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Exactly How Many Channels Less?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Artwood, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

    Jul 12, 2006
    Los Angeles
  2. dubber deux

    dubber deux Icon

    Mar 7, 2009

    Very good point indeed!

    While I understand the benefit of the infomercial channels to D*. They seem to be an excessive number of them, literally a wasteland of them to be blunt.

    I understand the QVC, HSN, and even Shop NBC channels as they actually do have some range of good quality offerings and they stand behind their products, but the infomercial channel glut should be addressed.

    I definitely was under the impression, (even way back when I had E*) that programming providers contributed a fee for bit rate quality.

    I would like to see the excellent cable legacy channels like NGC, Discovery, Animal Paanet, CNN, and the like have their quality increased.
  3. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    They have. They are all being sent in 480x480 for people that dont care, and 1920x1080 for people that do :)

    It looks like Directv's current model is to provide maximum SD channel count, by maximizing compression and statmuxing, and maximizing quality by NOT overly recompressing HD channels, and going as far as passing on the stations native resolution (they could convert all 1080i channels to 720p to save bandwidth assuming their contract allowed it, our local PBS station does this.)

    Personally, I think they are taking the "Best of Both Worlds" approach.
  4. dubber deux

    dubber deux Icon

    Mar 7, 2009
    I care about reasonable picture quality AND having the SD service.;)

    If D* starts offering a budget HD package I might move to HD.:rolleyes:

    There are still large numbers of subscribers that simply can't afford the jump to HD (the HD set alone will cost at least 700$ for anything worth while), but still care about reasonable SD quality. COnsidering the state of the economy I would bet that SD will be a significant even overwhelming factor in sat tv for many years to come.
  5. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    The "cable channels" of SD may be around but the local SD will be moving to digital and become "clipped" MPEG-4 HD versions more and more.
  6. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    I understand both your points about TV costs and that SD will be around for a long time. Completely agree with both. DIRECTV has some 40M SD only receivers out there, those will take a long, long time to replace. Even HD homes often still have some SD receivers.

    You could get an HD package to watch on your SD TV. I do it all the time and the PQ is very, very good albeit still in SD form. (I have one SD TV left and one tiny LCD that is "supposedly" HD but at that size it might as well be SD.) :)

  7. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    I think I'll find the 46th Mersenne prime number by using my mind and a piece of scratch paper before I get the exact compression details form all the cable stations, and all the providers and be able to figure out exactly what any one provider actually does to the signals they receive... and what trade offs they may or may not provide... :D
  8. DaaQ

    DaaQ Legend

    Aug 20, 2008
    I am going to go out on a limb here, with out finishing reading this entire thread. HE is convinced that there is a trade off in picture quality that direct is reducing the picture quality somehow someway probably because of the digital transition... and this they have the ability to do on the fly.

    I also would like to know, Art, if you had bought a hd tv early on maybe either an expensive lcd one or a rear projection one, and you have since bought another one more recently, say this year or late last year. Now I am not trying to be sarcastic so I hope its not sounding that way, but you got one nice size screen for a good price right?

    Where you need to look at the LESSENING of picture quality is in the tv itself. Whether your panel is an 8 bit panel or 6 bit one, and whether it is of a certain type, which right now I cannot recall the acronyms for them and am too tired to look them up. But that is why chiller looks like crap. Not all lcd screens are made equal.

    To part of the thing you want to know, each transponder is capable of sending out a certain number of channels more for sd less for hd. For example lets say a transponder on the 101 sat, maximum number of channels that it can transmit is 30. (this is an example so don't argue that my number is incorrect). They cannot just decide to only transmit 20 channels on xponder X so that they can squeeze in a few more on xponder Y. Hope this helps ya some.
  9. Shades228

    Shades228 DaBears

    Mar 18, 2008
    The biggest issue here is no one would want to lose channels to gain PQ. They can't remove certain channels because they have to carry a % of public interest. They're not going to remove channels that pay them to be carried because they would have to increase cost. They're not going to remove regular channels because people would complain and go elsewhere.

    So it really doesn't matter what the answer is because none of the options are really options at this point. Converting SD to mpeg-4 on the other hand is another beast. So the better question is how good would the PQ be if they kept the same amount but transitioned them to mpeg-4.
  10. Artwood

    Artwood Legend

    May 29, 2006
    I own a Panasonic 50-inch 60U plasma.

    When I first bought the set in April of 2005 I subscribed to DISH.

    Food Channel and The Monster Channel and many other channels would absolutely blow you away.

    That was before the quality was downgraded. Both DirecTV and DISH and even the content providers started delivering less picture information.

    The result is LESS DETAIL than what there used to be.

    Now I can understand why DISH and DirecTV would do such a thing--both wanted to offer more channels.

    The problem for me will ALWAYS be that I REMEMBER how much better HD looked before the change.

    I haven't ever personally viewed FIOS but if it looks as good as DISH and DirecTV used to look then I would switch to it.

    I can't because it's not in my area.

    Now the current quality of DirecTV may blow people here away--it will never blow me away because I've seen better.

    The only thing about DirecTV that truely blows me away is HOW BAD SD on it looks!

    Don't get me wrong--I like the number of channels DirecTV offers.

    The MPEG-4 channles look better than the MPEG-2 ones used to look.

    I guess what I'd really like is a provider that DEGRADED the signal that they receive from the original content providers the least--and I wish that the content providers themselves would deliver HIGHER quality.

    It's all a matter of money--things will not change--in fact I would bet that as more and more channels are offered that picture quality will get minutely less good everytime new channels are offered.

    I'm sure DirecTV tries their best to balance channels offered versus quallty of channels when there is a trade-off.

    I just don't like the balance that they're striking.

    IF DirecTV KNEW that a vast majority of their subscribers felt that they should tilt SLIGHTLY more in the quality direction than the quantity of channels offered direction I'm sure they would do so--it would make sense money wise to keep their subscribers happy and could be important in marketing against DISH if they could claim better picture quality so they could entice new subscribers.

    Now I'm sure that there will be some who will retort that the people who are coming up with the optimal balance know much more about it that I do.

    I grant that.

    But I'll offer this: many people said the same things about the car industry.

    The car industry in this country got the answers wrong.

    I think it was as DUMB of the American Car industry to tilt too far in the direction of size versus fuel economy as it is DUMB

    for DirecTV and DISH to err on the side of number of channels offered versus quality of channels offered.

    The difference of course is that DirecTV and DISH have far fewer competitors.

    That will not be the case FOREVER.

    Will we have to wait for FOREVER to come before they realize that?
  11. dubber deux

    dubber deux Icon

    Mar 7, 2009
    As for picture quality on SD....OTHER than related to compression issues. I and others have attempted to contact D* regarding video LEVEL issues (see my thread) and nothing has been resolved as of yet.
  12. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

    Jun 9, 2006
  13. dubber deux

    dubber deux Icon

    Mar 7, 2009
  14. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    Directv's HD channels are as good, or better than they have ever been and I have never seen any downgrading of signal from them on any given channel over time.

    I understand Dish has degraded some, but I don't have them so I can't comment on it. I have seen Fios, and it is comparable to Directv, but in no way would I say it has better PQ on any channels.

    Can you please tell me which exact channels have degraded on Directv that are MPEG-4 channels since they where launched? One thing I have noticed is people watch somethign like discovery channel and a program shot with an HD Digital camera, and think everything HD will look like that.. Not gonna happen, ever... Most shows on channels like Food Network, etc, are not produced the same in post as a network show, because of what producers want the show to look like. Therefore shows on most networks (anything that is more serial based, than docs) won't look as detailed as something on The Food Network and Discovery ...

    As for SD, if you want SD to look really good, you need to watch it on a high quality SD TV, and not any HDTV.. The only HD tv's I have ever seen that do a really good job with SD programing are CRT ones.. The best I have ever seen is my folks.. Because its a 9" CRT RPTV... Even then, my old 40" SD CRT Tube tv looks better...

    As for your analogy to the car industry... You do realize that Directv and Dish have both been far out in front of every other major competitor out there.. On just about everything... and no, FIOS is NOT a major competitor..

    Your newest competitors will always have the cutting edge, and the smart companies will see it, and then manufacture something similar and release it to the public in ways that the new competitor can't.. Which is what the sat companies have been doing for quite a while...
  15. Jeremy W

    Jeremy W Hall Of Fame

    Jun 19, 2006
    How come people who come on here to rant and rave constantly about their pet issue are always unable to post in a coherent manner? Like Artwood, with new lines between each sentence, with each one loosely tied to the previous one.

    It's impossible to read and truly comprehend these posts, and yet I get the feeling that they spend an inordinate amount of time crafting each one.
  16. cartrivision

    cartrivision Hall Of Fame

    Jul 25, 2007
    The most popular SD channels are very likely also broadcast in HD, so anyone who is interested in getting higher quality sources of those channels can simply get an HD receiver, even if they only use it too feed an SD TV. Will it cost more money to get higher quality SD this way (or any other way)? Yes. There is no free lunch.... but there is a way to get very high quality video via DirecTV for watching on an SD TV.

    From this point forward, it's highly unlikely that DirecTV or any other satellite or cable provider will be making an significant quality improvements in their SD video feeds, so you must look to the HD feeds if you want better PQ.
  17. Artwood

    Artwood Legend

    May 29, 2006
    Bottom line: SD will always suck at DirecTV.

    HD won't improve but tough! It is what it is--get used to it--at least you'll have alot of channels.
  18. Jeremy W

    Jeremy W Hall Of Fame

    Jun 19, 2006
    This isn't all DirecTV's fault. It's not like DirecTV significantly degrades the PQ that the channels are sending out.
  19. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    Sounds like you have come up with a conclusion that you believe to your OP.... Maybe we should close this thread? :D
  20. Jeremy W

    Jeremy W Hall Of Fame

    Jun 19, 2006
    The thread was peacefully at rest for more than 36 hours... why bump it?

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