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90 posts

Master Geek


# 21104 15-Apr-2008 21:38
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Saw the ad for HD Sky a few days ago and was wondering if TCL were going to be transmitting it around the same time it comes out or later this year?

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  # 123899 16-Apr-2008 07:51
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I think in short "It won't happen overnight, but it will happen" as there are are a number of problems with TCL re-transmitting Sky HD content.  This is just my guess, please correct me if I am way off track:

1) The Money.
Palms will need to be greased between TCL and SKY to determine HOW much TCL will pay Sky for accessing their content, at the moment I have been lead to believe that there "isn't much in it" ie most of the money you pay to TCL for TV, goes straight to Sky.  So how this will play out no one will ever find out but it might be hard for it to be cost effective for TCL to do it.

2) The Technology.
Again my bet is the new hardware that TCL just installed for their digital rebroadcasting "should" be able to take the MPEG4 streams, as all it's doing it decrypting it from Skys NDS, and re-encrypting it in Irdeto, not touching the actual TV stream at all.  I could be wrong, but I would sincerely hope I am not.  However every subscriber will need a new Set Top Box with HDMI outputs and MPEG4 support etc.  These boxes aren't cheap and I understand that Sky won't be offering a Non MySky / non PVR version for their HD content, even though non HD Pace STB's do exist, so it will be the MySky HD or whatever they call it with associated install and monthly costs.  TCL as you know don't offer a MySky PVR equivilant (not that boxes don't exist ;) so they would need to decide to either go for a PVR option as well, or offer customers the choice of having eithe a PVR or non-pvr Set Top Box, which leads nicely into the last question

3) How much is it going to cost you?
Well currently a MySky costs $700 to get installed, how much Sky offers the MySkyHD for is anyones guess but TCL won't be able to offer the install for anything cheaper as Sky would "throw their toys" as customers would go for TCL over Sky if they could get HD cheaper through TCL, and customers outside TCL's regions would throw their toys even more saying "how come these TCL guys can get Sky cheaper than us".. It would just get ugly quickly.  So I can assume the install & monthly costs will be the same, but if TCL offer a PVR/Non-PVR solution... will be interesting to see.  But that being said technically anyone could get a Irdeto Cable STB that had HD / HDMI support and use their TCL Smartcard and be away (due to Irdeto Encryption being sub-licensed to many vendors).

I don't expect anything quickly if their Picture Quality upgrade was anything to go by.... But perhaps by mid next year we may see something.... maybe.






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  # 124040 16-Apr-2008 13:34
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I wonder if feeding the FTA HD over the TCL network would be a possibility as well? There's a hill between KauKau and myself, so even if I wanted FTA HD I don't think I'd be able to get it.

 
 
 
 


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  # 124056 16-Apr-2008 14:07
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I was thinking that as well.. since TCL take their TVNZ feed directly from Avalon, "in theory" that could be a HD feed... which could run into all sorts of "Freeview/non-freeview" style issues... But again, technically it is possible.  Not sure where TCL get their TV3 feed from (is it off the Satellite, or do they have the Wellington Adds?)... but would be a huge value add for going for TCL rather than Sky if you could get the FTA channels in HD.  But opens more cans of worms for the powers that be.





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  # 124366 17-Apr-2008 12:58
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Yes it would be a definite value add for TCL. Given Wellington's hills, I'd bet there would be a bunch of people who won't be able to receive the HD signal from KauKau or Baxters knob (not sure of the infill site for WGTN?).  

I don't think Freeview would be concerned as they'd be picking up a viewer that they previously wouldn't have had.(Being a TCL TV subscriber I'm not likely to spend money for Freeview DVB-S nor shift house to a suitable reception site for HD. But if it comes down TCL's cable I'd watch it)

Technically, there may be issues with converting the DVB-T which I think is using OFDM and packaging it down cable via DVB-C. I wonder if TCL's headend upgrade could handle it?

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  # 124375 17-Apr-2008 13:14
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Davos: I don't think Freeview would be concerned as they'd be picking up a viewer that they previously wouldn't have had.(Being a TCL TV subscriber I'm not likely to spend money for Freeview DVB-S nor shift house to a suitable reception site for HD. But if it comes down TCL's cable I'd watch it)

But then I think it *SHOULD* raise questions with the new freeview channels 6&7, If TCL would be broadcasting HD 1/2/3 Freeview, they should IMHO also transmit 6&7... but then that opens that whole can of worms again....
Davos: Technically, there may be issues with converting the DVB-T which I think is using OFDM and packaging it down cable via DVB-C. I wonder if TCL's headend upgrade could handle it?

DVB is DVB, doesn't matter what it is transmitted over, current TCL take the DVB-S and reboardcast it over DVB-C, most likely I would expect TCL to get a direct feed via microwave / fibre / whatever they do currently from Avalon.  There shouldn't be any technical problem broadcasting the HD streams, just need a STB at home to decode it.





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  # 124380 17-Apr-2008 13:27
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There are a few places in the world where DVB-T is pumped down HFC systems alongside DVB-C, DVB-T is more than capable of working in such an environment, just not as efficient as DVB-C QAM, but more robust. This would save TCL from having to provide HD STBs for these services. This is no different to cable operators providing analog FTA. Would TCL do it, dunno.

In the states its quite common for cable operators to pump ATSC (off air) digital channels over the cable network along with DVB-C/Docsis. In the US TVs over a certain size by law have ATSC decoders builtin, most now have DVB-C capability as well as some muxs are in the clear and all that changes is the tuner/demod part. Also becoming the norm is that these TVs are fitted with CA which accept cards from most cable operators so you can get encryped channels without a STB.

Cyril

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  # 124381 17-Apr-2008 13:29
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But then I think it *SHOULD* raise questions with the new freeview
channels 6&7, If TCL would be broadcasting HD 1/2/3 Freeview, they
should IMHO also transmit 6&7... but then that opens that whole can
of worms again....


Not sure which can of worms you are meaning but last time I asked about TVNZ6, TCL told me that they "have to have mutual agreements with SKY TV before channels can be added to our service". Which sounds like they signed some pretty strange contract with Sky!

 
 
 
 


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  # 124892 19-Apr-2008 08:30
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cyril7: There are a few places in the world where DVB-T is pumped down HFC systems alongside DVB-C, DVB-T is more than capable of working in such an environment, just not as efficient as DVB-C QAM, but more robust. This would save TCL from having to provide HD STBs for these services. This is no different to cable operators providing analog FTA. Would TCL do it, dunno.

In the states its quite common for cable operators to pump ATSC (off air) digital channels over the cable network along with DVB-C/Docsis. In the US TVs over a certain size by law have ATSC decoders builtin, most now have DVB-C capability as well as some muxs are in the clear and all that changes is the tuner/demod part. Also becoming the norm is that these TVs are fitted with CA which accept cards from most cable operators so you can get encryped channels without a STB.

Cyril


Now that's an idea. Just send the DVB-T signal down the cable and let the punter go purchase a DVB-T box if they want to. Not a lot different from their sending down the analogue channels unencrypted down the cable. Good for those folks who can't get UHF reception and in Wellington there might be a few of those :)

Now I don't recall the maths but I seem to remember a figure of about 23Mbs for DVB-T (but not sure for how many channels). Seeing an analogue channel takes about 6Mbs just ditch a few of the analogue channels and the bandwidth is there.

Talking about digital channels over cable in the US, I purchased one of these

http://www.primedtv.com/products/dtvsettop.html

for friends for a Xmas present. Plugged into their cable system it found 100+ digital channels on their cable (many were music) and found the 7 FTA HD channels. That was pretty cool.




Staying in Wellington. Check out my AirBnB in the Wellington CBD.  https://www.airbnb.co.nz/rooms/32019730  Mention GZ to get a 10% discount

 

System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen, Denon AVRS730H 7.2 Channel Dolby Atmos/DTS-X AV Receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast, Odroid C2 running Kodi and Plex

 

 


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  # 124893 19-Apr-2008 08:55
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lchiu7: Now that's an idea. Just send the DVB-T signal down the cable and let the punter go purchase a DVB-T box if they want to. Not a lot different from their sending down the analogue channels unencrypted down the cable. Good for those folks who can't get UHF reception and in Wellington there might be a few of those :)


Plugging non approved devices such as TV's into the network is still a big issue in TCL's eyes - there are bound to be hundreds if not thousands of customers who realise that the FTA channels can be tuned in on any TV and are probably taking advantage of that but if people are making their own modifications to their wiring to allow for this then it raises plenty of RF ingress issues for the network.

All TCL really need to do is roll out decent STB's - there is no reason why they can't have something now offering a PVR with VoD service as they've already got the backhaul to support this. They just seem to be lacking the $$ or desire to actually deliver products that would give them a significant advantage over Sky.

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  # 124897 19-Apr-2008 09:16
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sbiddle:
lchiu7: Now that's an idea. Just send the DVB-T signal down the cable and let the punter go purchase a DVB-T box if they want to. Not a lot different from their sending down the analogue channels unencrypted down the cable. Good for those folks who can't get UHF reception and in Wellington there might be a few of those :)


Plugging non approved devices such as TV's into the network is still a big issue in TCL's eyes - there are bound to be hundreds if not thousands of customers who realise that the FTA channels can be tuned in on any TV and are probably taking advantage of that but if people are making their own modifications to their wiring to allow for this then it raises plenty of RF ingress issues for the network.
..


Agreed. But with the digital STB's they use now, the entire channel bandwidth is passed through the digital STB. So when you connect the output of the STB (RF) to your TV, you not only pick up the unencrypted channel as chosen by your cable box, but can tune into all the other unencrypted channels. That is not like having an unapproved device connected to the TCL network.




Staying in Wellington. Check out my AirBnB in the Wellington CBD.  https://www.airbnb.co.nz/rooms/32019730  Mention GZ to get a 10% discount

 

System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen, Denon AVRS730H 7.2 Channel Dolby Atmos/DTS-X AV Receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast, Odroid C2 running Kodi and Plex

 

 


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  # 124924 19-Apr-2008 14:04
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lchiu7:Agreed. But with the digital STB's they use now, the entire channel bandwidth is passed through the digital STB. So when you connect the output of the STB (RF) to your TV, you not only pick up the unencrypted channel as chosen by your cable box, but can tune into all the other unencrypted channels. That is not like having an unapproved device connected to the TCL network.

But not everyone is on Digital, and if you are on Analogue you only get the analogue channel you are turned into.
And if you are on Digital then it would make sense IMHO to pump it down the wire as DVB-C, thus one STB, and all the problems disappear.  But it still raises the issue about how TCL are going to do it and if they will sort out relevant agreements between Sky, and Freeview/TVNZ/Canwest for HD content.

I think we all agree technically there is no issue once customers are supplied with a new HD compliant STB, then it's just political.  Which will most probably stop anything from happening any time soon.





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  # 124926 19-Apr-2008 14:22
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I would think TCL would love everybody to move to digital so they could free up bandwidth for other things. Sending down dvb-t over the cable is very low cost for TCL since they don't need to provide STB's to the consumer. The consumer buys their own.




Staying in Wellington. Check out my AirBnB in the Wellington CBD.  https://www.airbnb.co.nz/rooms/32019730  Mention GZ to get a 10% discount

 

System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen, Denon AVRS730H 7.2 Channel Dolby Atmos/DTS-X AV Receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast, Odroid C2 running Kodi and Plex

 

 


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Master Geek


  # 125310 21-Apr-2008 14:07
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I think HD over Telstra's existing set top box would be pretyt much impossible as it only has a composite video out - using a freeview box might work, but the re-investment costs (e.g. new set top boxes) for Telstrclear would be pretty steep so I doubt you'll be seeing sky HD on Telstra's network any time soon...

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  # 125328 21-Apr-2008 14:59
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patdude: I think HD over Telstra's existing set top box would be pretyt much impossible as it only has a composite video out - using a freeview box might work, but the re-investment costs (e.g. new set top boxes) for Telstrclear would be pretty steep so I doubt you'll be seeing sky HD on Telstra's network any time soon...

The other model of their Digital STB does have a SVideo out, but no component or HDMI.  Nor does it have support for anything other than MPEG2, so in all reality TCL would need to see what sort of video / audio encoding Sky choose for their Satellite HD feeds, plus find a box that support H.264/HE-AAC for the Freeview HD feeds, as TCL won't really want to be re-encoding / transcoding any content before they pump it down the wire.
My bet is, oct-nov this year some announcement (either if they will do it or not), plus a timeframe of around march next year, which will be pushed out until june/july if their previous rollouts are anything to go by.

Turning off the Analogue TV would be good, since then they would free up a whole heap of spectrum, but then again it's not like they have a lack of capacity being that they own the whole cable infrastructure, and don't share it with anyone else.  So why don't they just send down a full weeks worth of EPG over the EIT, that way they could do-away with the Cable Modem for the STB, as it would only be needed for PPV, which people could do online, or choose to have the Cable Modem just for that.





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  # 130907 14-May-2008 16:21
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Telstraclear promises HD

http://www.stuff.co.nz/4523495a28.html?source=RSStech_20080512

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