Picture Quality (1 Viewer)

Condo4life

Thread Starter
New Member
Mar 17, 2004
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Hi,

I was thinking of purchasing the dishnetwork through SBC, however I just wanted to know about the picture quality and stability. You know how you see all those commercials (of cable company propoganda) saying that one must always tinker with "the dish" to fix the signal. Is that all hogwash? And is there any way I can ask to get a "trial month" since I'm assuming it's a year lease.

Also, is/will there a season pass (tivo-like) option on the 522 or coming soon?

Thanks in advance.
 

rad

Supporting Founder
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Sep 7, 2003
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4,092
Dripping Springs, TX
Using a 'native' PVR (aka not a standalone Tivo or Replay) records the data stream as it comes from the dish, so it doesn't add/remove from the picture quality.

As for which service has the best picture quality, some say D*, some say E*, some channels are better on D* some better on E*. Basically go look for yourself and see what you think since you're not going to get a definitve answer out here, this is a very optioniated subject.
 

Sharpie

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 17, 2004
230
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Getting the 811 March 30th.

Are there still problems with the 811 as far as PQ? I am very worried after reading some of the posts on here that I am buying junk. I am switching to dish because of the HD offer but if the PQ is crap maybe I will have to rethink. I had to sign up for a 1 year contract and would rather keep the old satellite company and cancel the dish network before installation if the 811 is junk.
 

rad

Supporting Founder
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Sep 7, 2003
10,494
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Dripping Springs, TX
Sharpie said:
Are there still problems with the 811 as far as PQ? I am very worried after reading some of the posts on here that I am buying junk. I am switching to dish because of the HD offer but if the PQ is crap maybe I will have to rethink. I had to sign up for a 1 year contract and would rather keep the old satellite company and cancel the dish network before installation if the 811 is junk.

Sounds like you have D* now. If yes, have you called to see if you can get the $99 HD receiver upgrade for existing customers?
 

Sharpie

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 17, 2004
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rad said:
Sounds like you have D* now. If yes, have you called to see if you can get the $99 HD receiver upgrade for existing customers?



I can not get my locals with D* unlike that of dish plus D* has upset me lately. I hate having a HD ready tv and not fully use the capabilities. I too have understanding wife and she said to get the Dish deal but, boy if the new receiver is junk will I hear it from her
 

ocaddict

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 5, 2004
298
0
Atlanta
I just kicked my 811 to the curb hard. With SD channels, the picture was much worse than my 508 and 301 receiver using S-Video (this with the 811 connected via composite HD cables). Also, many minor annoying bugs with the 811 that started to get long in the tooth. Now true HD looked absolutely INCREDIBLE. But 10$ a month for just a handful of channels wasn't worth it to me so it went up on ebay. Hope this helps.
 

morgant6911

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Mar 11, 2004
18
0
To me, the compression looks really crappy on the 522 and 322. It is like looking a mpeg that has been overly compressed. DTV and even analog cable on good stations looked better. I am using the standard co-ax connection, but it looks like this on all of my TVs.
 

SimpleSimon

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Feb 29, 2004
5,692
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Florissant, CO
Condo4life said:
You know how you see all those commercials (of cable company propoganda) saying that one must always tinker with "the dish" to fix the signal. Is that all hogwash?
Yes, it's all hogwash. E*'s commercials even talk about the cable pig :p

If the dish is mounted with twistie ties from a bread bag, yeah, there'd be trouble. Duh. Mounted anywhere near correctly, like with screws, it's a non-issue unless you're in a hurricane or something. Or course, DBS (little dish) is not perfect. Twice a year, you'll get 15 +/- minute outages during the day for around a week - of course, it only affects 1 satellite at a time, so changing channels can help, and depending on what and when you're watching, you may never see it. I've been a satellite user for many years, and it's never bothered me.

Heavy weather can be an issue - at least if you're in a fringe area. I have to occasionally sweep the snow from the dish. Trivial - as long as it's mounted where you can get to it.

As for cable, they use the same feeds as DBS - note the big dishes at the cable head-ends. They're receiving the same signals as the old-time BUDs (Big Ugly Dish) that we used to have.

Cable has it's own set of problems - backhoes, traffic accidents, and stupid installers working down the street can all knock you offline. Once your DBS is setup, none of that can hurt your signal.

Of course, both systems can be affected by equipment failures at either end. The DBS head-ends are pretty bulletproof. All their eggs are in one basket, and they take care of the basket. Cable company head-ends vary wildly in quality and maintenance, and when they fail they can be down for hours to days. The only thing that can do that to DBS is satellite failure, and they've got spares already in orbit. Last dead bird I remember was a long time ago, and it was a C-band (BUD) bird. They moved the traffic around pretty quickly - I don't remember getting aggravated over it.

One thing to consider is your internet access. Cable access can be nice - as long as it's not overloaded, which is a typical problem. WiFi can be good, but also can have loading issues. Satellite internet access (which is what I have) has some drawbacks beyond loading issues. DSL is relatively immune from all of that - at least for the last mile. However, if the DSL provider doesn't have enough upstream bandwidth, it acts the same as an overloaded cable or WiFi feed. Basically, you place a bet and hope it works for you - and will continue to work a year or two down the road.
 

ocaddict

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 5, 2004
298
0
Atlanta
morgant6911 said:
To me, the compression looks really crappy on the 522 and 322. It is like looking a mpeg that has been overly compressed. DTV and even analog cable on good stations looked better. I am using the standard co-ax connection, but it looks like this on all of my TVs.

With a coax connection. EVERYTHING is going to look like crap. Atleast use S-Video man.
 

Trav

SatelliteGuys Guru
Mar 3, 2004
130
0
ocaddict said:
With a coax connection. EVERYTHING is going to look like crap. Atleast use S-Video man.

Here's my experience (after about 9 days of service):

Local channels look poor to me. It's just as was described above: heavy compression is easily visible in all of my local channels. This results in blotchy areas, jagged edges, and loss of detail. It's easily seen with human skin as the solid areas look pixellated and blotchy. The degradation varies, though... sometimes I don't really notice it very much, while at other times it is really bad. I have written an e-mail to the DishQuality address and they replied saying they have confirmed picture quality issues in my area with local channels and are working on a solution. Personally, I doubt anything will change.

As for the other channels, they look very good for the most part. I can still see hints of compression on some channels but no where near the amount on the locals. And yes, I'm using S-Video on my main TV.

Just my experience,
Travis
 

morgant6911

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Mar 11, 2004
18
0
After having dish for 1 week now, I can see that it mostly occurs on "regular" channels, like TBS, MTV, etc... The compression is much better on HBO and MAX. I guess they save the good bandwidth for thier premi channels.
 

bigthrust

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 30, 2004
340
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I had 2 older legacy Dish receivers swapped out with a 510 and 811. The 510 looks fantastic even the recorded material looks good, just like the original. The 811's HD looks awesome. You can really see the difference between the SD and the HD channel qualities when switching back and forth. Both receivers are producing better quality pictures overall than my previous units. I had a tech that was not happy with the original tech's install and re-installed everything. I was lucky, he was very picky about his work so I assume this may have added to my better picture quality.
 

Tyralak

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Oct 21, 2003
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Secure, Undisclosed Location
Sharpie said:
Are there still problems with the 811 as far as PQ? I am very worried after reading some of the posts on here that I am buying junk. I am switching to dish because of the HD offer but if the PQ is crap maybe I will have to rethink. I had to sign up for a 1 year contract and would rather keep the old satellite company and cancel the dish network before installation if the 811 is junk.

The picture quality is fine on the 811. I love mine. I install both systems, and I've done some side by side comparisons. D* has slightly better SD picture quality, but E* has better HD quality. I've been pretty impressed with the 811. Even with the few bugs it still has.
 

SimpleSimon

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Feb 29, 2004
5,692
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Florissant, CO
bigthrust said:
...The 510 looks fantastic even the recorded material looks good, just like the original.
It should - the DVRs record the satellite feed as it comes in - no conversion - a bit-for-bit copy of the data stream.
 

SimpleSimon

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Feb 29, 2004
5,692
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Florissant, CO
Trav said:
...Local channels look poor to me. ... I have written an e-mail to the DishQuality address and they replied saying they have confirmed picture quality issues in my area with local channels and are working on a solution. Personally, I doubt anything will change.
E* is out of bandwidth for the local markets. They are currently shuffling stuff around that will help some areas. Others will have to wait for new birds. Eventually, hopefully, they will be able to decrease the number of channels per transponder so they can lighten up on the compression.
 

Trav

SatelliteGuys Guru
Mar 3, 2004
130
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SimpleSimon said:
E* is out of bandwidth for the local markets. They are currently shuffling stuff around that will help some areas. Others will have to wait for new birds. Eventually, hopefully, they will be able to decrease the number of channels per transponder so they can lighten up on the compression.

It could be my own dillusion, but it seems to me that my local channels have noticeably improved the last few days.... close to the national channels, in fact. I almost didn't write this because I thought maybe it is all in my head. But my wife actually noticed too and she's never wrong! ;-)

Travis
 

Trav

SatelliteGuys Guru
Mar 3, 2004
130
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Trav said:
It could be my own dillusion, but it seems to me that my local channels have noticeably improved the last few days.... close to the national channels, in fact. I almost didn't write this because I thought maybe it is all in my head. But my wife actually noticed too and she's never wrong! ;-)

Travis

I was right! As I said in my previous post, the local channels got much better in the last few days in my area (Quad Cities). I also got a reply back from the DishQuality e-mail address with the following:

"Thank you for your patience as we troubleshoot and work out the issues with the networks you notified us of. There were several changes made in the
Duluth/Quad City locals. Hopefully you are not seeing any more picture
quality issues at this time."

They also said the following, which I was not aware of:

"You may want to use your regular RCA hook-up on your receiver to your TV,
rather than the S-Video. (Unless you have a high definition receiver) All
receivers take the signal from digital to analog for regular home use. Using
an S-Video hook up will degrade the analog signal."

Is this true? Since I'm not using a HD receiver or TV, should I be using RCA video instead of S-Video? I was always under the impression that S-Video would *always* be better than Coax or Composite (RCA). I'll have to try it both ways and see if I notice a difference... if someone can confirm/deny this, though, that would be helpful.

Travis
 

SimpleSimon

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Feb 29, 2004
5,692
3
Florissant, CO
Trav said:
...They also said the following, which I was not aware of:

"You may want to use your regular RCA hook-up on your receiver to your TV,
rather than the S-Video. (Unless you have a high definition receiver) All
receivers take the signal from digital to analog for regular home use. Using
an S-Video hook up will degrade the analog signal."

Is this true? Since I'm not using a HD receiver or TV, should I be using RCA video instead of S-Video? I was always under the impression that S-Video would *always* be better than Coax or Composite (RCA). I'll have to try it both ways and see if I notice a difference... if someone can confirm/deny this, though, that would be helpful.
False. S-Video is also analog. The difference between RCA and S-Video is the separation of signals (chrominance and luminance if I remember right).

That being said, the 2 outputs use separate digital-to-analog hardware, and maybe the S-Video hardware in these receivers is sub-standard?
 

Trav

SatelliteGuys Guru
Mar 3, 2004
130
0
SimpleSimon said:
False. S-Video is also analog. The difference between RCA and S-Video is the separation of signals (chrominance and luminance if I remember right).

That being said, the 2 outputs use separate digital-to-analog hardware, and maybe the S-Video hardware in these receivers is sub-standard?

Thanks for some clarification. Sometime soon I'll try them both and see if I notice any difference... my guess is that I probably won't really see much difference. I already have S-Video on Video 1 on my TV, so I'll just hook the RCA jack to Video 2 and I can switch between them with a press of the remote while a program is playing. So are you saying that the S-Video should still yield better results?

I'll report back on that...

Travis
 

Mr Tony

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
289
38
Mankato, MN
Trav said:
I"Thank you for your patience as we troubleshoot and work out the issues with the networks you notified us of. There were several changes made in the
Duluth/Quad City locals. Hopefully you are not seeing any more picture
quality issues at this time."


Something isnt right in their response

Quad Cities are on SuperDish
Duluth is on Dish 500 (and not even available yet...grrrrrrrrrr)

Quad Cities and Ft Smith, AR are on the same transponder
 

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