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Does D* still use 'HD-Lite'? Comparing resolutions...

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Programming' started by CHaynes112, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. Dec 2, 2009 #1 of 53

    CHaynes112 AllStar

    Dec 2, 2009
    I have been reading various sources, and discovered D* used to (or possibly still does) broadcast 1080i at 1280x1080 instead of 1920x1080. I was wondering if they still use 1280 at all, or did they finally bump everything up to 1920?

    It looks like Dish is still at 1440x1080 and FiOS is true 1920x1080?

    As far as SD goes, it looks like D* currently uses 480x480, whereas Dish is 544x480, and FiOS is at 528x480 for most channels (they used to be 704x480, but apparently they have compressed most channels down to 528)?

  2. Dec 2, 2009 #2 of 53
    Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    DIRECTV uses the resolutions provided to them. If the native broadcast is 1280x720, then DIRECTV sends 1280x720, and the same with 1920x1080. This is true for all MPEG-4 encoded broadcasts. As far as older, MPEG-2 encoded SD channels, the resolution may still be low.

    For the most part DIRECTV tries to keep the same quality as original broadcast for all HD programming, but there is some re-encoding going on. Personally I was unable to see any difference between OTA HD and DIRECTV HD, although there is a clear difference between Discovery Channel HD and the same programming on Blu-ray. I don't know if that difference originates at Discovery or DIRECTV.
  3. Dec 2, 2009 #3 of 53
    Greg Alsobrook

    Greg Alsobrook Lifetime Achiever

    Apr 1, 2007
    It is my understanding that DIRECTV broadcasts most, if not all content at source resolution.

    Do you think you could provide your sources so we can read up as well?
  4. Dec 2, 2009 #4 of 53

    Justin23 Hall Of Fame

    Jan 10, 2008
    Well...those are 2 different resolutions, right?
  5. Dec 2, 2009 #5 of 53

    Grentz New Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    It would be very messed up if they sent anything as 1280x1080, that is practically a square instead of 16:9 and would require some major stretching or anamorphic conversion.

    1280x720 is a possibility, and it still is HD (720p), but overall I believe it depends on the network. As the others have said, DirecTV sends things in the resolution they get them for the most part from what I have heard/seen.

    If you put your receiver in native mode it will change depending on the channel, and there is a mixture of 720p and 1080i in the HD channels.
  6. Dec 2, 2009 #6 of 53

    Grentz New Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    Same resolution (1080), but different bit rates. Bluray will look better because of the higher bitrate.
  7. Dec 2, 2009 #7 of 53

    ARKDTVfan Icon

    May 19, 2003
  8. Dec 2, 2009 #8 of 53

    CHaynes112 AllStar

    Dec 2, 2009
  9. Dec 2, 2009 #9 of 53

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

    Aug 16, 2006
    SD resolution stinks on any HD TV.
  10. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

    Mar 18, 2007
    Actually, my new Vizio LCD does a fantastic job unconverting SD. SD is almost unwatchable on my other HDTV's, but very impressive looking on the Vizio.
  11. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    The handful of remaining MPEG2 mirrors in the 70s are still down-rezzed to 1280x1080 (for 1080 content), but all of the MPEG4 channels, including the MPEG4 mirrors of the channels in the 70s, are resent at the source resolution. For some channels, that is 1280x720, and for others, 1920x1080.

    So, if you still have one of the old MPEG2-only HD receivers, the 6 or so HD channels you can still get are "HD-Lite". If you've got an MPEG4 HD receiver (H2x or HR2x), you shouldn't be watching those MPEG2 versions anyway, since there are full-rez MPEG4 versions.
  12. Tony Chick

    Tony Chick Legend

    Aug 24, 2006
    The MPEG4 channels look really good, but if I compare my HD locals with the OTA equivalent using my HR20, the OTA is still just slightly sharper. I suspect thats simply compression algorithm differences between MPEG4 and MPEG2.
  13. Grentz

    Grentz New Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    I am curious where this info comes from...when the switch was taking place and we had both sets of channels active, lots of us did comparisons and saw very little PQ difference between them overall.
  14. lokar

    lokar Icon

    Oct 7, 2006
    I know people have other ways of doing this but if you have an HD PVR on your computer it will tell you what resolution signal you are getting. So I can say that at least USA and HDNet Movies are the full 1920x1080 and that my local ABC and FOX are their full 1280x720.
  15. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 5, 2006
    Allen, TX
    I see a big difference, especially between the TNTs.
  16. Grentz

    Grentz New Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    With Directv though the HD has to go through a receiver, so you will never see the signal natively. The exception is setting the receiver to "native", which should show the channel in its native format to your display, but it is always either SD, 720p, 1080i, or 1080p. So if it truly is getting a different "HD-Lite" format, the receiver is doing some scaling/stretching to output it at one of the regular formats.
  17. bonscott87

    bonscott87 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

    Jan 21, 2003
    "HD-Lite" hasn't been an issue for over 3 years now with the introduction of MPEG4.
  18. Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

    Jul 12, 2006
    Los Angeles
    This is the bottom line ...
  19. bobcamp1

    bobcamp1 Icon

    Nov 8, 2007
    Yep, it's now all about compression rates. :grin: You'll see the effects of that when there is a lot of movement on the screen.

    OTA , FIOS, and C-Band have the least amount of compression. DirecTV and Dish have more compression. Cable varies but usually has the most compression.

    Whether or not you can tell the difference is another matter.
  20. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    Probably depends on the size, resolution and viewing distance from your display. I say this because I just moved from a 50" 768p plasma to a 65" 1080p plasma. On the 50", I couldn't detect any difference between MPEG-4 and OTA MPEG-2 HD on the same channels, except for trickplay smoothness. On the 65", if I look for them, I can now occasionally see some "graininess" in MPEG-4 scene transitions that are not present when viewing OTA. Otherwise, they are hardly noticeable from our normal viewing distances of 10'-12'.

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