Different resolutions on premium East/West HD channels. Why?

J

JCarais

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May 19, 2009
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I started a thread about this last year, but I didn't have any pictures to demonstrate what I was talking about and I think the respondents didn't really understand what I meant. Anyway, since I had my camera out to take pictures for another thread, and since there are now official Dish representatives who post here, I figure I'll give it another shot.

Copy/paste from that old thread:

"I watched a program on HBO (chan. 300) and then realized a few hours later that the same program on HBO West (chan. 303) had a few less lines of resolution. You can see for yourself by recording something on 300, then waiting a few hours and watching the same program on 303, then doing a side-by-side picture-in-picture and at the top of the two pictures you'll see the difference."

Today I can add that the same thing is happening on the East/West feeds for Showtime and Cinemax, so it makes me think that it's Dish that is doing this. I didn't notice it on Starz, but it's happening 24/7/365 on HBO, Sho, and Cinemax. Can someone please explain why? And if I had the choice, which is the "better" or more accurate feed to watch? And I'm not complaining about it, I'm just curious about it.

In the pictures, you'll notice the one on the left (East) has a few more lines than the one on the right (West). And when you swap positions, the one on the right (now the East) continues to have the extra lines, so you can't say it's a problem with the TV. And the bottoms have a perfectly straight line going across the two images, so it's not a case of the East feed just being shifted up a little bit. The East feed definitely has extra, or the West feed is missing some, depending on how you want to look at it.

Click to zoom.

Showtime:


Showtime - Zoom:
55showtimeeastwest2.jpg


HBO:
18hboeastwest1.jpg


HBO - Zoom:
20hboeastwest2.jpg


HBO - Zoom - More:


HBO - Swap:
95hboeastwest4swap.jpg


HBO - Swap - Zoom:


Cinemax:
38cinemaxeastwest1.jpg


Cinemax - Zoom:


All images are for commentary/research and are Fair Use under U.S.C Title 17 Section 107.
93cinemaxeastwest2.jpg
 
D

DishSubLA

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Apr 9, 2006
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It depends upon which sats the channels are on: meaning in some cases the HD premium for East and West are on different sats. Also, if they are on different transponders. Dish makes the final decision how the transponder or sat bandwidth is going to be optimized based on above and even more.
 
J

JCarais

Thread Starter
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May 19, 2009
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It depends upon which sats the channels are on: meaning in some cases the HD premium for East and West are on different sats. Also, if they are on different transponders. Dish makes the final decision how the transponder or sat bandwidth is going to be optimized based on above and even more.

I'm sorry but that makes no sense. The different satellites/transponders should have no bearing on the final shape/size of the image. I mean every channel is on a different sat/tp from every other channel, but they're not changing the dimensions of the image on all the channels are they? And how come the East channel is always bigger than the West? It just doesn't make sense. I understand Dish does compression (not in terms of dimensions but in terms of file size) for bandwidth, but they're not supposed to be altering the physical shape of the image are they? If HBO is sending out 16:9, I think that's what we should see. I was hoping one of the Dish reps here might be able to find out more, but maybe they haven't seen this one yet.
 
M

MaryB@SlingTV

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Dec 29, 2010
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I do apologize. It may just be me but I am unable to view any pictures. It may be my computer here at work. I am going to look into this and see if I can duplicate it here. If I can hopefully I will be able to give you some answers!
 
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osu1991

osu1991

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Not something that I would have noticed or that bothers me but I was able to see it on my 722.

Just get a 722 and put it in single mode put HBO east on one tuner and HBO west on the other tuner. Then push the pip button till you are in side by side mode, then look at the top center of the screen right where the two images meet and you will see what the OP is talking about.

The two images are slightly uneven, whether this is just a by product of the software on the dvr or a resolution difference I don't know.

Sent from my iPhone using SatelliteGuys
 
M

MaryB@SlingTV

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Dec 29, 2010
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I did the PIP on our 722 but both looked crystal clear. I could see no discernible difference in the resolution. I may be because our TV is a 22". I will try on the one at home.
 
J

JCarais

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May 19, 2009
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Thanks for your help MaryB!

Yes, all of the channels are perfectly clear. It's really not a picture quality problem, it's more of just an oddity I noticed last year and always wondered about. I wish you could see the screenshots I posted as they are worth a 1,000 words.

Are others able to see the images I posted? I wanted to add them as attachments but the photo uploader here wouldn't let me so I had to post them on a photo hosting site. Here are links for copy/paste if that helps you:

http://www.imgplace.com/viewimg607/2346/14showtimeeastwest1.jpg
http://www.imgplace.com/viewimg13/7397/55showtimeeastwest2.jpg
http://www.imgplace.com/viewimg848/410/18hboeastwest1.jpg
http://www.imgplace.com/viewimg37/1786/20hboeastwest2.jpg
http://www.imgplace.com/viewimg121/6340/27hboeastwest3.jpg
http://www.imgplace.com/viewimg694/5605/95hboeastwest4swap.jpg
http://www.imgplace.com/viewimg198/102/72hboeastwest5swapzoom.jpg
http://www.imgplace.com/viewimg838/4016/38cinemaxeastwest1.jpg
http://www.imgplace.com/viewimg843/120/93cinemaxeastwest2.jpg
 
M

MaryB@SlingTV

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Dec 29, 2010
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Yup, it is me! My computer has blocked them. I will check them out when I get home because you have peaked my curisoity! I will also check in the AM as I will be with the folks and they have Comcast so after I check mine, I will check theirs as well! Thanks for the trying to re-post them for me!
 
TG2

TG2

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The answer is simple really...

The feed sent to the west coast is not a duplicate of the feed from the east coast. The signal doesn't just bounce around time waiting out there to be picked up 3 hours later.. the content is *re-broadcast* 3 hours later.

Its this re-broadcast that introduces slight differences from the east coast to west coast signals we see. Signals are trans-coded from MPG2 to MPG4, encryption is added, then stripped, then the transcode, then the encryption, etc.. etc. etc.. the feed has to pass through two paths to get to customers.. ie.. at 5am they start broadcasting the movie Ironman2 ... on sat1 transponder 3 ... at 8 am, a 2nd set of hardware is being used to take the 8am re-broadcast of ironman2 to re-transcode the movie from mpg2 to mpg4 ... encryption encoder, and now its on sat2 transponder 4 ... different paths from beginning to end.

Its not like the signal that's broadcast at 5am to the east coast folks is being streamed to disk on those people's DVR's that are on the west coast feed.. its a live transmission..
 
KKlare

KKlare

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Nov 18, 2003
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For quite a while the West Coast feed had a lower bandwidth than the East Coast feed. For a little while principal EC HBO was MPEG-2 and WC was MPEG-4. That has gone, but there are differences in file sizes for each of the HBO and other selections. They can control/throttle the BW used on each. At least, the differences are not 2X, as they were, but 10% differences are common for any channel.
-Ken
 
J

JCarais

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May 19, 2009
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Thank you MaryB!

TG2, I kind of understand what you're saying but I don't think that's what's causing this. Even if you're right, the dimensions of the picture should not change. One feed might have more artifacts, or a different bitrate, etc. but the dimensions should always be 16:9 or 2.35:1 or 4:3 or whatever. And if it is what you're describing, how come I don't see this on the Starz East/West channels?
 
whatchel1

whatchel1

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Sep 30, 2006
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The answer is simple really...

The feed sent to the west coast is not a duplicate of the feed from the east coast. The signal doesn't just bounce around time waiting out there to be picked up 3 hours later.. the content is *re-broadcast* 3 hours later.

Its this re-broadcast that introduces slight differences from the east coast to west coast signals we see. Signals are trans-coded from MPG2 to MPG4, encryption is added, then stripped, then the transcode, then the encryption, etc.. etc. etc.. the feed has to pass through two paths to get to customers.. ie.. at 5am they start broadcasting the movie Ironman2 ... on sat1 transponder 3 ... at 8 am, a 2nd set of hardware is being used to take the 8am re-broadcast of ironman2 to re-transcode the movie from mpg2 to mpg4 ... encryption encoder, and now its on sat2 transponder 4 ... different paths from beginning to end.

Its not like the signal that's broadcast at 5am to the east coast folks is being streamed to disk on those people's DVR's that are on the west coast feed.. its a live transmission..

It completely depends on which feed that E* is taking from HBO. Some of the feeds that HBO sends up are already digicypher MPEG 4 and some are MPEG 2. It is possible that they are taking 1 of each and that the source is the reason. Here is a link to lyngsat that shows just that. Galaxy 12 at 133.0°W - LyngSat http://www.lyngsat.com/galaxy13horizons1.html

Maryb the OP is showing that there is a matter or 2 lines (at the top) more on the W than the E feed. Starz may not do the same thing the other companies are doing so that could be the reason. There is little way of us know What E* is receiving form the providers. The providers control what E* is receiving. I doubt seriously that E* is taking the MPEG 2 feeds those are there mostly for cable co's that have not had the $$ to convert. All the providers now have MPEG 4 feeds. This is why I just edited this post and put in a 2nd sat to show just that.
 
Last edited:
goaliebob99

goaliebob99

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The answer is simple really...

The feed sent to the west coast is not a duplicate of the feed from the east coast. The signal doesn't just bounce around time waiting out there to be picked up 3 hours later.. the content is *re-broadcast* 3 hours later.

Its this re-broadcast that introduces slight differences from the east coast to west coast signals we see. Signals are trans-coded from MPG2 to MPG4, encryption is added, then stripped, then the transcode, then the encryption, etc.. etc. etc.. the feed has to pass through two paths to get to customers.. ie.. at 5am they start broadcasting the movie Ironman2 ... on sat1 transponder 3 ... at 8 am, a 2nd set of hardware is being used to take the 8am re-broadcast of ironman2 to re-transcode the movie from mpg2 to mpg4 ... encryption encoder, and now its on sat2 transponder 4 ... different paths from beginning to end.

Its not like the signal that's broadcast at 5am to the east coast folks is being streamed to disk on those people's DVR's that are on the west coast feed.. its a live transmission..

Actually HBO is all MPEG4, and there should be no transcoding involved unless dish is doing it to reduce resolution and bytes to fit more on the bird.
 
goaliebob99

goaliebob99

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-.-. .... .. -.-. .- --. ---
It completely depends on which feed that E* is taking from HBO. Some of the feeds that HBO sends up are already digicypher MPEG 4 and some are MPEG 2. It is possible that they are taking 1 of each and that the source is the reason. Here is a link to lyngsat that shows just that. Galaxy 12 at 133.0°W - LyngSat

Maryb the OP is showing that there is a matter or 2 lines (at the top) more on the W than the E feed. Starz may not do the same thing the other companies are doing so that could be the reason. There is little way of us know What E* is receiving form the providers. The providers control what E* is receiving.


Lyngsat is partially not correct in this case. HBO, it isn't broadcasting its MPEG2 HD service anymore. The DC stuff you see is SD stuff, and the S2 stuff is in MPEG 4 given to all providers now. It has been this way for at least the past 6 months. (from my knowledge)
 
Claude Greiner

Claude Greiner

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The biggest waste of bandwith is having both an east and a west feed.

How about putting up completely different content on the west coast feed, and if people want to time shift they can use their Dvr's
 
TG2

TG2

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Feb 7, 2011
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The biggest waste of bandwith is having both an east and a west feed.

How about putting up completely different content on the west coast feed, and if people want to time shift they can use their Dvr's
there are times people may have other timers set and can't record a 3, 4th, or 5th stream (at least until the 813 series is out). Having access to that 3 hour window is a nice benefit. If Dish was going to do a shift, to be fair they'd probably have to adjust to central or some mixed shift of 1.5 hours and it wouldn't line up with the rest of the US for other content like local news stations, etc..

plus if you think on the reverse ... its a benefit for west coast too, your monday night 8pm shows from the big 4 are on ... but you wanna see that movie on HBO or Max.. well if you're on the west coast, you can record or watch the East Coast feed... from 5pm, leaving your 8pm hour to the networks.:)
 
whatchel1

whatchel1

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Sep 30, 2006
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Lyngsat is partially not correct in this case. HBO, it isn't broadcasting its MPEG2 HD service anymore. The DC stuff you see is SD stuff, and the S2 stuff is in MPEG 4 given to all providers now. It has been this way for at least the past 6 months. (from my knowledge)

KEWL why don't you contact Lygnsat & see if they will update their info. I knew that they were in the process of converting but didn't know that they were done w/it.
 
D

DishSubLA

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Apr 9, 2006
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I'm sorry but that makes no sense. The different satellites/transponders should have no bearing on the final shape/size of the image. I mean every channel is on a different sat/tp from every other channel, but they're not changing the dimensions of the image on all the channels are they? And how come the East channel is always bigger than the West? It just doesn't make sense. I understand Dish does compression (not in terms of dimensions but in terms of file size) for bandwidth, but they're not supposed to be altering the physical shape of the image are they? If HBO is sending out 16:9, I think that's what we should see. I was hoping one of the Dish reps here might be able to find out more, but maybe they haven't seen this one yet.

I apologize for not being more detailed in my answer. Had you just asked me to clarify what I meant, you would have saved yourself a lot of keystrokes. Also, I shant be offended by your pedantic, catechism of a semi-rant. It is clear there is a misunderstanding. I had presumed you would know what meant by "depends upon satellite, transponder, etc." as most on this board are "techies." However, considering the frustrated tone of your response, I'll attempt to clarify what seems not to be getting through. I'll try to simplify it for you so that you can understand, so please forgive any non-technical, detailed terms. I don't want to confuse you even more:

On the EA, a channel (or even just the East and West feeds of the same channel) may be on a transponder with only 4 other HD channels while on the WA on a different satellite, that very same service may be up-linked to a transponder with 6 other HD channels. Obviously the fewer channels, the more bandwidth for each service channel and more room for higher resolution. So, the very same channel service would suffer somewhat in PQ on the transponder with more channels. It all depends on how much bandwidth is available on the particular transponder and even the sat itself. Most likely the sat at the limits of its bandwidth may have to make do with lower resolution to fit more channels on that sat, and the same for a transponder. That is one way how an East feed of one channel may have different resolution from the West feed. It is all up to Dish as to how they choose to manage the bandwidth of their birds and arc services.

Now, to be sure, that above explanation isn't very technical, but I didn't want you to feel lost, confused, and completely miss the boat on what I meant in my previous and concise reply that confused you so. I hope the above over-simplification helps.

Anyone else if encouraged to explain it better than I have because I know others are better at that than I.
 

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