Eastern Arc SD Bitrates Up, PQ Down

B

buckchow

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Guru
Nov 23, 2008
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Late last year with the move to Nimiq 5 at 72W (Eastern Arc), Dish Network switched all transponders from QPSK to 8PSK providing ~10 Mbps additional bandwidth on each transponder. Sadly, instead of allowing the bitrates for all of the SD channels to be opened up to fill this extra capacity, Dish forced null data into the stream, so the bitrates remained the same and the new available capacity was being wasted.

Early last month, Dish finally opened up those bitrates. This yielded ~40-50% increases in video bitrates for many of the SD channels on Eastern Arc. So, what would they do for the SD channels with all of those nice extra bits?

Would they restore the resolution of the channels from 480x480 to their original 704x480, eliminating unpleasant aliasing and rainbow artifacts? No.

Would they reduce the filtering on the channels that strips away fine details? No.

Did they do anything at all? Certainly! They increased the filtering and are now stripping away more details than before. Only the brilliant minds at Dish Network would decide that a substantial increase in bitrates should coincide with a substantial reduction in picture quality.

Anyway, here's a pair of images for comparison. I can provide more if necessary. These are both from TCM (Channel 132). The film was 2.55:1 so I've cropped off the black bars on the 480x480 frame and zoomed to 2x so the details are more visible.

July 6th, 2009:


March 9th, 2010 (Today):


You can see on the piano, bricks, curtain, and in other places how a whole bunch more detail has been removed. The curtains are the messiest looking thing I can see here, but I wouldn't be surprised if something else is worse. If by some chance you can't see any problems then I can post close-ups. :)


Also here's a bitrate comparison graph. Blue is old (7/6/2009), Red is new (Today).



Finally, I should note that I noticed the PQ reduction on my TV before I started picking things apart on the computer. I had become suspicious and wanted to verify that something unpleasant was going on before posting. Not exactly comforting to confirm that DVR recordings now take up 50% more space than before yet are of lower quality. Ugh.
 
Slamminc11

Slamminc11

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Jan 28, 2005
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Umm...okay....I mean What! How could they, umm...
 
reddice

reddice

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Mar 13, 2004
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SD on a HDTV looks like crud to me. I still watch SD channels, mainly cartoons (Boomerang Channel) but if it is a movie or a series then I wait until it is on a HD channel or I don't watch it.
 
mike123abc

mike123abc

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Sep 25, 2003
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I still do not understand why they bother with SD on EA. Since only the HD receivers can see EA MPEG-4 SD, they could just eliminate the SD version of every channel they have the HD version.

But, I am sure it is some contract deal that they have to offer the SD channels.
 
digiblur

digiblur

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Jun 8, 2005
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I still do not understand why they bother with SD on EA. Since only the HD receivers can see EA MPEG-4 SD, they could just eliminate the SD version of every channel they have the HD version.

But, I am sure it is some contract deal that they have to offer the SD channels.

When they do away with the $10 HD tier they could do away with the SD channels like they have done with the SD locals on EA. Otherwise people not paying for HD would get the HD channels on EA.
 
TheKrell

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When they do away with the $10 HD tier they could do away with the SD channels like they have done with the SD locals on EA. Otherwise people not paying for HD would get the HD channels on EA.
Maybe so, but they would get the HD channels in SD. I thought I read around here somewhere that some folks already had 211's with the HD output disabled.
 
rglore

rglore

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Dish is probably working on a software update for the VIP receivers to output HD channels as SD only unless you pay the extra HD fee. Then, they can drop the redundant SD channels when extra EA capacity is needed.
 
digiblur

digiblur

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Jun 8, 2005
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Dish is probably working on a software update for the VIP receivers to output HD channels as SD only unless you pay the extra HD fee. Then, they can drop the redundant SD channels when extra EA capacity is needed.

I think they would have had this ready for EA when it started. Now the people that have HD capable receivers will lose their OTA programming and HD locals will be pissed.
 
digiblur

digiblur

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Although I don't think this will have much of an effect on things...over the next 2-3 weeks a lot of 77w programming will be moving to 72.7w. The locals on 77w will not move.
 
winman97

winman97

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Feb 12, 2010
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Although I don't think this will have much of an effect on things...over the next 2-3 weeks a lot of 77w programming will be moving to 72.7w. The locals on 77w will not move.

That's an interesting statement. Why are they loading up 72 with programing from 61.5 and 77.
So what's the future broadcating plans for 77 ??... international, subletting, etc.:eek:
 
HDRoberts

HDRoberts

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If you ask me, the pic on the bottom looks better, but that's just me.

That's an interesting statement. Why are they loading up 72 with programing from 61.5 and 77.
So what's the future broadcating plans for 77 ??... international, subletting, etc.:eek:

Probably because the folks in Maine can see Nimiq 5 better than E8.

I also believe a big part of 77 plans are HD LiL.
 
Scott Greczkowski

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A bunch of channels will be moving overnight tonight.

Let the shuffling begin!
 
wkomorow

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To the question of removing SD - some of us still have archos devices that do not do HD. I still record and use it on trips.
 
digiblur

digiblur

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Jun 8, 2005
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Louisiana
That's an interesting statement. Why are they loading up 72 with programing from 61.5 and 77.
So what's the future broadcating plans for 77 ??... international, subletting, etc.:eek:

If you ask me, the pic on the bottom looks better, but that's just me.



Probably because the folks in Maine can see Nimiq 5 better than E8.

I also believe a big part of 77 plans are HD LiL.

Yep, that sums of the question well. Slowly as DirecTV releases more transponders on 72.7 they will have more and more bandwidth at 72. It is speculated that 77 will be used for locals as a spotbeam satellite is scheduled for that slot.
 

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