[mythtv-users] DTV: It Has Begun
Michael T. Dean
mtdean at thirdcontact.com
Tue Sep 9 15:25:31 UTC 2008
On 09/09/2008 11:09 AM, David Watkins wrote:
>> In the United States, the setting of the digital transition the thread
>> is discussing--and unlike the case in New Zealand and most of the rest
>> of the world--"digital," in this context, in practice more or less
>> does mean 1920x1080i or 1280x720p HDTV. This is why American MythTV
>> users on this list have been able to routinely record and easily play
>> back HDTV broadcasts for years.
> .. and America has been broadcasting in MPEG2 while Europe and its
> antipodes chose MPEG4; harder to decode and play.
Actually, AFAIK, Europe has had MPEG-2 digital TV for a /lot/ of years
(and much longer than the US). Again, you're confusing digital with HDTV.
IMHO, Europe did the digital TV transition correctly. They went to
digital standard-def (allowing for relatively inexpensive decoders)
while planning for the HDTV upgrade. During the time they were using
digital SDTV, they had significantly higher quality TV broadcasts than
we here in the backwards USA. And, while they were enjoying that
high-quality TV, the not-so-forward-thinking parts of the world who were
pushing the envelope for decoders pushed the cost down and pushed the
technology farther (allowing for better encoding within MPEG-2, and
allowing for the creation/development of new encoding technologies).
Therefore, we in the USA have paid for the improvement of technology,
which allows Europe to do a second transition, from digital SDTV to
digital HDTV and to use better technology than was used in the US and to
do so for cheaper. They seem to be choosing an encoding format that
will use bandwidth about twice as effectively as the ATSC standard we're
now (stuck with) using in the US. Their HDTV implementation will be
much more advanced than ours.
In the US, of course, we couldn't have done a NTSC->digital
SDTV->digital HDTV upgrade because, "If it's not unbearably expensive,
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