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HR10-250/H20 Side by Side

Irish 70
02-12-2006, 09:45 AM
While we await the day when the MPEG4 HD DVR will be released by D*, anyone out there running the H20 for HD locals side by side with the HR10-250 TiVo?

bgoalie35
02-13-2006, 10:01 AM
Yes, I use both boxes, along with a couple of SD Tivo boxes. In my living room, I have a SD Tivo side by side with the H20, and in my other room I have the H10-250. Are you looking for a comparison?

wmarks
02-13-2006, 06:57 PM
I'd like to hear the comparison. Watching SD via D* compared to SD via OTA, the OTA picture looks *much* better. This got me wondering if the mpeg-4 picture will be a better image than mpeg-2 (either SD or HD).

bgoalie35
02-14-2006, 07:06 AM
Good question. I'll have to look at all three today and see. I will say that OTA should look better, at least in my case, since I am watching a HD channel OTA. Even if the content is not HD, the channel should be upconverted to at least 480p. Right? But on the dish, at least with the H10-250, you can only watch SD on an SD channel (and its also compressed).

So, I will compare the three and get back to you.

Mr. HQ
02-14-2006, 01:37 PM
I'd be specifically interested in the HD local(s) being shown on the H10-250 compared with the HD locals on the H20. Thanks appreciate the help.

CraterGrillo
02-14-2006, 01:49 PM
Yes, I use both boxes, along with a couple of SD Tivo boxes. In my living room, I have a SD Tivo side by side with the H20, and in my other room I have the H10-250. Are you looking for a comparison?

Thanks for the offer...

I'd love to hear about any difference between the SD visual quality on the H20 and H10-250 with a high-def set. I've heard that the H20 may do a much better job upconverting than the H10-250 does with non-high-def.

Thanks in advance!

bgoalie35
02-14-2006, 04:00 PM
I won't have a chance today, but I will do the switch sometime this week and compare the two on the same TVs.

bgoalie35
02-15-2006, 06:39 PM
OK, I've finished the first part of the comparison between the H20 and the HR10-250. So far, there was no noticable difference between the two receivers.

For any who are unfamiliar, the H20 is the new MPEG4 receiver that can receive local channels via the dish in some markets. The HR10-250 is the only HD Tivo DVR offered by DirecTV.

I tested the two out side by side on a 32" 16:9 Samsung LCD Tv. I have not professionally calibrated it or anything, and, in fact, it is only two weeks or so out of the box. I've done some minor tinkering with the picture just to get it out of that showroom too bright mode.

Both boxes were hooked up with an HDMI cable (nothing fancy) and were set to display at the TV's native 720p. I checked HDNet and ESPNHD for high def programming, and ESPN, TNT, and TBS (locally channel 17 here in Atlanta and notoriously bad looking on SD receivers).

I have to say I did not notice any real difference between either receiver. HDNet looked great, ESPNHD was good as well, although not as clear as HDNet. ESPN looked like a horrid blurry version of the same game that was on ESPNHD, of course. TNT was playing Law & Order (what else) and it looked decent on both receivers. TBS had a sitcom which looked a little fuzzy, but was about the same on both the H20 and H10-250.

I also checked the SD channels with my SD Tivo unit. I wouldn't say there was any difference on ESPN or TBS, but TNT did look a little fuzzier than with the other two units.

I intend to do this same test on my Sony, 51" RPTV in the near future, but the H20's power cord is deeply rooted in my entertainment center, and getting it out and moving it to the Sony would be a royal pain in the arse. Luckily, though, my H20 is defective :thumbsup: so it is being replaced with a new one (my old one won't update to the newest software available, it just freezes up and sits there). When the new one comes, I will have a power cord that I can easily move around and try out on the 51". The much larger screen may reveal quite a bit more.

Hope this helps. I'll do the second test next week when I get my new H20.

CraterGrillo
02-15-2006, 09:30 PM
Thanks so much for the test.

I guess the H20 doesn't do much extra "upconversion" better than the HR10-250 for SD programming. And that probably means that any new high-def DVR from D* (HR20-xxx) would not likely be much better).

That simply means that I need to be patient and wait for everything else I watch to go HD. It's only a matter of time I guess.

It's still hard to believe how much worse SD looks on the non-crt high-def sets - even the high end ones like my 50" sony SXRD. I'm sure others look even worse. Sigh. I'm an electronics engineer (firmware and hardware design) and it suprises me that it can't be MUCH better than it is. Makes me wonder if most mfr's didn't spend much money or time trying to make SD look good on the new sets.

Thanks again...

deejay
02-16-2006, 05:09 AM
bgoalie35,
Did you or anyone else notice the TERRIBLE pillar bars (they're words) on the H-20? I had two different pieces of hardware and both would send thick black lines down each side of the 4x3 picture. Doesn't this defeat the purpose of the non-burn in gray coloring that would take up the extra space? Just wonderin' if anyone noticed this.

bgoalie35
02-16-2006, 06:47 AM
I always watch 4:3 in stretch mode, so no, I didn't notice that. I'll have to try it in pillar box mode.

Mr. HQ
02-16-2006, 10:40 PM
What about locals? I kind of expected the regular HD channels to be fairly similar but I'm very interested in the locals since it is OTA vs. Satellite. Thanks.

bgoalie35
02-17-2006, 07:04 AM
I didn't check the locals. I only get OTA on one TV, as I don't have the antenna run to the other. This is the TV where I cannot plug in the H20 yet. When I get the new H20, I will check its local channels against the OTA locals on that TV.