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MPEG4 vs MPEG2

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Rich, Mar 1, 2007.

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  1. Mar 1, 2007 #1 of 20
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I have two virtually identical Sony HIDEF CRTs and two HR20s, one DVR per TV. I use one for Local programming and the other for HBO, Showtime, HDNET and UHD movies. I get a better picture with the MPEG2 movies than I do with the MPEG4 locals. And, yes, I have switched the DVRs to check if either TV had a better picture than the other. No change. Am I correct in my assumption that MPEG2 gives a better picture than MPEG4? I am aware that I can record more hours in MPEG4 than in MPEG2.

    Thanx,
    Rich
     
  2. Mar 1, 2007 #2 of 20
    RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

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    Dumb question, have you tried hooking up an over the air antenna and comparing the MPEG4 channels to the OTA channels to see if they're the same or different?
     
  3. Mar 1, 2007 #3 of 20
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I really don't see what is dumb about my question. Did you understand that I get all my locals and in fact get two sets of locals? Why would I want to hook an antenna up? What would that have to do with my original question? I am referring strictlly to Directv transmissions.
     
  4. Mar 1, 2007 #4 of 20
    litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

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    Comparing DirecTV's MPEG2 HD movie channels with your MPEG4 HDTV Locals is not really an "apples to apples" comparison. That's why RAD suggested trying to compare your local HD over-the-air channels with your DirecTV MPEG4 HD channels.

    I've compared mine, several times, and detect very little difference between my over-the-air and MPEG4 DirecTV locals. I would agree that generally the HiDef movie channels look very good, and HDNet is usually awesome.
     
  5. Mar 1, 2007 #5 of 20
    Koz

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    I don't think he was calling your question dumb. He was calling his own question dumb.

    And the point of hooking up an antenna would be to see if D*'s encoding was making a difference in the picture you're seeing. Using an antenna takes D* out of the loop and theoretically gives you the best possible picture.

    I agree that comparing MPEG2 to MPEG4 on different channels is not apples to apples. A lot of other factors come into play. The biggest factor overall is the amount of compression D* is doing on the signal. This should hurt the PQ on MPEG2 more than MPEG4. However, if the source is not good, it doesn't matter what D* does. This is what makes it a little tough to compare.
     
  6. Mar 1, 2007 #6 of 20
    RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

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    Sorry you misunderstood my reply. As others have said, doing this would take the D* part out of the equation to see if it's the source with the problem or D*.
     
  7. Mar 2, 2007 #7 of 20
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    My apologies. I misread your question. I'm terribly sorry.

    I have never hooked up an external antenna because I waited for D* to transmit my locals (I live in the NYC area). I have no idea what format an antenna would pick up and since I have no intention of ever mounting an antenna my only thought at the time I posted originally was a comparison between the MPEG2 and the MPEG4 transmissions. So, again I ask the question, "Is it my imagination or is MPEG2 a better format as far as picture quality goes than MPEG4?"

    Also, I have been seeing red dots (pixels?) on the MPEG4 recordings. Seems to happen on all local channels intermittently. I know if I call D*s Protection Plan they are going to ship me another unit and I will lose all the recordings I have on my present unit. Not that big a deal, I have everything backed up on TiVos in Standard Def. I have not checked any recordings I have made since receiving the latest update a day or two ago.
     
  8. Mar 2, 2007 #8 of 20
    RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

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    Well, since I'm not in NYC area I can say my MPEG4 locals don't like like anything you're seeing. You might post your question at http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=8799047#post8799047 which is the NYC local DBS thread or review the post there to see if anyone else is seeing what you're seeing.
     
  9. Mar 2, 2007 #9 of 20
    Tom_S

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    MPEG4 does better at lower bitrates than MPEG2. However MPEG2 at high bitrates can do an amazing job with HD material. Bandwidth constraints by our providers(D*, Cable) usually prohibit such high bitrates.
     
  10. Radio Enginerd

    Radio Enginerd New Member

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    You also need to consider that some of the MPEG-2 content your comparing might be in 1080i while your comparing to an MPEG-4 local at 720p.

    I'm not sure what you're comparing but as others have mentioned, you have a multitude of variables.
     
  11. Radio Enginerd

    Radio Enginerd New Member

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    I work in the Digital Content Delivery business and I agree with Tom's assessment. Everything always comes down to Bandwidth. Satellite TV will continue to suffer this lack of bandwidth ftae based on the regulations in place by the FCC and the amount of space for satellites in orbit, etc, etc, etc. Not to say or come to the conclusion that MPEG-4 is bad, just that they'll only have a certain amount of "bits in the bucket" and will do there best to utilize what they have.

    The future of TV IMO is IPTV (FIOS). Whether it be in a multicast IP environment or Client to Server based. I happen to believe this is the future of media delivery for Radio, TV, the whole spectrum. Call it a matter of opinion but you'll find many that believe this philosophy as well.
     
  12. Kapeman

    Kapeman Godfather

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    I think you may be right about that, but isn't the big hold up getting fiber to the last mile?
    Unless there are ways to get the same through-put on copper.
     
  13. gpg

    gpg Well-Known Member

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    Since you live in the NY DMA, why don't you compare the NY MPEG4 locals with the NY MPEG2 locals on channels 80, 82, 86 and 88. You'd be able to compare the same shows directly.

    BTW, when I do it, I think the MPEG4 locals look better than the MPEG2. YMMV.
     
  14. RobTorrey

    RobTorrey Cool Member

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    AT&T salesmen are prowling my neighborhood offering free U-Verse hookups. I think that they're looking for beta testers. I'm having too much fun with the HR20 & this forum to bite yet.
     
  15. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Have not done that because I was assured by a tech at D* that the locals in the 80s were MPEG4 just like the regular locals, 2,4,5, and 7. I will check this out quickly. Wonder if those red dots show up on the MEPG2 locals? Funny thing about the dots is that they seem always to be in the area of someone's neck.

    Thanks for clarifying the local mode of transmissions for me. I could not think of any reason other than two different transmission modes. But that guy at D* actually put me on hold to "research" that wrong answer.

    To the person who suggested that I might be comparing 720 to 1080: I have my DVR set to Native and I get all the locals (2,4,5,7) in 1080. Never tried it in the upper locals but I will.

    Thanx,
    Rich
     
  16. RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

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    The NYC stations in the 80's are MPEG2 feeds, that's what D* uses, along with LA, for the national networks for folks that qualify for them.
     
  17. paulman182

    paulman182 Hall Of Fame

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    Just to give you another point of reference, we get the NY HD locals in the 80s here and they are awesome. No dots of any color.
     
  18. finaldiet

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    I receive all locals(OTA) , east coast channels, and local MPEG4 here in Chicago area. They all look HD. The only problem I see is the HR20 does not pick up local(OTA) channel 2 at all, but picks up the rest. My HR10 never had a problem picking up channel 2. Picks it up great using the same OTA antenna.
     
  19. thekochs

    thekochs DirecTV 10yr+ Customer

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    MPEG-4 by definition is a better quality algorythm than MPEG-2. It not only has better compression but the motion comp and field bit resolution for antialiasing is better by "spec" than MPEG-2. However.....and it is a BIG however.....and in my opinion a critical one......the afilliates and broadcasters use MPEG-4 and the purchase of the expensive encoders to be a "bandwidth" play as many have stated above. Thus, I believe they figure the average person/consumer is very happy with the SD to HD change and they really don't need to adjust the quality level higher but instead drive more HD channels. I think we all agree the biggest issue in even us early adopters getting HDTVs and HD boxes are the # of channels......OTA locals I think broke that log jam for us.

    Anyway, to summarize....MPEG-4 is better than MPEG-2 but clearly this is not how it is being used.....can't say I blame them either.
     
  20. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    No red dots last night. Watched programs recorded on WCBS. Beginning to wonder if it has something to do with which channel we record. Will watch a program on a different channel tonight. We have been watching the shows in chronologic order and I might have reached the Feb. 10 update. Thanx for all the replies. Learn more from you guys than from D*s reps.

    Rich
     
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