Questions: Poor Picture Quality & Getting Out of 24-month Commitment

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Indiana627

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 6, 2005
410
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Vestal, NY
Have you tried hooking the HR20 up to the TV with a different cable? I didn't see where you listed how it's connected now. If you have HDMI, try component. Or vice versa. Or maybe the HDMI/component cable you are using is bad? Is it a new cable or have you used it before to verify that it's good? Are all the cables connected tightly on both the HR20 and TV?

What are signal strengths on the 103b satellite? (I'm not sure which satellite your readings above are from. I'm sure you're aware that D* has 5 satellites up there (again knowing you're new to D* I just want to cover the basics and am not meaning to insult your intelligence.))

Since this is a new install, did the installer do a good job? Maybe a cable is loose somewhere? Maybe you have a bad multiswitch? Do you know if he installed a multiswitch?

Which HD channels in particular are you disappointed with?
 

harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
16,874
2,919
Salem, OR
Thanks much for the replies so far. I got a DirecTV rep to say in an email that I have a 3 day window to cancel the service without incurring cancellation fees. I have until tomorrow to cancel. But the initial $200 DVR lease fee is unfortunately non-refundable (even though I've used it for only 1 day!).
That's one of the attractions of E*'s offering: no up front lease fees and you can pay $49.00 to avoid a contract.
- I have Native turned On and all 4 resolutions checked
I'd turn this off and set it for a fixed 1080i.
- I still have my Charter Cable box and hooked it up to do a side by side comparison. The PQ on Charter (both HD and particularly SD) is clearly better.
Did you try the other method of connecting to the TV (ie component .vs. HDMI)?
So far in this thread - one vote for E* having better SD but D* having better HD, one for D* better in both, and one for no difference between the two.
Because PQ is rather subjective, it probably isn't entirely sane to base a decision on what someone else sees.

DIRECTV may look a little harsh when compared with other distributors. Other than that, there should be a good, if not great, picture. I'd be asking to see another receiver in action to see if there is something wrong with the one you have, but you don't have much time.
 

thirdeye99

Member
Nov 6, 2007
7
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Have you tried hooking the HR20 up to the TV with a different cable?
Yes, I've tried both component and HDMI. Not much difference. I might prefer the component just slightly.
Or maybe the HDMI/component cable you are using is bad? Is it a new cable or have you used it before to verify that it's good? Are all the cables connected tightly on both the HR20 and TV?
Both cables are new to brand new. They are tightly connected on DVR and TV.
What are signal strengths on the 103b satellite? (I'm not sure which satellite your readings above are from.
16 are receiving signals (the rest are N/A) - all in the 80s and 90s.
I'm sure you're aware that D* has 5 satellites up there (again knowing you're new to D* I just want to cover the basics and am not meaning to insult your intelligence.))
Not at all. Any info is appreciated.
Since this is a new install, did the installer do a good job?
Yes I thought he did a good, thorough job. Was here for almost 4 hours.
Maybe you have a bad multiswitch? Do you know if he installed a multiswitch?
How can I check to see if he installed a multi-switch?
Which HD channels in particular are you disappointed with?
All the locals, ESPN, Big Ten, A&E, TNT, TBS & BRAVO & a couple others. - ie. most all the 720p channels. The 1080i channels dedicated to only HD programming are fine. But overall, most every channel (SD and HD) simply has more noticeable compression than Charters.

Thanks again for the responses.
 

Hemi 6.1

On Vacation
May 3, 2007
12,056
1
Wayne County,Pa
Yes, I've tried both component and HDMI. Not much difference. I might prefer the component just slightly.
Both cables are new to brand new. They are tightly connected on DVR and TV.
16 are receiving signals (the rest are N/A) - all in the 80s and 90s.
Not at all. Any info is appreciated.
Yes I thought he did a good, thorough job. Was here for almost 4 hours.
How can I check to see if he installed a multi-switch?
All the locals, ESPN, Big Ten, A&E, TNT, TBS & BRAVO & a couple others. - ie. most all the 720p channels. The 1080i channels dedicated to only HD programming are fine. But overall, most every simply has more noticeable compression than Charters.

Thanks again for the responses.
What exactly are the 720p problems? The SD I already know isn't as good as a lot of Digital cable.
 

thirdeye99

Member
Nov 6, 2007
7
0
What exactly are the 720p problems? The SD I already know isn't as good as a lot of Digital cable.
I wish I had accurate, descriptive terms to describe it. The signal is just noticeably more compressed - softer/hazier with more noticeable pixelation and blurrier on fast motion.

It really doesn't seem to be the fault of equipment or connections. It just seems like D* satellite has worse picture quality than Charter.

Would a different HD DVR make any difference? If so, which one to ask for/get?
 

Hemi 6.1

On Vacation
May 3, 2007
12,056
1
Wayne County,Pa
I wish I had accurate, descriptive terms to describe it. The signal is just noticeably more compressed - softer/hazier with more noticeable pixelation and blurrier on fast motion.

It really doesn't seem to be the fault of equipment or connections. It just seems like D* satellite has worse picture quality than Charter.

Would a different HD DVR make any difference? If so, which one to ask for/get?
What brand TV do you have,and what model. I don't want to make it sound like a tv problem,But if we know what you have sometimes it can help.Put it this way I had a Sony KDF-E50A10 and had almost the same issue,but with the 1080i. I kept tv for a year and bought the KDL-52XBR ,and now its a whole new ball game.I also have a Phillips 37 inch . Both tv's are LCD the sony 1080p and Phillips 768p. But no issues anymore. My point is I blame it on being a REAR projection LCD. I would see if they could come out and see your problem.
 

IcEWoLF

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Dec 31, 2006
11,932
10,195
Nevada
I am a previus Charter cable user, Thank god I switched, they suck big time on cable TV, I now have DTV (I have the Premier package+ Sunday Ticket+ Superfan) Pretty much all the channels, and I will never look back, the channels quality in my area are 10x better than charter, DTV customer service is way better than what I have experienced so far from Charter/Dish Network.
Looking @ your case, you might want to have a DTV Installer coming down and check the signal strenghts, because that might be a factor, other than that, if you are not happy with DTV, I guess you could go back to charter.
To me Charter is a crappy company and I hate them, I had bad experience with their Customer Service Reps, other than that, the only thing I have thru charter is High Speed Internet and Phone service that is all.
 

thirdeye99

Member
Nov 6, 2007
7
0
I am a previus Charter cable user, Thank god I switched, they suck big time on cable TV, I now have DTV (I have the Premier package+ Sunday Ticket+ Superfan) Pretty much all the channels, and I will never look back, the channels quality in my area are 10x better than charter, DTV customer service is way better than what I have experienced so far from Charter/Dish Network.
Yeah, no doubt Charter's customer service is terrible. And channel selection is not that great. But their cable and internet service has been reliable, solid for me. The pic quality must differ from me to where you are.
What brand TV do you have,and what model.
Sony Bravia V-Series 40V2500 40" LCD. 1080p capable.

Well, the deadline to cancel my contract is today and I've decided to go ahead and keep DirecTV. I just can't afford to blow 200 dollars and switch to something (DISH) that may or may not have better PQ. I'll probably try to have a D* service guy come out and see if he can find any way to improve the PQ. Anyone else prefer component to HDMI? HDMI seems to darken the picture and give it a sort of artificial sharpness, if that makes sense.

I sat for a couple hours and closely compared Charter to D* again last night. My first impressions still held. Charter undoubtedly has better SD PQ than D*. And a few of the HD channels are even slightly better - like ESPN, NBC and TNT. But Charter is lacking in HD quantity. That's where D* has a big advantage, and something that I hope in the long run will make up for its faults. My TV needs HD content to shine, even more so than some other HDTVs because the Bravia LCDs are so sharp & detailed (often to a fault on the lower res compressed stuff). The HR20 can accept OTA input now can't it? I think it couldn't for a while it because of a software upgrade need(?). I may try to get an OTA antenna to get those locals a little sharper.

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts. Always interested to hear more, especially as to how I might improve that PQ.
 
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Indiana627

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 6, 2005
410
0
Vestal, NY
How can I check to see if he installed a multi-switch?
All the locals, ESPN, Big Ten, A&E, TNT, TBS & BRAVO & a couple others. - ie. most all the 720p channels. The 1080i channels dedicated to only HD programming are fine. But overall, most every channel (SD and HD) simply has more noticeable compression than Charters.
Thanks again for the responses.
As far as a multi-switch, how many receivers do you have? If your number of receivers require more than 4 lines, then you definitely have a multi-switch.

As far as more compression on the HD channels, I don't know how that's possible since D* is sending the MPEG4 channels at full res since they have the bandwidth. Something is definitely wrong somewhere.

Put it this way I had a Sony KDF-E50A10 and had almost the same issue,but with the 1080i.
I have the E50A10 and have no issues whatsoever with any channels - both 720p and 1080i channels look great. My HR20 is connected to it via HDMI. I have native off on the HR20 and I have it output everything at 720p since that's the TV's native res.
 

Nightagna

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Sep 24, 2007
23
0
Rhode Island
Mpeg 4 Vs Mpeg 2

I case you are not aware D* currently broadcasts HD channels in two different formats. ESPN, TNT, HBO (just regular HBO not the others), HDNET, and a few others are on highly compressed mpeg2. All the new HD stations like Smithsonian and FoodHD are in mpeg4. The going opionion is that the mpeg4 is gorgeous and the mpeg2 sucks... They will hopefully fix those stations to mpeg4 in the near future. This may explain why some cable HD looks better.
 
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