Originally Posted by Ratman
But I was.
Spoken like a true D* fan (stockholder or employee).
Have at it....
Not every D* or E* channel is MPEG4, nor does every subscriber have a "new" STB that supports MPEG4. Nor are all feeds/spot beams created equal. But.... you seem to be the expert so, have fun.
(I didn't use a rolleyes icon this time.
Why is it that when people spout stuff about a service that isn't true, anyone who corrects them must either be a fanboy or work for them? Neither is true in my case. I most certainly do not work for D* and I have no particular loyalty to them other than they happen to be good enough to have stayed with them a while. If FIOS or Google fiber were to roll into town, I'd seriously consider either one, though. Living in a Comcast/AT&T area means D* is my best choice.
1) We're talking HD here, meaning if you watch HD on D*, you have to have the new equipment or you can't get it. MPEG2 is gone for HD on D*.
2) The main difference between how affiliates look in various areas is dependent upon the signal from the affiliate. Spot beams are divided and compressed pretty similarily from market to market. A crappy signal will look just as bad or worse when recompressed, like my ABC affiliate does. On the other hand, a great signal, like I get from my CBS or NBC affiliates, will look just as great. However, there's more chance of noticing the loss of fine details if that source signals is really good compared to D* because compression is always going to affect the picture in some way. How noticeable it is will depend on the quality of your satellite signal (which is affected by dish alignment, line of sight, cable/connections and sometimes the weather), the size of your TV and how your TV is set up. In my case, with a great signal from D*, a good affiliate signal a moderately sized TV, and a proper calibration, the signals for my CBS and NBC affiliates look identical unless I really, really work hard to find differences.
Where the differences really come in is with the national channels. TNT on D* may look better or worse than TNT on other providers, depending on how those other services stack their channels and how much compression they use on that particualr channel to fit it in.