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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(Sorry about the double post)


I have a new widescreen and upon first hooking it up I noticed that the crispness of words and ticker bars, as well as sports scores and temperature, at the bottom of most broadcasts aren't very crisp. Thinking it was my new Sony 51" I returned it and got another. To my dismay the same thing was happening. I went back to another dealer (Best Buy) and looked at all their HDTV projection TVs and noticed the same thing on all of their HDTV monitors irregardless of the manufacturer or whether it was widescreen or 4:3. Sure, the color and quality of the "look" of the broadcasts were MUCH better than my ole 50" analog PhilipsMagnavox, but alas what I previously described was an issue still.


One of the helpful associates at Best Buy told me that the problem lies w/in the new TVs being so far ahead of analog that the analog broadcasts aren't strong enough for the new TV to display properly. He then hooked up a digital tuner to the same model of Sony I had bought and showed me the difference. Instantly you could see a major difference. He told me that the tuners will help to increase the resolution on an HDTV monitor, even if it was an analog signal. I'm not sure, though, if that is true since it was now after 7pm and our local stations broadcast sports in HDTV and most programming then, and what he was showing me WAS an HDTV signal.


I guess my main "?" is this:


Is there a way to improve the quality of my DirecTV signal as well as my local analog broadcasts to a level where the writing is at least as clear as my other 50" analog bigscreen?


I came close to buying the new Hughes Platinum HD receiver thinking that this would help my regular "non HDTV" DirecTV broadcasts look better (esp. CNN Headlines news--you notice what I'm talking about on channel 204 w/ their ticker bars and such, or even ESPN sports programming w/ the scores and such). I was told it would help, but I'm hestitant to spend this money right now if it isn't going to.


Has anyone else had a situation like this? I know I can't be the only once since you can notice it at any HDTV dealer running the non HDTV signals to their display models. All of their traditional analog bigscreens look fine.


BTW, my satellite is hooked up fine, has a great signal, and I'm using S-Video. It's nothing "technical" on my end.


Thank you for your help!


James Parker
 

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Picture quality can be confusing. Just because you have a HD monitor and a HD tuner receiving HD does not mean the picture quality is any better than TV on an analog set. Why? For a picture to be high quality it has to be high quality all the way from the studio to your living room. This does not happen often, at least here in Los Angeles. We have 10 digital stations. Most of the time they simply "upconvert" their analog signal so they can send it out over their digital station. When they do this, the quality of the picture is no better. This you would expect since the TV camera is a 480i device, the tape recorder used (if it wasn't a live show), is low-res, etc. etc. Simply digitizing it and sending out a digital signal doesn't make it better. When the stations transmit HD, it is spectacular.


Making DirecTV better…. I have DirecTV, cable and OTA. I currently have a Mits 73909 HDTV which replaced a 60" analog Mits. My DirecTV receiver is a non-HD Sony and several years old. The DirecTV picture quality is the same on the new HD Mits as it was on the old Mits. (As are the cable pictures) I would be surprised if upgrading to a new satellite STB will improve the picture quality of non-HD channels.


My complaint with the HDTV sets is the way they maul a 4:3 picture to 16:9. A 4:3 pictures should be shown as it was intended, i.e. 4:3, but doing this will result in CRT burn. The Mits has 4 formats that distort a 4:3 into a 16:9 - some worse than others but all bad. This is common problem to all 16:9 sets. One of the modes is called Stretch which is a variable stretching of the 4:30 to 16:9 - this is fine for some TV shows but watching a running ticker at the bottom of a screen will make you dizzy.
 

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I've noticed my Toshiba 50HX81 and RCA DTC-100 displays the local Non HD material OTA better than Directv's locals. This is perhaps due to compression? The DTC-100 seems to display Directv Non-HD a little better, but not by an overwhelming degree.


On another note, after allowing my set to break in, and doing several 56pt convergences myself, I noticed the picture got considerably better. I then got a professional calibration from Eliab at Avical and the results, especially HD, are jaw-dropping. The set now is crisper and displays a large variety of colors not seen before. The regular non-HD material on Directv also improved substantially. :D
 

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Uncalibrated sets are way too bright and cause much of the distortion described. I went shopping a year ago with my brother, we both were looking at the same set (Toshiba 56H80) upon recommendation from a friend who is NE's best ISF guy. In the store and the first day's at home the SD picture was terrible. My brother could not buy the set but I did knowing my friend would do magic and make the picture much better. Of course he did and the picture on HD is stunning. The best SD is pretty good but as the above reply suggests many are broadcast badly.

Personally I watch much SD blown up uniformly. On the 56H80 I can scroll the blown up picture down so that mostly feet and not heads are cut off.
 

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1. Sets need calibration to look their best (or sometimes even good at all).

2. VHS will look like garbage on any HD RPTV.

3. Standard Satellite service will also look terrible, because it is highly compressed nd the flaws are magnified under HDTV's line doublers.

4. NTSC was never meant to be displayed on large screens. Anything over 27 inches is pushing it.

5. DVD and above should look very good or outstanding.

6. HDTV's are really meant to display HDTV and they won't please you with NTSC. It sucks, but it's the truth. NTSC is garbage.
 

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In order to get the BEST SD broadcasts is to get it from the main source...C-Band satellites...

DirecTV/Dish Network (and Cable TV) receive most of the signals from the C-Band satellites, but they then compressed the programming to fit their limited bandwidth offerings....so this results in 2nd generation picture quality(fuzzy)....

A C-Band satellite signal(analog & digital) is 1st generation, very clean and outstanding(as good or better than DVD's), of course it has to be because it is used by the cable tv companies and DirecTV/Dish Network.....so those black mesh dishes 6' or larger is what is required to get the BEST of SD and HD TV....

I know....I had a mini-dish went back to the big dish for high quality picture and sound....


You can't improve a signal after it has already been degraded....
 

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What's a C-Band setup cost and how does one find out about it?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by James Parker
(Sorry about the double post)


(snippage...)


BTW, my satellite is hooked up fine, has a great signal, and I'm using S-Video. It's nothing "technical" on my end.


Thank you for your help!


James Parker
That's the problem. My Mitsubishi SR-HD5 will output either 1080i or 480i; the 1080i output being available in component form and the 480i output in either standard video, RF modulated to channel 3/4 or S-video. I have a 55" Mits TV. If I put the STB in 480i mode and use the S-video signal and take a look at the STB's setup menu/channel guide - sure enough I see nasty crawlies, muddy-smeary text etc; just as you describe. On the other hand, in 1080i full component mode, everything is razor sharp.


I'm talking about the quality of the text for the program guide and setup menus for a reason. Thats because ideally the STB's internal character generator might just as well be putting out a signal with resolution to infinity or at least to sufficient to go right up to the limit of the display capabilities. This means that the muddiness of the S-video, etc., is simply revealing the inherent limitations of that medium.


You really need to be using a set top box that provides full component outputs, for whatever scan mode it happens to drive your display with. You WILL see a distinct improvement in picture quality, even with standard broadcasts. What kind of receiver are you using?


Also, as bad as NTSC is regarded as being, there are substantial advantages to such things as DVD players with component outputs, for the same reasons. While I dont know what the actual practices are of the typical program providers, it is possible for a broadcaster to use component video sources from end to end in the entire broadcast chain; whether its one of the component Betacam formats for news gathering, or component output directly from the telecine for film source, etc.


DBS satellite transmission is afterall a digital medium. It would be nice for the programmers to use a component chain from end to end. While this might not be high definition, it would at least be cabable of delivering the best that 480 lines can offer. In practice I think that D* compresses the signals so much to cram in as many channels as possible, but I can still see a big difference between component video and S-video - even with regular satellite fare.
 

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The digital network channels(ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS) that I pick up over the air with an antenna connected to my HDTV receiver SD material looks very good on my HDTV. The SD content looks as good, sometimes better than a DVD. I know part of the reason is because my STB is upconverting the signal to 1080i and I think the other reason is because the OTA signal is not going through any compression before it hits my antenna.


All the other channels on DirectTV, except for HDNet, HBO-HD, and Showtime-HD suck PQ wise.
 
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