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How Long until Everything is HD?

Discussion in 'General Satellite Discussion' started by Drucifer, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    NY Hudson...
    Just how long is it going to take to get everything in HD?

    If I remember right, color took mo' than a decade - from the late 50's to the late 60's for everything to be broadcast in color.

    The only exception was those artsy productions that did B&W for it melodrama effects. And I can't see that being the case for for doing any SD production.
     
  2. bmuone

    bmuone Cool Member

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    A very very long time, especially when they can charge for HD as an extra.
     
  3. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    When do we start the clock? With the first HD broadcasts in 1996 or later?

    Everything in HD is probably another decade away.

    I've seen a few times where "VHS Grade" quality was resurrected for a scene in a movie or TV show. A movie like "Blair Witch" made today might dip below current technology to add an artistic flair. But I'd be surprised if they didn't just film it in Hi-Def and add the graininess in post production - and still master the output in HD so one could see every speck of the distortion intended.

    HD still costs money ... as the price of cameras, editing equipment and storage falls HD production will be easier.

    The final issue is the cost of transmission. HD is more data and requires more space on a satellite feed. We may see situations where everything is HD except the final link from the programmer to carriers, due to the expense of the feed.

    Existing programmers have been able to cut transmission costs by going from analog feeds to digital feeds. HD increases the costs. Unless the money to pay for HD feeds SD will be around until it is no longer watched. People still watch B&W so I expect SD will remain "forever".

    Major commercial channels have the resources to convert and may feel left behind if all of their competitors have converted. We're probably looking at five years for the last of the commercial feeds to have a HD version available. Many non-commercial channels have also converted. But there is still a role for SD channels, and expect there will be for at least the next decade.
     
  4. Dec 3, 2010 #4 of 44
    SIvie1

    SIvie1 New Member

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    I think that everything in HD is probably only five years away. I am curious as to what the future of 3Dtv is. I think it will be more of an over hyped fad than anything.
     
  5. Dec 3, 2010 #5 of 44
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    For the mainstream channels, yes. We're at a point now most channels are available for carriage in HD ... For example, DISH has 107 full time HD channels in their top package (not counting part time sports and PPVs). There are ~32 channels with HD feeds available that DISH does not carry and ~32 channels carried that do not have HD feeds but likely will within the next year. So we're looking at a situation where if bandwidth was available, all channels with a HD feed were carried in HD and all expected launches occur "everything in HD" could be reached within a year.

    But I say that with two caveats. First, there are channels that don't have the budget to provide a HD feed for others to pick up. Channels that don't provide a HD feed can't be carried in HD. (Fortunately most of these channels are "public interest" or other must carry channels that most subscribers don't care about.) The second caveat is the desire for carriers to keep their costs down and SELECT the HD that they provide to customers. Even DirecTV has made statements about paring back programming options. For years they have competed by being "more channels than cable" but with advances in cable delivery they are losing that edge. So now the focus will be better channels than cable.

    And the other problem with "everything in HD" is customers with SD only equipment. All the core channels must also be available in SD for the millions of customers who have not been upgraded to new enough equipment to get HD. Swapping out receivers will take years and billions of dollars. The SD feeds need to stick around until that conversion is complete. If DirecTV and DISH stop placing SD only equipment it will take about five years to churn through their accounts.

    For now. It being an extension of HD I expect that it will become "normal" faster than HD did - but that isn't hard to say. At the moment it has limited content and limited value.

    One thing to watch out for is 3D conversion. We see it a lot in HD ... HD channels that stretch and distort SD signals to fill a screen and call that HD. HD channels like SyFy who are currently playing Enterprise in postage stamp format on their HD feed. (SD>HD display of a HD>SD letterboxed image.) Expect a lot of "3D" to be converted from 2D sources.
     
  6. Dec 3, 2010 #6 of 44
    BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    As of the middle of this year, Dish has been installing HD equipment almost exclusively on new accounts, with the exception of folks on the "Flex24" (read: bad credit) plan, where HD equipment costs extra. Anyone who can pass the credit check will get nothing but HD equipment on their install, whether they subscribe to HD or not. And they are being installed with HD-capable dishes (1000.2 or 1000.4). This is a GOOD THING, as it will speed the day when Dish can turn off the SD feeds and redeploy that transponder space for HD.

    DirecTV is still installing SD systems for standard accounts, though as you would imagine, most customers today are going HD from the beginning anyway, and MRV has resulted in a HUGE number of HD upgrades.

    Both companies, then, are making fairly good progress along the path to retiring SD, but as you pointed out, we are still a few years, and many millions of receivers, away from being able to shut off SD/MPEG2.
     
  7. Dec 3, 2010 #7 of 44
    scooper

    scooper Hall Of Fame

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    All well and good - When do you think they will go back and start updating old accounts who are currently SD only ? I realize right now they are still in the "get the customer to pay for it as an upgrade" mode, but at some point it will make sense to get those last few holdouts (such as me). The 311 receiver I got now is light years ahead of the 4900 it replaced, but I was half wondering why didn't Dish just take the opportunity to do the HD with a 211 / 211k instead ?
     
  8. Dec 3, 2010 #8 of 44
    TheRatPatrol

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    If you ask me everything should have been in HD by now. If you look over the past ~5 years a lot of programming has gone HD. The problem is getting the providers upgraded and providing those HD channels. From here on out all new channel carriage agreements should be for the HD channel only. No more SD channels!
     
  9. Dec 3, 2010 #9 of 44
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    That is good to know. I'm in an Eastern Arc market so we've had MPEG4 only equipment on new installs for a couple of years. As an older account I still have a couple of MPEG2 receivers active. And the last offer I got from DISH (a couple of months ago) to upgrade my 501 was to get a 522. Yes 522 ... didn't make much sense.

    Zero SD only installs is step one. Stop offering SD equipment for upgrades and all new installs. Wean people off of the MPEG2. Dropping MPEG2 opens up a lot of needed bandwidth.
     
  10. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Folks in good standing can do a lease upgrade once a year. The cost of upgrading most receivers to HD versions is the cost of a tech roll (read: $95 without the service plan, $15 with).

    If you "upgraded" from a 4900 to a 311, recently, then you kind of screwed yourself by not asking for an HD receiver instead. If, on the other hand, they replaced a defective receiver, it gets replaced with an equivalent model (a 311 in this case). An upgrade comes with a 2-year commitment, while a defective receiver replacement does not.

    Again, what I'm saying is, at this point, Dish is practically offering FREE lease upgrades to HD for ALL of your equipment, though I believe you can only get your first HD-DVR for free - the others you'd pay an upgrade fee for, currently. We do these all day long, and I'm sure Dish has been scrapping those old receivers by the container-load...
     
  11. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    SD equipment is still *offered*, but HD equipment is there for the asking. Really; try it.

    Keep in mind that Dish hasn't purchased a new SD receiver in at least 2 years, when all manufacturing was switched to HD equipment. All SD equipment being installed today is refurbs. Those receivers, while they still have some life left, are, at minimum, halfway through their lifespans, and many are much older than that. Attrition is killing them off quickly (most DVRs only last about 5 years). I doubt SD equipment will still be offered for upgrades by the end of next year.

    Dish is ahead of the game in moving to HD/MPEG4 equipment only. Unfortunately, a huge number of those receivers are Duo receivers, which have the SD-only TV2 albatross around their neck. Dish really needs to get their "Whole Home Server" solution out, so that ALL outputs are HD-capable. That's one of the reasons Dish is losing ground; most other providers can provide "HD at every TV" service, but Dish is effectively limited to 3 HD TVs.
     
  12. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I shouldn't have to. DISH should be the proactive ones seeking out out-of-contract customers and upgrading their equipment. Before they hear that said subscribers are happily moving on to another provider. Retention responding to a cancellation call is too late. And expecting existing customers to be savvy and seek offers that benefit the company (by moving closer to the no SD only equipment goal AND locking customers in for another two years) seems wrong. Don't make good customers look for deals. They might find one elsewhere!

    So they are wasting money on refurbs instead of moving ahead with new receivers? How about putting in a refurbed 622 when a 522 breaks? Make progress with every re-install.

    That is still a couple of years late, in my opinion. I hope DISH is saving enough money by placing SD equipment to pay for the coming HD equipment swaps.

    It could be worse, but to me it seems that their answer is more satellites a few years away. "Reverse DBS" and more locations instead of doing all they can to free up the the space tied up by MPEG2.

    Depending on who you believe...
    Sept 21, 2010:
    "According to the latest look at TV viewing from the Nielsen Company, 54.2 percent of U.S. television households are HD receivable in 2010."​
    May 6, 2010:
    "Two-thirds of U.S. households now own a high-definition television, and more Americans plan to buy one in the coming months, according to a report from the Consumer Electronics Association.

    The Arlington-based group says video products continue to be the top consumer electronics device U.S. consumers own, with 65 percent of U.S. homes now owning at least one HDTV set, up 13 percent from a year ago. Consumers are also buying HDTVs as secondary sets. The average household now has 1.8 high-definition televisions, up from 1.5 percent a year ago."​

    The average is less than the three duo (six tuner) limit. And it would be easy to eliminate the arbitrary limit on tuners - although I believe that is rooted in the use of 1000.2 and 1000.4 LNBs with three outputs (one for each duo). The bigger issue of sharing a receiver that I have run in to is wanting to use BOTH tuners on TV1 for PIP and recording competing programs. (I use mine for recording overlapped OTA programming ... including back to back programs on the same channel. Just set one event to the mapdown and the other event to the four digit channel and one can record the overlapping minute.)

    Get r done ...
     
  13. scooper

    scooper Hall Of Fame

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    It kind of comes into a grey area -
    I kept frying Dishpro Legacy adapters so I took the swap so I wouldn't have to screw around with them any more. The 4900 had been working fine, it was the adapters that were the problem. That said - the 311 is much better (except for not having the UHF remote and Dolby Digital) - you actually get a usable guide.

    Instead of the 311, I probably could have looked for a Legacy TWIN/QUAD and that would have solved the issue as well, except the tech probably didn't have one.
     
  14. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    A semantic reminder...

    It is entirely possible that we will NEVER see a day when everything is shot in HD.

    We still see new black&white content shot today.... many many years after color television was invented. I feel certain that there will always be a place for some intentionally lower-res productions for cinematic effect.

    With that said... the real discussion here is not over the programming, but the transport method... When will SD-only transmissions stop.

    Again, that depends. It is likely that some of the smaller channels will never have the money to upgrade to an HD transmission. If people keep watching their programming, then there will be no reason for them to upgrade.
     
  15. BattleZone

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    Not really. In this case, it was a replacement instead of an upgrade, so there's no cost and no commitment. Had you gone for the HD receiver, they'd have given it to you, but you'd be in a commitment (but likely still no up-front cost). They'd have gotten you set up with an HD dish setup too.
     
  16. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    NY Hudson...
    Most likely with a color camera that has a B&W setting.
     
  17. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    The <**ONLY**> way I'll upgrade is if I get a lifetime guarantee that I will not be charged a DVR fee. I will not waver on that under any circumstances. If they try to force me to upgrade and won't waive the fee, I'm gone after more than 10 years of loyalty.


    And as noted below and as I've stated here before, I don't give a flying fig about HD. They can eliminate all HD as far as I'm concerned and go SD only

    .
     
  18. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I own DVDs of B&W TV programming. Just because something was filmed in B&W does not mean it will never air or be viewed again.

    There are decades of decent SD programming that will still see broadcast for decades to come. We may be watching it on upconverted channels in a few years, but it is still SD. (And it will not be in a remastered form as has been done with some film based shows.)

    I wonder how many years it will be until "I Love Lucy" is remastered in 3D?
     
  19. BattleZone

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    If that's true, it's only a matter of time before you won't be a Dish customer anymore. Of course, all the other providers will have the same policies.

    HD isn't going anywhere, but SD certainly will be largely gone in 3-5 years.

    Do you ride a horse to work, and light your house with candles, too? :lol:
     
  20. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    If I could, yes, but it's a bit too far.

    No, but I have lanterns and candles ready if needed and I'm using wood to heat with so far this year.

    But, back on track ..................... I'll stay until they cut me off, or I can't afford it any more. I'm guessing it will be the latter though.
     

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