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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Q&A on PQ


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5 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   RobR

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 08:47 PM

I decided to break this out into it's own thread, it was too buried in a another. Maybe it'll help answer some questions.

What I've been able to datamine so far:

SPECS:

"D* uses dinosaur DSS standard, E* uses DVB-S and VOOM uses Digicipher2. This means that everything has to be designed different for each provider."

"Voom's carriers use 8PSK modulation with a symbol rate of 22.000 Mega-Symbols per second and three-bits per symbol giving a raw rate of 66 Mbps per transponder. Inner FEC is turbo-code at a 5/6 and outer FEC is Reed-Solomon. This results in a usable bandwidth of around 51 Mbps per transponder.

In comparison, Dish Network's QPSK carrier used for HBO-HD at 61.5 has a rate of around 27 Mbps and their 8PSK carrier at 61.5 with 2/3 code-rate gets around 41 Mbps."

"VOOM will use Windows Media 9 Series as one of the compression technologies to expand its available satellite capacity for HD offerings from more than 30 to more than 60 channels. VOOM plans to roll out advanced codecs beginning with standard definition (SD) later this year and HD next year."


More bandwidth and newer technology, gives Voom a definite edge here. Means they can cram more in more and we get more! The future looks bright as well, WM9 is a great codec, in compresion (fit an HD movie on a reg DVD) and video quality (recently beat out all the top players in a comparison.) So good, it made it into the HD-DVD specs. ;)


PQ:

"All or most of the 10 Cinema Movies are "upconverts"*. If you are into old movies, you will like this channel. The quality of the movies varies from vary good to poor. It all depends how old is the film. Nothing to blame VOOM about."

Epics also upconverted.

It appears the remaining channels are Pure HD.

"All video in the system is encoded in variable bit rate MPEG-2. From observing bandwidth used by each PID (shown by TSReader) I see an average of around 2-3 Mbps for SD channels and around 12 Mbps for HD. The highest I've seen is around 16 Mbps. This compares with about 13-14 Mbps for Showtime and HBO HD and 17+ Mbps for HDNet on Dish Network."

I wouldn't count upscaled channels when comparing HD packages, but Voom still has the higher count without them. As subjective as PQ is, the numbers are hard to argue. Voom dedicates on average more pipe per HD channel, with the exception of a few channels the others are showcasing. HDNet would be a huge gain if they can get the channel into their line-up, it is one of the most touted HD PQ around and apparently it has the numbers to support that.


AUDIO:

"All audio in the DCII system uses Dolby's AC3 system. SD channels and Music Choice run 192Kbps and HD channels 384Kbps."

These are great bit-rates for audio, but is SD locked at 192Kbps? Does this mean no Dolby Digital 5.1 on their SD channels or just over compressed?

Will keep digging...

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#2 OFFLINE   brewerdude

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 08:14 AM

Who'd a thought a Microsoft product would be used for satellite HDTV...

As if the voom receiver itself itsn't buggy enough. ;)

#3 ONLINE   Nick

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 10:46 AM

My receiver works fine, and I believe that most Voom receivers also work fine. I have not had a problem with my receiver since the first week after I subscribed when it was downloading updates.

As far as I'm concerned, Voom is a good bet for those who want more HD channels and programming than is currently offered by D* or E*. I would also venture that the vast majority of satisfied V* subs are enjoying the wide variety of unique HD programming that Voom offers.

I know I do.

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#4 OFFLINE   brewerdude

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 06:30 PM

Even though I've noticed I've received the new software, I still notice a few quirks. It isn't uncommon for it to lock up, or not be able to shut off, or get stuck on the same channel. Rebooting fixes it, but it's a pain since you have to wait 10-15 mins to get the guide back. However, I do enjoy Voom very much. The PQ is phenomenal, so I'm OK with putting up with the annoyances from time to time.

#5 OFFLINE   jagouar

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 10:18 PM

One of the main reasons I subbed to voom was the fact that they seem to have a commitment to HD which IMO they will be on the cusp to add new HD channels as they become avaliable, look at TNT and bravo (for instance). DirecTV may eventually will add them but I want my new HD chans as soon as they come out and part of vooms selling point is they are the "HD content leader" or whatever they call it. And should be in negotiations for most of the new chanels where theres no telling when D* or E* would add some of those channels.

#6 OFFLINE   DarrellP

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Posted 09 August 2004 - 12:34 PM

Both of my boxes have been fine since the update. I've had 2 program planners fail to change channels this past weekend and 1 lockup in the Guide about 2 weeks ago and that's it & I never turn it off.
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