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727 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 668211 6-Aug-2012 12:26 Send private message

Spyware:
xarqi: Back on the subject of quality, rather than content, I've seen a small amount of coverage on Prime via DVB-S FTA since I can't get DVB-T. I too have noticed digital artifacts not normally present. Predominantly this is blockiness on object edges during fast transitions within a scene or more generally immediately after a scene change. At times it really is quite bad. I attribute this to one or both of two things: uncorrected errors in the data stream from mobile cameras, and excessive compression in the link from London to NZ.



Your assumptions are wrong. The blockiness on Prime is 100% due to Sky playing out a very low bitrate stream into the encoders that feed the local Optus D1 feed and the DVB-T feed.

This does not account for the flaws appearing only in video from London, but it does confirm that the same data feeds both DVB-T and DVB-S, so my DVB-S observation would support the OP's DVB-T one.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 668223 6-Aug-2012 12:37 Send private message

xarqi: Back on the subject of quality, rather than content


The original post seems more concerned with content:


Have tried to find info on what coverage TVNZ / Freeview has on the olympics.  Is freeview running a second special channel, or are we limited to whatever channel 1 has?


and content is a bit crap IMO  ;-)  quality seems OK (not brilliant but acceptable) to me TBH.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 668234 6-Aug-2012 12:49 Send private message

sidefx:
xarqi: Back on the subject of quality, rather than content


The original post seems more concerned with content:

 

Ah, so it was - my mistake, and my apologies.
It was later in the thread that another poster raised the issue of quality.

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  Reply # 668248 6-Aug-2012 13:07 Send private message

xarqi: Back on the subject of quality, rather than content, I've seen a small amount of coverage on Prime via DVB-S FTA since I can't get DVB-T. I too have noticed digital artifacts not normally present. Predominantly this is blockiness on object edges during fast transitions within a scene or more generally immediately after a scene change. At times it really is quite bad. I attribute this to one or both of two things: uncorrected errors in the data stream from mobile cameras, and excessive compression in the link from London to NZ.

+1 regarding your observations about PQ on Prime via DVB-S FTA.

But there is absolutely nothing wrong with the video quality coming from London!  It's even better than last year's RWC so far as I can tell.  I've been watching Prime HD most of the time and when I compared it to what most people are seeing on Prime SD, it about made me puke. Prime SD is a blurry, shuddery, grainy mess compared to Prime HD.





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  Reply # 668255 6-Aug-2012 13:13 Send private message

grant_k: But there is absolutely nothing wrong with the video quality coming from London!  It's even better than last year's RWC so far as I can tell.  I've been watching Prime HD most of the time and when I compared it to what most people are seeing on Prime SD, it about made me puke. Prime SD is a blurry, shuddery, grainy mess compared to Prime HD.


On behalf of 'most people' I'd like to say thank you, to you and to Sky/Prime.  Thank you very much.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 668259 6-Aug-2012 13:16 Send private message

OK, maybe there are two causes with similar symptoms. The poster with the poor DVB-T quality may have an antenna issue as many suggested; us poor disenfranchised DVB-S recipients just have a crap service.

That still leaves the unexplained observation (mine) that the quality issues are seen only with the London originated material. I'm quite certain that some of it really is due to transmission from the back of a motorcycle in the middle of an urban area, but not all of it.

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  Reply # 668268 6-Aug-2012 13:27 Send private message

xarqi: That still leaves the unexplained observation (mine) that the quality issues are seen only with the London originated material. I'm quite certain that some of it really is due to transmission from the back of a motorcycle in the middle of an urban area, but not all of it.

During the women's triathlon I noticed an occasional horizontal line disturbance in video footage originated from a motorcycle, but it was far, far less noticeable than we had from Beijing in 2008.  This particular disturbance always seemed to happen at the same place on the circuit.

The organisers in London have done a sterling job in getting 99.9% rock-solid pictures from motorcycles.  They must have covered the route with a huge number of cellsites in order to do this, unless of course they are using satellite? 





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  Reply # 668269 6-Aug-2012 13:30 Send private message

And I'm quite certain its due to Sky compressing the buggery out of the SD streams. My guess is that they simply downsample the HD stream anyway. The live HD streams are actually quite pristine and have very few glitches in them.




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  Reply # 668272 6-Aug-2012 13:32 Send private message

Well I've also noticed the odd pixelated image on Prime DVB-T Freeview Olympic coverage, where I don't normally see any, so I don't think it's really an antenna issue.

I'm confused about some comments saying that they are watching Prime Olympic coverage is in HD. Where and how?

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  Reply # 668273 6-Aug-2012 13:34 Send private message

allan: I'm confused about some comments saying that they are watching Prime Olympic coverage is in HD. Where and how?

For $46 per month you could be watching it too.  No HD Ticket is required, and no Sky Sports Sub. is required.  Admittedly I have a MySky-equivalent HD decoder in order to do this :)





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  Reply # 668277 6-Aug-2012 13:39 Send private message

Spyware: Your assumptions are wrong. The blockiness on Prime is 100% due to Sky playing out a very low bitrate stream into the encoders that feed the local Optus D1 feed and the DVB-T feed. Plenty of other evidence of this minimal bitrate philosophy applied to a lot of Sky delayed content on Prime. Sky's Prime DVB-S transmission is one of the lowest quality Sky standard definition streams I've seen and only ever sample its hideousness. I tried to watch Top Gear once and was nearly sick as it looked so bad.

+1

Top Gear downloaded using BBC iPlayer (in SD) looks far, far better than what you'll see on Prime.

Spyware: And I'm quite certain its due to Sky compressing the buggery out of the SD streams. My guess is that they simply downsample the HD stream anyway. The live HD streams are actually quite pristine and have very few glitches in them.

+1

It's disappointing that Sky don't open the taps a little on their Prime SD feed, but I guess it's their way of encouraging uptake of MySky HDi subscriptions.  The extra bandwidth needed for 8 x HD Sport channels + Prime HD has to come from somewhere I guess.





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  Reply # 668368 6-Aug-2012 15:24 Send private message

Jaxson:
grant_k: But there is absolutely nothing wrong with the video quality coming from London!  It's even better than last year's RWC so far as I can tell.  I've been watching Prime HD most of the time and when I compared it to what most people are seeing on Prime SD, it about made me puke. Prime SD is a blurry, shuddery, grainy mess compared to Prime HD.


On behalf of 'most people' I'd like to say thank you, to you and to Sky/Prime.  Thank you very much.

Apologies Jaxson for the patronising tone of that post.  I used to work in TV and Radio transmission, so I know a good clean picture when I see one.  And Prime SD sure as hell isn't a good clean picture.  It's full of compression artifacts as others have said.

Call me a snob, connoisseur or whatever, I can take it.  My way of thinking is that the Olympics only comes around once every 4 years, so I may as well get prepared with a good HD setup and make the most of it.  Whether I'll be happy to continue paying $46 per month after the Olympics is over is another issue.  If Sky continues to transmit Prime in HD, I definitely will.  They have some good programmes, but the very heavy compression greatly detracts from my enjoyment of them.  Even if Sky updated their doco offerings on BBC Knowledge I probably will.  But if they continue with the same tired formula of Prime only in SD, 9-year old episodes of Top Gear, then they can shove it.





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  Reply # 668414 6-Aug-2012 16:14 Send private message

No worries Grant K, it's the situation that is rough and you're simply highlighting it. It think the kicker is that we got better coverage 4 years ago, but I understand (but don't have to like), that that's where it's all heading these days. User pays for everything, be it hospitals, schools with their fee 'donations', or live sports coverage etc

Are you using a VU+ Duo or similar to receive prime in HD off the basic package? I understand that HD TV 1- 3 is available off the base package as well, if your unit can accept a SKY card and has a DVB-S2 tuner.

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  Reply # 668457 6-Aug-2012 16:54 Send private message

grant_k:
allan: I'm confused about some comments saying that they are watching Prime Olympic coverage is in HD. Where and how?

For $46 per month you could be watching it too.? No HD Ticket is required, and no Sky Sports Sub. is required.? Admittedly I have a MySky-equivalent HD decoder in order to do this :)


What about those who have Telstraclear's TV service? I do but don't have a T-Box so I don't get HD over cable. I use a Freeview tuner for that. But with the T-Box apparently TCL sends down HD signals for all FTA HD channels. I wonder if they are sending down Prime HD also?

I would certainly not subscribe to a T-Box or Sky for one month (if indeed you could) so I just have to put up with Prime's low quality signal.

Whether the thread is on PQ or content, I think Prime is failing on both counts.




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  Reply # 668466 6-Aug-2012 17:04 Send private message

I have found primes coverage pretty good, and they have shown a wide range of sports. Although some of the people they have on it are a bit odd, they seem to have heaps of people over there. There is this one guy who has been on a bit, and stares at the camera smiling the whole time while someone else is interviewed, if you have seen him you will know who I mean. But the quality of the show has been leaps ahead of TVNZ's coverage when they used to do it. But the downside is that the picture quality is poor and too compressed, and it is only on one channel. The Chinese games was in HD on freeview, and was on two different channels (TVNZ and TVNZ sports), so we have gone backwards.

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