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For Telus, if there is an option under user settings or diagnostics, I'd like someone to confirm what the signals are that come into the STB for "HD broadcast channels" (not the output settings of the box). For the HD (broadcast) channels they are either 720P or 1080i since that's what's broadcast, or solely 720P. In that way I can update my FAQs if necessary.

(For satellite TV, Telus does get Bell's signals for many/most/all of the channels. They even use Bell's STBs)
 

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I realize that, however Bell Fibe, which is similar to Optik (IPTV), get (most of) their signals from Bell Sat (depending on location). Until I get proof otherwise my comments regarding the incoming signals remain. I am quite sure that the "broadcast channels" are not 1080P since no one "broadcasts" in 1080P, which was the main point of my post 19, responding to the comment in post 18.
 

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I'm the proof. And I realize no one broadcasts 1080p, but Optik gets NO signals from 720p Bell.

You can keep your information as is, because it matches the rest of the information on this site - dated.
 

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I recently installed a rooftop antenna to receive OTA (over-the-air) local broadcasts. My criticisms of Telus Optik picture quality are confirmed. The OTA picture is markedly better than Telus. I have an OTA PVR and have been able to record shows on both and compare. The difference varies depending on the program, but the differences are not insignificant. I've caught myself watching some programming just to marvel at the picture quality. In Victoria I get the 4 Canadian networks, PBS, and a couple of independents. All are 1080i except CBC which is 720p. They all appear to broadcast Dolby Digital sound.
Of course OTA is not an option for most people due to location, altitude, regulations etc. And of course, you're limited to local channels. My point is not to suggest that OTA is an option for most people, just that the Telus Optik PQ is noticeable poorer than it could be.
I'll be cancelling my Telus TV sub shortly, as soon as I confirm that my reception is reliable in heavy weather.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Update: Telus has updated their software/firmware for the 4K Optik boxes. I have noticed the picture quality has improved on some channels by quite a bit. In fact, some commercials look like 4k. The compression doesn't look to be as bad anymore in both overall clarity and in motion. So I'm not exactly sure what they've done in March of 2019 but I noticed its quite an improvement!

I was watching the History channel that had a regular HD show on, but when it flipped to some commercials the picture had me jump out of my chair it was that good. So something is up! Really nice to see! I did flip channels and noticed the quality improvement there too.

Fingers crossed now for 4K hockey on the West Coast!
 

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I have a Telus 4K box and I have no clue what you're talking about.

The 4K channels look amazing, yes.

But the regular channels are just as compressed and low quality as ever. Telus' picture quality for regular HD channels is worse than Shaw for sure.

It's also super annoying that they don't have a "native" output resolution and aren't clear on which channels are broadcast in 720p vs 1080i so you have to guess, resulting in multiple conversions lowering the quality even more.

I have confirmed that Telus outputs it's HD in 5600 kbps vs Shaw's 7800 kbps.
 

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Don't know if Telus IPTV is piggybacking on Bell's product but I wouldn't be surprised. (Their satellite product does.) It's been reported that everything on Bell is 720p so Telus could be as well. They get around CRTC regulations on downgrading signals by having the broadcasters supply already downgraded 720p signals. Add aggressive compression to limit network bandwidth and the the picture starts to look like a standard definition DVD rather than HD.
 

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They get around CRTC regulations on downgrading signals by having the broadcasters supply already downgraded 720p signals.
I'm not sure that's the case. I can't see broadcasters providing a bunch of different formats (pre-converted) for different BDUs. When I looked into this years ago, some broadcasters (like TMN at the time) even provided streams with bitrates as high as 50 mbps to the BDU since that was often supplied by fibre optic. It was then up to the BDU to send the signals to the customer, usually 1080i and 720P (if that was the original format), provided they weren't Bell. Now, most broadcast is 1080i or 720P, so the TMN case was definitely an outlier. Some of the material (movies) available On-demand is available as 1080P, which is how it may be stored on the BDU servers...

Bell argued years ago that 720P fit the definition of HD (which is correct) and were able to fit 10+% more channels onto their transponders, partially by doing this, partially by "bitrate-shaping", etc. There's a lot that goes into the final product that you see on your TV and bitrate or format, or encoding/decoding each have impact.

If you can get into the diagnostics of a particular STB and know where to look, you can "see" the incoming format from the BDU. Rogers have 4K, 1080i, 720P, 480i and 480i (AFD).
 

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Regardless of where and how it is converted to 720p, the fact remains that some broadcasters use 1080i for their OTA signal and somehow it ends up as 720p on some BDU systems. Since the BDU is technically prohibited from downgrading signals then it must be done illegally or somewhere else.

In any case, does it make sense to provide 720p format at a time when most people have 1080p or 4K TVs. It's no wonder that people are complaining. As for TMN, I remember it having far superior sound and video to most other channels before some BDUs started messing with it.

I have confirmed that Telus outputs it's HD in 5600 kbps vs Shaw's 7800 kbps.
That could be due to the type of compression being used. Cable systems are often using MPEG2 due to legacy cable equipment. Most IPTV systems use MPEG4 or better and most satellite systems have converted to MPEG4. Even so, 5600Kbps is fairly low for MPEG4 and indicates fairly aggressive use of lossy compression. If its MPEG2, 7800Kbps is even worse since it is about half as efficient as MPEG4. However, the effective bitrate depends on the compression type, channel format and also the original programming's bitrate and format. ATSC provide 19200Kbps for an HD signal. Though not always fully used, the effective signal is usually much higher than 7800Kbps so BDU signals will pale in comparison. Even an ATSC3 signal with 2 HD signals allows about 9600Kbps for one MPEG4 HD signal so 5600Kbps will look poor in comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
I have a Telus 4K box and I have no clue what you're talking about.

The 4K channels look amazing, yes.

But the regular channels are just as compressed and low quality as ever. Telus' picture quality for regular HD channels is worse than Shaw for sure.


It's also super annoying that they don't have a "native" output resolution and aren't clear on which channels are broadcast in 720p vs 1080i so you have to guess, resulting in multiple conversions lowering the quality even more.

I have confirmed that Telus outputs it's HD in 5600 kbps vs Shaw's 7800 kbps.

So just another update from March 8th post. As I said before it only some channels that look better like the History channel. It’s not everything. Sports unfortunately aren’t great compared to Shaw still. My brother in law has a 4K 65” TV on Shaw same set as mine and he does not have the same softness during motion of players, panning and etc. Its primarily Hockey that it is quite noticeable in terms of the difference between Shaw and TELUS. As the players skate across the ice in fast panning shots there is a lot of blurring.

Part of the issue too especially with these newer 4K TV is the up-converting plus the up converting from the set top boxes. That in conjunction with compression and the larger sets increasing the picture size you notice it more.

4K Raptor games or 4K Canadian Football is bloody impressive though on Telus Optik TV. There is no softness or motion blur of players. It’s razor sharp!

Im watching the Formula 1 this season in HD on Optik TV and if you PVR it and compared it to watching it on the internet you can see how bad TELUS is with the fast moving cars. I have the Shanghai Grand Prix recorded and comparing it to watching it on YouTube the difference is astonishing! It’s like wearing glasses for the first time when you see the game on YouTube. It’s so clear and razor sharp compared to TELUS.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
I'm going to post just after the 28th a screen shot comparison of the Grand Prix 2019 on the Optik TV and a capture from Youtube both from a HD source. You will be able to see difference is substantial.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Here are some samples taken with my Samsung 4K 65" TV. So the first two are of an NHL game. One is from Telus Optik TV and the other shot is from the NHL app via the PS4. You can see there is more motion blur with the Optik TV.

Now the other two are of football games. One is a shot from the Super Bowl at HD and the other is a 4K shot from a CFL game both on telus. You can see the 4K photo is much clearer in terms of player motion.

So regular HD isn't that great on 4K tvs due to MPEG 4 being used with Telus, the TVs trying to upsample the images and other processing factors.







 
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