Even with stat mux, DBS vendors ration out the max number of bits for a particular channel, and sometimes the decisions they make are based on how "important" such a channel might be in their minds rather than on the physics involved, which in the case of a channel which has a lot of moving video and quick-cut editing, means it needs a higher bit rate to avoid bit-starving and the resultant pixellation.
Every single bit delivered costs money. More bits = increased overhead. PPV, PPV sports, premium channels, and high-demand basic channels such as ESPN, USA, etc., are usually allocated more bits. On the one hand it makes sense to ensure that your high-dollar channels always have good PQ, but doing that at the expense of the lower-tier channels is somewhat empty-headed and ends up being a disservice to the paying customers.
The must-carry bit crunch underlined this perfectly, when vendors squeezed every channel as much as possible, and since they got away with it, what might be a strong enough force to get them to remedy it? As much as viewers want better PQ, what are we going to do, go back to cable? Not until their PQ surpasses DBS, which isn't going to happen anytime soon.
CNN Headline news may not require as good PQ as any of the numerous PPV channels, nor does a channel with that content demand it, but a channel like MTV2 which physically needs the extra bits to provide even the same PQ as CNNHD ends up looking like hammered dog s*** when not enough bits are allocated.
I realize that's pretty much all opinion, but I'm also reasonably assured that this is exactly what's going on here.
Thanks TomCat. I talked to dish the other day and they tried to tell me I was having a problem with the lnb, which I have since ruled out. The problem is only on channels from transponder 21. Which there is nothing but mtv2 that I watch on that transponder. I have over 100 in signal strength on trans 21 but it will ocassionaly drop to 0 and lose lock, tech was mystified(surprise)!
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