Does Shaw Direct Provide 1080i or 720P? - Page 2 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 2017-01-02, 07:50 AM
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Peter, how can you be sure that no conversion is done by the receiver before it is sent to the USB port?
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 2017-01-02, 12:11 PM
 
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OlStatic, I can't be 100% sure but I am fairly confident for two reasons:

1) The mod was always advertised as having no quality degradation of the video signal. It was the raw MPEG2 stream.
2) In order for the receiver to convert the signal, it would need to have an MPEG2 encoder (not decoder) to re-encode the MPEG2 signal to a different resolution and create a new MPEG2 stream. There is literally zero reason for the DSR505 to have a MPEG2 encoder. When it outputs to different resolutions via DVI or component, that is a function of the receivers decoder. Using an encoder for this just adds unnecessary complexity and cost to the receiver. Same goes for the mod chip: unnecessary cost and complexity to add an encoder.

Again, I'm not 100% sure, but I'm about 99% sure.
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 2017-01-02, 12:24 PM
 
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Just to add onto my answer, I found this on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nextcom_R5000-HD :

Quote:
The R5000-HD differentiates itself from other DVR devices in that the captured MPEG data is an exact bit-for-bit replica of what is broadcast and encoded by the content provider. Other DVRs may encode the analog or composite signals from set-top box output jacks back into MPEG-2 digital data for PC storage, or can only digitally capture (without re-encoding) signals via over-the-air tuners. This significantly limits the amount content that can be recorded in a high-quality format. Decoding into the analog domain and then re-encoding back to digital (compression) is a lossy process resulting in visual and aural artifacts. Furthermore, satellite providers have access to very expensive state-of-the-art MPEG encoders that can provide unsurpassed quality at very low bitrate. It is advantageous to keep programs in this original form since it not only preserves quality but saves on storage space.
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 2017-01-03, 03:56 PM
 
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I asked Shaw Direct via their website about pass-thru resolution. Here is text from a portion of the reply:

Quote:
"Shaw Direct always passes through the resolution we receive from the source."
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 2017-01-03, 09:18 PM
 
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Alright, time to break out the component cables...

The DSR505 has a handy feature where it can output the native resolution of the signal (there is a little red button underneath a flap on front of the receiver). I set this to native output (the display reads 0000), and I connected it to the TV with component cables. The results are:

Fox Rochester - 1080i
Fox Seattle - 1080i
ABC Detroit - 1080i
ABC Seattle - 1080i

The native resolution switching is indeed working, switching to a SD channel shows a 480i signal on the TV info.

If Shaw Direct claims they are passing through the resolution they receive from the source, this leads me to believe 1 of three things:
1) Those channels now broadcast in 1080i (I don't think they do)
2) Shaw Direct is not getting the source directly, and an intermediary is changing the resolution.
3) They are incorrect in their assertion that they pass through the resolution unchanged.
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post #21 of 21 (permalink) Old 2017-01-03, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Furthermore, satellite providers have access to very expensive state-of-the-art MPEG encoders that can provide unsurpassed quality at very low bitrate.
... they're talking about MPEG2 encoders, right?

That statement is silly on all sorts of levels. Even if we were to ignore modern codecs (h.264, VP9, HEVC, etc) and even if we're just comparing MPEG2 encoders, I think this statement is just plain wrong. Broadcast encoders are at a fundamental disadvantage to "offline" multi-pass encoders. Encoders that need to deal with live content cannot be multi-pass encoders by definition. DVRs can employ multi-pass algorithms when they're recompressing content. My HTPC does it. Even older HTPC apps like Beyond TV did it over 10 years ago!
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