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· Mentor
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Embedded in a B&C online article about Dish's plan to offer 1080P/24 VOD movies was this:

Broadcasting & Cable said:
Dish delivered a software download to its new MPEG-4 HD digital-video-recorder set-tops that will enable them to receive HD video encoded in the 1080p/24 frames-per-second format -- the same format that Blu-ray movies are mastered in.
My question for the technically astute among us: if Dish can download this capability for VOD movies, does that imply that Dish could (after writing the software) download the capability for native rate pass through of OTA channels? I've longed for this capability for a long time, as I would dearly like to bypass the Dish receiver's processor in favor of my equipment. Thoughts?
 

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I think that Dish always could do it, even before this 1080p VOD announcement. Now, why they haven't, I don't know.

This has been the #1 feature request from users, IRC.
 

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Unless there is something REALLY weird about the electronics in the receiver, it has always been possible... but just not high on the priority list for the programmer/developers to code and test apparently. I suspect that outside of forums like this and those of us who care and understand a little, that the vast majority of Dish customers like to just set things and forget about it.

My father has cable, for example, and his cable box can do native passthrough... and he can set it up however he wants by telling the box what resolutions his TV accepts and then the box switches on the fly whenever he changes channels. I know this because I was housesitting one day and playing with his remote and checking out the cable channels... but when I told him about it he just wasn't that interested in it and ultimately liked having it just set for 1080i on everything and done.
 

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I have some doubts about "pass through" possibilities in the ViP DVRs with regard to regular TV programming based on what were somewhat limited explanations of the recording system in the TiVo vs Echostar thread. I have asked in other threads if anyone smarter than me might know something about this.

However, they may not be using the same system in the uploads to your drive with VOD programming in 1080p. Maybe someone who knows more about this stuff can speculate about this.
 

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phrelin said:
I have some doubts about "pass through" possibilities in the ViP DVRs with regard to regular TV programming based on what were somewhat limited explanations of the recording system in the TiVo vs Echostar thread. I have asked in other threads if anyone smarter than me might know something about this.
I know logic doesn't always apply... but think about it logically...

OTA and satellite programming comes in many flavors. 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i

Right now you configure your receiver to output one resolution for everything: 480i, 480p, 720p, or 1080i.

So clearly the receiver has the ability to convert everything into everything else AND the ability to pass through something that is already at your set resolution.

Logically, then, the receiver has to be able to do native passthrough. It would simply require a table of some sort to be stored in memory instead of just the one resolution setting so that instead of converting everything to one resolution it only converts what you want it to convert.

So technically it simply has to be possible. And as an old programmer, I can't believe it would be terribly difficult to code either... but I have always suspected it is just so far down the priority chain that we might never see it.
 

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HDMe said:
I know logic doesn't always apply... but think about it logically...

OTA and satellite programming comes in many flavors. 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i

Right now you configure your receiver to output one resolution for everything: 480i, 480p, 720p, or 1080i.

So clearly the receiver has the ability to convert everything into everything else AND the ability to pass through something that is already at your set resolution.

Logically, then, the receiver has to be able to do native passthrough. It would simply require a table of some sort to be stored in memory instead of just the one resolution setting so that instead of converting everything to one resolution it only converts what you want it to convert.

So technically it simply has to be possible. And as an old programmer, I can't believe it would be terribly difficult to code either... but I have always suspected it is just so far down the priority chain that we might never see it.
I don't think that statement is necessarily true.

Do we know that all four formats are sent over the satellite?
The programming comes to Dish in four formats, that's obvious.
And obviously the box can output four formats to your TV.

But for all I know, in the step from satellite to receiver Dish could be sending all SD in 480i and all HD in 720p and let the box handle the conversion to 480p or 1080i.
 

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On a similar topic. I have a Pannny 50PX600U Plasma, 768 panel. Should I set the VIP722 to 720p or to 1080i? I've tried both and I can't see the difference (they both look great).
 

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Redlinetire said:
Do we know that all four formats are sent over the satellite?
Yes ... for at least three of the four.

Ethical hackers with the right equipment have been able to see that there are certain HD feeds transmitted on the satellite as 1080 and others transmitted as 720. The SDs are transmitted in 480. There is a difference between the channels on the satellite.

Where "pass though" gets lost on satellite signals is that the satellite signal is compressed and (especially on DVRs) run through a buffer. There is nothing of value to "pass through". HD monitors are expecting to see one of the 18 approved ATSC formats on their inputs. What is actually passed via satellite is NOT one of those formats. Some sets might be able to handle the compressed resolution ... most won't.

So what you end up with is a "native recreation" not "native pass through". The receiver recreating a 720p signal if the original source network was 720p - or recreating a 1080i signal if the original source was 1080i.

For OTAs a pass though might be possible ... after all, OTA stations are required to use one of the 18 formats and can't use the compression formats permitted via satellite. This would be only for OTAs received by the receiver OTA ... not for OTAs received via satellite.

The "Turbo" software upgrade that allows 1080p demonstrates that other codecs are possible. DISH isn't limited to just the four formats that were shipped with the ViP series. There is the possibility of enhancement. But it does not specifically help deliver "native pass though" (unless some network actually changes to 1080p - and I wish they would - 1080p24 live via satellite is a good resolution for movies).
 

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James Long said:
Yes ... for at least three of the four.

Ethical hackers with the right equipment have been able to see that there are certain HD feeds transmitted on the satellite as 1080 and others transmitted as 720. The SDs are transmitted in 480. There is a difference between the channels on the satellite.

Where "pass though" gets lost on satellite signals is that the satellite signal is compressed and (especially on DVRs) run through a buffer. There is nothing of value to "pass through". HD monitors are expecting to see one of the 18 approved ATSC formats on their inputs. What is actually passed via satellite is NOT one of those formats. Some sets might be able to handle the compressed resolution ... most won't.

So what you end up with is a "native recreation" not "native pass through". The receiver recreating a 720p signal if the original source network was 720p - or recreating a 1080i signal if the original source was 1080i.

For OTAs a pass though might be possible ... after all, OTA stations are required to use one of the 18 formats and can't use the compression formats permitted via satellite. This would be only for OTAs received by the receiver OTA ... not for OTAs received via satellite.

The "Turbo" software upgrade that allows 1080p demonstrates that other codecs are possible. DISH isn't limited to just the four formats that were shipped with the ViP series. There is the possibility of enhancement. But it does not specifically help deliver "native pass though" (unless some network actually changes to 1080p - and I wish they would - 1080p24 live via satellite is a good resolution for movies).
Ah, good stuff. Thanks James.
 

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James Long said:
Yes ... for at least three of the four.

Ethical hackers with the right equipment have been able to see that there are certain HD feeds transmitted on the satellite as 1080 and others transmitted as 720. The SDs are transmitted in 480. There is a difference between the channels on the satellite.

Where "pass though" gets lost on satellite signals is that the satellite signal is compressed and (especially on DVRs) run through a buffer. There is nothing of value to "pass through". HD monitors are expecting to see one of the 18 approved ATSC formats on their inputs. What is actually passed via satellite is NOT one of those formats. Some sets might be able to handle the compressed resolution ... most won't.

So what you end up with is a "native recreation" not "native pass through". The receiver recreating a 720p signal if the original source network was 720p - or recreating a 1080i signal if the original source was 1080i.

For OTAs a pass though might be possible ... after all, OTA stations are required to use one of the 18 formats and can't use the compression formats permitted via satellite. This would be only for OTAs received by the receiver OTA ... not for OTAs received via satellite.

The "Turbo" software upgrade that allows 1080p demonstrates that other codecs are possible. DISH isn't limited to just the four formats that were shipped with the ViP series. There is the possibility of enhancement. But it does not specifically help deliver "native pass though" (unless some network actually changes to 1080p - and I wish they would - 1080p24 live via satellite is a good resolution for movies).
Thanks for the explanation. I thought the explanation would be something like that but I'm not knowledgeable about this stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm interested in native rate OTA for the reasons James stated. Once one had read his explanation of what is coming from the satellite, native rate on anything other than OTA seems implausible.
 

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tcatdbs said:
On a similar topic. I have a Pannny 50PX600U Plasma, 768 panel. Should I set the VIP722 to 720p or to 1080i? I've tried both and I can't see the difference (they both look great).
It won't matter much, because either way, the picture has to be scaled to match your panel's resolution. 720 is upscaled, and 1080 is downscaled.
 

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One of the concerns I have regarding native pass-through is how 720p material is handled.

Certain sports events on ESPN, Fox and ABC are shot with video cameras in 720p/60 and broadcast over the air in that 60 progressive frames per second format. Does Dish Network maintain the 60fps rate for 720p/60 material? Or do they do something like drop the frame rate down to 30fps to save bandwidth?
 

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62Lincoln said:
I'm interested in native rate OTA for the reasons James stated. Once one had read his explanation of what is coming from the satellite, native rate on anything other than OTA seems implausible.
Wouldn't HDMe's logic of post #5 still apply? The receiver is already taking the not-always-full HD signal and outputting it to one of four formats for your TV. That part won't change.

"I'll get that done." (maybe this summer) --Dan Minnick, May 2006 Tech Forum

Now that 1080p is here, they can write the feature once rather than having to go back and modify what could have been in use for the past nearly 2 years.
 

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DISH should work on "native reconstruction" for those who want it. I'm not sure the demand is very heavy. "Native pass through" for OTA is the second thought.

One other thing ... every image I see on my receivers is manipulated by the receiver. There are on screen overlays, PIP, etc. Even closed captioning is overlaid by the receiver. A true "pass though" would eliminate that - so even a OTA wouldn't be 100% pass through (gotta allow for the the overlays) and on a DVR signals are buffered to the hard drive before display.

The best we can hope for is "native reconstruction". Changing the output of the receiver on the fly to match the input. Still, not a bad idea.
 
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