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MPEG4 HD on Freeview possible ?

Discussion in 'TVs' started by RecordablDVDfan, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. RecordablDVDfan

    RecordablDVDfan
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    I read that France's new DTT service will allow the paytv broadcasters (only) if they want to, to use MPEG4 for HDTV transmissions. Could we not see this happen on our Freeview system and if so would the current HD ready tv's be capabale of decoding these, ie do they have a terrestrial HD tuner ?
     
  2. Chris Muriel

    Chris Muriel
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    If the Beeb went to MPEG4 transmissions you would need an STB or IDTV with an MPEG4 decoder built in (as opposed to current MPEG2) .

    Chris Muriel, Manchester
     
  3. Starburst

    Starburst
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    Freeview has simply been to successful to make a switch to a mpeg4 based STB viable without the funding coming from private/commercial companies.

    However there is always a possibilty that someone in the same manner as TUTV could launch a service (capacity allowing) which used mpeg4 but is backwards compatible with Freeview and the switch over is then staggered over a decade. Analogue switch off and DTT expansion is likely to see this sort of situation actually become a reality.

    As the US broadcasters are finding out being the first to launch mass market viable HD services means you make the first mistakes or more accurate learn the first lessons. Those that come after you take onboard the lessons learned and can adopt the latest technology at no extra cost.
    If Freeview was being launched at the end of this year then it would be mpeg4 and have more channels perhaps even HD from launch:)
     
  4. thegeby

    thegeby
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    But that may not be too bleak a situation. The DVB HD receiver standard requires both Mpeg 2 and Mpeg 4 avc capability. If you want to watch any pay channel in terrestrial mode, you will automatically have the capability to watch "Mpeg 4 HD Freeview". If the channel would transmit Mpeg 2 HD (a total waste of bandwidth IMO), it would in fact require exactly the same receiver.

    The brilliant idea behind the DVB project is its modularity. The company making a Sky HD satellite box can easily modify it to be a Mpeg 4 freeview box by changing the tuner/demodulator to a terrestrial ona and taking out the conditional access system. With a guaranteed volume market from Sky, canal digital and the other French pay bouquet, this will be a cheap option.

    Yes, people with integrated digital tuners in their TV may be upset, but given that HD is a real value added option (not to mention needing a new tv set), they will probably come around. (It is another matter whether we will be using high power terrestrial transmitters in 20 years at all :cool: )
     
  5. Starburst

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    Which basically is what I meant by a company like TUTV (offering a PAY option using non-freeview hardware) which unlike SD with subscription content would be HD either PAY or FTA on DTT.

    So you would get a small user base with mpegII/mpeg4 compliant hardware but back in the real world you are still left with a 6 mux DTT system which even with all the tweaking going on couldn't offer a viable HD service even using mpeg4.
    TUTV some how has survived with half a dozen channels which in my opinion are very poor value (mind you not as bad as SKY's value pack) but I can't see any commercial concern even attempting HD on DTT with it's very limited free capacity (ie. none now the two newly created channels have been sold to ITV and CH4).

    Over the next decade or at least well before analogue shutdown really begins to bite I hope that STB's manufacturers are using mpeg4 by default with it's backwards compatability to support the existing mpeg2 broadcasts but until mpeg2 channels are removed or new capacity comes online HD is a none starter on DTT.
     

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