Satellite & AppleTV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Flynnstone, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. Flynnstone macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    Cold beer land
    #1
    I have DishTV and looking at Direct TV & AppleTV.
    I have a 60" Sony LCOS 1080p TV.
    I've heard DishTV is 1080i & DirectTV is 720p, but DirectTV is advertising 1080p movies. So I'm a bit confused.
    So ... simple question, would DirectTV & DishTV look similar on my 1080p TV?

    Also looking at getting an AppleTV, but its 720p.
    How would DishTV 1080i movies compare to 720p AppleTV movies on said TV?

    Anyone have any experience with this situation?

    Anything is appreciated.
     
  2. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #2
    I think indeed that DirecTV is shifting toward 1080p, but you are going to be getting compression out the wazoo to attain that. Dish is even more notorious for compressing the heck out of a signal.

    Best pictures for you will be from over-the-air broadcast...especially CBS and NBC. NO compression to speak of, except for what might be done at the station itself to fit additional sub-channels in the digital signal.

    AppleTV, while it is 720p, the compression is very good and clean and may, in fact, look better than some sat TV offerings. It all depends on the codec and satellite TV still uses an older codec (MPEG2?)to compress the signal down to a manageable size. Think about it this way: you are essentially streaming video via satellite so it all has to arrive real time and even with a pretty wide pipe...fill that up with 100 or so other HD signals simultaneously and you have issues. AppleTv downloads a movie and while it certainly arrives (depending on your ISP) faster than real-time, it's not also on a limited pipeline with hundreds of other simultaneous offerings. AppleTV HD files are larger...but since they are not streamed live, it's not as much an issue as with sat or cable.

    If you had a smaller TV I guess I would say you probably wouldn't notice anything, but with a monsterous 60" certainly, the higher the resolution the better. My 42" gives me a great looking picture whether it's 720p or 1080i
     
  3. Airforcekid macrumors 65816

    Airforcekid

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    United States of America
    #3
    The only big change in 720 and 1080 is viewing distance. 7 feet plus 720 less 1080. I heard dish 1080p is around 900ish and 720p is realy 640p scaled down.
     
  4. Flynnstone thread starter macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    Cold beer land
    #4
    Sounds like DishTV is still better.
    How does movies on Apple TV compare?
     
  5. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #5
    NO, Dish TV has higher compression and therefore worse imagery. Then again, you already have Dish, so unless you have a burning desire to change I would keep it as it is.

    Movies on AppleTV, as I said before, are extremely crisp and clear.

    Again, with most non over-the-air content, you are getting compression to some extent. Dish has always had the worse from what I here, DirecTV is better...over the air signals from network TV offer none.

    Just because a service offers 1080p/i doesn't mean the imagery will necessarily LOOK any better than a 720p video. I personally think AppleTV's 720p looks better than some of the sat offerings.

    BlueRay is likely the only format that will give you the absolute best 1080p picture.

    Over-the-air networks NBC and CBS give you uncompressed 1080i...ABC is 720p (I still think this is correct).

    Sat and cable compress those signals in order to fit as many channels as possible in the pipeline.
     
  6. Airforcekid macrumors 65816

    Airforcekid

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    United States of America
    #6
    I had dish network in the past and I noticed a difference first when I hooked up my xbox 360 at 1080p but the Apple tv improved movies when viewed close up. In the end I got rid of dish and used atv flash. Keep in mind depending on where you get your content the quality will differ however iTunes is the best I have seen.
     
  7. mhdena macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    #7
    I have Dish

    I have a 60" Pioneer plasma 151 and a fd51 bluray

    I have an 2 atv

    Quality is

    #1 bluray
    #2 dvd & Dish hd ppv + ota
    #3 movies on atv

    I use my atv as an ipod for music on my home stereo and bedroom stereo
     
  8. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #8

    Just to be clear, you are talking about HD content on AppleTV, not SD right?

    For me AppleTV HD quality is pretty damn good. ABSOLUTELY better than DVD certainly.
     
  9. viggen61 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #9
    The only Dish programming that is 1080p is their Video-On-Demand. This is 1080p movies, etc, that are downloaded to your DVR for watching. I'd expect that DirecTV is similar.

    Other Dish programming is whatever the source sends them. ABC is/was 720p, NBC, CBS are 1080i. Many other channels are still "SD" or 480. This is independent of what the box is set to deliver over the HD connections. You can choose between 480, 720P & 1080i, and the source will be up or down-scaled appropriately.

    Assuming a good transfer was done (which is a big assumption...), a 1080 (i or p) source will look better than a 720 source. There's simply more pixels there, and your set (or cable box or AVR) doesn't have to "blow up" the image.

    720p movies will (should...) look better than a regular DVD upscaled, if for no other reason than you've got a lot more pixels to work with.

    If you want to ask more about the different satellite providers, try these sites:

    www.highdefforum.com
    www.satelliteguys.us

    I've had Dish for over 3 years, and it's been great with the HD and the DVR.

    :apple::apple:
     
  10. wHo_tHe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2002
    Location:
    :: sfbay.ca :: All bay, all day.
    #10
    Dish Network has converted many of their HD channels to MPEG4, which allows for higher picture quality at much lower bandwidth than MPEG2. Channels are shown in their original 1080i or 720p, whichever format they originate in.

    The problem is that Dish (and others) limits the bandwidth/bit rate for many of their HD channels, resulting in somewhat deprecated HD quality. But literally everybody (including many cable companies) is doing the same thing now, so nearly any "channel" you watch is going to suffer from compression.

    About the only place you can see uncompressed HD is via over-the-air broadcasts using the ATSC (digital) tuner built into your TV, if you bought the TV within the last couple of years. But note that many broadcast stations are now multicasting (i.e., sharing their broadcast bandwidth with one or two other sub-channels), which means that they too are compressing HD below its original quality.
     

Share This Page