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About alphamale

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  1. Yes. I forgot all about how the FTA channels are now allowed mutli-channelling. If SBS use their 2nd SD channel to carry alternative programming instead of foreign news, then I guess we'll have to get use to 4mbps for both SBS1 and SBS2. There's not much SBS can do unless they increase their total mux to 23mbps like the other stations. In the meantime, surely they can bump up the bitrate when it's necessary. For e.g there's nothing happening on SBS2 at 4:30AM. ABC's bitrates are (Sydney metro): ABC1 @ 5.52mbps (23.9%) ABC2 @ 4.50mbps (19.5%) ABC HD @ 9.81mbps (42.6%) Also, I believe ABC will carry a 3rd SD channel ABC3 which will be a Kids only channel (pending govt approval). If that is the case then the bitrates for ABC1 and ABC2 (and possibly their HD channel) will all have to fall.
  2. Yes you are correct that it's not bit rate related. I just wanted to point out that the bitrate has decreased on the normal SD channel which explains some of the decrease in picture quality such as macroblocking. The jagged edges around curves or poor anti-aliasing is due to the poor conversion or filtering process that is currently being used on the SBS channel. Case in point, both the SBS and SBS2 have similar bitrates but the picture quality on the SBS2 channel is noticebaly better (ref: the weather map that is shown late at night). The HD 720p version of the weather map has jagged edges which indicates it is being upscaled from 576i. It looks like the SBS channel is being downscaled from the 720p source whereas the SBS2 channel, they are using the original 576i source.
  3. SBS have changed their bitrates recently. Last year they were using (Sep 08): SBS @ 5.00mbps (25.8%) SBS2 @ 3.22mbps (16.6%) SBS HD @ 7.86mbps (40.6%) In January 09, they were using: SBS @ 4.57mbps (23.4%) SBS2 @ 4.41mbps (22.5%) SBS HD @ 8.48mbps (43.8%) Now they are using: SBS @ 4.14mbps (21.22%) SBS2 @ 4.13mbps (21.21%) SBS HD @ 9.20mbps (47.5%) The above are just snaphots taken from TSReader (Sydney metro). The normal SBS SD channel has dropped by about an average of 1mbps and is most likely the reason why its picture quality has decreased. I too have noticed an increase in macroblocking during complex scene changes where a higher bitrate is needed to avoid pixellation as well as noticeable jagged edges around curves. I can understand increasing the bitrate on the HD channel but why should the SBS 2 (or News) channel have the same bitrate as the normal SBS channel. Go figure. Having said all that, a 4mbps average bitrate should still produce decent quality on non-movement frames but my frame comparison of some old and current Mythbusters episodes prove otherwise which suggests SBS are doing some wrong in the conversion and/or encoding process. The current Mythbusters episodes do look bad compared to when SBS were using a higher bitrate. Anyway, fwiw, 4mbps for the SD channel is unacceptable for high motion video such as football. It needs at least 5bmps+. Couldn't they at least increase the bitrate for events such as the football (CL, EUFA, FA) while lowering the bitrate for SBS News. Surely that makes sense.
  4. Well it looks like TEN in Sydney has started to experiment with the bitrates in preparation for their third channel. HD - 12.57mbps SD - 5.01mbps 4.07mbps were null packets. The NBA Game Boston v Lakers had an average bitrate of 12.30 Mbps (1920x1080). If only 4mbps is going to be allocated to their second SD channel, it's not going to look good.
  5. One of my IQs crashed badly a couple of weeks ago (No signal and items yet to be recorded in the Planner had doubled up). Ever since, the IQ has been playing up especially with the EPG. Current Issues with my IQ: 1. Sometimes I get 'No scheduled information available' when trying to display info about the show that is currently playing. 2. When I enter the TV Guide to browse the EPG, I get many items coming up as 'Searching' initially before the name of the show appears. 3. Searching by A-Z, message pops up 'Searching please wait' and the IQ just hangs and does nothing. 4. Sometimes when I FF 30x, I get pixelation or the picture freezes. I'm not sure why this IQ has become buggy all of a sudden. My other IQ works fine. From reading other posts, it seems as though Foxtel have been doing some upgrading lately and they stuffed up. I'm tempted to wipe the hdd and reinstall to see if the issue is with any corrupt files but atm I have many recordings in the planner that I have yet to see. I did manually force a software update and have rebooted many times all to no avail. Is there a way of reinstalling system and config files without losing your recordings in the planner? The hidden menu has only 2 options, New Installation and Full System Reset.
  6. I also signed up just for the Euro. I was surprised to see the picture quality (PQ) was poor, however, not as bad as ESPN. SBS's PQ of the first Euro match was way better than Setana's. I've also noticed some of the match replay's have no scoreboard or time, just the Setana watermark. Is there a reason why they can't add a scoreboard and time to their match replays?
  7. You can download all of the episodes from http://www.downthelab.com/ in avi format.
  8. Give it time although I think that may be illegal according to the HDMI spec because then you might be able to record the pass through signal using a HDMI capture card. For example, the specs for the HDMI Blackmagic Intensity card states that it cannot capture protected sources. It would be interesting to see if someone was able to record any of the HD channels using this card.
  9. Sydney Cable ---------------- 202 ABC HD 203 BBC HD 204 ESPN HD 205 FoxSports HD 207 Seven HD 209 Nine HD 210 Ten HD 211 Discovery HD 212 NatGeo HD 228 SBS HD
  10. According to the HD Blog videos - HD Picture Quality, Compression and Delivery, they did say they would be using original format and in the case of ESPN it is 720p. They even mentioned that ESPN is 720p so one can conclude they will be broadcasting both HD formats. Even the FTA HD channels will not be re-encoded nor re-converted to a different resolution. What they receive from the FTA HD channels is exactly what they will broadcast. If original 720p is going to be reconverted to 1080i, then alot of subscribers are going to be upset especially given that Foxtel have stated repeatedly that they will be showing HD in it's original format (except for the conversion to 50Hz i.e 720p60 to 720p50). I also doubt that ESPN will re-encode all their material to 1080i. I don't see why they should since the IQ2 is capable of outputting 720p. Seems like a pointless exercise which will only serve to downgrade quality.
  11. That's good to know. It's been a while since I ordered a WWE PPV. Since they get the HD feeds, I wonder how the down conversion to SD looks like. iirc, the NFL Superbowl this year was in 16:9 and the quality was below average. Well below my expectations especially when the source was HD.
  12. Most sport (Soccer, NBA, NFL, MLB etc) on ESPN is still 4:3 and at low-med bitrates. IMO, soccer on ESPN is worse than 350mb xvid. Sometimes the NBA is good quality which surprises me but nonetheless at least it's watchable on my 37" LCD. EPL on FoxSports lately is also of very low quality. I can't imagine how EPL HD will look like. WWE RAW, Smackdown, ECW is also shown in 4:3 format. I presume the PPVs are the same. From what I've read WWE is only broadcasting their HD signal to US and Canada atm. The rest of the world gets the cropped version.
  13. Yes. Also you will get much better quality if you can connect Foxtel to the DVD recorder using s-video rather than composite. I have a DVD/VHS recorder and I tried recording Foxtel to VHS. It looks good on a CRT but awful on my 37" LCD. I can only imagine it would look absolutely terrible on a 50" TV.
  14. Yes it can. Selecting YUV for component does not affect the s-video port unless you are using a SCART to s-video cable in which case you need to select s-video in the settings. Theoretically you can have up to 7 connections running simultaneously on the IQ. Scart to Component and Composite x2 (TV) Scart to Composite x1 (VCR) S-video x 1 Composite x 1 RF x 2
  15. Someone has already attempted a DIY HDMI over ethernet. I believe they tested it to 20-25m and it worked fine. However 35-60m seems even better. I wonder how long before HDMI to RJ45 adapters become commonplace. This will allow us to make our own custom lengths.
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