Direct TV Satellite Cable- any objections?

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 48
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    The point is, comparing a Wega to virtually anything, you will see a "difference", regardless of the cables you are using. The effect of different cable formats is highly overrated (not indistinguishable, either, but there are other areas that can easily dominate over it).
  • Reply 42 of 48
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    This is my most recent message to DirecTV's feedback webpage. I repeat it here for any posterity who may do a search at this forum on the topic. May they make the most informed decision possible...



    Quote:

    It is underpar for any modern digital-saavy system and inconsistent with your marketing claims of "digital quality". The video is not DVD quality or even Laserdisc quality. It is more like barely passable streaming Quicktime video quality or merely VHS quality. Perhaps, your marketing gang should append that qualification whenever it touts "digital quality".



    Similarly, your audio is not "CD quality" at all, but more like barely passable MP3 quality. The "highs" are noticeably subdued, truncated (lack of high-end detail), and generally unsmooth (harsh). This has nothing to do with what the networks send to you, but what your digital compression is doing to it prior to upfeeding to your satellites. I've compared your sound with the sound from analog cable (Time Warner Cable in Orange Co., CA), and analog sound is by far cleaner, more extended, and more natural sounding.



    Your broadcasts may be better than many poor analog cable providers, but it is by far a good stretch below a decent, properly functioning analog cable system. I don't much care for 220 channels of programming, 500, or even a 1000. What I do care about is 60 primary channels with superb digital quality (that which your hardware is actually capable of).



    When requiring a 12 month commitment, you should also have a 30-day money back guarantee clause. If the customer is not happy with the *quality* of digital video/audio service, they should be able to opt out of your contract. I think you'll find that people *do* care about quality, not just "3 million channels". As it is now, your system should not be marketed to anyone with a TV larger than 27". It is simply too weak a format for use with anything larger.




  • Reply 43 of 48
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,455member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Randycat99

    This is my most recent message to DirecTV's feedback webpage. I repeat it here for any posterity who may do a search at this forum on the topic. May they make the most informed decision possible...



    [/B]



    It's amazing how you both make and miss your point at the same time.



    I mentioned about signal strength. You commented that it is digital and wouldn't matter until you got a large amount of loss.



    You then post a google search (Did you click to sort by date since the top 20 were like all from 1999-2000) and they talk about DirectTV and bandwidth issues.



    In case you didn't notice signal strength = bandwidth. You are correct that the digital signal won't break up, but it can switch to a lower quality mode to match the available download bandwidth.



    Say your signal is 80-85 instead of 95, it might knock the sound down to 128 kb instead of say 160 kb. As you said it wouldn't break up, it would just be lower quality.



    Again I just bring this up because I watch DirectTV on my three televisions and my brother has it on his 55 inch big screen and we don't have your issues. However our dishes are mounted on the roofs of our respective houses and not on barstools on the balcony.



    Get your signal strength up and then complain, call them and make it a warranty issue so you don't get charged. However make sure you ae evaluating a strong signal with maximum bandwidth instead of having the possibility of a degraded signal.



    Nick
  • Reply 44 of 48
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,455member
    Some info that might help...



    I have a DirecTV problem. Can a LNB cause audio problems to be exhibited, yet the video be unaffected?..



    My case: the receiver is a Sony SAT-A50. What happens is, when I have Fox News on (Channel 360) for awhile (5-10 min), the audio starts to sound compressed and hollow sounding. If I switch up one channel to The Weather Channel, it is always downright fuzzy and distorted sounding. Some channels are always fine. I can fix the problem by switching the unit on/off several times or sometimes by hopping up and down the channels. The audio returns to

    normal for about another 5-10 minutes max before deteriorating again. The problem is the same whether via the receiver Channel 3/4 RF output F-connector (modulated output) or via the RCA audio connectors on the rear of the satellite receiver. I tried two TVs and same thing.. not the TV. Ok, so I figured it HAD to be the satellite receiver because the video is always perfect. I bought a used SAT-A50 via eBay, got it reauthorized, and still have the same problem! The only thing left hooked up to the receiver is the LNB. Can the LNB cause this problem?



    Unless you have something else to suggest I try, where is a good place to buy a replacement LNB from? In the old days of LNAs, "noise temperature" in degrees Kelvin was a factor in the quality and price of an LNA. Same with the LNB's?

    ______________

    No, the LNB is NOT the problem. The Sony A-50's have been known to do this on LOCAL's. About a month ago it started up on Fox News Channel too. I had two A-50's and they both did this. I recently replaced one of them with a HDVR2 DirecTiVo and this audio problem does not happen on it. I plan on purchasing another HDVR2 and sell off these Sony's. Sony knew about this problem years ago and chose to not fix it. They made sure I wouldn't be purchasing any more of their products as a result.



    I did find a way to get the audio straight, although it only works for a bit if you switch back to Fox News Channel or the locals. Here's what I do. When the audio gets that hollow sound, switch to Channel 353 and you'll hear really scratch audio. When on Channel 353 hit the ALT-AUDIO button on the remote. The audio should clear up. Then go back to Fox News and all should be good, for a while...



    Trust me, changing the LNB will not fix this problem. This problem is due to something causing a weird drift in the audio decoder in the receiver.

    _________________________



    That is from the Google search through newsgroups. Hope you have your audio get better for ya.



    Nick
  • Reply 45 of 48
    fellowshipfellowship Posts: 5,038member
    I have the Sony A65 and have no problems.



    Fellows
  • Reply 46 of 48
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by trumptman



    You then post a google search (Did you click to sort by date since the top 20 were like all from 1999-2000) and they talk about DirectTV and bandwidth issues.



    Sorry, I wasn't that saavy about my search, but I actually did read several pages into the list and actually got to some recent posts. They do exist, and you will find a reoccuring trend of overcompression issues (in addition to other side issues that you mention).



    Quote:

    In case you didn't notice signal strength = bandwidth. You are correct that the digital signal won't break up, but it can switch to a lower quality mode to match the available download bandwidth.



    Say your signal is 80-85 instead of 95, it might knock the sound down to 128 kb instead of say 160 kb. As you said it wouldn't break up, it would just be lower quality.



    I'm not sure it works like that, but I could be wrong. What you are describing would imply the satellite could recompress digital feeds on the fly (or carries multiple streams of varied precompressed feeds for every channel) to cater to a particular user's bandwidth, and that just does not sound practical or feasible. AFAIK, the satellite is upfed a variety of digital feed channels which in turn mirrors that transmission back to Earth. No alteration or bandwidth accomodations are done to the transmissions. A customer with a dish simply receives the corresponding video feed based on the channel selected. Either the reception is enough to accomodate the feed within a certain range of error correction or it ceases to work. I have never heard of any sort of dynamic bandwidth scaling involved with such a system. It would sound like a nice feature that could offer additional flexibility, but based on the baseline quality they are operating at now, further impacts to data rate would only seem to offer an even more unacceptable performance given such an opportunity.



    Quote:

    Again I just bring this up because I watch DirectTV on my three televisions and my brother has it on his 55 inch big screen and we don't have your issues. However our dishes are mounted on the roofs of our respective houses and not on barstools on the balcony.



    Yes, it isn't the "Porsche" of installations, but you know what they say about Porsche owners... If you can't see/hear the problems, then far be it from me to spoil your experience.
  • Reply 47 of 48
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,455member
    Randycat,



    I might have made some assumptions here, but have you hooked up your DirectTV using s-video? I just assumed you did because, well it is a better signal with more resolution. If you are using composite video input it might not be transmitting in stereo. I have hooked mine up using both and the difference is substancial.



    Nick
  • Reply 48 of 48
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    S-video does not have embedded audio, nor does composite. Audio either comes from a stereo pair of RCA connections or via RF (or Dolby digital connector, if you are so equipped). Yes, I have tried both types of connections, and there was no change in sound, and contrary to popular belief, RF does have stereo (not great stereo, but it certainly isn't mono).



    Ironically, S-video is often suggested to "improve" video quality on these cable box jobs, but in reality it only results in things being clearer so as to reveal digital artifacts even more noticeably. The counter-intuitive solution is to utilize the worst connection possible to mask digital compression artifacts, and that would be RF. I've tried both composite and RF (and continue remain with the default RF), as there was very little if any improvement between the 2. You may scoff at RF, but it worked perfectly fine on the order of miles of cable with my former analog cable service. RF is just fine for broadcast material. I haven't tried S-video because I don't have a cable handy, and that would fundamentally change how my existing A/V connections work anyway. Trust me, S-video is not the "magic bullet" in this case. It may work wonders on DVD and laser disc, but all of that depends on having a pristine source signal in the first place. You can't expect that from analog cable or a severely data-challenged digital broadcast, as it seems.



    Aside from that, S-video potentially could offer an improvement on a digital broadcast setup, if the feed was not so far compromised by over-ambitious compression, but we won't be seeing that day anytime soon.
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