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Picture Quality LN40A550

I just purchased a Samsung LN40A550 LCD HDTV. I have this TV connected to my DirecTV satellite DVR (model R22) with an HDMI cable. Note: this is NOT an HD receiver; I have ordered an HD DVR but it'll take a month before it's installed.

My question:

When I view DVDs, my picture is excellent. However, when I view television programming from the satellite box, the picture is much poorer than I anticipated. I realize that I'm only viewing standard def right now, but still. The picture appears pixellated, not nearly as clean as the DVD picture. Shouldn't the picture be superb? Is there an obvious reason, that I'm not getting, for this poor picture quality? Clearly it's not the TV, as the picture is so clear for DVDs. What do I need to know about the picture quality coming from a satellite DVR receiver?

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