DBSTalk Forum banner
1 - 20 of 47 Posts

· Icon
Joined
·
912 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Maybe a stupid question, so please don't pounce on me. Just wondering if it's up to DirecTV or the content providers to show a channel in plain SD or upconverted SD. Obviously, it's a lot better watching stuff in upconverted SD than plain SD (sharper picture, better colors, readable text, etc.), so I'm just wondering how feasible it would be for DirecTV to upconvert every channel they carry, even if that channel is not technically in HD...
 

· Hall Of Fame
Joined
·
3,862 Posts
The problems with SD picture quality aren't on the provider's end, they are in DirecTV's MPEG encoding and broadcast process. Even if you started with a true HD source from the provider and passed it through the typical DirecTV SD channel distribution pipeline, it would look as mediocre as the other SD channels on DirecTV.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5,915 Posts
cartrivision said:
The problems with SD picture quality aren't on the provider's end, they are in DirecTV's MPEG encoding and broadcast process. Even if you started with a true HD source from the provider and passed it through the typical DirecTV SD channel distribution pipeline, it would look as mediocre as the other SD channels on DirecTV.
True and not true. Some channel providers come in at a lower quality even to directv I believe.

Look at some channels like Comedy Central and G4. They look like complete crap even compared to some of the other SD stations. They also are noticeably worse quality than other stations on some other services (such as cable) that I have seen.

Then on the flip side, look at the discovery network channels which are all pretty decent, even in SD.
 

· Icon
Joined
·
912 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
gfrang said:
If you have a hdtv it will up convert sd to the tv's native resolution.
I do have an HDTV, obviously, a Pioneer Elite plasma TV, which is why, when watching upconverted SD content on HD channels (like, for instance, most of non-game material on RSNs), it looks much better than, say, Fox News, which is in plain SD.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
41,526 Posts
pablo said:
I do have an HDTV, obviously, a Pioneer Elite plasma TV, which is why, when watching upconverted SD content on HD channels (like, for instance, most of non-game material on RSNs), it looks much better than, say, Fox News, which is in plain SD.
DirecTV doesn't "upconvert", but simply pass along the signal, BUT SD through DirecTV is way too compressed to have much PQ.
 

· Beware the Attack Basset
Joined
·
26,592 Posts
Grentz said:
True and not true. Some channel providers come in at a lower quality even to directv I believe.
Have you contemplated that the channels in question may be getting hashed by DIRECTV and that the network feeds are just fine? DIRECTV has (and uses) the capability to allocate bandwidth channel by channel and that's likely where the degradation you see is coming from.

I'm betting that Comcast isn't sending up a signal that looks like it is compressed to perdition. Instead, they're sending content that the carriers don't feel compelled to devote much bandwidth to.
 

· Hall Of Fame
Joined
·
1,336 Posts
pablo said:
I do have an HDTV, obviously, a Pioneer Elite plasma TV, which is why, when watching upconverted SD content on HD channels (like, for instance, most of non-game material on RSNs), it looks much better than, say, Fox News, which is in plain SD.
I feel that any up conversion is best done at the source rather at the tv,but as others said compression has a lot to do with it.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
24,401 Posts
pablo said:
Maybe a stupid question, so please don't pounce on me. Just wondering if it's up to DirecTV or the content providers to show a channel in plain SD or upconverted SD. Obviously, it's a lot better watching stuff in upconverted SD than plain SD (sharper picture, better colors, readable text, etc.), so I'm just wondering how feasible it would be for DirecTV to upconvert every channel they carry, even if that channel is not technically in HD...
The "upconverted" SD that Directv puts out via the HD channels is something that is being given to them by the broadcaster. That signal is in HD resolution from the moment it leaves a broadcasters facility. Directv does not up convert or downconvert anything. The only thing they do is compression... They will never be responsible for doing up converting...
 

· Godfather
Joined
·
274 Posts
If Directv stopped over-compressing SD channels as they are currently doing, that would probably remedy at least 90% of the problem. SD can generally look quite good if it isn't being compressed into the crap we see on most Directv SD channels.
 

· Hall Of Fame
Joined
·
6,417 Posts
I doubt we will ever any improvement to SD, in other words less compression. The movement to HD has put any chance of expanded bandwidth for the SD channels out to pasture. The money to be made down the road is in HD and higher dollar subscriptions. If people don't want to upgrade their TV sets they can at least get an HD receiver and watch downconverted HD channels, which look awesome on older equipment.
 

· Godfather
Joined
·
274 Posts
davring said:
I doubt we will ever any improvement to SD, in other words less compression. The movement to HD has put any chance of expanded bandwidth for the SD channels out to pasture. The money to be made down the road is in HD and higher dollar subscriptions. If people don't want to upgrade their TV sets they can at least get an HD receiver and watch downconverted HD channels, which look awesome on older equipment.
The problem with your argument is the fact that there is much more programming material currently (and probably for a long time to come) available in SD 4X3 format than there is in HD. Secondly, many channels whose primary programming is in the SD 4X3 format will probably not be going HD for a long time, if ever. Directv and all the other providers should be transmitting ALL channels, be they HD or SD, in the best possible quality. That's what I am paying for and that's what I expect.
 

· Hall Of Fame
Joined
·
3,862 Posts
Grentz said:
True and not true. Some channel providers come in at a lower quality even to directv I believe.

Look at some channels like Comedy Central and G4. They look like complete crap even compared to some of the other SD stations. They also are noticeably worse quality than other stations on some other services (such as cable) that I have seen.

Then on the flip side, look at the discovery network channels which are all pretty decent, even in SD.
Just because picture quality varies between channels doesn't mean that it is because of a difference in the quality of the source. DirecTV does not process and compress every SD channel exactly the same way and the non-uniform PQ of different SD channels has to do with variations in the compression choices and other factors under DirecTV's control. It has little or nothing to do with the source from the provider.
 

· Godfather
Joined
·
274 Posts
davring said:
More and more stations, even the ones with mostly SD content, are changing over to HD and when they broadcast the old material via HD equipment there is a big improvement in PQ.
I'm not sure that you're replying to my last posting.....but yes, I'm aware of that. I still maintain that it will be a long time until all the present SD channels carried by Directv switch to a HD standard like 720p or 1080i and even if they do, will Directv have the bandwidth to carry them as HD channels? My point remains that there is a big problem with their over-compressing SD channels and that this needs to be addressed now or in the very near future.
 

· Hall Of Fame
Joined
·
6,417 Posts
oldcrooner said:
I'm not sure that you're replying to my last posting.....but yes, I'm aware of that. I still maintain that it will be a long time until all the present SD channels carried by Directv switch to a HD standard like 720p or 1080i and even if they do, will Directv have the bandwidth to carry them as HD channels? My point remains that there is a big problem with their over-compressing SD channels and that this needs to be addressed now or in the very near future.
I agree with you the SD channels look pretty bad. My belief is they probably are not going to do anything about it. The most popular channels, the ones that generate the most revenue(most watched) have already made the upgrade. When color was introduced I don't think anyone made much effort to continue to improve B&W sets or broadcast equipment, it was more or less left to fade away. DirecTV will have more bandwidth available to them when they quit providing SD altogether and provide SD tuners to receive the HD channels. SD picture quality didn't start to degrade until they started providing HD and took away the bandwidth from the SD channels and the next step, as I see it, will be the slow demise of SD duplicates altogether.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
24,401 Posts
oldcrooner said:
If Directv stopped over-compressing SD channels as they are currently doing, that would probably remedy at least 90% of the problem. SD can generally look quite good if it isn't being compressed into the crap we see on most Directv SD channels.
I know Directv's sd quality isn't what it used to be... but everyone also needs to remember... If your watching SD on a TV that's larger than 32" or if your watching it on an HD set, it will never look as good as it used to, no matter what they do.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5,915 Posts
cartrivision said:
Just because picture quality varies between channels doesn't mean that it is because of a difference in the quality of the source. DirecTV does not process and compress every SD channel exactly the same way and the non-uniform PQ of different SD channels has to do with variations in the compression choices and other factors under DirecTV's control. It has little or nothing to do with the source from the provider.
harsh said:
Have you contemplated that the channels in question may be getting hashed by DIRECTV and that the network feeds are just fine? DIRECTV has (and uses) the capability to allocate bandwidth channel by channel and that's likely where the degradation you see is coming from.

I'm betting that Comcast isn't sending up a signal that looks like it is compressed to perdition. Instead, they're sending content that the carriers don't feel compelled to devote much bandwidth to.
You guys, I realize that. Read the rest of my post....

I have seen that those channels look worse on other providers as well compared to their other SD stations (Mediacom, Comcast, and TimeWarner if you want names).

I am well aware that Directv allocates bandwidth to certain channels as do other providers, but I was talking about an overall with some channels (like G4 and comedy central) is that they look poorer than even standard SD on many providers, not just Directv.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
24,401 Posts
oldcrooner said:
The problem with your argument is the fact that there is much more programming material currently (and probably for a long time to come) available in SD 4X3 format than there is in HD. Secondly, many channels whose primary programming is in the SD 4X3 format will probably not be going HD for a long time, if ever. Directv and all the other providers should be transmitting ALL channels, be they HD or SD, in the best possible quality. That's what I am paying for and that's what I expect.
I don't see a single channel not going to HD with in 4 years still being in exsistance in 6 years... Not all programing needs to be in HD, but as so many channels convert to HD, consumers will stop watching the couple that never made the switch for any of its programming... And the number of channels not in HD is shrinking by the day. In fact, are we not over 50% of channels that are on Directv now available in HD, somewhere, if not via Directv yet? (I'm not counting LIL stations) I mean even QVC is HD now...

I think that Directv is going to be aggressively converting a lot of LIL markets to HD... and as they do this, the SD will go away in those markets, no matter if a customer has a sd or hd tv. boxes will downconvert. That will free up bandwidth for better sd quality, but then if you were Directv, would you use the additonal bandwidth for sd or more HD, and more services and features?
 

· Hall Of Fame
Joined
·
1,815 Posts
I have noticed that on channels like Food network that have both a SD and HD channel, and sometimes both channels are showing the same SD broadcast, that the HD channel version looks better than the regular SD channel verison of the same SD show. I don't know where the compression is happening but the SD channel's feed does get more bit starved than does the HD channel version.

This on a large 61 inch DLP with aspect ratio non-stretched.
 
1 - 20 of 47 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top