Harmonic Encoder Improvements? (Feedback Need it)

mkottman

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Mar 6, 2005
28
0
MI
Maybe the problems we are seeing with the PQ has to do with the STB. Do any of you think that we may be in need of a new software download to fix the PQ? If we are receiving data via a new harmonic encoding than maybe the processor is not capable of decompressing the new data stream as quickly or as efficiently as the last.
 

SmiGump

Thread Starter
Active SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 21, 2004
20
0
Virginia
Sean Mota said:
It may or it may not. But I am looking it at it from my perspective. At this point I wish I could have the PQ back to the way that it was before rather than having new channels. Although, it is possible that both solutions could be worked on parallel ways;
Sean, maybe you have some insight into this... instead of re-encoding all of the VOOM originals content every time it's aired, why can't they just serve up an optimally encoded version each time instead? Is the issue one of tweaking the new encoders to get the best possible quality from a certain allocated bandwidth for the given channel at the time of broadcast, or can they just tweak it once optimally for the particular program and just broadcast that each time?
 

Plasmata

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Feb 2, 2005
32
0
I also noticed the audio dropouts on Rave and I can't honestly say that any of the channels look better than or even as good as before the new encoders. Thats OK for now as long as they're still tweaking them.
 

DarrellP

I Think, therefore, I am.
Supporting Founder
Nov 6, 2003
4,298
0
Salem, OR
Smart Travels had skeeters tonight, though they are quite a bit smaller and not there all the time. For the most part, PQ was pretty good, just get rid of the darned skeeters.
 

nemisis633

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Feb 18, 2005
22
0
Pirates of the Carribean tonight was pretty horrible. Granted, I'm watching on a 106" screen so flaws are more apparent. When things were still on the old encoders my jaw dropped everytime i flipped to HD. I hope they can get the quality back....
 

007BlackMan

SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 11, 2004
89
0
Wilkes-Barre PA.
I watched Pirates of the Carribean yesterday afternoon on my 34" CRT and it looked ok. I have seen it befor on the old encoders and the flaws were not as apparent as they are now. So it's not the size of your TV screen the picture quality isn't as good.
 

theBruce

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Nov 29, 2003
4,826
3,946
Pirates of the Carribean is not in HD, it it a up-converted movie.
 

abarnes

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Feb 13, 2005
19
0
I've been experiencing a few problems over the weekend as well.
Pictures drop out from time to time Esp. on Showtime last night when trying to watch a movie. Intermittent audio drops and a few of the channels (usa and others right around there) went to real bad PQ and sound for about ten minutes. then came back.
 

SeattleVoomer1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 13, 2003
447
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We've had audio dropouts on all the channels both OTA as well as sat for maybe a year.

However, we just noticed--8:30 PM--on Starz 261 that the LOTR has maybe 7-8 wrinkles running through the picture evenly spaced about a third of the way down from the top. The are small-maybe 2" from top to bottom-on a 96" screen.

However, still watching HDTV under mostly clear if dark Seattle skies, Gill
 

gws

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Dec 5, 2004
20
5
CA
SeattleVoomer1 said:
We've had audio dropouts on all the channels both OTA as well as sat for maybe a year.

However, we just noticed--8:30 PM--on Starz 261 that the LOTR has maybe 7-8 wrinkles running through the picture evenly spaced about a third of the way down from the top. The are small-maybe 2" from top to bottom-on a 96" screen.

However, still watching HDTV under mostly clear if dark Seattle skies, Gill

Saw those wrinkles on LOTR, too. Checked a few other HD programs, and none of them had the wrinkles.
 

SeattleVoomer1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 13, 2003
447
0
Further feedback on PQ this time on Animania. While watching Dan Dare last night between 10:30-11 PM PST we noticed that small details were showing motion artifacts which showed up as "skeeter" noise. Usually this channel is one of the best.

In additon, audio dropouts on Animania and ? happened every 7-8 minutes I'd guess. Maybe I've become more sensitized to the dropouts in the past week due to the encoder changes as well as general hightened awareness around VOOM but they definitely were happening last night.

However, still enjoying HDTV under likely record high Seattle skies, Gill
 

HD at last

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Supporting Founder
Oct 17, 2003
24
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I'm seeing interleaving errors in most of the SD and HD channels. It was particularly bad on USA and Universal HD the last couple of days.

Its like they improperly deinterlace (3:2 down/upconversion issue), compress, transmit and then deinterlace for 1080i. So the output frames appear to be out of order. It's really horrible when there is significant motion in the video. I see half of the image in one part of the display and the other half shifted over.

I have a CRT RPTV, which does not deinterlace 1080i, so it's not a fault of the TV deinterlacing the image.
 

JWK

SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 12, 2004
41
0
03/08/2005
Time: Approximately 11:24 pm Eastern Time
Channel: 606 (Cartoon Network)
PQ Issue: Horrendous pixelation bands, ocassional image freeze. Pixelation would sweep across the screen in very thick horizontal bands, sometimes the entire width of the screen, sometimes just for a portion. They were not entirely linear -- they'd zig and zag slightly up and down, but not much.

When the Harmonic Encoder first went on-line, I had similar PQ issues on a number of SD channels, but they'd seemed to resolve themselves until tonight. Surely today's infusion of estrogen couldn't have consumed enough bandwidth to visibly affect PQ on other channels, could it? MPEG-4 was supposed to roughly double capacity, right? So, surely adding 4-6 SD channels would have been no more than a small first step towards filling our "new" capacity.
 

David Dietzel

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 21, 2004
371
0
Rancho Cucamonga
BAD MOJO.

Whatever the VOOM engineers did, they worsened the signal on many channels. From general softness, to pixelation, to graininess to occasional sound lag my VOOM experience has degraded -- no question.

Now, please, fix it!
 

DarrellP

I Think, therefore, I am.
Supporting Founder
Nov 6, 2003
4,298
0
Salem, OR
I browsed through the entire lineup tonight and there are just too many channels to complain about. Several SD channels were quite nice, but the majority of theme sucked. Equator still sucks but most of the other HD looks good until there is a scene transition. If we had a 24/7 acquarium, PQ would be outstanding, but come on Voom, things MOVE on the screen and it requires MORE BANDWIDTH, NOW COUGH IT UP AND DON'T WORRY ABOUT CRAMMING 3 MORE CHANNELS UP THERE.

I WANT QUALITY OVER QUANTITY, Comprendo?
 

dash2004

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 6, 2005
67
0
JWK said:
03/08/2005
Time: Approximately 11:24 pm Eastern Time
Channel: 606 (Cartoon Network)
PQ Issue: Horrendous pixelation bands, ocassional image freeze. Pixelation would sweep across the screen in very thick horizontal bands, sometimes the entire width of the screen, sometimes just for a portion. They were not entirely linear -- they'd zig and zag slightly up and down, but not much.
JWK, excellent descriptions about the problems on Cartoon network channel. I normally do not watch this channel, but somehow my kids wondered to my TV and tuned to this channel. I saw exactly what you descirbed tonight between 9:00 and 10:00 pm MST.
 

danielle_s

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 27, 2004
431
0
Colorado Springs, Co
I'm starting to wonder if when they changed all the encoders for the channels, it was like starting over. Bad pq and all. I said it before and since no one said anything, I'll say it again. This was probably a haste job in order to get all channels on the new encoders. Now that they're working on them it'll take some time. I mean I can't imagine that they didn't do this kind of work on the old encoders before they began broadcasting. I mean you can't just switch out encoders and not expect any problems. There will be problems, we just have to give the tech guys some time to work on them. I mean voom does have over 120+ channels to worry bout all at the same time.

As for the person who mentioned something about mpeg4. The new encoders are software upgradeable to mpeg4. They work sortof like a computer, all they have to do is install the new mpeg4 software and they're good to go. However though, if the tech guys upgraded the encoders to mpeg4 then that means our stb wouldn't understand what is going on and voom would have to send us some "cards" that slide into the stb which would allow the stb to understand what's going on.
 

z71tahoe193

SatelliteGuys Guru
Supporting Founder
Jun 10, 2004
144
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Lubbock, TX
Ever since the added the new channels it has been pretty bad. Cartoon network is terrible to watch. Hopefully they can get things worked out pretty soon.
 

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