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JPL
Premium
join:2007-04-04
Downingtown, PA
kudos:4
reply to nlk10010

Re: October is here.. Are those dozen HD channels coming?!?!

I think if they had the equipment everywhere, then yeah, I think they would start migrating to mpeg-4, and start adding HD. You're right - this is all pure speculation. And you're also right that you pick a provider that gives you the most of what you're looking for. I've been very happy with FiOS, and they carry just about all the channels that I want in HD (there are a couple that I would really love to see added), but they're certainly no worse than any other provider around here on that front - no matter who I went with I could make the same claim (they carry most of what I want). Their service has been really reliable, and I even like the guide. The only thing that's been giving me pause is the price. It seems like all these providers have pricing pressures that are creating issues for many subscribers. Coupled with the state of the economy, I'd be lying if I didn't say I wasn't considering dropping TV service altogether. We're not at that point, yet, but a couple more significant price increases, and we may be there.

In light of that, I'm glad that these companies are more or less in a holding pattern. I really don't want to get to the point where I'm priced out. Although I'm more likely to drop phone service first.

fishacura

join:2008-01-25
Phoenixville, PA
said by JPL:

And you're also right that you pick a provider that gives you the most of what you're looking for. I've been very happy with FiOS, and they carry just about all the channels that I want in HD

Very fair statement. I believe the same thing and anyone who tells you that another provider's offer is "substantially better" is just kidding themselves. There are a ton of variables and they all have different areas where they excel and/or fall short.

That being said, what I will say (which I believe to be a fair statement) is that FIOS has not done enough to stay ahead of the pack. Five years ago I think it was clear they were at the top in both service and value. I think others have really caught up and Verizon has not done much to stay ahead. I'm not saying they've done this intentionally or with malice...it could be a cost/systematic constraint. However, they certainly haven't done much to stay at the head of the race IMHO.
--
People who don't get good service on average tell 10 others while people who do get good service on average tell 1.


ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2
reply to JPL
Is MPEG4 even necessary?. Program the least viewed HD channels to start up as an IPTV streaming channel. It would take a second to start, it wont be instantaneous, but THESE are the less popular channels afterall.


rantanamo

@verizon.net
Implementing Mpeg-4 and swapping out box is tons easier on the company and customers than having to swap out boxes, giving everyone the extra tuner modules. Not to mention implementing a whole new system to lower your picture quality to do IPTV.

I think Mpeg-4 vs IPTV is misunderstood here. Just like Mpeg-2(most channels now) its just a compression codec. Its newer than Mpeg-2 and simply more efficient. It can match Mpeg-2 picture quality while using lesser space/bandwidth. It needs boxes than can decode it, but its not a very system to implement from the customer to the provider. IPTV on the other hand is basically switching groups of channels on as you tune into or record them. If you've ever used it, you know channel changing is slower and it often suffers from less than stellar picture. With Fiber to the door that FiOS has, it can probably do better with the picture quality, but you likely lose the capability of using alternate systems like Tivo or WMC and are at the mercy of having maybe 4 streams for the whole house. Perhaps FiOS can do a much better job than current implementations, but I'm not impressed.


Greg2600

join:2008-05-20
Belleville, NJ
reply to ITALIAN926
said by ITALIAN926:

Is MPEG4 even necessary?. Program the least viewed HD channels to start up as an IPTV streaming channel. It would take a second to start, it wont be instantaneous, but THESE are the less popular channels afterall.

The problem is no provider has been able to implement an IPTV scheme at high video quality in a large scale.

tnsprin

join:2003-07-23
Bradenton, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to ITALIAN926
said by ITALIAN926:

Is MPEG4 even necessary?. Program the least viewed HD channels to start up as an IPTV streaming channel. It would take a second to start, it wont be instantaneous, but THESE are the less popular channels afterall.

Mpeg-4 is how a large number of channels are already being delivered to Verizon. Switching for those would eliminate any signal degradation occurring because of the conversion, eliminate the cost of running equipment currently handling the conversion, and free up space for more programs. The negative is that currently only the Motorola 7xxx series and Cisco boxes handle them so Fios would need to start doing switch outs. Note some models of customer owned boxes such as TiVo's can handle it.


nottrue

@verizon.net
these days satellite receivers that content providers like ESPN give to operators like verizon or comcast include a MPEG4 to MPEG2 trancoder built in so there is no extra equipment that handles conversion that u speak of.

said by tnsprin:

said by ITALIAN926:

Is MPEG4 even necessary?. Program the least viewed HD channels to start up as an IPTV streaming channel. It would take a second to start, it wont be instantaneous, but THESE are the less popular channels afterall.

Mpeg-4 is how a large number of channels are already being delivered to Verizon. Switching for those would eliminate any signal degradation occurring because of the conversion, eliminate the cost of running equipment currently handling the conversion, and free up space for more programs. The negative is that currently only the Motorola 7xxx series and Cisco boxes handle them so Fios would need to start doing switch outs. Note some models of customer owned boxes such as TiVo's can handle it.


JPL
Premium
join:2007-04-04
Downingtown, PA
kudos:4
reply to ITALIAN926
said by ITALIAN926:

Is MPEG4 even necessary?. Program the least viewed HD channels to start up as an IPTV streaming channel. It would take a second to start, it wont be instantaneous, but THESE are the less popular channels afterall.

It wouldn't be necessary... if they would go IP. I think that's the issue. Verizon is out of bandwidth for TV. They need to do SOMETHING to increase bandwidth if they want to add more channels. Their plan all along, I believe, has been IP. If they were to migrate channels to IP, then yes, they would free up bandwidth for new channels. But that plan got shelved, for some reason.

So, what's left? There are a couple options:

1) Higher mpeg-2 compression on some channels. They tried this and it got such negative response that the quashed the idea.

2) MPEG-4 conversion. Since mpeg-4 is so much more efficient than MPEG-2 at compression, and since Verizon is already getting some feeds in as MPEG-4, they can send out those feeds in MPEG-4, without affecting PQ at all, and free up some 50% of the bandwidth.

3) GHz QAM. This is a possiblity too, although, given the limitations of the hardware that they're using, I have to think this is probably the most expensive option (basically they would have to replace all the STBs/DVRs out there, as well as ONTs, and if they're going to replace all STBs/DVRs anyway... why not just go with option 2 - mpeg-4?

So, yeah, if they went IP they wouldn't need MPEG-4, but since they seem to be reluctant to go IP... their other options are limited if they want to expand bandwidth.


nycdave
Premium,MVM
join:1999-11-16
Melville, NY
kudos:17
1GHz RF plant isn't even being discussed.....

JPL
Premium
join:2007-04-04
Downingtown, PA
kudos:4
said by nycdave:

1GHz RF plant isn't even being discussed.....

Yes, I realize that it's not. I just put it out there as one of the options that are available if they want to expand bandwidth without going IP. My point is - their options are limited, to answer the question that Italian asked, which is: why do you need mpeg-4 if you have IP? My answer was: you don't need MPEG-4... but if you also shelve the idea of IP... what else is there? So I listed them. There are probably a couple others, I guess. For one thing, they could 'cable-ize' their channel line-up, and scrap the idea of a common channel foot-print across all markets. That would allow some markets to use QAM that's currently off limits because it's reserved for things like locals and RSNs for a particular market. I don't see that as realistic either, nor do I see it as desirable.

MPEG-4 is mentioned so consistently because it's probably the biggest bang for your buck, in terms of options. Much of the equipment in the market can already handle it. That seems to be the most obvious next move for Verizon, again if they want to expand bandwidth for TV.

tnsprin

join:2003-07-23
Bradenton, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to nottrue
"ESPN supplied Motorola DSR-6100 integrated receiver/decoders to eligible affiliates." FIOS may or may not been eligable, and may have chosen to use another solution (they had other channels to convert as well and using lots of different equipment costs. And it costs to install and operate them. The ongoing operating costs is not necessarily negligable.