TV Signal Compression In The Real World - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 270 Old 09-04-2013, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

Wouldn't the set top box be built to only support set resolutions - such as those that are part of the ATSC / DVB standards?

Yes, on the output side. But the downlink could be a proprietary image format. I seem to remember some Dish channels reporting 1280x1080 a few years ago.

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post #182 of 270 Old 09-04-2013, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry to sound so simplistic in my questions but I remember when FIOS first came on the scene everybody raved about the awesome PQ. Was it really better? Is it still considered so awesome? What about some of the new companies touting fiber optic delivery? I still (today) see on both major sat forums Dish referred to as HD Lite and that they broadcast at 1440 while "D" broadcasts at 1920. I know you say it's not true but my neighbor and I have similar Sony TV's and he just switched to "D"'s Genie and I swear his PQ in now better than mine (using a wide sampling of broadcast material). Can you say that there is one provider out there that stands above the rest for PQ? Is it possible to actually rate providers based on delivered PQ? If there is and there is a general consensus then the world, especially me, wants to know.
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post #183 of 270 Old 09-04-2013, 12:29 PM
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There's a lot more 1440x1080 HD out there than you may realize.

The Sony HDCAM tape format is 1440x1080 3:1:1 recording 143mbs to tape. This has been around since 1999 ans still sees a lot of use today. It has been superceeded by HDCAM-SR which is 1920x1080 4:4:4 10 bit recording 440mbs to tape. There was also the Panasoinc HDD5 format that was 1920x1080 4:2:2 10bit at 220mbs to tape. This was the perfered studio format for movie movie mastering. Aside from the rare, unreliable, expensive Toshiba D6 format, no VTR records uncompressed HD to tape.

So anytime during post production if standard HDCAM is used, the resolution is forever dropped to 1440h. The VTR still outputs a standard 1920h but it's upsampled from 1440h.

Broadcast playout servers usually run around 50mbs using intra-frame compression and can be 1440h or 1920h. The final MPEG2 encode is done at the local station. Some cable channels do send out MPEG2 or MPEG4 to simplify cable headend.

So even though your provider is sending out 1920h, you really have no idea if the material was 1920h through the entire production process.
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post #184 of 270 Old 09-04-2013, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

That "1280x1080i" on Wikipedia for Directv has got to be wrong smile.gif. That resolution isn't part of the ATSC standards as far as I can see.
The ATSC standard only applies to terrestrial digital television in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South Korea and few other countries. It has nothing to do with satellite or cable systems.

The DVB specification includes 1280x1080 and other resolutions like 960x1080, 960x720 and 640x720.

See table 11.

http://www.etsi.org/deliver/etsi_ts/101100_101199/101154/01.11.01_60/ts_101154v011101p.pdf

Ron
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post #185 of 270 Old 09-04-2013, 10:32 PM
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I almost forgot that I have some test files on my website that show the difference between 1920, 1440 and 1280 wide.

http://www.w6rz.net

Scroll down to "Video Quality Test Streams" (and yes, it's supposed to look like a website from 1995). There are 18 bitstreams encoded from uncompressed source at 1920, 1440 and 1280 wide and at 12.0, 17.6 and 22.5 Mbps video stream bitrates.

Ron

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post #186 of 270 Old 09-04-2013, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

Not really compressing, they are taking the feeds that are 1920x1080 and dropping down to 1440x1080. Of course DirecTV is known to broadcast programming at 1280 x 1080i. You have to love HD-Lite.

Except they don't do that. But anyway, myths die hard.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working.
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post #187 of 270 Old 09-05-2013, 05:53 AM
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

Not really compressing, they are taking the feeds that are 1920x1080 and dropping down to 1440x1080. Of course DirecTV is known to broadcast programming at 1280 x 1080i. You have to love HD-Lite.

Except they don't do that. But anyway, myths die hard.

 

No, unfortunately they live nearly forever so long as there are people willing to spout crap.  For all I personally know it could be true, but true in the sense that there might be alien landings because I cannot find a place of any authority (e.g., DirecTV, Dish, FCC) documenting where they do that.


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post #188 of 270 Old 09-05-2013, 06:51 AM
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Over here in Europe there were/are 1440x1080 broadcasts, BBC admits that.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2010/06/picture_quality_on_bbc_hd_a_vi_2.html

Astra (big European player, satellite operator) admits there are complaint about too many broadcasters cutting their data-rates, leading to softer HD images.
http://www.techwatch.co.uk/2010/03/12/ses-astra-says-hd-quality-suffers-when-bit-rate-is-cut/


Its kind of naive to think that this kind of stuff is/was not going on in North-America IMO
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post #189 of 270 Old 09-05-2013, 07:18 AM
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1440x1080 camera capture is 4:3 AR and is fine if it is broadcasted that way, except that nobody wants 4:3 any more.

The image degradation isn't really about 1440x1080, but when these cameras are used and the capture is pixel-shifted/converted (often in camera) to 1920 x 1080 to get 16:9, then you have a image degradation which no amount of bitrate can save.

Posting articles from 2010 isn't very illuminating on what might have changed in three years. rolleyes.gif
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post #190 of 270 Old 09-05-2013, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolscan 

Posting articles from 2010 isn't very illuminating on what might have changed in three years. rolleyes.gif

you're right about that.

Nevertheless it took a lot of protests to make a change in the UK. Seems that only the BBC was open about the 1400x1080 stuff so we do not know wether or not some messing around with resolution, and if so on what scale, was/is going on in the cable, satellite etc..world since they do not want us to know.

Insufficient transmission bitrates is still going on on a massive scale and it is pretty obvious that the cable/satellite etc.. folks looking for ways to make room for more programs all the time. btw once 4K programming starts it is just a matter of time till 4K Lite transmissions start.
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post #191 of 270 Old 09-05-2013, 09:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

Wouldn't the set top box be built to only support set resolutions - such as those that are part of the ATSC / DVB standards?

Let me see if I can help this discussion on the DirecTV side. Back when DirecTV started broadcasting in HD in 1999 (may have been earlier), they used a separate satellite for their HD broadcasts which were encoded in MPEG2 at 1080i and 720p. They only had a few HD channels and the HD was quite good. I had one of the original RCA DirecTV receivers that had a HD add-on box.

In the 2005 timeframe, the number of HD channels outstripped their available bandwidth on that satellite (they only had a few transponders). So, their solution was HD-Lite at 1440x1080 (as I remember). The receiver (by that time we had one of the original DirecTV HD-Tivos) would convert back to 1080i as best it could. However, the information contained in the missing 480x1080 pixels was lost and gone forever. 720p was untouched.

When DirecTV went from Ku-Band to Ka-Band satellite transmissions for HD and MPEG2 to h.264 (MPEG4) encoding for their HD channels, the need for HD-Lite went away. There was plenty of bandwidth available for all planned HD channels. It's also why all of the older (pre-2007) DirecTV receivers can no longer pickup any HD programming, including the original DirecTV HD-Tivo.

So, any talk of HD-Lite for DirecTV was true at one time, it is no longer true in the present. I suppose once DirecTV has over 300 HD channels, then we might start seeing it again. But, for now, the resolution remains whatever the original provider supplies.
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post #192 of 270 Old 09-05-2013, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

Wouldn't the set top box be built to only support set resolutions - such as those that are part of the ATSC / DVB standards?

Let me see if I can help this discussion on the DirecTV side. Back when DirecTV started broadcasting in HD in 1999 (may have been earlier), they used a separate satellite for their HD broadcasts which were encoded in MPEG2 at 1080i and 720p. They only had a few HD channels and the HD was quite good. I had one of the original RCA DirecTV receivers that had a HD add-on box.

In the 2005 timeframe, the number of HD channels outstripped their available bandwidth on that satellite (they only had a few transponders). So, their solution was HD-Lite at 1440x1080 (as I remember)

 

I'm at a "trust but verify" stage on this because I'm extremely interested in the overall history of analog and digital compression.  Do you have a link from DirecTV or from some other analysis body explaining their progression with this with some level of authority?  There is a bunch of stuff for the BBC via google, there *ought* to be something about the satellite companies that's solid and not just conversational conjecture.  Sincerely, I want to know precisely what they were doing.  And I do believe you.


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post #193 of 270 Old 09-05-2013, 10:42 AM
 
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Best I can do for you on the old 1280x1080 broadcasts (my bad memory - it was not 1440x1080, or at least didn't end at 1440x1080) is this link.

http://broadcastengineering.com/newsletters/bth/directv_hd_lite_20060925

Following the lawsuit trail should lead to more evidence.

You can look at the various press releases for when DirecTV put up the new birds with Ka-Band transmissions for their statements that they are now sending a full 1920x1080.

The bottom line to all of this is bandwidth. If they have the bandwidth, there is no real reason to downgrade the signal they transmit. Of course, they are re-encoding the signal, which by itself, will degrade the picture quality.
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post #194 of 270 Old 09-05-2013, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post


So, any talk of HD-Lite for DirecTV was true at one time, it is no longer true in the present. I suppose once DirecTV has over 300 HD channels, then we might start seeing it again. But, for now, the resolution remains whatever the original provider supplies.

Can't speak for DirecTV but Dish still runs a lot of if not all 1440h. I still have a Nexcom setup so I can easily see the encoded line size.

IMO these days if you want the highest quality HD experience, Bluray is the only option.

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post #195 of 270 Old 09-05-2013, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolscan View Post

1440x1080 camera capture is 4:3 AR and is fine if it is broadcasted that way, except that nobody wants 4:3 any more.

The image degradation isn't really about 1440x1080, but when these cameras are used and the capture is pixel-shifted/converted (often in camera) to 1920 x 1080 to get 16:9, then you have a image degradation which no amount of bitrate can save.

That's true for native 1440h cameras. But you can also take a full 1920h into an HDCAM or other 1440 limiting device, record it, and play it back out at 1920h. However as you noted, the damage is then done forever.

I don't have any specifics but with the plethora of broadcast and professional disc recorders and servers out there I'm sure some of them down sample to 1440 on top of their compression systems.

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post #196 of 270 Old 09-05-2013, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgm1024 View Post

I'm at a "trust but verify" stage on this because I'm extremely interested in the overall history of analog and digital compression. 

Analog compression? That's a good point:

1) LP records used analog compression, that's what RIAA equalization is. Attenuate the bass on the record and amplify it on playback.

2) Dolby A,B,C and DBX were all analog compressions systems. Limit the dynamic range by a known amount on recording and expand it by the same amount on playback.

3) And let's not forget NTSC and PAL were lossy compression systems as well.

Yes, compression technology has been with us since the dawn of radio and TV.

EDIT:
Ah yes, interlaced video is analog compression too!

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post #197 of 270 Old 09-05-2013, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

Can't speak for DirecTV but Dish still runs a lot of if not all 1440h. I still have a Nexcom setup so I can easily see the encoded line size.

IMO these days if you want the highest quality HD experience, Bluray is the only option.

DirecTV seems to deliver whatever the best they can deliver is -- constrained by having about 10 megabits of MPEG-4 max to do it with.

When a football game sucks, for example, and I have it on antenna too, I can verify it's the source that sucks, not DirecTV.

Most HD on DirecTV looks pretty darned good, however. BluRay good? Of course not, but good.
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There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working.
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post #198 of 270 Old 09-07-2013, 12:51 AM
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BluRay good? Of course not, but good.

What is this suppose to mean, Not good but good ??????
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Quote:
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BluRay good? Of course not, but good.

What is this suppose to mean, Not good but good ??????

 

"BluRay good" vs. merely "good"


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post #200 of 270 Old 09-07-2013, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo 
Most HD on DirecTV looks pretty darn good but not blu-ray good.

I do not like HD movie/series quality on cable/satellite in Europe, for everything else its ok IMO.
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post #201 of 270 Old 09-07-2013, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo 
Most HD on DirecTV looks pretty darn good but not blu-ray good.

I do not like HD movie/series quality on cable/satellite in Europe, for everything else its ok IMO.

 

FWIW, I think cable/FIOS HD looks great, but we watched the 2D "Dolphin Tale" on FIOS on-demand last night and it was showing a lot of resolution based aliasing.  Some definite bandwidth squashing in more than one way.  Beats me where in the chain and possibly just a final compression at the end because of network demands.


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post #202 of 270 Old 09-07-2013, 10:31 AM
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I few years back I was speaking with an engineer at our PBS station & he said Comcast did not compress & sends out what the station broadcasts. Of course things can change.
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I few years back I was speaking with an engineer at our PBS station & he said Comcast did not compress & sends out what the station broadcasts. Of course things can change.
CC and all the rest of the CATV companies squeeze multiple channels into each QAM, which in turn compresses the feed. Comcast admitted that they place 3 HD channels per QAM

Article from 2008 http://www.audioholics.com/news/comcast-compresses-hd-no-one-shocked Example of the 3:1 MUX that Comcast does with HD channels http://www.dslreports.com/faq/16190 They also upwards to 12 SD channels per QAM. As for that PBS engineer, you may want to go back to them and have them research the info again, due to Comcast does compress their feeds that they get from broadcasters, including those that are OTA in the local markets. All Pay to watch providers, which includes Satellite; compress their feeds to fit as much into the available bandwidth.
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post #204 of 270 Old 09-07-2013, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

I few years back I was speaking with an engineer at our PBS station & he said Comcast did not compress & sends out what the station broadcasts. Of course things can change.

I've had ComcastHD for 6 years now and haven't noticed any change. I recall reading various times that Comcast just passes on whatever they get from the content providers. Now, whether that means they don't re-size, or whether they re-compress, I dunno. PBS always looks pretty good; most other channels not quite so good.

I use my Hauppauge HD-PVR a good deal for captures. I have to say that I usually have the cable box set to output 720p. Captures at 720p are easier to edit, should I decide to keep a capture. Much content is 720p anyway. In general, even content that is 1080i originally looks pretty much just as good, or better. It's better for motion and even seems to help a little to disguise low bitrate artifacting like posterization. (My cable box does a decent enough job with de-interlacing and resizing.) Yeah, I know sometimes I'm scaling twice; first down, then up at the TV. What I'm getting at is that the source is not high enough quality for it to make much difference. And I hope this doesn't ignite an argument. tongue.gif

Anyway, it's watchable, and my expectations are not high. Not anywhere near Blu-Ray quality of course.
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post #205 of 270 Old 09-07-2013, 03:24 PM
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I had Comcast a few years back & set their DVR to output 720p because my old HDTV was a 720p set. At the time ABC, FOX & PBS were 720p, and CBS & NBC were 1080i. So I didn't feel so bad having a 720p HDTV. Since then PBS has changed to 1080i, which I understand they originally were. IIRC all the other stations are 1080i, Then I got Dish & understand they use HD Lite which is 1440 x 1080. Then I got a real 1080i HDTV.

The Dish DVR has an optional OTA tuner & there is size difference in capacity used if I record CBS via OTA vs CBS via satellite. OTA does take up more room. Speaking of CBS, they have no sub-channels by me (Chicagoland) so they are, or should be, the best for PQ.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

...PBS has changed to 1080i, which I understand they originally were.

Yes, before I got ComcastHD and the Hauppauge, I captured ClearQAM with a Leadtek hybrid HDCinema card. PBS HD was 1080i and really good quality. Though they were iffy at times about aspect ratio in those early days. tongue.gif

I don't want to draw any conclusions as to how it compares with today, because I don't want to deceive myself. When folks say quality has gone down due to cramming a multitude of junk channels onto available bandwidth, I just dunno. Makes sense, I guess, and quality sure could be better.
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I had saved the original MPEG streams from DN and ATSC stations using a modified VIP receiver by nextcom to an external hard drive few years back, now when I play those old files back on my media player they look awefull compared to the same materials on blu-ray, But at least MPEG2 looked a little better than MPEG4 now, that's one of the raisons why I dropped my DN subscription.
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post #208 of 270 Old 09-09-2013, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

CC and all the rest of the CATV companies squeeze multiple channels into each QAM, which in turn compresses the feed.

Sorry no.

Just because the first part is true, doesn't mean the second part is true. Unless you are defining the bandwidth of the source and the attendant bandwidth of the output, you haven't demonstrated compression. Re-muxing is not automatically compressing.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo View Post

Sorry no.

Just because the first part is true, doesn't mean the second part is true. Unless you are defining the bandwidth of the source and the attendant bandwidth of the output, you haven't demonstrated compression. Re-muxing is not automatically compressing.
It has been a long known fact that companies are compressing their feeds that they are sending to their customers. There is only so much bandwidth that they have allowed for tv. They are now taking away from TV bandwidth, to give more QAM's to the Internet side of things. You are finding that people are shopping around more because of this.

When Google opened up their Google Fiber to the public, as soon as it went online, the Churn of customers leaving other companies went up, to go with Google fiber in those areas that it was lit up. My area saw a high churn rate with customers that could get ATT U-Verse in their neighborhood, went up for Comcast, due to everyone saw the light and jumped Comcast's ship and went with ATT. Those that can not get 18 or 24meg Internet with ATT are still stuck with Comcast. Even worse is those that cannot get TV with ATT, are still stuck with Comcast.

We can of course discuss the fact that the h.264 stream for U-Verse is not the greatest, but the price and customer service trumps it for those of us that do not watch a lot of fast action sports. Of course there is those like myself that still have a OTA antenna, so that I can just switch over if need be, for the locals; if I get tired of dealing with the messed up screen during sports or shows.

Getting back on topic, again, until providers quit messing with what they are sending to their customers, and start getting on the Google and European wagon of using Fiber and non-compressed streams for tv feeds, things will always be the same. Then add in there that you have some OTA providers, that also have compressed their OTA feed for the HD channel, that at times it is un-watchable, due to they have only allotted very little for the HD channel. We see this in our area with the local CBS ownership. The HD feed is so bad, that it is HD-Lite. Even worse is the Open feed that they have on Comcast in our local area for the CBS broadcaster. That is not even SD-Lite. Comcast has the channels that are Open-Qam so downgraded (check out on Silicondust.com and you will see), they are doing it to coerce people to pay for the digital boxes, to still get the same feed as it is OTA.

I am sorry if you think that providers are not screwing with the feeds that they are sending out to the customers, but again it has been a known fact for years.
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Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post

I had saved the original MPEG streams from DN and ATSC stations using a modified VIP receiver by nextcom to an external hard drive few years back, now when I play those old files back on my media player they look awefull compared to the same materials on blu-ray, But at least MPEG2 looked a little better than MPEG4 now, that's one of the raisons why I dropped my DN subscription.

I only kept a few MPEG2 captures from when I used my Leadtek card. All are PBS documentaries, and they still look pretty good. But that was MPEG2 hardware *re-compression*, much like the Hauppauge with H.264. Everything else I dumped because either the quality of the feed was poor or I didn't use a high enough bitrate. Maybe both. (If you're limited in storage space, you can easily rationalize that a lowish bitrate is "good enough"; but storage is much less constrained now). OTOH, some of my first Hauppauge captures of Sunrise Earth episodes (720p, at a very moderate bitrate of 3.7 Mb/s) still look great. Not a great deal of motion in those captures, so not very demanding in regard to bitrate, but still...Remember Sunrise Earth?

A bigger, better TV than what I had then shows up the flaws, naturally. I wonder if a half dozen years ago folks weren't more prone to overlook flaws, simply because HD was new to them and it was so much better than analog SD. Was the quality really any better then?
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