General discussion

SD vs HD with Satellite?

So I was looking into getting Dish network Satellite because I just got an HDTV. My sister has it, and she has an HD tv. But looking on Dish network?s web site, I would have to upgrade to HD Bronze to get HD.

Talking to my sister, she said SD looks just fine on her HDTV?
Then I looked at the HD Bronze package and it looks like all that is, is just a couple of other channels in HD?

So my question is, does SD still have HD channels? Like local channels? (are they in at least 720p? 1080i?)
Are there other stations in the basic Family package of Dish network that are also HD?
Or do they downgrade the shows to SD (I?m guessing 480i or p)?
Would my local channels which are sent over the air in HD, be downgraded to SD? I guess thats what I think of when people say SD?


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SD vs. HD

First of all, there is NO comparison between SD and HD. The HD channels, when properly viewed and connected to an HDTV, is stunning and SD pales in comparison. Secondly, I'm not sure about how TV stations broadcast, but I think many broadcast one signal and then it depends on your service, whether satellite or cable, to downconvert to SD. But, the downconversion degrades the signal to 480i, and all the crummy SD transmission artifacts affect the signal so just because it may have started HD, the signal doesn't look any better than basic SD. There are also many stations that ONLY broadcast in HD, like Smithsonian HD, Discovery HD, HDNET, etc. These true HD channels either broadcast in 720p or 1080i and you need to subscribe to your providers HD service to get this quality. And don't forget, you need to connect your cable or satellite box to your HDTV by either using Component or HDMI cables. Anything else will not allow you to see HD.

True SD channels are 480i, not 480p, 720p or 1080i.

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So is this a guess of what you think is happening, or do you know?

I was wondering if I could catch some Dish Network users and have the basic Family Package (the lowest you can get) and how they look on your HDTV station.

I know SD is the lower version, what I'm trying to figure out is what Dish Network does with HDTV (720p or higher) on their SD Package?

Is there an e-mail address for Dish for these types of questions.

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I have Dish . . .

Their HD programming is 1080i. You must have an HD receiver and subscribe to HD programming (special HD channels vs SD channels) to get true HD. Otherwise you'll get 480, SD, just like the now to be discontinued standard over the air broadcasting. It costs money for full HD. If you don't care, just stick with the basic package.

There are two ways to watch your local channels. With an external antenna routed through their receiver (to decode the HD channel), or subscribe to your local channels through the box. Your choice.

The difference between SD and HD on a nice HD TV is like night and day. You can see individual blades of grass on a football field; the fine hairs on a face; individual leaves on trees. You have to see it to believe it. But again, if you only care to watch the news and old black and white movies, HD is not for you.

As an example, there are two flavors of the Discovery channel. Channel 182 SD and channel 182 HD. All the others are the same except for a few dedicated HD channels like HDNET of which there is no SD equivalent.

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(There are two ways to watch your local channels. With an external antenna routed through their receiver (to decode the HD channel), or subscribe to your local channels through the box. Your choice)

I just wanted to add something, to decode the HD channels you still need dish networks HD box or you have to hook a antenna stright to the TV set.

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HD vs SD

I agree the HD is much clearer. You can get your local channels as long as you don't go more than 200 miles from home. Otherwise, you must call DISH and have the locals switched to where you are, or get them on your RV's rooftop antenna (if you're close enough to a town that has TV stations).

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