Why is the off-air antenna local picture so much better than the Dish OTA HD ?

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RickyEarl

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Feb 10, 2007
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My 622 crapped out yesterday, and I needed to watch something, so I hooked my OTA antenna to my TV, and *WOW,* the picture was amazingly clear.

Now I know all the issues with the picture quality of Dish broadcast locals, but here's the weird thing. I have always used the OTA antenna through the 622 for my local PBS station. But that same station looks so much better going directly though the OTA antenna to my TV. We're not talking slightly better - we're talking an order of magnitude. My wife (who took days to notice the difference between the HDTV and SDTV picture) even made an unsolicited comment on the picture difference.

Why is the picture so much better when the antenna is connected directly to the TV? If it matters, the TV is a 1080p 37" LCD. The 622 was going through HDMI and component (I would switch back and forth) and was set at 1080i. According to my TV, the local PBS OTA feed is also 1080i.
 
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What model is your tv? Its sounds like you tv handles the hdmi/component input differently than its direct ATSC connection. OTA looks fantastic either way in my setup.
 
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Your OTA should look better as it is an uncompressed signal. Signals through the dish are compressed in order to have enough space to provide all the channels they provide.


READ HIS POST - he said OTA for both instances...
 
steve4810

steve4810

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Nov 27, 2006
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Your OTA should look better as it is an uncompressed signal. Signals through the dish are compressed in order to have enough space to provide all the channels they provide.
If I understand the OP, he is saying that the live OTA signal that passed through 622 tuner is worse than the live OTA signal that passes through the TV's tuner. He wasn't talking the feed via satellite from Dish Network.

I can't imagine why there is any detectable difference unless there was something broken in the chain from the antenna, the 622 tuner, the HDMI port, cable or the HDMI input of the TV.

That or somehow the OP confused the OTA signal with the Dish satellite feed.
 
janedo1586

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Nov 2, 2007
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My OTA signal is substantially better when it's hooked directly to the TV as well. I pick up 3 PBS channels OTA. The signal strength when connected through my 722 on all 3 is only 58. When connected directly to the TV, it's 98-100. I split the OTA cable so I have a line to the 722 and directly to the TV so I can still get local news when the dish goes out in bad weather. There is a noticeable difference depending on which version of OTA I'm watching.
 
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If I understand the OP, he is saying that the live OTA signal that passed through 622 tuner is worse than the live OTA signal that passes through the TV's tuner. He wasn't talking the feed via satellite from Dish Network.

I can't imagine why there is any detectable difference unless there was something broken in the chain from the antenna, the 622 tuner, the HDMI port, cable or the HDMI input of the TV.

That or somehow the OP confused the OTA signal with the Dish satellite feed.


Exactly

THis is why, assuming based on his report of the same OTA wire being used to connect to the tv and the DVR, and using both HDMI and component cables, that the only place where the problem could exist is in the way the tv is handling the signal from its own ATSC connection versus the hdmi and component connections.
 
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My OTA signal is substantially better when it's hooked directly to the TV as well. I pick up 3 PBS channels OTA. The signal strength when connected through my 722 on all 3 is only 58. When connected directly to the TV, it's 98-100. I split the OTA cable so I have a line to the 722 and directly to the TV so I can still get local news when the dish goes out in bad weather. There is a noticeable difference depending on which version of OTA I'm watching.
A digital signal that does not have enough strength to generate an image will simply drop off. You may get sparklies or macroblocking as anomalies before it drops but the actual PQ should not be any different when the image is showing. With such a wide range of signal strength, i would say something is wrong in your cabling. The Dish OTA tuner should not be that much lower than your direct connection. Splitting a line can cause signal loss. I'm surprised with a signal strength of 58 that you get any image at all.
 
Tom Bombadil

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Not all OTA HD tuners are the same. Reviews of them have always cited differences in image quality. Depends upon the quality of their circuitry, which can vary considerable. Even if they are equal in receiving the signal, the quality of the output stage will impact the image.

There was a recent comparison of the new SD digital receivers for OTA. They reported significant differences in the image quality from those too.

And everyone is aware that there are differences in DVD players. Yet the source (the DVD itself) for all of them is the same.

For example, here is an excerpt from a published review of the old Sony HD200 HDTV receiver, which cites differences vs their HD100. This is comparing them using the old D* uncompressed HDNET from 2003, but the same goes for OTA. The image quality DOES vary from HD receiver to HD receiver.

"I am not completely sure what Sony did under the hood on the HD200 vs. the HD100, but whatever it was, it was significant. While HDTV can look shockingly good no matter what receiver you use, the differences between the HD200 and the HD100 picture are worthy of note by any discerning video enthusiast making an upgrade. With the HD200, colors look more vivid, the image looks brighter and the depth of field looks deeper. For example, one of the demos on HDNet is a soccer game. With the HD200, you can see even tiny details such as the ball spinning and the movement in the players’ uniforms when they run. The green of the field looks more vivid on the HD200 than the HD100, and the colors of the players’ uniforms look outrageously good. "
 
steve4810

steve4810

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Exactly

THis is why, assuming based on his report of the same OTA wire being used to connect to the tv and the DVR, and using both HDMI and component cables, that the only place where the problem could exist is in the way the tv is handling the signal from its own ATSC connection versus the hdmi and component connections.
Yes. Even if he has to borrow one, he should try another TV when the 622 is working again or have the TV serviced.
 
Hall

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Not all OTA HD tuners are the same. Reviews of them have always cited differences in image quality. Depends upon the quality of their circuitry, which can vary considerable. Even if they are equal in receiving the signal, the quality of the output stage will impact the image.

There was a recent comparison of the new SD digital receivers for OTA. They reported significant differences in the image quality from those too.

And everyone is aware that there are differences in DVD players. Yet the source (the DVD itself) for all of them is the same.
There's your answer folks.
 
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Not all OTA HD tuners are the same. Reviews of them have always cited differences in image quality. Depends upon the quality of their circuitry, which can vary considerable. Even if they are equal in receiving the signal, the quality of the output stage will impact the image.

There was a recent comparison of the new SD digital receivers for OTA. They reported significant differences in the image quality from those too.

And everyone is aware that there are differences in DVD players. Yet the source (the DVD itself) for all of them is the same.

For example, here is an excerpt from a published review of the old Sony HD200 HDTV receiver, which cites differences vs their HD100. This is comparing them using the old D* uncompressed HDNET from 2003, but the same goes for OTA. The image quality DOES vary from HD receiver to HD receiver.

"I am not completely sure what Sony did under the hood on the HD200 vs. the HD100, but whatever it was, it was significant. While HDTV can look shockingly good no matter what receiver you use, the differences between the HD200 and the HD100 picture are worthy of note by any discerning video enthusiast making an upgrade. With the HD200, colors look more vivid, the image looks brighter and the depth of field looks deeper. For example, one of the demos on HDNet is a soccer game. With the HD200, you can see even tiny details such as the ball spinning and the movement in the players’ uniforms when they run. The green of the field looks more vivid on the HD200 than the HD100, and the colors of the players’ uniforms look outrageously good. "

Do we have any threads here talking about this issue with the 622 and 722 OTA tuners? I haven't seen any. The review almost reads like they are comparing 480p vs 1080p. Incidently, it also sounds like those reviews where the user hooked up a Monster cable. :rolleyes:
 
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There's your answer folks.
Well, one answer that some folks will settle for. I don't accept it, there's no evidence to support the assumption. More testing will be needed and an explanation of why there are no recorded problems with this until now.
 
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"No evidence?" You mean outside of every review ever made of HDTV tuners, OTA tuners, and DVD players?

No, I mean actual 622 and 722 reports, tests, and comparisons. None of those reviews are specific. You can assume they indicate a possible similar behavior but then you may decide to live with a supposed condition that is NOT the real problem. You could have had better tv but choose to accept a comparison instead of actual proof.
 
Tom Bombadil

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In the June, 2008 issue of Consumer Reports, they review the new DTV converter boxes. They reviewed 14 of them and grouped them into 3 categories.

4 of them were in the "Best Picture Quality Capable of Images that come close to DVD quality." 6 of them were placed in "Better Picture Quality - A small step below the best, but still better than most analog broadcasts." And 4 were listed in "Acceptable Picture Quality - Generally comparable to a good analog broadcast, despite some minor flaws."
 
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Of particular interest to me in this quote from the review:

While HDTV can look shockingly good no matter what receiver you use, the differences between the HD200 and the HD100 picture are worthy of note by any discerning video enthusiast making an upgrade. With the HD200, colors look more vivid, the image looks brighter and the depth of field looks deeper.

Very revealing descriptions here. Any receiver will look shockingly good, but, the DISCERNING video enthusiast... We are talking about a 37" screen in the OP post. Maybe if the image was 100" we might see obvious differences.

For example, one of the demos on HDNet is a soccer game. With the HD200, you can see even tiny details such as the ball spinning and the movement in the players’ uniforms when they run. The green of the field looks more vivid on the HD200 than the HD100, and the colors of the players’ uniforms look outrageously good. "

We are looking at the same 2 million pixels and yet there are details that stand out in the one but not the other? What are the pixels doing from the other tuner? The color and brightness descriptions are most likely to be attributed to a post-tuner video processor, not the ATSC tuner itself.
 
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SO,

maybe the OPs tv uses video processing on the direct OTA connection that is not used on the HDMI / Component connections...

This why I asked about the specific model of tv. It might be user controllable or only built into the tv ATSC tuner.

I agree that an Oppo dvd player will look better - it should - it has a HQV Reon video processor in it.
 
Tom Bombadil

Tom Bombadil

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Reviews of HDTV tuners used to be a big thing. Back in 2002-2004 I saw reviews and comparisons all of the time. But rarely see them nowadays. They are now reviewed for features.

CNET/ZDNET has a long review of the 622/722 on their site, and they did look at OTA performance. But all they did was compare the 622 to the 722, not to other HDTV tuners.
 

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