VIP 622 - Great HD, Extra-Lousy SD Picture - AVS Forum
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Old 04-14-2006, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I just got my VIP622 yesterday. Output set at 720p to my Panasonic AE900. HD looks really good. However, the SD is really poor. Much worse than I was getting from my D* Tivo unit.

Is there a setting I'm missing? I'm not expecting HD quality here, just typical SD quality. My wife says it looks blurry on SD channels. I say it looks blurry, snowy, distorted, etc.

Any thoughts?



[edited to add question marks]
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Old 04-14-2006, 06:16 PM
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Most set top boxes do a bad job of upconverting SD content, which is native in the 480i resolution, to HD resolutions. 720p is an HD resolution and usually SD content that is upscaled to HD resolutions will not look that good. Does the 622 have native pass through? This allows the box to switch output resolution to whatever the currently displayed program was meant for. HD channels will be either 720p or 1080i, and SD channels will be 480i. Basically your problem is that you need to let the box display SD programs in 480i and disable it from upscaling SD content to either 720p or 1080i, then it should look "normal."
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Old 04-15-2006, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinBear View Post

I just got my VIP622 yesterday. Output set at 720p to my Panasonic AE900. HD looks really good. However, the SD is really poor. Much worse than I was getting from my D* Tivo unit.

Is there a setting I'm missing? I'm not expecting HD quality here, just typical SD quality. My wife says it looks blurry on SD channels. I say it looks blurry, snowy, distorted, etc.

Any thoughts?[edited to add question marks]

I think the 622 offers the best picture on SD and HD that I have ever seen and I have had a few
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Old 04-17-2006, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by omeletpants View Post

I think the 622 offers the best picture on SD and HD that I have ever seen and I have had a few

I agree. The 622, which I just got last Thrusday 4/13/06, has a much better SD picture than my 6000 had. The 6000 was pretty bad on SD actually. By contrast the 622 has great SD, well... as great as SD can be. However I use 1080i to my HDTV and I do not know if that makes a difference.

I have had absolutely no problems with my 622, it is a fantastic DVR.

Rick R
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Old 04-17-2006, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Rick_R View Post

I agree. The 622, which I just got last Thrusday 4/13/06, has a much better SD picture than my 6000 had. The 6000 was pretty bad on SD actually. By contrast the 622 has great SD, well... as great as SD can be. However I use 1080i to my HDTV and I do not know if that makes a difference.

I have had absolutely no problems with my 622, it is a fantastic DVR.

Rick R

That's great. I'd like mine to look good in SD also. Do you have any set-up/configuration suggestions? I called and they said I should run SD over S-Video rather than over HDMI. I tried it and it compresses the image (squeezes it), so it still does not look good. It also is pretty impractical as I'd then have to switch inputs on my project everytime the channel is changed from HD to SD.

I'm sure the box is fine and there is just some configuration that I can't find that needs to be changed....
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Old 04-17-2006, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by twitchee3 View Post

Most set top boxes do a bad job of upconverting SD content, which is native in the 480i resolution, to HD resolutions. 720p is an HD resolution and usually SD content that is upscaled to HD resolutions will not look that good. Does the 622 have native pass through? This allows the box to switch output resolution to whatever the currently displayed program was meant for. HD channels will be either 720p or 1080i, and SD channels will be 480i. Basically your problem is that you need to let the box display SD programs in 480i and disable it from upscaling SD content to either 720p or 1080i, then it should look "normal."

Thanks for the suggestion. I checked and if there is a native pass-through, I can't find it in the settings. Although, it does seem to know what it is passing. It passes the SD at 4:3 and the HD at 16:9.

Anyone?
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Old 04-17-2006, 04:42 PM
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What type of video input are you using? If you are using the HDMI port, this is your problem. You NEED to have the satellite receiver display SD content in 480i, otherwise you will receive bad PQ. HDMI does not support 480i, so you need to use component if you want to get both HD and SD over the same connection with good PQ. Native pass through is not only the aspect ratio (4x3 or 16x9), but also the resolution at which the picture is displayed (480i, 480p, 720p, or 1080i). You need to find a way to enable the box to display SD channels in 480i and HD channels in either 720p or 1080i (preference). I don't know how the settings menu is layed out with this box, but i KNOW for sure that it's possible. Also, you don't need the box to stretch 4x3 SD content, your HDTV should do that. HDTV's can stretch any 4x3 content to 16x9 as LONG AS the resolution of the picture is true SD (480i). My guess is that you are either using an input that doesn't allow the SD to be output in 480i (ie HDMI or DVI), and or your settings are not correct and you are telling the box to upscale all SD content (which is native in 480i, and this is how it will look best) to HD resolutions (either 720p or 1080i). Hope you can get this figured out.
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Old 04-18-2006, 10:29 AM
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AustinBear,

I use component output from the 622 to the HDTV. However I believe the other poster is incorrect. The 622 will convert all channels to your selected HD format, 720p or 1080i. In my case the 622 converts all channels to 1080i and sends them over the component cables to my HDTV.

With my previous 6000 Dish HD STB it did the same thing but I found that I got a better SD picture by using S video from the 6000 to my HDTV. Even the composite video was better. I have not done a comparison of the S video or composite video of the 622 with the 1080i component yet. What I did notice was that when I looked at SD channels with the 622 they were dramatically better than before with my 6000.

If you are not getting very good SD channels it might be because you are outputting in 720p or it might be that you are using HDMI. I do know that there have been reports of problems with HDMI on the 622. You might try component cables to your HDTV, or if your HDTV will take 1080i try that, or do both.

Rick R
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Old 04-18-2006, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_R View Post

AustinBear,

I use component output from the 622 to the HDTV. However I believe the other poster is incorrect. The 622 will convert all channels to your selected HD format, 720p or 1080i. In my case the 622 converts all channels to 1080i and sends them over the component cables to my HDTV.

With my previous 6000 Dish HD STB it did the same thing but I found that I got a better SD picture by using S video from the 6000 to my HDTV. Even the composite video was better. I have not done a comparison of the S video or composite video of the 622 with the 1080i component yet. What I did notice was that when I looked at SD channels with the 622 they were dramatically better than before with my 6000.

If you are not getting very good SD channels it might be because you are outputting in 720p or it might be that you are using HDMI. I do know that there have been reports of problems with HDMI on the 622. You might try component cables to your HDTV, or if your HDTV will take 1080i try that, or do both.

Rick R

Thanks. I tried S-Video with poor results. I'll now try the composite and report back (next week).

Incidentally, I called tech support and they did not have much to say other than they seemed to know that HDMI works well sometimes, and sometimes not. They basically told me to try all combinations and see what works...

Lastly, my pj is 720i. I guess I could feed it 1080i as a test, but that will just create one more incremental conversion (back to 720i)

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 04-18-2006, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_R View Post

AustinBear,

I use component output from the 622 to the HDTV. However I believe the other poster is incorrect. The 622 will convert all channels to your selected HD format, 720p or 1080i. In my case the 622 converts all channels to 1080i and sends them over the component cables to my HDTV.

With my previous 6000 Dish HD STB it did the same thing but I found that I got a better SD picture by using S video from the 6000 to my HDTV. Even the composite video was better. I have not done a comparison of the S video or composite video of the 622 with the 1080i component yet. What I did notice was that when I looked at SD channels with the 622 they were dramatically better than before with my 6000.

If you are not getting very good SD channels it might be because you are outputting in 720p or it might be that you are using HDMI. I do know that there have been reports of problems with HDMI on the 622. You might try component cables to your HDTV, or if your HDTV will take 1080i try that, or do both.

Rick R

I never said the 622 will not convert SD content to HD resolutions (720p, 1080i). In fact i said that IT WOULD CONVERT SD signals to these resolutions, and that is probably his problem. SD is MEANT TO BE VIEWED in 480i, and when you tell it to output all content in an HD format (720p or 1080i), it will convert all content, including SD, to the specified resolution. Many set top boxes do a horrible job of converting SD programs (meant to be viewed in 480i) to high definition resolutions (either 720p or 1080i). Since he was using ONLY HDMI, and HDMI is not capable of transmitting 480i signals, the box was converting SD 480i signals to 720p (and probably not donig a very decent job of this) so that it could be sent over the HDMI connection. Not only is the incorrect resolution for SD a problem, but because SD is transmitted and shot in 4x3, it will probably show up on the TV as 4x3 if it is being sent in an HD resolution. This is because most STB's (now i don't know if the 622 does this or not) pass the video through at the original apsect ratio (HD is natively 16x9 and SD is natively 4x3). Because SD is MEANT to be viewed in 480i, HDTV's have the capability to "stretch" 480i content to 16x9 so that it will fill the screen. Most HDTV's, however, ARE NOT capable of stretching video that is received in HD resolutions (720p or 1080i) to 16x9, the thinking behind this being that all HD programs are already shot and transmitted in 16x9 widescreen, so their native aspect ratio should fill the screen. If the SD programming is being delivered to the TV in HD resolutions however, the TV thinks it is displaying HD, and thus will display in native aspect ratio (for SD being 4x3) and will disable the stretch feature.
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Old 05-13-2006, 12:34 AM
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My TV states that it can take 480i through the HDMI connection. Can the 622 content through without upconverting it. In other words, when displaying an HD channel it sends through (720p or 1080i) and a SD channel send 480i. If the is the case, my TV can hand all types through the HDMI and the TV can do the converting.

Is the converting really that bad through the 622? Have many people noticed this?


Quote:
Originally Posted by twitchee3 View Post

I never said the 622 will not convert SD content to HD resolutions (720p, 1080i). In fact i said that IT WOULD CONVERT SD signals to these resolutions, and that is probably his problem. SD is MEANT TO BE VIEWED in 480i, and when you tell it to output all content in an HD format (720p or 1080i), it will convert all content, including SD, to the specified resolution. Many set top boxes do a horrible job of converting SD programs (meant to be viewed in 480i) to high definition resolutions (either 720p or 1080i). Since he was using ONLY HDMI, and HDMI is not capable of transmitting 480i signals, the box was converting SD 480i signals to 720p (and probably not donig a very decent job of this) so that it could be sent over the HDMI connection. Not only is the incorrect resolution for SD a problem, but because SD is transmitted and shot in 4x3, it will probably show up on the TV as 4x3 if it is being sent in an HD resolution. This is because most STB's (now i don't know if the 622 does this or not) pass the video through at the original apsect ratio (HD is natively 16x9 and SD is natively 4x3). Because SD is MEANT to be viewed in 480i, HDTV's have the capability to "stretch" 480i content to 16x9 so that it will fill the screen. Most HDTV's, however, ARE NOT capable of stretching video that is received in HD resolutions (720p or 1080i) to 16x9, the thinking behind this being that all HD programs are already shot and transmitted in 16x9 widescreen, so their native aspect ratio should fill the screen. If the SD programming is being delivered to the TV in HD resolutions however, the TV thinks it is displaying HD, and thus will display in native aspect ratio (for SD being 4x3) and will disable the stretch feature.

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Old 05-13-2006, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by megeed View Post

My TV states that it can take 480i through the HDMI connection. Can the 622 content through without upconverting it. In other words, when displaying an HD channel it sends through (720p or 1080i) and a SD channel send 480i. If the is the case, my TV can hand all types through the HDMI and the TV can do the converting.

Is the converting really that bad through the 622? Have many people noticed this?

I don't think the 622 will output 480i content over HDMI.
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Old 05-16-2006, 12:04 PM
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I have had the same problem (poor quality SD picture)with my 622. I tried everything including changing the receiver to 480i, using s-video, and none of them worked to get a decent picture. I am thinking about having a second dvr that is non HD for all SD programming. This should solve the problem but seems a little inconvenient to have to switch back and forth. If you find a solution that works please let me know.
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Old 05-16-2006, 01:30 PM
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I just got my VIP622 yesterday. I am running the component output (set to 720P) to an Optoma HD72 projector on a 96" diagonal screen. I agree with previous posts that the HD material looks outstanding. SD material looks good to me, but everything seems to have a "film" effect. Live feeds in news broadcasts, for example, don't look entirely "live". It's hard to explain, and all in all I think SD looks great, if you don't mind the "film" effect. I haven't tried outputting in 480i or 1080i to compare it to 720P but I'll try that tonight. Also, I haven't found a native passthru setting for SD material yet. One thing is for sure, this box is a HUGE improvement in every way over the Motorola 6412 PIII I was using before!! I have both on hand currently so I was able to A/B them on HD sources over component video connections and there was absolutely no difference. I have always read that cable HD is better than satellite HD but I sat there going back and forth for 10 minutes and I couldn't tell any difference. After struggling with glitches with the Moto 6412 for the last year this VIP622 is truly a breath of fresh air!
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Old 05-16-2006, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by myapplebuddy View Post

I just got my VIP622 yesterday. I am running the component output (set to 720P) to an Optoma HD72 projector on a 96" diagonal screen. I agree with previous posts that the HD material looks outstanding. SD material looks good to me, but everything seems to have a "film" effect. Live feeds in news broadcasts, for example, don't look entirely "live". It's hard to explain, and all in all I think SD looks great, if you don't mind the "film" effect. I haven't tried outputting in 480i or 1080i to compare it to 720P but I'll try that tonight. Also, I haven't found a native passthru setting for SD material yet. One thing is for sure, this box is a HUGE improvement in every way over the Motorola 6412 PIII I was using before!! I have both on hand currently so I was able to A/B them on HD sources over component video connections and there was absolutely no difference. I have always read that cable HD is better than satellite HD but I sat there going back and forth for 10 minutes and I couldn't tell any difference. After struggling with glitches with the Moto 6412 for the last year this VIP622 is truly a breath of fresh air!

SD should be viewed in 480i (or 480p) for the best PQ. Cable HD IS better, but just slightly and it's not always visible to the naked eye. The difference is that cable allows more bandwidth and satellite HD feeds are more compressed.
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Old 07-10-2006, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by twitchee3 View Post

SD should be viewed in 480i (or 480p) for the best PQ. Cable HD IS better, but just slightly and it's not always visible to the naked eye. The difference is that cable allows more bandwidth and satellite HD feeds are more compressed.

But where do cable companies get their content from? I thought they get it from satellite feeds as well.
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Old 07-10-2006, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twitchee3 View Post

SD should be viewed in 480i (or 480p) for the best PQ. Cable HD IS better, but just slightly and it's not always visible to the naked eye. The difference is that cable allows more bandwidth and satellite HD feeds are more compressed.

I've discovered since I wrote my previous post that the "film" effect I was seeing was actually only on the Dish HD local channels, not any other channels. It is only noticeable on certain shows and my wife thinks I'm crazy because she doesn't see what I'm seeing. What I ended up doing was buying an OTA antenna and now I receive all my locals OTA and uncompressed! Another bonus is now I have 3 tuners instead of 2! The Dish HD locals were a bit too compressed for my tastes, and I'm really picky so it won't be an issue for everyone.
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Old 07-11-2006, 08:01 AM
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FWIW.

The SD picture on the ViP622 looks somewhat better then from the HR10-250 via Component (1080i) to Mits WS-65869. HD looks crisp and clean like it should with E* while D* looks slightly grainy and not as crisp.

I personally think D* compresses their stream (SD and HD) way too much (compared to E* and Verizon). This is very evident the first time you fire up E*.
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Old 07-11-2006, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by MasterWick View Post

FWIW.

The SD picture on the ViP622 looks somewhat better then from the HR10-250 via Component (1080i) to Mits WS-65869. HD looks crisp and clean like it should with E* while D* looks slightly grainy and not as crisp.

I personally think D* compresses their stream (SD and HD) way too much (compared to E* and Verizon). This is very evident the first time you fire up E*.

I've never seen D* HD stuff so I can't comment on that, but I think that every E* HD channel that I have looks just as good as the cable HD channels I use to have (except for the HD locals, which I noted in my previous post). I have a 96" (diagonal) screen using an Optoma HD72 projector and I'm nuts about the craziest little details in regards to picture quality. I notice stuff that other people don't see and on all but the HD locals I can't tell a bit of difference between the cable HD channels and the E* HD channels. For awhile I even had both cable HD (Moto 6412 box) and E* HD (Vip622 box) so I was able to instantly A/B them using my Denon receiver and even then I couldn't tell which one I was looking at. For the longest time I've heard that satellite HD is noticeably worse but maybe people were just reffering to D*, or maybe E* and the processing in my VIP622 receiver does a better job. Maybe things have improved with satellite HD but people are just stuck in the "old mindset". Who knows? All I know is I'm sticking with E* and I'm glad to be rid of cable!
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Old 07-12-2006, 02:43 PM
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Just to add my feedback, I just got a 622 a few days ago, upgraded from my SD 522. So far the HD is of course outstanding, and the SD is better than it was on my 522. I am using an HDMI to DVI cable, and sending from the 622 to the tv in 1080i.

Personally the SD stuff looks amazing, although of course it varies wildly depending on the source, the channel, the show etc, there are a lot of variables. But a reasonably recent good quality show on SD looks pretty close to 480p to me, and that is a great improvement.

As for settings, there aren't too many I have seen for PQ on the 622. As for native passthrough, it doesn't appear to be supported at this time, however there is talk of it "maybe" being available in the future through a software update.
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Old 07-13-2006, 09:42 PM
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Does anyone know if the VIP622 can function without being connected to a phone line? I've searched and only seen guesses, but nothing indicating anyone does it... I've talked to Dish and the tech said the only limitation was could not pay Dish bill through the reciever unless the phone line was connected - but he didn't sound the most knowledgeable about it. He also said if the receiver is not connected to a phone line you are charged and extra $5/mo unless you have HD package then the fee is waived... Anyone know of any PPV limitations? Thanks!!
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Old 07-14-2006, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by timdg View Post

Does anyone know if the VIP622 can function without being connected to a phone line? I've searched and only seen guesses, but nothing indicating anyone does it... I've talked to Dish and the tech said the only limitation was could not pay Dish bill through the reciever unless the phone line was connected - but he didn't sound the most knowledgeable about it. He also said if the receiver is not connected to a phone line you are charged and extra $5/mo unless you have HD package then the fee is waived... Anyone know of any PPV limitations? Thanks!!

My ViP622 isn't connected to a phone line and it works perfectly. The only thing that doesn't work is 2 way communication stuff like ordering PPV, paying your bill, etc. If you want PPV you have to call them to order it. That is why I think it's $5 a month if you don't have a phone line because they have to employ people to take those calls rather than it being automated if you ordered using your receiver. I have their Gold HD package and I still have to pay the $5 fee so I'm not sure that they wave it for anything. Maybe the Platinum package? Hope that helps.
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Old 07-14-2006, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myapplebuddy View Post

My ViP622 isn't connected to a phone line and it works perfectly. The only thing that doesn't work is 2 way communication stuff like ordering PPV, paying your bill, etc. If you want PPV you have to call them to order it. That is why I think it's $5 a month if you don't have a phone line because they have to employ people to take those calls rather than it being automated if you ordered using your receiver. I have their Gold HD package and I still have to pay the $5 fee so I'm not sure that they wave it for anything. Maybe the Platinum package? Hope that helps.


GREAT help - thanks!!
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Old 08-28-2006, 10:08 AM
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I just switched to Dishnetwork from DTV and I agree that the SD picture quality on the VIP622 is horrible.
I believe it is a problem with the box, the DTV Tivo unit had config setttings to allow for multiple video inputs 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i and the VIP622 does not. If you have the box set for 720p and you are watching SD channels it appears to do a poor job of downgrading the signal. I have even tried hooking up component video instead of the HDMI to see if the picture would improve and it is still somewhat distorted and blurry.
I am thinking about going back to DTV, but my issue with that is they only have 7 or so HD channels.
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Old 08-28-2006, 12:34 PM
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I'm still perplexed by this whole "lousy SD quality" with the ViP622. For your information, I had Adelphia Cable (Moto 6412 HD-DVR) before switching to E*. To me the same SD channels that used to look lousy with cable still look lousy with the ViP622 with E*. The same SD channels that used to look great with cable still look great with the ViP622. I am outputting 720P to a Optoma HD72 projector with a 96" screen. At that size you REALLY notice PQ issues and I have nothing to complain about with most SD channels. Some look worse than others, but at the same time some HD channels look worse than others too. If you're coming from D* with a Tivo DVR and it looks worse now with the ViP622, then maybe it's better to switch back. For me, the HUGE amount of HD channels with E* vs D* AND the amazing quality of the ViP622 DVR will keep me with E* for the foreseeable future. I completely disagree that the quality of SD channels using the ViP622 is extra lousy - personally I'm completely happy with it. As always, YMMV.
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Old 08-28-2006, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by sdoot01 View Post

I just switched to Dishnetwork from DTV and I agree that the SD picture quality on the VIP622 is horrible.
I believe it is a problem with the box....

It's not really fair to say that after a whole thread has said they get good SD PQ out of the 622. If the box sucked everyones PQ would be horrible. Mine is great, much better than the TS-360 D* box I used.

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Old 08-29-2006, 06:44 AM
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Yes, I agree with you completely that some channels HD and SD are better than others.
If you have a 96" screen and you are happy with the picture maybe my problem is not E* but possibly an improper installation. I have a Samsung 46" DLP with 720P output and believe me if you were experiencing what I am you would not be happy either.
What is the signal strength on your dish? Mine seems to be a little low, averaging mid 70's to low to mid 80's. E* tells you that anything over 70 is fine but maybe I need to have the dish realigned.
I switched because of the quanity of HD channels offered by E*, but I also know that I do not want to waste my money if I am not happy with the overall product.
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Old 08-29-2006, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by sdoot01 View Post

Yes, I agree with you completely that some channels HD and SD are better than others.
If you have a 96" screen and you are happy with the picture maybe my problem is not E* but possibly an improper installation. I have a Samsung 46" DLP with 720P output and believe me if you were experiencing what I am you would not be happy either.
What is the signal strength on your dish? Mine seems to be a little low, averaging mid 70's to low to mid 80's. E* tells you that anything over 70 is fine but maybe I need to have the dish realigned.
I switched because of the quanity of HD channels offered by E*, but I also know that I do not want to waste my money if I am not happy with the overall product.

I think you're signal strength is similar to mine so that's not the problem. Go through some of your SD channels and post which ones look the worst, unless they all look terrible in which case I'm definitely not experiencing what you're experiencing. I'll also go through and note which ones look bad so we can compare notes.
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Old 08-30-2006, 12:13 AM
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The problem is that you are doing a subjective comparison not an objective one.

One person will say " hey my SD PQ looks fine...it looks good" another person will look at the exact same PQ and say " that is awful".

I have had this experience. I had someone at work proclaim that our cablesystem SD looked great on his PJ 106" screen" I made a special trip to check it out.....his PQ was horrid....but he thought it looked good.

I have never seen SD PQ look anything but nasty on a large screen. This included SD on a 70" Qualia and Ruby Pj.

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Old 08-31-2006, 07:28 AM
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I think Star56 is correct and maybe I am just being to critical about the PQ. The reason I say this is that a friend of mine came over to watch the Tigers game on Fox since we live in Detroit and ofcourse ESPNHD was blacked out, anyway he thought it was a great picture and I personally think Fox Sports is one of the worst, which was also a complaint of mine when I had D*.
I am just going to say it is what it is and be happy that I have 30 or so channels including my locals in HD.
Thanks for your opinions and the offer to help me out with my apparent non issue.
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