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SKY 720p test transmission !

Discussion in 'TVs' started by hdtvfreak, Apr 30, 2005.

  1. hdtvfreak

    hdtvfreak
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    Hi all,

    I have been a regular reader of this forum but never posted before, and I hope that it is ok to open a new thread for this topic.

    Today, just by accident, I found a .TS (MPEG transport stream) file I recorded from the Astra satellite on 19,2e, the time of recording was 09.09.2004 (I think around the time of IBC in Amsterdam) I remember that I have tried to play it then with VLC, but I only got a black screen with sound, I could hear a commentary about "SKY is committed to HDTV..." etc.

    This time around, I tried to play it with the Zoom player, and to my utter amazement, a picture appeared! it was a SKY hdtv promo in 720p encoded in H.264/AVC !! . I simply didn't realize at that time that what I have recorded was not a black picture with sound in MPEG2, but a test transmission in MPEG4 !! :D
    I tried later to play the file with the newest VLC version, and it showed the pictures, but only as a slide show :confused:
    On the other hand, Zoom Plyer worked quite well with this stream.

    I remember that last year, during the time of this transmission, I was trying to find another frequency because I thought that SKY was trying to hinder curious sat enthusiasts from receiving their promo by broadcasting the sound on one channel, and the picture on another. Of course I failed miserably then, but now I understand why :lesson:

    I guess the reason why I am able to decode the video now is because I have installed some H.264 codecs on my system (like Moonlight, ffdshow and x264).

    So far, The best result in playing the file was achieved with Nero's Showtime player. It played the stream flawlessly. Windows Media Player 10 is also able to play it, but not as smooth as Nero. You might try to reduce the size of the picture to make it play smoothly. The bit rate of the file is around 10Mbps.

    I have now uploaded this file with some screenshots to the following url: http://www.giusberto.ch/hdtv/ so you are welcome to check what might be Sky's first ever HDTV test transmission on satellite.

    One word of caution though... unless your PC is well equipped (mine is a Dell Dimension 8300 P4 3,2GHz with 1Gb Ram and ATI Radeon 9800Pro 128Mb) you should not even try to download the file because it won't play !! Playing a H.264/AVC encoded videos really pushes your CPU to its limits !

    Cheers! :hiya:
     
  2. Starburst

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    Thanks for the screenshots and video, alas a little short horsepower wise to get it to play smoothly:(
    Have to stick to plain old mpegII high def movies for now:)
     
  3. RecordablDVDfan

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    I can't play this, with zoom or any other player incl POwer DVD, what codec(s) do I need ? Pc is ok 3.06ghz HT 1GB ram 256MB card etc
     
  4. hdtvfreak

    hdtvfreak
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    @RecordablDVDfan

    Hi,
    Your system should be ok, but you need to download and install the Elecard decoder package from this site: http://www.elecard.com/download/
    I know that Zoom player uses it when decoding an H.264/AVC file.

    You might also try to install the Elecard player. It plays this file without problem. Here you can download a 21 day evaluation version of this player:
    http://www.moonlight.co.il/download/consumer/

    Other open source codecs are available here: http://x264.nl/
    Try to install x264 and ffdshow.

    When you load the video in any player, wait few seconds before it starts playing. The player needs to do some computing before playing, as it is heavier to decode than an MPEG2 file.

    Hope this helps :)
     
  5. peahead

    peahead
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    dont think it looks that good to be honest not the best looking demo ive seen
     
  6. RecordablDVDfan

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    OK thanks have installed the various codecs, playback is very near jerk free but not quite ! Actually the video quality is not that great to me compared to the HD 1 / Astra HD feeds
     
  7. hdtvfreak

    hdtvfreak
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    I agree about the quality, in some sections (football) heavily compressed :rolleyes: except maybe in the "Will Smith + son" part, and at the end when the moderator is talking about the "Lumiere Brothers".
     
  8. Starburst

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    That's much better, the latest version is much smoother than they one I had installed:)

    Nice to see something from SKY but it's a far cry from an actual retail product which HD1 actually is so perhaps a little unfair to compare the two. Havign said that I find the old fashioned mpegII codec produces an image far more pleasent than wm9/vc1 and only time will tell of the H.264 mpeg4 variant broadcasts are upto the task.
     
  9. Wazy

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    Thanks for the sample hdtvfreak :thumbsup:

    Let us know if you get anymore, and also if you can get a longer version, this one seems cut short.

    Quick Tip:- After you have installed the Moonlight-Elecard MPEG Player, you can rename the file to .mpg and it will play on wmp10.

    Does anyone know if the 21 day evaluation applies to the codec that installs with it or just the player itself?

    Wazy
     
  10. cwick

    cwick
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  11. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    Looking at the date for this - I suspect it was a broadcast for IBC (The International Broadcasting Convention) in the Netherlands. The BBC were also broadcasting MPEG2 and MPEG4 stuff for this.
     
  12. sgauntlett

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    This was part of an IBC demo on the DVB stand, organised by BBC R&D working with Astra, Microsoft, Moonlight, Connexant and Sky.

    http://hugecgi.com/cgi-bin/ibc_dailynews1.cgi?db_id=22705&issue=5

    People found the pre-IBC tests which were on DVB-S, whereas the final version was on DVB-S2. The H.264 was baseline profile which is why the quality isn't fantastic as this was the only way to receive and decode it live (with 3.2 GHz P4's running at 100% CPU!). The VC-1 stream, with different content to avoid codec comparisons, was flagged as private data and wouldn't have been decoded by anyone else as the Microsoft directshow filters have not yet been released.

    Now we have realtime hardware encoders and decoders coming online, expect to see a lot more tests in the next few months!

    :thumbsup:
     
  13. timkay

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    I downloaded the file it plays quite jerky, i have a p4 3.0 512ram with gainward 6800gt. Surely my system should be able to play this, on the windows media hd analysis my system is way beyond 1080, but i also have problems playing half life 2 at high settings, and also doom 3 on ultra, very jerky, do i need more ram?
     
  14. timkay

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    WAHEY! just restarted my pc and reinstalled the elecard player and it plays with no problems, the will smith part looks stunning on my 17" LCD at 1280X768. I cant wait to have regular tv at this quality, does anyone else have any other HD clips they want to share?? Id love to see some of the HD1 astra stuff.
     

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