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Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by TiivoDog, Jul 11, 2007.
In my view, the "S3 light" is coming too late to the game. If we want HD, we want programming in HD and very soon most channels (the ones we care) will be in highdef from Directv, Dish and few cable companies. Here is where the problem is: Cable companies can't compete with satellite HD unless they use the switching (SDV) which doesn't work with cablecards. People like us, who spend time in boards like this, want the best and that's why we chose the S3 but it's going to be very difficult to watch FX, SPEED, most movie channels in standard definition when our neighboor with satellite gets all the good stuff.
Bottom line: We will face a tough decision soon: The best DVR (S3 or S3 light) or MUCH more HD availability.
Or both. Get FIOS TV with no SDV ever, and a S3.
Or believe me, a S3.5 or something will support SDV. It's not like they're going to stop.
I just wish FIOS was in my area! I've got crappy Qwest as my local telco.
Not really Tivo-related, but...
More isn't always better. Good luck with the pic quality of HD on DirecTV (HD Lite); I don't have any experience DISH, so I can't omment on that. I was a DirecTV for about five years aabout two years ago before I switched to Comcast. I watched the quality of the HD channels on DirecTV degrade more and more as they offered more channels (pixelation, soft pictures, lots of lip sync issues, blocking, etc). I finally had enough of how poor their HD channels had become in May 2005 and ordered a Comcast box in the house so I could compare the two. As soon as I plugged the Comcast box in, I could see a major improvement in HD channels with Comcast. I did A and B comparisions between the pic quality of DTV and Comcast on the same HD channels -- the pic quality of the DirecTV HD channels was very, very poor compared to Comcast. I hated losing my HD DirecTivo that I had with DirecTivo, but picture quality with Comcast was so much better, that it made the decision more palatable.
Given DTV's track record with over-compressing and announcement of large number of number of HD channels, I don't see them improving the quality of their channels with MPEG-4; I just see them keeping a miserable compression ratio so they can add more and more channels.
Actually, there was an article in TivoCommunity that provided a link that said that DirecTV DID improve the quality on the MPEG-4 channels. For now anyway.
It wasn't like the HD quality on MPEG-2 was horrific. It was very good. Just not spectacular.
Could you provide that link? I would like to read more about it.
Last I recall, they were still doing 1440x1080i instead of 1920x1080i.
The competitor, Dish allegedly just reduced HBO to 1440x1080i as well.
I think I read an interview with Mark Cuban recently in which he said or implied that nobody was downrezzing his signal.
DirecTV does 1280x1080i, not even 1440x1080i.
There were times when it got horrific. (Mainly due to low bitrate rather than resolution.)
Many times on Sundays during the football season when they were pretty much maxed out (with multiple games on Sunday ticket), my observation was that PQ took a nosedive across the board. I've not seen DTV with MPEG-4, but I heard from a friend that his HD feed is no better than it had been when he had the old MPEG-2 dish and receiver, so it doesn't sound like they've made too many improvements.
And how do you propose to change channels on FIOS to VOD or PPV channels? Well oops. They can't. Nor will any dongle fix that works with Cable systems using RF upstream communication work with FIOS.
I think horrific describes what Video distributors are doing with HD-lite. It is the same with DTV. It used to be that there was a Wow factor with DTV over analog. Now? DTV is sometimes even worse than analog due to the overcompression.
So long as there are walled gardens in video distribution, there will be no competition on quality.
Truth in labeling in program guides is necessary, so that we can know what we are getting. And these aren't small differences
above is Mpeg2 8.3Mbps
above is Mpeg2 12.5Mbps**
Ok. Picture B is Dish. Picture A was Direct. Big difference. The fact is, HD-lite is only marginally better than upscaled DVD SD.
But in a walled garden, it doesn't matter because consumers are helpless to do anything about it. Consumers have to shut up and take whatever the distibutors deign to call HD and SD, so the satcos and cablecos do whatever they please. And what pleases them is to squeeze all the other channels as hard as they can so that they can offer more premium channels.
What does it take to excercise consumer choice? How many people are going to pay for ripping out the old dishes and put in the new ones especially when they find out that Direct used to have stunning HD pictures and there is no guarantee that Dish won't degrade them just as Direct has done?
That is why third party DVRs like Tivo that can access multiple sources of video are important for competition. But to do that, we need a standard so that a single DVR can record digital video from multiple sources (including Sat, FIOS- not just cable using cablecards).
OTA HD is up to 19 Mbps, and oftentimes is, because there is no benefit to overcompression as with all other distributors.
Great response. I'm not a huge fan of Comcast as a company, but in our area at least, their HD picture runs circles around Direct's. If my wife, who sometimes says she can't tell the difference between DVD and HD, can see an immediate and significant difference between the exact same program from the exact same channel on DTV's HD-Lite and Comcast's HD, then it must be about as tangible as the pictures you used in your example.