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HR21 Pro

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by marcusadolfsson, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    I think the 1080p is a mistake as there is no light for 1080i. There are a lot of TVs/monitors that can take 1080i and not 1080p as input (while the box has 480i and 480p marked on it?).
     
  2. HD AV

    HD AV Legend

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    I posted previously, maybe Earl can confirm this, I have heard from a reputable source that D* is currently engineering testing 1080p and that they "may" have 1 or 2 chanels "coming soon". :lol: :eek2: :hurah:
     
  3. Jeremy W

    Jeremy W Hall Of Fame

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    Why would they waste bandwidth on 1080p channels that can only be seen with a very exclusive receiver that very few people will ever even know exists?
     
  4. Ken_F

    Ken_F Godfather/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    The HR21 is a lower-cost version of the HR20 (w/o the ATSC tuners) based on the Broadcom BCM7401. That's the same chip Tivo used in their new $299 TivoHD. The non-DVR H21 uses the BCM7402, which is the cheaper variant of that chip without SATA support.

    This is the first I have heard of 1080p output on a "HR21 Pro." I know they had 500Gb DVR in the works -- I had assumed it was the next-generation HR22, but it looks like that is the "HR21 Pro" as well.

    Content delivered in 1080p24 requires less bandwidth than 1080i60 video. In fact, most of the 1080i60 movie channels -- including HBO, Starz, and Showtime -- are already using 1080p24 in a 1080i60 carrier. Since the overwhelming majority of 1080p displays use relatively cheap video processing circuitry that cannot detect and display that 1080p24 source, very few people are able to experience the full quality that these channels have to offer. It's akin to setting your Blu-ray player to output 1080i.

    The Broadcom BCM7401 in the HR21 can output 1080p24 (if DirecTV wanted to do that), but it won't deinterlace 1080i into 1080p60. DirecTV would have to use a separate IC in the HR21 Pro to provide 1080p60 output. Examples of such ICs include the Silicon Optix ReonVX and the Anchor Bay ABT2010.

    These chips would:
    1. Provide per-pixel, motion adaptive deinterlace of 1080i60 video.

    2. Detect 1080p24 sources within the 1080i60 signal, perform inverse telecine to obtain that 1080p24 source, and then apply pull-down to produce a 1080p60 signal from that 1080p24 source.
    Many pre-2006 HDTVs can do neither. Most 2006 HDTVs can do #1, but not #2. Only a handful of 2006 and shipping 2007 HDTVs (ex: Pioneer, Fujitsu plasmas) can do #2. If you spent less than $4000 on your 2006-2007 HDTV, then it probably does not do #2.

    If the HR21 Pro were to use one of the two solutions linked above, it is probable that DirecTV's MPEG-4 @ 1440x1080i output as 1080p on a movie channel would look better than a higher-bitrate 1920x1080i MPEG-2 signal output from a cable box at 1080i.

    Edit: Don't take these comments to suggest that 1080p output from the HR21 Pro would provide a dramatic improvement in PQ. However, the difference between quality deinterlace and mediocre deinterlace of 1080i is likely greater than the difference between DirecTV's MPEG-4 @ 1440x1080 MPEG-4 and higher-bitrate MPEG-2 @ 1920x1080. If you want to test the difference, set your Blu-ray or HD-DVD player to 1080i instead of 1080p output and compare. Pay close attention to the differences in resolution during camera pans and action scenes with lots of movement. Note the combing, stairstepping, moire, etc in the interlaced signal that is absent from the progressive one.
     
  5. VideoVeteran

    VideoVeteran Mentor

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    Here is an actual photo from CEDIA (shown w/o rack mount hardware):

    [​IMG]
     
  6. spec2

    spec2 Cool Member

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    Oct 1, 2007
    Anything new on the Pro version ship date? I see the regular version is starting to ship so I'd think the pro version wouldn't be too far behind.
     
  7. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    It is still a little ways off...
     
  8. Jeremy W

    Jeremy W Hall Of Fame

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    Yeah, I haven't even received one to field test yet! :lol:

    Or have I... :eek2:
     
  9. MikeekiM

    MikeekiM Godfather

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    Well...I am waiting for this one... :) I am in the market for a 2nd...

    I've got 2 upgraded SD DTiVos running in addition to my eSATA expanded HR20, so I am in a position to be patient... :)
     
  10. Que

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  11. wmccain

    wmccain Legend

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    Well, I guess this means that the (previously announced) HR20 Pro will never see the light of day (it appears to be "superseded" by the HR21 Pro) ...

    Apparently I made the right decision several months ago when I gave up on the HR20 Pro and ordered and installed two more HR20-700s. Thank God for Middle Atlantic custom faceplate rackshelves!

    The HR20 Pro (see Engadget for photos) would have been cool, albeit expensive: rack mounted, 3U rather than 2U, with a front-panel LCD that showed the actual picture on the current channel. And, of course, the OTA tuners which the HR21 (Pro) lacks.

    The HR21 Pro seems to be little more than a rack-packaged HR21. It appears to have two additional chips: a de-interlacer (for 1080p) and a Prolific PL-2303 (the chip that's inside every USB-to-serial adapter that DirecTV supports). It wouldn't surprise me if the mainboard of the regular HR21 has unpopulated traces for exactly those two extra chips!

    The HR21 Pro may seem attractive for custom installers (one of my sidelines) ... but an external USB-to-serial adapter can be had for $15 and most high-end installations already have a quality de-interlacer (e.g. DVDO) and/or a projector or flat panel with a decent de-interlacer (with 2/3 pulldown support).

    So, the main utility that I see in the HR21 Pro is that it saves you about $150 that a Middle Atlantic custom faceplate rackshelf would cost you. And it provides integrated cooling ... if those fans are quiet enough. (Standard custom installers' trick: run several 12 volt DC fans at 6 volts. Much quieter than one fan at 12 volts ... and more air movement besides.)

    William C. McCain
    Palo Alto, California
     
  12. Jeremy W

    Jeremy W Hall Of Fame

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    Where are you getting this information?
     
  13. wmccain

    wmccain Legend

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    By "appears", I meant that this is a conjecture.

    I have no "inside knowledge" ... I am just speculating on how the HR21 Pro is likely to be implemented. We all know that minimizing cost is important to any consumer electronics manufacturer. In this case, that means "use the same mainboard (or a minor variant thereof) if at all possible". That would minimize the unique engineering and manufacturing costs of the "Pro" version.

    So, beside rack ears and cooling fans, what features does the Pro version have that the regular version lacks? Only two:

    1. The 1080p de-interlacing. Previous posts have indicated that the HR21's Broadcom chip cannot do it, hence I hypothesize an additional de-interlacing chip.

    2. The RS232 serial port on the rear replaces the USB port. Easiest way to do that, with minimal hardware re-engineering and no firmware changes, is to add the same (very cheap) USB-to-serial chip that is found inside nearly all USB-to-serial adapters (all except the ones made by Keyspan).

    Bill
     
  14. Jeremy W

    Jeremy W Hall Of Fame

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    OK. Well to start, the HR21 Pro doesn't do 1080p, so that one is out.
     
  15. wmccain

    wmccain Legend

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    Jan 9, 2006
    Not surprising ... I guess the "1080p" in the picture in the magazine ad is erroneous (possibly taken of a prototype). But where do you get your information? Beta tester?

    I forgot about the optical HDMI jack, but that clearly would be done by feeding the electrical HDMI into an optical adapter. Notice that the two HDMI jacks are grouped together with the RS232 jack on the rear panel of the "Pro". That suggests a totally standard HR21 mainboard, with a small "rear panel jack" daughterboard that does the USB-to-serial conversion and the HDMI-to-optical conversion (and which mounts the HDMI switch as well as the three jacks).

    Bill
     
  16. wmccain

    wmccain Legend

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    Oh, yeah ... I forgot that the "Pro" has a larger hard drive. That, too, requires no new engineering — and just a "parts list" change in manufacturing.

    So what does the "Pro" cost to make that isn't in the standard HR21?

    1. New case, with rack ears and fans.

    2. Additional "jack board" for the RS232 port, optical/HDMI, and switch (and adapter chips).

    3. Bigger hard drive.

    Probably worth the extra $300 (if you don't need OTA tuners). But everything in that list can be added to a standard HR20/HR21, at modest cost (with the possible exception of the optical HDMI converter).

    Bill
     
  17. flipptyfloppity

    flipptyfloppity New Member

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    The HR20 and HR21 can already deinterlace (480i->720p). And just putting an additional 1080i->1080p deinterlacer wouldn't accomplish a lot. What it needs is the ability to convert both 720p and 1080i to 1080p internally. Having it convert 720p->1080i and then deinterlacing that to 1080p wouldn't do any good.

    The best would be to get direct 1080p upconversion on the main chipset, my understanding is the latest Broadcom chipset is capable.

    I don't think the Pro even really exists right now. It was probably just a demo unit put together a while back from whatever they had on hand (HR20) now they'd have to start over with new HR21 guts.
     
  18. wmccain

    wmccain Legend

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    Yes, the "HR20 Pro" that was "shown around" in early 2006 was certainly a "one off" prototype. A bit over-ambitious (it was reportedly going to sell for over $1500). Undoubtedly they shelved it and decided to, instead, produce a much more modest "Pro" version of the HR21.

    But the HR21 Pro appears to be "for real", possibly already "released to manufacturing", and (perhaps) soon to be available. For only $599.

    Bill
     
  19. wmccain

    wmccain Legend

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    Where do you get your information? Beta tester?

    Bill
     
  20. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    From me...
    Which I got from DirecTV... 1080p was a misprint/error in the publication.

    As for the HR21PRO not being real.
    Oh it is... and it is definently planned to be a released product.
     

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