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Discussion Starter #1
do you think the technology currently allows, or could be made to allow, HD channels to be fed as 16:9 853x480 "SD" feeds , so that in the event that the alloted bandwidth for watching HD is exceded, you could still have access to the same channels, but at a lower quality (eating up a quarter of the bandwidth)..

it doesnt seem to me like that would be so hard to implement ... sd channels don't just look back because of the resolution; the 4:3 image ratio just doesn't scale well on 16:9 screens. at least this way, you'd get a properly upconverted picture - one that would perhaps even be hard to notice depending on the nature of the content!
 

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Certainly the technology exists as its nothing more than transcoding to a different resolution but I'm not sure I understand the need.
 

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As Hugh mentioned, it certainly would be technically possible, but you'd then have to replace all the current equipment to work with it. It'd be far better to use a converter to allow receiving HD signals on SD sets. Also, current HD sets should already be able to receive 16:9 SD and, IIRC, there are already a few 16:9 SD channels on cable. Don't forget, SD sets are a dying market. They're not made any more and are being tossed every day. Even charities don't want SD sets, because they can't get rid of them, so perhaps SD will eventually die too.

BTW, in my opinion the problem with SD channels is not the 4:3 aspect ratio (although I certainly prefer 16:9), but the noticably poorer resolution.

That said, there are many shows that don't rate SD, let alone HD. ;-)
 

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@macjones, what you're suggesting would probably require additional transcoders for all HD channels. Modern transcoders can handle more than 1 channel, but you're still talking about a lot of extra transcoders.

@JamesK, IPTV STBs are all HD-capable so they don't have to be replaced. They already down-convert HD to 480i SD for older TVs using RCA or coax connections.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
aren't those just software? isnt it just a matter of adding more horsepower to the system, which they surely will do sooner or later ?

here's another suggestion, for those channels that are *exactly* the same except for picture format, why wouldn't they broadcast a down sampled version of the hd feed on sd channels ?

the whole issue is with how the vip 1216 upscales sd and the difficult conversion from one aspect ratio to another. if you keep the aspect ratio the same, upscaling becomes alot more "gracious" and picture quality can be more than decent, in most cases. an upscaled 16:9 dvd will never be able to pass for bluray, but it's alot easier on the eyes than somethings that's cropped and stretched from two uncompatible picture formats..

anyway, i really think they should be looking into that, among other things .. so much wasted potential with this iptv technology ! .... :(
 

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I think Bell has already implemented this. I watched an "HD" show the other day that I swear had worse PQ than a DVD. ;)
 

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aren't those just software? isnt it just a matter of adding more horsepower to the system, which they surely will do sooner or later ?
The transcoders I've seen have have custom ASIC processors to handle real-time broadcast-quality MPEG-4 encoding. So "adding more horsepower" means adding more transcoders.
 

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I think Bell has already implemented this. I watched an "HD" show the other day that I swear had worse PQ than a DVD.
HAHAHA! That one made me laugh. :D


Anyway, like Dr Dave says, you'll need extra equipment to give you a 16:9 "Enhanced SD" signal. I doubt it will ever happen because it will require a whole new channel as well as a higher bitrate than what other SD channels currently run at.

Right now it's either SD or HD but with the trend of everyone compressing the crap out of their signal perhaps one day you will see 16:9 SD (which is supposed to be HD)
 
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