Direct TV have the best picture quality...? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

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post #1 of 102 Old 03-02-2015, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Direct TV have the best picture quality...?

I have heard it several times all over this forum that you get out of your TV, as far as picture, what you put into it.

And I strongly agree.

With that - who has the best picture quality as far as input to your LCD/LED?

Direct TV, Comcast, Time Warner, Dish...

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post #2 of 102 Old 03-02-2015, 01:42 PM
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Verizon FiOS is the best I've seen, but it's been a while since I've seen Dish or DirecTV (a few TV's ago!).
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post #3 of 102 Old 03-02-2015, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVAV View Post
I have heard it several times all over this forum that you get out of your TV, as far as picture, what you put into it.

And I strongly agree.

With that - who has the best picture quality as far as input to your LCD/LED?

Direct TV, Comcast, Time Warner, Dish...
Dish does very well. I will be switching to Direct TV in April so I can let you know the difference then.

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post #4 of 102 Old 03-02-2015, 01:46 PM
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I have used 3 providers. Direct TV, Time Warner, and Dish. I would rate the picture quality in that order as well. I noticed a pretty big difference between Direct TV and Time Warner too. Dish stunk, could have just been in my area.
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post #5 of 102 Old 03-02-2015, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by speedbump View Post
Verizon FiOS is the best I've seen, but it's been a while since I've seen Dish or DirecTV (a few TV's ago!).
Yeah... unfortunately Verizon TV/Internet is not available in my area - or my state for that matter...

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post #6 of 102 Old 03-02-2015, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drock2k1 View Post
I have used 3 providers. Direct TV, Time Warner, and Dish. I would rate the picture quality in that order as well. I noticed a pretty big difference between Direct TV and Time Warner too. Dish stunk, could have just been in my area.
I certainly hope you are correct but I have been using Dish for the past 2 years and they are as good as I could hope for.

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post #7 of 102 Old 03-02-2015, 01:55 PM
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I have had Directv since 1994. Cost me 1687.00 plus tax and i had to install it myself. I mention this because i cant compare signal quality to any other. I will say that I watch mine through my network connections on all my RVU tv's with just an ethernet connection using my Genie Server connected to my router. Looks great in all its glory and does not skip a beat. Not sure if the other providers do that. Signal Strength is 97 to 98 across all Transponders (Well the existing and applicable ones). And after Katrina my generator was kicking and DTV was up!
+1 for DTV

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post #8 of 102 Old 03-02-2015, 02:03 PM
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Does Directv have the best picture quality? Compared to Comcast I would have to say yes and they have alot more HD channels as well. But remeber Directv compresses its HD channels just like Comcast does which means they can go as high as 1080i only. I know they both claim that some of their "On Demand" movies are Full 1080p but I dont believe that for a split second unless someone can prove otherwise.
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post #9 of 102 Old 03-02-2015, 02:10 PM
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This is one of the exceptionally few cases in the AV hobby where the best option is the cheapest one.

When I did my comparison a few years ago, over the air signal was better looking than either DirecTV or Comcast. Also, no contract, no subscription, and no fees of any kind.
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post #10 of 102 Old 03-02-2015, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitviper33 View Post
This is one of the exceptionally few cases in the AV hobby where the best option is the cheapest one.

When I did my comparison a few years ago, over the air signal was better looking than either DirecTV or Comcast. Also, no contract, no subscription, and no fees of any kind.
Well, right, over the air will look better because the signal is not compressed...

But if you want more than the "local+" channels - you have to go with one of the above.

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post #11 of 102 Old 03-02-2015, 02:24 PM
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I only have extended experience with Directv and Comcast and between the two, Directv is far and away better in PQ. We had Comcast from the 80s up until 2010 and once everything went digital we constantly noticed pixelation (esp in scenes with motion) and artifacts.

We had Directv from 2010-2014 and the PQ was night and day. My layman's guess is that Directv doesn't offer internet service so their signal is less compressed.

We moved to a new place mid-2014 and our only option was U-verse and Comcast. Comcast's internet speed is the best among what's available to us and we decided against getting a separate bill for cable so we signed up for their Double Play package. Guess what? Same ol' poor pq as 2010, aint a damn thing changed. I will say their on demand choices are the best and is pretty much the only reason we consider keeping them. But if we're ever in a position to get Directv again I'd switch in a heartbeat.
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post #12 of 102 Old 03-02-2015, 02:30 PM
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My parents have Dish Network and I have Comcast. I would say Dish is significantly better in terms of PQ. Comcast is sometimes grainy when I'm sitting 10 feet from a 55" tv. I should not be able to see pixels at that distance. My Comcast internet is great though.
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post #13 of 102 Old 03-02-2015, 06:49 PM
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I always hear that directv is the best, but lately in other threads I've seen alot of complains about certain sports games looking horrible when I thought it looked great on my comcast, which makes me very cautious when thinking of switching.
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post #14 of 102 Old 03-02-2015, 07:14 PM
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It's really difficult to tell who is best between cable ans satellite. I've had Dish, Direct and Cox. All pretty much the same PQ. The compression rates vary from channel to channel and even depends on the time of day. Different independent studios also vary in PQ because of equipment quality. OTAsignals are also compressed.
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post #15 of 102 Old 03-02-2015, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitviper33 View Post
This is one of the exceptionally few cases in the AV hobby where the best option is the cheapest one. When I did my comparison a few years ago, over the air signal was better looking than either DirecTV or Comcast.
OTA has always looked better than cable or satellite, and whenever i install a TV for someone (i'm the resident TV Guy) i often use OTA as a reference on familiar news broadcasts when demonstrating the picture quality they're getting from their TV provider.

FIOS is a very close 2nd behind antenna, and DirecTV is a somewhat close 3rd. TWC is a mixed bag; some areas (like my town and Torrance) get a great picture (better than DirecTV here in El Segundo, ironically where DirecTV is headquartered) but most other TWC areas (like several of their networks in various areas of LA) were formerly Comcast and they have considerably worse picture quality that's actually so poor that it's unacceptable to me. AT&T U-Verse here has mostly crappy HD picture quality and i rate them last. I haven't seen Dish anywhere in the past few years but i seem to remember it not being as good as DirecTV.


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Also, no contract, no subscription, and no fees of any kind.
Yeah but also there's no Velocity, no ESPN, no FS1, no TNT, no CNN, no HGTV, no Smithsonian, no Discovery, no BBC, no Nat Geo, no TV Land, no Food Network, and lots of other cable channels that we must have in our home. For a lot of folks, the cheapest option is not the best option, and for me it's not an option at all as OTA doesn't have the channels i watch most. I don't like paying as much as we do, but it's a luxury that we cannot do without.
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post #16 of 102 Old 03-03-2015, 08:12 AM
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DirecTv definitely leads picture quality
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post #17 of 102 Old 03-03-2015, 08:47 AM
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This question has been bandied around for many years. If I remember correctly the few experts that have chimed in basically said that there is no accross the board measurements avaiable that can answer the question. All I've ever seen is individual opinions but no actual numbers that can specifically say that x is better than y.
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post #18 of 102 Old 03-03-2015, 08:58 AM
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These are some of the facts that we know:

- Cable quality and compression varies widely across regions and carriers. So no blanket statement can be made. A direct comparison would have to be made in your local market to determine what is best.
- DirecTV is consistent nationwide and has very high bit rates for HD, and very bad SD.
- Dish has no true HD, only 1440x1080. While this looks almost indistinguishable from 1080i, it is certainly not the highest quality. It also has different picture quality on the eastern and western arcs.
- Fios has more bandwidth than satellite, equal or better HD quality and better SD quality.
- Uverse has the highest compression of all due to their very limited bandwidth.
- Many cable providers have far more HD channels than satellite
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post #19 of 102 Old 03-03-2015, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyWalters View Post
OTA has always looked better than cable or satellite, and whenever i install a TV for someone (i'm the resident TV Guy) i often use OTA as a reference on familiar news broadcasts when demonstrating the picture quality they're getting from their TV provider.
Absolutely. We cut the cord almost 2 years ago and HD programming OTA easily blows away cable & satellite. (At least in my area). Amazon FireStick for Prime,VuDu, Netflix & SlingTV, coupled with a BluRay player and we're good. Not sure we'll keep Sling....not worth the money imo.


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post #20 of 102 Old 03-03-2015, 10:03 AM
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I find Directv provides the best audio and video signal compared to Comcast. They are also the only provider with NFL Sunday Ticket with access to all the NFL games, if that interests you. In my area, Comcast has bandwidth issues plus they blew off two appointments to meet me at home without telephoning or contacting me in any way. That sealed their fate for me.

My 1080i signal is upscaled to 1080P via my Pioneer SC-65 AVR (in preamp mode.) I do not stream any of their movies (too expensive, IMHO) but I did upgrade to their Genie offering which is very convenient if you are recording multiple shows throughout the house. I barely watch satellite movies as most of them are old and I use Redbox to get bluray quality. HBO is for Bill Maher and boxing.

Directv has become more expensive. I dropped down my subscription from Premier to a tier below with HBO as a premium channel only.

Best advice - - if you are considering satellite and live in a climate with cold and snow, get yourself a "dish heater." Once I did that, knock-knock, no more trips to the roof to remove snow.

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post #21 of 102 Old 03-03-2015, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbanks View Post
DirecTv definitely leads picture quality
Nope, FIOS looks better

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post #22 of 102 Old 03-03-2015, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Nope, FIOS looks better
Right, but FIOS isn't available everywhere...

Direct TV is more widely available...

So, it seems as though the consensus is FIOS (where it is available) and then Direct TV...

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post #23 of 102 Old 03-03-2015, 12:24 PM
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^^^^^ or OTA
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post #24 of 102 Old 03-03-2015, 12:34 PM
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I agree with the consensus. OTA>FIOS>DIRECT TV.

By the way, I have direct and it's very good. I've heard great things about fios. I've also compared ota to direct with the same signal and while not night and day, ota is better.
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post #25 of 102 Old 03-03-2015, 12:39 PM
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Best advice - - if you are considering satellite and live in a climate with cold and snow, get yourself a "dish heater." Once I did that, knock-knock, no more trips to the roof to remove snow.
This is very interesting to me. I lived in northern Illinois and was a satellite customer for years. I didn't have a heater, didn't spray PAM on the dish, and didn't ever clean it. I don't think I ever experienced a disruption as a result of snow. Only a handful of times did I see a disruption during heavy storms.
I had people ask me about service disruptions MUCH more than I actually had them. It was always my guess that the claims of frequent service disruptions were a drastic exaggeration from the cable companies.
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post #26 of 102 Old 03-03-2015, 12:43 PM
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1. OTA
2. Direct TV
3. TWC (hard wired) & Uverse (wireless).

In our area, Uverse service is more dependable than TWC so that's who we use.
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post #27 of 102 Old 03-03-2015, 01:50 PM
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in my area, east bay area (45mi east of San Francisco), there are noticeable differences between comcast and directv on properly calibrated displays (70'' LED and a 50'' plasma). on most directv HD channels there is dark area macroblocking that is not present on comcast. it's less noticeable on the plasma than on the LED. it's not a size issue but rather a technology issue.

also in my area I can get the same HD content via either provider (comcast or directv). I choose directv because: 1) they have a high quality whole house system in the genie that just works is is light years ahead of the X1 and 2) directv is cheaper and still is cheaper in the second year of my 2 year contract.

U-verse isn't even in the running to provide content in my house. they only guarentee 2 HD streams out of 4 possible to my house. I have 8 HD streams with directv. for a whole house system, the comcast X1 could only give me 5 HD streams.

Best,
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post #28 of 102 Old 03-03-2015, 02:07 PM
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... the comcast X1 could only give me 5 HD streams.
FYI, if you use cable card tuners like Tivo, Ceton or HD Homerun Prime, you can have essentially unlimited tuners and no DVR or box rental fees. At one time, I had 17, now back down to 6 (by my own choice).

In my market, cable is cheaper and has better picture quality and a better lineup than DirecTV.
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post #29 of 102 Old 03-03-2015, 02:15 PM
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direc tv is nothing but NOISE!
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post #30 of 102 Old 03-03-2015, 02:27 PM
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direc tv is nothing but NOISE!
I think you may be missing a receiver to decode the signal
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