Help! Unlike Blu-ray, HD programming doesn't look good on 65" TV - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 03-18-2013, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Dear all,

I purchased the Panasonic vt50 65" tv for my living room a few days ago. I'm watching it from about 14 feet away.

- When I watch blu-ray movies, they look amazing.

- When I watch Direct TV's HD programming (HD channels) from Directv. they look awful.

I already checked the receiver setting, I already have 720 p, i, 1080 p, i checked.

With the same receiver, the Directv HD programming actually looked much better on my smaller 2005 50" plasma than my 2012 65" tv.

- Is that the norm?

- Is there anything I should adjust on the receiver to make HD programming looks better?

- Or is it the content of the source that I can't do anything about it.

I watch Directv more than Blu-ray movies, if 65" is not a good fit to watch television then I may consider returning it and get a 60" or 55" TV if that helps.

Has anyone has similar experience?

Please advise. Thank you much!
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post #2 of 26 Old 03-18-2013, 09:34 PM
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Try asking in the plasma forum. There is a vt50 owners thread there where you can get more advice.

Quick answer for you: the vt50 is particularly hard on hd tv programming. It is not necessarily the size, though obviously that magnifies the problem. The positive spin is the tv is accurate and it's just showing you what's in the signal (garbage in, garbage out). The negative spin is it has poor video processing and do a lousy job with less than stellar content.
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post #3 of 26 Old 03-18-2013, 10:02 PM
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I agree this is the wrong forum, but you can do some rudimentary adjustments that will help. Turn off all filters and noise reduction and set sharpness to off or at least the low end. I have my D units set to only output 1080i too, try that and see if it helps. Just curious, do you have any OTA available? How does that look?
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post #4 of 26 Old 03-19-2013, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you barth2k and Matt L for your reply. I'm heading to the VT50 owner's thread.
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post #5 of 26 Old 03-19-2013, 12:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanramon94582 View Post

Thank you barth2k and Matt L for your reply. I'm heading to the VT50 owner's thread.

It might be simple as pressing the "format" button on the directv remote control until it says 1080i.
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post #6 of 26 Old 03-19-2013, 03:41 PM
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High-quality Blu-Rays are more than double the bitrate of DirectTV and those bits matter more than anything.

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All opinions are my own unless otherwise specified.
I make no guarantees as to the accuracy of any information given.
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post #7 of 26 Old 03-19-2013, 04:03 PM
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Looks even worse on my 73" TV. Best solution, watch more Bluray's tongue.gif
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post #8 of 26 Old 03-19-2013, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanramon94582 View Post

Dear all,

I purchased the Panasonic vt50 65" tv for my living room a few days ago. I'm watching it from about 14 feet away.

- When I watch blu-ray movies, they look amazing.

- When I watch Direct TV's HD programming (HD channels) from Directv. they look awful.

I already checked the receiver setting, I already have 720 p, i, 1080 p, i checked.

With the same receiver, the Directv HD programming actually looked much better on my smaller 2005 50" plasma than my 2012 65" tv.

- Is that the norm?

- Is there anything I should adjust on the receiver to make HD programming looks better?

- Or is it the content of the source that I can't do anything about it.

I watch Directv more than Blu-ray movies, if 65" is not a good fit to watch television then I may consider returning it and get a 60" or 55" TV if that helps.

Has anyone has similar experience?

Please advise. Thank you much!
Have you turned "native" on to ensure the box is always sending out the proper resolution? Also, be sure you TV type is HD and 16x9.

Have you clicked the option to "hide SD duplicates" so you don't accidentally tune to the SD version instead of the HD version? Plus, make sure you have the SD mode set to pillar bar the content to ensure it doesn't get stretched. This will also make it easier to immediately notice if you aren't tuned to an HD channel.

How is your box connected to your TV - HDMI, component (RGB) or did the instller stick with with composite RCA (YRW) cables? I've heard plenty of stories of installers skimping and not connecting the box with an HD cable.

Do you have your TV set to any sort of stretch, expand, Cinema or other modes other than "standard" or a similar generic setting? Any of those special modes could be stretching or blowing up the video, making it look worse.

While HD on TV will never look as good s Blu-ray (the bit rate is far lower in many cases), it shouldn't look horrible in comparison - especially on DirecTV, which is one of the better providers for image quality right now..

Other than a few channels that would look like crap on any provider, D* looks very good on my TV - even if it isn't as good as Blu-ray.
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post #9 of 26 Old 03-19-2013, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

Have you turned "native" on to ensure the box is always sending out the proper resolution? Also, be sure you TV type is HD and 16x9.

Have you clicked the option to "hide SD duplicates" so you don't accidentally tune to the SD version instead of the HD version? Plus, make sure you have the SD mode set to pillar bar the content to ensure it doesn't get stretched. This will also make it easier to immediately notice if you aren't tuned to an HD channel.

How is your box connected to your TV - HDMI, component (RGB) or did the instller stick with with composite RCA (YRW) cables? I've heard plenty of stories of installers skimping and not connecting the box with an HD cable.

Do you have your TV set to any sort of stretch, expand, Cinema or other modes other than "standard" or a similar generic setting? Any of those special modes could be stretching or blowing up the video, making it look worse.

While HD on TV will never look as good s Blu-ray (the bit rate is far lower in many cases), it shouldn't look horrible in comparison - especially on DirecTV, which is one of the better providers for image quality right now..

Other than a few channels that would look like crap on any provider, D* looks very good on my TV - even if it isn't as good as Blu-ray.

Directv receiver to AVR in HDMI, AVR to TV also in HDMI. I was watching HD source. TV is not stretched or expanded.

Can you elaborate on what you mean by Directv sending "native"? Thanks!
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post #10 of 26 Old 03-19-2013, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanramon94582 View Post

Directv receiver to AVR in HDMI, AVR to TV also in HDMI. I was watching HD source. TV is not stretched or expanded.

Can you elaborate on what you mean by Directv sending "native"? Thanks!

Menu > Settings and Help > Settings > Display > Video:

Select Native = On
Screen Format = Original Format

Having Native turned on will increase the time it takes to switch between channels of different formats (1080i-720p or HD to SD, etc) but it ensures that the receiver is always sending out the station in its proper resolution and format.
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post #11 of 26 Old 03-19-2013, 10:40 PM
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I HATE native and all 4 of my HR2x boxes have it turned OFF. I see no point in it. I set everything to display properly, gray bars with Sd content and full screen with HD. Once set I never touch any buttons for resolution or to change the display, the set takes care of all that. I have set up countless boxes and I set them all that way, no muss, no fuss and the display is always as it should be.
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post #12 of 26 Old 03-20-2013, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

Menu > Settings and Help > Settings > Display > Video:

Select Native = On
Screen Format = Original Format

Having Native turned on will increase the time it takes to switch between channels of different formats (1080i-720p or HD to SD, etc) but it ensures that the receiver is always sending out the station in its proper resolution and format.

He should also be sure that all resolutions are checked (480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p) since his TV supports all of them. Otherwise if he only had 720p checked his DirecTV receiver would still be downscaling 1080i content to 720p. I also want to mention in case he doesn't realize the only content available in 1080p on DirecTV is VOD and PPV conent. No linear channels broadcast in 1080p.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post

I HATE native and all 4 of my HR2x boxes have it turned OFF. I see no point in it. I set everything to display properly, gray bars with Sd content and full screen with HD. Once set I never touch any buttons for resolution or to change the display, the set takes care of all that. I have set up countless boxes and I set them all that way, no muss, no fuss and the display is always as it should be.

Usually TVs will have better scalers built into them then the DirecTV receivers. So by turning on Native and allowing the DirecTV receiver to send out the channel as it is broadcast (in 480i, 720p, or 1080i) you use the TVs scaler instead of the DirecTV receiver's scaler and can get a better picture. However this does tend to make channel changes take longer when switching between channels with different resolutions since the box has to change resolution and the HDMI handshake has to happen again with the new resolution. So for some people (myself included) they decide the faster channel changes are worth the slight decrease in picture quality. Since this poster is complaining about picture quality it is a good suggestion for him to turn native on, and to make sure that his TV is actually receiving the correct resolution for the channel selected (he may also need to make sure any kind of scaling is turned off in his AV receiver).
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post #13 of 26 Old 03-20-2013, 11:38 AM
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You failed to mention what size your previous monitor was and if it was the same manufacturer? Going to a larger monitor will obviously do that to your picture. Look at a medium resolution 5x7 photograph and look at an 8X10 photograph. huge difference in detail right? I think you just discovered the difference between 1080P Blu-ray with no limited bandwidth and the limitation of DirecTV. I did the same double take at first but expected it.
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post #14 of 26 Old 03-20-2013, 02:35 PM
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While yes, he should expect the size of the screen to have some impact, this doesn't sound normal. I would agree that DirecTV's HD channels are not going to look as good as a good Blu-Ray (it may look as good as some of the poorly done ones though). However, he said they look awful. Either something is set up wrong, or he is grossly exaggerating, because most people would agree that DirecTV's HD is about as good as it gets from a TV provider (FIOS is usually regarded as better, and some cable systems can be in some areas depending on the technology they are using).
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post #15 of 26 Old 03-20-2013, 02:50 PM
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Have to agree, D on a 55" display looks great, can't imagine it would look that bad on a 65". I too question the connection/settings.
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post #16 of 26 Old 03-20-2013, 04:04 PM
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I was definitely in for a shock when I went from a 42" plasma to a 73" DLP, of course I'm on E*. Actually I thought it looked pretty mediocre from the minute the installer turned it on.
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post #17 of 26 Old 03-21-2013, 01:54 PM
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Ck. that the Pani's format is set to "full". Ck. the pass-thru settings on your A/V receiver. I had the same issue with my set-up. Re-set the A/V receiver and fixed the problem. Sounds like you checked all of the resolution boxes, also click the Dolby box in Audio. Good luck, should look good.
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post #18 of 26 Old 03-22-2013, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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I took you guys' advises.

- Directv set to native. Screen format to original
- Directv all resolutions are checked (480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p)
- Panasonic format set to "full"
- I even confirmed the HDMI cables are high speed. (not sure if it helps)

The result is some TV programing looks good (e.g. Discovery HD) and some don't (e.g. Big Bang Theory, news channels). By not looking good I mean

- Colors are not vibrant
- Faces seem slightly out of focus.
- Somewhat like photographers taking pictures with high ISO / noises
- Somewhat like putting Youtube full screen on a computer monitor.

With the same Directv and TV setting I don't notice those lack of quality on my old 50" plasma.

- Is there anything I need to set on my Pioneer Elite or Panasonic to make it upscale/up-convert? Or do they upscale automatically?
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post #19 of 26 Old 03-22-2013, 09:05 AM
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From your description it sounds like you are watching CBS - if that is where you are getting BBT from - in SD mode. Are you sure you have the HD channel active in you channel list? If it's from a local station, do they provide HD? I only watch Hd and have a list of channels setup labeled as such, occasionally I go through and add whatever D has added that I have not updated.
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post #20 of 26 Old 03-22-2013, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post

From your description it sounds like you are watching CBS - if that is where you are getting BBT from - in SD mode. Are you sure you have the HD channel active in you channel list? If it's from a local station, do they provide HD? I only watch Hd and have a list of channels setup labeled as such, occasionally I go through and add whatever D has added that I have not updated.

Yes I was watching HD programming.
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post #21 of 26 Old 03-22-2013, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanramon94582 View Post

I took you guys' advises.

- Directv set to native. Screen format to original
- Directv all resolutions are checked (480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p)
- Panasonic format set to "full"
- I even confirmed the HDMI cables are high speed. (not sure if it helps)

The result is some TV programing looks good (e.g. Discovery HD) and some don't (e.g. Big Bang Theory, news channels). By not looking good I mean

- Colors are not vibrant
- Faces seem slightly out of focus.
- Somewhat like photographers taking pictures with high ISO / noises
- Somewhat like putting Youtube full screen on a computer monitor.

With the same Directv and TV setting I don't notice those lack of quality on my old 50" plasma.

- Is there anything I need to set on my Pioneer Elite or Panasonic to make it upscale/up-convert? Or do they upscale automatically?
Since every CBS affiliate could be different, here's a test:

TBS airs re-runs of the Big Bang Theory. I believe Saturday is the next time any air (stuff from 2011). Try recording a couple of those and see how they compare to what you saw on CBS. As far as the news channels, those are tough. Stuff that's not in the studio could be from anything from Skype to Youtube. The key is, are all the fonts they slap on everything clear and easy to read?

The next step would be to take some suggestions on some of the better looking shows on TV to look at to see if those look good to you. If they don't, something is definitely wrong. If they look fine, it could be the particular content you're viewing.

I will say, from your description, it sounds like you've got some excess sharpening or other image "enhancement" stuff turned on in your TV - and it could be just for that input (the Blu-ray input could be set correctly). That could make an image look noisy if sharpness is too high, blown out if the levels are wonky or even blurry if sharpness is too low.
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post #22 of 26 Old 03-25-2013, 10:44 PM
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Can the OP not use an antenna for CBS?

I have Dish (E*), and I pretty much do OTA for all my broadcast channels. The picture is leagues better on my 32" guest room 720p LCD. It was noticeably better on my 57" DLP. It's truly night and day on my 82" DLP.

OTA isn't Blu-ray, but it's better than anything D* or E* will offer.
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post #23 of 26 Old 03-26-2013, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by allargon View Post

Can the OP not use an antenna for CBS?

I have Dish (E*), and I pretty much do OTA for all my broadcast channels. The picture is leagues better on my 32" guest room 720p LCD. It was noticeably better on my 57" DLP. It's truly night and day on my 82" DLP.

OTA isn't Blu-ray, but it's better than anything D* or E* will offer.
In the case of D*, it should look pretty much the same. There would be slightly more compression on D* from the conversion to MPEG4, but unless you saw it side by side, you likely wouldn't notice. D* gets it's signal exactly the same way you do.

Further, unless the OP has an HR20 or an AM21, he won't be able to use his DVR to record the OTA signal.
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post #24 of 26 Old 03-26-2013, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

In the case of D*, it should look pretty much the same. There would be slightly more compression on D* from the conversion to MPEG4, but unless you saw it side by side, you likely wouldn't notice. D* gets it's signal exactly the same way you do.

Further, unless the OP has an HR20 or an AM21, he won't be able to use his DVR to record the OTA signal.

D* re-compresses their OTA sources. They don't just re-encode it to MPEG4. They don't compress as much as E*. (D* used to have worse HD quality than E*. But, that was years ago.)

Verizon and certain cable cos are the only ones that don't further compress their source signals.
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post #25 of 26 Old 03-26-2013, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allargon View Post

D* re-compresses their OTA sources. They don't just re-encode it to MPEG4. They don't compress as much as E*. (D* used to have worse HD quality than E*. But, that was years ago.)

Verizon and certain cable cos are the only ones that don't further compress their source signals.
However, most people notice very little - if any - difference. That's the point. It shouldn't look noticeably different unless he views them side by side or flips between the signals to compare.
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post #26 of 26 Old 03-27-2013, 10:06 PM
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I DO have an AM21, actually 3 of them, and when I compare OTA with D there is very little difference. Enough to make it moot, I only occasionally use the Am21 for the odd sub channel or out of market station that d does not carry on my SAT feed.
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