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51 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 101150 25-Apr-2012 08:28 Send private message

Compression on SoHo is too heavy.

Anyone else annoyed at this?

Game of Thrones is looking terrible. It is too heavily compressed. It looks a lot worse than last season. If Sky are using the same compression settings they need to adjust them as they are being bolder in their lighting this season and the compression is looking terrible in the blacks, with artifacts and extreme banding.

I am a Director of Photography by trade. This image degradation is being caused by Sky's compression. It's not like that when the image is captured or released. 

I sent a contact form into Sky, I hope they listen as the image is bad. I will be canceling SoHo and buying the Blu-ray if I don't see an improvement.

Ben Ruffell
www.ruff.co.nz

 

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1208 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 193


  Reply # 614921 25-Apr-2012 14:19 Send private message

Ah, so that's what is wrong. I've noticed this too with Season 2. I thought it was my TV playing up! Sky, if you are reading, please fix this.

1604 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 228


  Reply # 614935 25-Apr-2012 14:59 Send private message

ruff: Compression on SoHo is too heavy.

Anyone else annoyed at this?

Game of Thrones is looking terrible. It is too heavily compressed. It looks a lot worse than last season. If Sky are using the same compression settings they need to adjust them as they are being bolder in their lighting this season and the compression is looking terrible in the blacks, with artifacts and extreme banding.

I am a Director of Photography by trade. This image degradation is being caused by Sky's compression. It's not like that when the image is captured or released. 

I sent a contact form into Sky, I hope they listen as the image is bad. I will be canceling SoHo and buying the Blu-ray if I don't see an improvement.

Ben Ruffell
www.ruff.co.nz

 


I didn't subscribe to soho, because it is better to watch the best shows in bluray. 

No point sending a contact form to sky -- they are a monopoly so don't care. 

1571 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 45

Trusted

  Reply # 615115 25-Apr-2012 19:28 Send private message

Are you watching SOHO in HD or SD?




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat New Zealand as a Solution Architect for all things Linux, Virtual and of course Cloud. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.



51 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 615139 25-Apr-2012 20:38 Send private message

HD

I kinda have a bit of experience and expertise in this area....

The current compression is bad.

Ben Ruffell
www.ruff.co.nz

532 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 9


  Reply # 615204 25-Apr-2012 22:34

Does it look worse than TV3 HD on Sky? I think they only give that around 7Mb/s. Much lower than the bitrates on Freeview HD for TV1,2,3.




don't mess with me.... i'm the hd insider....



51 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 615211 25-Apr-2012 22:54 Send private message

Yes. A lot worse than tv3 hd via sky.

The Transmission bitrate is a joke.

Ben Ruffell
www.ruff.co.nz

532 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 9


  Reply # 615221 25-Apr-2012 23:42

Pretty ugly considering that you're paying 3 times for Soho. Once for just having MySky subscription, again for the Soho channel on top, and then once more for the HD ticket. Should be their best looking channel really. It is the flagship, right?




don't mess with me.... i'm the hd insider....

183 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 24


  Reply # 615378 26-Apr-2012 12:24 Send private message

I decided not to get SoHo. I'm paying Sky enough already. The bluray boxed sets are usually available only a day or so after the last episode goes to air anyway, so I'm happy enough to wait. We watched Game of Thrones Season One over Easter, two episodes a night, Thursday to Sunday. It was something to look forward to each evening after the painting and decorating during the day!

582 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 11


  Reply # 615651 26-Apr-2012 20:33 Send private message

ruff: Yes. A lot worse than tv3 hd via sky.

The Transmission bitrate is a joke.

Ben Ruffell
www.ruff.co.nz


That does seem really poor form for a premium content channel. But yeah as mentioned before... no competition.

3084 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 33

Trusted

  Reply # 615654 26-Apr-2012 20:44 Send private message

CutCutCut:
ruff: Yes. A lot worse than tv3 hd via sky.

The Transmission bitrate is a joke.

Ben Ruffell
www.ruff.co.nz


That does seem really poor form for a premium content channel. But yeah as mentioned before... no competition.

Another channel you have to pay for is BBC Knowledge (ex Documentary Channel).  They show repeats of Top Gear which have screened previously.

I have noticed that the bit rate on BBC Knowledge is not great, but was really surprised recently when I downloaded an episode of Top Gear from the BBC's website, and it was far better quality than off Sky's satellite.  I could even download an HD version for some of the later episodes if I wish, but am too tight-fisted to spend 1.2GB of my monthly 10GB allowance just for 1 hour of TV.  The SD files are about 600MB, and are brilliant quality compared to what Sky is putting out via their satellite service.

Basically, all of the bitrates on Sky's satellite channels suck -- just some more than others!







51 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 615677 26-Apr-2012 21:22 Send private message

Yes. It is a joke. The hoops we jump through at the acquisition stage to capture the best possible image, which is then colored and finished to a full hd master. Delivered in a slightly compressed, but still excellent format. Only to have it crushed to pieces by the broadcaster.

Makes me wonder why we bother.

Ben Ruffell
www.ruff.co.nz

298 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 22


  Reply # 615868 27-Apr-2012 09:36 Send private message

Ben,

I take it this is also the cause of HD sports content from overseas being of a lower standard than what one would expect? To me it seems especially noticeable on wide action shots such as football from the EPL or off any field that is really green.



51 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 615879 27-Apr-2012 09:53 Send private message

Absolutely.

There are two ways of getting content to Sky NZ for Broadcast.

1. Post a Tape

2. Via Satellite

Sending a tape is a great option as it is cheap. But it is slow. So not suitable for sports.

So, sending via satellite they can compress the image on the way over... and then Sky will compress it again for transmission.

If you want to see proof of this, have a look at an HD sports transmission in the Northern Hemisphere... it looks great!

A local example is the Rugby World Cup. Shot and transmitted locally in HD with a very kind compression setting, to me, that looked fantastic. It showed what Sky is capable of. 

The flip side of that is that the bandwidth had to come from somewhere else. If you changed channels during the main rugby matches... they looked terrible!

Essentially Sky has a set amount of bandwidth on the Satellite and they allocate that depending on what they think they can get away with. So the more channels they add without buying any more space... well, something has to give.

If Sky spent some money on buying additional Satellite Bandwidth, and did not compress the videos so much, the images would look great.

An interesting aside is that to meet HD Broadcasters minimum specifications for acceptance we have to shoot our cameras at 50mbs HD422. This quality is maintained all the way through the pipeline until it reaches transmission... then it is destroyed. The sad thing is, it does not need to be. How much profit did sky post last year? Is it that much of an ask to transmit a decent looking picture?

Ben Ruffell
www.ruff.co.nz

DS9

256 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 615880 27-Apr-2012 09:56 Send private message

ruff: Absolutely.

There are two ways of getting content to Sky NZ for Broadcast.

1. Post a Tape

2. Via Satellite

Sending a tape is a great option as it is cheap. But it is slow. So not suitable for sports.

So, sending via satellite they can compress the image on the way over... and then Sky will compress it again for transmission.

If you want to see proof of this, have a look at an HD sports transmission in the Northern Hemisphere... it looks great!

A local example is the Rugby World Cup. Shot and transmitted locally in HD with a very kind compression setting, to me, that looked fantastic. It showed what Sky is capable of. 

The flip side of that is that the bandwidth had to come from somewhere else. If you changed channels during the main rugby matches... they looked terrible!

Essentially Sky has a set amount of bandwidth on the Satellite and they allocate that depending on what they think they can get away with. So the more channels they add without buying any more space... well, something has to give.

If Sky spent some money on buying additional Satellite Bandwidth, and did not compress the videos so much, the images would look great.

An interesting aside is that to meet HD Broadcasters minimum specifications for acceptance we have to shoot our cameras at 50mbs HD422. This quality is maintained all the way through the pipeline until it reaches transmission... then it is destroyed. The sad thing is, it does not need to be. How much profit did sky post last year? Is it that much of an ask to transmit a decent looking picture?

Ben Ruffell
www.ruff.co.nz


What about via fibre?



51 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 615886 27-Apr-2012 10:05 Send private message

No idea sorry...

I am just a cameraman.

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