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HDTV Technical > DirecTV goes to 3 HD channels per transponder!
Rakesh.S's Avatar Rakesh.S 07:23 PM 09-10-2004
this is a disaster..the movie "The Elite" on HDNET movies had a big car chase or truck chase scene..it was unbelievably pixelated during this sequence..so downrezzing didn't really help

unfortunately i think this is going to be the future of HD on D* from now on..like someone else mentioned, it appears that they prefer quantity over quality

JayDog_2's Avatar JayDog_2 07:33 PM 09-10-2004
Or at least this will be the way until they get more SATs up next year...
Darin's Avatar Darin 07:40 PM 09-10-2004
Am I the only one who finds it a little funny that this news hasn't even been out for eight hours, and people are cancelling their service and pronouncing doom & gloom until the next satellites are up? I realize bandwidth is important for PQ, and this HAS to have a negative effect. But I can't help but wonder how/if people would have reacted, or even noticed, if they didn't know how the channels were being grouped. For all we know, this could all be history on Monday.
Dvlos's Avatar Dvlos 07:40 PM 09-10-2004
You guys should check out Voom when they release their DVR.
Darin's Avatar Darin 07:53 PM 09-10-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by Rakesh.S
unfortunately i think this is going to be the future of HD on D* from now on..like someone else mentioned, it appears that they prefer quantity over quality
But not us. No one here has ever asked for more HD quantity on DirecTV. ;)

Everyone has always said "if you care about HD, get Voom". And now that DirecTV has increased their compression on three channels to the approximate level of Voom, everyone is having fits, and suggesting this is a reason to go to Voom. Yes, I know average bitrate isn't the only factor in PQ... having "bigger" transponders, and therefore more channels on one transponder, gives stat-muxers a better chance of using bandwidth more efficiently. But still, I find the situation kind of ironic.
kjroddy's Avatar kjroddy 07:54 PM 09-10-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by aviators99
We do not know what the maximum number of simultaneous HD games there will be is,
We do know that CBS have said they will have three HD games per week. We also know that FOX have said they will have "up to six".

It's hardly a major leap from here to deduce that the maximum number of simultaneous HD games is nine.
high defilicious's Avatar high defilicious 08:04 PM 09-10-2004
I just called D* and asked a customer service rep why some D* customers are so hypersensitive when it comes to HD. She replied with, "lack of sunlight."

Hmm.
Darin's Avatar Darin 08:27 PM 09-10-2004
Just to throw in my 2 cents, I just looked at Showtime... Dead Like Me was on. It did look a little soft. Switching over to DiscoveryHD was a LOT sharper, but that's to be expected just because of the content. So then I watched a recorded Dead Like Me from a month ago... it looked a little sharper than what's on now, but it's so hard to compare with without them being the same show. I'll have to look for some movies I've still got recorded, and re-record them to compare. But as I've said before, I don't have the equipment some of you do... I'm just not going to notice the differences as much as others may.
aviators99's Avatar aviators99 08:50 PM 09-10-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by kjroddy
We do know that CBS have said they will have three HD games per week. We also know that FOX have said they will have "up to six".

It's hardly a major leap from here to deduce that the maximum number of simultaneous HD games is nine.
I wasn't talking about the maximum number of simultanous HD games there might be, I was talking about the maximum number of simultaneous games there would be. Check my quote. There is a difference.
aviators99's Avatar aviators99 08:52 PM 09-10-2004
I went back and forth from BravoHD+ on D* to V*. I can do that very quickly because they are going through the same A/V receiver. I'm very particular about HD quality and can pick up very slight differences compared with what I read on this forum from some others. I did not see much difference. It may have been the source material in this case, but they both looked worse than usual. I'll keep checking.
Darin's Avatar Darin 08:53 PM 09-10-2004
But I don't think the SD games are relevant here... I assume the SD games will, as before, be on 101 (since many SD customers may not have a triple LNB dish). Freeing up bandwidth on 110 & 119 isn't going to help make space for the SD games.
Darin's Avatar Darin 08:55 PM 09-10-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by aviators99
I went back and forth from BravoHD+ on D* to V*.
It would be interesting to compare Showtime or HBO. But I guess you wouldn't subscribe to those from both providers (?)
kjroddy's Avatar kjroddy 09:00 PM 09-10-2004
Quote checked:


Quote:
Originally posted by aviators99
... do not know what the maximum number of simultaneous HD games there will be ...
Unless I'm mistaken it appears to me you were saying you do not know what the maximum number of simultaneous HD games will be.

The entire gist of the thread at that point was wondering what the maximum number of simultaneous HD games will be. I simply pointed out that we do know what the maximum number of simultaneous HD games will be during the overlap of the 4pm games starting before the 1pm games have finished, which is the critical "worst case" scenario for the purposes of this discussion, which was about how much bandwidth is required.
aviators99's Avatar aviators99 09:03 PM 09-10-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by Darin
It would be interesting to compare Showtime or HBO. But I guess you wouldn't subscribe to those from both providers (?)
Correct. Sorry.
aviators99's Avatar aviators99 09:05 PM 09-10-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by kjroddy
Quote checked:




Unless I'm mistaken it appears to me you were saying you do not know what the maximum number of simultaneous HD games will be.

The entire gist of the thread at that point was wondering what the maximum number of simultaneous HD games will be. I simply pointed out that we do know what the maximum number of simultaneous HD games will be during the overlap of the 4pm games starting before the 1pm games have finished, which is the critical "worst case" scenario for the purposes of this discussion, which was about how much bandwidth is required.
I agree with the worst case part. That's good enough.
mike greer's Avatar mike greer 09:26 PM 09-10-2004
Nothing speaks louder than the all mighty dollar. I'm letting them know that I want REAL HD not their pissy version of HD.

I'm not jumping the gun - the picture quality has sucked on SD and HD for the entire short time I have been a DirecTV customer. When I call they give the BS "100% Digital Quality". They don't even know what that means! For those of you that don't know what it means - it is BS - it means nothing...

If we don't speak now we may as well just redefine HD as 480p crammed into 2meg of bandwidth - after all that is "100% Digital Quality" and it's better than the washed out crap they call SD!

I'll miss my Tivo but I won't miss the picture breakups, downresing and blocking of HD on DirecTV.

I don't understand why so many people try and stand up for DirecTV.... Why would I want to? I'm the one they are screwing - I pay for their over priced HD Lite - shouldn't they be standing up for me?
HDTVFAN0001's Avatar HDTVFAN0001 09:32 PM 09-10-2004
My D*TV HD channels look just great.....but then....I'm sober. :D
Ken Ross's Avatar Ken Ross 09:47 PM 09-10-2004
I haven't been able to check Showtime HD yet on both Voom & D* since I've seen only SD material thus far. Tomorrow I should have a better opportunity.

Hey, there's a bright side to this, with the way D* HD is going, you can get an ED plasma that will have just as good a picture as an HD plasma. :D
lcubed's Avatar lcubed 10:29 PM 09-10-2004
okay, that explains why the hdnet signal i was watching on a qualia 004 in a showroom this
afternoon looked like someone had coated the lense w/ vaseline for that soft effect!!

(the qualia 004 can display the full 1920x1080 resolution and the showroom was using a 120"
diagonal screen, so lack of detail was quite noticeable)
rogo's Avatar rogo 10:34 PM 09-10-2004
Normally, there are some Pay Per View cuts to handle Sunday Ticket. So I don't think you could add that many HD signals on PPV cuts alone.

I'm not able to watch any DirecTV right now, so I can't comment on the picture quality, but as a DirecTV "apologist", I will say that tradeoffs clearly have to be made in the short run. It seems likely that the weekend periods during the football season will be bad (but I don't see why this has to be true during the rest of the week).

For those of you that don't like football, I recommend you churn to Voom. This will probably satisfy you for a little while and once Voom goes under, you can come back to a better DirecTV.
Dvlos's Avatar Dvlos 10:35 PM 09-10-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by high defilicious
I just called D* and asked a customer service rep why some D* customers are so hypersensitive when it comes to HD. She replied with, "lack of sunlight."

Hmm.
yeah man when in doubt ask a D* rep they know everything. I'm sure spending a ton of money to have a great home theatre, get shot down because your provider decides to send you ED now is hilarious.

Darin, you are so pro D* I can never take what you say as a "level headed" outlook on HD. Hey if D* offered great HD and good financial options for owning HD Tivo.. I'd be on the D* side in a heartbeat, and who knows maybe mid 2005 that will be the case. You seem totally closed to E* or V* no matter what they do. I think V*'s compression goes from 12-16 mbps and the average is like 14? At least that's what's been posted at the SatGuys forum. I think that isn't as good as I want it to be, and I complain about it all the time... but D* has reduced resolution and the bitrate is not "equal to Voom" is false, try "substantially worse than PBS HD" or "Right on par with Echostar, they also slap 3 HD channels per transponder".
Dvlos's Avatar Dvlos 10:36 PM 09-10-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by Darin
It would be interesting to compare Showtime or HBO. But I guess you wouldn't subscribe to those from both providers (?)
Showtime is one of the channels on that transponder right? Just call up the other Sat. company order Showtime from them for a day, compare take notes, then call back the company and go "Eww gross" and cancel it for no charge.
HDHTPC's Avatar HDHTPC 10:54 PM 09-10-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by shah8
Dudes, I think you guys are missing the worse part of this...

This affects the other broadcasters, too

D* is going to demand filtered to heck transfers from HBO, Showtime, worse yet, HDNet, Discovery, etc, so as to prevent total glitch city...

This means on Cable, Dish, Voom, we will all fall prey to the heaviest compressor as everyone will get the same transfer, the one that passes the lowest bar.

You need to also complain to HBO, Showtime as well. They should be responsive as they are not in packages...

Darius
I think you are wrong about that. I think those providers "send what they are going to send" to everyone at the same bitrate.

If Voom, E*, D* or Cable wants to cut the bit rate, then they can set up their own re-encoding equipment to filter the source signal before they retransmit it.

Every encoder along the way has the abiliity to do more softening and filtering. They don't have to go back to the source and ask for it.
eddiew's Avatar eddiew 11:13 PM 09-10-2004
When do I get my refund from Directv on my HD package?
Since it is not really HD anymore.
GregF's Avatar GregF 12:25 AM 09-11-2004
The overall PQ of D* is unacceptable right now. I was watching a new show "The Soup" on E! and bright solid colors are marred with black horizontal lines, forgive me for not knowing the technical term. It's the same on Cartoon Network and several other channels. Hideous. Sadly I still rate it as my best choice for television right now, but I'd jump ship in a heartbeat if someone became the clearly better choice. This market needs more competition. I hope all these extra Directv satellites will eventually result in a return to the great picture quality that got me on Directv in the first place, years ago. Is there any hope?
TWD's Avatar TWD 04:11 AM 09-11-2004
You can definately tell the difference on HDNET. It's a shame. Can they still advertise it as HD?
Chris Gerhard's Avatar Chris Gerhard 04:57 AM 09-11-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by Cheezmo
Well, the movie that just showed on Showtime (Reckless) was an upconvert. We need to look at some reall HD. By the way, the bitrate for Reckless was 7mb/s :(
I was talking about the movie Joshua which was indicated in the guide to be OAR HDTV. I never watch live TV so wasn't referring to whatever was showing then.

Chris
Chris Gerhard's Avatar Chris Gerhard 05:02 AM 09-11-2004
I have both Showtime and HBO. Showtime had been better but now is much worse based on the brief comparison I did yesterday. Showtime shows much less true HD but shows much more OAR so at least when Showtime had HDTV it was pretty good until yesterday.

Chris
steverobertson's Avatar steverobertson 06:19 AM 09-11-2004
This is from Satellite Guys post from someone that has contacts at D* also mentioned all ST HD games will run at full bandwidth.

Well here is an update for you all. First of all it doesn't seem like TNT HD is going good right now but I could be shocked. I was told that Bravo HD wouldn't show up just like Scott was told but it did show up so maybe this will happen again.

I don't have any new information on what HD channels will be offered as of yet.

Also to answer some of the questions regard the 3 HD channels per transponder I must give you all the details first.

Now to start DirecTV is currently testing quite a few new HDTV channels as well as testing the NFL Sunday Ticket feeds thus needing to use all the bandwidth. Now that means that until the NFL is over they will be putting 3 HD channel per transonder. Now this also goes into the SpaceWay plans which I've been told will include space for 50 or so national HD channels along with about 500 HD local channels in ATSC formate.

This means that DirecTV will not use MPEG2 for local HD channels but will take the direct ATSC feed from the local stations and just transmit it unchanged to customers within that market. Each of the two SpaceWay satellites can offer either 150 or so national HD channels in MPEG2 format or about 750 or so HD local channels in ATSC format. They can also do both with one satellite. I've been told the plan is about 50 national HD channels in MPEG2 and 500 HD local channels in ATSC. Now the first satellite will be ready if everything goes well in June 2005 hopefully.

Now what this means is that DirecTV is giving away 6 months of the HD Package free for a very good reason as I've been told. They gave it away because they knew customer wanted more channels but for them to offer them they would have to reduce picture quality and as such they would not be able to go back to 2 HD channels per xponder until after the NFL regular season. So they think that if they offered many more channels for free to customers they might overlook the picture quality issues until after their free six months and at that time they would have many more channels and have picture quality back to normal and better. Now the bad picture quality will only be on Sundays for all other HD channels but the football HD channels and on every other day they will still have picture quality problems from extra compression but not nearly as bad as on Sundays.

But I'm telling you now that we will have to have an open mind but things will get better after football season and even more so after SpaceWay is ready and rolling.

Hope this all helps you out.
vurbano's Avatar vurbano 06:35 AM 09-11-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by Cheezmo
I've heard from Mark. It does concern him. They think it is temporary due to NFL games and expect the bitrates to come back up when the games are over.
2 days before the games? ridiculous. I am pretty stunned at the D* situation right now. They have been dragging their feet on HD in favor of LIL channels for a year. Now they have destroyed HD PQ in favor of anything and everything else. The problem is it opens the door for Voom and DISH (well dish was first) to do the same thing. Steadily OTA affiliates, cable and sat are destroying HD. playing follow the leader and saying well look how bad it is over there. This is just disgusting. Time to sell our equipment and buy EDTV's?
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