SD picture quality

Jeff_in_MA

Jeff_in_MA

Thread Starter
Active SatelliteGuys Member
May 21, 2004
24
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I have been enjoying Voom for a couple of months. All the HD channels are spectacular but many SD channels such as CNN, ESPN look much worse compared to cable channels. In particular, any deep red area on CNN always have bright sparkles running horizontally. Does anyone see the same problem? ESPN just looks blurry or not as crisp as the that on cable.

Thanks,
 
M

mf01

Member
Jun 29, 2004
5
0
I just got Voom last Thursday and I noticed the same thing. It seemed like regular cable has better SD signal than Voom. The local OTA channels through Voom seem to have better pq than the SD channels on Voom. I think it has to do with the way Voom was built. Since it was build from the ground up for HD, they didn't initially concentrate on SD channels so those were neglected in the end.

BTW: The HD channels are great.
 
N

negreenfield

SatelliteGuys Guru
May 24, 2004
136
0
I think it varies, my SD is a good bit better than my cable is, but I think I'm at the end of the line, I had to add a pre 2-way split before my 8-way because my cable modem would never come online, the power was too low...
 
Neutron

Neutron

Founding Supporter
Supporting Founder
Nov 7, 2003
18,730
1,122
Texas
How does Voom's SD compare to Directv's SD? I currently have Directv and have Voom coming next week. Directv's SD looks grainy on my 52" RPTV but that's to be expected.
 
O

occammd

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 19, 2004
397
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My VOOM looked the same, horizontal dashes all over saturated color areas. I just droppped it and got cable and the cable looks much better, both analog and digital SD.
 
K

Ken F

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 8, 2004
717
0
VOOM's SD quality is nowhere near as good as my local Comcast, although comparable or slightly better than what I had with Dish Network.

Wilt H of VOOM has said on the Yahoo Group that they recognize SD quality is not as good as they want (although comparable to other satellite providers), and is something they are looking to to improve -- presumably with the MPEG-4 upgrade later this year.

I hope VOOM recognizes that SD quality optimized for the typical Dish/DirecTV customer with a 25-27" television is not appropriate for HDTV viewers with displays of 50 inches and larger. VOOM probably can't do much about it now due to bandwidth limitations, but MPEG-4 / WM9 will provide them much more capacity to work with.
 
S

Sean Mota

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
19,039
1,738
New York City
Ken,

that's a very good point. VOOM should optomize their SD channels for 50" Tvs or better. Most customers that get VOOM is because of HDTV (first) and SD (second).

On the other hand, I cannot watch SD with either VOOM or Dish Network or cable. I made the commitment to never look at SD channels again unless is SD OTA. Very radical decision on my part but unless these SD channels go the HD way, I am not spending my viewing time with them.

I was quite a fan of Sci-Fi but I could not stand it anymore watching the fuzzy compressed picture on Dish Network or cable. I took them out of my list a long time ago. Now, it is quite difficult for me to back and watch SD channels. I understand that there are a lot more people that care about SD than me. To me, IMHO, a satellite system dedicated to HD shoudn't bother with SD.
 
G

GadgetRick

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 11, 2004
394
0
Near NYC
Voom SD vs. DTV SD

I can tell you the difference between Voom SD and DTV's SD. In one word...stunning. Ok, forget about the sparklies here. Overall it's MUCH better than my DTV SD.

The Rickster
 
K

Ken F

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 8, 2004
717
0
I made the commitment to never look at SD channels again unless is SD OTA.
SD on all three satellite providers borders on unwatchable with certain sized displays, but it doesn't have to be.

If supplied with sufficient bandwidth, the SD channels on VOOM could look pretty close to the upconverted 4:3 SD available OTA.
 
D

Dvlos

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 5, 2004
1,887
0
You know what's wierd, I recently had an idea with my television, since on HD mode, my TV stricltly displays what it's fed I can't make any adjustments to it other than color and brightness on the DVI port. I ran a second S-Video cable to one of the other ports, now S-Video is what 480i? Also my TV has additional settings that can clear up SD signals for some reason, like make it seem more progressive scan than interlaced, and auto-adjust sharpness, in addition to auto-adjust the image so that it's widescreen, but cropped to not look as streched.

I actually get better PQ from doing it this way than watching a SD channel upconverted to 1080i on my DVI port. Maybe upconverted 1080i amplifies imperfections? All I gotta do is his channel up/down to go between the two ports and the improvement is very noticeable.

On my 36" Standard TV all channels look fantastic and better than Comcast's cable by a long shot. Again it's S-video cable, for a TV that's best possible resolution is S-video. Also the screen is smaller so imperfections are less noticeable.
 
DarrellP

DarrellP

I Think, therefore, I am.
Supporting Founder
Nov 6, 2003
4,298
0
Salem, OR
Just look at AMC, TCM or IFC, that's the way SD should look on ALL channels, IMHO.
 
C

Commandline

Member
Jul 25, 2004
5
0
Try C-Band

Them sparkles come from their C band dish being out of alignment. If you want quality SD, C band is great. I have C band, Voom, Dish, and DTV. I have yet to find a SD picture as clear as C band. Dish is the next best in my opinion. HD, VOOM And C-Band are close, but one catch. They both use DC2 transport streams but the C-Band is still a First generation signal, I'd give it the edge, little as it were. I don't mean to deter anyone form Voom or to get a C-band setup. Modern C-band systems are expensive and difficult for average people to maintain without a pro. Voom has the HD advantage, but the SD will kill them.
 

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