How much capacity needed for a spot beam? (1 Viewer)

--sexy-warlock--

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 8, 2009
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Chattanooga
I have noticed that the spot beam for all of my locals look identical to the OTA counterparts. Which in turn makes them look much better than any National HD on Dish. Is there a reason why most HD on Dish is compressed so much more?
 

mike123abc

Too many cables
Supporting Founder
Sep 25, 2003
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Norman, OK
There is a lot more capacity on spot beams for most markets. This may change as they start to add the remaining channels in each market.

A lot of the HD on national channels is upconverts, so it is hard to compare.
 

CowboyDren

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 18, 2005
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64133
Is there a reason why most HD on Dish is compressed so much more?

To make room for all of those effing locals?

Seriously, there are only so many transponders on a bird. The TP can operate in CONUS, Spotbeam, or Hybrid (mixed) modes. There are only a couple of hundred CONUS channels, and a few hundred regional sports and PPV channels. Then there are the hundreds upon hundreds of local channels, SD and HD, which they also choose to carry. When Voom operated their own bird, they didn't do locals at all, because there wasn't room for them and quality national High-Def programming.
 

--sexy-warlock--

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 8, 2009
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Chattanooga
But is there a reasoning for making the locals so much better looking? Couldn't they sacrifice a bit of quality and bring everything into a range where we don't go from near perfect IQ for locals, to pretty good for National HD to downright atrocious for the RSNs?

Or do the different operating structures prevent them from sharing bandwidth at all?
 

mike123abc

Too many cables
Supporting Founder
Sep 25, 2003
23,404
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Norman, OK
The satellite capacity for spot beams has gone way up the last few launches. Dish has to carry all the stations in HD for every market they carry in HD by 2012. Now there are a ton of spot beams that are lightly used since they are being lined up for these local stations. Some markets will pobably have too much capacity and good looking locals, others will probably be squeezed as much or more than national HD channels.

Many markets will end up with too much capacity for LiL HD, so they will be lightly compressed. If it takes 31 transponders in spot beam to give minimum coverage (about what they are using now on WA 10 on 110, 5 on 119, 16 on 129) for the large markets that have to be covered, they will have a lot of spare TPs for the smaller markets, especially in the middle of the country. The 31 TPs can be repeated over and over to give coverage, and might be needed in the NE with a lot of big markets all close to eachother. Out in a place like TX the markets are far apart and have fewer stations, meaning they probably have too much capacity.

Dish has figured out (and same with DIRECTV) that quantity, not quality is what sells. They will try to put as many channels on a transponder that they think they can get by with.
 

CowboyDren

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 18, 2005
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Couldn't they sacrifice a bit of quality and bring everything into a range where we don't go from near perfect IQ for locals, to pretty good for National HD to downright atrocious for the RSNs?

They applied for, and were granted, the permission to down-res locals, and they do it as needed. My KC locals don't look nearly as good as OTA, and the difference is clear on a 37" screen from 10' away. You may be in an "exceptional" market, where there's a whole spotbeam pointed at your hamlet, and it's only carrying 4 HD and 8 SD feeds. I'm not an engineer, so I don't know if they can widen the focus on a spotbeam dynamically or not, but I don't think it's possible.

A spotbeam has to cover a specific footprint on the map, and a CONUS transponder has to cover the whole or nearly the whole nation. They can't transmit CONUS feeds on a spotbeam, because they'd have to mirror that feed across multiple markets, negating the benefit of utilizing "underused" spotbeams. Even at that, which CONUS HD feeds (out of the 200 or so) would they mirror? The only way to improve PQ (not IQ) on CONUS feeds is to reduce the number of feeds per TP. And the only way to use more TPs for CONUS feeds is to reduce the number of spotbeams, which just isn't an option.
 

Mr Tony

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
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Mankato, MN
If you have a spot beam to yourself there may only be 4 or 5 HD channels on it...where if you are in a different market there can be 8 or 9 HD channels on it

I checked thelist and your market (Chattanooga) has only 6 channels on that transponder. Conversely the Knoxville TP has 4 HD (Knoxville) and 9 SD (Atlanta & Knoxville) channels on it

SatelliteGuys.US - Dish Network ALL
 

DishSubLA

SatelliteGuys Master
Apr 9, 2006
5,176
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They applied for, and were granted, the permission to down-res locals, and they do it as needed. My KC locals don't look nearly as good as OTA, and the difference is clear on a 37" screen from 10' away. You may be in an "exceptional" market, where there's a whole spotbeam pointed at your hamlet, and it's only carrying 4 HD and 8 SD feeds. I'm not an engineer, so I don't know if they can widen the focus on a spotbeam dynamically or not, but I don't think it's possible.

A spotbeam has to cover a specific footprint on the map, and a CONUS transponder has to cover the whole or nearly the whole nation. They can't transmit CONUS feeds on a spotbeam, because they'd have to mirror that feed across multiple markets, negating the benefit of utilizing "underused" spotbeams. Even at that, which CONUS HD feeds (out of the 200 or so) would they mirror? The only way to improve PQ (not IQ) on CONUS feeds is to reduce the number of feeds per TP. And the only way to use more TPs for CONUS feeds is to reduce the number of spotbeams, which just isn't an option.

STELA recently passed a Senate committee, but is not yet in its final form for a vote by the entire Congress.

No permission was ever granted to downres HD or SD locals or LIL's, as there was never any requirement for satellite regarding LIL PQ. A few years ago NAB half-heatedly tried to change the law for force satellite to provide the then SD LIL's in a PQ about as good as the then analog OTA and to stop favoring major network stations for better PQ while more compression was applied to smaller LIL stations. In other word, all LIL's were to have equally high quality PQ's. That NAB attempt died very quickly.

However, more recently with HD, NAB was working to change the law to require cable and satellite to provide all digital LIL's in HD and for all LIL's broadcasting in HD not be downrezed to SD at all, as satellite and cable do today for its SD subscribers. This attempt by NAB also died.

So, in other words, no change since the original SHIVA and subsequent SHIVRA regarding quality of LIL's or downrezing HD to SD. Therefore, no permission ever requested or needed. The current situation is that satellite is free to compress SD and HD LIL pretty much as it sees fit. Satellite does this because they have always been permitted to do this.

The possible requirement, all the bills must be reconciled, for all digital OTA's in every single DMA, including those DMA's that satellite doesn't want to serve because of its high cost, has been dropped by the US Senator who pushed it pending further study for its foreseeability. However, this is not to suggest that STELA, the new acronym for the old SHIVRA, won't, after all is said and done, require this. In fact, it is highly likely that STELA will mandate all digitals in every single DMA as Congress gets complaints about this from their rural constituents, but Dish was clear in stating that, economics aside, they could not technically achieve this until at least 2013 when more of the latest satellites will have been launched and operational. It seems Dish is willing to concede the "every single digital OTA in every single DMA" if they are permitted the time to do so. A separate clause of STELA would require satellite to provide the local PBS in HD LIL for all relevant DMA's. I don't know if that means in a DMA like Los Angeles that has 4 PBS stations if satellite is required to uplink only one of those in HD or all of them in HD.

The new STELA is confusing as the many different versions have contradictory mandates and "loopholes" that must be reconciled. Also, there are parliamentary procedures that can allow for all sorts of last-minute articles to be slipped into the STELA. However, if Congress can't get STELA passed by the end of this year, yes, barely a month from now, then the current SHIVRA expires, but if time runs out, Congress can vote to extend SHIVRA, as is, for one more year, and they must take up a new STELA next year from scratch.

Hope this helps.
 

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