DirecTV Announces 4K VOD This Year - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 96 Old 08-05-2014, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
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DirecTV Announces 4K VOD This Year



Satellite provider also expects to provide 4K live streaming once two more birds are in orbit, but many questions remain.

While UHD/4K TVs seem to be selling quite well, the lack of native UHD/4K content is a big stumbling block on the road to widespread adoption. But according to a recent article on the Multichannel News site and elsewhere, that obstacle may soon be removed—or at least diminished—now that DirecTV has announced it will be ready to deliver UHD/4K video-on-demand (VOD) titles by the end of the year, with live streaming to follow next year or early 2016.

The announcement was made by DirecTV president and CEO Mike White during a conference call to discuss the company's second-quarter earnings. "We're working to secure some [4K] content," White is quoted as saying in the Multichannel News article. "We expect certainly in 2015 or early 2016 to be able to stream live content." That live content will depend on two new satellites that are scheduled to be deployed in the next 18 months, but the VOD content can apparently be delivered before then.

Of course, many questions remain. I can only assume that the initial content will use the BT.709 color gamut, 4:2:0 color subsampling, and 8-bit dynamic range. Also, I assume it will be encoded with HEVC/H.265, though that will require a new receiver in the home. What content will be available? How much will it cost subscribers? And assuming a very high level of compression, will it look that much better than current HD content? As the Lord Marshall says in The Chronicles of Riddick, "These are the things I need to know."

Time to turn on the speculator. What are your thoughts about this news?

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post #2 of 96 Old 08-05-2014, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post
Also, I assume it will be encoded with HEVC/H.265, though that will require a new receiver in the home.
I doubt a new receiver yet this year would be feasible. Instead, I expect them to use a trick for the VOD that was suggested in the discussion over at dbstalk. They may be able to transfer 4K video from a Genie receiver over the net to a Samsung Smart TV using the RVU protocol that is understood by Genies and is included in current Samsung Smart TVs. That way they will not be limited to protocols understood by the older HDMI chips in their present satellite receivers, and so all your conjectures about being limited to 8 bit color and so on may turn out to be untrue. However, then the satellite 4K would be limited to just those with Samsung TVs, this year anyway.

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post #3 of 96 Old 08-05-2014, 06:24 PM
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I can only assume that the initial content will use the BT.709 color gamut, 4:2:0 color subsampling, and 8-bit dynamic range.
Pointless to me then. The industry needs to get it together with the UHD standards already.

Don't get me started on the DCI color they're supposedly going to be using instead of rec2020
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post #4 of 96 Old 08-05-2014, 06:32 PM
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2 Satellites

Before I would put time and money into this project, it clearly must have the FINAL 4K Specs!
Hard to change a board in space if something is sent up, and equipment and specs change in the FINAL analysis. Don't hold your breath!
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post #5 of 96 Old 08-05-2014, 07:26 PM
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They can't even deliver 1080p content without major compression artifacts, how the hell are they going to deliver 4K at any acceptable level? Not to mention the crappy audio stream that accompanies the over compressed video.

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post #6 of 96 Old 08-05-2014, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
They can't even deliver 1080p content without major compression artifacts, how the hell are they going to deliver 4K at any acceptable level? Not to mention the crappy audio stream that accompanies the over compressed video.
Easy, they'll just compress HD even more to make UHD look better, just like they did with HD/SD.
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post #7 of 96 Old 08-05-2014, 09:05 PM
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Does DirecTV's system require that each signal fit in a single channel - or can their receivers/tuners accommodate an especially wide band signal? If they are limited to a normal channel of fixed bandwidth, could two be used together by a dual-tuner receiver?

(obviously, I don't know a whole lot about satellite transmission)


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post #8 of 96 Old 08-05-2014, 09:38 PM
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A new buzz word to support a new sales gimmick.

Current HD satellite doesn't look or sound as good as up converted SD DVD. I would think that 4k Satellite PQ might match or be a little better than up converted SD DVD but not as good as 2k Blu-Ray. Satellite sound quality is just really bad, I'm not expecting much improvement, if any, in the way of sound quality, maybe they'll send 5.1 surround but VUDU sound quality is much better than my last experience with Satellite. I think the receiver box was pretty low quality. Will a receiver box still be required?

If I can get a Dish or Direct TV network box...coax in RJ45 out, then:
  • Can my next OPPO BD unit include Dish or Direct TV?
  • Can I just download the Dish or Direct TV app to my HTCP?
  • Will Roku have Dish or Direct TV?
Am I really that interested? No, not unless the quality improvement is revolutionary, and I think they'll do just enough to sell the thing and not enough to improve the quality. Streaming for all it's problems isn't tied to a box, so improvements can be made quickly through a software upgrade.


Food for thought.
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post #9 of 96 Old 08-05-2014, 10:43 PM
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Let me guess, an extra $20 a month? So when regular HD is all that is offered, besides 4K, they will lower the price for HD? I just made myself laugh.
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post #10 of 96 Old 08-05-2014, 11:02 PM
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Thumbs down

I don't see what the hurry is for the content providers pushing "4K"...are they in bed with the tv manufacturers and getting a kickback for UHD flat panel sales?

I don't think it would be unreasonable to slow down a bit until we get an appreciable measure of real UHD content & defined standards. I think the move to UHD has been needlessly rushed in general though.
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post #11 of 96 Old 08-06-2014, 01:51 AM
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OK Dish....Your turn

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post #12 of 96 Old 08-06-2014, 02:05 AM
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Maybe now they can put a rediculous charge on this and maybe make Sunday ticket in HD actually affordable.
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post #13 of 96 Old 08-06-2014, 04:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDizzle View Post
I don't see what the hurry is for the content providers pushing "4K"...are they in bed with the tv manufacturers and getting a kickback for UHD flat panel sales?

I don't think it would be unreasonable to slow down a bit until we get an appreciable measure of real UHD content & defined standards. I think the move to UHD has been needlessly rushed in general though.
So many people are cutting down on cable that they need to make more money off the people who continue to pay for it.

As others have mentioned, it will be so compressed that it may not even be worth it. People buying 4K tvs want local media/disk, not compressed streams.
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post #14 of 96 Old 08-06-2014, 05:00 AM
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a lot of negative aspects have been stated here

As a Direct Tv subscriber for 13 years I completely understand

I think this program is going to have more kinks and costs than most want to deal with


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post #15 of 96 Old 08-06-2014, 05:40 AM
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Wow, so many assumptions based on so little information.

Personally, I'll wait and see how it looks before making any judgements. Crazy, I know.

I will say this, I had Directv many years ago and the PQ was 'so so', with obvious compression artifacts. I then got FIOS and noticed the obviously better PQ.

We recently moved and I had to go back to Directv since FIOS is not yet here. Prior to my new D* installation, Mark Rubin had mentioned to me how Directv had significantly improved their PQ. He was right. In fact, I did an A/B between an OTA signal and D*, and saw no significant difference. In fact, in a blind A/B, I'm convinced I wouldn't be able to pick one from the other on my 64" plasma.
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post #16 of 96 Old 08-06-2014, 05:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

I will say this, I had Directv many years ago and the PQ was 'so so', with obvious compression artifacts. I then got FIOS and noticed the obviously better PQ.
Go OTA and you'll notice even better PQ! Most OTA signals are not compressed very much.

I gave up D* because I got tired of there yearly price increases and article after article I'm reading says 4K is only really noticeable on 60" or larger screens.

Maybe so...I sometimes think the subconscious mind can see details that we don't always notice consciously. Personally this will not make me move back to D*.
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post #17 of 96 Old 08-06-2014, 06:44 AM
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Yea to bad its going to be compressed junk as always and not true 4K.
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post #18 of 96 Old 08-06-2014, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by p5browne View Post
Before I would put time and money into this project, it clearly must have the FINAL 4K Specs!
Hard to change a board in space if something is sent up, and equipment and specs change in the FINAL analysis. Don't hold your breath!

The satellites will just bounce the signals from the ground. They won't be doing any encoding.
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post #19 of 96 Old 08-06-2014, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by LDizzle View Post
I don't see what the hurry is for the content providers pushing "4K"...are they in bed with the tv manufacturers and getting a kickback for UHD flat panel sales?

The main driver now is probably syndication fees. For example, Seinfeld was redistributed in HD so that more people would watch the re-runs. Film in 4K now so that in 5 years more people will watch what you filmed.
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post #20 of 96 Old 08-06-2014, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Mattopotamus View Post
So many people are cutting down on cable that they need to make more money off the people who continue to pay for it.

As others have mentioned, it will be so compressed that it may not even be worth it. People buying 4K tvs want local media/disk, not compressed streams.
Features are important for attracting new subscribers. For people who've decided to go for satellite TV and are trying to decide between Dish and DirecTV, DirecTV would undoubtedly like to say, Look, we've got 4K and Dish doesn't. That's money.

Will the quality of DirecTV's 4K be disappointing? We'll have to see. It doesn't have to be -- DirecTV will have plenty of bandwidth available from the satellites down to homes. Compared to cable, satellite is rich in bandwidth. It has notified the FCC that UHD is one of the uses it contemplates for a new 400MHz wide band of frequencies.
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post #21 of 96 Old 08-06-2014, 08:39 AM
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April 10, 2014
Hispasat has decided to permanently broadcast a new FTA channel in UHD across both North and Central America. So you folks can watch 4K in spanish
http://www.hispasat.com/en/press-roo...ion-tv-channel
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post #22 of 96 Old 08-06-2014, 09:07 AM
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....I can only assume that the initial content will use the BT.709 color gamut, 4:2:0 color subsampling, and 8-bit dynamic range.....
As an employee of one of the two mega post facilities groups that is producing 4K content for the fall season I can confirm your assumptions are quite correct. Except that we and our competitors work in 10bit 4:2:2 and 4:4:4, but the to home distribution will be in 8 bit 4:2:0.

There is no infrastructure yet to support HDR and rec 2020 is only on paper these days. It was also interesting when developing the architecture for 4K workflow to find the lack of needed hardware and software as well. We have been making 4K features since 2005 but when presented with the need for a TV series, we found a lot of hardware and software unavailable for the process.

And I must also mention that Hollywood is moving into 4K for the home very carefully. Unlike the move from SD to HD there are a lot more questions as to the financial feasibility. We are investing in infrastructure very cautiously. We did the same thing with 3D for the home which did not pan out as expected. The same could easily happen with 4K in the home.

Small steps.
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post #23 of 96 Old 08-06-2014, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by p5browne View Post
Before I would put time and money into this project, it clearly must have the FINAL 4K Specs!
Hard to change a board in space if something is sent up, and equipment and specs change in the FINAL analysis. Don't hold your breath!
The satellite however is just a microwave relay station. It doesn't care what the signal or bit stream is. RF is the same be it analog or digital.
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post #24 of 96 Old 08-06-2014, 09:18 AM
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Yea to bad its going to be compressed junk as always and not true 4K.
Well what is it you want? A single 4K frame is roughly 50 MEGABYTES. And I assume you will accept no less than 60fps so how do we get that level of bandwidth to the home? Never mind the idea of streaming or VOD.

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post #25 of 96 Old 08-06-2014, 09:31 AM
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Well what is it you want? A single 4K frame is roughly 50 MEGABYTES. And I assume you will accept no less than 60fps so how do we get that level of bandwidth to the home? Never mind the idea of streaming or VOD.
4K Blu-ray disc
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post #26 of 96 Old 08-06-2014, 09:35 AM
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4K Blu-ray disc
It will still have to be compressed. Even with some new UV disc technology with 200gb capacity, there will still be compression.

FWEIW, DCI is limited to 250mbs. So even a feature digital film in a theater is compressed quite a bit (no pun intended).
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post #27 of 96 Old 08-06-2014, 09:39 AM
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Yea to bad its going to be compressed junk as always and not true 4K.

A true 4K image can be rendered from compressed data. Just because something is compressed doesn't mean the rendered content loses anything as a result of the compression.
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post #28 of 96 Old 08-06-2014, 09:48 AM
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It will still have to be compressed. Even with some new UV disc technology with 200gb capacity, there will still be compression.

FWEIW, DCI is limited to 250mbs. So even a feature digital film in a theater is compressed quite a bit (no pun intended).

All video formats are compressed. It's an integral part of the codecs. But just because something is compressed doesn't mean it loses content.


Here's a ridiculous example for illustrative purposes...
All video formats start out as a series of compressed bitmaps. There's a full frame to start and then the next frame is based off differences between the previous frame and the current frame. And so on. The differences are compressed. Occasionally a full frame is thrown in so you can fast forward and rewind without having to render the movie from the beginning. There are minor differences between formats, but they all basically work this way.


If you had a movie that was a static white image, it would have no changes between frames and would hence be very small. It could be rendered 100% accurately from beginning to end with no problem. I'm sure there are more realistic examples that would work also. I just picked something very simple.
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I think they'd be better served by increasing the bandwidth they allocate to each 1080p channel. That would result in a better picture for consumers, but it wouldn't have the latest buzzwords. The general public recognizes the term "4k" as an upgrade, so they will jump all over a new service that gives them this new toy. DTV needs to make money, so a crappy 4k picture is their best option. Of course the jury is still out on exactly what they will deliver and how... but given their track record and current offering it's not a big leap to assume they will choose resolution over quality.
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post #30 of 96 Old 08-06-2014, 10:47 AM
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All video formats are compressed. It's an integral part of the codecs. But just because something is compressed doesn't mean it loses content.


Here's a ridiculous example for illustrative purposes...
All video formats start out as a series of compressed bitmaps. There's a full frame to start and then the next frame is based off differences between the previous frame and the current frame. And so on. The differences are compressed. Occasionally a full frame is thrown in so you can fast forward and rewind without having to render the movie from the beginning. There are minor differences between formats, but they all basically work this way.


If you had a movie that was a static white image, it would have no changes between frames and would hence be very small. It could be rendered 100% accurately from beginning to end with no problem. I'm sure there are more realistic examples that would work also. I just picked something very simple.
No, all video to the home today is compressed. You have provided a basic description of MPEG technology. But in the mastering industry un-compressed video is the norm. Yes we store full movies as uncompressed video up up 4K. That why we have at my location 4.2 petabytes of spinning storage with throughput of 10 or more 2K streams at 24fps.

TV shows are also largely uncompressed in the production phase. Some shows have recently gone to mild compression such as DNX. But any production compression is always inTRAframe based. Not like MPEG which is inTERframe. You can't edit B or P frames and with I frames at 2fps or longer, precise editing is not possible.

Now all HD videotape is compressed within the VTR as putting uncompressed video on tape is still an engineering challange though there was a format that did. the D6 format. The input and output of these VTRs was always uncompressed HD. But videotape is becoming obsolete yet as the industry accepted it's needed compression, intraframe file based compression is acceptable. But most feature film editing, VFX, and post production is all done uncompressed
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