Originally Posted by rwagoner
Read what I wrote again. I said that I did think the picture looked bad.
Ooops, you're right. Sorry about that.
However, I am used to ESPN sports looking bad, though, so I just assumed it was typical ESPN.
Perhaps ESPN looks bad that's because of the artifacts we've been talking about here.
And there are times when an HD signal does have pillars, as not all HD is widescreen (though ESPN's pillars usually say HD now that I think of it).
Absolutely no HD sports is broadcast with pillars. And I mean absolutely none.
If you're seeing the pillars on ESPN, you are watching an SD upconvert between the pillars. You are however seeing a very good upconvert done with professional equipment.
I have not seen the blockiness you described, that I now think is due to the receiver and not the transmitter. My connection is HDMI; I can see the individual blades of grass on an HD game.
That's good news. You'd be shocked at how many people think they're watching HDTV through composite video connections.
I have a lifetime of electronics experience including the repair of high-end audio, both tube and transistor, and the installation and repair of professional broadcast equipment as chief engineer of a student-run radio station (carrier current and cable FM from UCLA). Please don't assume I am an idiot.
I do not think you're an idiot although I'm at a complete loss as to why you're unable to see the many compression artifacts that everyone in the HD Programming Forum can see every day. These artifacts are generated at the encoder at the affiliate station (except for FOX) due to bit rate limiations and anyone familiar with MPEG encoding can explain what they look like. The receiver can only hope to mask these artifacts, usually at the expense of true picture detail. They can't create detail that the station has never sent.
My only guess is that you have DNR set to maximum and you're seeing a blurred image that is masking both the artifacts and a lot of detail.