Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.




596 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 25


Topic # 53420 10-Dec-2009 20:24
Send private message

I use a dreambox DM600-S to view sky, the dreambox shows the screen resolution on any channel i tune to, and with dreambox plugins from the gemini website i can get the audio bitrates too.

Currently sky have most of their channels encoded at 544x576 with a low mpeg bitrate of around 3mbps which is the reason for blurred pictures and pixilated frames in fast motion scenes.  544x576 is ok for most 4:3 channels displayed on a 4:3 tv, but definately not ok for 16:9 channels pan scanned on a 4:3 tv where the sides are cut off to centre the picture,  watching a 16:9 channel encoded at 544x576 pixels on a 4:3 tv with panscan enbled is like watching an old VHS tape, its worse than watching an analogue freetoair channel.  Sky sport 1, 2, and 3, all movie chans inc box office but except for tcm and mgm are all encoded at 720x576 16:9, tcm and mgm are both 544x576.  the audio bitrates on the box office channels are 160kbps 4800khz,  sky sport 1 is 265kbps 4800Khz, cant remember off the top of my head what sky sports 2 and 3 are, i think 192kbps 4800Khz.  sky movies 1 and 2 and sm greats are 256kbps 4800Khz.  But surprisingly Sky Digital Music is all 192kb/s 3200Khz and not 4800Khz, u can definately hear the difference in quality, well I can! why the low sample rate sky? why not just use 4800khz?  its not like audio streams take up much bandwidth anyway, increasing the 3200Khz to 4800Khz will not use very much at all.  The Preview channel has the lowest resolution 480x576 16:9, just have a loot at Preview and compare it with other channels, the picture is blurred and not very clear compared to others.

Recently sky changed the resolution on a few channels, nat geo, uktv from 544x576 16:9 to 720x576 16:9, and BBC from 544x576 16:9 to 704x576 16:9, I watch natgeo a lot and noticed the difference in quality straight away.

C4 is also 544x576 16:9, i never watch C4 on sky i watch the freeview feed which is 720x576 16:9

View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic
 1 | 2 | 3
25593 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 5368

Moderator
Trusted
Biddle Corp
Subscriber

  Reply # 281299 10-Dec-2009 21:00
Send private message

The simple reality is that for every person like you or I who do know about things like bitrates and resolutions and want higher quality images there are probably 9 users who simply don't care. The sorts of people who have their boxes and TV's set to expand 4:3 because they don't like seeing black borders and use composite cables to hook their box up to the TV.

Satellite bandwidth is expensive and the more channels Sky can fiy onto a MUX the better they are. Many foreign channels are also not transcoded in any way - Sky are simply broadcasting them at the same resolution and bitrate they receive them in.

2586 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 193

Trusted

  Reply # 281332 10-Dec-2009 23:04
Send private message

The world tv channels are actually the lowest quality video-wise at 352x576




Check out my LPFM Radio Station at www.thecheese.co.nz cool

 

 

 

Use this link to sign up to Bigpipe broadband and you'll get $20 off your first bill: Referral Link


 
 
 
 




596 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 25


  Reply # 281361 11-Dec-2009 01:20
Send private message

how come C4 is low resolution at 544x576, why not use the freeview feed and save bandwidth? sky use the tvnz 6 and 7 feeds from freeview, they could also do the same with tv1 tv2 and tv3, sky run dupe feeds of these chans on their own transponders, and tv3 and c4 are also encrypted on sky transponders, why do they even bother to encrypt when the quality is lower and those chans are on freeview transponders anyway at a much higher quality. thats 4 channels doubled up chewing extra satelite bandwidth.

20373 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 3878

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 281371 11-Dec-2009 01:42
Send private message

Probably so that the guide still works when on those channels, whereas with the freeview transponder homed channels it just gives unavailable for everything till you change back and wait a while.




Richard rich.ms

25593 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 5368

Moderator
Trusted
Biddle Corp
Subscriber

  Reply # 281383 11-Dec-2009 04:10
Send private message

richms: Probably so that the guide still works when on those channels, whereas with the freeview transponder homed channels it just gives unavailable for everything till you change back and wait a while.


It's one of the main reasons.

Sky's EPG will only update when the box is on a Sky Channel off the Sky transponders. If you leave your box on TVNZ6/7 you will eventually see you have no EPG available.

719 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 5


  Reply # 284334 21-Dec-2009 11:25
Send private message

sky sports H/L Have very bad quality.




               The Biggest and the Best.



596 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 25


  Reply # 284337 21-Dec-2009 11:40
Send private message

cws82us: sky sports H/L Have very bad quality.


yea because that chan is 544x576 16:9, skysport 1, 2, and 3 are 720x576 16:9

94 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 284422 21-Dec-2009 18:36
Send private message

This is really interesting information.

With the new satellite now available it would be interesting to see if those people using it get a higher bit rate - do you need a new LNB before you can use it?

What is the bit rate for History? it seems considerably worse than Nat Geo

175 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 10


  Reply # 284440 21-Dec-2009 19:16
Send private message

sbiddle:
richms: Probably so that the guide still works when on those channels, whereas with the freeview transponder homed channels it just gives unavailable for everything till you change back and wait a while.


It's one of the main reasons.

Sky's EPG will only update when the box is on a Sky Channel off the Sky transponders. If you leave your box on TVNZ6/7 you will eventually see you have no EPG available.


Thanks for that sbiddle, that's really useful info. I assume it's the same for Stratos then...I was wondering why the EPG wouldn't show anything when watching it and leaving the TV on that channel Smile

Jen

20373 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 3878

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 284448 21-Dec-2009 19:37
Send private message

If you call and complain they say you need a mysky to get the guide working on those channels. So they have little incentive to sort it out on the other boxes.




Richard rich.ms



596 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 25


  Reply # 284550 22-Dec-2009 10:24
Send private message

penfald: This is really interesting information.

With the new satellite now available it would be interesting to see if those people using it get a higher bit rate - do you need a new LNB before you can use it?

What is the bit rate for History? it seems considerably worse than Nat Geo


The History channel is 544x576 4:3, Natgeo is 720x576 16:9

However about a month ago Natgeo used to be 544x576 16:9 which would have made it worse than the History Channel and sky changed it for some reason, by im not complaining, I noticed the difference in quality straight away.  I watch Natgeo a lot

The bitrate on all sky channels is a variable bitrate for video and a fixed bitrate for audio.  Video it fluctuates between 1 and 4mbps with the average at around 2.8mbps for most SD channels.  the audio can be any fixed bitrate from 32kbps upto 448kbps and is in mp2 format not mp3.  the HD channels are all full 1080 hd except for tv1 and tv2, they are 720.  the bitrate on all channels seems to fluctuate between 6 and 13mbps with the average being at around 9mbps for HD channels, there are mp2 audio tracks on every HD channel with AC3 5.1 on the channs that support surround sound.

I have a bluray writer and have successfully been recording raw TS files from skymovies HD which i have then feed into TS Remuxer and created BDMV compatible bluray folders. I then burn these with imgburn and the disks play no prob in a set-top bluray player.

18 posts

Geek


  Reply # 284575 22-Dec-2009 11:33
Send private message

sbiddle:
richms: Probably so that the guide still works when on those channels, whereas with the freeview transponder homed channels it just gives unavailable for everything till you change back and wait a while.


It's one of the main reasons.

Sky's EPG will only update when the box is on a Sky Channel off the Sky transponders. If you leave your box on TVNZ6/7 you will eventually see you have no EPG available.


Is that why we lose the EPG all the time, and why it can have 24 hours of data stored for every channel, and then just drop down to just the next show?

That annoys me so much!

792 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 78


  Reply # 284604 22-Dec-2009 13:13
Send private message

gareth41:   the HD channels are all full 1080 hd except for tv1 and tv2, they are 720. 


No full 1080 full HD channels avaliable in NZ I believe.

94 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 284611 22-Dec-2009 13:39
Send private message

Yes, I would assume that all the channels are interlaced meaning each frame is only 544x288 with the other half of the frame being interlaced. Only the HD channels that are 1920x720 would be prograssive

245 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 4


  Reply # 285608 28-Dec-2009 14:14
Send private message

I think only 1080i is out. not even overseas is 1080p the norm. its just not worth the extra bandwidth and cost.

And yeah the Sky sports H/L channel is terrible. So is ESPN. Which is damm annoying because ESPN HD is in australia but sky nz is just saying "Nah, we can't be bothered paying extra for it"

 1 | 2 | 3
View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic



Twitter »

Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:





News »

Air New Zealand experiments with blockchain technology
Posted 23-Nov-2017 15:39


Symantec selects Amazon Web Services to deliver cloud security
Posted 23-Nov-2017 10:40


New Zealand Ministry of Education chooses Unisys for cloud-based education resourcing management system
Posted 22-Nov-2017 22:00


Business analytics software powers profits for NZ wine producers
Posted 22-Nov-2017 21:52


Pyrios strikes up alliance with Microsoft integrator UC Logiq
Posted 22-Nov-2017 21:51


The New Zealand IT services ecosystem - it's all digital down here
Posted 22-Nov-2017 21:49


Volvo to supply tens of thousands of autonomous drive compatible cars to Uber
Posted 22-Nov-2017 21:46


From small to medium and beyond: Navigating the ERP battlefield
Posted 21-Nov-2017 21:12


Business owners: ERP software selection starts (and finishes) with you
Posted 21-Nov-2017 21:11


Why I'm not an early adopter
Posted 21-Nov-2017 10:39


Netatmo launches smart home products in New Zealand
Posted 20-Nov-2017 20:06


Huawei Mate 10: Punchy, long battery life, artificial intelligence
Posted 20-Nov-2017 16:30


Propel launch Disney Star Wars Laser Battle Drones
Posted 19-Nov-2017 21:26


UFB killer app: Speed
Posted 17-Nov-2017 17:01


The case for RSS — MacSparky
Posted 13-Nov-2017 14:35



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.