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Verizon is re-encoding HDNet and HDNet Movies?
Mces97
Newbie

I was watching a show today on HDNet movies and I noticed in faster moving scenes , pixelation that I never used to see on HDNet channels. I know that HDnet broadcast their shows in about 17.55Mbps, as compared to about 10-12 with channels like HBO. I read a post on another forum saying that Verizon was now doing this, but I didnt notice anything until recently and I believe it might be true. Why would Verizon do this. Their service is about quality compared to other competitors and HDNet is one of those channels thats offers content in HD that is usually not on the other channels in very good quality. If Verizon is going to re-encode these channels to a lower bitrate it makes me wonder how long til they start doing this with all the channels and worries me. If anyone from Verizon is reading this, please pass the stream the way it was and used to be from HDNet and HDNet Movies in its original bitrate and quality.

 Thank you.  

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Re: Verizon is re-encoding HDNet and HDNet Movies?
KenAF
Specialist
I just tuned Hdnet and it looks soft, but that could just be the current program. I scheduled a number of recordings on Hdnet for programs I'm actually familiar with. I'll take a look tomorrow.

Verizon did reduce the bandwidth allocation on the HBO channels earlier this year. Previously, they were transcoding all of the MPEG-4 HBO/Cinemax channels into MPEG-2 @ 14.5Mbps (more info). Now they are using transcoding into MPEG-2 @ 11Mbps or less.  The increase in compression probably resulted in some quality loss, though most of the artifacts on that channel are still part of the original feed and not the fault of Verizon.
Message Edited by KenAF on 08-25-2009 10:09 AM
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Re: Verizon is re-encoding HDNet and HDNet Movies?
philhu
Contributor

I thought FiOS's big lead is that they do not compress ANYTHING and have almost UNLIMITED bandwidth using Fiber

If they are compressing, where is their 'gimmick'.

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Re: Verizon is re-encoding HDNet and HDNet Movies?
Keyboards
Master

@philhu wrote:

I thought FiOS's big lead is that they do not compress ANYTHING and have almost UNLIMITED bandwidth using Fiber

If they are compressing, where is their 'gimmick'.


First of all, no carrier has "unlimited bandwidth".  There are limits, even for fiber.

Transcoding is not the same as compressing.   The problem is that many of the HD stations (on the premiums particularly) beyond the primary are sent in MPEG-4.  The vast majority of the Moto boxes  don't do MPEG-4 (with the exception of the 7xxx series and they don't have MPEG-4 currently enabled).  Therefor Verizon needs to convert (or transcode) the signal to MPEG-2 for their STBs to be able to receive and decode the signal. 

Now comes the part where you can change bit rates and not be guilty of re-compressing (remember all digital TV is compressed - that is what the MPEG standards are) and you can't directly compare bit rates from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 as MPEG 4 is more efficient.

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Re: Verizon is re-encoding HDNet and HDNet Movies?
KenAF
Specialist

@Mces97 wrote:

I was watching a show today on HDNet movies and I noticed in faster moving scenes , pixelation that I never used to see on HDNet channels. I know that HDnet broadcast their shows in about 17.55Mbps, as compared to about 10-12 with channels like HBO. I read a post on another forum saying that Verizon was now doing this, but I didnt notice anything until recently and I believe it might be true. Why would Verizon do this. 


Here in DC/VA/MD, Hdnet video (excludes audio) is still 17.55 Mbps as of 9pm EST.  Either that changed it since you posted, or what you're observing is specific to the NY VHO.

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Re: Verizon is re-encoding HDNet and HDNet Movies?
Mces97
Newbie
If anyone from Verizon is reading this, please stop re-encoding HDNet. I know bandwidth is a concern, but HDNet and HDNet movies are the only channels that use 17.55 and really take advantage of how important a higher bitrate is when it comes to quality. Especially in the NYC area there are other options for great hd now that time warner has the exact same channels that Verizon offers. If this can be passed to someone who works in the programming department or has the power to stop re-encoding these channels and pass them along like how they used to be I think many people would appreciate this besides me. These channels are about quality. Please dont butcher them.
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Re: Verizon is re-encoding HDNet and HDNet Movies?
Drew_from_Dover
Contributor

@Keyboards wrote:

@philhu wrote:

I thought FiOS's big lead is that they do not compress ANYTHING and have almost UNLIMITED bandwidth using Fiber

If they are compressing, where is their 'gimmick'.


First of all, no carrier has "unlimited bandwidth".  There are limits, even for fiber.

Transcoding is not the same as compressing.   The problem is that many of the HD stations (on the premiums particularly) beyond the primary are sent in MPEG-4.  The vast majority of the Moto boxes  don't do MPEG-4 (with the exception of the 7xxx series and they don't have MPEG-4 currently enabled).  Therefore Verizon needs to convert (or transcode) the signal to MPEG-2 for their STBs to be able to receive and decode the signal. 

Now comes the part where you can change bit rates and not be guilty of re-compressing (remember all digital TV is compressed - that is what the MPEG standards are) and you can't directly compare bit rates from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 as MPEG 4 is more efficient.


When I transcode mpeg4 audio files (aac) to mpeg2 (mp3 to be compatible with my mp3 player) I always select a higher bitrate so as not to sacrifice quality. You're right, when comparing mpeg2 and mpeg4 there's usually a scale where mp3@192kbit equals mp4@96kbit. I would hope Verizon would do the same for video streams. I would hope decreased quality isn't something they do with video as they've done with audio (WGN, Comedy Central).

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