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Guest Message by DevFuse

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HD Customers will be converted to mpeg4 by 2007


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23 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   vlj9r

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 05:58 AM

"BRIDGE Details Satellite TV's MPEG-4 Moves
The most-recent edition of The BRIDGE details the roll out of MPEG-4 to consumers, including what satellite TV companies plan to do with the technology.

DirecTV and EchoStar's DISH Network are using MPEG-4 to deliver more high-def to customers, including local HD. DirecTV this past fall took the wraps off MPEG-4 set-top boxes that will connect users to local and national high-def programming, delivered via next-generation satellites the company launched in 2005.

"By using MPEG-4 we achieve a higher compression ratio and increase the transmission efficiency of our transponders, and that enables us to deliver more HD programming," DirecTV's Robert Mercer tells the BRIDGE. He adds "MPEG-4 is not the entire story," given that DirecTV also is using AVC/DVB-S2 or Advanced Video Compression/Digital Video Broadcast Satellite 2 for delivery of additional HDTV. "Through this technology we're two to three times more efficient," Mercer says.

DirecTV customers who want the next-generation equipment ahead of schedule - before the free replacement offer in their DMA is available and depending on where they live - can pay a reduced price of $99 for the system. MPEG-2 HD customers will continue to receive national HD signals using their existing equipment "for the foreseeable future," Mercer says.

By 2007, all HD customers will be converted to MPEG-4 equipment, he adds.

DirecTV has said it wants to deliver more than 1,500 local and more than 150 national HD channels and other advanced programming services to consumers nationwide sometime next year. "

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#2 OFFLINE   jcricket

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 11:48 AM

DirecTV has said it wants to deliver more than 1,500 local and more than 150 national HD channels and other advanced programming services to consumers nationwide sometime next year. "

You know, both D* and E* keep talking about 150 national HD channels. I really hope they're not talking about pseudo channels (like all the crap from Voom). I watch HD on the network channels (NBC, ABC, etc.) because I already like those programs. I watch HD on HBO and Showtime for the same reasons. I don't watch HD programs on UHD or HDNet because those programs are mostly crap.

I want HD versions of HGTV, FX, other HBO channels, PPV, etc. How about WB, PBS and UPN (to a lesser extent) too. Until then I barely care about whatever HD D* and E* are touting.

#3 OFFLINE   DaveTinNY

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 01:04 PM

Yeah, I'd like to see Food Channel, YES, MSG, TLC, HIST, TWC, CNN, etcetera, in HD... I'm sure at some point in the next five years or so everything will be going to HD. Sooner would be better of course.

#4 OFFLINE   olgeezer

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 01:22 PM

HGTV goes HD this month the Food channel nex month. I think both are scheduled for Dish. Apocolypse Now and Quigley Down Under are both on HDNET movies this month. That is my most watched channel.

#5 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 01:22 PM

Does Food, TLC, TWC, CNN have HD networks ?
(not sure what MSG is, from a TV point of view)

They do have YES on occasion for special events (IIRC)

I think DirecTV, Dish, and all the others can be "ready" for more national HD... but it is the fact that a lot of these "networks" simply aren't ready to go full blown HD... maybe one or two shows here and there... but I still think there is just a major shortage of HD programming period.

Now... That argumenet would be a lot better, if DirecTV would just start to give us some of the ones out there TNT, Starz, Cinemax, National Geographic (soon to be released)... for example.
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#6 OFFLINE   greywolf

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 03:24 PM

D* really needs more bandwidth before it can do more HD. Until they get MPEG4 working properly and all HD subscribers using it, they really don't have room.

#7 OFFLINE   DTC mac

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 04:22 PM

Once the majority of HD viewers have MPEG4 boxes the three transponders at 110 could carry MPEG4 streams giving adequate room for national HD expansion.

Alternately D* could put a spot beam bird at 72.5 and run some transponders CONUS MPEG4.

or

do a Ka bird at 95 for those willing to forego international language channels.

#8 OFFLINE   nmstough

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 06:56 PM

Once the majority of HD viewers have MPEG4 boxes the three transponders at 110 could carry MPEG4 streams giving adequate room for national HD expansion.


Is this actually feasible (converting an existing satellite from MPEG2 to MPEG4)? What I am most worried about is if these new Ka satellites have a very sharp "footprint" so that the CONUS beam is really CONUS and does not extend above the 49th parallel.

#9 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 07:05 PM

The CODEC used to compress the video stream, has no bearing on what the SAT's can carry or not (kinda like using FONT SIZE 10 vs FONT SIZE 12 for a printed letter, and sending it through the mail... You get more on a single sheet, through the same transmission method)

It is that the newer feeds are being sent via a different transmission type (I can never remember the actually name 8PSK or something like that)... And that is where some of the OLDER birds will have problems (Ka vs KU).


I think converting all HD users by the end of this year, so they can kill the MPEG-2 feeds... that is EXTREMELY optomistic... not saying that it couldn't be done, but that is VERY optimistic. As you have a LOT of HR10-250 users out there, and with the HR20 not coming out to mid year or later..... that is a small window to settle those issues.
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#10 OFFLINE   DTC mac

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 08:40 PM

The modulation scheme ( 8PSK or other ) is immaterial so far as the satellites transponders are concerned. Just the same as data transmission evolving from 300 baud to 53+Kbps over telephone lines, just a more effient use of the bandwidth.

MPEG2 is definately here to stay long term for SD. No non-HD MPEG4 box has even been rumored yet.

Anyone who belives that EVERY local station in the USA is going to be carried by D* as HD via MPEG4 is mistaken. First off many locals are not now/nor likely ever going to switch to HD, therefore no reason for D* to alter MPEG2 delivery. Secondly I don't know where this 150 channels worth of "national" HD is coming from. Existing HD providers are hard pressed to fill schedules without constant repeats.

#11 OFFLINE   DConroy

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 06:00 AM

My expert installer(READ: one I pay for, not Ironwood via DTv) was telling me that the AT9 dish weighs 50lbs?!

Because of my tree cover and a 100lb dog that roams the back yard, I have a tough enough time mounting the Phase III dish.

There's no way I could mount the 50Lb dish on my roof in the same way the Phase III is, its just too heavy, and with a good windstorm will rip away from its mooring.

This is one sub that will resist the MPEG4 upgrade as long as possible.

#12 OFFLINE   wipeout

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 07:36 AM

I forn one am in no hurry to switch out my equipment to MPEG4, I want to keep my Tivo based equipment for as long as I can.

#13 OFFLINE   greywolf

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 09:27 AM

It weighs 32lbs. Lag the foot into a rafter and use the recommended monopoles for bracing and there is no problem with a roof mount.

#14 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 10:38 AM

The dish is big... but 50lbs (as much as a good sized bag of rock salt, or rice... which I lift often)... Not a chance.....

Actually... I didn't even the monopoles after they did my installation (mounted to brick via nice 3" bolts to lags)
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#15 OFFLINE   otterley

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 12:21 AM

The modulation scheme ( 8PSK or other ) is immaterial so far as the satellites transponders are concerned. Just the same as data transmission evolving from 300 baud to 53+Kbps over telephone lines, just a more effient use of the bandwidth.

MPEG2 is definately here to stay long term for SD. No non-HD MPEG4 box has even been rumored yet.

Anyone who belives that EVERY local station in the USA is going to be carried by D* as HD via MPEG4 is mistaken. First off many locals are not now/nor likely ever going to switch to HD, therefore no reason for D* to alter MPEG2 delivery. Secondly I don't know where this 150 channels worth of "national" HD is coming from. Existing HD providers are hard pressed to fill schedules without constant repeats.


1) There is no need for a special "non-HD" MPEG4 box. HD signals, whether they are encoded in MPEG2 or MPEG4, can easily be downconverted to SD.

2) Licenses to broadcast terrestrial SD will most likely expire by Congressional fiat in early 2009, assuming legislation currently making its way through Congress passes and is signed by the President. Stations will only be able to broadcast HD after that date, which means that D* won't need to carry SD signals after that date (assuming all the nonbroadcast channels switch over as well).

#16 OFFLINE   JLucPicard

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 02:13 AM

otterly,

Point #2, isn't the legislation to force stations to broadcast digital and no longer broadcast analog? That doesn't necessarily mean HD, just digital. The analog wave lengths are going to be rededicated to communications (police stations and such). If I remember this correctly. If not, or if something newer has been passed, then I am most certainly wrong.

#17 OFFLINE   Capmeister

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 07:57 AM

HD is useless to me without closed captioning. While ESPNHD and ESP2HD caption, so far DiscoveryHD, Universal HD, HDNet and HDNetMovies all DO NOT close caption. If it will be the same for new HD channels like a SciFiHD or HistoryChannelHD, I don't see why I should bother converting.
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#18 OFFLINE   DTC mac

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 02:50 PM

Otterly,

D* in its infinate wisdom may indeed one day decide to increase system capacity by using MPEG4 for SD channels as well ( lets all pray they dont ). In that event new non-HD MPEG4 boxes would have to be rolled out for subscribers who did not need or want HD channels.

#19 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 08:10 PM

Over the next 5 years we'll see many changes. So I think we should be very carefull with statements that include" "there will never be..." or "D* will not drop/change/switch..." or "such and such will never go HD". We know that many D* sats will reach EOL and all broadcast channels will be digital. We can just bet that most cable channels will likely go digital cuz all the cable companies and dbs providers will want digital not analog (and most will be at least widescreen too).

Along this transition process (that started more than 8 years ago) we'll see lots of things that will make us scratch our heads and say "huh? Why'd dey do dat?"

Will we see MPEG4 on ku frequencies someday? Maybe--if D* wants to keep the ku licenses. Or will we see D* surrender their ku licenses?

At some point every STB will be replaced. Whether it will be by attrition or by active replacement plan, I don't know. But they all will be replaced. I wonder if D*, E*, and cable will qualify for part of the $3B replacement monies for the DTV transition?
[/ramble]

Cheers,
Tom

#20 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 10:56 PM

Otterly,

D* in its infinate wisdom may indeed one day decide to increase system capacity by using MPEG4 for SD channels as well ( lets all pray they dont ). In that event new non-HD MPEG4 boxes would have to be rolled out for subscribers who did not need or want HD channels.


When that time comes... we should be on nearly a completely new hardware base or architecture...

You are talking about nearly 25-30 MILLION recievers that would have to be swapped out.

(13 Million subscribers, on average 2~3 boxes per account)... and that is just based on the subscriber base today, not what it could be in 10 years.

A LONG LONG LONG time from now before DirecTV is ready to eat that upgrade cost....
Earl - Gotta Love Karma

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All comments are my own. Unless specifically stated, my views do NOT represent the views of DIRECTV




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