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Pixelation on locals.

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by greggg, Feb 4, 2004.

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  1. stickyfingers

    stickyfingers Legend

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    Is there any point to distinguishing between SD and PPV..? They're both SD. As far as differentiating between capacity and compression - while they are not *entirely* dependent it is certainly true that the larger the capacity the more compression required to fit all the channels in resulting in a degradation of PQ.

    Brian
     
  2. James Long

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

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    PPV is granted more bandwidth/less compression than normal "SD". They both may come out of your receiver in 480i SD, but PPV is given the chance of the better picture. (Good, since people are paying $3.99 per day for the movies or even more for sporting events.)

    The larger the capacity, the less compression needed (to carry the same number of channels). The larger the demand for capacity, the more capacity or compression needed to fill that demand.

    What I was referring to is unusing or misusing capacity by not using compression properly. One can put one channel per transponder and still get lousy PQ if they mess up the compression.

    JL
     
  3. Mike123abc

    Mike123abc Hall Of Fame/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    A typical Dish transponder (QPSK 5/6 FEC 188/204 RS) runs 30.7 mbit/second.
    If there are 12 channels on the transponder, and each channel got its share of the bandwidth they would each get 2.5 mbit/sec. Now the channels share the bandwidth dynamically. So, in theory if one channel has a lot of action it can get more bandwidth at the expense of a channel with low action. The DBS provider can also prioritize channels so they always get more bits at the expense of a different channel if the bandwidth is short.

    So, channels that the DBS company wants to look good share the transponder with fewer other channels. And they are given bit priority when it comes to sharing. They are all standard resolution but with less compression you get less blockiness which makes the picture look sharper and better color definition.

    The problem with locals is that they are essentially compressed 2 times. The channels are received at the point of presence (POP) in the DMA. Note that this can be a problem too, as some channels are received via an antenna, some come in via fiber. They are compressed, now I do not know if they have dynamic or fixed bandwidth at the POP. Then they are sent to the up-link center where they are essentially re-compressed because they have to mix in channels from other cities.
     
  4. James Long

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

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    It is possible to do the compression once and simply merge the MPEG streams. Some of the professional equipment I found online while looking for a home MPEG2 sat card can do that easily. The trick would be to set the budget properly so when all are added together they don't exceed capacity. The problem is that by setting the budget low you lose overhead.

    It is part of the federal regulations on locals to provide the same bandwidth to all stations in a DMA --- no favorites. PIs are also granted a basic minimum bandwidth for their money.

    JL
     
  5. greggg

    greggg Legend

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    Dec 3, 2003
    I really am not that technically inclined so can someone tell me how all week CBS can look awful, but come football Sunday the picture is as good as I get on the Movie Channels?
     
  6. Mike D-CO5

    Mike D-CO5 Hall Of Fame

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    I noticed a significant drop in quality on my Little Rock locals too, about a month and a half ago when they added the hd channels to the 110 satellite. I have talked to many engineers with the dishquality department and they keep telling me that the Pulsation signal I am seeing is uhf interference. Since I had terk 44 antenna hooked up to my dish I bypased the terk on my 50 inch big screen and used the connections from the lnb straight to the receiver and I still see the pulsation of the signal. I also have another dish 500 twin dish and it is hooked up to a second 721 in my bedroom and to a 27 inch tv. I still see the same thing on this tv as I do on my dish500 quad dish and my 50 inch tv. So I don't believe it has anything to do with the terk atenna. My dad also has it on his dish and his 32 inch tv. So it is not a uhf interference issue. Now before the hd channels were added to the 110 sat , I noticed some problems with audio and video on certain channels but now the channels are highly pixelated and the obvious compression is killing the video quality of these channels. Now I also have New York and L.A. channels and they look fine. They look as good as any national cable channel that Dish has. The picture will look fine and then every two seconds it will pulste and a white spideryweb will cover the picture and then it will start all over again. What good is having your locals if they are unwatchable?
     
  7. Mike Richardson

    Mike Richardson Banned User

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    Right now the DISH 500 slots are a little unoptimal to me when I look at them in Lyng Sat. For example some former distant cities could be moved to spot beams, and some channels could be rearranged to fix bad PQ as well, and in the end, I think a whole transponder could be freed although subsequently occupied by HD channels. Mike DC05 said in the other thread though that DISH could reduce error correction on the HD transponders which means that possibly in exchange for more rainfade on HD channels and maybe a slight bitrate reduction on the channels, an extra HD channel could be fit onto each HD transponder. But if they do this it should be done carefully as not to degrade the quality.
     
  8. greggg

    greggg Legend

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    CO5 that is my big knock on Dish and if I stick around these boards long enough people will be sick of me saying this, but that is what they do. They blame you or your equipment. Now that I got the BP up it's time to rant a little. This is an example of Dish oiling the squeaky wheel. People have been on these boards and I am sure Peppering E* with demand for HD. Well people got it at the expense of quality on SD. E* figures people have Antennas for locals so what does it matter if they po a small group like myself who can't use one. Well maybe it's time for me to put a complaint call in, something I haven't done for 5 years. Maybe they will listen a little as I have had their most expensive package hooked up to 4 tv's for about 8 years now. HD at the expense of SD quality is baloney, and I love HD.
     
  9. Link

    Link Hall Of Fame

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    That's odd. I get locals plus Chicago distants and ABC 7 WLS always has a sharp clear picture while my local ABC one doesn't look as good on Dish.
     
  10. stickyfingers

    stickyfingers Legend

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    Jan 7, 2004
    Well it seems like, if this thread is any sort of barometer, E* has really sacrificed local channel PQ to move the HD channels. Since at this point, though I'm one of them, HD subs make up what...3% of all subs...it sure seems like they shoulda left the HD channels where they were and installed second dishes for HD subs.

    Brian
     
  11. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

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    I don't understand... I just GOT a SuperDish. How could it have been DUMPED?
     
  12. greggg

    greggg Legend

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    Capmeister maybe you got one of the few that got out, but my understanding is that you can't get one anymore. I tried, and was told basically that E* was moving the HD channels from the wings and I could pick them up off my 500, and I wouldn't need superdish. Maybe someone can shed some light on this. It also could be I misinterpreted what they said. I was of the thinking that they were holding off on mass roll-out or even stopping roll-out indefinitely. That would clearly not be the case if you got one.
     
  13. Mike123abc

    Mike123abc Hall Of Fame/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    What was dumpped was the plan to put all the HDTV on the superdish (sat 105). Instead the HDTV channels were put on 110. To do this they moved all the locals around that are on national beams. Currently there are about 5 transponders on 110 used for locals. They used to be 8 or so channels per beam/transponder prior to the HD move, now they are packed in at 11-12/transponder. This is how most of the spot beams are packed, so really it is now the same as the rest of the country.

    SuperDish is now only for locals in smaller markets. This saves having to provide a superdish everywhere. 75%+ or so of the population will not need superdish, it saves a lot of $$.

    When Echostar 10 launches next year the 5 CONUS LIL beams will probably move to spots on EX, but since EX will need tranponder frequencies to run, it will probably take the 5 frequencies being used for CONUS LIL right now for spot LIL. The question will be if Dish will add new markets to these spots, or will use them to reduce the load on existing spots, thereby improving local picture quality.

    As a reference, most of the national feeds are arranged 10 channels/transponders, locals go up to 13 channels/transponder, but most are probably 11/transponder.
     
  14. James Long

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

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    I've been looking at that question for a few weeks now, and working out why some CONUS transponders seem more loaded than others ...
    110 TP1 - 10 channels, but 6 are movie channels
    110 TP3 - 10 channels, but 8 are PPV channels
    110 TP5 - 12 channels, LIL Roanoke/LittleRock (also typical of spot beams)
    110 TP7 - 2 HD
    110 TP9 - 12 SD, including 10 spanish channels
    110 TP11 - 11 channels, including 4 movie channels
    110 TP12 - 10 channels, LIL Lexington/Knoxville
    110 TP13 - 2 HD
    110 TP14 - 10 channels, Denver Dishnets and LIL Jackson
    110 TP15 - 10 channels (mostly PI), PLUS OPEN TV Data Feeds
    110 TP16 - 11 channels, Atlanta Dishnets and LIL Atlanta/Dallas
    110 TP17 - 2 HD
    110 TP18 - 11 channels, including 4 movie channels
    110 TP19 - 2 HD
    110 TP20 - 11 channels, Chicago Dishnets and LIL Springfield
    110 TP21 - 7 channels, includes 4 movie channels and 9900 - PLUS the EPG
    110 TP22 - 9-11 channels, including 6 PPV and two commercial sports
    110 TP23 - 11 channels, including 1 PPV (sports)
    110 TP24 - NHL / NBA / Extra sports feeds
    110 TP25 - 11 channels, including 2 PPV
    110 TP26 - 9 channels, including 3 PPV (may be 10 channels)
    110 TP27 - 10 channels, including 8 PPV
    110 TP29 - 7 channels, including 6 PPV - PLUS Extended EPG Data
    110 TP31 - 11 channels, including 4 PPV

    If one gives PPV and movie channels 125% of the bandwidth of normal SD, all transponders are near equally loaded ... and that includes AT180 channels on 12 SD per transponder arrangements.

    Spin over to 119 (and perhaps I'll finish the chart later)
    The busiest transponder is 119 TP6 with 12 channels plus 1 audio channel. Three of those channels are HBO movie channels! Another busy transponder is 119 TP8 with 10 channels plus 8 audio channels, two movie channels on that transponder. Many of the transponders, carrying core programs not just LILs, are just as busy.

    12 SDs per transponder is not uncommon. Spot beams with less than 12 probably just don't have twelve stations in the markets the beam covers. The old school approach of all locals on the same spot within a market has been broken to use some of that wasted capacity.

    JL
     
  15. greggg

    greggg Legend

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    So what is the bigger determining factor in PQ? Transponders or overall satellite load? Both? What am I supposed to get from the analysis. All I can say is that my stuff on 110 is worse and by a large margin than the stuff on 119. My wife commented when watching American Idol yesterday that the picture was as bad as she has seen it. After the show she switched to a movie channel and it was a lot better.
     
  16. Mike D-CO5

    Mike D-CO5 Hall Of Fame

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    I agree the 110 sat is screwed up since they added the hd channels . I can't even get an e-mail back from dishquality department since I sent them an e-mail that asked this question : Why are you compressing the quality of the local channels till they are all like streaming video? They have up to this point replied to everyone. My suspicion is that they don't want to acknowledge the questions since the answer is they are compressing the sh*t out of the signal. Either way this didn't begin till they moved the hd channels to the 110 sat. Why do the majority of subs have to pay with crappy locals just so a small minority can have hd on the main dish 500 satellite?

    It makes the dvr useless for network shows. The main reason why anyone would want a dvr is so they can record their favorite programs. The one thing Dish had that the stand alone Tivo doesn't have, was the same great picture quality from the satellite. Stand alone Tivos degrades the image a bit when it records anything from the satellite or antenna or cable. Now the Tivo actually looks good with my ota antenna when you compare it to the satellite quality of my Little Rock locals. Really how many people record that many shows from the satellite national channels. I record some movies and Sex in the city and some other hbo shows but I primarily record the network shows.

    If cable ever goes all digital in my area and I mean true digital on the nets and comes up with a dvr , then I might consider switching back. Maybe satellite has seen it's heyday and with all the pressure to have hd and all the locals is ruining what little picture quality is left with the Dish.
     
  17. Mike Richardson

    Mike Richardson Banned User

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    I think if DISH can get 3 HD channels per transponder then significant space could be freed to improve PQ as well as add a new HD channel. Right now 4 transponders hold 8 HD channels. If that could change to 3 transponders holding 9 HD channels then a new HD channel could be added, and some pressure could flow onto the newly freed transponder to improve PQ. And if they move some of the former distant nets cities onto spot beams, I believe that approximately up to one whole transponder could be freed on 119. When Echostar X goes up, they should make optimized use of the spot beam frequencies and perhaps free up more transponder(s).
     
  18. James Long

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

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    PQ comes from compression. An overloaded transponder requires more compression to get that many programs online. Overall satellite load does not have an effect on individual transponders (although at a higher level, the more transponders one has active, the more power drain on the bird ... but that shouldn't affect PQ).

    What I'd like people to get from the analysis is that locals are given the same chance as any other SD program. 1/12th of a transponder's bandwidth. ONLY movie, PPV and HD channels get more than 1/12th of a transponder. Unless you dedicate half a transponder to each SD channel you will get compression. IIRC E* uses dynamic compression, which allows one channel to "borrow" bandwidth that other channels are not using. Channels that have the screen changing too fast can borrow from the other channels, up to the size limit of the transponder.

    That would be a fair comment. Movie channels are granted a little more bandwidth. But normal AT channels such as FoxNews, CNN, Disney, Discovery, and MTV all are at the same 1/12th of a transponder level of service as LILs. If it truely was a bandwidth issue there would be more screwy channels, including on 119. There are plenty of busy transponders there too.

    JL
     
  19. mattyro

    mattyro Legend

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    Nov 26, 2002
    I would like to add that w/o the HD channels going to 110--I would have no HD from Dish. I cant get a Superdish cuz my address has "problems". I think sacrificing your locals PQ for my HD is more than a fair trade-off. But thats just my opinion.
     
  20. greggg

    greggg Legend

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    Matt maybe maybe not, but I think you are answering the question as to why E* went this route. I notice you didn't mention locals of yours and how you are obtaining them. I can't use an antenna which leaves me cable, which is bad or DBS which is less bad. I won't leave E* because of this and they picked up more revenue by adding you to HD. Simple math for them PO me but get a new customer. Gotta love American business.
     
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