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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Will DirecTV move to H.265?


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148 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   SledgeHammer

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 06:21 PM

Hope not. I'd hate to give up my HR20-700 w/ built in OTA.

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#2 OFFLINE   mreposter

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 06:25 PM

The standard just received first stage approval by the ITC this week. So I think you're safe for now.
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#3 OFFLINE   SledgeHammer

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 06:39 PM

The standard just received first stage approval by the ITC this week. So I think you're safe for now.


Well, I'm *sure* they will move to it at some point since it uses like 30% the bandwidth of H.264. That would allow for less compression, but I think DTV is more interested in adding channels, not reducing compression ratios.

Too bad, the PQ has really gone down since ~2000... but my bill sure hasn't :).

#4 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 06:41 PM

Well, I'm *sure* they will move to it at some point since it uses like 30% the bandwidth of H.264. That would allow for less compression, but I think DTV is more interested in adding channels, not reducing compression ratios.

Too bad, the PQ has really gone down since ~2000... but my bill sure hasn't :).


You mean SD quality, right?

You know there is this new thing called HD? :)
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#5 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:25 PM

Hope not. I'd hate to give up my HR20-700 w/ built in OTA.


If and when it does, you replace it with a newer model with an AM21 attached. Works exactly the same as your aging HR20. I still have one HR20, but only one, my other 2 are newer with AM21's...works exactly the same. Just because the HR20 has built-in OTA is no reason to hang onto it today since they have a newer equivalent.

#6 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:03 PM

But the reality is we're talking a long time, if it happens and requires new hardware. There's a big difference from when they moved HD from MPEG2 to MPEG4. There are a LOT more receivers that would need replaced.

#7 OFFLINE   SledgeHammer

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:11 PM

You mean SD quality, right?

You know there is this new thing called HD? :)


No, I mean HD quality. HD quality is not all that great due to the high compression ratios.

Have you ever actually looked at the HD picture from not 15' or whatever away? I know you don't sit 2" from the TV, but look at it that close once. Lots of compression artifacts, pixelation, jaggies, gradiation issues, etc. I sit about 12' away from my 50" TV and I can see compression artifacts, etc. quite often. Not my signal. Everything is all 90+.

Do you have OTA hooked up? Do a side by side of a 1080i program from OTA vs. the same channel from DirecTV. You'll see the OTA version is quite a bit sharper.

#8 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:23 PM

As H.264 [MPEG-4/AVC] came , the H.265 will be implemented in FW of stat muxers and new STB chips comes out, then DTV and dish and others will deploy new compression without hesitation.

#9 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 12:18 AM

No, I mean HD quality. HD quality is not all that great due to the high compression ratios.

Have you ever actually looked at the HD picture from not 15' or whatever away? I know you don't sit 2" from the TV, but look at it that close once. Lots of compression artifacts, pixelation, jaggies, gradiation issues, etc. I sit about 12' away from my 50" TV and I can see compression artifacts, etc. quite often. Not my signal. Everything is all 90+.

Do you have OTA hooked up? Do a side by side of a 1080i program from OTA vs. the same channel from DirecTV. You'll see the OTA version is quite a bit sharper.


Considering the HD took a large increase in quality with mpeg4, I disagree.
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#10 OFFLINE   mreposter

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 05:45 AM

But the reality is we're talking a long time, if it happens and requires new hardware. There's a big difference from when they moved HD from MPEG2 to MPEG4. There are a LOT more receivers that would need replaced.


Exactly. A move to H265 would require a swap out of millions of existing HD boxes. The newest generation Directv just introduced might have chipsets that support the new algorithms, but all the others have much older chips.

As dpeters mentioned, this would be a much bigger project than the MPEG2 to 4 switchout from a couple years ago. And even then there were lots of customer complaints and additional costs involved. And, remember, back then there were only a handful of MPEG2 channels. There are over a 100 MPEG4 channels now that would have to be converted.

I believe 50-60% of Directv customers are now HD subscribers, so they have at least one HD box. That's 10-12 million boxes that might have to be swapped out. Will D* roll out H265? Sure, it'll probably happen eventually, but it isn't going to happen very soon.
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#11 OFFLINE   Tom_S

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 06:47 AM

The fact that they are still on MPEG-2 for their standard definition channels should tell you something about future upgrading.
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#12 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 06:51 AM

Considering the HD took a large increase in quality with mpeg4, I disagree.


Well -that was a switch from bit-starved over-compressed MPEG2 to MPEG4.

You can't get better than the original MPEG2 the broadcasters use regardless of the type of re-processing compression used.

#13 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 07:51 AM

For me, I'll take the MPEG4 we have over much less recording hours on MPEG2. I honestly have no complaints on HD quality with DirecTV.

#14 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:00 AM

No, I mean HD quality. HD quality is not all that great due to the high compression ratios.

Have you ever actually looked at the HD picture from not 15' or whatever away? I know you don't sit 2" from the TV, but look at it that close once. Lots of compression artifacts, pixelation, jaggies, gradiation issues, etc. I sit about 12' away from my 50" TV and I can see compression artifacts, etc. quite often. Not my signal. Everything is all 90+.

Do you have OTA hooked up? Do a side by side of a 1080i program from OTA vs. the same channel from DirecTV. You'll see the OTA version is quite a bit sharper.


I did until I decided to upgrade to an HR34 and retired my HR20. I had made extensive tests of OTA vs. DIRECTV® and found no difference in acuity, contrast or saturation. (Even though I was expecting OTA to edge out the satellite transmission!)

I sit 8' from a Samsung 58" plasma that's two years old.

What model and age TV have you?
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#15 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:05 AM

Well -that was a switch from bit-starved over-compressed MPEG2 to MPEG4.

You can't get better than the original MPEG2 the broadcasters use regardless of the type of re-processing compression used.


Who can't? :lol: Mike, seriously, you don't think there could be better codecs than MPEG2? Basis?
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#16 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:32 AM

Who can't? :lol: Mike, seriously, you don't think there could be better codecs than MPEG2? Basis?


No one can!

I didn't say any codec was better than another. All I mean is that DirecTV cannot make the MPEG2 they receive from the broadcaster any better no matter what they do to it.

It can only go down from there.

The quality of the MPEG4 equipment will/does determine how much worse the re-encoded MPEG4 or MPEGWHATEVER will be - if any. But it won't be better than the original!

#17 OFFLINE   SledgeHammer

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:49 AM

Considering the HD took a large increase in quality with mpeg4, I disagree.


I dunno, I'm looking at my TV on "mainstream" HD channels, and I see gradiations, pixelation, jaggies, compression artifacts, etc. Its not a bad picture mind you, but its not a good picture either. I shouldn't see that kind of stuff on the mainstream HD channels like USA, CNN, etc. Ok, I'd expect to see it on the obscure channels like Golf and Fishing channels.

#18 OFFLINE   SledgeHammer

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:58 AM

Exactly. A move to H265 would require a swap out of millions of existing HD boxes. The newest generation Directv just introduced might have chipsets that support the new algorithms, but all the others have much older chips.


Well, I'd be surprised if current hardware can do H265. You can't really do it in software as it is MUCH more intensive then H264.

There are over a 100 MPEG4 channels now that would have to be converted.


Thats irrelevant. One channel = 100 channels. Same difference.

With the MPEG2 -> MPEG4, they also switched from Ka -> Ku, so that was the big expense. If they can do H265 on the Ku band, they won't have to swap out anything except the boxes (even the latest boxes don't have the horsepower to do H265 via software only). With the Ka -> Ku switch, they had to launch new satellites, switch out all LNBs, multi-switches, new STBs, etc.

I was thinking about my original question, and honestly, it doesn't really make financial sense for DTV to switch out to H265 any time soon. Not like there are 100's of HD channels that they need to add.

They can add all the locals they want with spot beaming.

They don't care about compression ratios since they keep upping the bills and people keep paying and they aren't getting enough PQ complaints.

#19 OFFLINE   SledgeHammer

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:59 AM

I did until I decided to upgrade to an HR34 and retired my HR20. I had made extensive tests of OTA vs. DIRECTV® and found no difference in acuity, contrast or saturation. (Even though I was expecting OTA to edge out the satellite transmission!)

I sit 8' from a Samsung 58" plasma that's two years old.

What model and age TV have you?


Panasonic 50" 1080p. Probably 5 to 6 yrs old.

#20 OFFLINE   SledgeHammer

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:02 AM

No one can!

I didn't say any codec was better than another. All I mean is that DirecTV cannot make the MPEG2 they receive from the broadcaster any better no matter what they do to it.


Not true. They compress it further after they get it from the broadcaster. Same way movies are shot in like 8K resolution and then reprocessed to 1080p.

I can't comment on what compression ratio they are using now since I don't know, but I do remember reading somewhere that they compress certain channels more then others. Like sports they compress less then the news or movies, etc.




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