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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone! Just got my service installed Tuesday.
First off, my installer was a total dope and didnt know crap about my HR10-250. Couldnt even setup my remote =\

I paid $399 for the HD-DVR and I'm pretty satisfied with it. Signed up for the TC+. I live in So Cal and was an Adelphia customer, had to get rid of them after rasing rates and constant service interruption.

I'm curious about the Standard Def quality. It is really bad compared to my previous land-line cable TV. The installer was able to tell me that all SD channels are going to full digital within 7 months but I came here to find out for sure.

I have a Panasonic 60" Projection and the HR10 is hooked up via HDMI, so the quality is as good as it can get.

I heard there are updates coming for my unit (to speed up the menus and such), any idea when?

One more question, I noticed the save to vcr function on the menus, does that work with a DVD recorder?

Thanks in advance!
-Nathan
 

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All the channels on DTV are all digital now. The problem is that DirecTv compresses the signal so they can cram lots of chanels on each satellite. The current compression on the SD channels is MPEG2. The new HD local stations use the new MPEG4 compression. It is reported that MPEG4 is better. Will DTV go to all MPEG4? Only time will tell.

There are no reported updates for the HR10-250. Since DTV and Tivo have parted ways, it is not likely there will be an update. Maybe I will be wrong.

As to the record to VHS option; you can use it to record to a DVD recorder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tracy,
Wow, that really blows. I read on a CNET review that an update to MPEG4 is coming to this unit but who knows.

So what would fix the quality problem?... More satellites or an update to my receiver?

I must say, the SD channels on my cable TV was very good and getting better over time as they were changing channels from analog to Digital one at a time.

DirecTV says all their channels are digital so that makes sense that the quality is degraded due to too many channels on each satellite.

It would not be good if everyone had to purchase a new HD-DVR receiver if they went to MPEG4 (just to get SD channels in better quality).

I noticed my unit was made in late 2004 and the HR20-250 is coming in Spring/Summer of this year... Spending another $400 just for higher quality SD channel would not be good.

Thanks Tracy!
-Nathan

p.s. My HD channels were a little bit better quality before I went to DTV, dunno why.
 

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good.deals said:
So what would fix the quality problem?... More satellites or an update to my receiver?
The quality is the way it is because the video is seriously compressed by D*. Some channels are better than others, but none of them are as good as digital cable. I also live in So Cal and have an HR10-250 and I record all the HD locals OTA using an antenna because D*'s quality is not that great.

Will D* improve the quality on the SD channels? Or for that matter, on the HD channels? I'm not betting on it. Its gotten worse in the three years that I've had it.

D* will have a new DVR in the next few months that will record HD stuff that is MPEG 4. However, it will not be a TiVO, it is their own design. If its similar to their own R15 standard def DVR (and it probably will be) then it will be have a different interface and likely will be missing some features and functions of the HR10-250. But that's just speculation at this point. You can browse through messages on this forum to get more info.

Frankly, if my cable company had a DVR that was even kind of comparable to the HD Tivo I'd drop D* in a heartbeat to get improved picture quality. But the cable company's DVR sucks and the pricing is higher than D*, so I'm sticking with D* for now.

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I had a HD DVR from my local company for about 1 week, it worked great and had a great picture quality... and the box was only $5 a month. The only problem was that all the old analog channels (85% of their lineup) had a very low sound signal and there was no way to turn it up except through your TV or through your sound system; you would have to turn it up so loud you would risk blowing your speakers.
 

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I only ask this because about what you said about your installer.

How is your DVR connected to your TV? You get different resolutions depending upon which type of input you are using.

S-Video = Best quality 450 lines of resolution
RCA (composite) Video = good 400 lines of resolution
Antenna input (F-Connector or 75 ohm connector) = very bad around 275 lines of resolution.

I am 100% certain about the first two resolutions. I can not remember exactly the resolution for the Antenna connector. But it is definitely in the 200's.

Also you can consider using a higher quality cable. I use an audioquest (AQ) s-video cable (retailed for about $50 US about 10 years ago) which gives a noticable (to me) increase in picture quality over the crappy s-video cable that is included with the DVR. In case folks are unaware AQ is a Monster Cable (MC) competitor. I only choose AQ because the store where I used to work either didn't carry the MC or the MC was out of stock (can't remember was a long time ago :).

Finally for the record I am no longer employed at an audio-video retailer.

Hope this helps,


Gary
 

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I've noticed that if I set the HR10-250 to 480i or p when I'm watching SD material, and let the TV scale it to "Just" for the full screen with not so much distortion, I'm satisfied with the PQ--it's at least as good as my old toshiba 36" tube. I just have to remember to push it up to 720p or 1080i when I tune in an HD signal OTA or from the satellite in order to get the full effect. I am using component too, rather than the HDMI. My HDMI works fine, but I couldn't do the PIP have set up for some reason when using HDMI. Soo.. the move component inputs worked out.

Apparently the scaler in my plasma kicks the crap out of the one in the HR10-250, so I use it. I'd be silly not to. Try that and see if it make any difference for your setup. It might or might not.

Good Luck
 

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Playing with the resolutions may help a bit. I know even with the poorly compressed SD channels, when I kick it up to 1080 it definitely is noticeably better. Could be just with my tv though. Can't hurt to play :)

If your unit is new, there will be one update to the software, so leave the phone line plugged in a few days.

Since you have a date on the back of your unit, it also has an older hdmi on it. Some people have problems with it and there's a huge thread on the subject in the HDtivo forum if you want to check it out. Units with no date are said to have the problem fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
garye said:
I only ask this because about what you said about your installer.

How is your DVR connected to your TV? You get different resolutions depending upon which type of input you are using.

S-Video = Best quality 450 lines of resolution
RCA (composite) Video = good 400 lines of resolution
Antenna input (F-Connector or 75 ohm connector) = very bad around 275 lines of resolution.
Well, the dope actually hooked it up with composite which is okay, but he told me I'd have to buy a HDMI cable.. when he left I found a hdmi cable in the H10-250 box. So I plugged that in and it worked a lot better. Oh, and I upped it to 1080 which made it better (he didnt do that either).

Now that you guys mention the bad HD quality it is really starting to bother me (like when I watch an NBA game; I can notice the difference compared to my old cable setup). If I viewed my HD programming though an OTA, would I have to switch video inputs on my TV every time? (Newb question)
 

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garye said:
How is your DVR connected to your TV? You get different resolutions depending upon which type of input you are using.

S-Video = Best quality 450 lines of resolution
RCA (composite) Video = good 400 lines of resolution
Antenna input (F-Connector or 75 ohm connector) = very bad around 275 lines of resolution.

I am 100% certain about the first two resolutions. I can not remember exactly the resolution for the Antenna connector. But it is definitely in the 200's.

Also you can consider using a higher quality cable. I use an audioquest (AQ) s-video cable (retailed for about $50 US about 10 years ago) which gives a noticable (to me) increase in picture quality over the crappy s-video cable that is included with the DVR. In case folks are unaware AQ is a Monster Cable (MC) competitor. I only choose AQ because the store where I used to work either didn't carry the MC or the MC was out of stock (can't remember was a long time ago :).

Finally for the record I am no longer employed at an audio-video retailer.

Hope this helps,

Gary
He has an HR10-250. The best resolution will either be from the HDMI output or the component output.

Kevin
 

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good.deals said:
If I viewed my HD programming though an OTA, would I have to switch video inputs on my TV every time? (Newb question)
The beauty of the HD Tivo is that once you hook up and antenna and activate the settings for an OTA signal, the Tivo will output those channels just as if they were coming from the satellite. It will also download the guide data for the OTA channels you can receive (including the subchannels) and you can view, record, set up season passes, etc. just as if it was coming from the satellite.

Since I also live in OC, I have been through the whole antenna selection/installation, etc. If you want to talk more about it, leave me a private message and I'll give you a way to contact me directly.

Kevin
 

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kepper said:
He has an HR10-250. The best resolution will either be from the HDMI output or the component output.

Kevin
DOH! New poster forgot/didn't realize that the HR10-250 is an HD receiver. :eek:

Thanks for pointing this out!!!!! :D

Very Sorry for any confusion!

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
newsposter said:
Since you have a date on the back of your unit, it also has an older hdmi on it. Some people have problems with it and there's a huge thread on the subject in the HDtivo forum if you want to check it out. Units with no date are said to have the problem fixed.
I'm not seeing a date on the back of my unit so I guess I'm ok there.
 

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good.deals said:
I'm not seeing a date on the back of my unit so I guess I'm ok there.
ummmm what unit did you mean was made late 2004?

good.deals said:
I noticed my unit was made in late 2004 and the HR20-250 is coming in Spring/Summer of this year... Spending another $400 just for higher quality SD channel would not be good.
\
Also as noted above, OTA is integrated in your guide and it remaps the channels to sub channels. Like 6 would have a digital channel of 6-1 etc. Of course nbc has at least 2 subchannels because of their darn weather channel, which robs bandwidth from the main digital channel.

Also, I highly recommend you record your network shows OTA whenever possible. It's a MUCH better picture than directv's horribly compressed locals. Of course you have to live with bars at the side of your screen and it does take up more hard drive space. But I watched the simpsons OTA for the first time last night and WOW what a huge difference in colors! I went back and looked at it through my old Sony tivo and affirmed, it's absolutely worth the bars and larger recorded space.
 

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Tracy RainH2o said:
All the channels on DTV are all digital now.
Now? They always were, from day one. Sure, some were sourced form analog and might be still.
 

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good.deals said:
Tracy,
Wow, that really blows. I read on a CNET review that an update to MPEG4 is coming to this unit but who knows.
Not a software update for that unit. As said, the "update" will be a replacement DVR from NDS/DirecTV.

So what would fix the quality problem?... More satellites or an update to my receiver?
Both. DirecTV needs more satellite slots and satellites to occupy them, to gain more national bandwidth, so they can disperse current channels across them, plus software updates for existing receivers to be able to address all those birds.

I must say, the SD channels on my cable TV was very good and getting better over time as they were changing channels from analog to Digital one at a time.
That is because cable receives their digital cable from a different sort of satellite, where they can be closer together, so there can be more of them, plus have more complicated dish configurations, so they (the cable networks) have available a net larger available bandwith to deliver digital programming to cable operators and home big-dish owners, with maybe 300 or more transponders available.

DBS users are limited to 3 or 4 slots, maybe ~50 transponders are availabe to a typical user to receive their subbed services from.

It would not be good if everyone had to purchase a new HD-DVR receiver if they went to MPEG4 (just to get SD channels in better quality).
Them going MPEG4 (which will be for HD only, at least for the next 10 years or so) won't likely affect the MPEG2 SD quality. Any bandwidth savings will be used for new channels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
classicsat said:
Not a software update for that unit. As said, the "update" will be a replacement DVR from NDS/DirecTV.

Both. DirecTV needs more satellite slots and satellites to occupy them, to gain more national bandwidth, so they can disperse current channels across them, plus software updates for existing receivers to be able to address all those birds.

That is because cable receives their digital cable from a different sort of satellite, where they can be closer together, so there can be more of them, plus have more complicated dish configurations, so they (the cable networks) have available a net larger available bandwith to deliver digital programming to cable operators and home big-dish owners, with maybe 300 or more transponders available.

DBS users are limited to 3 or 4 slots, maybe ~50 transponders are availabe to a typical user to receive their subbed services from.

Them going MPEG4 (which will be for HD only, at least for the next 10 years or so) won't likely affect the MPEG2 SD quality. Any bandwidth savings will be used for new channels.
That was an uber informative post, thank you very much. I'm not too worried about the SD channel quality as much as I am about the HD. When the mpeg4 quality HD comes available, will it be as crisp as an OTA signal (or close)? If so, I think I'll hold off on investing in an OTA setup and just wait for the mpeg4.

Thanks again,
-Nathan
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
newsposter said:
ummmm what unit did you mean was made late 2004?
HR10-250 as stated in my previous posts. It doesnt actually have a date on the unit but I'm assuming 2004 as the Booklet and the carboard box say 2004.

Thanks,
-Nathan
 

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The MPEG-X is compression of the stream to fit the pipe. The likelihood of better quality with the same or even more data coming down the same pipe is suspect in this engineers opinion. Sort of like whether a picture is a .gif or .jpg with equal compression neither is any better than the other. Just different.

The "High Definition" part of HDTV is really not ready for prime time. The sources and the display match only for one number of "i" or "p". Everything else gets scaled in one machine, chip or other. Then there is the question of whether the program was even shot in HD or just scaled before transmission. Sort of like remastering old vinyl onto CDs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Jerry_K said:
The MPEG-X is compression of the stream to fit the pipe. The likelihood of better quality with the same or even more data coming down the same pipe is suspect in this engineers opinion. Sort of like whether a picture is a .gif or .jpg with equal compression neither is any better than the other. Just different.

The "High Definition" part of HDTV is really not ready for prime time. The sources and the display match only for one number of "i" or "p". Everything else gets scaled in one machine, chip or other. Then there is the question of whether the program was even shot in HD or just scaled before transmission. Sort of like remastering old vinyl onto CDs.
I'd actually prefer a GIF to a Jpeg on my PC that doesnt mean much on my TV. I have a great tv with a GREAT picture. So my question still remains;.. should I wait for the mpeg4 or shell out for an OTA.

I understand what you said about it just "changing" the quality, but I would assume it will be better than mpeg4.

Thanks for your knowledge,
-Nathan
 
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