Another Big Poll! What do you think of the new National DirecTV MPEG4 HD channels? - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: What do you think of the new DirecTV MPEG4 HD channels?
Among the best HDTV I've ever seen, from any source. 201 25.87%
Among the best HDTV I've ever seen, except for some OTA broadcasts. 119 15.32%
Significantly better than the old MPEG2 HD channels. 217 27.93%
Marginally better than the old MPEG2 HD channels. 69 8.88%
It's about the same as the old MPEG2 HD channels. 31 3.99%
They are worse than the old MPEG2 channels. 10 1.29%
I have no idea. I don't have D*, or have not viewed enough to form an opinion. 130 16.73%
Voters: 777. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 124 Old 10-05-2007, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Just duplicating Ken's poll, but making it a public poll.

Please vote based on your overall impression of the channels if you've seen them and can offer an evaluation. I've added a few options to try and break down the bulk of the responses from the previous poll in just two of the options.

As Ken said - let's get down to the nitty gritty and tell us what you really think.
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post #2 of 124 Old 10-05-2007, 05:43 PM
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I think you forgot to set up the poll?

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post #3 of 124 Old 10-05-2007, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Took me a minute to set up the options.
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post #4 of 124 Old 10-05-2007, 06:47 PM
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I take option 2. I have an OTA local or 2 that do not multicast and their HD is VERY good. What little HD I have seen on the new channels is that good at least. It is a shame I have to work for a living ;(.
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post #5 of 124 Old 10-05-2007, 07:25 PM
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I have thought that the MPEG4 locals we get here in Jacksonville are at least the equal of what I get OTA and via Comcast (I have their basic HD package).

The new MPEG4 channels such as Discovery and Smithsonian, when showing true HD are quite good.

The USA HD broadcasts are better than what I get here OTA since our local NBC affiliate has that dumb weather sub-channel. What I've seen of SCI FI HD (a re-run of Bionic Woman and portions of Stargate Atlantis) have also had really good PQ.
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post #6 of 124 Old 10-05-2007, 07:47 PM
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I was comparing an older recording of Die Hard from HBO Channel 70 to a recent recording from Cinemax. It seems that the Cinemax channels are filtered a little bit more. It seems as if they are filtering a lot of the grain out of the picture, which makes the picture seem smoother, but also less detailed. Die Hard is not really a good movie to make a comparison with though since it is obviously an older transfer that is extremely noisy and grainy, and perhaps it was Cinemax that was cleaning it up a bit before DirecTV added any noise reduction or filtering. The "Live" channels such as Big Ten and the sports nets look phenomenal.
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post #7 of 124 Old 10-05-2007, 07:54 PM
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Among the best HD I've ever seen, from any source. I've never seen OTA broadcasts look this good.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fire407 View Post

The "Live" channels such as Big Ten and the sports nets look phenomenal.

So then why did you say they look worse than the old MPEG2 channels?
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post #8 of 124 Old 10-05-2007, 08:29 PM
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I have been pleasantly surprised and impressed. I'm not sure if it's the best HD I've ever seen, but some of the baseball in particular has really made me sit up.

The improvement for the Sci-Fi channel alone (as noted in another thread) from horrid, worst on DTV, SD to very nice HD is more than worth the wait.

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post #9 of 124 Old 10-06-2007, 01:24 AM
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MPEG-4 is very good. I wish they'd show more strobing scenes and other things that were torturous for MPEG-2 so that I could get a larger A/B sample. But what I've seen so far is great. And I find myself going to channels like 206 instead of 73 to make sure I get the nicer HD picture.

I am really pleased with what has been delivered so far. This is looking like the good old days when D* only had like 4 HD channels and everything was getting close to 19.2 (and my OTA locals weren't putting repeats of the news and doppler radar on subchannels).
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post #10 of 124 Old 10-06-2007, 01:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calhokie View Post

I find myself going to channels like 206 instead of 73 to make sure I get the nicer HD picture.

206 and 73 are exactly the same. Same goes for the rest of the 70s channels that have duplicates on the SD channel number.
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post #11 of 124 Old 10-06-2007, 04:48 AM
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Stargate Atlantis last night was incredible. Much better than OTA. The color was phenomenal, the contrast was deep, the picture was sharp, very little noise, no pixelization.

I'm very impressed.

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post #12 of 124 Old 10-06-2007, 04:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPanther95 View Post

Just duplicating Ken's poll, but making it a public poll.

Sorry about the screwup.

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post #13 of 124 Old 10-06-2007, 05:07 AM
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Why even have options for worse than old mpeg2 or the same? You are just feeding trolls.
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post #14 of 124 Old 10-06-2007, 06:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Gotta cover all the bases. Making it public will make it easy to filter out any hinkey votes.
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post #15 of 124 Old 10-06-2007, 06:09 AM
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The HD on TBS' baseball coverage reflects a clear upgrade over the MPEG 2 on ESPN. I was surprised to see such a noticable difference.
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post #16 of 124 Old 10-06-2007, 06:13 AM
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It handles fast moving scenes much better. I have been watching some live concerts on MHD with strobing and fast motion and see little to no macroblocking. On the old Mpeg2 channels (even full bitrate) they would have been a macroblocking mess so this at least is a step up. I would tend to agree that they might be slightly less sharp but its hard to tell since I have nothing to directly compare them too side by side. It is a big step up from the current situation on Directv though for sure!
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post #17 of 124 Old 10-06-2007, 06:35 AM
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I voted "significantly better than ". The top 3 could scew the results. My OTA is marginally better in most cases. But, the number of sub channels has a lot to do with that. The top option could be chosen by someone who doesn't have an HDDVD or BluRay player. If you have either of those, the satallite channels don't compare. If not and you compare it a BB or CC HD display, you might think you have the best system ever put together.
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post #18 of 124 Old 10-06-2007, 06:57 AM
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I get all my locals, including the CW from Directv and they're just as good as my OTA and infinitely better than what I got from Time Warner. The other HD channels surpass anything I've seen before it. I had Voom but grew to hate the lack of content. My neighbor has Dish, and quite frankly his HD channels look as awful as my current Mpeg 2 channels that I have on Directv(specifically ESPN). I love the new content, but I wish Directv would bump channels like ESPN up to the quality level of the new channels.
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post #19 of 124 Old 10-06-2007, 07:02 AM
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The new channels look so much better than the old channels its not even close to me. As long as they stay looking this good I will be happy.
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post #20 of 124 Old 10-06-2007, 08:01 AM
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One of the two people who voted worse than Mpeg 2 is a Dish subscriber.
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post #21 of 124 Old 10-06-2007, 08:07 AM
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Watched "Pirates of the Carribbean Dead Mans Chest" on StarzHD last night it looked amazing! I was just watching "Star Wars Revenge of the Sith" on HBOHD, again...amazing! The baseball on TBS is looking sweet too. I've caught bits and pieces of a few football games on Big10 HD that look great too.

I've looked at Smithsonian & DiscoveryHD and they look great but i'm all about the movies and sports channels!
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post #22 of 124 Old 10-06-2007, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joed32 View Post

One of the two people who voted worse than Mpeg 2 is a Dish subscriber.



Surprise surprise! Thus the fun of a public poll.
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post #23 of 124 Old 10-06-2007, 10:29 AM
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anyone else get a chuckle out of the vurbano vote?
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post #24 of 124 Old 10-06-2007, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slinger45 View Post

anyone else get a chuckle out of the vurbano vote?

Yes. If that doesn't quiet down the critics, nothing will.
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post #25 of 124 Old 10-06-2007, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slinger45 View Post

anyone else get a chuckle out of the vurbano vote?

I voted significantly better than old mpeg2. Your problem with that is what exactly?
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post #26 of 124 Old 10-06-2007, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vurbano View Post

I voted significantly better than old mpeg2. Your problem with that is what exactly?

Them's fightin' words...I demand an apology!!!
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post #27 of 124 Old 10-06-2007, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Vurbano has been very critical of the MPEG2 channels, not the MPEG4 channels.
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post #28 of 124 Old 10-06-2007, 01:25 PM
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I have viewed them on a 92" firehawk with an Epson 800 projector.

And I have now viewed them on a brand new 50" SXRD.

They look good, real real good.

Not the best ever, but close.

Anyone that says they look the same or worse than the old mpeg2 channels, should really get their system checked out.

There has got to be a problem somewhere.
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post #29 of 124 Old 10-06-2007, 02:31 PM
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Its amazing, Ive seen no artifacts, macroblocking, green splotches etc. The difference in quality is night and day. Most of the "average" or below quality Ive seen has been due to lighting I think on Smithsonian etc, or just moments during a movie where I think its the transfer thats at fault. D* has gone from being a bad joke PQ wise to very good IMO. USAHD, SCIFIHD, BTNHD, TBSHD and StarzHD are the most impressive to me.
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post #30 of 124 Old 10-06-2007, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannynoonan View Post

Anyone that says they look the same or worse than the old mpeg2 channels, should really get their system checked out.

There has got to be a problem somewhere.

Nope. HD Theater still has the sharpest image on low motion scenes, even though it's plagued by macroblocking and ringing in high motion scenes.

The MPEG4 channels have few artifacts but they're a bit soft by comparison.

You can make almost direct A/B comparisons by watching the HD programs that are broadcast both on HD Theather and the Discovery MPEG4 channels ("Build it Bigger" and a couple of others).

Smithsonian HD is terrible, I haven't seen any program on it that resolves better than a good standard DVD would. Even though I can imagine why people sitting far away think it looks good, because it almost has some sort of surface blur effect that cleans up noise.

I voted a "marginal" improvement overall because although PQ has moved a bit sideways, the lower bandwidth requirement means we can get more good quality channels.
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