Will Sky HD be compatible with Telewest (MPEG2)

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by kamaran, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. kamaran

    kamaran
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    Right this maybe a stupid question, but at least it will give you guys something else to talk about other than arguing over release date/prices for Sky HD!

    Sky HD STB will be Mpeg 4, so I assume it will be compessed sufficiently. Now telewest's PVR is Mpeg 2 - does that mean it wont be compatible with Sky HD? Will sky have to deliver a seperate feed with less compression to Telewest.

    In a nutshell I dont want to subscribe to Telewest's HD service to find out there is no Sky content ?!
     
  2. hornydragon

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    no telewest do their own transmission and have more bandwidth than sky who rent it off SES astra at great expense, so telewest will probably convert MPEG4 to MPEG2 and tansmit it as MPEG 2 down their network (well its what i hope they do)
     
  3. Attu

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    Besides the technical zoodoo of transfering from MGEG 4 to MPEG 2 the other problem is that there is no knowing when Sky will feed HD to Telewest nor at what cost to Telewest customers.

    Andy
     
  4. kamaran

    kamaran
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    My install is set for next monday, not sure whether to wait for the Sky HD announcement or bite the bullet.

    I dont want to end up with Telewest TV drive but no HD content :nono:
     
  5. mark800

    mark800
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    MPEG4 to MPEG2 conversion would be difficult and ruin picture quality.
    If Telewest has gone the MPEG2 route (for cheaper boxes) it made a fatal flaw, and set up its service for failure. How are viewers expected to BBC and Sky channels in high-quality HD?
     
  6. Sparky101

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    MPEG-2 can still produce great quality HD pictures, it just uses less compression than MPEG-4 and therefore needs more bandwidth. Everything in the US is MPEG-2. And as I understand it the only content on Telewest at the moment is from the BBC.

    I'm no expert on these things but I'm guessing the compression is only applied before being sent out from Telewest/Sky to the set top box. It's not like a program has to be made in MPEG-2 or 4 in the first place. So there's no reason that Telewest can't show Sky content because of the compression codec they've chosen.
     
  7. kamaran

    kamaran
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    That was also my assumption
     
  8. loz

    loz
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    That's not the way the broadcasting chain works though is it?
    Sky don't provide Telewest with the raw materials (on tape) of their current SD channels and let Telewest broadcast it from scratch, they provide them with a feed. Today that's not a problem with providing them a high quality feed of SD material.

    But presumably Sky will only be providing a MPEG-4 feed for HD. That is what will leave their studio. I am guessing they won't be providing some "raw" feed that Telewest can compress anyway they want because of the bandwidth.

    I am not an expert in this, so please correct me if this is wrong.
     
  9. kamaran

    kamaran
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    Maybe they can provide a seperate feed which is Mpeg 2 encrypted...
     
  10. cyberheater

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    I think Telewest tvdrive can also decode MPEG4 so it's not a problem.
     
  11. wandersen

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    No it certainly can't. MPEG4 is only new technology and boxes that can decode are few are far between. There is a world-wide shortage of chips that can decode MPEG4. the SA boxes that telewest use do not support it.
     
  12. sprattgraham

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    Want be a problem for NTL as they will be using MPEG4
     
  13. Fusewire

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    I would think that this technological hurdle can be overcome with a little co-operation between Sky and the cable Co's, after all Sky must make a fair bit of money from the cable companies using their content, I can't see Sky wanting to loose that revenue steam - must be a nice little earner for them.
     
  14. ailean

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    It's been mentioned in the past that Sky provide a high-bandwidth feed for premium channels like Sky One direct to NTL, who then compress it to a higher bandwidth then what Sky feed up to the broadcast sat. so the cable versions of those channels should actually look better then on Sky (if the STB were equal in quality that is ;) ).

    So I'd imagine if/when Sky kindly allow NTL:Telewest access to there HD content it will be in a similar fashion with studio grade signals that they can compress to what ever format/rate they like rather then the limited Sat. feed. Maybe. :D
     
  15. neilneil

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    I thought the compression was done at the last minute to take advantage of statistical multiplexing.
    Surley they assemble a package of high quality channel feeds that are then compressed (on the fly) as a group of channels for uplink to whichever transponder deals with that package.

    -Neil
     
  16. wyrdness

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    I'd be very suprised if Sky were to provide NTL with HD material. They are, after all, the competition.
     
  17. loz

    loz
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    Yes, but is that uncompressed feed something that is easily provided to another broadcaster?

    I guess so if the necessary bandwidth is in the link.
     
  18. neilneil

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    Thats what I was getting at.
    The feeds are compressed to MPEG4 just before it's about to be uplinked. So providing an uncompressed feed to Telewest is very easy.

    -Neil
     

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