Recent Dish picture quality

Michael252

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 24, 2006
36
27
(near) Dallas, Texas
I’ve been with Dish for a little over 15 years. Back then, and for many years off and on, Dish picture quality was iffy and variable. Then a few years ago, it seemed to be much improved over previous years. Now it seems, to my eyes anyway, that the picture quality is eroding again (most noticeable with what I call “jpg artifacts”). This is on most channels. Has anyone noticed this slow erosion of quality image? Granted, one of these images is from Fox, so quality is especially bad.
 

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KaptainRandom

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 6, 2013
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mesa az
Finite bandwidth and variable compression.
Dish is robbing peter to pay paul to move bandwidth around to differing channels based on presumptive program popularity.

And so many channels people dont watch, paying dish to be carried, cutting into bandwidth which could be used to less compress channels and programs people want to watch.

The same reason there is no/minimal realistic 4k channels.

Sent from my SM-G986U using the SatelliteGuys app!
 

Bruce

That is my dog Bender.
Supporting Founder
Nov 29, 2003
6,482
6,438
The same reason there is no/minimal realistic 4k channels.
The main reason there are no 4K channels is broadcasters, OTA or cable, are offering one, hard for Dish to carry such a channel when no one is providing.
 
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Michael252

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 24, 2006
36
27
(near) Dallas, Texas
Are you watching those through the Dish receiver, or on a different input on your TV? It could be just one input going bad.
No, I watch those on a different input (meaning my eyes and tv are not that bad). But I do occasionally watch a game on Dish's 4k channel and it is nice and sharp.

(btw...H3, Joey2.0, Sony XBR65X900F)
 

bookworm370

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Jul 11, 2009
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Dish has been known, as commented above, to do some pretty serious compression on some channels, like SD, HSN, News channels, and any channels that don't get watched very often. The Hopper reports back what you watch and for how long. That's the way Neilson and the other ratings companies get it's ratings with today's tech without the old boxes they installed on peoples TV's.

Dish also sells (anonymously) the same statistics to networks and content providers. Everything they do is for $$, So shows that don't much viewership get reported back to the networks and therefore that's why a lot are cancelled. The networks then take the accumulated data from Dish, DirectTV, Spectrum, Cable TV, etc and decide the fate of a show.

As for the channel feeds, the same thing. Dish has algorithms that really don't care what you watched but accumulates the total time in people watch time of a channel which is tuned.

If in a month or so, the time use of the channel is low, then Dish will start compressing that channel.
If in a period of time a channel has a lot of time accumulated (like Hallmark, if you notice that's one of the better ones) then the compression is less. Same as in the movie channels, SD channels are compressed a certain amount but the HD channels have much less compression.

There is only a certain amount of bandwidth available per transponder on each Satellite. So they will squeeze as much as they can on a transponder leaving another one with less load that they can send up higher resolution (but still some compression) signals.

So, it's both marketing per show (like reporting back to the ratings companies) and also usage per channel. Less viewed channels will be compressed more as less people watch it.

And that was only my 2 minute elevator speech on Satellite broadcasting!

:cool:
 
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jct21

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May 26, 2018
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I’ve been with Dish for a little over 15 years. Back then, and for many years off and on, Dish picture quality was iffy and variable. Then a few years ago, it seemed to be much improved over previous years. Now it seems, to my eyes anyway, that the picture quality is eroding again (most noticeable with what I call “jpg artifacts”). This is on most channels. Has anyone noticed this slow erosion of quality image? Granted, one of these images is from Fox, so quality is especially bad.

im new to dish. got installed this past black friday. i was previously with directv for 15+ years. while i find dish pq acceptable, it doesnt seem to be as sharp/crisp as directv was. ive noticed artifacts on hallmark channels 185 & 187. while watching news on 209, the pq seems a little softer too. ive read in the past about people calling it hd lite. i now see what they mean by that. but its nothing to make me swtich. so far im happy with dish & their channel lineup over directv. i think the hopper 3 is a major upgrade over the hr54.
 

Michael252

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 24, 2006
36
27
(near) Dallas, Texas
If in a month or so, the time use of the channel is low, then Dish will start compressing that channel.
If in a period of time a channel has a lot of time accumulated (like Hallmark, if you notice that's one of the better ones) then the compression is less. Same as in the movie channels, SD channels are compressed a certain amount but the HD channels have much less compression.

There is only a certain amount of bandwidth available per transponder on each Satellite. So they will squeeze as much as they can on a transponder leaving another one with less load that they can send up higher resolution (but still some compression) signals.

So, it's both marketing per show (like reporting back to the ratings companies) and also usage per channel. Less viewed channels will be compressed more as less people watch it.

And that was only my 2 minute elevator speech on Satellite broadcasting!

:cool:
You're probably right. But the fact that I pay Dish over 150 bucks a month for their service, I should get the best picture available. Shouldn't matter if I (or the masses) watch 5 minutes or 5 hours of a channel. If they say it's "HD", it should be HD. And it's not.
 
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sam_gordon

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May 21, 2009
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You're probably right. But the fact that I pay Dish over 150 bucks a month for their service, I should get the best picture available. Shouldn't matter if I (or the masses) watch 5 minutes or 5 hours of a channel. If they say it's "HD", it should be HD. And it's not.
Isn't "HD" just the resolution, not the bandwidth? And "best picture available", NO ONE is getting (at least at home). Every signal is getting compressed at some point. Well, you could see the BEST quality at the source... a monitor hooked up to the camera/switcher/router. After that, it gets compressed.
 
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Michael252

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 24, 2006
36
27
(near) Dallas, Texas
Know what you mean, Sam. If my internet connection was just a tad more reliable (we've had a heat-related outage problems for two summers...and they can't find the problem), I'd go full streaming.

Your comment reminds my of earlier days in the 80s and 90s where my SD feed off a c-band dish was as good as Dish HD now. (maybe a slight exageration, but only slight)
 

bookworm370

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Jul 11, 2009
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Columbus, Ohio
Isn't "HD" just the resolution, not the bandwidth? And "best picture available", NO ONE is getting (at least at home). Every signal is getting compressed at some point. Well, you could see the BEST quality at the source... a monitor hooked up to the camera/switcher/router. After that, it gets compressed.
You are correct, HD is really the resolution of the display. Say 1080p vs. 1080i or 720p.
So they can set and send at an HD resolution but still compress the signal which always causes some loss of data. For the paid Movie Channels in HD or the sponsored channels like Hallmark, they compress less so it will look better.

As of yet, I have not heard of any compression algorithm for 4K programming, but I'm sure that it will come. But 4K, instead of resolution, is a data transfer rate. So, the would at least have to transfer data at 4K even if your set supports 4K video. That is why you need to by the newest special HDMI cables because the older ones just can't handle the data rate. As said above, that's probably why there is only 1 4K channel in the lineup right now.
 

DishSubLA

SatelliteGuys Master
Apr 9, 2006
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im new to dish. got installed this past black friday. i was previously with directv for 15+ years. while i find dish pq acceptable, it doesnt seem to be as sharp/crisp as directv was. ive noticed artifacts on hallmark channels 185 & 187. while watching news on 209, the pq seems a little softer too. ive read in the past about people calling it hd lite. i now see what they mean by that. but its nothing to make me swtich. so far im happy with dish & their channel lineup over directv. i think the hopper 3 is a major upgrade over the hr54.
This has always seemed to be a "philosophy" difference as to which is better/worse.
Dish = Towards softer to minimize artifacts
DirecTV = towards sharper, but artifacts/flaws can be more clear to see

And users of both services have reported such as noted above.

I would liken this to a personal preference of some people who set their Sharpness setting on their TV to an minimum a setting as possible becaue while MORE sharpness is greater clarity, it can also reveal "jaggies" on lines and other undesirable artifacts of digital moving pictures. Each preference has its advangates and its disadvantages (gains and costs), so to each, his/her own.

For me, I set my Sharpness to a very high level, but, boy, the cost does come with LOTS of jaggies even on decent Blu-rays. Ironically, I have made the decision to DEcrease my TV or Blu-ray player Sharpness to better overall result.

In your case, try INCREASING your Sharpness control until you get to a point that suits you.
 

DishSubLA

SatelliteGuys Master
Apr 9, 2006
5,318
1,172
OP, I am with you. The same rise and fall of PQ on Dish over the years. As of today, it is the WORST PQ on Dish since I became a subscriber back in 1999. Even WORSE is the reduction of Luminance data or the PQ showing light black blockiness or insufficient data to produce a nice deep, dark BLACK that Dish used to always provide until--I'm guessing to my memory 2 years ago or so, but the black level has gotten WORSE in recent months.

Ironically, I have noticed a few video channels allocated more AUDIO data.

I wonder if Dish, considering how the business is shrinking, is still investing in the LATEST encoders when available as they used to in their commitment to the best PQ they can provide with whatever other limitations. That costs MONEY. Maybe someone who knows can answer that question about Dish and if they still install/changeout the latest encoders when available.

It is not just a matter or "compression" but WHICH data is going to be compressed greater than other data such as Chromanance (color), Luminance (black level), audio (sound) data among them. So, some channels do have a more "washed out" or poor color look to them as compared to others such as Disney Channel, which seems to get favored PQ, IMHO.

The SD channels are just DESTROYED. It is just amazing how good SD content can look on an HD channel, but how lousy that same content looks on the SD channel.

I just hope it can improve, and that would take the latest encoders when available and the will to spend the money.

It is disppointing to see the PQ slide as badly as it has. Certainly Dish provides some channles in better PQ than others based on the content/audience. Is Axis (Mark Cuban's owned channel) still provided in full 1080X1920 as was per contract in the olden days of HDNET? It used to have among the best PQ. Also, Disney Channel still seems to be among the best PQ, but other kids channels suffer in less in PQ, while most popular channels do look better than the less popular ones.
 

crodrules

Your Happy Guru
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Jun 14, 2014
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The SD channels are just DESTROYED. It is just amazing how good SD content can look on an HD channel, but how lousy that same content looks on the SD channel.
Could this be intentional, in an effort to finally get the remaining customers still using MPEG2 8PSK receivers to either upgrade to HD receivers or cancel their Dish service? Either way, this would help get more of those old receivers out of the field, which would save Dish money on the cost providing new receivers and free installation when they force everyone to upgrade in the upcoming transition to all MPEG4.
 

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