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I said Never, but now I'm thinking Maybe...

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by sregener, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    the reasons you give for possibly switching back are all good ones because you think they are.

    But the HR44, though much faster in operation than anything else I've seen from D* is still not quite as fast as is the Hopper. Not night and day kind of difference, but the HR44 is a bit slower. Frankly that would not be a reason not to switch for me.

    What will most likely make me more resistive to switching back is the cost to do so. An HR44 and a Cxx wouldn't cut it at all for me, so it would have to be an HR44+HR24, which means $199 upfront in equipment cost which would negate most of the financial reason to switch. And though there are differences in the channels in HD between the two services and which channels they both offer, the ones that are different are mostly ones I don't care much about.

    PQ in HD is a wash for me as I cannot see enough difference between to two to have it be an issue on my 73" DLP. SD on Dish is so much better than D*'s that it is an issue though.
     
  2. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Why do people debate which is better when better to one is different to another? Both companies are great with different perks.[​IMG]
     
  3. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Possibly because we can? :)
     
  4. Diana C

    Diana C Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    I haven't looked at a Dish signal in years, so I have no personal opinion on this, but according to the urban legend, Dish Network re-encodes 1080i HD into MPEG4 by sampling at 1080x1080 pixels, instead of 1080x1920. YMMV.
     
  5. sregener

    sregener Godfather

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    That should be 1440x1080, not 1080x1080. The point was that there is plenty that can be done digitally to decrease picture quality without increasing macro-blocking.
     
  6. Diana C

    Diana C Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Thanks for the correction. I think I was recalling back in the old SD days when Dish was doing 480x480 encoding of SD. I think I still have some copies of the raw frame output around somewhere. 1440x1080 makes more sense for a 16x9 aspect ratio image. That's still 25% less data going into the compression algorithm than a full 1920x1080.
     
  7. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    The functionality differences seem more important to me, I'd need two hoppers, plus not compatible with regular receivers. Maybe the genie would be faster with a mandatory nightly reboot.

    Sent from my Z10 using DBSTalk mobile app
     
  8. Mike Greer

    Mike Greer Hall Of Fame

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    Damn it Rich - why did you have to go there?!

    Sadly I do expect it.... I just hope it isn't 'soon'!
     
  9. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Mike, it took a lot out of me to write that. I'd really hate to see it happen to you. I'm just a big believer in history repeating itself. There was no cruelty meant.

    Rich
     
  10. peds48

    peds48 Genius.

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    let's face it, knowing the history between you guys,you know it was.. :D
     
  11. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    I had read somewhere that the practice of "HD Lite" ended with the change to MPEG4. there certainly would be no practical reason to continue that, which was a response to temporarily not having enough bandwidth after a ruling that ALL LIL stations must be carried about 10 years ago, which sort of caught DBS unawares.

    Since in double-blind tests no one has ever even been able to distinguish 1080i from 720p, there would have to be a significant reason why DISH might not appear as good. Technically, there should be no reason. DTV proved that the MPEG 2 to MPEG 4 conversion can be done pretty transparently, so DISH should be able to do it just as well.

    Lots of HD is not true HD. 1440x1080 is pretty common. Most TV stations use AVC50 for their HD field cameras which is 1440x1080. And most still are using SD 16x9 in the field (480i), while they crow about how that same newscast they are used in is HD. But SD these days is so good that most people don't even know.

    And yes, when you chain dissimilar encode processes together there is a lot of possibility for degradation, but in the real world that does not happen, because techniques that don't degrade are ubiquitous while those that do are something you actually have to go out of your way to accomplish. And the technology is mature and engineers are skilled in that. All broadcast HD has the same color space of 4:2:0 and so does DVB.

    We'd have to have impartial skilled viewers analyzing them side by side, but the concept of DISH being inferior to DTV in quality seems like it must be, as you say, only an urban legend.
     
  12. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    Actually, I compress HD signals for a living, have daily since 1999, and have probably forgotten more about compression than you will ever know. Your statements reveal that your understanding might be what is in question. Never bring a knife to a gunfight, and never BS a BSer.
     
  13. sregener

    sregener Godfather

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    Well, then it's a good urban legend. I switched from DirecTV to Dish in April of 2011. Right in the middle of "Frozen Planet." So I saw the beginning episodes on DirecTV and the final episodes on Dish. I consider BBC's camerawork to be among the best in the world, and I can immediately tell when I'm watching their programming. All it took was watching the title sequence to see that Dish's picture was just a tiny bit softer. There wasn't quite that "wow!" response to the image. Was it subtle? Yes. But it was there.

    As far as the double-blind thing, I can't counter your argument except to say that we have a local CBS affiliate that down-coverts to 720p to save bandwidth for their sub channels, and it is noticeably softer than the 1080i affiliate up the road. Then again, the 1080i station has no sub-channels stealing bandwidth,

    No one else in my house can see these differences. But they also don't see it when confetti flies during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the screen turns into a macro blocked mess.
     
  14. Diana C

    Diana C Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    IMHO, if there is a real difference between DirecTV and Dish in terms of HD quality, then it is more likely a result of compression settings than it is a difference in sampling. If you just push the encoders harder one the things they will do is "average" the chroma values for a group of pixels. In effect, this is reducing resolution, but on a selective basis, rather than the brute force approach of reducing the total number of pixels.

    Again, to be clear, I have not looked at a Dish HD signal in years, so I have no personal opinion on whether or not there is a PQ difference. I am simply speculating on what could cause a difference IF one exists.
     
  15. sregener

    sregener Godfather

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    So you stand by this statement?: About all that could be different is the amount of compression and therefore the amount of compression artifacts that you might see. Resolution (sharpness), color gamut, chroma levels, video levels, black levels, those are all fixed and unalterable. As long as they keep things in the digital domain, which I have to assume they must do, it is pretty impossible to degrade the PQ other than by using too much compression, which won't affect anything other than the artifact level, and usually only during motion.

    Take a look at KIMT-DT in Mason City, IA. They receive a 1080i signal from CBS, but they broadcast it as 720p. How, if resolution is fixed, do they do this? And many have reported that Dish downgrades 1920x1080 to 1440x1080, but again resolution is fixed so they can't possibly be doing this!

    I've seen the same channel look vibrant or dull from the same receiver, simply by switching from the OTA signal to the satellite-retransmitted one. But color gamut and chroma levels are fixed and unalterable, so it can't be a result of compression.

    I've been around since the MPEG1 days. I've seen the differences, and I know what happens when you starve an encoder of bandwidth. They've gotten better with MPEG2 and MPEG4, but I still see the effects of not enough bandwidth. It's not all in macro-blocking.

    Throw around your titles and your knowledge claims all you want. Won't make you any less wrong.
     
  16. TBoneit

    TBoneit Hall Of Fame

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    HBO can also take a lot longer to encode the video. They do not need to do it in real time.

    Whereas a Local channel must be encoded as it airs.

    Then The channels content also affects how much bandwidth (Bits) are needed. A Scene with lots of movement needs more bits than a scene with talking heads.
     
  17. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Naw, but it would be a hoot!

    Rich
     
  18. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I was in a bar just outside the Brooklyn Navy Yard when my ship went to NYC for liberty and asked the bartender for a Schaefer beer if he had it on tap. He said he had lots of beers on tap and I'd never be able to tell the difference between Schaefer beer and any other tap beer. Told him he was wrong and to take whatever he had just given me back cause it sure wasn't Schaefer. Long story short: He bet me that I couldn't keep telling him if the beers he served me were Schaefer or another brand. We settled on Miller's, Ballantine, Pabst and Schaefer as the beers I had to choose from. Never missed all night long. He simply could not believe it. Said he been pouring beer for ?? years and had never seen anyone that could taste the difference in beers after they'd had a couple. So, I won a few bucks, got thoroughly tanked on the house, all because he could not believe in his own fallibility.

    You sound like that bartender. I can see the difference between 720p and 1080i, especially on Fox. I think the difference is glaringly obvious.

    Rich
     
  19. sregener

    sregener Godfather

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    While I agree with you that I can see the difference, a true double-blind test would have certain parameters that don't exist in the typical real-world environment.

    First, you would need to view on a two native sets. In other words, no fair watching a 720p signal on a 1080i monitor or vice versa. And definitely no 1080p monitors. That introduces re-encoding errors at the monitor level, making the quality of the encoder an issue.

    Second, you would need to source the material with native cameras. In other words, a 720p and 1080i camera side-by-side.

    Third, you would need to use the same bandwidth. I know the rumors that say you can squeeze 720p into a smaller bandwidth, but in absolute bits, 720p only uses 12% fewer bits than 1080i.

    You'd need to use the best encoders for each.

    I don't have the means to conduct such a test, and I doubt most of the rest of you do, either. What is clear is that in the real world, 720p doesn't look as sharp as 1080i on highly detailed images.
     
  20. damondlt

    damondlt New Member

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    What is clear is that in the real world, 720p doesn't look as sharp as 1080i on highly detailed images.
    I agree

    Sent from my PantechP8010 using DBSTalk mobile app
     

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