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DirecTV - HD Audio?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by KCWolfPck, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. KCWolfPck

    KCWolfPck Legend

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    Has anyone heard of any plans for future broadcasting of HD audio codecs on movie channels or pay-per-view?

    With the recent trend of many Netflix Blu-ray rentals only including a dumbed-down DD 5.1 audio track, I would very likely cancel my Netflix subscription and watch on DirecTV exclusively for my movie rentals if they were to offer the HD audio.

    Is there a limitation somewhere that makes this impossible with current broadcasting equipment? Is it a licensing issue? Do they just think there is no demand to make it worth the trouble?
     
  2. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    There may be licensing issues, but I doubt that is part of the reason you don't see HD audio on Direct or Dish.

    Most likely the bandwidth requirements would present an issue to both providers. And of course, neither provider actually provides the content, they just pass it through. So the first part of the equation would have to be done by those content providers.

    And of course, there's always the money issue and who they sell to. I suspect that most home users don't have a rack full of AV equipment to take advantage of those HD codecs even if they were present.

    So I wouldn't be holding my breath waiting for it to show up.
     
  3. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

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    How about HD Audio on stuff downloaded through VOD?

    That wouldn't present the bandwidth problem, would it?

    How much longer would it take to download a movie with HD Audio?
     
  4. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Does the hardware have the ability to decode it?
     
  5. Steve

    Steve DIRECTV A-Team

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    +1. I found this footnote, at the bottom of the HD Audio page:

     
  6. Eddie501

    Eddie501 AllStar

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    I'm not sure why the same studios that are removing lossless audio from disc rentals would ever include it on VOD. The message I'm getting is that this is a premium, reserved for those who purchase the physical discs.
     
  7. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    While I don't see it happening, it could be said because people pay more for PPV. One movie is around $6 I think. Redbox or Netflix is a lot less per rental depending on how many you rent per month, or only keep it one day.
     
  8. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    If you do the math, uncompressed HD Audio for just two channels is pretty big, at about 12.3 mbps, while AC-3 even at 5.1 is only typically 484 kbps, so its over 25 times DD size-wise just for 2 channels. 5 discrete channels in that format would be at a bit rate of about 15.4.

    Since the video is already squeezed down to about 7.5 mbps, and DTV seems to be comfortable with that, it seems unlikely that they could justify 2-channel stereo at a file size nearly twice that of the video, even if it were for premium content. If they employed lossless compression, maybe they could get it down to half or 1/3 that, but that again implies even more decoding in the STB.

    This also implies a much greater download time.

    <note: this is just uncompressed payload numbers; there may be more in overhead>
     
  9. Mike_TV

    Mike_TV Legend

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    I think the OP is talking about the HD audio that Blu-ray can provide...

    Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio both of which are lossless encoding techniques of up to 8 channels of audio.

    Some rental Blu-ray discs only include a standard compressed Dolby Digital 5.1 track and not the high resolution lossless audio of the same disc released in retail. ie - you need to buy the disc in order to get the "best" audio for the movie.

    I don't think any Directv hardware is capable of decoding either of these for VOD or PPV.
     
  10. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    That's not really part of the issue. Yeah, a computer on your desk might take a bit more oomph to decode it, but my BluRay player decodes all the HD codecs just fine, and I can assure you that it doesn't have a processor anywhere near that powerful.

    Nor do most of the AVRs out there.

    The reality is that none of D*'s equipment will decode it because they don't need it to. And the bandwidth needed to pass it down would be onerous.

    Add to that, most end users don't have the equipment to play it back with nor the urge to get it. Of all my friends there are only a very small handful that have anything more than either a TV for the sound, or at most a cheap soundbar setup. Only one other than me, has the AV equipment to take advantage of these codecs if they were there.

    And among the younger crowd I see less of this than more.
     
  11. Steve

    Steve DIRECTV A-Team

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    Ya. Apples and oranges, then, because the OP was referring to HD audio (small "a") in general, and not specifically Intel "HD Audio". My bad.

    E.g., "HD Audio" is not listed as a supported format on the latest Samsung BD "top of the line" player. Instead, it lists Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, DTS, DTS-HD and DTS Audio.
     
  12. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    I think that is because as more HD audio codecs came out, it became a real marketing idea to have all those logos on the boxes!! :)

    In my setup, my 2007 Harman Kardon AVR doesn't decode the newer codecs, but has the capability of handling up to 7.1 LPCM. So I let the BD and HDDVD player decode them and send them to the AVR as LPCM. That gets me full benefit of the newer codecs, I just don't have a nifty light or some such on the AVR that tells me it is doing it.
     
  13. Beerstalker

    Beerstalker Hall Of Fame

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    As others have mentioned, I don't think we will see lossless audio like Dolby TrueHD, or DTS HD-Master Audio on DirecTV, Dish, or any of the other providers anytime soon. It just takes up too much bandwidth. Maybe once we start seeing 4K or 8K broadcasts, but by then there will probably be newer codecs.

    What we might start seeing eventually is a bit better lossy codecs. Possibly Dolby Digital Plus, or DTS HD. These are lossy codecs, but still have a lot more info than the old standard Dolby Digital and DTS codecs. I believe VUDU, and some other streaming services have started using them, so they may eventually come to the TV providers too.

    Either way, it wouldn't suprise me if it would require newer equipment to support them.

    Lparsons21, remember just because your blu-ray player can do it doesn't mean it can be done easily. Most likely your blu-ray player has processors in it specifically designed to handle those codecs, which our DVRs do not have. If you remember when HD-DVD and Blu-Ray first came out not all of the early players could support all of the codecs themselves, and the ones that could were quite a bit more expensive, it took a while before those codecs were widely supported in all of them like they are today. DVD was the same way when it came out, they all supported Dolby Digital, but only a few supported DTS at first, it took a while for DTS support to become common.
     
  14. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Boy do I remember those early BluRay players!! That's why I got a PS3 because at the time, there just wasn't a BD player out there that was anywhere close to the PS3 in performance and upgradeability for BluRay.

    It was not at all uncommon to have it go get yet another upgrade when putting the latest movie in!
     
  15. Beerstalker

    Beerstalker Hall Of Fame

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    I did the same thing, I originally paid $1000 for a Samsung Blu-Ray player, but then returned it once the PS3 came out and got one of them instead. Actually I'm still using my PS3 as a blu-ray player in my home theater, because I haven't bothered buying a dedicated player for in there yet. Every time I watch a movie I want to though, as the fan noise from the PS3 has really started to annoy me.
     
  16. KCWolfPck

    KCWolfPck Legend

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    Yeah, the reason I got to thinking about this in the first place is because I saw that VUDU offers DD+ 7.1.

    Additionally, I can't say for certain, but I would think any of the DirecTV HD-DVRs could pass lossless audio. The customer would only need a receiver that could decode it rather than relying on the player to do the decode. Most (if not all) receivers that have come out in the last few years have this capability, no?
     
  17. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Ah the world famous 'hover mode' the PS3 goes into!! :lol:

    I've got a Sony standalone player now that works just fine for all this stuff. The PS3 has moved to my tech room and connected to the Sony PS3 3D Display.

    BTW, I read over on AVS that there are only 340 or so BluRay discs with 7.1 on them. That was interesting and many more than I had thought. In my rack of blurays I've bought, I doubt there are more than a couple that way.
     
  18. PMA

    PMA Mentor

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    I have a $5.99 credit to evaluate VUDU and am also interested in them if they offer 7.1 since I just had this installed. I typically "rent" from DirecTV but if they only offer 5.1 I will switch to VUDU going forward. I'm accessing through my Samsung BD player and I looked at a 2 minute segment of the new Bourne movie and the picture and sound was superb. I'll rent the movie this weekend to tryout the full effect.
     

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