbid there should be a scene with smoke... the whole screen is just a useless blur of grey squares.

I noticed that this "phenomenon" had moved on to the pay channels and now last night we ordered "Gothika" on PPV and it was as bad as, if not worse than, Enterprise. What's up with that? $3.99 for an unwatchable mess?

At first I thought it was the TV, but DVDs, LDs and S-VHS all look flawless. Then I thought it was the 6000, but I use my old 5000 for taping, and it does the same thing. I've searched several forums and found many discussions of over-compression and such, although I haven't read any descriptions that match all of the things I'm seeing. Are the rest of you seeing this? Or am I taking one too many of the little blue pills each day?
'I've been a Dish subscriber since 1992"- but thats impossible, Dish Network didn't open for business until March, 4 1996.
Reboot your receiver by pulling out the smart card or if that doesn't work, unplug the receiver for about 5 min. This should fix your problem.
Done that

I've rebooted both receivers several times. Dish even sent a new SmartCard for the 6000. No change. They sent out a local tech who chanrged me $75 to pronounce it a "Dish signal problem" the "everybody sees."

So you don't see all this mess on the screen? I wonder if something is wrong with the LNBAs out on the Dish?
What you have described happened to one of my 301's. I pulled the smart card, paused a moment then replaced the smart card and the problem went away. I guess it could be a lnb problem but i would guess its in your receiver. Call Dish again and ask for an advanced tech. Good Luck.
Oh btw, I would also inform Dish that you paid 75 bucks for someone to come out and diagnose your system at their recommendation and did not get the problem solved.
It could also be the mpeg2 compression that Dish Network uses. I have a hard time watching any SD content on my 6000U. It's all mpeg2 low data-rate garbage.

The only other thing I can think of is this: For the 6000U, what output type are you using? 1080i? 720p? or are you using composite video? I'm wondering if the upconversion from SD to HD within the 6000U is not very good. I haven't tested this on my system, but I may try it when I get home.
I think ChetK probably hit the nail on the head. What you describe sounds like MPEG-2 compression artifacting. HDTV, DVDs and E* SD channels all use MPEG-2 compression on video. The data rate is vastly different though. HDTV uses up to 19.2 Mbps, DVD has a maximum of 10 Mbps but most titles have an average rate of ~5Mbps. Due to the number of channels carried the data rate E* uses averages around 3Mbps which results in a lower picture quality.

The problem is relatively small on smaller TVs but becomes more noticable as screen size increases. Most HDTV monitors (including yours) have a line doubler built in which tends to magnify the problem.

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