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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Dish messing with Voom, All are now HD-Lite 1280x1080i


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285 replies to this topic

#26 OFFLINE   BFG

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 07:16 PM

Umm, unrelated, but that's because it's the HD version converted from the film and it's preserved in it's OAR, they've already shown the Wizard of Oz on TNT anyways..

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#27 OFFLINE   Mikey

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 08:21 PM

Umm, unrelated, but that's because it's the HD version converted from the film and it's preserved in it's OAR, they've already shown the Wizard of Oz on TNT anyways..

His point is: unusual for TNT not to strech. :D

#28 OFFLINE   Ghostwriter

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 08:31 PM

At this point I think we should all write quality control an email and CC it to the ceo. We should let them know that an HD PQ is VERY important to us and that is why we picked E* to begin with. Hopefully our voices (ahem emails) will be heard!

Just say no to HD-Lite.

#29 OFFLINE   Gary Murrell

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 08:49 PM

Yep that is the issue, I picked and have always stood up for Dish because of their quality of HDTV and decent standards, HBO/showtime HD on 110 are getting pretty bad but other than that Dish is pretty decent to HD

This Voom stuff will I am afraid open a new can of worms in regards to HD-Lite acceptance by Dish sub's, this sub will not accept it, I know that for sure

-Gary
Dish Setup:

129/110/119/61.5/148 -Sats
3 X DP34/3 X DP21 -Switching
942/6000/522/322/510 -Receivers
Everything Pak/NHL CI/Voom/HD Pak/CBS-HD/Locals -Programming

#30 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 09:15 PM

I was amazed, but in a good way, that TNTHD didn't stretch Wizard of Oz tonight. I bought the new deluxe DVD set recently, so I didn't watch it all tonight, but I checked in to see and was glad to see they didn't stretch it out.

Back to Voom...

I wonder how many of the running-with-arms-flailing-panicking folks actually knew anything was different until they read the posts here about it. I know some people can tell, I can sometimes myself... but I've found that a lot of people don't notice and don't complain until someone else tells them they should be complaining.

I've been flipping around the Voom channels periodically tonight... and I have to say that while I did notice the pixelating problems mentioned in another post... I can't say I'm seeing a major drop in quality. I do have a true 1080i 65" TV set... and I can tell a big difference between a CBS football game and an ESPNHD or FOX one... but since most of the Voom channels have been showing older movies that don't look as crisp as live programming anyway... I honestly can't say I've noticed a drop in quality today.

Maybe this is bad, if it means they are dropping quality and it encourages them to continue... but I have to be honest and say that I haven't seen anything that I could make a direct comparison and say I would have noticed any lower quality today had I not been reading this forum.

#31 OFFLINE   LtMunst

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 09:25 PM

Munst Directv(with the exception of HDNet Movies) has bitrates around 16 Mbps on HD channels, they downconvert ALL 100% of their HD offerings, except the native 720p ones of course

-Gary


We can debate whether or not changing the line resolution impacts PQ for the average user all day long. There is no way I'll believe D* has higher bitrates, however. Bitrates are what determines bandwidth used, not line resolution. Are you trying to tell me that D* purposely uses MORE bandwidth for lower quality than E*? This really makes no sense. You may be right about 1280 res harming PQ vs 1920. I think you are wrong about D*s bitrates vs E*, though.

#32 OFFLINE   dfergie

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 09:29 PM

I'm watching the NFR right on D* HD, it compares to my E* V* channels very closely...

#33 OFFLINE   Gary Murrell

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 10:27 PM

Directv Bitrates from Cheezmo:
http://www.widemovie...dfwbitrate.html

My Bitrate page for Dish:
http://home.bigsandy...ll/bitrate.html

compare them

Holy Hell Directv's bitrate's have went way down, last time I compared them Directv was averaging 1 or 2 more Mbps video on lots of channels

some are better on Directv, lots are better on Dish

Directv Discovery used to have higher bitrate than Dish, now I see it is about equal

ESPN is better on Directv

Dish HDNets kill Directv, Showtime and HBO are a smidge better on Dish

This is all only speaking of bitrate and not resolution(of which Directv lowers), Dish does not downrez anything but Voom

-Gary
Dish Setup:

129/110/119/61.5/148 -Sats
3 X DP34/3 X DP21 -Switching
942/6000/522/322/510 -Receivers
Everything Pak/NHL CI/Voom/HD Pak/CBS-HD/Locals -Programming

#34 OFFLINE   dfergie

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 10:34 PM

I assume LA's Cbs Hd is comparable to NY's.. they look the same on E*...

#35 OFFLINE   Gary Murrell

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 10:51 PM

I don't have access to 148 just yet or I would gladly check :)

-Gary
Dish Setup:

129/110/119/61.5/148 -Sats
3 X DP34/3 X DP21 -Switching
942/6000/522/322/510 -Receivers
Everything Pak/NHL CI/Voom/HD Pak/CBS-HD/Locals -Programming

#36 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 11:24 PM

Something else worth noting in regards to bitrates... Your viewing experiences varies in proportion not just with the bitrates but with how many "changes" occur on the screen.

A movie, for instance, that has a rather dark background and most of the "action" takes place in a smaller area of the screen would require less of the maximum bitrate/bandwidth in order to look good... whereas a live sporting event with bright lighting and lots of motion all over the screen requires more bitrate/bandwidth.

Thus... a live NBA game on TNTHD would show a lack of bandwidth/lower bitrate before an old movie on MonstersHD would.

Which is why I think not all of us see the flaws as quickly as others do, when they are tinkering with things.

#37 OFFLINE   sgiwiz

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 11:45 PM

WARNING: Rant Ahead - read at you own risk.

This is exactly why I still haven't bothered getting an HD set for home. I see full resolution uncompressed HD all day at work and would just be so massively disappointed to watch over-compressed, down-sampled HD at home. Instead I bought my 924 and my HD packages to watch 16x9 letterboxed SD at far superior quality than the regular SD channels, and partly so I get to see the 30% extra that ABC cuts off the sides of LOST!

While I imagine that watching a compromised HD signal on a descent HD tube would ruin my every evening, anything I record from the HD channels looks 2 or 3 times better on my very nice SD set than the mush we now get on most SD channels.

I have taken a big step forward in the cost of watching TV just to regain the quality we lost as the broadcast industry has taken hundreds of incremental step backward in the ridiculous race to provide every single consumer with a unique channel devoted to their specific needs.

The exact same thing is happening to HD that happened to SD over the last five years. Did you notice how the word "digital" has replaced the word "quality"? And joe consumer ate it up... "500 digital channels! Where do I sign?" Never mind that they are all being sent down a pipe that was only intended to carry 50 channels of full res video. Because the people want choices more than they want quality AND IT MAKES ME MAD! Just as MP3s have replaced CDs, and you can download an "HD" movie trailer from Apple at just 200Mb. Makes me wonder why we bothered getting terrabytes of storage to finish HD trailers at work when all the public wants is a crummy little QuickTime movie that's CALLED "high-definition".

So now the same thing is going to happen to HD. Just as manufacturers start rolling out true native 1920x1080 LCD screens and projectors for the home market instead of 1366x768 which 90% are now, (and by the way, you find the trinitron HD tube TVs on the bottom shelf at the back of Best Buy marked for clearance) all the available sources of HD are going to end up downsampling to 1280x1080, 1280x720, or dropping the bitrate to SD levels or lower. What's next? Mini-HDV tape decks at the broadcast station? BluRay DVD players? "It's HD right?" Yeah, so is the stuff on the Apple trailers web site.

My "Wish for Dish" is that they take a stand and RAISE the bar, instead of trying keep their head barely above the average as the standards get slowly lowered by popular demand.

Yes, I want my local HD stations via my dish instead of an antenna, but I don't want it to be at the cost of everything turning to mush.

Our only hope... MY only hope, is that the market's declining advertising revenue forces 300 of the 500 channels to drop off the face of the planet and free up all that bandwidth for the remaining cream of the crop. That way we can have fewer, higher quality channels with more varied content that the people with money to spend on $5,000 televisions and $1000 satellite systems will actually enjoy watching. This model HAS TO BE the future of television. With DVRs making the exclusivity of prime time a thing of the past, they could fill the small hours with popular shows like "Battlestar Galactica" in HD (which they have on SKY-TV) instead of more infomercials.

Or even better. Split up all the bandwidth from those spare channels and let it take two hours to stream all the data for a one hour show, just so when I do watch it - it's full resolution, and full bit rate. Seriously, I can wait. I can't remember the last time I watched TV live anyway!

But that's a whole other topic isn't it.

This has been a rant. I thank you.

#38 OFFLINE   bavaria72

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 12:25 AM

Gotta tell you all of you "Voom-ites" out there, I have spent some significant time looking at the Voom channels this weekend and quite frankly I really can't see much of a difference. I have watched 'Race of Champions', '633 Squadron', ' Space Amoeba', and 'Fail Safe' and they all look great. Yes, higher res is always better but damn folks get a grip. The difference between 1920 and 1280 ain't that much. You really need to pick your battles. If you are not happy then go to D* and good luck. We are damn lucky E* even bothered to carry any old Voom programming anyway. Talk about killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Go ahead and drop E*/Voom. Enjoy what ever the hell D* carries theses days. Quite frankly I'm just a little tired of your bitching. :mad: Remember Voom went out of bussines for a reason.
I'm back! Needed more than 1 HD feed.

#39 OFFLINE   Gary Murrell

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 04:32 AM

Bavaria you are incorrect, HD-Lite is no where close to the picture quality of True 1920x1080i HD, it isn't even in the same ball-park

I sometimes forget that most folks have never seen good true HDTV, like D-Theater D-VHS for example, those who have lived with true HDTV since way back(1999 for me) find this downright insulting and unacceptable

Dish can take this HD-Lite Voom and stick it you know where, I will not pay for this garbage nor bare and strain myself to sit thru it and try to enjoy it's fuzzy qualities

to put this into perspective, I am a die hard near obsessed Red Wings fan and if Dish put up all 82 games in HD-Lite I wouldn't even so much as give it a glance

This is about providers ripping us off, selling HDTV and sending is putrid and downrezzed "near" HD quality

-Gary
Dish Setup:

129/110/119/61.5/148 -Sats
3 X DP34/3 X DP21 -Switching
942/6000/522/322/510 -Receivers
Everything Pak/NHL CI/Voom/HD Pak/CBS-HD/Locals -Programming

#40 OFFLINE   Gary Murrell

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 04:37 AM

SGIWiz you are my Hero :)

my thoughts exactly have been put into your post

I am a HT hobbyist and enthusiast, it is basically the only thing I live for

I am not a casual viewer of HDTV programming

I do not care to watch downrezzed internet quality HD on my 20,000$ system that I have worked hard many many years to pay for and put together, I have spent thousands on Dish HD receivers and the like and like I said before, this is insulting

You can only imagine what these HD-Lite channels look like on the 9" CRT's in my display :( , it is not pretty

-Gary
Dish Setup:

129/110/119/61.5/148 -Sats
3 X DP34/3 X DP21 -Switching
942/6000/522/322/510 -Receivers
Everything Pak/NHL CI/Voom/HD Pak/CBS-HD/Locals -Programming

#41 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 05:34 AM

Not arguing that Dish isn't downrezzing the Voom HD right now....

but... is it fair to call it HD-Lite?

As I understand it, HD can either be 1280x720p or 1920x1080i... Anything less than 1280x720p would be HD-Lite in my book... but the 1280x1080i is somewhere in between the lowest and the highest HD resolutions...

So, while I prefer 1920x1080i... It is hard for me to say 1280x1080 isn't HD, when it is higher than the 720p resolution.

#42 OFFLINE   LtMunst

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 08:06 AM

Maybe if I had a $20,000 system that could display near infinite line resolution, I would be upset also. With my 1280x720p set, however, it is very unlikely there will be any difference (unless bitrates start to drop).

#43 OFFLINE   bavaria72

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 08:38 AM

Bavaria you are incorrect, HD-Lite is no where close to the picture quality of True 1920x1080i HD, it isn't even in the same ball-park...
-Gary


Gary, technically speaking you are correct when you say 1920x1080 is better than 1280x720 but quite frankly I can't tell that much of a difference. Perhaps my eyes are not as good as they used to be but IMHO I really don't think E* is "ripping" those of us who are paying whole $5 a months for the old Voom channels. Heck, I would hate to see their current business case on keeping the Voom channels. I certaining don't have a $20K system ($2295 return special is what I have). If you pissed over the $5 bucks for Voom then I would assume you are livid over the $10 for the 5 other HD channels. I'm just thankful E* decided to keep the old Voom programming, 1920x1080 or 1280x720. - Art
I'm back! Needed more than 1 HD feed.

#44 OFFLINE   Ghostwriter

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 09:27 AM

My biggest problem here is that you almost need to let them know that you are aware of what is going on with the quality of your picture. Although I can not say it is unbearable to sit through, if you take it all in stride you can almost bank that they will lower the resolution again. Now if they feel that enough people are aware of what they are doing, then maybe at least they stop here.

Bavaria, all in all I am happy with Dish, and considering they are the only ones that carry the international channels I desire I am not leaving all that soon. And just to say if you are unhappy leave, I always thought you should voice your opinion, not just take your ball and go home. JMHO

#45 OFFLINE   LtMunst

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 09:42 AM

With the current crop of HDTVs, most people would not see any difference with 1280x1080i. Long term, though, we will see many more 1920X1080i or even 1920x1080p sets hitting the market. Hopefully Dish is planning to keep up.

#46 OFFLINE   Ghostwriter

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 09:58 AM

I have a 1080i so I already see a difference. I am just worried the downrezzing will continue. For now although it is not as good (some voom channels) not all since a few already came online a 1280x1080i I can almost hold out and hope that things will become better with the Turbo or MPEG4 when they start being used.

#47 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 10:29 AM

Dish can take this HD-Lite Voom and stick it you know where, I will not pay for this garbage nor bare and strain myself to sit thru it and try to enjoy it's fuzzy qualities

Fine. Go. Bye. Nobody is stopping you. Don't let the door hit you where the doctor slapped you. If you don't like the way you perceive E* is operating you can always try someone else.

There are only two reasons why you wouldn't just make the switch:
1) E* is still the best HD option available
2) You would rather scream your head of than lose (not loose) Voom

By your definition, millions of satellite customers have been watching SD-Lite channels for years. It is part of the business. And at this point you don't know where E* will leave the channels. Calm down and react intelligently.

JL

#48 OFFLINE   Bill R

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 10:30 AM

Maybe we should just refer to it as "lower quality HD".

The vendors that are doing it (both DirecTV and DISH and some cable companies) need to know that this is NOT what we want and something that we are not willing to pay for.
Bill R

#49 OFFLINE   Gary Murrell

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 03:46 PM

I will gladly be syaing by to Dish and their HDTV offerings if this sticks, I am working on installing a C-Band 4DTV setup right now, I would rather have 4/5 true HDTV channels than 30 HD-Lite's

I have spent thousands of $'s on Dish and their HDTV offering's and have been with them since the day Discovery HD Theater was lite up and this is downright insulting

1280x1080i is actually much worse than 1280x720p, because if you factor in the interlaced vs progressive stuff, you are comparing:

1280x720

vs

1280x540

Dish would have been better off having Voom or themselves convert to 1280x720p

I do not think that Dish would suddenly switch all Voom to this garbage if that is not where they were going to leave them, I won't have to wait long for my decision to dump Dish's HD, CES is where the Voom 21 will be announced and things will be set by then

-Gary
Dish Setup:

129/110/119/61.5/148 -Sats
3 X DP34/3 X DP21 -Switching
942/6000/522/322/510 -Receivers
Everything Pak/NHL CI/Voom/HD Pak/CBS-HD/Locals -Programming

#50 OFFLINE   sgiwiz

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 04:30 PM

Not arguing that Dish isn't downrezzing the Voom HD right now....

but... is it fair to call it HD-Lite?

...snip...

So, while I prefer 1920x1080i... It is hard for me to say 1280x1080 isn't HD, when it is higher than the 720p resolution.


I'll say it then. 1280 x 1080 ISN'T HD! It's not even the same aspect ratio. It is not one of the many white paper defined HD standards for broadcast. IT IS NOT HD - and if it's being sold as HD then there is a strong case for a charge of false advertising. 720p or 720i on the other hand IS one of the HD standards, and if your TV only displays 1366x768 natively you are probably better off trying to watch 720 than 1080 anyway.

Let me take you on a journey in the life of a pixel in this resize scenario that we've all been moaning about.

In a true HD 1080 image you have 1920 pixels of clean, crisp horizontal resolution. For argument's sake we'll say that this image is TRUELY a 1920x1080 image such as a frame from a Pixar film, or a nice bit of branding on HDNet. NOT from a film telecine transfer, or from an Sony F900 HD camera (I'll get to that in a minute).

These crisp 1,920 pixels are the best looking thing you're ever likely to see, and the only way you will be able to see them is if you have the chance to run uncompressed dual-link HD-SDI 4:4:4 into a monitor like this one from DataCheck: http://www.datacheck...cts/21245a.html playing the media directly from hard drives as uncompressed data. Try and hit an HD trade show if you want to see this, it's pretty.

So, anyway, you take those 1,920 pixels and you squeeze them to fit into 1,280 pixels. That's a 1/3 reduction per line. So you're dropping one pixel for every two that you keep on any given line. But you can't just drop out every 3rd pixel and keep the nice clean ones you have left, because you would see the damage clearly when fine detail moves horizontally, or as jagged edges on curves and diagonals. So you have to throw out ALL the clean pixels and blend the color values that they represented. Your new pixel A gets some of the color value of pixel B and your new pixel C gets some of the value of pixel B to make two new pixels that are a "blur" of the three that used to define that part of the image. Of course it doesn't stop there because you have to spread the old pixels' data more evenly than that, but I'm not going to do that kind of math in my head and you get the point anyway. The new 1,280 pixels are a blurred version of the old ones. They look okay from a distance, but they are a "mushed" version of what used to be there. It's called interpolation and it's the reason a lot of things look blurry on TV, on film, in magazines... all over the place, it's done all the time. Everyone knows that when you take you 2.3 magapixel photos and reduce them to e-mail them to your mom they aren't as good as the originals. But you never think about it because you aren't going to blow-up that lower res version of the photo to the size of the original to look at it are you? You'll look at it at the new smaller size and it looks fine, maybe even better.

But that's not what Dish is doing. They ARE blowing it back up to the original size.

And this is where it gets very ugly, you have to stretch those 1,280 pixels back out to 1,920 pixels to return it to an HD standard. So (you guessed it) you take your new blurred hybrid A and B pixels and you move them apart and you make a new pixel to go in the middle that's a blend of the two colors and you have 3 pixels again where there only used to be 2. 1,280 becomes 1,920 again. But you have now blurred the image twice. Twice the damage, the second compounding on the first.

I would say tough, almost none of the source material out there is truely native 1920x1080. The vast majority of film transfer machines used for HD (The "Spirit" from Thomson/Grass Valley) are actually not scanning film at resolutions any higher than about 1440 pixels of horizontal resolution, and then only on the luminance channel. There are very few (if any) cameras in the field that have imaging sensors that come close to 1920x1080 native and until very recently they only recorded to HD-CAM (see below). So almost everything has already been interpolated once, BEFORE it get's to tape. This is SLOWLY changing as more movies are using digital post production techniques that allow HD masters to be created directly from true high-res scans rather than telecine, but they are few and far between right now.

No we get to compression.

To deliver HD masters to a broadcaster you have few choices; HD-CAM, D5 or HD-CAM SR. They are all compressed, some much more than others, HD-CAM being the worst. HD-CAM is also the cheapest... guess which one is most popular.

So by the time the the master sources get to the broadcaster they have for the most part already been interpolated from a lower resolution and they have all already been compressed.

So then they squeeze it to 2/3 of the original horizontal resolution, and compress it to send it you us.

In actual fact, the reduced resolution helps a lot in cutting the amount of data needed to represent the image, not just because there are fewer pixels to store, but because after the interpolation those pixels are less crisp, less contrast between them... they are blurry. So the compression algorithm can more often look at a small area of the picture and say "Hmmm... this bit of contrast falls below my threshold to try and maintain the detail, I'm just going to blur it into a solid area of one color" than it would if the image were sharp. Sharp, detailed images are much more diffiult to compress and take up much more bandwidth. So the saving in bandwidth by doing this reduction and mushing is two fold. And so is the damage it does to the image.

Now, don't get me wrong... the guys who worked all this stuff out are geniuses. This hardware/software all works very very well and is probably doing the best it can possibly do to keep the image as clean and crisp as possible. But that doesn't mean it going to come out the other side looking as good as it did on the way in. It's just not possible.

All you users who are saying "it looks fine to me" are probably watching the image on a lower resolution screen, through hardware that was doing a bad job of displaying the detail of an HD frame to begin with. I wouldn't expect you to notice the difference. But I also wouldn't expect you to get upset at the complaints of people who CAN tell the difference and are unhappy about it.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I haven't bothered to buy an HD set for home for EXACTLY this reason. If I don't display the image on a system that can show me every pixel then I will never be able to tell that the source image is garbage. And in the mean time, everything that's broadcast in HD looks like uncompressed, clean, sharp SD. And I'm happier with that than I would be with garbage HD.

It just burns me up that just as the technology that can display HD at it's native resolution is gaining popularity, so the sources for that content are disappearing.




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