dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
4050
share rss forum feed


Ken7

@verizon.net

4K & mpeg 4 availability

Anyone know when either might be available?



MagScribe

join:2001-08-20
West Chester, PA

4K: not any time soon, as there are no 4K programming providers as yet. Undoubtedly, they will come, but it may be a number of years.

MPEG4: sooner....but VZ will need to swap out boxes for those in Ultimate tier (the thinking being it makes more sense to convert top tier channels -- or not convert them to MEG2 as currently happens in some cases -- to MPEG4 as a first phase to open up channel bandwidth). My guess, 18 to 24 months.
--
I do local news. My top site: www.unionvilletimes.com



wmcbrine
213 251 145 96

join:2002-12-30
Laurel, MD
kudos:1
reply to Ken7

There are a handful of MPEG-4 channels running now, in semi-obscure packages like La Connexion or NHL Center Ice.

I wouldn't hold my breath for 4K.
--
09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0



Ken7

@verizon.net

Thanks guys. With several channels now in mpeg4, how is this done when the boxes aren't yet capable of decoding mpeg4? Not sure what good that does to have these channels at this point.


PJL

join:2008-07-24
Long Beach, CA
kudos:2

said by Ken7 :

Thanks guys. With several channels now in mpeg4, how is this done when the boxes aren't yet capable of decoding mpeg4? Not sure what good that does to have these channels at this point.

If you do not already have an 7xxx STB, when you subscribe to a package that requires MPEG4 Verizon swaps your STB for 7xxx STB.


DrDrew
So that others may surf.
Premium
join:2009-01-28
SoCal
kudos:12
reply to Ken7

said by Ken7 :

Thanks guys. With several channels now in mpeg4, how is this done when the boxes aren't yet capable of decoding mpeg4? Not sure what good that does to have these channels at this point.

The newest generation of boxes can decode MPEG4... so the people with channels that are MPEG4 get MPEG4 boxes. Obviously the more channels there are in MPEG4 will require more customers to have new boxes.
--
Two is one, one is none. If it's important, back it up... Somethimes 99.999% availability isn't even good enough.


Ken7

@verizon.net

Somehow the mpeg4 capability of the 7xxx boxes has eluded me. I do have those boxes.



aaronwt
Premium
join:2004-11-07
Woodbridge, VA
reply to Ken7

The MPEG4 channels also work with the TiVo Premiere.


meowmeow

join:2003-07-26
Helena, MT
reply to Ken7

4K is a long time in the future. There is hardly any 4K content even, and no 4K channels.

As for MPEG-4, why? It's no benefit to you at all. It's not like they're going to use MPEG-4 at the same bitrate. They'll use MPEG-4 to get away with a lower bitrate at the same quality, you won't notice any difference at all.


PJL

join:2008-07-24
Long Beach, CA
kudos:2

said by meowmeow:

...
As for MPEG-4, why? It's no benefit to you at all. ...

The benefit is greater capacity for additional (HD) channels. Or am I missing something? That seems a benefit to me.

I didn't realize they had FiOS in Montana...

meowmeow

join:2003-07-26
Helena, MT

Doesn't mean I don't want it and was poking in the forums. The topic applies to ALL providers. There's no 4K content for anyone to provide and MPEG-4 has no benefit to anyone. Heck, FiOS has LESS need for MPEG-4 since your cable system bandwidth is ONLY for TV. Most of us would get more internet channels from a switch to MPEG-4.


PJL

join:2008-07-24
Long Beach, CA
kudos:2

said by meowmeow:

Doesn't mean I don't want it and was poking in the forums. The topic applies to ALL providers. There's no 4K content for anyone to provide and MPEG-4 has no benefit to anyone. Heck, FiOS has LESS need for MPEG-4 since your cable system bandwidth is ONLY for TV. Most of us would get more internet channels from a switch to MPEG-4.

Perhaps you're not up to date on the fact that FiOS is fairly maxed out on the use of available QAM channels. They currently use mostly MPEG2 (except for some MPEG4 used for certain packages). Thus, to add more HD channels FiOS needs to use available QAM space more efficiently; hence the need to move to using more MPEG4. This is the same limitation other cable systems that use QAM have. Others mitigate limitations by recompressing signals to lower bandwidth (and less quality) or use more MPEG4. FiOS does not recompress so the only alternative is to begin using more MPEG4 -- or IPTV.

tnsprin

join:2003-07-23
Bradenton, FL
kudos:1

Also reasons for MPEG-4

Mpeg-4 can deliver a picture without some of the artifects that showup in Mpeg-2.

Many channels are actually delivered to Verizon (and other providers) as mpeg-4. They currently have to take these and decode then reencode the to mpeg-2, introducing a slightly inferior picture because of this process.



Greg2600

join:2008-05-20
Belleville, NJ
reply to Ken7

It's amazing they can get the kind of HD quality they can out of MPEG-2. It requires so much bitrate to do it though, hence the vast benefit of MPEG-4. Again I think if Verizon were to stop giving out the free OLD boxes, they could easily move to MPEG-4 large scale and be fine.


PJL

join:2008-07-24
Long Beach, CA
kudos:2

said by Greg2600:

It's amazing they can get the kind of HD quality they can out of MPEG-2. It requires so much bitrate to do it though, hence the vast benefit of MPEG-4. Again I think if Verizon were to stop giving out the free OLD boxes, they could easily move to MPEG-4 large scale and be fine.

An option they could be considering is using MPEG4 for new added HD channels and "allowing" subscribers to upgrade to a 7XXX STB, with the normal charge of course. Or moving all premium channels to MPEG4 and upgrade them for free (like Center Ice) so they can add non-premium channels as MPEG2. Just a thought or two. We'll see what happens.


Greg2600

join:2008-05-20
Belleville, NJ

said by PJL:

said by Greg2600:

It's amazing they can get the kind of HD quality they can out of MPEG-2. It requires so much bitrate to do it though, hence the vast benefit of MPEG-4. Again I think if Verizon were to stop giving out the free OLD boxes, they could easily move to MPEG-4 large scale and be fine.

An option they could be considering is using MPEG4 for new added HD channels and "allowing" subscribers to upgrade to a 7XXX STB, with the normal charge of course. Or moving all premium channels to MPEG4 and upgrade them for free (like Center Ice) so they can add non-premium channels as MPEG2. Just a thought or two. We'll see what happens.

I think the easiest route is to move as many Ultimate package only HD channels to MPEG-4, and then require those subscribers to get the compatible STB's. I agree doing premiums would be another option I could see. Many years ago, this was commonplace. Comcast did this all the time, as they went to newer boxes with better security/encryption, they would force you to get a new one to receive premium channels. Beyond VZ having to finally eat the archaic 6000's, there is no reason they shouldn't do this.


Mike
Premium,Mod
join:2000-09-17
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:1
reply to Ken7

We're not Japan. US probably won't use 4K for a few years.

Expand your moderator at work

chitchatjf

join:2008-07-13
Lawrence, MA
reply to Ken7

Re: 4K & mpeg 4 availability

My idea would be to have HBO and Cinemax Mpeg4 only AND HD ONLY as well!



skuv

@rr.com
reply to Ken7

4K channels?

Are there even any full 1080p channels yet?

Most HD channels are still 1080i and 720p. Might be some VOD at 1080p, possibly.



somebodeez
Premium,MVM
join:2001-09-24
here
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Ken7

We're not in Europe but it appears that they have taken a baby step :

Eutelsat debuts first-ever 4K/Ultra HD channel in Europe

»www.digitaltrends.com/home-theat···channel/

"As far as method of delivery goes, the new channel will be operated in progressive mode at 50 FPS, encoded in MPEG-4, and transmitted at 40Mbit/s in four Quad HD streams."


PJL

join:2008-07-24
Long Beach, CA
kudos:2
reply to skuv

said by skuv :

4K channels?

Are there even any full 1080p channels yet?

Most HD channels are still 1080i and 720p. Might be some VOD at 1080p, possibly.

There is no VOD on FiOS in 1080p.

meowmeow

join:2003-07-26
Helena, MT
reply to PJL

said by PJL:

Perhaps you're not up to date on the fact that FiOS is fairly maxed out on the use of available QAM channels. They currently use mostly MPEG2 (except for some MPEG4 used for certain packages). Thus, to add more HD channels FiOS needs to use available QAM space more efficiently; hence the need to move to using more MPEG4. This is the same limitation other cable systems that use QAM have. Others mitigate limitations by recompressing signals to lower bandwidth (and less quality) or use more MPEG4. FiOS does not recompress so the only alternative is to begin using more MPEG4 -- or IPTV.

FiOS doesn't recompress? Seriously? Are you sure? That directly contradicts tnsprin's belief that most channels are MPEG-4 from the providers and either way that seems just bizarre (since the MPEG transport stream from the providers is usually at a quite high bitrate to minimize second generation quality loss from recompression).

And frankly, it sounds to me like Verizon just needs to start using lower bitrates more than they need MPEG-4. They have plenty of capacity... I know MPEG artifacts aren't everyone's favorite thing but consider this:

1. More channels
2. Higher quality
3. Lower prices

You can pick two (MPEG-4 requires new STB's - an expensive proposition - ultimately the customer pays so long run prices are lower staying on MPEG-2 for as many customers as possible until most STB's are naturally replaced anyways).

How many people do you really think won't pick 1 and 3 and sacrifice 2?

If 1 and 3 are most people's choice then they should stay MPEG-2 for most content, and simply compress it to lower bitrates.

PJL

join:2008-07-24
Long Beach, CA
kudos:2

said by meowmeow:

FiOS doesn't recompress? Seriously? Are you sure? That directly contradicts tnsprin's belief that most channels are MPEG-4 from the providers and either way that seems just bizarre (since the MPEG transport stream from the providers is usually at a quite high bitrate to minimize second generation quality loss from recompression).

And frankly, it sounds to me like Verizon just needs to start using lower bitrates more than they need MPEG-4. They have plenty of capacity... I know MPEG artifacts aren't everyone's favorite thing but consider this:

1. More channels
2. Higher quality
3. Lower prices

You can pick two (MPEG-4 requires new STB's - an expensive proposition - ultimately the customer pays so long run prices are lower staying on MPEG-2 for as many customers as possible until most STB's are naturally replaced anyways).

How many people do you really think won't pick 1 and 3 and sacrifice 2?

If 1 and 3 are most people's choice then they should stay MPEG-2 for most content, and simply compress it to lower bitrates.

Yes, I'm sure that Verizon does not add compression. Although some providers are providing MPEG4 streams (which have lower compression artifacts than MPEG2 streams by the way), the satellite receivers Verizon uses both decrypt and provide both MPEG4 and MPEG2 streams, and the streams Verizon uses are not compressed further from further encoding itself.

I would hesitate to assert that quality is not a significant reason customers choose FiOS over other competitors. You obviously haven't experienced the quality on a continuing basis given your location and inability to subscribe to the service.

A large portion of the subscriber base already has the 7XXX-series MPEG4-capable STBs, and Verizon has already begun adding new content in MPEG4 that requires these. They've already upgraded users who subscribe to programming packages that required it, and they can do this in the future. Or just add the MPEG4 channels and let the consumer make the choice to upgrade their STB to get them or not. Time will tell.

Betamax76

join:2008-10-16
Canonsburg, PA

said by PJL:

said by meowmeow:

FiOS doesn't recompress? Seriously? Are you sure? That directly contradicts tnsprin's belief that most channels are MPEG-4 from the providers and either way that seems just bizarre (since the MPEG transport stream from the providers is usually at a quite high bitrate to minimize second generation quality loss from recompression).

And frankly, it sounds to me like Verizon just needs to start using lower bitrates more than they need MPEG-4. They have plenty of capacity... I know MPEG artifacts aren't everyone's favorite thing but consider this:

1. More channels
2. Higher quality
3. Lower prices

You can pick two (MPEG-4 requires new STB's - an expensive proposition - ultimately the customer pays so long run prices are lower staying on MPEG-2 for as many customers as possible until most STB's are naturally replaced anyways).

How many people do you really think won't pick 1 and 3 and sacrifice 2?

If 1 and 3 are most people's choice then they should stay MPEG-2 for most content, and simply compress it to lower bitrates.

Yes, I'm sure that Verizon does not add compression. Although some providers are providing MPEG4 streams (which have lower compression artifacts than MPEG2 streams by the way), the satellite receivers Verizon uses both decrypt and provide both MPEG4 and MPEG2 streams, and the streams Verizon uses are not compressed further from further encoding itself.

I would hesitate to assert that quality is not a significant reason customers choose FiOS over other competitors. You obviously haven't experienced the quality on a continuing basis given your location and inability to subscribe to the service.

A large portion of the subscriber base already has the 7XXX-series MPEG4-capable STBs, and Verizon has already begun adding new content in MPEG4 that requires these. They've already upgraded users who subscribe to programming packages that required it, and they can do this in the future. Or just add the MPEG4 channels and let the consumer make the choice to upgrade their STB to get them or not. Time will tell.



Verizon DOES add additional compression for a FEW channels. QVC HD, Destination America HD, and Hallmark Movie Channel share one QAM channel. The much revered .TV HD channels are also loaded 3 to 1 per QAM. Unlike HBO and Cinemax HD channels, these channels would require 15 Megabit per second to deliver an uncompressed picture in MPEG-2. Instead, they receive no better than 13 Megabit per second. For the other 90% of the channels, no additional compression is used.

On another note, if Verizon needs additional channel capacity in the short term, the Showtime, Movie Channel and Starz HD channels are still loaded 2 to 1 per QAM in MPEG-2. Many of these are delivered to providers the same way as HBO and Cinemax HD channels (i.e., MPEG-4 with bitrate in the 6 MB/sec range). A transition to 3:1 MPEG-2 statmuxing would open another 2 QAM frequencies.

PJL

join:2008-07-24
Long Beach, CA
kudos:2

said by Betamax76:

said by PJL:

said by meowmeow:

FiOS doesn't recompress? Seriously? Are you sure? That directly contradicts tnsprin's belief that most channels are MPEG-4 from the providers and either way that seems just bizarre (since the MPEG transport stream from the providers is usually at a quite high bitrate to minimize second generation quality loss from recompression).

And frankly, it sounds to me like Verizon just needs to start using lower bitrates more than they need MPEG-4. They have plenty of capacity... I know MPEG artifacts aren't everyone's favorite thing but consider this:

1. More channels
2. Higher quality
3. Lower prices

You can pick two (MPEG-4 requires new STB's - an expensive proposition - ultimately the customer pays so long run prices are lower staying on MPEG-2 for as many customers as possible until most STB's are naturally replaced anyways).

How many people do you really think won't pick 1 and 3 and sacrifice 2?

If 1 and 3 are most people's choice then they should stay MPEG-2 for most content, and simply compress it to lower bitrates.

Yes, I'm sure that Verizon does not add compression. Although some providers are providing MPEG4 streams (which have lower compression artifacts than MPEG2 streams by the way), the satellite receivers Verizon uses both decrypt and provide both MPEG4 and MPEG2 streams, and the streams Verizon uses are not compressed further from further encoding itself.

I would hesitate to assert that quality is not a significant reason customers choose FiOS over other competitors. You obviously haven't experienced the quality on a continuing basis given your location and inability to subscribe to the service.

A large portion of the subscriber base already has the 7XXX-series MPEG4-capable STBs, and Verizon has already begun adding new content in MPEG4 that requires these. They've already upgraded users who subscribe to programming packages that required it, and they can do this in the future. Or just add the MPEG4 channels and let the consumer make the choice to upgrade their STB to get them or not. Time will tell.



Verizon DOES add additional compression for a FEW channels. QVC HD, Destination America HD, and Hallmark Movie Channel share one QAM channel. The much revered .TV HD channels are also loaded 3 to 1 per QAM. Unlike HBO and Cinemax HD channels, these channels would require 15 Megabit per second to deliver an uncompressed picture in MPEG-2. Instead, they receive no better than 13 Megabit per second. For the other 90% of the channels, no additional compression is used.

On another note, if Verizon needs additional channel capacity in the short term, the Showtime, Movie Channel and Starz HD channels are still loaded 2 to 1 per QAM in MPEG-2. Many of these are delivered to providers the same way as HBO and Cinemax HD channels (i.e., MPEG-4 with bitrate in the 6 MB/sec range). A transition to 3:1 MPEG-2 statmuxing would open another 2 QAM frequencies.

The channels you mentioned are combined 3-to-1 because their bandwith from the provider is low enough to allow the combining. They are not compressed further by Verizon.

meowmeow

join:2003-07-26
Helena, MT
reply to PJL

said by PJL:

Yes, I'm sure that Verizon does not add compression. Although some providers are providing MPEG4 streams (which have lower compression artifacts than MPEG2 streams by the way), the satellite receivers Verizon uses both decrypt and provide both MPEG4 and MPEG2 streams, and the streams Verizon uses are not compressed further from further encoding itself.

I would hesitate to assert that quality is not a significant reason customers choose FiOS over other competitors. You obviously haven't experienced the quality on a continuing basis given your location and inability to subscribe to the service.

A large portion of the subscriber base already has the 7XXX-series MPEG4-capable STBs, and Verizon has already begun adding new content in MPEG4 that requires these. They've already upgraded users who subscribe to programming packages that required it, and they can do this in the future. Or just add the MPEG4 channels and let the consumer make the choice to upgrade their STB to get them or not. Time will tell.

ADDING MPEG-4 channels would not allieve capacity issues. The MPEG-2 channels must be replaced to do so. Also, if it's coming as MPEG-4 they HAVE to recompress to send it out as MPEG-2. They may be recompressing it at a very high bitrate, but you can't just magically turn MPEG-4 into MPEG-2. MPEG-4, at a given bitrate, will have fewer artifacts, absolutely. But at a high enough bitrate, MPEG-2 will have no visible artifacts either. I stand by what I said, MPEG-4 isn't being used, by anybody, to reduce artifacting. It's being used to get the SAME artifacting at a lower bitrate.

I am impressed that FiOS is apparently running such high bitrates regardless of whether the signal is being recompressed or not. The channels on most cable and satellite services are compressed (MPEG-2 or MPEG-4) into oblivion. Often to the point a DVD is higher quality despite the far lower resolution.

I know what good 720p and 1080i video compressed at high bitrates looks like. I'm glad to hear someone out there is doing it. I'd LOVE to pay more to get that. I'd love to give up half my crap channels to get that... but I still stand by what I said.

If I was running the company there isn't a snowball's chance in hell I'd move to MPEG-4 for the most popular packages until almost every MPEG-2 STB deployed was dead. A 256 QAM channel gives you 38.8 mbps to use. That gives you 2-4 MPEG-2 HD channels depending on the quality desired (2 really good channels or 4 really crappy ones, 3 seems to be most typical). MPEG-4 is about 50% more efficient. So for the same quality you'd get 3-6 channels. Or, you could take the same 3-4 channels today and take them from average/mediocre to good/average.

If I was running the company and wasn't getting quality complaints, I know I'd try to use MPEG-4 when I did deploy it to fit in more programming rather than improving quality. That's what my customers would want.

PJL

join:2008-07-24
Long Beach, CA
kudos:2

1 edit

said by meowmeow:

ADDING MPEG-4 channels would not allieve capacity issues. The MPEG-2 channels must be replaced to do so. Also, if it's coming as MPEG-4 they HAVE to recompress to send it out as MPEG-2. They may be recompressing it at a very high bitrate, but you can't just magically turn MPEG-4 into MPEG-2. MPEG-4, at a given bitrate, will have fewer artifacts, absolutely. But at a high enough bitrate, MPEG-2 will have no visible artifacts either. I stand by what I said, MPEG-4 isn't being used, by anybody, to reduce artifacting. It's being used to get the SAME artifacting at a lower bitrate.

I am impressed that FiOS is apparently running such high bitrates regardless of whether the signal is being recompressed or not. The channels on most cable and satellite services are compressed (MPEG-2 or MPEG-4) into oblivion. Often to the point a DVD is higher quality despite the far lower resolution.

I know what good 720p and 1080i video compressed at high bitrates looks like. I'm glad to hear someone out there is doing it. I'd LOVE to pay more to get that. I'd love to give up half my crap channels to get that... but I still stand by what I said.

If I was running the company there isn't a snowball's chance in hell I'd move to MPEG-4 for the most popular packages until almost every MPEG-2 STB deployed was dead. A 256 QAM channel gives you 38.8 mbps to use. That gives you 2-4 MPEG-2 HD channels depending on the quality desired (2 really good channels or 4 really crappy ones, 3 seems to be most typical). MPEG-4 is about 50% more efficient. So for the same quality you'd get 3-6 channels. Or, you could take the same 3-4 channels today and take them from average/mediocre to good/average.

If I was running the company and wasn't getting quality complaints, I know I'd try to use MPEG-4 when I did deploy it to fit in more programming rather than improving quality. That's what my customers would want.

Maybe we're at a semantics point here. In my mind, converting an MPEG4 stream to an MPEG2 stream is not a compression action in Verizon's case, it's a re-encoding (conversion) action (done by the decrypting units in most cases), and it is common knowledge that Verizon does not compress the stream when it does this. They don't tweak the encoding algorithms to reduce the bandwidth (as you note). This "compression" is further processing to lower the available bit rate that adds the artifacts we loathe. Given this, the higher bitrates across the board for Verizon (versus other providers) is further evidence of the "non-compression" claim.

I've read what you would do if you were running Verizon, and IMHO I'm glad you're not. (No need to reply on this statement; it's my opinion after all, and I do respect yours.)

Had you been a subscriber of Verizon for over five years (as I have) then you would have had the opportunity for actual experience with comparing picture quality (which Verizon always holds up to a high standard) and the steps Verizon has taken to keep this standard high and still add content. But being in Montana unfortunately you have not had that opportunity.

So I will end my speculation and wait to see what really happens. Thanks for the discussion.

meowmeow

join:2003-07-26
Helena, MT

You can't magically make MPEG-4 into MPEG-2. It's recompressed. The question is just whether the bitrate of the new MPEG-2 transport stream is high enough that you don't notice the generational loss. It sounds like Verizon is doing well there, but still, I stand by what I say... that's not the way to keep customers.

Look at DISH Network. It looks like utter garbage. They don't even offer HD of many popular channels (e.g. Disney) since they're unwilling to pay for it. Everything is compressed into oblivion. They have no customer service and they engage in deceptive, even threatening business practices.

And they're insanely popular because people want to save $10 a month.



Greg2600

join:2008-05-20
Belleville, NJ
reply to Ken7

I think it's safe to say that whenever Verizon migrates channels to MPEG-4 they will use the ones which they receive in MPEG-4. Which nowadays is probably the majority.