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DirecTV National HD Listing/Maps Discussion Thread (Technical - Not Anticipation)


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#226 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 04:34 AM

Even with the addition of new encoders, does the move from 5 channels per transponder to 6 make anyone else nervous?


Nope. The obviously didn't just go out and start compressing more to get to six, they waited Neil they found encoders that could keep the quality at the same level and accomplish all of this at the same time. I believe it's all good.

And as James said, by the time they run out of room now, they will have d14 in the air. Heck, they might have d14 and d15 in the air by then....

#227 OFFLINE   Sixto

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 06:45 AM

It appears that new technology became available, and they're taking advantage of the new technology.

I've not seen anyone notice the difference yet.
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#228 OFFLINE   JoeTheDragon

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 07:43 AM

Not me. DirecTV is doing fine for capacity and at 6 per transponder they will have more than enough for every channel they want to carry plus channels they don't carry.

If DirecTV was in a bandwidth pinch were nothing new could be carried without going beyond 6 per transponder it might be something to be concerned about. But they are not at that point and are not expected to need more than 6 per transponder. The slippery slope of 5 becomes 6 becomes 7 becomes 8 is not something that is likely to happen at DirecTV.


they can also in a bandwidth pinch trun off SD duplicates and move SD only stuff to MPEG 4.
I want CLTV / CLTV HD on direct tv.

#229 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 07:51 AM

yes


Have you actually seen a difference in the channels they are currently doing this with?

#230 OFFLINE   georule

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 10:09 AM

Even with the addition of new encoders, does the move from 5 channels per transponder to 6 make anyone else nervous?


Not yet. If you haven't reviewed the encoder presentation linked upstream, go take a look at that (the mpeg 4 section is towards the end).

They've already got some high-profile channels on these 6-per TPs, and no one has raised any PQ flags yet.

Given the nature of this very competitive business, if they were giving up quality to do this, competitors would be feeding their online surrogates with talking points and screenies showing it, or at least pointing out where to look.
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#231 OFFLINE   charlie460

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 02:36 PM

Have you actually seen a difference in the channels they are currently doing this with?


No, but I worry about them getting too happy with this and trying to squeeze even more channels on one TP. Or cutting resolution to 1440 like Dish.

#232 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 02:40 PM

No, but I worry about them getting too happy with this and trying to squeeze even more channels on one TP. Or cutting resolution to 1440 like Dish.


Why would they even consider that when they have so many transponders still with only five channels.

I doubt this would happen, as the quality of their encoders and picture quality seems to be a particular point of pride by DIRECTV and some of the powers that be there.

#233 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 04:57 PM

No, but I worry about them getting too happy with this and trying to squeeze even more channels on one TP. Or cutting resolution to 1440 like Dish.


I see it as the opposite. They waited until they could maintain the quality to add a sixth channel. Plus they now have plenty of space. Especially since 3D has not quite caught on.

Also hopeful because they have started to retire old (very old) boxes. Future looks pretty good right now.

It all comes down to money and other contract items.
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#234 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 06:07 PM

..
Also hopeful because they have started to retire old (very old) boxes. Future looks pretty good right now.
...

Technically, the retired boxes using additional bandwidth (for MPG) barely allow to reuse it for one SD channel per tpn on Ku sats (101/110/119).

#235 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 06:10 PM

Technically, the retired boxes using additional bandwidth (for MPG) barely allow to reuse it for one SD channel per tpn on Ku sats (101/110/119).


I know but they had to start somewhere.
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#236 OFFLINE   cypherx

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 06:51 PM

There's nothing to worry about in terms of quality. They could of done this long ago but the fact that they waited until technology got better proves they aren't acting "blindly".

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#237 OFFLINE   JoeTheDragon

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 10:42 PM

Technically, the retired boxes using additional bandwidth (for MPG) barely allow to reuse it for one SD channel per tpn on Ku sats (101/110/119).


well that can fit the up coming RSN's and other sports channels.
I want CLTV / CLTV HD on direct tv.

#238 OFFLINE   Xizer

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 03:06 AM

Nope. The obviously didn't just go out and start compressing more to get to six, they waited Neil they found encoders that could keep the quality at the same level and accomplish all of this at the same time. I believe it's all good.


I don't buy it.

DirecTV is in dangerous territory now - AT&T U-verse territory.

For those unfortunate enough to have seen U-verse TV's "HD" channels in action - you will be scarred for life by how bad they look.

AT&T runs their H.264 encoders at 6 Mbps. This is the same bitrate that DirecTV is doing now with their new 6-per-TP scheme. DirecTV's picture quality was never anything to write home about at 8 Mbps. It was decent compared to many providers but utter crap compared to Blu-rays and free-to-air satellite feeds/wildfeeds/backhauls.

Why is DirecTV trying to match that previous subpar quality at a lower bitrate instead of improving upon it and trying to get closer to Blu-ray/FTA satellite quality video? :confused: If these magic new encoders are so much better they should be using them at 8 Mbps...

Here's a screenshot comparison of AT&T U-verse versus YouTube:

http://screenshotcom...omparison/63008
http://screenshotcom...omparison/63009
http://screenshotcom...omparison/63010

I don't know - maybe I'm unreasonable for wanting an expensive paid monthly service like DirecTV to be able to match the quality of what's being put out for free over the air via FTA satellite or ATSC antenna...

#239 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 04:08 AM

I don't buy it.

DirecTV is in dangerous territory now - AT&T U-verse territory.

For those unfortunate enough to have seen U-verse TV's "HD" channels in action - you will be scarred for life by how bad they look.

AT&T runs their H.264 encoders at 6 Mbps. This is the same bitrate that DirecTV is doing now with their new 6-per-TP scheme. DirecTV's picture quality was never anything to write home about at 8 Mbps. It was decent compared to many providers but utter crap compared to Blu-rays and free-to-air satellite feeds/wildfeeds/backhauls.

Why is DirecTV trying to match that previous subpar quality at a lower bitrate instead of improving upon it and trying to get closer to Blu-ray/FTA satellite quality video? :confused: If these magic new encoders are so much better they should be using them at 8 Mbps...

Here's a screenshot comparison of AT&T U-verse versus YouTube:

http://screenshotcom...omparison/63008
http://screenshotcom...omparison/63009
http://screenshotcom...omparison/63010

I don't know - maybe I'm unreasonable for wanting an expensive paid monthly service like DirecTV to be able to match the quality of what's being put out for free over the air via FTA satellite or ATSC antenna...


Did you just offer up posts on you tube for pic quality? :lol:

And you think AT&T gets all the way up to 6?

And there is no one out there now that comes close to blu ray, and I doubt there will be for at least ten years or more, so I don't even bother with that kind of comparison. And fta isn't a competitor in that either. Dish, DIRECTV, and cable companies and over the air are all fair comparisons.

And evidently you haven't sen any of the over the air Hi Definition channels in my market. DIRECTV has as good a pq as any of them do for the same channels, and some cable channels are even better n dtv. All my freaking channels seem to think if they aren't showing an additional three to ten (yes ten on a couple non network stations) sub channels they aren't doing a good enough job.

You don't have to buy it, but they haven't lost any pq on the channels they have already gone to six per transponders with. At least not that anyone here has ever been able to see.

#240 OFFLINE   Xizer

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 04:42 AM

Did you just offer up posts on you tube for pic quality? :lol:

And you think AT&T gets all the way up to 6?


Measured at the U-verse gateway, AT&T's HD streams for video are approx. 5.7 Mbps. This makes sense as on the 32/5 U-verse profile (this is the one assigned to you on AT&T's fastest Internet speed offering, 24/3 Mbps) - one's Internet connection speed drops to 20 Mbps when viewing two HD channels at once - 14 Mbps when viewing 3 HD channels - and just 8 Mbps when viewing four HD channels. So yes, Internet speed loss on U-verse when viewing 2 or more HD channels definitely correlates with the 6 Mbps of bandwidth per HD channel as well.

The point of the comparison was to illustrate how bad AT&T U-verse looks at that bitrate - that a recording from Verizon FiOS of the same channel uploaded to YouTube still looks better than AT&T even after YouTube molests it. It's that bad.

As for whether or not DirecTV looks any worse with the 25% bitrate drop, I'd take opinions without some screenshots to back it up with a grain of salt. In the other thread about DirecTV HD channels the majority opinion is that the new channel they're adding, TCM HD - "looks great." This is despite the fact that it is the only high definition channel that has never aired a single minute of native high definition content. Most people are clueless when it comes to picture quality.

Really the only way to know scientifically is for a thorough identical frame screenshot comparison to be done like the AT&T vs. YouTube comparison above: screenshots need to be taken of a program before it gets dropped down to 6 Mbps and then a repeat of the program after the channel is dropped down.

#241 OFFLINE   Racer88

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 05:00 AM

Starz Kids, Comedy, West, and Edge HD went black about 10 minutes ago...?

EDIT: Add Max West, HBO2 West, and HBO West HD

EDIT2: Audience HD, ESPN HD, USA HD, Bio HD, NatGeo HD, Travel HD, Animal Planet HD, Science HD, Cartoon Network East HD, Nick East HD, MTV HD, VH1 HD,

Ok some of the first ones are coming back now...more new encoders coming online?

Edited by Racer88, 04 July 2012 - 05:21 AM.


#242 OFFLINE   LameLefty

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 06:56 AM

As for whether or not DirecTV looks any worse with the 25% bitrate drop, I'd take opinions without some screenshots to back it up with a grain of salt.


Yet you're the one posting worries and fears about PQ without screenshots.

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#243 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 08:09 AM

But isn't a difference between AT&T and DIRECTV is that AT&T's stream is maxed at that 5.7Mbps rate period. With DIRECTV it's muxing the 5 or 6 channels on a transponder, allocating bandwidth on the fly between those channels so a channel that needs a burst of bandwidth can get it from channels that aren't using it.

See post My Setup for configuration info.


#244 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 08:09 AM

Yet you're the one posting worries and fears about PQ without screenshots.


And without DirecTV.
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#245 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 09:17 AM

Measured at the U-verse gateway, AT&T's HD streams for video are approx. 5.7 Mbps. This makes sense as on the 32/5 U-verse profile (this is the one assigned to you on AT&T's fastest Internet speed offering, 24/3 Mbps) - one's Internet connection speed drops to 20 Mbps when viewing two HD channels at once - 14 Mbps when viewing 3 HD channels - and just 8 Mbps when viewing four HD channels. So yes, Internet speed loss on U-verse when viewing 2 or more HD channels definitely correlates with the 6 Mbps of bandwidth per HD channel as well.

I had U-Who and DirecTV side by side.
Since I'm so close to the VRAD, by profile is 32.2/5.04, yet my modem reports the max downstream rate is 64 Mb/s. Whether U-Who will use this overhead to feed TV, I don't know. My internet is 12 Mb/s.
I setup 3 HD recording and had a forth HD channel live on my other receiver. While these were going on, I tested my download rate by finding large files to download. I saw no speed reduction in downloading.

The point of the comparison was to illustrate how bad AT&T U-verse looks at that bitrate - that a recording from Verizon FiOS of the same channel uploaded to YouTube still looks better than AT&T even after YouTube molests it. It's that bad.

FiOS is MPEG-2 correct? You can't compare bit-rates between MPEG-2 & MPEG-4, as it's apples and oranges.
You can compare PQ, but it's subjective and effected by the scaling in the display. My Sony XBR can make a fairly crappy SD program look "fairly good".
When I tried U-Who, I figured the PQ would suck so bad it would be the biggest complaint. Well it wasn't to my surprise. I did see skipping/dropping of frames, so it does have limitations.

As for whether or not DirecTV looks any worse with the 25% bitrate drop, I'd take opinions without some screenshots to back it up with a grain of salt.

Where are you getting this? :confused: The average bit rate reduction from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 is close to half.
MPEG-2 is fairly constant as it sends every bit needed for every frame. MPEG-4 only send the bits for what changes in the next frame. This means bit rates vary much more with MPEG-4, where they can be as low a only a couple of Mb/s, and then peak at 16+ Mb/s with DirecTV, as the frame content changes.
UV Realtime allows monitoring of the router ports.
I setup the same recorded show from U-Who and DirecTV, and sync'd them within a sec of each other. I then monitored my router port usage over about 10 mins to compare MPEG-4 to MPEG-4. U-Who's bit-rates were 66% of DirecTV's, with the main difference being around an 8 Mb/s limit on U-Who, where DirecTV was averaging 12 Mb/s. When DirecTV was below 8 Mb/s, U-Who's rate was much closer.

Really the only way to know scientifically is for a thorough identical frame screenshot comparison to be done like the AT&T vs. YouTube comparison above: screenshots need to be taken of a program before it gets dropped down to 6 Mbps and then a repeat of the program after the channel is dropped down.

That may be what you need to do, but the act of taking a screen shot has a variable that we don't know.
Actual bit rates, monitored over time, of the same program, and the same type of encoding, seems more useful to me, which I've done.


DirecTV PQ: I've also done comparison between OTA MPEG-2 and the DirecTV MPEG-4 of the same program. There is a slight difference, but it's so small that it might fall under "I want to think" there is a difference and so I think there is. It's that close.

Edited by veryoldschool, 04 July 2012 - 09:30 AM.

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#246 OFFLINE   maartena

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 10:41 AM

I don't buy it.

DirecTV is in dangerous territory now - AT&T U-verse territory.


You are forgetting one thing here. AT&T's bandwidth is fixed at 5.7 Mbps per channel, where DirecTV's bandwidth is variable. In a scene where two people are talking against a steady, non moving background - such as a talk show or something - less bandwidth is needed, whereas when sports is played you need the full bandwidth. A DirecTV transponder is 38 Mbps, which means with 6 channels, it can allocate about 6.3 Mbps per channel, BUT if a channel only uses 3-4 Mbps because of the current content being played, other channels can use the bandwidth for higher-action content. In a nutshell the full 38 Mbps transponder is compressed/encoded into space from earth, the satellite just relays the information. And within that 38 Mbps "channel", bandwidth is dynamically allocated to the needs of the channels.

With U-Verse, if you are watching a low-bandwidth cartoon on 1 channel, a talk show on another, and dad is watching sports in the basement.... he'll STILL only get the 5.7 Mbps, even though the cartoon and the talkshow might only take 4 Mbps.

DirecTV's technology is a lot more flexible. Knowing that you can't upgrade the satellite once it is launched, it only serves as a "channeling" device. You can upgrade the equipment on earth though and blanket the nation with better quality HD, or some new-fangled gimmick like 3D without a change needed to the satellite itself.

If you take a close look at the channels per transponder, you will see that they are carefully thought out. You won't see ESPN and ESPN2 on the same transponder for instance, but rather you will see it mixed with a news channel and a cartoon channel (and some others obviously)

Even IF all 6 channels on the same transponder are all over sudden full of movement and action at the *exact* same time, there would still be 6.3 Mbps for each channel, and with new compression and encoding technologies it would *still* look a hell of a lot better then U-verse would at 600 Kbps less bandwidth.

But it is the fact that variable bandwidth can be used that really makes the difference.

I'm still wondering why you actually joined DBSTalk.... :D
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#247 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 10:49 AM

With U-Verse, if you are watching a low-bandwidth cartoon on 1 channel, a talk show on another, and dad is watching sports in the basement.... he'll STILL only get the 5.7 Mbps, even though the cartoon and the talkshow might only take 4 Mbps.

I agree with this fro the most part, "but" the streaming from the DVR has been above 5.7 Mb/s. Maybe the DSL/fiber is limited to 5.7 Mb/s per channel, and the DVR buffers this to some degree, but the output can be a bit higher.
Now this might also explain the dropped frames I was seeing, as there was "something" getting overloaded.
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#248 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 10:56 AM

With U-Verse, if you are watching a low-bandwidth cartoon on 1 channel, a talk show on another, and dad is watching sports in the basement.... he'll STILL only get the 5.7 Mbps, even though the cartoon and the talkshow might only take 4 Mbps.

To buy this I would like to see charts from UV (I can do Comcast, already did and saw statmux - variable bandwidth of all programs in one RF channel).

#249 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 11:03 AM

To buy this I would like to see charts from UV (I can do Comcast, already did and saw statmux - variable bandwidth of all programs in one RF channel).

While I'm not sold on the 5.7 Mb/s, I have talked/looked into this with U-Who. Their target market is to be better than cable, but have little interest in matching PQ of SAT service.
Since their an IP based service, they can't "mux" and do keep the bit-rates low, so they can provide service to customers farther away from the VRAD.
A.K.A VOS

#250 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 11:09 AM

And without DirecTV.

As if DIRECTV was the benchmark of HD compression success.

DIRECTV is just now attempting to use double the bandwidth that DISH has been using for a while now. Does the PQ difference bear this out or is it mostly a matter of comparing numbers instead of visual perception?

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