Raising Awareness On The Quality Of HD Broadcasts

andijames

Active Member
I've been reading the forums for quite a while now and have noticed a distinct increase of people noticing lower quality broadcasts on Sky HD (lower bitrates on movies etc) and poorer quality transmissions compared to earlier ones of the same material (ie Resident Evil Apocalypse was much better quality when broadcast a few months back compared to now) and had a thought...

As sky tend not to listen to the smaller voices and single smaller complaints i thought it might be a good idea to get someone on board who can possibly write an article on this raising everyone's concerns. I was thinking of basically asking The Register to possibly look into it and raise public awareness on this issue. Maybe if enough voices shout together then sky may take more notice.

I only bring this up as i am about to get Sky HD installed and am concerned that sky may be lowering the quality to save on bandwidth and therefore costs and it is the consumer who is missing out. We pay a premium for this service and expect it to be of quality that is higher than is being produced at this time.

Don't want to cause any trouble at all i'm just interested of getting the full HD experience that we pay good money for.

Any thoughts on this??

Cheers guys. :smashin:

AJ
 

angelislington

Active Member
I had a feeling that Sky might do this...

I saw some of the golf on SS HD yesterday, it was pretty dire to be honest, very little difference between that and SD.
 

indianwells

Well-known Member
I think that's an excellent idea.As you say if an individual rings Sky with a concern no notice of his complaint will be taken but with a group consumer voice they may have to if the numbers are there.:smashin:
 

mark800

Distinguished Member
Go for it. For the success of HD, it's critical that it doesn't go down the same slippery slope as SD.
 

yoyopowder

Standard Member
I personally said I'd hold out before I subscribed, and I'm glad I did, reports are far too mixed right now.

Anyhow, I'm sure that my Sky SD channels are getting worst by the month, to make comparisons I always just do a quick check back to our Irish channels broadcast via Sky (I'm not sure if you get these in the UK). As far as Im concerned they are almost picture perfect on my 40" Sammy. Could it be that true SD (or close to it) is every bit as good as poor HD?

From what I see, the Sky owned channels broadcasting in SD are in fact rubbish SD and it could be true in the future for HD. What's the point in HD if the bitrate does not deliver HD, or SD for that matter.
 

danvitale

Active Member
Richard T said:
I had a feeling that Sky might do this...

I saw some of the golf on SS HD yesterday, it was pretty dire to be honest, very little difference between that and SD.
Are you sure that it was actual HD not upscaled from SD?
 

Starburst

Well-known Member
danvitale said:
Are you sure that it was actual HD not upscaled from SD?



:)
I don't think there was any native HD golf on any of the SKY channels yesterday so that could explain why it wasn't that impressive especially if you are watching upscaled by SKY then scaled/de-interlaced by the SKY+ and/or the TV.
 

danvitale

Active Member
Thought so. I think some here may need to press the Information button to confirm what they are watching is actually filmed in HD ;)

Anyway, the Ryder Cup is in HD late this year. Should b egood.
 

Martinj

Standard Member
Yup, Rte is the best picture quality outside of Hd, noticeably better than all other sd channels. Also very clear that an hour of Rte on the sky+ box takes up a larger percentage on the disk (proof of a much greater bitrate). But they are the absolute worst at keeping to programme timing!!:suicide:
 

mark800

Distinguished Member
yoyopowder said:
I personally said I'd hold out before I subscribed, and I'm glad I did, reports are far too mixed right now.

.
That doesn't make sense. HD is much better than SD, so I hope you're happy with awful SD channels.
 

Kubera

Standard Member
From Sky CS:

"A films quality does not vary depending on the timeslot which it is broadcast, and Sky do not decrease the quality of the films they broadcast in HD. If you are getting a picture that blocks and freezes when you are watching, this could be due to a technical problem."
 

yoyopowder

Standard Member
mark800 said:
That doesn't make sense. HD is much better than SD, so I hope you're happy with awful SD channels.
My point being, not if you aint getting HD in it's true form, and in the UK most SD channels are not near SD quality, so the same might be said for HD if they follow their same format of lowering bitrate etc.

To the other post above about RTE timing, absolutely agree, but if you think that's bad TV3 has to be the worst, ten mins gone off the end of almost everything recorded. Disaster. :suicide:
 

gerryman62

Active Member
yoyopowder said:
My point being, not if you aint getting HD in it's true form, and in the UK most SD channels are not near SD quality, so the same might be said for HD if they follow their same format of lowering bitrate etc.

To the other post above about RTE timing, absolutely agree, but if you think that's bad TV3 has to be the worst, ten mins gone off the end of almost everything recorded. Disaster. :suicide:
cant belive 629 hits this thred has got and only 14 replys y r u all happy abt sky one and movies the bitrate is cr+p the pq not much better than sd its time to let sky no were r not going to stand for this lowrate so called hd,o and ret timeing shocking but pq excellent
 

Tony Hoyle

Well-known Member
Kubera said:
From Sky CS:

"A films quality does not vary depending on the timeslot which it is broadcast, and Sky do not decrease the quality of the films they broadcast in HD. If you are getting a picture that blocks and freezes when you are watching, this could be due to a technical problem."
Heh. It does.. it's known to do that. Some films are excellent quality one day and poor the next.
 

Starburst

Well-known Member
Tony Hoyle said:
Heh. It does.. it's known to do that. Some films are excellent quality one day and poor the next.


Yeah the amount of disk space a movie may use has been seen to vary from screening to screening and that must effect the final result, SKY may not be making a policy decision to do this but if some stat muxing is being applied then it's entirely possible for the PQ to vary.

For SKY1 we can easily see required storage ranging from 4% (Eureka 9pm and boy did it show on the strobbing:( ) to 6% for Enterprise (3pm and looked great). I think that could easily be the result of SM10HD not being online during the day.

To me it still looks like the mpeg4 encoders are seriously under performing and until that is solved then I think HD from all broadcasters is far from the finished product.
 

SwinBob72

Well-known Member
PQ on the HD Movie Channels is beyond bad. If anyone wants an example Blade:Trinity is on now, and is repeated again later. The scene where Blade is in the Police station in the red shirt is a good example. Blades shirt is so blocky I could've been watching it on YouTube. This can't simply be a poor source, there is no way the movie company have encoded it that badly.

I'm thinking of writing to What Hi-Fi to see if they will do an article about it. They just did one last month about how great HD is, and I think a follow up about any PQ issues would be good for raising awareness.
 

Starburst

Well-known Member
The movie channel PQ is variable and for all intents and purposes that is no different from being all bad, you shouldn't have to watch multipule broadcasts to find the good one.

Having said that 9/10 of the HD movies I have seen have been oustanding or perfectly acceptable including a previous broadcast of Trinity.
It certainly isn't a case of a bad master but real time encoding and perhaps stat-muxing which is causing these fluctuation in PQ that are being reported.

Given that all HD is premium there really isn't an argument for SKY1 and NG etc having 5% or 6% for an hour while the HD movies sometimes have the same figure for 90-120minutes.
 

JohnWH

Active Member
andijames said:
...
(ie Resident Evil Apocalypse was much better quality when broadcast a few months back compared to now) and had a thought...

...
AJ
Really? I have REA recorded from a couple of months ago, and more recent transmissions have looked identical when swapping back and fourth between it and live feed as far as I can tell (this is viewed on a 1080p PJ @100inch diag).

This said I wouldn't disagree that some of the "new" film broadcasts have looked lower quality, however I put a lot of this down to "mixed bag" of encodings and the fact that once you've seen one good transmission the bad ones immediatly start to stick out like a saw thumb.

Wouldn't put it past them though...

John.
 

BrynTeg

Distinguished Member
im watching blade now,its not the pic thats bothering me but the audio,every now and then i am getting drop in sound?
 

JohnWH

Active Member
MrFurious said:
im watching blade now,its not the pic thats bothering me but the audio,every now and then i am getting drop in sound?
No dropouts here, your signal strength low?

Noticed its in DD where as my previous recording was only pro-logic :-(

Edit: Actually previous rec was DD.
 

SwinBob72

Well-known Member
MrFurious said:
im watching blade now,its not the pic thats bothering me but the audio,every now and then i am getting drop in sound?
Same here. Signal strength is perfect. (85cm dish, 0.2db LNB).

Sound breakup seemed to get worse nearer the end. As I said previously the PQ was diabolical in places. At points I would have got better quality from a VCD.
 

JohnWH

Active Member
Squirelly666 said:
Same here. Signal strength is perfect. (85cm dish, 0.2db LNB).

Sound breakup seemed to get worse nearer the end. As I said previously the PQ was diabolical in places. At points I would have got better quality from a VCD.
Windy out? Is here but my dish is sheltered so won't be being buffeted by it.

On the PQ, I didn't think it was that bad, a couple of placed where there's clear blocking artifacts, but in gen looked medicure at worst, although wasn't watching on PJ.

John.
 

Ragnarok

Active Member
JohnWH said:
Windy out? Is here but my dish is sheltered so won't be being buffeted by it.

On the PQ, I didn't think it was that bad, a couple of placed where there's clear blocking artifacts, but in gen looked medicure at worst, although wasn't watching on PJ.

John.
A properly fitted dish won't suffer from the wind anyway, and 85cm should be enough for error free reciption whatever the weather unless snow collects on the LNB.

I'd be inclined to beleve Squirelly when it's a encoding artifact issue rather than a signal quality issue.
 

steve0

Banned
Most of sky ones HD content is very poor I have a A1 HD player and sometimes the comparisons like VHS to DVD I dont think its the sourse material because I watched some episodes of Invasion in HD and quality was better than anything Ive seen on sky excluding BBC HD though
 

mickbirch2000

Active Member
Recorded Monster in law from movies 9 or 10 HD cant remember which, & the picture quality is no better than good SD, but its the sound that got me, it was DD 5.1 +1 with a female voice at low level but just audible that sounded like the directors notes track on a DVD.
Do Sky upconvert a SD DVD to play on a HD channel??
No wonder the oicture quality is so variable.....
 

mickbirch2000

Active Member
Recorded Monster in law from movies 9 or 10 HD cant remember which, & the picture quality is no better than good SD, but its the sound that got me, it was DD 5.1 +1 with a female voice at low level but just audible that sounded like the directors notes track on a DVD.
Do Sky upconvert a SD DVD to play on a HD channel??
No wonder the picture quality is so variable.....
 

Starburst

Well-known Member
mickbirch2000 said:
Recorded Monster in law from movies 9 or 10 HD cant remember which, & the picture quality is no better than good SD, but its the sound that got me, it was DD 5.1 +1 with a female voice at low level but just audible that sounded like the directors notes track on a DVD.
Do Sky upconvert a SD DVD to play on a HD channel??
No wonder the picture quality is so variable.....




No problems with the audio when I watched the movie but that's not to say there were not specific issues on that particular broadcast especially if you have no trouble with your amp on other movies.

The HD movies are all taken from HD masters.
 

shaithis

Active Member
I complained to sky about this.....all they said was "call us up to talk through your TV settings, as something must be wrong your end"

Completly ignored my comments about HD-DVD and downloaded MPEG2 looking miles better then their service on the same screen.
 

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