DirecTV goes to 3 HD channels per transponder! - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 666 Old 09-11-2004, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, that is a time saver. Only wish it did show the instantaneous bitrate!

I hadn't known that the SD is at 480x480.

It is also interesting that some local channels show as 1920x1080 and others at 1920x1088. I always thought that when you got the the actual MPEG resolution, it had to be 1088 (multiple of 16).

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Originally posted by fire407
It doesn't give you the bit rate, but it does give you the resolution. Press "select," "play," "select," "instant replay," "select" and then the info appears in white text at the bottom of the screen. For example it will show HBO at 1920x1088i, 16:9, 29.97fps. HD-Net(now) shows up as 1280x1088i.

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post #182 of 666 Old 09-11-2004, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
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They aren't converting to 720p. They are converting 1920x1080i to 1280x1080i.

If they converted to 720p, they wouldn't be getting the big bandwidth savings they are looking for because while they would be reducing the pixel count by about 1/2 they also would have to increase the frame rate by 2. The "bit rate" would stay about the same. That's not completely clear, here are some numbers...

1080i paints 1920x540 (1036800 pixels) every 60th of a second (it takes 2 fields to get 1920x1080 at 30fps). 720p paints 1280x720 (921600 pixels) every 60th of a second.

But, by reducing 1920x1080 to 1280x1080, they've reduced the pixel count by 2/3 and can therefore reduce the bitrate to encode that lower resolution with similar motion artifacting.

I would agree that most of us can't really complain about the reduction to 1280x1080i since few of displays can actually resolve it these days. Most DLP/LCD/Plasma sets being sold these days are no more than 1280x720 and you need 9" CRT's on a projector to have a chance.

But there are true 1920x1080 displays out there and there will be many more soon.

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post #183 of 666 Old 09-11-2004, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jsb_hburg
Comcast has a lot of analog channel bandwidth waiting to be reclaimed for digital channel use. I do not envision Comcast degrading the picture quality for HDTV channels as it is a selling point.
The analog channels are not going anywhere anytime soon, what they are going to do is broadcast those analog stations in digital also, all that does is take up more bandwidth. Comcast will screw up teh HD channels eventually. KEN said it is corporate policy not to compress them, that is great but corporate policies change and i guarantee this is the best you will ever see HD, don't get used to it.
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post #184 of 666 Old 09-11-2004, 09:54 PM
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I just spent two hours flipping around on all the HD channels on D* and the hysteria in this thread is just ridiculous.

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post #185 of 666 Old 09-11-2004, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mitchrc
I just spent two hours flipping around on all the HD channels on D* and the hysteria in this thread is just ridiculous.
Dude .... I have DVD's that regularly hit 7.5Mbps, if that's all you expect from your HD or just like watching a lot of "still life" paintings at quasi-HD resolution, more power to ya ;) :D
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post #186 of 666 Old 09-11-2004, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cheezmo
But there are true 1920x1080 displays out there and there will be many more soon.
All dressed up with nowhere to go ... All this discussion, makes all the old concerns about "downrezzing" component outputs seem a bit quaint now.
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post #187 of 666 Old 09-11-2004, 10:25 PM
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You can go on and on about bit rates, but I'm looking at the picture and I assure you that working in the industry I have pretty high standards.

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post #188 of 666 Old 09-12-2004, 03:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by mitchrc
I just spent two hours flipping around on all the HD channels on D* and the hysteria in this thread is just ridiculous.
Sorry Mitch you are the one being ridiculous. Maybe you have money to throw away but a lot of us don't. I certainly am not going to pay for something that isn't up to quality standards. Fact of the matter is we are not getting what we are paying for. What is going to happen when they add fox/nbc? More channels will suffer besides hdnetmovies/showtime.
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post #189 of 666 Old 09-12-2004, 04:49 AM
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Don't favor eliminating available resolution from any sources if a significant number of displays in homes can present it.

But, at least for movies, perhaps it would take some A-B comparisons to pin down whether there's much difference between 1920X1080i and 1280X1080i. That's because, according to some reports, while 1920X1080i indeed delivers that pixel format, for movie telecines the resolvable horizontal detail might typically only be the visual equivalent of ~1000-line maximums. Member sspears reported last summer measuring 800-1300-line maximums from movie telecines with a spectrum analyzer. Another recent article claims 800-line maximum horizontal resolvable detail is typical, with 1100 lines maximum being exceptional. When fine resolvable details on film are filtered anywhere along the copying/delivery/display chain only continuous dark or light tones remain instead of details. (Note: Video experts that okayed the ATSC HD standards use pixels for horizontal resolutions, as in table 2.1 , but test patterns create alternating B&W or colored vertical lines for horizontal resolution measurements.)

Different telecine and storage/transmission equipment could deliver more detailed images--unless the format has been restricted to 1280X1080i. 1080i video tapes, often HDCAM originated on sources such as HDNET or Discovery HD Theater, are filtered above 1440 pixels, then upconverted to 1920X1080i for processing and delivery. Live 1080i TV is limited to ~1700-pixel maximum horizontal resolvable detail (Nyquist sampling limit), although additional filtering along the delivery/display path may trim that. But with oversampling at higher frequencies and downconversion, full 1920-pixel resolvable horizontal detail is possible for emerging full-1080p displays. Whether transmission and storage sources can deliver full-resolution 1920X1080 to homes remains to be seen. -- John
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post #190 of 666 Old 09-12-2004, 05:34 AM
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the reality of what DirecTV is doing is that most people will not notice beyond the random "picture looks softer" that they will actually hit with here, possibly.

Most sets can't resolve 1920x1080

Most people sit too far back from their sets to resolve 1920x1080

Most people even at a 30° viewing angle wouldn't be able to resolve 1920x1080

The reduction of resolution by 33% combined with the reduction of bitrate by 33% will actually give you a perceived sharper picture than just reducing the bitrate alone

Overall their solution isn't "the optimal" solution. However given that they have limited storage and until Spaceway is launched, I would rather see a "crisper" low rez picture with less macroblocking that a higher rez picture with noticeable artifacts. Because let's face it, we aren't going to get a higher rez picture with less macroblocking.
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post #191 of 666 Old 09-12-2004, 05:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Don't bother with flipping through all the channels, just watch Showtime and HDNet Movies for a while. Those are the two that are seriously affected.

Here is the new transponder layout as of this morning...

A-8 CBS HD E, 97 NFL (4)
A-22 92 NFL (1), 96 NFL (4)
B-22 CBS HD W, ESPN HD
B-24 HDNet, 90 NFL (1)
B-32 Bravo HD, Discovery HD, 93 NFL (1)
C-8 95 NFL (4)
C-10 HBO HD, Showtime HD, HDNet Movies
C-12 91 NFL (1), 94 NFL (1)

The HD PPV channel has been turned off until this evening.

There may be SD channels on some of these transponders.

DirecTV may well shift things around again before the games start.

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post #192 of 666 Old 09-12-2004, 06:25 AM
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Also, let's see where it is tonight after the games or tomorrow. I'd bet that within 2 weeks they will have it down pat to shift stuff around Sunday morning and then back again once the games are over. Obviously this is all new to them so they are just figuring it out.

Sucks if you want to watch movies on Sunday afternoon, but I'll bet it will be back to normal soon enough. If not, then I agree that DirecTV is crazy. However, I still don't see much difference. Not enough to get all upset about anyway (yet). I can cry until the cows come home that I'm not getting every last bit but then I'd be crying for a long time. Been crying to my local stations for starving HD with multicasting for a couple years. Hasn't done any good. :) And maybe that's it for me. I've never actually seen "full" HD cause it just isn't available to me.

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post #193 of 666 Old 09-12-2004, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jdiehl
a) call them up, do it online... whatever it takes. You should be getting the HD package for free, just read this thread. :rolleyes:
Is there a one year commitment involved?
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post #194 of 666 Old 09-12-2004, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dvlos
Darin, you are so pro D* I can never take what you say as a "level headed" outlook on HD.

LOL, this is coming from a guy who pops into a thread about DirecTV bitrates and says "You guys should check out Voom ...", and who consistently does that on every site I see you on. :rolleyes:
Quote:
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. ... but D* has reduced resolution and the bitrate is not "equal to Voom" is false
I'd suggest you do the math yourself. You will find that the average bitrate on the transponders that DirecTV is cramming three HD channels per transponder, Voom and DirecTV are about the same. In fact, in terms of gross numbers, DirecTV is slightly higher on the channels that are 3/xponder (and obviously quite a bit higher when it's 2/xponder). When comparing to DirecTV's 3ch/transponder, Voom probably still has an advantage, as they have more channels per transponder, so the statmux encoding has a better chance of finding needed bits for a specific channel when needed. But that advantage probably isn't enough to make up for the bandwidth difference when you compare to the 2ch/xponder channels.

You can say what you want about PQ, that's subjective, and there are other factors besides bitrate. Voom may very well look better, at least on Showtime (I don't know). But if you're going to compare bitrate numbers, at least get them right instead of going by what you heard.

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post #195 of 666 Old 09-12-2004, 07:50 AM
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Well the next time I go to buy an car, I'll be sure to tell the dealer that it's OK to chop off that pesky trunk and engine compartment - so it'll fit into my garage. ;) :D
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post #196 of 666 Old 09-12-2004, 09:54 AM
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Well the good news is all FOX HD Sunday Ticket channels are comming threw in full resolution 1280 x 720 60 fps as of 12:50 pm

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post #197 of 666 Old 09-12-2004, 10:13 AM
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An awful lot of us have display devices that won't be able to display the difference. My Infocus SP5700 runs at 1024 x 576. My five-year-old Loewe Aconda runs at 800x600.

I feel for those of you with 1920x1080 resolution monitors who are big fans of HDNet Movies and Showtime HD.

I think if I were running DirecTV, I'd consider this to be a pretty decent compromise plan. And now I understand the HD package promotion, and as a customer I'm happy with that tradeoff as well.

Data always expands to fill available bandwidth and demand.

I rather like my nose right where it is.

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post #198 of 666 Old 09-12-2004, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Just for kicks, I checked the "inactive" PPV channel and it is consuming 14mb/s with its still image right now. I'll check it again when the 4:00 NFL game is active.

Isn't that nice, a still image is getting more bandwidth than Showtime and HDNet Movies right now ;)

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post #199 of 666 Old 09-12-2004, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cheezmo
Just for kicks, I checked the "inactive" PPV channel and it is consuming 14mb/s with its still image right now. I'll check it again when the 4:00 NFL game is active.

Isn't that nice, a still image is getting more bandwidth than Showtime and HDNet Movies right now ;)
So are the 4pm HD football channels. Crystal clear D* logo consuming full bandwidth.

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post #200 of 666 Old 09-12-2004, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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At 4:00, the bitrate of the PPV logo dropped to 10. That leaves up to 18 or so for the game it is sharing the transponder with. Sounds reasonable.

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post #201 of 666 Old 09-12-2004, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Joe Q
No one answered my question so I will try again.

Directv's website, under the High Def link says this:

...
I'm not seeing it. Can you be more specific about where it says this?
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post #202 of 666 Old 09-12-2004, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by squidboy
I'm not seeing it. Can you be more specific about where it says this?
What's being referred to is here. It's under the Samsung offer. Most of the language makes it seem as though they're talking about activating new equipment.
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post #203 of 666 Old 09-12-2004, 04:42 PM
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I don't know if this has been asked already. Why can't Dtv move HBO, showtime and Hdnet movies let say on Saturday night to one transponder and than move then back on sunday night. It seems stupid to leave them on one transponder all week just for sunday.
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post #204 of 666 Old 09-12-2004, 04:56 PM
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That's what we're hoping they're going to do. It's quite possible they did the switch early this week just to make sure there weren't any problems. We should know in the morning.

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post #205 of 666 Old 09-12-2004, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't get NFL Sunday ticket so I wasn't able to check the NFL games on DirecTV. Interestingly, the Fox OTA feed here in Dallas averaged 11.3mb/s for the 3 1/2 hour show. Perhaps that explains why so many people didn't think the quality was quite up to what they expected.

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post #206 of 666 Old 09-12-2004, 05:11 PM
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11.3mb/s isn't unexpected. The Fox signal to the affiliates is supposed to vary from 9mb/s to 15mb/s, IIRC, allowing the affiliates to multicast on the remaining 4mb/s. 11.3 could be a reasonable average from those numbers, especially considering that overhead seems to consistently cut in to the numbers that you see.

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post #207 of 666 Old 09-12-2004, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, sounds like what they are doing. Too bad we all have to pay (our affiliate doesn't multicast).

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post #208 of 666 Old 09-12-2004, 05:47 PM
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But on the upside, the affiliates don't have to re-compress a network feed, as any re-compression is going to degrade the signal. A max of 15Mbps really isn't that bad for a 720p feed. Not being a football person, I haven't really read many of those threads, but I did see some speculation that it might be source issues (cameras, or whatever). Hopefully it's just something they have to sort out.

Back to DirecTV's compression, I finally spent a little bit of time watching HBO: Charlies Angels Full Throttle (ok, I didn't really WATCH it, but it was on, and I looked at the picture occasionally). It didn't really look soft to me, but I did see pixelization at several points. I'm sure I'll get flamed for this, but I wish they'd put it back to 1280x1088. If most TVs can't resolve 1920, and telecined film can't resolve 1920, and they don't have enough bandwidth to do 1920 without pixelization, filtering down to what it will likely end up looking like anyway, and saving the bandwidth (reducing artifacts), seems like a better trade-off to me.

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post #209 of 666 Old 09-12-2004, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
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If you get a chance watch the "CSI" part of CA:FT and how bad the reds look (the scene is shot all in red lighting/filters). I compared it to the DVD and the DVD looks TONS better. The red on the DVD is very grainy, completely smoothed out in the HBO transfer. I have to think that it is a problem with the HD transfer itself, unless some of DirecTV's recompression algorithms are really butchering reds.

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post #210 of 666 Old 09-12-2004, 05:59 PM
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It was already past that part when I tuned in, but I remember discussions here a month ago complaining about that scene.

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