Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I love 1080

I have always been a tad of a naysayer about HD being the Second Coming. Our old TV was very good quality, attached to good equipment and calibrated (not ISF, just my Avia disk, and an SPL meter for the audio). So when we got the new TV the change in DVD quality was negligible. Though the big screen was nice. Yes, I've seen top-of-the-line monitors playing HD or BlueRay disks, and they are only a bit better, I think. Well, backing up, mostly good equipment. When we got the new TV the dish looked like crap. Something about the extra resolution available, the display technology, the ability of S-VHS to display the signal or...something, just made it look awful. All the JPEG artifacting is just super-visible. Even in the menus, for some reason. So, today our Christmas present to ourselves arrived. With several guys, each with their own truck, and lots of ladders. Just 5 hours later, its done! Revelation. Its SUCH high quality I cannot believe it. You know how some shows (say, good ones) have a certain look? Well, I don't even recognize some of them (like Law & Order), because I had gotten used to the awful quality of NBC OTA to the local Dish site, then compressed. Also, neat system. Entirely aside from some specific UI neatness, we switched from two PVRs to one. The one in the living room is on the same circuit as the one upstairs, and there is data on multiple frequencies flying about. Watch any show, on any TV. Neat! Interesting point regarding my opening about high quality products is that the installers said this was by far the nicest monitor they had seen. Everyone else has "Samsungs and Sanyos and /Vizios/" (emphasis not added). And, this is by no means the top of the line panel. I guess not too many people have the money for the top products.


John Bossert said...

It's not clear to me what the heck you got yourselves for Christmas. New dish? What the heck has to be delivered by multiple guys in multiple trucks and takes five hours to install?

shoobe01 said...

New Dish Network service. Replacing the old one. Its HD. That involved:
- A new actual 'dish.' Its larger, and points a slightly different direction, so needed to be relocation on the house.
- New box. Has the tuners (2) and the hard drive for the PVR. This replaces two free-standing units. Both can view the same set of recordings.
- To support this relocation, and the backhaul wiring between the two, more or less all new coax.

Should have taken one guy like an hour, no idea why it took so long. The one guy /was/ chatty, and the other sorta useless.

John Bossert said...

Cool. I now have HD DirecTV service, and I have an HD TV. And it's connected correctly (as far as I know). Still, I'm not really sure I'm seeing HD. If I switch between an HD football game and the same non-HD football game, I can't quite be sure the HD is HD. Sure, it looks clear, but radically moreso than the non-HD? Dunno. And since there is a big time lag (with black screen) as I switch between the two channels, I can't really look at the same image in both HD and non HD.

Any way to know for sure I'm seeing HD?

shoobe01 said...

We, similarly, have duplicate channels with SD next to HD. I never watch football, but when I accidentally see both (we have set the default channel list to eliminate such things) there is a notable difference.

Even DVDs, with the same cable and player, improved on the new TV, so its hard to say. There could be losses in your cabling, the monitor could not be as snazzy, or configured right, and there are WIDE variations in what a service, network or individual broadcast consider HD. Your service, or at least your favorite games, might be in some compressed or lower resolution presentation.

But there is no (convenient, affordable) meter I am aware of that says what you are seeing exactly. Pause and count the lines? :)