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HDmpg4 on Skystar 1

Discussion in 'TVs' started by AndyX, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. AndyX

    AndyX
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    Can anyone recommend a way to watch the new High Definition channels using mpeg 4 transmission method using a Skystar 1 card? I presume one would need to capture the data stream to hard disc and then decode using a media player such as the latest Divx or quicktime player, with HD mpg4 codecs. I wonder if it would be possible to capture the stream and decode using a buffer as an all in one solution.
     
  2. RecordablDVDfan

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    It is possible apparently with a SS 1/2 card. I was almost there and about to decode the mpeg channel with Skyview and a certain mpeg 4 codec at one point with help from a guy on the digital spy forums but he never posted again so got no furthur. I think Chris from Manchester can help perhaps ??
     
  3. AndyX

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    I have got mpeg2 hd running smoothly using HDTV demo, editing it's .ini file to add in more HD channels as they become available, but I think that the mpeg 4 version will shortly dominate due to the better compression ratios and the resulting cost benefits to the broadcasters. It would be nice to catch test transmissions as they start to multiply in the coming months.
     
  4. sgauntlett

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  5. Chris Muriel

    Chris Muriel
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    I don't have a Skystar card (I have a Broadlogic BL2030 and a Twinhan VP1020.
    There is an Elecard (Moonlight) codec and a couple of others around that will decode H264 OK on a powerful enough PC with the right software. Note that there there are several Elecard codecs around and I believe only the latest one supports H264.
    Not all tuning software will accept all codecs so YMMV.
    I suceeded with TSReader and an experimental beta of VLC.
    I also have a (professional) Stradis SDM275 MPEG decoder card (uses IBM hardware codec) but , of course, that won't cope with H264 or MPEG4.

    Chris Muriel, Manchester.
     
  6. AndyX

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    I believe that the latest versions of Windvd and Quicktime have introduced support for H264. I think capturing the data stream for replay later may be the best way for now.

    I have not noticed any current H264 streams on Langsat or the King of Sat HD listing so I have nothing to play around with yet. With the Sky HD page now "under construction" I think things could move pretty quickly once Sky's new Sony equipment is in place and we will have lots of test signals to play with.

    Thanks for your contributions so far
     
  7. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    I think the Tandberg and Harris kit are the keys to MPEG4 transmission tests starting (This kit supports channel transmission, MPEG4 encoding etc.)

    The Sony contract is for production gear (cameras, VTRs, vision mixers etc.) and this kit isn't required for test transmissions to take place.

    (Sony may also have the overall system integration contract - i.e. the overall responsibility for managing the whole project - but the Sony equipment is for the studios, not transmission AFAIK)
     
  8. AndyX

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    Very interesting

    I wonder if, with the capacity of the Astra 2 satellite system almost at full capacity if a second satellite slot will be required for HDTV- possibly the former E Bird which is currently being utilised very slowly?
     
  9. RecordablDVDfan

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    11.915H seems to be dead now anyway
     
  10. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    AIUI there is still some spare capacity on Astra 2 - broadcasters have been snapping up extra transponders for contingencies I believe. (ITV are using their new capacity to add more sub-regions to their DSat operation for example)

    Given that MPEG4 HD won't require any where near as much space as MPEG2 HD - especially if the lower rate, easier to compress, 720/50p standard is to be used, then I suspect that it should be relatively easy to fit 10 or so HD launch services in. Of course if they need to launch 50-100 HD channels then that would be a different matter!

    (I suspect the BBC could easily launch an HD version of BBC One - or a separate BBC HD channel showing the best of BBCs One-Four in HD - using capacity previously dedicated to BBCi video services for example?)
     
  11. Howard Pitfield

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    DVB-S2 H264 Sky HD Test has launched on 28.2 according to King of Sat site - it launched Friday 12 August and is showing in the clear - but who has DVB-S2?

    H
     
  12. Chris Muriel

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    STBs with the relevant DVB-S2 tuner chips are not available yet so I can't see any way to watch this.
    Broadcom , Connexant , Zarlink and ST Micro make the chips but they are very new (and not yet fully released as final silicon in most cases).

    Chris Muriel, Manchester.
     
  13. Howard Pitfield

    Howard Pitfield
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    Hi Chris

    Do you think that PC cards will be available soon for DVB-S2?

    Howard
     
  14. RecordablDVDfan

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    What do you mean DVD-S2 ? I wish there a prog for these MPEG4 transmissions which you simply downloaded and used ! Maybe Prog DVB will allow for MPEG 4 in a future build
     
  15. Muf

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    DVB-S2 is a new transmission standard capable of cramming more data in to a given bandwidth. The chipsets to decode it only became available at the end of last year, the STB's are about to appear and there seems to be no word of DVB-S2 PC cards yet. Basically, your Sky Star 1 won't be able to demodulate the DVB-S2 signal. If they continued to use DVB-S then as you say an update of your DVB application is all that would be required to handle the H264 signals.

    It is interesting that the Astra 23.5 East H264 DVB-S test is still running and it now seems to have a parallel DVB-S2 test. They must be doing a direct comparison between the two.

    Jim.
     
  16. RecordablDVDfan

    RecordablDVDfan
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    Ah ok so this DVB-S2 standard is different from the H264 MPEG4 standard or just a new name ? At this rate I can see the Sky HD box becoming out dated befofre it's available to buy!
     
  17. Muf

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    Yes, the DVB-S and DVB-S2 standards pertain to the medium that carries the data. This data could be anything on either of the standards, mpeg2, mpeg4, internet data etc.
    I expect the Sky box will be DVB-S2 and backwards compatible with DVB-S.

    Jim.
     
  18. Chris Muriel

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    You are spot on there.
    That's why I wrote DVB-S2 "tuner chips" (and not "decoder chips").
    I know that at least 2 of the tuner chips I mentioned are fully backwards compatible with DVB-S ; I would expect them all to be.
    It's worth noting that DVB-S2 will require slightly better dish alignment etc. to work properly , the same applies to 8-PSK if anyone decides to use it this side of the pond.

    Chris Muriel, Manchester, UK
     
  19. Stephen Neal

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    DVB-S2 is a new modulation scheme, used to get a more data into a given transponder. It isn't a compression scheme - it is just a way of using the radio frequency space available more effectively. (It gets more real bits into a given RF space)

    DVB-S is the current satellite modulation scheme - as used by Sky digital, DVB-S cards and most other European (and quite a lot of North American) satellite broadcasters. It is now quite a few years old, and it is due for an update.

    DVB-S2 is the new improved version - but it is incompatible with current receivers and PC cards. It is not related to MPEG4 (which is an improved compression scheme that can squeeze more/better quality video into a given data channel) - but it is expected that Sky will use both MPEG4 AND DVB-S2 for their services.

    Given that Sky are going to have to release new receivers for HD - it makes sense to use DVB-S2 and MPEG4 - as both deliver more cost-effective (i.e. cheaper) delivery.

    In other words :
    DVB-S2 broadcasts - whether they contain MPEG2 or MPEG4 video are not compatible with current DVB-S receivers - standalone or PC card.

    However MPEG4 CAN be carried via DVB-S as well as DVB-S2, and the DVB-S MPEG4 stuff could be received with a suitable DVB-S PC card and a software MPEG4 decoder.
     
  20. AndyX

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    I guess there is a need to give a cry of "don't panic" for those of us who have bought a nice shiny new satellite receiver. Because there are so many DVB-S receivers out there broadcasters will want to keep their audiences. DVB-S2 is likely to be the domain of the new HD transmissions which would not be compatible anyway as they are mpeg 4 and of feeds.

    Possibly broadcasters launching a brand new package of services may consider the new transmission method in standard definition.
     
  21. Stephen Neal

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    Yes - though AIUI in the US at least one broadcaster changed their modulation scheme for transmission of SD services (I think from an older system to 8PSK) - which required every receiver to be replaced... I guess it is like Sky going from analogue to digital.
     
  22. Chris Muriel

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    In the USA I believe the now defunct Voom HD service used 8PSK first.
    It is also now in use by Dish Network on Echostar 6/8 at 110 degrees west.
    Just to complicate matters there are 3 flavours of 8psk, turbo and trellis being the commonest.
    There was plenty of 8PSK broadcasting equipment on show at this year's NAB show.

    Chris Muriel, Manchester (member of USA satforums)
     
  23. Howard Pitfield

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    Chris,

    Slightly off topic - but will you be attending IBC in Holland and reporting back on what is happening with HD (Premier, France et al)? There may be sightings of Sky's tests too....

    H
     
  24. Chris Muriel

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    Unfortunately not this year (I have a couple of colleagues who are going).
    I'll be on holiday (abroad) during the event .
    Certainly there should be some interesting test transmissions on satellite around during the show.
    For anyone interested, details of the dates etc. are at www.ibc.org
    2 years ago HDNET (a USA operator) had some tests for a few days on 43 degrees west (showing films).
    And I know that Grass Valley (now part of Thomson) , Tandberg and other professional gear companies will be showing off some new equipment and launching some new products , some of which will move the cost of HD studio kit downwards.

    Chris Muriel, Manchester
     
  25. Muf

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    A little more MPEG4 news. King of sat are reporting that 5 of the German FTA stations are testing with MPEG4. DVB-S rather than DVB-S2 and standard def I presume, 5 channels on the one transponder. I tried to tune in this morning but no signal, will try again later.

    Jim.
     

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