Forum Thread

Bad HD resolution on new 4k TVs: DirecTV, Denon AVR-X3500H, LG C9, Vizio V-Series

76 34 January 7, 2020 at 11:31 AM
I recently purchased both a 65" LG C9 and a 60" Vizio V-Series, which are fed from a Denon AVR-X3500H, which is being fed from a DirecTV genie mini, and the main box in our house is a DirecTV HR-54. I also use an XBox One X for gaming through the AVR to TV, and use Amazon Prime and Netflix via the TVs' wireless internet, but my question only relates to watching DirecTV channels.

My issue and question is related to watching sports, whether that's football on ESPNHD or the big ABC, CBS, etc, golf on GolfHD or NBC, soccer on various HD channels, etc; there are always fuzzy outlines on objects, even when they aren't moving. It could be every player on a football team standing around, a golfer and/or his club sitting at rest, etc. When the camera is zoomed in, it's usually fine, but zoomed out, it's pretty bad. I mention "standing around" to emphasize that isn't a refresh rate issue on a moving object. It exists while either still or moving. It also seems like having the green grass in the background makes it worse, but not sure on that one.

I've played with so many settings, I don't even know where to begin, but I've covered the typical ones that should solve things like this, such as turning off true motion, turning off the automatic/AI types of options, reducing sharpness to near zero, using the various pre-set categories in the TV, tuning my own, etc. I've also tried playing with the various components that could be doing the upscale, either from the Denon AVR or letting the TV do it. Unfortunately, the DirecTV box doesn't let me turn on Native anymore (permanently set to "Off"), but I can force the feed to come as 720p or 1080i, which would then allow either the Denon or the TV to do the upscaling. I also printed off a sheet of all of the native broadcast resolutions so that I know if I should tell DirecTV to send me 720p or 1080i (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hig...ted_States).

I can't get it to go away, and am starting to think it's just normal with these modern TVs and I'll have to live with it. That's pretty hard to believe, though, which is why I'm here. My older Vizio HD TVs (non-4k) that are like 8-10 years old don't have this issue and seem to provide a better HD picture with no graininess around objects.

Also, I've tried going direct to TV from DirecTV box and the issue is the same. So..

1 - Where should my upscaling be done?
2 - Have I missed any setting ideas?
3 - Do other DirecTV users or other cab/sat HD users also experience this?
4 - Should I request different equipment from DirecTV?
5 - Would the image be better streaming live from one of the cord-cutter services (Hulu, Sling, etc.)?

I should also mention that watching something in true 4k, like from my XBox or from Amazon 4k shows (love the "All or Nothing: Manchester City" series) are fantastic on both of these 4k TVs. Almost no preference even watching them on the LG over the cheaper Vizio. My complaints are just around watching HD TV.

Thanks!

12 Comments

1

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Dec 2008
L10: Grand Master
6,437 Posts
2,503 Reputation
#2
When you watch content that isn't 4k on a 4k TV, the TV scales (stretches) the picture up to 4k resolution.

This is what you're seeing. Scaling would probably work a bit better with 1080p than 720p or 1080i content. To make the picture look better that's also some filtering and sharpening to try to make the scaled image look a little better. A 4k tv doesn't magically turn all content into 4k and lower res content often looks better on a screen closer to the native resolution.

Some TV's do a better job scaling up lower res content. I think sony may still the the champ here.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Why do conservative politicians oppose conservation?

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it" -Joseph Goebbels
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Nov 2017
New User
76 Posts
34 Reputation
Original Poster
#3
Thanks. I may not have explained myself correctly, but I have no expectations of something that is not 4k looking like 4k. I just want HD broadcast to look as clear as my old non-4k HD TVs do. Is that not possible with a 4k-capable TV?

You mentioned 1080p being better content, but are there any HD channels broadcast in 1080p? The reason I'm forcing my sat box to send the signal in either 720p or 1080i is to match the native resolution of those channels, which would then allow my TV to do the upscaling, rather than asking the box to upscale everything to 1080p, which I would think would do a worse job than the TV of processing that. Is that the correct logic?

It's just quite disappointing to spend $1800 on a TV that now looks worse than my 10 year old TV. Kind of a letdown, given that there's very little content available at 4k. Had I known I'd be experiencing a worse picture than before with regular HD broadcast TV, I may not have considering purchasing a 4k-capable TV.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by BrianVT January 7, 2020 at 04:50 PM.
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Dec 2008
L10: Grand Master
6,437 Posts
2,503 Reputation
#4
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Aug 2005
L7: Teacher
2,478 Posts
1,133 Reputation
#5
Quote from BrianVT
:
Thanks. I may not have explained myself correctly, but I have no expectations of something that is not 4k looking like 4k. I just want HD broadcast to look as clear as my old non-4k HD TVs do. Is that not possible with a 4k-capable TV?

You mentioned 1080p being better content, but are there any HD channels broadcast in 1080p? The reason I'm forcing my sat box to send the signal in either 720p or 1080i is to match the native resolution of those channels, which would then allow my TV to do the upscaling, rather than asking the box to upscale everything to 1080p, which I would think would do a worse job than the TV of processing that. Is that the correct logic?

It's just quite disappointing to spend $1800 on a TV that now looks worse than my 10 year old TV. Kind of a letdown, given that there's very little content available at 4k. Had I known I'd be experiencing a worse picture than before with regular HD broadcast TV, I may not have considering purchasing a 4k-capable TV.
How does the Xbox360 look?

You definitely want the TV doing the upscaling, so ideally have the direct tv pass native or default 1080 through and have the receiver as passthrough video too. Also, did you test the direct tv box connected directly to a TV HDMI port? Just to make sure the receiver isn't doing something funky.

I'm not familiar with direct tv but do they have newer boxes? Definitely worth asking.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Nov 2017
New User
76 Posts
34 Reputation
Original Poster
#6
Quote :
Quote from EyeBaller
:
How does the Xbox360 look?

You definitely want the TV doing the upscaling, so ideally have the direct tv pass native or default 1080 through and have the receiver as passthrough video too. Also, did you test the direct tv box connected directly to a TV HDMI port? Just to make sure the receiver isn't doing something funky.

I'm not familiar with direct tv but do they have newer boxes? Definitely worth asking.
EyeBallerHow does the Xbox360 look?

You definitely want the TV doing the upscaling, so ideally have the direct tv pass native or default 1080 through and have the receiver as passthrough video too. Also, did you test the direct tv box connected directly to a TV HDMI port? Just to make sure the receiver isn't doing something funky.

I'm not familiar with direct tv but do they have newer boxes? Definitely worth asking.

XBox 360 was a typo - meant to say XBox One X (edited my OP), and everything from that looks great because it's sending 4k or Ultra HD content.

To have the TV do the upscaling, I wouldn't want the DirecTV or AVR to be sending 1080p, right (unless there's actually a 1080p native broadcast)? My logic was to have the lower (native) res coming from them in order to let the TV upscale? I've tested DirecTV straight to TV in the past, but I don't think I played with forcing it to send the lower res. I just remember that the sports HD channels looked just as crappy as they do now.

DirecTV does have a better box, but my understanding is it's only purpose is to be able to get the like 1 or 2 channels that they offer in 4k. So, I don't think that's going to help my HD issue, but maybe I'll talk to them some more.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Aug 2005
L7: Teacher
2,478 Posts
1,133 Reputation
#7
Quote from BrianVT
:

XBox 360 was a typo - meant to say XBox One X (edited my OP), and everything from that looks great because it's sending 4k or Ultra HD content.

To have the TV do the upscaling, I wouldn't want the DirecTV or AVR to be sending 1080p, right (unless there's actually a 1080p native broadcast)? My logic was to have the lower (native) res coming from them in order to let the TV upscale? I've tested DirecTV straight to TV in the past, but I don't think I played with forcing it to send the lower res. I just remember that the sports HD channels looked just as crappy as they do now.

DirecTV does have a better box, but my understanding is it's only purpose is to be able to get the like 1 or 2 channels that they offer in 4k. So, I don't think that's going to help my HD issue, but maybe I'll talk to them some more.
Right, native would be best, since you also don't want it down-scaling 1080 feeds either.. (now the TV has to go 720->4k). I definitely would look into the new box regardless of what the reps say, it may enable the native option. I get the feeling the directtv box is messing with the video.

I use an OTA antenna to feed HD to my C9 and it looks pretty decent.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Aug 2005
L10: Grand Master
14,596 Posts
5,435 Reputation
#8
Quote from EyeBaller
:
Right, native would be best, since you also don't want it down-scaling 1080 feeds either.. (now the TV has to go 720->4k). I definitely would look into the new box regardless of what the reps say, it may enable the native option. I get the feeling the directtv box is messing with the video.

I use an OTA antenna to feed HD to my C9 and it looks pretty decent.
Ya and your OTA antenna isn't nearly as compressed as OP DirectTV is either. More data to scale and have it look better. Not sure OP can do much here via settings etc.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Vague questions receive vague answers . . . . . .

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Nov 2017
New User
76 Posts
34 Reputation
Original Poster
#9
Quote from EyeBaller
:
I use an OTA antenna to feed HD to my C9 and it looks pretty decent.
I have an old one of those somewhere I can try, but will only the be the national broadcast channels. Do you watch any sports? If so, do the players all have halos around them when on the field?
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Aug 2005
L7: Teacher
2,478 Posts
1,133 Reputation
#10
Quote from BrianVT
:
I have an old one of those somewhere I can try, but will only the be the national broadcast channels. Do you watch any sports? If so, do the players all have halos around them when on the field?
Haven't really noticed that. Those artifacts are usually a sign of compression, might be specific to Directtv.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Nov 2005
L10: Grand Master
30,255 Posts
3,904 Reputation
#11
Isnt this a lot like how SD content looks like trash on HD TV's due to the scaling (interpolating of content that doesn't exist)?
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Jun 2005
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
6,836 Posts
2,611 Reputation
#12
Not sure about Direct TV I have Dish and I can "hide" the SD channels where both are available, and have not noticed an issue.

If you can let me know which show you want to test in advance several of us could taking screen shots that would help. See if it does show up when you pause or not, or if you will have to take the pic while it is playing.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Nov 2017
New User
76 Posts
34 Reputation
Original Poster
#13
Thanks, guys.
Quote from komondor
:
Not sure about Direct TV I have Dish and I can "hide" the SD channels where both are available, and have not noticed an issue.

If you can let me know which show you want to test in advance several of us could taking screen shots that would help. See if it does show up when you pause or not, or if you will have to take the pic while it is playing.
Yea, I've gone through my favorites and try to only have the HD version of channels that have duplicates, but for the national broadcast channels like Fox, NBC, CBS, I think there's only one option and those are supposed to be HD (even though the channel name doesn't state that).

A little update here. I had DirecTV bring me a 4k genie mini last week to swap out the old genie mini, hoping that the compression of HD channels would be better (also adds a couple 4k channels, but not part of this discussion). I have some more testing to do, but my early impression is that not much has changed. Adding to the frustration is that when the tech was first going through the setup, I saw that there was a "Native Resolution" On/Off setting, which I told him to leave as On. About 10 minutes later while he was messing with my main box in another room, and automatic software update starting running on the 4k genie mini, and I later noticed that the "Native Resolution" setting no longer existed. So, I would have preferred the old version.

An example from this weekend was watching the NFL playoffs. One game was on CBS and one was on Fox. Fox was much worse. You could actually see pixels moving in the grass when it was a still shot. Similarly, the players all have the blurry pixel shadows around them. When zoomed in on players on the sideline, though, everything was clear as you'd expect for HD. I don't have any pictures to post, but I'll get some the next time.

In looking at that channel guide that I linked before, I see that Fox is 720p and CBS is 1080i, so that probably explains the difference between those two. I think I did try Fox with 720p, but didn't come away with any better impression.

I did notice that the golf tournament on GolfHD last night did look better than previously, so maybe the 4k box added some slight compression improvement, but not across the board.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Page 1 of 1
1
Join the Conversation
Add a Comment
 
Link Copied to Clipboard