poor satelite picture

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Steve BL, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. Steve BL

    Steve BL Auditioning

    Jan 2, 2006
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    Here's the deal

    I currently have two satellite receivers both are the same 301 receivers, one is Dishnet, and the other is Bell Express vu.
    Both video feeds go directly into my 52" HDTV via S-video cables. The audio from these units goes to the receiver.

    My problem is while everything else has a great picture like my PS2, DVD, my satellite picture kind of sucks on most channels. Some of the movie channels are pretty decent but others it's pretty crappy. I had a friend set up my TV using a set up DVD with test patterns etc. I've added a monster power center and filter, had to lower the detail and use the noise filter in the TV to soften the picture. This helps a fair bit. But some channels still irritate me.

    The person that installed the new dishes is a professional of many years, and on top of that I had everything inspected by a second technician. They have checked the cables, switches and signal and everything is perfect. The only answer they can give me for the poor picture quality is that it's my TV.
    Not that the TV is bad though.
    Both claim that many satellite and cable signals are not really meant to be displayed on that large of displays or in 16:9 format. And because I've set up my TV as such to reduce the ever changing screen format while in "Auto format" as well as any risk of "burn in" from viewing in 4:3 I'm stretching the picture more then it should be and that's causing some if not most of the poor quality.

    Is this true?
    Will replacing older satellite receivers with new HDTV receivers solve this problem on SD channels?
    Or do other SD channels (not available in HD) still display the same way?
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

    Aug 22, 2000
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    Real Name:
    The HD receivers don't magically add information back to the over compressed satellite signal. Their signal is like an MP3. It sounds great with little ear-bud headphones (small TV) but if you listen to the same thing on a high-end system (or in your case an HDTV) you will hear the compression. In your case you are seeing the compression artifacts. You have done everthing you can with the calibration to lessen the effect of the compression. Your only alternative is to upgrade your receivers and only watch HD programming.

  3. John S

    John S Producer

    Nov 4, 2003
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    What box do you have for Dish? The newer 211 box seems genuinely decent on most all the content.

    If you display is High Denfition then I highly suggest using the 211 box.

    My 76" Front Projector is looks surprisingly decent with dish and the above box, I am using Component Video from it, set at 720p HD resolution.
  4. Steve_Blazer

    Steve_Blazer Stunt Coordinator

    Nov 29, 2003
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    I have an HD Cable box and the picture quality is great.
    HD is crystal clear @1080i and I get the proper Dolby Digital sound.

    The SD looks 'ok' (as good as SD can look i spose) but I've never used satellite so I cant really comment on PQ from that.
  5. Dick Boneske

    Dick Boneske Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 31, 2004
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    This has been a problem with all satellite and broadcast TV from the start. Some channels look good in SD, others not good. Speed Channel has always looked good.

    You already have a HDTV. Why don't you get a HD satellite receiver? If you don't want to subscribe to HD satellite channels, if you are within distance of over-the-air HD, this new receiver will handle that. Then, finally, you will have a good HD picture--better than any DVD.

    If you sign up for Direct TV or Dish, there are plenty of incentives now to do this for very little cost. You could have HD capability for around $200 or less by next week. Once you see an HD picture on your TV, the SD channels are like comparing audio cassettes to CD's.
  6. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

    May 23, 1999
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    For me the best way to deal with not so great satellite picture was to pick up a used I-Scan Pro. It scales everything to 480p. Video compression is usually the culprit here when it comes to poor pictures and not much you can do there, but the I-scan Pro does a great job scaling the picture. Especially on an RPTV.

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