Author Topic: Prefer standard definition  (Read 4590 times)

Offline csutak40

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Prefer standard definition
« on: November 23, 2019, 09:21:47 PM »
Not sure if this is the right section for this. (or if it has been mentioned before)
I just went to schedule a new program and discovered that the choice of standard or HD definition recording seems to have disappeared.
Why is it so?  :( ???
Cheers,
Judy
Windows 7 Media Center; Last Update Feb 20 2006; Beyonwiz T4, T2

Offline prl

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Re: Prefer standard definition
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2019, 09:15:24 AM »
My understanding is that all recordings are now "prefer HD".
Peter
Beyonwiz T4 in-use
Beyonwiz T2, T3 & T4 for testing

Offline MD

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Re: Prefer standard definition
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2019, 09:34:49 AM »
Yes our default have always been "Prefer HD", but if HD is not enabled in the IceTV Guide Settings and an SD channel is available it will choose SD.  But SD has a poor picture and, counterintuitively, HD doesn't use much if any more HD space due to broadcast compression so HD is always the way to go. Having the choices caused confusion or illogical choices of "Prefer SD" (when one knows the reasons).  So we have taken away the option to make the mistake.

Offline raymondjpg

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Re: Prefer standard definition
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2019, 12:16:16 PM »
Yes our default have always been "Prefer HD", but if HD is not enabled in the IceTV Guide Settings and an SD channel is available it will choose SD.  But SD has a poor picture and, counterintuitively, HD doesn't use much if any more HD space due to broadcast compression so HD is always the way to go. Having the choices caused confusion or illogical choices of "Prefer SD" (when one knows the reasons).  So we have taken away the option to make the mistake.

I agree with most of that, except that SD has a poor picture, and that the choices cause confusion or illogical choices. I do usually prefer the HD channels for recording, but I'm not convinced that many of them are native HD, but rather upscaled SD broadcasts, or that they always have significantly better picture quality than the SD channels. Also, I have in the past always recorded the SD channel as well as the HD channel in simulcast broadcasts just in case there happened to be problems with the HD stream. I haven't seen it lately, but in the past I do recall issues with video and/or audio on the HD channel that weren't apparent in the SD stream. Another issue that may be less important to most is one appears to have to take more care with compressing HD recordings with x265 for archiving to avoid combing.

So I generally record the HD option on a PVR that employs IceTV, and hedge my bets by recording both SD and HD streams on a PVR that employs the OTA EPG and autotimers as a backup option.

It does raise a question in my mind as to what happens with timers created on the PVR in the BW T/U/V series that employ IceTV. Would a timer created for an SD channel be registered as an SD timer on the IceTV servers, and, if and when the scheduled time for the broadcast changes, would the servers change that timer to an HD channel timer?
Topfield TF7100HDPVRt, Beyonwiz DP-P2, Beyonwiz T2, Beyonwiz U4, Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2200, Hauppauge WinTV-MiniStick 01240, Hauppauge WinTV-dualHD (x2)

Offline csutak40

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Re: Prefer standard definition
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2019, 02:16:36 PM »
counterintuitively, HD doesn't use much if any more HD space due to broadcast compression
I was told this once before and during the time when I was regularly getting doubled up recordings, I had the opportunity to test this and it simply wasn't the case for me.  The HD version used quite a bit more space

Offline prl

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Re: Prefer standard definition
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2019, 06:05:18 PM »
All the broadcasters now use MPEG4 rather than MPEG2 for their HD broadcasts. That means that if you did those measurements some time ago when HD was normally in MPEG2, they may not be relevant any more.

Here are some quick measurements for Canberra broadcasts using the bitrate plugin:
Code: [Select]
                       HD         SD

ABC                  3.0-3.1    3.8-3.9
SBS ONE              4.3-4.6    1.8-2.4
VICELAND             4.6-4.9
9                    4.5-4.8    3.2-3.5
PRIME7               4.0-4.5    3.2-3.5
The measurements are in Mbit/sec. To convert to Gbyte/hour, multiply by 0.45 (3.6/8).

The bit rate differences are not great, and note particularly that the ABC HD bit rate is less than the ABC bit rate!

The ACMA no longer requires broadcasters to report on what proportion of their HD broadcasts are from HD sources, so I don't know how much is upscaled from SD (and IIRC, the minimum HD requirement was low when it was being reported, and only applied to commercial broadcasters). I'd presume that there has been a slow increase in the use of HD source material.

Offline prl

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Re: Prefer standard definition
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2019, 06:15:38 PM »
If you're watching recordings on a HD (or UHD/4k) TV, then any SD source material will need to be upscaled somewhere: by the broadcaster, by the PVR or by the TV.

There is some sense in recording in SD if the TV is SD.

Offline Daniel Hall at IceTV

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Re: Prefer standard definition
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2019, 06:35:47 PM »
So to try and clear up any confusion, we have removed some of the options on the website and iOS apps (the android app update is being worked on now) for series and keyword recordings. Namely these are the "limit per day", "network selection", "prefer HD/HD Only/prefer SD/SD Only" option, and the "Time" option. As going through all the scenarios available (and looking at how often these options were used) you could get the same effects by either disabling the channels you don't want to record on, but also using the "Channel" option and whether you wanted "repeats" or not, and this would simplify things tremendously.

It does raise a question in my mind as to what happens with timers created on the PVR in the BW T/U/V series that employ IceTV. Would a timer created for an SD channel be registered as an SD timer on the IceTV servers, and, if and when the scheduled time for the broadcast changes, would the servers change that timer to an HD channel timer?

Single timers created on either the PVR or on the IceTV website are linked to a specific airing of a show, if it moves times it will stay with that particular showing which will always stay on that channel, the HD airing has a different airing ID and it will not swap over to it.

If there are any questions just let us know and we can clear up any confusion there might be.
Regards,

Daniel.
CTO.

Offline raymondjpg

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Re: Prefer standard definition
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2019, 07:56:23 PM »
Single timers created on either the PVR or on the IceTV website are linked to a specific airing of a show, if it moves times it will stay with that particular showing which will always stay on that channel, the HD airing has a different airing ID and it will not swap over to it.

Thanks for clearing that up. I just set a single timer against a program on an SD channel of a simulcast, and it does show as a scheduled recording against the SD program in My Week. I'll take it that it would persist as an SD timer through scheduled screening time changes.

Offline csutak40

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Re: Prefer standard definition
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2019, 09:11:04 PM »
All the broadcasters now use MPEG4 rather than MPEG2 for their HD broadcasts. That means that if you did those measurements some time ago when HD was normally in MPEG2, they may not be relevant any more.


As if on cue, Graham Norton recorded twice tonight.  Not sure if this has to do with the old doubling up problem (happens occasionally, but not that often lately) or the preferences having been removed, however, here is the result

Offline ChrisW

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Re: Prefer standard definition
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2019, 01:20:25 PM »
I asked for this a couple of years ago: Would it be possible to always offer the last option used? e.g. stored in a cookie

I nearly always prefer SD, except for the odd sci-fi or nature show where HD is worth it. So nearly every timer I set requires me changing the "Any channel" (or previous, "Prefer HD") option to the SD equivalent, meaning an extra mouse click every time.

My reasons for preferring SD recordings:
  • Skippas don't process ad skipping on HD recordings.
  • Despite what you say, I still believe the SD vs HD filesize can be significant for a "bulging" HDD.
  • My Skippa seems to struggle (and reboot) more often when recording HD, especially with multiple recordings.
  • I believe that ad skipping, FF, RW, etc is more sluggish on HD recordings, on both the Skippa and my Beyonwiz.

Offline csutak40

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Re: Prefer standard definition
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2019, 02:31:37 PM »

    • Despite what you say, I still believe the SD vs HD filesize can be significant for a "bulging" HDD.
    [/quote
    That is my experience (on a Beyonwiz).  See attachment above

    Offline MD

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    Re: Prefer standard definition
    « Reply #12 on: November 25, 2019, 02:44:42 PM »
    Hi ChrisW,

    Regarding having to choose SD as we prefer HD the simple solution to that is to go to your IceTV Guide Settings in your account and disable every HD channel then SD will get chosen as we can't "Prefer HD". Also, I see you use an iPhone and the latest update removes the HD-SD choices so setting the option in your Guide Settings will become the only way to get SD every time, but its the easy way anyway.

    Offline MD

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    Re: Prefer standard definition
    « Reply #13 on: November 25, 2019, 02:54:53 PM »
    Hi cstak40,

    The reason we have removed these options is that having technically complex options to suit the few expert edge cases is simply not a good business model. The vast majority want a simple foolproof click and record choice or else they delve in and mess up and we lose far more "keep it simple" customers than the expert edge cases will ever add up to.

    Offline ChrisW

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    Re: Prefer standard definition
    « Reply #14 on: November 25, 2019, 03:12:30 PM »
    Regarding having to choose SD as we prefer HD the simple solution to that is to go to your IceTV Guide Settings in your account and disable every HD channel then SD will get chosen as we can't "Prefer HD". Also, I see you use an iPhone and the latest update removes the HD-SD choices so setting the option in your Guide Settings will become the only way to get SD every time, but its the easy way anyway.

    Thanks for that.

    I realise I could remove the HD channels, but then I wouldn't be able to record the occasional thing I do want in HD.

    I don't actually use the iPhone app - just added it recently when I switched to an iPhone. I do the bulk of my scheduling on a laptop each morning.


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