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1080p DirecTV HD DVR?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Maverickster, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    Well, as I'm the guy you quoted, I'll respond.

    Considering it's been six months since that statement and no 1080p products have come out, it seems I was right.

    However, as DIRECTV has announced that 1080p On Demand programming will be available, clearly the hardware for playing it must be in our future. I don't know what to say other than that, and to point out that according to Broadcom's product literature, the BCM7401 chip in the HR20s and HR21s is capable of 1080p24. What DIRECTV chooses to do with this capability, whether in current or future devices, is up to them.
     
  2. Maverickster

    Maverickster Godfather

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    Sorry, Stuart, I wasn't implying you were wrong or anything like that at all, I was just remarking on how just 6 short months ago, the general consensus (both here and at AVS) was that boxes capable of outputting 1080p (and, in cases of non-VOD/PPV or other internet-sourced 1080p content, capable of upscaling to 1080p) was just not reasonably on the horizon, and now, it's here. It really is something that 6 months can make that big of a difference! That's all I'm saying.

    --Mav
     
  3. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    Oh, heck, I'm wrong all the time, probably over 50% of the time! Just not this time :lol:
     
  4. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    I've been participated in a few such threads as a proponent of coming 1080p, but each time 100s opponents stomped on and told NO.
    Now time quickly come, but those ppl turn for 180 degree and become best knowledgeable in 1080p area.
     
  5. llarch

    llarch Cool Member

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    I hear you P Smith, true. The only thing I can say, in defense of the many forum members who explained in detail why D* would not be doing 1080P anytime soon, is they were speaking mostly from a technical perspective, where D* is making the move more from a marketing perspective, so the change to "support" 1080P was not easily anticipated, in many ways, it doesn't make sense (PQ will probably not be any different).
     
  6. rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

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    My guess is that they will have to come out with a new receiver to support any 1080p, whether the content is delivered via satellite or Ethernet. They’ll need to do “something” to get more up-front lease fees and two-year commitments out of us!
     
  7. Ed Campbell

    Ed Campbell Hall Of Fame

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    I'm always surprised when a forum like this - with so many folks who have DVR's - discuss this topic only in the context of streaming.

    I've been playing 1080p content downloaded from the Web on my HDTV for quite a while, now. I have the "standard" Comcast 6mbps broadband with "Burst" - and I hit 16-20mbps; though, frankly, if I'm downloading, I'm usually doing something else and pay no attention to download time.
     
  8. VideoVeteran

    VideoVeteran Mentor

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    Does anyone know technical details of this announcement with any credible source that can answer this question:

    Will the 1080p movies they offer be offered using
    A: 1920x1080x24fps ="1080p"
    B: 1920x1080x30fps ="1080p"
    C: 1920x1080x60fps = "1080p"

    This makes a BIG difference, yet all can be described as 1080p signals. The only one that is difficult is (C) above. And the value of this format for Movies is non-existant since movies are filmed at 24fps. The value of (C) is with high-motion sports!

    Since the annoucement specifically mentioned movies in this format, I'm inclined to think it really means (A) above, which is easy to do and probably already supported by the existing HD-STBs.
     
  9. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    We will verify it soon.
     
  10. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    "C" is not supported by either DVB or ATSC delivery, so is not on the menu unless by DOD.

    "B" is possible, but not practical. It would probably be 29.97 fps instead of 30, actually, which is kind of a de facto standard (otherwise it becomes incompatible with broadcast). IOW, it makes little sense to go 30 fps since no one else really uses that and you may want to sell the content to broadcast at some point, where that would screw up the run times a bit.

    "A" is actually being used currently (and it is practical to extract a 1080p30 copy from it losslessly for broadcast, although that is not much of an advantage at all over 1080i and would probably have to be delivered by broadcast as 1080i). In many cases when a movie is telecine-d to 1080p24, or video is captured originally as true 1080p24, it can be delivered at 1080i by sat or broadcast, and that can be reconstructed by many late-model HD displays back into "true" 1080p.

    Not all 1080p has the potential benefits of "true" 1080p, however (and by "true" I mean originally produced as 1080p with both the resolution and the non-interlace component kept intact). Everything that you see on your 1080p-native set is technically 1080p (it fits the requirements of being scanned progressively and having 1080 scan lines, which is the basic definition of "1080p"), even if it's rescaled (and reinterlaced if necessary) by that display from 1080i, 720p, 480p, or 480i, which all content is for every 1080p-native display. Content could also theoretically be captured as 1080i and delivered as 1080p, but would of course still have the interlace error limitations of 1080i. That means that "1080p" doesn't always imply "better". To really have the benefit of higher resolution than 720p AND no interlace error AND an equivalent frame rate to 720p, you need "C".

    1080p as a delivery format has cachet, in that there is a (false) perception that it is significantly better than anything else. That is probably because in the consumers' mind it has been pre-established that "1080p" as regards a native display format is generally accepted as being significantly-better than 720p or 768p (the other two main native display formats). But the advantage of "1080p" as a display technology does not actually translate to a similar improvement in content or delivery technology.

    The spin-meisters would like us to make the intuitive leap that 1080p content/delivery is also significantly-better, but the reality is that it is not, not even 1080p60. It's really only incrementally better, if even that. 1080i has a nearly-imperceptible drawback (over 720p) of slower frame rate and interlace error making still shots better but motion maybe not so good as 720p, while 720p has a nearly-imperceptible drawback (over 1080i) of a lower potential resolution (which works out not to be as dramatic as might be expected) making still shots not possibly as good as 1080i while motion resolves better than 1080i due to a combination of higher frame rate and lack of interlace error. True 1080p60 has neither of those drawbacks of 720p or 1080i, but removing two nearly-imperceptible drawbacks leaves us with an end result that is only marginally better than either 720p or 1080i at best, if really at all.

    The penalty of twice the bandwidth seems to trump any small technical benefit or false marketing hype advantage, or at least it probably will for a few years, anyway when bandwith is less of an issue. It appears that the only true 1080p we will see from DTV for some time will probably be via DOD, where there is no real-time bandwidth issue such as there is via DVB or ATSC.
     
  11. OverThereTooMuch

    OverThereTooMuch Almost a new member

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    From where?
     
  12. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    "The penalty of twice the bandwidth" - quite blind statement, if you will recall how H.264 or VC-1 compressing. Hint: I, P, B frames.
     
  13. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    Quite a true statement, actually, and well-supported by every textbook on the subject. Your hint is also worthless. I, P, B frames would still be employed exactly as they are now, but even if not that would not affect comparitively how many bits it takes to transport 1080p60, which is why the infrastructure for new HD routers is now 3G, as opposed to 1.5G for current equipment, with the new bandwidth requirements being upgraded precisely to handle 1080p. Compression efficiency may increase, but no more for 1080i than for 1080p. Even compressed with whatever becomes the cutting-edge technology, twice as big before compression means twice as big after. Regardless how efficient things become compression-wise, 1080p60 still will always need twice the bandwidth of 1080i for an equivalent level of artifacting. That is unless you'd be willing to accept significantly more artifacting from 1080p60 sent in an equivalent bandwidth.
     
  14. cartrivision

    cartrivision Hall Of Fame

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    I believe that someone at DirecTV has already stated that current HD receivers will be able to display the recently promised 1080p content.

    Actually, I'm pretty sure that the BCM7401 is only in the HR21s (and the R22s?). The HR20s have the BCM7411, and although 1020p/24 isn't specifically listed as one of the 7411's capabilities, given DirecTV's statement about current HD DVRs being able to display 1080/p24 content, it probably is.
     
  15. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    I don't think the chip matters. Every ATSC and DVB decoder on the planet is capable of decoding all 18 formats, including 1080p, so it would be folly indeed to even design a chip that didn't. As far as computational intensity, it is likely not a factor either. We are only talking about a doubling of the data rate even at 1080p60, which is nothing compared to how computationally intensive decoding MPEG-4 is compared to MPEG-2.

    Does anyone really think that DTV would bet their money on a system-wide sweeping infrastructure changeover that did not include a new DVR (the current HR2x) that was capable of anything they expected to throw at it for the next few years? Or that they would even breathe out loud the possibility of 1080p content if the HR2x wasn't up to handling it?
     
  16. OverThereTooMuch

    OverThereTooMuch Almost a new member

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    Definitely. They bet their money on their own DVR when they already had Tivo. They've had a lot of problems to work out. Many here have stated that they are sacrificing stability for the sake of new features, and they don't consider it a good trade.

    They had to do something to react to Dish's announcement. They may have decided that it would cost them more to not look like the HD leader than to replace some existing hardware.
     
  17. GregLee

    GregLee Hall Of Fame

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    How many million HD receivers do you expect DirecTV to replace before the end of the year??
     
  18. OverThereTooMuch

    OverThereTooMuch Almost a new member

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    There may be millions in use, but the numbers that they could reasonably expect to have to replace are probably a lot smaller than that.

    How many of those folks have TV's that can display signals in 1080p?
    How many of those folks even know what 1080p is?

    Also, the press release says they will OFFER the movies. The PR does not mention which receivers will/will not be able to get it. It also doesn't say if it'll be PPV or VOD (maybe there's other reliable info from DTV clarifying this...I'm just going by what I see in the PR). If it's VOD only, that further limits the number of units they'd potentially have to replace.

    The competition here is a great thing. In the end, we'll probably all win. I just hope it doesn't result in higher programming costs for the millions of people that won't gain anything from 1080p programming.
     
  19. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    I'd like some action on that bet. I'd even give odds.

    None of your arguments support your theory. They replaced Tivo to keep the hardware in house, to save money and regain control. They have worked out the majority of any problems already. How "many here" might or might not feel about it is irrelevant. The HD DVR / Ka / MPEG-4 transition has been an overwhelming success, if the sub and churn numbers are any guide.

    The transition was massive, and required a large investment, but that has already paid off and continues to. A new DVR was integral to it. But something as nebulous as 1080p content which has little if any payoff (or interest) would never warrant a hardware swap, especially on the heels of the first one.

    Of course the point is moot because they don't need to do a swap, and were careful to make sure of that when they transitioned to the HR2x in the first place.

    The DISH 1080p announcement is hot air. A complete diversion from their increasing status as #2 and not really being a contender in the HD arena. Flopsweat desperation. But some are foolish enough not to recognize that, so a "we can do that too" announcement by DTV was probably not unpredicted.
     
  20. Newshawk

    Newshawk Hall Of Fame

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    Broken...
    I agree with just about all of the above, but I need to remind you that DirecTV was the first to announce 1080p support (last Monday). Dish is the "me too" announcement here. I think they rushed their 1080p upgrade out early to try and steal DirecTV's thunder. I wonder how many issues they will have to contend with.
     

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