What's it going to take?? (1 Viewer)


Thread Starter
Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 15, 2004
I was again fascinated by the PQ on Starz HD, namely, their Tears of the Sun transfer to HD. Why is this so hard for other networks to look this good??

What is it going to take to ensure that each time I turn on a premie to watch a movie, I'm getting the best transfer possible!??!

I'm sure we can all see a stark difference between networks, and between transfers. Do they have their own process for ensuring quality on these transfers? I'm just really bothered by the lack of consistency amongst the programming. "Just Married" was on another "HD" network, and the movie would have looked much better had a I taken the DVD of my shelf and watched it. Flipping between the two was NIGHT and DAY!

What part in all of this does Voom play? They're not responsible for the transfer, they simply push the feed from the network into our homes, right?

It's just really frustrating being redneck HD pioneers, jonesing for some true to life High Def, and being let down 8 of 10 times. Seemingly, there is no quality control - at least goverment mandated Quality Control. The FCC spends much its time waiting around for Howard Stern to drop the f-bomb, and invests no energy into policing the REAL quality of our home entertainment!! :shocked


SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 6, 2004
The one thing that drives all of this is money, period. None of the networks or content providers give a wad of spit about PQ, other than as it relates to revenue. And btw, there's nothing wrong with that...it's the way it's SUPPOSED to work.

So there are basically two camps. Those consumers that pay for their content by watching commercials, and those that pay more MONEY to either reduce or eliminate commercials from their content. Remember that this was one of the big selling points when HBO was first introduced decades ago. You could watch a movie without commercial interruption.

So how do the major networks make money? Through advertising. Does having HD content increase advertising revenue? I would guess the answer is very little. We're seeing the very beginning of digital broadcasting that's available to a broad range of consumers. A small percentage of people are just barely getting to appreciate the difference in PQ it offers. The percentage that appreciate HD PQ is smaller than that.

A friend of mine argues with me about satellite radio, saying that it will be an abysmal failure due to the fact that NO one in their right mind would be willing to pay $10/mo for radio, when you can get it for FREE. My side of the argument is that for the millions of people that commute each day, and spend upwards of 2 to 3 hours each day in their car, many of them will GLADLY pay for content that has no commercial interuption, and allows them greater choices regarding what content they listen to, and the QUALITY of that content.

So what does this rant have to do with anything? lol Competition in the market is what makes services like VOOM a viable business proposition. It's based on the fact that people want greater control over the content they watch. As our numbers increase, so will both the amount of content and the amount of services that offer that content. But for the networks, there is little incentive for them to provide HD content simply because they don't HAVE to, at least not on a large scale, and not at this time. But each service like VOOM that appears serves to reduce the impact of advertising by just a little bit more, which over time will eventually have an impact on revenue. I believe that is what will force the changes your talking about, and the changes so many of us are waiting for on the edge of our seats.
I don't believe the government should "mandate" that a station provide HD capabilities. I think that should be their decision. If they can make money showing nothing but reruns of the Three Stooges in black and white, good for them...but sooner or later, the consumer will dictate what the "need" is, and that will continue to drive the HD content.

Ok...I'm done. Time for more coffee :)



SatelliteGuys Guru
Nov 25, 2003
More coffee he says! :)

From what I have read and understand, it is HOLLYWOOD who dictates the HD transfer of every movie. In other words, MGM and Universal and UA and WB and all the others provide their own HD transfer for the movie channels to show. It is not HBO or Showtime or Cinemax who does the transfer but the movie studio.

What does cause some people consternation is when a movie channel like HBO chooses to "pan and scan" a movie and show it in 16:9 format instead of the OAR.


SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 6, 2004
I thought I had read somewhere that VOOM had contracted a company to do the Film->HD transfer on older movies...but I never verified it...



SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 11, 2004
Near NYC

One problem with quality is it's totally subjective. What you may find hideous, I may find more than acceptable (although I'm tough on PQ). Remember, most of the people hanging around here know a thing or two about how stuff is supposed to look/sound. We're more critical than most people out there. The general public just wants good enough quality where they see a noticable difference between HD and what they're seeing now. They don't require the best possible quality HD has to offer. Until the general public demmands better, we will be hard pressed to get better. We jus have to watch and hope someone has done it correctly (the transfer/compression).

You could pose the same question about DVD quality. Why does one DVD look spectacular and anther one looks horrible? It's all about how the people doing the transfer/compression handle it. If they're paying attention to details and are sticklers for quality, you can expect better quality. If not, well, you've seen what happens.

Does this mean we shouldn't complain? Heck no! We should complain and complain loudly! If we don't we're just accepting the garbage we get at times. The complaints on boards like this, I'm sure, have spurred Voom to improve what they're doing (at times anyway). Complaining DOES help!


In reference to your friend's argument against satellite radio, he couldn't be farther from the truth and you couldn't be more correct. I, for one, have 2 XM radios (one for my car, one for my wife's). I'm a big fan of satellite radio. Here are a few reasons:

1. When I travel, I don't have to hope there's a good station and switch to it once I find it (if I can).
2. Less FCC involvment. Need I say more?
3. No commercials on music stations.
4. More variety. Listen to the various radio stations around major cities. They're lumped into 3 or 4 categories and you hear the same crap over and over.
5. Interesting programming. (see #4)
6. Better quality--at times XM Radio is quite good.
7. Information--satellite radio provides the name of the artist and the name of the song. If it's a talk program, it has (sometimes) information displayed on the receiver. I find this very useful. (Although I know some OTA stations are providing some of this.)

The Rickster


Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 30, 2003
Bergen co NJ
"The general public just wants good enough quality where they see a noticable difference between HD and what they're seeing now. " the truth be told most people in the country are happy if its not snow or color bars.still to this day..How many people still freak and call their station when something is "letterboxed"


Supporting Founder
Mar 24, 2004
rang1995 said:
"The general public just wants good enough quality where they see a noticable difference between HD and what they're seeing now. " the truth be told most people in the country are happy if its not snow or color bars.still to this day..How many people still freak and call their station when something is "letterboxed"
Yeah, randomly ask people about letterboxing, er . . . black bars to them, and you'll find how far away any HD revolution is. At my local Blockbuster, they don't carry widescreened DVDs b/c too many customers were complaining about the black bars making the picture look too small. The only hope is that the advertisers recognize that HD is where the young and/or affluent are headed. What adverisers want, broadcasters provide. Advertisers seem only to care about the young and/or affluent.

Mike J

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Mar 30, 2004
Quality vs Market Power

For those of you old enougth, remember VHS vs BETA and Macintosh vs Windows 1.0. Who won?

enough said...


SatelliteGuys Guru
Nov 18, 2003
I don't care what quality it is, if it's not OAR then it's unwatchable to me.

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