VOOM vs. DirecTV Comparison (1 Viewer)

SamAucoin

Thread Starter
New Member
Mar 19, 2004
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I posted this thread at AVS as well, HOPING to find a solution to my "problem". This post is a combination of all of my posts in the thread I started at AVS.

I recently signed with VOOM, and now have both VOOM and DirecTV running to my plasma. As both of my sat boxes have DVI outputs, I purchased a 2x1 DVI connector and can easily switch between satellite signals with the push of a button.

The channel I most often use for comparison is Discovery HD.

As much as I WANT VOOM to succeed, and like the overwhelming multitude of channels VOOM offers compared to ANYTHING else on the market (satellite, OTA, and cable), my DirecTV signal is simply more vibrant than the VOOM signal.

The vast majority of my VOOM channels produce a picture that looks like I am watching a picture in a room where everyone is smoking a cigarette - they ALL appear as though there is a "haze" hanging in the picture.

When I switch to comparable DirecTV channels (such as Discovery HD, HBOHD, and ShowtimeHD), the pictures are more vibrant, there is no "haze" present, and it simply presents a more "geez - what a picture" response from people who have seen the two feeds (so it is not just me).

Am I the only one experiencing this - if so, is there something I need to do to correct this (if it can be corrected)?

I have a Hitachi plasma TV, and it, of course, has ALiS technology (which, from what I have read, displays 1080i pictures the best). And recently, VOOM "cut back" on its bandwith signal from 1080i to predominantly 720p.

Could that be causing the "problem"? My first instinct is to say "no", because 1080i vs. 720p vs. 480p is simply resolution. But I have both sat boxes set to display the picture as 1080i, regardless of what the native resolution of the broadcast is at any given time.

There is ONE channel that is absolutely superb on VOOM and has no comparison on DirecTV: HDNews whenever it shows the animated weather maps. I have NEVER seen pictures as vibrant as those maps. But when you go back to the live HDNews reports, I get that "haze" again.

Mind you - it is not overwhelming. But it IS noticeable (and not only to me).

One more thing - I am using DVI SINGLE link cables (that is what came with my VOOM packaging).

I have read on numerous forums that DVI Double (or is it dual?) link cables are better (i.e., support more resolution) and that both my Hughes HD-HTL and VOOM box both support the double/dual link cabling.

Do you think that "upgrading" to the double/dual link cabling would make a difference?

Of course, I sincerely appreciate any responses or suggestions to help improve my picture quality.

In sum, think of having your brightness on your monitor turned up too high and the picture seems washed out - THAT is what I am seeing on most of my VOOM channels (when compared to a DirecTV channel showing the SAME programming at the SAME time).

Regards,

Sam
 

Sean Mota

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
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Sam,

Welcome. I do not have D* but I am sure you will find folks here that have both and can compare and give you feedback. I have connected my sets Sony GWII through DVI and DLP Samsung through Component right now. I heard from some folks here that component gives more vibrant colors (just a guess on my part since I have not seen this). Haver you tried component and seen the same or worse? Just curious.
 

Ken F

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 8, 2004
717
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Sam,

720p is only on the VOOM "exclusive" movie channels, etc.

Which output resolution are you using on the set-top box (press red button under door on right of box, top bar flashing for 1080i)?

Have you tried component to see if it has the same problem?

It's also possible there are minor differences in the output of each receiver, which might necessitate minor recalibration.
 

Scott Greczkowski

Welcome HOME to SatelliteGuys!
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Sep 7, 2003
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I do not have D* but I do notice the haze you are talking about on the SD Channels, infact I would describe this haze more as looking through a screen door at the picture.

I also still see sparklies in the red colors on many of the SD Channels.
 

scott5626

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 5, 2004
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You guys are really staring to talk me out of my Voom install Screen doors sparkles. Is the picture that bad?
 

wbuffetta

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 18, 2004
305
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I Have A Actual High Def. Front Projector And With HD On Directv The Best Pic. I Get Is With 1080i & With VOOM Its 720p. I Dont Know Why But I Do. I Guess I Can Tell My Self
720p Is Like 1440i.
 

Ken F

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 8, 2004
717
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I Have A Actual High Def. Front Projector And With HD On Directv The Best Pic. I Get Is With 1080i & With VOOM Its 720p. I Dont Know Why But I Do.

You have to change the output on the set-top box. The default is 720p.

Open the door on the right of the VOOM box. Press the small red button until the top bar blinks on and off. Then you will be in 1080i mode, instead of 720p.
 

dledeaux

SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 13, 2004
102
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Longview, TX
wbuffetta said:
I Guess I Can Tell My Self 720p Is Like 1440i.

As far as bandwidth requirements, yes. 1080i still has more pixel for pixel information though. Unfortunantly only half of it is updated at any given time. :rolleyes:
 

SamAucoin

Thread Starter
New Member
Mar 19, 2004
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Fixed!!!!!!

Although not a perfect solution (and I still don't understand why) . . .

I did what someone suggested - I re-calibrated the VOOM picture vs. the DirecTV picture.

For VOOM, I had to turn down the brightness and up the contrast quite a bit (that eliminated the washed out/hazy appearance), and turned up the color (that made the colors more vibrant).

For DirecTV, I left the settings as is.

My Hitachi 42HDT50 has two settings: Day and Night. I designated Night for DirecTV and Day for VOOM. Although they are CALLED "Day" and "Night", you CAN set individual values so that they are identical (i.e., "Day" and "Night" no longer become distinguishable).

My question/problem? Why does VOOM require different settings than DirecTV? We are talking quite a bit of difference here - VOOM color: 40; DirecTV color: 33; VOOM brightness: 30; DirecTV brightness 35; etc., etc.
 

Mr. Biggles

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Mar 6, 2004
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SamAucoin said:
My question/problem? Why does VOOM require different settings than DirecTV? We are talking quite a bit of difference here - VOOM color: 40; DirecTV color: 33; VOOM brightness: 30; DirecTV brightness 35; etc., etc.

Don't worry. It's not a problem. It's akin to changing DVD players. That being each will be slightly different and needs to be calibrated for your particular display.
With DVD players calibration is much easier to do with Avia or VE calibration disks vs the DVI out of a STB.

I noticed in the "everything you want to know about V*" thread that there seems to be a way to access the service menu and actually access some video test patterns. I have yet to do that, and to be honest I have not seen much of a change from the V* box vs my D* HD200 to bother yet. But I'm still curious.
 

CKNA

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 15, 2003
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Ken F said:
Sam,

720p is only on the VOOM "exclusive" movie channels, etc.

Which output resolution are you using on the set-top box (press red button under door on right of box, top bar flashing for 1080i)?

Have you tried component to see if it has the same problem?

It's also possible there are minor differences in the output of each receiver, which might necessitate minor recalibration.

Who said that Voom exclusive channels are 720p?. I have never seen any announcement. As a matter of fact it was stated by Wilt that all their channels will always be 1080i.
 

pdqbobe

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 20, 2004
102
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On the subject at hand : I have V* and D* both look good but V* seems to be better. I use the D* sub for my Picture in a Picture... Works great and will be using it as a OTA sub in August when my Conract is up w/D*...I finally can use my PIP having the Samsung ts160.....

I have my Voom box set at 1080i but when I shut it off at night the orange bar lights up in the 720p area....Has anyone noticed this ? Will the new software update fix this as well? HD=Voom
 

Marco in HD

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Mar 30, 2004
21
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Rather than start the same topic over, I figure I would jump in with questions.

With D* I can delete channels I don't care about, like all the PPV's.
Can you do that with voom?

It say's you can seemlessly view (in the menu the OTA channels show up with all the dish channels) all the channels including OTA at the same time, is that true?
Don't suppose someone has a picture.

From the treads above, it would seem that even with the megga compression D* uses, it's SD picture is still better than V*.

Only thing I can see as to WHY I haven't switched yet... ESPN, V* has none.
 

Ken F

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 8, 2004
717
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CKNA,
Who said that Voom exclusive channels are 720p?. I have never seen any announcement. As a matter of fact it was stated by Wilt that all their channels will always be 1080i.
The announcement was made by Wilt on the Yahoo forum some weeks ago. They were going to remain 720p at least until VOOM installed some encoding hardware and software upgrades. Wilt said there was no ETA from the vendor on these upgrades, though I believe they are expected this spring.

If you enable native mode on your STB, you'll see that the native movie channels are 720p. The other HD channels, like Discovery HD, HBO HD, etc are still 1080i. Only some of the exclusive channels were affected.
 

Ken F

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 8, 2004
717
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Marco,
With D* I can delete channels I don't care about, like all the PPV's.
Can you do that with voom?

You can have your own favorites list with whatever channels you want. You can bring up the favorites list at any time through a button on the remote. Note the current software is limited to one favorites list; you can't have one for each member of the family. I use the favorites listing in the guide exclusively for watching VOOM.

It say's you can seemlessly view (in the menu the OTA channels show up with all the dish channels) all the channels including OTA at the same time, is that true?
That is correct.
 

Marco in HD

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Mar 30, 2004
21
0
So that means all I have to do is wait for V* to get ESPN-HD then I'm set.


hmm hmm hmm ( whistle ), (look at watch)... still waiting.

ESPN-HD, now?

How about now?

Now?
 

Mr. Biggles

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Mar 6, 2004
502
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From the treads above, it would seem that even with the megga compression D* uses, it's SD picture is still better than V*.

I think the vote is pretty much a dead heat. Some say better, some say worse. I really don't see much of any difference.
 

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