Considering dropping TV and keeping U-verse phone and internet

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Considering dropping TV and keeping U-verse phone and internet

I am considering keeping U-verse internet and phone service, and dropping the U-verse TV due to HD picture quality issues that have gone unresolved.  If I drop the TV portion, is the coax feed still needed for the internet and phone service?  Right now the house coax is connected at the NIJ outside the house,  Inside, the RG is connected to the coax and to the phone line (RJ45 jack I believe).  I like the internet and phone service and would rather not change all service back to our cable company.  Actually, I like the U-verse TV service too but can't live with the poor picture quality.
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Re: Considering dropping TV and keeping U-verse phone and internet


deck993 wrote:

My TV has a "Fine Motion Enhanced" feature, but there appears to be no difference with the feature on or off.

 

The Sharp set-up menu has a selection for "Store" or "Home" and I have selected Home for the set up to optimize the picture at home.


Even home might be wrong. It all depends on thelighting in the room when you are watching TV. In a darkened room you need to turn down the brightness and contrast. Contrast is the #1 most overset feature and many people have this cranked up all the way. Set it down to the 60-80% range depending on how bright your room is and most artifacts go away. Sure I would prefer that the artifacts were not there at all but we have to live with them due to the high compression they use.

 

Dunno if they still sell it but I have a DVD called DVD esentials that allows you to set up your TV's properly. Granted that this might be overkill for many people but play with your brightness and contrast settings and see how the artifacts are masked as you turn down the settings. Now you do not want to turn it down so much as to make the picture too dark but you will see what I'm talking about as you lower the settings. Find a middle ground between artifacts and too dark.

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Re: Considering dropping TV and keeping U-verse phone and internet

My set comes with what is called OPC or Optical Picture Control that automatically adjusts the brightness of the screen to save power.  In a bright room the power is reduced using the backlight, and the picture is darkened.  As the room becomes darker the OPC feature adjusts to increase the backlight and make the picture brighter, but increases power consumption.  I have tried using this feature and turning the feature off, and neither has had an effect on the picture quality.

 

I have a DVE Video Essentials DVD and have calibrated the picture using it, also without noticeable difference.

 

I have gone online and done searches for calibrating Sharp TV's and have tried the various settings suggested on different forums and none have resolved the problem.

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Re: Considering dropping TV and keeping U-verse phone and internet

I used to get pixelation and poor HD picture on U-verse also.   I called out a tech and had them complete a line test.....they found a "T" in the connection line causing signal drop.   They removed the T in the line and reconnected everything.   They also changed out my receiver to the new 320 GB Cisco Receiver/DVR at my request.

 

HD picture is SUPERB now! 

Message Edited by uvuser on 10-28-2009 11:03 AM
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Re: Considering dropping TV and keeping U-verse phone and internet

I already have the 320gb box (Cisco IPN4320).  The UV tech swapped out my RG and Service Tech's have checked the lines and can fnd no problems.
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Re: Considering dropping TV and keeping U-verse phone and internet


jrb531 wrote:

 

1) I do have a question thou.... if your TV or Uverse box is doing the "de-interlacing" then why would the signal need to be more with an "i" than "p"?  Since a 1920x1080i signal send only half the data each 1/160th of a second does this not take half the bandwidth over a 1920x1080p signal? Accounting for that extra 10% compression you mention that a true "p" gets over a "i" that still results in less data needed to be transmitted.

 

2) Back to 720p for a second.... since "p" (as you say) gets better compression would that not be the preferred format until the tech to do 1080p becomes mainstream?

 

3) Since OTA does not really use 1080i or 1080p then why do people spend extra money to get 1080p sets unless they have a collection of Blu-ray.... especially on sets 42" or smaller? Is this just an example of more "has" to be better that we have learned via advertising?

 

4) Now back to Sharp..... smaller sets can mask inperfections better but I have learned one thing.... never and I mean never shop for a TV using the source material they show you in the stores. Bring your own DVD or Blu-Ray and bring a mix of bad and good ones. Find the "worst" looking DVD and see how that looks. Set the DVD in the store that is being used to display your DVD to the lowest resolution (in order to force the TV and not the DVD player to do the scaling)

 

Sure this may seem like alot of work but you might have this set for 10 years and it might be a pretty expensive purchase so spending an extra 30 minutes is worth it.... or you can read the profession reviews if they exist.

 

Just because a TV is brand name or not brand name does not mean it has a good scaler or deinterlacer inside. Most LCD's look the same when showing a Blu-Ray (which is how they demo these in the stores) but as I said before... the cheaper sets often use cheaper internals and when showing a "bad" source material they look horrible.

 

Another trick that some stores use is to purposely tune the sets with low margins bad so that when people look at the pictures in the stores the sets they want to sell look better. Want to find that set that's on sale or clearnace.... the one they are making little or no profit off of? Find the set in the back that is often turned off. It will not be connected and they will tell you they cannot turn it on. (ask for a manager and insist that it be hooked up like every other set) Not every store does this but I've been in some larger chain stores and the employees will actually make bold faced lies in order to make a sale. Sharp has always (unless something has changed) been "near-generic" in my eyes. I would not be surprised if it does not have that good of a picture but if you list the model number I would love to look it up and see the specs. See what deinterlacer/scaler it has inside.


 

1) Let's say you have a 1920x1080 signal, at 30p.  That is 30 progressively-scanned frames per second.  (Not a typical broadcast format, but many camcorders, even consumer ones, can shoot in this mode).  Let's compare this to the standard broadcast signal, 1920x1080, at 60i -- that is 30 frames per second, each frame as 2 fields, thus 60 interlaced fields per second.

 

That is the exact same number of pixels per second, and the exact same uncompressed bitrate.  The reason the interlaced signal needs 10% more compressed bit rate to look just as good is because the H.264 compression algorithm is less efficient with interlaced material.  A big part of H.264 compression is finding objects that are in motion, and encoding them with motion vectors, so that future frames can reference the already-compressed image.  This is more difficult to do when the picture is interlaced, both because the fields have to be treated separately and because there are more instances of movement (twice as many) to account for.

 

2) If there were unlimited bitrate available, then the answer is no, since it's always better to have more spatial resolution.  But given the constraints of U-Verse's bitrate allocation, you could make a compelling argument that 720p might be a preferred format until the technology exists to increase the compressed bitrate.

 

3) Because the TV manufacturers have done a very good smoke-and-mirrors snow job on the public to convince them that "1080p" is a must-have, when what we need to know is native resolution of the display, signal input capability, and signal processing capability.  On top of this, different manufacturers mean different things when they talk about a TV having a "1080p" feature.  They could mean that the resolution of the display is 1920x1080 (somewhat meaningless, since most HDTVs today natively display this resolution except cheaper models), they could mean that the TV will accept a 1080p signal (some early HDTVs wouldn't), or they could mean that the display is progressive-scan (meaningless, since the only HDTVs that aren't are early-model rear-projection CRT sets).

 

The nearly-criminal use of "1080p" as a marketing ploy was played out during the HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray player wars in 2007.  Blu-Ray touted their "1080p" capability, while even the flagship Toshiba A30 HD-DVD player still sent 1080i to the TV.  Yet, no one wanted to discuss the fact that every HDTV on the market would take the 1080i signal from the Toshiba, perform inverse telecine on it to recover the 24 fps progressive content, and display it progressively.  This resulted in a picture that was identical to Blu-Ray's 1080p output.  Let me say that again -- identical.  Bit for bit, pixel for pixel.  But no one wanted to hear it.

 

4) The signal processing chips inside the TV (along with the quality of the display technology) are by far what separate the men from the boys.  You can take a recently-released LED-backlit LCD panel of the highest quality, and if you pair it with a crapola scaler/deinterlacer chip, you will get an unwatchable picture.

 

On the other hand, you might take an older, cheaper, not-quite-as-good LCD panel, and with a high-end scaler/deinterlacer chip, you might be able to calibrate the TV to something reasonably acceptable.

 

There is so much more to today's TVs than just the feature set or the "240Hz" technology, or whatever else comes along that becomes the buzzword-of-the-week.  The basics are still very important: Static contrast ratio (NOT dynamic contrast ratio), color temperature/grayscale linearity, color gamut, and color accuracy.  You look at a TV with those 4 things done correctly, and you'll see a picture that looks like Kodachrome film, regardless of the resolution.

 

And by the way, no TV comes from the factory with any of those settings even remotely close to what they should be.  They're all calibrated from the factory to look better than the other TV that they're next to in the showroom -- which looks terrible.

 

You mentioned Sharp in your post -- unfortunately, they don't really make that good of a TV.  The scaler/deinterlacer in them is average, and the color temperature on all of the Sharp Aquos TVs is WAY too high.  On a calibrated set, the white-point color temperature is supposed to be 6500K, and I have measured Sharps to be in the 11000-12000K range.  It's why you can't get anything but garish colors on an Aquos.

 

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Re: Considering dropping TV and keeping U-verse phone and internet

SomeJoe7777-I have even considered getting the TV calibrated by a professional, but the $300 cost is making me wary.  I talked to one company in town and they didn't recommend the calibration saying my Sharp model was a good set and shouldn't need it and that my problems were probably related to UV.  I went to Best Buy and they did recommend the calibration and showed me 2 identical TV's playing the DVD "I Robot", one of the TV's was calibrated and I could definitely see the difference.  Instead, I bought a copy of the DVD I Robot at Blockbuster for $8 and played it on my blue-ray player and my Sharp TV looked as good as the demo TV at Best Buy that had been professionally calibrated.  In your opinion, do you think professional calibration is something I should consider as a last resort?

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Re: Considering dropping TV and keeping U-verse phone and internet

Just to add another opinion from a SHARP LCD owner - I currently own a 52 inch SHARP LCD and it looks excellent with Blu-Ray, OTA, and it also did with Charter cable and Directv. Ever since I switched to U-Verse the PQ is exactly as you described. I am not going to get in a debate about plasma vs LCD's as each have their advantages/disadvantages. All I will say is that you are not the only one who sees these artifacts and your SHARP LCD is not to blame. I would save the $300 for a professional calibration. It may make your Blu-Rays looks better but none of that stuff is going to fix the core issue which is high compression applied by U-Verse. 

 

IMHO :smileywink:

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Re: Considering dropping TV and keeping U-verse phone and internet

Spend the $30 or so for DVD essentials and you can do it youself. It's not hard and what is nice about the DVD is that you can use it for furture TV's also instead of having to pay someone each time.

 

Can a professional do better? I'm sure but not "that" much better as to justify those costs. BTW it does take a hour the first time to do it but it's worth it.

 

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Re: Considering dropping TV and keeping U-verse phone and internet

Blu-Ray and OTA have very little compression. With Blu-Ray you are not asking the TV or Uverse box to scale because the format is already 1920x1080.

 

I had Dish and now Uverse and while most people here consider me a Uverse "basher" I do not notice anymore or less artifacing on either.

 

Now please keep one thing in mind.... Dish and Uverse can change the bit-rates (compression) depending on source material. They "can" up the bitrate for sports (premium sports) and premium movie channels if they want. When I was with Dish the picture for HBO movies, for example, was much better than the picture for standard channels.

 

So if you are comparing the same channel and the same movie at the same time on the same monitor (yes I know it's unlikely) then yes I agree that any difference in the picture would be attributed to the compression used.

 

Compare Blu-Ray to Uverse - nope

Compare "memories" of Dish to Uverse - nope

Compare Dish HBO to Uverse non-HBO - nope

 

I think you get my point.

 

I'm not saying that Uverse has no issues with HD. They are compressing the hell out of the signal in order to try and squeeze more into that tiny 25mps line coming into our homes just like Dish is trying to compress the hell out of their signal in order to squeeze more local channels to avoid putting up another $1 billion bird in the sky.

 

LCD's are just not the best tech for displaying pictures. They are cheap, lightweight and small which is very attractive to the shippers and stores. I'm looking at an LCD right now and the picture is really nice but then again I'm looking at a small screen at the perfect resolution with ZERO compression and not a large LCD displaying a heavily compressed signal with a fast moving picture.

 

Have you ever set your LCD computer monitor to a resolution that is lower than native? What happens to the picture? :smileyhappy:

 

Plasma has a long list of faults... it's very heavy, acts like a space heater, still has some burn in issues, sucks up power like a small air conditioner but it does scale very (even cheap ones) and the contrast ratio is fantastic. The PQ of a "like-priced" LCD vs Plasma is not even close. Some LCD proponents do not like to hear this but LCD's are not even in the running for best PQ. Sure you can toss a ton of $$$ at a LCD and trick it into displaying a really great picture under ideal conditions (expensive internal electronics to overcome LCD faults) but I can you show me "any" cheap LCD vs cheap Plasma and tell me the LCD looks better?

 

This is all moot because Plasma's are being forced out because PQ is not what business cares about... business cares about making money and if they can make more money selling inferior tech then so be it :smileysad:

Message Edited by jrb531 on 10-29-2009 08:48 AM
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Re: Considering dropping TV and keeping U-verse phone and internet


deck993 wrote:

SomeJoe7777-I have even considered getting the TV calibrated by a professional, but the $300 cost is making me wary.  I talked to one company in town and they didn't recommend the calibration saying my Sharp model was a good set and shouldn't need it and that my problems were probably related to UV.  I went to Best Buy and they did recommend the calibration and showed me 2 identical TV's playing the DVD "I Robot", one of the TV's was calibrated and I could definitely see the difference.  Instead, I bought a copy of the DVD I Robot at Blockbuster for $8 and played it on my blue-ray player and my Sharp TV looked as good as the demo TV at Best Buy that had been professionally calibrated.  In your opinion, do you think professional calibration is something I should consider as a last resort?


 

I agree with CGI here, no amount of calibration will fix U-Verse's compression artifacts, on any TV.

 

Blu-Ray can definitely benefit from a properly calibrated TV, but unless you're really wanting to spend the money, the $300 ISF calibration is probably overkill.  You can get very good results with one of the calibration DVDs like Digital Video Essentials or Avia Home Theater.

 

By the way, I didn't mean to rain on the parade of all the Sharp Aquos owners. :smileyhappy:  With a calibration DVD, the proper color temperature can probably be obtained which would improve the pictue significantly over the factory settings.

 

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