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How Do I Know If My DIRECTV Movie Is In 1080p?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (May 23, 2013) - Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to

Q. I have DIRECTV and I like to watch movies on Pay Per View. But some of the movies are listed in 1080p which is supposed to have a better picture, but I can't tell if I am getting them in 1080p. How can I tell if the movie is actually in 1080p on my TV?  -- Lindsey, West Palm Beach, Florida.

For starters, a movie displayed in 1080p offers the best possible picture, although a 1080p movie on DIRECTV or Dish, or any other TV service, does not offer as good a picture as a Blu-ray high-def disc.

The signal of a TV provider -- whether it's a 1080p movie or just a regular HD channel -- is compressed, or squeezed, to make room for more channels. So you're not going to get the same pure picture that you do from a Blu-ray disc.

Still, a 1080p PPV movie from DIRECTV does offer a better picture than a non-1080p PPV movie so let's address your question: How can you tell if the movie is being displayed in 1080p on your TV?

DIRECTV says when you select a 1080p movie, your receiver will
automatically perform a resolution test to check for the correct TV resolution. (Note: Your TV must be connected to your receiver with an HDMI cable.).

If your TV does not support 1080p -- it might be a 720p set -- the receiver will automatically display the movie in the highest resolution supported by your TV. You will know this because you will see an on-screen message that says, "Sorry, your TV does not support DIRECTV's 1080p broadcast."

How does the receiver know if your TV supports 1080p?

The receiver will determine the highest resolution your set will support via the data that comes your HDMI cable and/ or the resolution settings in your System Setup Menu. If you go into your Setup Menu, you will see a header called "Display." Click on that and then click on, "TV Resolutions." Click on that and you can set your TV to support every HD resolution. (However, don't check the 1080p box if your set is a 720p TV.)

If everything is set correctly, when your receiver is displaying a 1080p movie, you will notice the 1080p LED light lit up on the front of your receiver.

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