VOOM picture soft(er)

barth2k

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 14, 2004
592
0
After watching for a few days, I notice V* picture appears softer than D* (I have Hughes E86). I no longer have D* so I can't compare, but I still have the E86 hooked up with the same OTA rooftop antenna as V* (thru a coax splitter). Both are hooked via component cables (my Mits crt rptv has no DVI). So I made sure both inputs have exact video settings (briteness, contrast, etc) and did an A/B comparison by switching back and forth. I compared 2 1/2 Men, Las Vegas (NBC), and CSI:Miami, 3 HD programs with different looks to them.

The result: the VOOM picture looks slightly softer. Viewed by itself, it would be hard to say, but doing an A/B comparison, it became clear. I even gave the VOOM box the more expensive store bough cables and put the cheap looking cables VOOM gave me on the E86. Just to make sure I wasn't prejudiced, I asked my family's opinion. I labeled the inputs Component-1 and Component-2 so they wouldn't know which was which (not that they would know or care anyway). At first they just said "they look the same, can we just watch TV?" but after a bit they all said Component-1 (E86) looked a bit sharper and clearer.

So it seems at least on OTA and component output, the VOOM PQ is slightly inferior to the E86, which is very disappointing considering the E86 is pretty old and was never the top of the line like the Zenith, Sony, or even Samsung boxes. Unfortunately, unlike the UI, this will probably not be improved upon any time soon since I imagine a s/w update will not do it.
 

neo0285

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 22, 2004
218
0
I noticed the same thing over component cables. The Voom box realy shines through DVI, i see a significant improvement in PQ betwen component and dvi, if your tv supports it, try it out you wont be dissapointed
 

iceshark

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 10, 2004
533
0
Pacific Northwest
neo0285 said:
I noticed the same thing over component cables. The Voom box realy shines through DVI, i see a significant improvement in PQ betwen component and dvi, if your tv supports it, try it out you wont be dissapointed


I have noticed just the opposite.
Even fudging around with my settings on my Sony Wega HD monitor I get a stronger pic with components and a more washed out pic with DVI cable from Voom.

Wierd.
 

neo0285

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 22, 2004
218
0
iceshark said:
I have noticed just the opposite.
Even fudging around with my settings on my Sony Wega HD monitor I get a stronger pic with components and a more washed out pic with DVI cable from Voom.

Wierd.
Do you happen to have the kv34xbr800 or 910?
 

GeneWildershair

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 28, 2004
521
0
Bay Area
barth2k said:
After watching for a few days, I notice V* picture appears softer than D* (I have Hughes E86). I no longer have D* so I can't compare, but I still have the E86 hooked up with the same OTA rooftop antenna as V* (thru a coax splitter). Both are hooked via component cables (my Mits crt rptv has no DVI). So I made sure both inputs have exact video settings (briteness, contrast, etc) and did an A/B comparison by switching back and forth. I compared 2 1/2 Men, Las Vegas (NBC), and CSI:Miami, 3 HD programs with different looks to them.

The result: the VOOM picture looks slightly softer. Viewed by itself, it would be hard to say, but doing an A/B comparison, it became clear. I even gave the VOOM box the more expensive store bough cables and put the cheap looking cables VOOM gave me on the E86. Just to make sure I wasn't prejudiced, I asked my family's opinion. I labeled the inputs Component-1 and Component-2 so they wouldn't know which was which (not that they would know or care anyway). At first they just said "they look the same, can we just watch TV?" but after a bit they all said Component-1 (E86) looked a bit sharper and clearer.

So it seems at least on OTA and component output, the VOOM PQ is slightly inferior to the E86, which is very disappointing considering the E86 is pretty old and was never the top of the line like the Zenith, Sony, or even Samsung boxes. Unfortunately, unlike the UI, this will probably not be improved upon any time soon since I imagine a s/w update will not do it.


That is a bad way to compare the the two different STB's! Each one has to be separately calibrated to get optimal PQ. As you said you had D* first and your tv was probably already adjusted for that box. Don't expect to hook up another STB from another company, keep the same picture settings and expect it to look exactly alike. It just doesn't work that way. You will also notice a difference when switching from your D* STB to your DVD, or VCR, or any other video component you may have.Again... your tv needs to be adjusted for each of your video components to get the best possible PQ out of each. It's the same with the DVI, and component cables, *each need their own picture settings adjusted on your tv*. EVen your D* STB will have a different look to it when switching from DVI to components, ( I know because I currently have D*). Take this advice and make some adjustments to your tv, my DVI picture on VOOM is much clearer, and just as colorful, and vibrant as my component picture, because I made the proper adjustments. Just trying to help.... btw I see a lot of folks around here making the same mistake, and complaining about a soft picture, or a bad picture with DVI, this really should go up as a sticky in here so folks won't mistake improper picture adjustment on the user's tv for bad picture quality coming from VOOM .
 

Walter L.

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Mar 29, 2004
1,855
0
Portland, Oregon
Jay,
Good point. Everytime that you add a new component to your home threater you need to calibrate your picture setting. Some displays allow you different calibration settings per input. Mine only does different modes. Thus I use one mode for VOOM, another for DVD, etc. When I initially got VOOM, colors looked washed-out through DVI. Dialing the brightness down a little bit did the trick.
 

GeneWildershair

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 28, 2004
521
0
Bay Area
Walter L. said:
Jay,
Good point. Everytime that you add a new component to your home threater you need to calibrate your picture setting. Some displays allow you different calibration settings per input. Mine only does different modes. Thus I use one mode for VOOM, another for DVD, etc. When I initially got VOOM, colors looked washed-out through DVI. Dialing the brightness down a little bit did the trick.

yeah I have modes too that I use. each one is for a different component.
 

barth2k

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 14, 2004
592
0
But like I said, I copied the settings so they are exactly the same.

Yes 1080i inputs are different from 480p inputs which are different from 480p on the Mits. But I have the E86 and Voom box both output to 1080i. They ARE the same -- down to convergence and geometry and service menu settings. But no matter, because I swapped the cables from the back of the E86 and Voom box to test for any difference due to the inputs or cables, and the E86 still looked better. I don't know what else to conclude except that the E86 has better component output on OTA.
 

GeneWildershair

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 28, 2004
521
0
Bay Area
barth2k said:
But like I said, I copied the settings so they are exactly the same.

Yes 1080i inputs are different from 480p inputs which are different from 480p on the Mits. But I have the E86 and Voom box both output to 1080i. They ARE the same -- down to convergence and geometry and service menu settings. But no matter, because I swapped the cables from the back of the E86 and Voom box to test for any difference due to the inputs or cables, and the E86 still looked better. I don't know what else to conclude except that the E86 has better component output on OTA.

Again, you do not want them "the same". Change the picture settings ie..color, sharp, hue etc... for the VOOM STB. Every video component outputs their picture differently, and they *each* need their own calibration settings. You should have *different* settings for each.
 

Walter L.

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Mar 29, 2004
1,855
0
Portland, Oregon
barth2k: video calibration is about optimizing picture settings (brighness, contract, color, etc) of your display device for each individual video feed. Therefore, if you compare two different sources using the same pic settings, it is possible that the settings favor one source over another one.
 

Scubasoul

SatelliteGuys Guru
Apr 18, 2004
128
0
I have to agree with him. I also believe that the Voom receiver has a "softer", "less detailed" picture overall compared to my old Sony SAT HD200. I'm actually waiting for a new receiver as I type this, because I have significant red push with my current receiver (I get a new receiver because of other problems).

Now, of course you need to adjust the setting for each receiver/input. However, if I compare OTA quality on my Mits (ISF calibrated), the Sony is the clear winner as far as PQ is concerned. Adjusting color/hue/sharpness, etc. has no effect at all on "softness" and "detail". Of course, color and hue is difficult to adjust, because one needs a 1080i test pattern.

I hope my new receiver will change that.
 

GeneWildershair

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 28, 2004
521
0
Bay Area
Scubasoul said:
I have to agree with him. I also believe that the Voom receiver has a "softer", "less detailed" picture overall compared to my old Sony SAT HD200. I'm actually waiting for a new receiver as I type this, because I have significant red push with my current receiver (I get a new receiver because of other problems).

Now, of course you need to adjust the setting for each receiver/input. However, if I compare OTA quality on my Mits (ISF calibrated), the Sony is the clear winner as far as PQ is concerned. Adjusting color/hue/sharpness, etc. has no effect at all on "softness" and "detail". Of course, color and hue is difficult to adjust, because one needs a 1080i test pattern.

I hope my new receiver will change that.

You had your Mits tv calibrated with your Sony STB, (of course it will look better). You now need one of your other picture modes/settings ISF calibrated to your VOOM box to be able to compare. BTW I too thought the picture was very soft compared to D*, but once I adjusted things properly, and spending awhile in the service menu fixing the red push, convergence etc... my VOOM STB looks just as good as my D* STB, (with the exception of HBOHD, and SHowHD). A very common mistake with folks getting an ISF calibration is the notion that now that your set was calibrated every video component hooked up to it in the future will look great! Not so. Everything hooked up at the time of calibration, and the set is adjusted for will look great, but anything you buy later on down the road may need adjustments to get the best possible PQ.
 

Scubasoul

SatelliteGuys Guru
Apr 18, 2004
128
0
GeneWildershair said:
You had your Mits tv calibrated with your Sony STB, (of course it will look better). You now need one of your other picture modes/ settings ISF calibrated to your VOOM box to be able to compare.

LOL, pay another few bucks for a calibration.

The calibration was done with a signal generator and I can calibrate color decoder, white/black level, etc. myself. Geometry, mechanical/electrical focus, etc. remains unchanged.

Again, that is NOT the problem. I just hope that my box has some defect, and the new one looks better (especially the red push).
 

GeneWildershair

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 28, 2004
521
0
Bay Area
Scubasoul said:
LOL, pay another few bucks for a calibration.

The calibration was done with a signal generator and I can calibrate color decoder, white/black level, etc. myself. Geometry, mechanical/electrical focus, etc. remains unchanged.

Again, that is NOT the problem. I just hope that my box has some defect, and the new one looks better (especially the red push).

So you calibrated your tv to your VOOM box, and still get a softer picture? Hmm... I don't know then. I'm not seeing a difference at all when swicthing to and from D*, and VOOM using components? HBOHD, and SHowHD are a little softer with VOOM, but I've noticed that for some time now. DIscHD looks the same to me.
 

Scubasoul

SatelliteGuys Guru
Apr 18, 2004
128
0
GeneWildershair said:
So you calibrated your tv to your VOOM box, and still get a softer picture? Hmm... I don't know then. I'm not seeing a difference at all when swicthing to and from D*, and VOOM using components? HBOHD, and SHowHD are a little softer with VOOM, but I've noticed that for some time now. DIscHD looks the same to me.

I'm really hoping that my new box (still waiting here) will fix those problems.
I know that Sean mentioned that his box had red push too, until he got a new one. So maybe there are some weired boxes out there, where red push is only part of the problem.

Actually, I think that DHDT looks softer (looks almost like the set is slightly out of focus, which is not the case), ShowtimeHD and HBOHD are ok.
 

Mr. Biggles

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Mar 6, 2004
502
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Scubasoul said:
I have to agree with him. I also believe that the Voom receiver has a "softer", "less detailed" picture overall compared to my old Sony SAT HD200. .

I have that same STB. I saw no difference between the HD200 and the V* STB when it came to 'detail'. Using DVI or component for both.
 

Scubasoul

SatelliteGuys Guru
Apr 18, 2004
128
0
Mr. Biggles said:
I have that same STB. I saw no difference between the HD200 and the V* STB when it came to 'detail'. Using DVI or component for both.

Interesting. What TV, and more importantly, what screen size are you looking at?
 
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