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


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#51 OFFLINE   yosoyellobo

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 12:19 PM

Bottom line. How many new HD channel would be possible with all new encoders.

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#52 OFFLINE   charlie460

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 01:01 PM

Yes.


Sounds good to me. This sort of stuff worries me as I'm picky when it comes to picture quality (which DirecTV has been good for me so far), but if there's no noticable difference I'm happy.

#53 OFFLINE   Sixto

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 01:10 PM

Bottom line. How many new HD channel would be possible with all new encoders.

There are currently 44 HD transponders, with 38 being used for linear HD.

D10 has 14, D11 has 14, D12 has 16 with 10 used for national HD today.

#54 OFFLINE   TBoneit

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 01:49 PM

Probably, must be, cheaper to change encoders than to add a location and satellite to be able to add transponders. and swap everybody's dish out. Less lead time than a new satellite and launch window.

Only so many transponders licensed per location so adding one new HD channel per current transponder has to be cheaper.

And lets not even go into losing a encoder is not near as bad as losing a transponder. You can not go up to the satellite and fix a dead transponder, OTOH you can swap in a spare encoder easily.
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#55 OFFLINE   georule

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 04:10 PM

I'm still trying to get my head around this new encoder thing. This is still standard MPEG4, but more efficient? Does it put more of a load on the STB to decode as well? I'd think it'd have to, yet if it is still complying with the MPEG4 standard, presumably any MPEG4-rated STB should be able to decode it?

Which sort of makes me wonder if the rather thorough rewrite of the STB software might have been about more than just the UI. . . optimizing the mpeg4 decode path and providing more head-room for mpeg4 decode load?
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#56 OFFLINE   Justin85

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 04:12 PM

So, is the consensus that with this new hardware there will really be no noticable difference in quality even when squeezing 6 HD channels in one transponder?


Yes.


So, it was stated above (unless I'm confused) that we have 30Mbps per transponder. Adding a 6th feed with bring us down to 5Mbps per feed... U-Verse level compression. If this is true, how does DirecTV plan to deliver the same channel, in the same bandwidth as U-Verse, but have no change in image quality?

#57 OFFLINE   Racer88

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 04:24 PM

Probably, must be, cheaper to change encoders than to add a location and satellite to be able to add transponders. and swap everybody's dish out. Less lead time than a new satellite and launch window.

Only so many transponders licensed per location so adding one new HD channel per current transponder has to be cheaper.

And lets not even go into losing a encoder is not near as bad as losing a transponder. You can not go up to the satellite and fix a dead transponder, OTOH you can swap in a spare encoder easily.


Yep it would seem any terrestrial based means of increasing the amount of content they're able to deliver has got to be the most desirable of all other possible solutions.

#58 OFFLINE   Sixto

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 04:26 PM

So, it was stated above (unless I'm confused) that we have 30Mbps per transponder. Adding a 6th feed with bring us down to 5Mbps per feed... U-Verse level compression. If this is true, how does DirecTV plan to deliver the same channel, in the same bandwidth as U-Verse, but have no change in image quality?

Just relaying what we read in the Tandberg press release: "As part of a TANDBERG Television HD solution, the EN8190 encoder enables an additional HD channel per transponder for satellite operators when compared to alternative compression solutions."

#59 OFFLINE   georule

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 04:32 PM

Compressed bits and uncompressed bits don't have to turn out the same with different providers, depending on the quality of the hardware and software that compressed and uncompressed them. Your typical competitive bandwidth analysis assumes equality on that point. . . but it doesn't have to be so.

I'm still somewhat dubious, but apparently D* is already using it on a couple transponders, and I haven't yet seen any of DBSTalk's many, MANY IQ hawks raise any red flags yet. I feel pretty sure they would.
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#60 OFFLINE   Sixto

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 04:34 PM

Or everyone can go check out the following channels ...

Both these transponders have 6 HD right now:
D11  3 FT  246 TRUTVHD 1060 
D11  3 FT  397 ABCwHD  1030
D11  3 FT  549 EXTRHD  1040 
D11  3 FT  649 SPSOHD  1050 
D11  3 FT  681 ALTHD   1010 
D11  3 FT  686 FSAZHD  1020 

D12 15 FT  236 E!HD    1060
D12 15 FT  254 AMCHD   1030 
D12 15 FT  307 WGNHD   1020 
D12 15 FT  521 WMAXHD  1050 
D12 15 FT  548 SHO3HD  1010
D12 15 FT  619 FSCHD   1040


#61 OFFLINE   Sixto

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 04:35 PM

Compressed bits and uncompressed bits don't have to turn out the same, depending on the quality of the hardware and software that compressed and uncompressed them. Your typical competitive bandwidth analysis assumes equality on that point. . . but it doesn't have to be so.

I'm still somewhat dubious, but apparently D* is already using it on a couple transponders, and I haven't yet seen any of DBSTalk's many, MANY IQ hawks raise any red flags yet. I feel pretty sure they would.

Yep, we think alike ... just posted those two transponders.

#62 OFFLINE   georule

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 04:53 PM

Yep, we think alike ... just posted those two transponders.


In fact, there is a general consensus that AMCHD got noticeably better a little while back, some months post-launch on D*. Dunno if it is related.

I still think there'd have to be extra load on the STBs too. Whether that be more processing cycles, or more memory usage for mpeg4 decode, or both. Which makes me wonder if the STB client rewrite was also an enabling, moving part here.
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#63 OFFLINE   Sixto

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 04:56 PM

In fact, there is a general consensus that AMCHD got noticeably better a little while back, some months post-launch on D*. Dunno if it is related.

There was a presentation that I found over the weekend from a Tandberg engineer that showed the technology progress, just not finding it again right now.

#64 OFFLINE   Racer88

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 05:18 PM

In fact, there is a general consensus that AMCHD got noticeably better a little while back, some months post-launch on D*. Dunno if it is related.

I still think there'd have to be extra load on the STBs too. Whether that be more processing cycles, or more memory usage for mpeg4 decode, or both. Which makes me wonder if the STB client rewrite was also an enabling, moving part here.


Hey, I've got a back log of Mad Men eps going back to January so I should be able to make that comparison. Though it'll likely spoil something for me LOL.

Maybe I can find a rerun of one the older eps to compare with my older ones.

EDIT: Ha, there's and upcoming rerun of the ep "Maidenform" for which I have a pre E! HD recording of. Of course there's really no way to know at what point they reconfigured the enconders in anticipation of adding E! HD

Edited by Racer88, 04 June 2012 - 05:29 PM.


#65 OFFLINE   Justin85

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 05:24 PM

I'm not trying to say the sky is falling, and PQ will be terrible. I've not noticed any major change. I noticed a couple days ago while watching HGTV that it appeared slightly grainy, but I'm sure that was an HGTV problem.

I mostly just wonder how D* can stream 5Mbps HD streams and them look so good compared to the VERY obviously bit starved U-Verse streams that are 5-6Mbps. I compare them directly due to AT&T being the provider I left when I switched to DirecTV.

#66 OFFLINE   charlie460

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 05:27 PM

Is D* really only using 5 Mbps streams? 1080i sports at 5 Mbps surely can't look good, regardless of what encoders they're using.

#67 OFFLINE   Justin85

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 05:29 PM

Is D* really only using 5 Mbps streams? 1080i sports at 5 Mbps surely can't look good, regardless of what encoders they're using.


I have no way of proving one way or another, I based that completely off the info posted above.... but what you are saying is exactly what I was trying to say. IF it really is 30Mbps / 6 streams = 5Mpbs per stream, and it still look great, then I'm sure every provider would want those magical encoders!

#68 OFFLINE   JoeTheDragon

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 05:29 PM

I'm not trying to say the sky is falling, and PQ will be terrible. I've not noticed any major change. I noticed a couple days ago while watching HGTV that it appeared slightly grainy, but I'm sure that was an HGTV problem.

I mostly just wonder how D* can stream 5Mbps HD streams and them look so good compared to the VERY obviously bit starved U-Verse streams that are 5-6Mbps. I compare them directly due to AT&T being the provider I left when I switched to DirecTV.


Directv does not have the HD streams limits. Also I think that 1 satellite transponder has the same bandwidth that att has for the link to each house to put TV + HSI over.
I want CLTV / CLTV HD on direct tv.

#69 OFFLINE   georule

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 05:32 PM

Found this presentation, which I found interesting (8190 towards the end, but some interesting comparisons on advances in mpeg2 encoding as well in the front).

Dunno if it is the one Sixto had in mind upstream: http://www.globecomm...cson-Wagner.pdf
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#70 OFFLINE   Sixto

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 05:47 PM

Found this presentation, which I found interesting (8190 towards the end, but some interesting comparisons on advances in mpeg2 encoding as well in the front).

Dunno if it is the one Sixto had in mind upstream: http://www.globecomm...cson-Wagner.pdf


Great. Thanks. Yep, that is the link that I was looking for.

#71 OFFLINE   Go Beavs

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 05:48 PM

So in the Portland, OR DMA, we've had 7 channels on one transponder (103(s) tpn 21) since I started checking the tpn maps 3-4 years ago. We added another one a month or two ago for 8 active channels with a 9th in test. So, that's 9 HD channels on one tpn! :eek2:

I guessing they are using different modulation for those spot beams to gain some bandwidth but I would think they have to be using better encoders to fit 9 channels in there. Also, I see no perceivable difference in PQ between SAT delivered locals and the OTA version through my AM21.

Whatever they're doing, it's working IMHO.

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#72 OFFLINE   georule

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 05:53 PM

Great. Thanks. Yep, that is the link that I was looking for.


Interesting observation from the presentation --it does better (savings-wise vs previous generations) with 720p and "complex material". To me, the classic example of "complex" is fast moving sports where a large portion of the screen is always in motion.

The flip side of that is that even with an unlimited budget to upgrade (not likely!), their mix of channels might (probably?) limits them to something less than getting a full 44 worth of HD channels extra bandwidth in this manner. Of course, I'd settle for another 10-15 pretty happily. :)

Edited by georule, 04 June 2012 - 06:01 PM.

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#73 OFFLINE   Shades228

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 06:05 PM

There are many factors that can go into PQ other than bandwidth. Consider it like horsepower. The more you have will make things better but there are also ways to make something just as good with less by being more efficient or having new technology go in. Better encoding, less error correction bandwidth needed, new algorithms to make it faster to decode all of this can get tied in.

#74 OFFLINE   cypherx

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 09:26 PM

I think the Ka transponders are more like 40-44 mbps not 30.
If it's 40mbps 6 HD's would be 6.6 mbps. 5 HD's 8 mbps.
If it's 44mbps 6 HD's woiuld be 7.3 mbps. 5 HD's 8.8 mbps.

Dish Network has some tpn's with 7 or 8 HD's on it. I'm pretty sure those occur on Ku band satellites and they also use turbo fec and 8psk modulation. Since Ku is less susceptible to rain fade they can lighten up on forward error correction and use more robust modulation schemes to get better throughput per transponder. Were talking 60-70mbps per transponder. If DirecTV had the luxury of using Ku for its newest birds, they could of used more efficient modulation and error correction too.

On cable where they have 6 MHz "channels" to deal with, a 256QAM channel yields 38.8mbps usable data rate. In the past few years improvements in encoder design allowed them to go from 2 HD's to 3 HD's per QAM. That's 12.93 mbps but keep in mind that is MPEG2 still. AMC networks goes one step further and packages 4 HD channels in MPEG2 to fit in one QAM (9.7 mbps for AMC, Fuse, IFC, We HD) (Galaxy 14 tp2).

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#75 OFFLINE   charlie460

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 10:03 PM

And thus AMC HD looks bad on all providers, the source feed averages 8-9 Mbps because they're squeezing all 4 Rainbow Media networks on one transponder.




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