Wildly varying picture quality (colors/brightness/saturation/etc) on different channels

CaverZ

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Jan 14, 2017
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St. George, UT
Does anyone else see this when switching channels? I've noticed the last couple of years with Dish that the image quality as I go from channel to channel varies widely, and even from commercial to commercial on the same channel. For instance, switching between the Patriots game and a game show on ABC and then bopping over to CNN tonight, they all had what seemed to essentially be very obviously different picture settings. And to be clear, I'm not talking about compression artifacts. I know what those are and how some channels have more than others. What I see is that some channels look dim, like I'm looking through slightly tinted glass. The image looks grey and flat. But no amount of increasing the brightness or contrast or color saturation fixes it. It still looks greyish, but brighter with ridiculously blown out colors. Then another channel doesn't seem to have any blacks and looks like a photoshop image that has had way too much shadow and overexposure correction. Another doesn't seem to have a rich palette of colors. Another has a yellowish hue to it. I calibrate my tv to CNN and other broadcast news which looks as close to reality as possible. Some channels look fine. Others look like hell. I've dabbled in video production so I know that some producers export bad video quality, but not an NFL game! I wonder if I've got a bad Hopper. Or is DISH compressing things so much now that they strip out colors and other parts of the video signal to save bandwidth which then accentuates problems? I am running the picture and image from the Hopper through Denon 4810 to a 2016 model year Samsung 75" tv (entry level line) on HDMIs. Yes I know a tv that size reveals a lot of image problems. I had the same issue on a 2013 Samsung. It was the same size. Anyone else seeing this? It is driving me nuts!
 

MikeD-C05

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Nov 25, 2003
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Yes, you have seem to have a new 75" tv. When ever you get a new tv , you will notice the colors aren't quite right and you will spend a lot of time trying to get the picture quality to look right. I had a brand new 50" 4k google cast Philips tv/model 6000 series that came out last November. I spent over a month trying to get the picture quality right and finally gave up and sent it back to SEARS where I bought it online. Waiting for the refund in the next 7 days. I now have a Vizio 50" 4k tv from Walmart and I am still playing with the picture settings to get the best pq I can get. I have also google searched best picture settings from Vizio D series 4k tv on Cnet and other sites and tried those too. In the end it will take me time to adjust to the settings I settle on and then it will look good to me again. So I suggest it will take time to get your eyes adjusted to the picture settings you settle on as well. The fact you have a 75" tv isn't helping you to not notice artifacts and other issues in the picture. Maybe you should try google searching best picture settings for your brand of tv and series and see if it helps. I personally had no luck with Samsung hd tvs and so I wouldn't even try to get a 4k version. The people all looked either orange or apricot .
 

sam_gordon

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 21, 2009
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Lexington, ky
Yes, you have seem to have a new 75" tv. When ever you get a new tv , you will notice the colors aren't quite right and you will spend a lot of time trying to get the picture quality to look right. I had a brand new 50" 4k google cast Philips tv/model 6000 series that came out last November. I spent over a month trying to get the picture quality right and finally gave up and sent it back to SEARS where I bought it online. Waiting for the refund in the next 7 days. I now have a Vizio 50" 4k tv from Walmart and I am still playing with the picture settings to get the best pq I can get. I have also google searched best picture settings from Vizio D series 4k tv on Cnet and other sites and tried those too. In the end it will take me time to adjust to the settings I settle on and then it will look good to me again. So I suggest it will take time to get your eyes adjusted to the picture settings you settle on as well. The fact you have a 75" tv isn't helping you to not notice artifacts and other issues in the picture. Maybe you should try google searching best picture settings for your brand of tv and series and see if it helps. I personally had no luck with Samsung hd tvs and so I wouldn't even try to get a 4k version. The people all looked either orange or apricot .
But if a tv is out of calibration, it should be out of calibration the same on ALL channels. So if facial tones look orange on CNN, they should look orange on TNT, CBS, etc. That doesn't sound like what the OP is experiencing.

OP, go through your TVs manual and make sure there's not something that would cause a dynamic color difference (based on what, I don't know). After that, I'd hook the receiver straight to the TV and see if that settles things down (try both HDMI cables). Do you have a DVD player or gaming system you can hook up to the same input and see if you get the same issues?
 
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KAB

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In no way can the varietal colors and hues of various channels be blamed on the Hopper. There are few if any camera calibration standards amongst networks and production companies. Multi-camera sports is a prime example of non-balanced and leveled cameras. Wide shots might look "real", while tighter and close-ups can run the gamut of color hues. And is this digital age, colors and light levels, even image clarity tend to get overly manipulated
I would suggest to the TS, that you do not rely on CNN as your base standard. Overly soft and flat studio lighting, contrasted to harsher location lighting are not conducive to realistic "calibration". If there is one channel I believe has the most consistent and pleasing tonality, is the Cooking Channel. And as MikeD pointed out, each TV manufacturer seem to "push" one color more than another, though I have to disagree with him over his opinion of Samsung. I spent 15 years in 35/16mm film, and broadcast video production. That experience built the cornerstone of my "video quality" perception(s).
 
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Tampa8

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If you have not done it, go to AvsForum find your model thread and see what has been posted for settings from people who actually calibrated theirs. It won't be 100% like having an expert come to your house, but it will be darn close. If those settings make the TV look alot different take time to get used to it before deciding you don't like them because unless you got lucky those will be vastly better than your guessing at what looks good by using a particular channel.
The fact that you are making settings based on one particular channel instead of actually calibrating the TV itself explains alot of the problem.
Skip the Denon for now both because that has to be eliminated as the problem and because you should calibrate the TV after getting the calibration settings without it first. Be sure your HDMI cables are in good shape and connected firmly. If you have one to swap with, try changing the one from the Hopper to the TV. If it is a 4K TV be sure UHD Color for HDMI inputs is turned off for any input not in 4K. Most all settings "enhancements" make the picture worse and you will see most suggested calibrations from those who used calibration tools will have them all or almost all off.

Some channels and even some programs on some channels look different. USA is a terrific example. Reruns of some shows like NCIS (Already shot with extreme softness in many scenes) or Law and Order often look old, maybe washed out while other shows or USA originals look very good. Live with Kelly looks the same in Ct on that local station as it does in Tampa on that local station - Horrible. The colors are off and it is washed out or just looks weird compared to most other shows.
Finally some shows have more color saturation than others, one good example is CBS This Morning, and many times local live news programs. (Which can look a little different from each other)
 

CaverZ

Thread Starter
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Jan 14, 2017
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1
St. George, UT
Thanks for that confirmation of what I suspected on the production side. I've used a few other channels and seem to have dialed it in as best I can but there are still differences of hue, color temp, etc etc. I'll admit I'm an AV perfectionist and am not very tolerant of poor quality audio or video. I wish it didn't bother me so much. Sounds like I have some more research to do on AVS.
 
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Templeton0543

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 31, 2014
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Central California
Yes, I have noticed it. Just switched from HWS to H3, same TV, and while it shouldn't have made a difference, to me it did. I spent a lot of time adjusting the picture (and learning the box) but when I changed channels it would be off, mostly in the faces, but other places too. I finally adjusted to channels I watch a lot and try to ignore it on the others. Skin tones on Fox News look off, may have to do more adjusting
 

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