Premium TV - Video Quality

Support for and discussion of the HDHomeRun Premium TV service
Zorg
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:56 am

Re: Premium TV - Video Quality

Postby Zorg » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:14 am

Yeah, I was going to chime in about MNF on ESPN too. Everyone has different expectations, but at least in my household, last night's MNF was the first "real" test of HDPremium. It didn't go well.

We have a newer 65" Sony 4k Android TV. The game was really soft and jittery on HDPrem compared to YouTubeTV. Very noticeable both in action and especially close-ups with grassy details. I know grass is like confetti and torture for encoding. But grass was just a green mush on HDPrem. It looked great and detailed on YTTV; no different than cable/sat. For us, it's just not much of a contest when HDPrem is $35 and YTTV is $40.

I think the 480p comment is accurate. I have played around with downsampling 720p/1080i quality OTA via Channels and the "480p 1mb" option produces a stream of similar visual quality to HDPrem (though HDP still has that jitter problem...).

On the flip side, I did observe that the YTTV stream we so enjoyed was "just" 720p60 (ESPN native, I believe). So I have high hopes for HDPrem Phase 2. 24 days until my HDP subscription expires ;). But of course the fun of no-contract OTT services is that I'll gladly switch to whichever provider can provide the best quality and value for the cost. :-) Eagerly awaiting!

nateb
Silicondust
Posts: 466
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:22 pm
Device ID: 1051C73D, 10759F29

Re: Premium TV - Video Quality

Postby nateb » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:17 am

But of course the fun of no-contract OTT services is that I'll gladly switch to whichever provider can provide the best quality and value for the cost. :-) Eagerly awaiting!
Yup, it's a double edged sword on our side. We really do need to be very competitive in terms of things people care about. We're never going to win purely on price/channel, because we can't afford to sell at or near a loss like a Youtube could. So we have to play smart by having a unique feature set (OTA and Premium TV integrated, no DRM means play anywhere on anything, integration with numerous players) and a smart approach to picture quality (which we're definitely working on).

We're hopeful people stick with us, but choosing to go no-contract means we're aware that it's up to us to convince you guys that it's worth it.

Zorg
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:56 am

Re: Premium TV - Video Quality

Postby Zorg » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:07 pm

Absolutely! There are many excellent benefits to HDPremium, as you've listed. Many of those are valuable to me too, and it's why I'm here trying to offer constructive feedback. I really want this to work for my household and for SD to be successful in this project. It has awesome potential.

But for me, picture quality must be competitive. I don't expect SD to somehow magically produce perfect 4k/60p HDR content from 720p source feeds. But I do need PQ to be on par with what I'm seeing from the multitude of other OTT providers vying for my monthly dollars.

nateb
Silicondust
Posts: 466
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:22 pm
Device ID: 1051C73D, 10759F29

Re: Premium TV - Video Quality

Postby nateb » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:48 pm

Yup. Well, keep an eye on the forum. I still don't have a timeline for improvement, but whenever I do have something to share, I'll post here asap.

mtdust
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:46 am

Re: Premium TV - Video Quality

Postby mtdust » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:23 am

The unique features you listed are the reason I subscribed to Premium TV. Your efforts are appreciated and I hope that you are able to resolve the issues soon. This service has so much potential.

kwhaley29
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:39 pm

Re: Premium TV - Video Quality

Postby kwhaley29 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:11 am

I subscribed to Premium TV shortly after it launched and will be sticking around. Being able to combine all of our local channels with cable networks into a single interface (we use Channels) and having the ability to record content on a hard drive is something that I've wanted for a while now. iPlus, the fact that you listen to and communicate with your customers here directly is something that makes me want to support the company and the same goes for the folks over at Channels. Keep up the good work and thank you for your continued effort!

jasonmcroy
Posts: 492
Joined: Sun May 03, 2015 3:08 pm
Device ID: 1061D18E, 1070B743, 1076A10B

Re: Premium TV - Video Quality

Postby jasonmcroy » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:35 am

So, after doing several recordings of PTV, I too will be keeping the service while SD undergoes quality improvements. So far, for my regular TV show recordings it is "fine". I don't watch sports so that isn't an issue for me personally.

The thing I am interested in regarding video quality is recording movies. Action movies don't come out that good at the current quality. But, it is something I can live without until the PQ comes up to par.

I have faith in SD and I know they can make this one come out awesome.

boogmeister1
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:51 am

Re: Premium TV - Video Quality

Postby boogmeister1 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:48 pm

I agree 100%! PTV works great for us and we plan on keeping it. We are currently using Channels and it seems to work just fine.
So, after doing several recordings of PTV, I too will be keeping the service while SD undergoes quality improvements. So far, for my regular TV show recordings it is "fine". I don't watch sports so that isn't an issue for me personally.

The thing I am interested in regarding video quality is recording movies. Action movies don't come out that good at the current quality. But, it is something I can live without until the PQ comes up to par.

I have faith in SD and I know they can make this one come out awesome.

sfatula
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:47 pm

Re: Premium TV - Video Quality

Postby sfatula » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:45 pm

I am fortunate in some ways that I have a contract at present for TV services, and it ends in December. I've been monitoring the 2 minute demo on various channels on my 120" screen, and, it's not terrible. Sports, well, not so great of course. Useable for me, but by December, I am pretty sure you'll have a new subscriber here. I am tired of services that have cloud dvrs, contracts, etc. Quite honestly, paying a *lot* less, I do expect a little less. So, even if PQ never is as good as other traditional services, that's ok. I (will) like having my own recordings in my own house. I am in the "it's just tv" crowd.

EricGRIT09
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:42 am

Re: Premium TV - Video Quality

Postby EricGRIT09 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:44 am

If there's a list of folks who vote for highest possible quality and are willing to pay for it, count me in! I'm looking for a provider w/60fps streams and highest bitrate possible. Obviously there's a cost/benefit analysis that needs to be done by SD here, but I'm in the highest possible quality camp myself.

pixelstuff
Posts: 114
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:27 am

Re: Premium TV - Video Quality

Postby pixelstuff » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:06 pm

If there's a list of folks who vote for highest possible quality and are willing to pay for it, count me in! I'm looking for a provider w/60fps streams and highest bitrate possible. Obviously there's a cost/benefit analysis that needs to be done by SD here, but I'm in the highest possible quality camp myself.
Unfortunately I can't be in that group because the fastest internet service I can buy tops out at 25 Mbps. So however many simultaneous recordings I perform, have to come in under the 25 Mbps bit rate. I would settle for saying that someone on a 25 Mbps connection can't safely do more than two premium channels at once. However that needs to include the possibility that I might want to watch Netflix or Hulu or use the internet in other ways at the same time a recording is happening.

Perhaps we could go as high 5 Mbps CBR and have a reliable service. Maybe even 7 Mbps maximum cap on VBR if the average was closer to 4 Mbps and spikes were rare.

Zorg
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:56 am

Re: Premium TV - Video Quality

Postby Zorg » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:04 pm

Obviously everyone has different priorities and expectations.

SD ought to provide a couple of different tiers of service. Keep a 'basic' plan with a lower price point and lower bitrates for those who are less critical of quality or have bandwidth constraints. Then offer an 'enhanced' plan with higher quality feeds that are competitive with other OTT providers with correspondingly higher bandwidth requirements at a slightly higher price. Basically just like what Pandora does.

Then everyone's happy. :)

EricGRIT09
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:42 am

Re: Premium TV - Video Quality

Postby EricGRIT09 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:09 pm

That would be cool - just a bigger undertaking but might ultimately bring in more business.

HDHR Premium TV is the closest thing going for the full non-DRM TV package - for me "full" means the channels I want (nobody will get everything they want, probably), great quality and the ability to run through Plex. If I could get most/all channels and OTA (or better) quality via my Plex interface (meaning everything I have goes through Plex now) it would be absolutely amazing. I feel like that's where HDHR has the ability to be truly different - integration with anything that will support their tuner.

Cayars
Posts: 99
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:55 am

Re: Premium TV - Video Quality

Postby Cayars » Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:01 pm

Personally I think it should not cost more. You expect it to look very similar to cable right from the get go which would be the H.254 streams.

Obviously as expressed here not everyone will be able to use 265 so they might need to fall back.

Just have the same set of channels setup with different channel numbers similar to what your cable providers do with SD and HD content. Each person could then setup their environment the way the need using either set of channels OR keeping them all.

Someone might want to stream ESPN h.265 to their computer or Shield TV while they might need the ESPN H.264 channel for a Roku 3 in the bedroom or when streaming to a cell phone that Plex or Emby transcodes down to save bandwidth. For many people it easier on the computer to transcode a H.264 source than H.265.

Just make the channels available and let the user decide how to use them.

Carlo

pixelstuff
Posts: 114
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:27 am

Re: Premium TV - Video Quality

Postby pixelstuff » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:39 pm

Personally I think it should not cost more. You expect it to look very similar to cable right from the get go which would be the H.254 streams.

Obviously as expressed here not everyone will be able to use 265 so they might need to fall back.

Just have the same set of channels setup with different channel numbers similar to what your cable providers do with SD and HD content. Each person could then setup their environment the way the need using either set of channels OR keeping them all.

Someone might want to stream ESPN h.265 to their computer or Shield TV while they might need the ESPN H.264 channel for a Roku 3 in the bedroom or when streaming to a cell phone that Plex or Emby transcodes down to save bandwidth. For many people it easier on the computer to transcode a H.264 source than H.265.

Just make the channels available and let the user decide how to use them.

Carlo
For curiosity's sake it would be interesting to know what quality SiliconDust is getting as a source.


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