DirecTV Voom and others dumping Microsoft for MPEG

Yeehaa! Looks like we will be getting some new HD receivers this year! :cool: Check out this article! :stuck_out_tongue: Everyones going to MPEG 4 baby! :slight_smile:

As the satellite TV operators aim to provide as much content as possible with limited expensive satellite bandwidth, they started looking for an advanced video codec that offer the best efficiency. While Microsoft is able to offer good quality to size ratio, satellite operators seem to prefer to avoid proprietary codec’s and most have decided on MPEG 4. Not only does DirecTV plan on moving its HDTV broadcasts to MPEG 4, but ultimately plans to replace its consumer’s existing HDTV set-top boxes to handle the new format, although it is not clear if they will fully cover the replacement cost of the new receivers.

Read the whole story here.

That’s a good step, I really appreciate that HDTV finally moves to mpeg4.

Does MPEG4 allow them to compress (read lower quality picture) more than the others? I have the idea that they will be giving us the same crappy compressed picture that they do on the other “digital” channels.

Also, can it still be called “HD” if it’s not in the “standard” HD codec? I’m assuming that broadcast HDTV is not in MPEG4.

Well someone kick my ass if I’m wrong. But the bandwidth strapped DirecTV is already using heavy compression! I think this is why people keep saying Voom has a better picture as maybe they don’t stream the same way. I hope that when they put up the new satellites and go to Mpeg4 we will say what the heck this is better. Hopefully someone will pipe in here and straighten me out or confirm my statement. Grimes I think Mpeg4 will be great as long as your screen is not 100 inches diagonal. I am thinking of Nero Digital. :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s true that they can over-compress any format.
Don’t hold your breath on the new satellites. The first 2 are slated for local channels only with some special programming mixed in. Not untill the last 2 sats in something like 2-3 years time will they add more HD programming. At least that’s the current plan. If their approach to the local HD channels is like their approach to the regular locals, the quality will be low. I get a better picture on my 52" from an off-air antennae than I do from DirecTV. (on local channels)

My fear is that they will continue to over-compress ALL the channels, including HD, and keep cramming more channels into the same bandwidth.

I also suspect that my audio issues are the result of compression.

Guess you can tell I’m not a big DTV fan. :wink: HDTV seems a very low priority to them. :frowning:

I guess you are right about the expansion of High Def. Only 12 markets have been announced so far and it is just local channels. I would take it though as I can’t pick em up with a OTA antenna from the berg I live in.

In addition, by reading between the lines in the Press release I think we can determine that present HD programming is being sent to us via MPEG2 and being decompresssed by our receivers. Hence, we can also now determine why you are experiencing audio dropouts and I am not. I will also hazard a guess that your new receiver will take care of this issue. I saw that DirecTV booth when I was at CES but I faied to visit. Iwish I would have now, so I could have seen the MPEG4 demo. Rats!

At first I was having a hard time deciphering WHY they are so bent on providing local HD channels before offering more premium HD channels. But this quote from the press release explains it:

“We believe the addition of HD local channels to our programming lineup will provide new opportunities for growth as demand for HD programming increases, and will enable us to compete even more aggressively with cable.”

They’re not trying to offer better service, just trying to get more of the cable co business.

I also take note of the bit about how we will need new dishes AND new receivers. Wonder who’s going to pay for that? Not DirecTV I’ll wager. This is the bait to get us all to upgrade hardware again. :frowning:

Things here in Europe are a bit different.

I think I’ll purchase one REELBOX PVR 1100 when it’s available at the end of February.
Impressive features, nasty price, haha.

Well if you, do please tell us what you think of it!

Yup, I’ll do that.
Maybe I can make an comparison between this device and a LinVDR Barebone System.

But til then, still a few weeks to wait…

Yup, it’s MPEG2 similar to DTV SD with odd GOP sizes, etc.

Local channel quality isn’t entirely controlled by DTV, they’re also limited to what your local channel feeds out. They do modify bandwidth quite a bit. I’ve got some streams which are 1G per edited hour and have seen the same show come in around 500M at a different time. Football season is the worst because they use so much for that package. Your locals might also be fed at 352 width, not 480.

dealdatabase is your best bet for good info on DTV innards.