Forum > DStv Forum Archive (12 May 2014) > On-Demand Desktop (HD and Dolby)
View Poll Results: Do you want HD and Dolby 5.1 downloads
Yes 12 70.59%
No 2 11.76%
Maybe 3 17.65%
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  #1  
Old 2012-01-23 , 10:32
andrewgerm andrewgerm is offline
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Default On-Demand Desktop (HD and Dolby)

Good day all
Wanted to get some feedback on the format of the On-Demand Desktop (and very happy that it's been working so smoothly for me lately).

I see the Dolby logo appear, briefly, and then vanish on some fo the titles listed in the catelogue.

I download my On-Demand viewing, but when playing it via Windows Media Player (running Vista 64, but play these on the 32bit player) I don't see the Dolby logo in the player.

Are any of the titles 5.1? And if not, will they be at any point? And what are the chances of having HD version available? Even if just 720p (to save on storage)?

Any MC comments appreciated.

Thank you all
  #2  
Old 2012-01-23 , 11:51
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MC Nic MC Nic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewgerm View Post

Are any of the titles 5.1? And if not, will they be at any point? And what are the chances of having HD version available? Even if just 720p (to save on storage)?

Any MC comments appreciated.

Thank you all
Hi andrewgerm,

Thanks for posting this. I'll get detailed answers for you from the product managers ASAP.

Cheers

MC Nic.
  #3  
Old 2012-01-23 , 11:59
andrewgerm andrewgerm is offline
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Thank you Nic!!

Be interesting to know, and be great if it could be suggested too
  #4  
Old 2012-01-23 , 16:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewgerm View Post
Thank you Nic!!

Be interesting to know, and be great if it could be suggested too

Hi again,

Right, I have some answers for you.

All shows are currently made available online in Stereo. With regard to you questions about HD...it's a bit more tricky.

Discussions have been had in the past about offering On Demand content in HD and the decision was taken a while ago that, for now, all shows will be made available in a resolution that gives us a small enough file size that most people can download without the video quality of an animated GIF.

In short, we're treading a fine line between making the shows available in good quality, while making the service usable to people who access On Demand via slower 384kbps lines or mobile (3G/HSPA+) connections that are expensive to use.

Currently, the average TV show is about 200MB - 400MB in size. An HD show (even just 720p) with full Dolby Digital audio will push that up significantly to well over 1GB per episode, which is currently not cost effective for us or our customers.

Admittedly, with the introduction of uncapped packages and faster line speeds, it's made downloading On Demand content a lot easier but making the content available in HD will require a significant amount of investment in infrastructure on our side to make it happen, and we also need to reach a critical mass of users before we can justify it.

I'm not saying that the possibility of HD content is completely shut down... but, as it stands, there are no plans to offer HD content via DStv On Demand.

If anything changes, you'll hear about it first.

Hope this answers your questions?

MC Nic.
  #5  
Old 2012-01-23 , 20:46
andrewgerm andrewgerm is offline
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MC Nic

Thank you, you have indeed answered all my questions.

It would be great to have even a few select titles in surround and/or HD, but we'll be patient

As an aside, in case anyone else is interested, or did not know. The stereo in the downloaded file is slightly enhanced on a 5.1 system capable of outputting Pro Logic. This basically expands the stereo signal to the 5.1 speakers. Usually it's matrixed into the left / right audio. Frequencies below a certain level are redirected to the sub-woofer, and any audio that is positioned in the centre (most dialogue would be) would be redirected to the centre speaker.

Thanks again MC Nic
  #6  
Old 2012-01-23 , 22:14
Simon Simon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MC Nic View Post
All shows are currently made available online in Stereo.
Again, at the risk of sounding excessively boring, is this a Dolby Surround or a Dolby Pro Logic II mix? And if not, why not (where applicable)?

It would also help if standardised Dolby Trademarks were used to identify content.

Dolby Digital = 5.1 / 5.0 / 4.0 discrete channels
Dolby Surround = 2 channel
Dolby Pro Logic II = 2 channel

Reference Here
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  #7  
Old 2012-02-21 , 20:41
andrewgerm andrewgerm is offline
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@Simon and everyone...

I realise this becoming an old post, but been on the forums a bit, and thought I would clarify something here too.

I have a 5.1 theatre setup on my main desktop.
Cambridge Soundworks / Creative Labs speaker system, with it's own amp. connected via opticle to a Creative Labs X-Fi Elite Pro THX break-out box from the PC.

If a sound track is just plain / basic stereo (as in a 2.0 mix, not Dolby) I am able to expand the field to play through similar to a Pro Logic mix. This is achieved, simply put, by pushing centre mixed audio through the centre speaker, and then panning between left and right as the field pans.

Surround speakers play merely a very limited frequency range then, usually just very low volume of the soundtrack (is seems to also cut down speech here, so sort of pseudo ambience). The .1 (sub) has frequencies below a certain cut-off redirected there.

Not the full effect, but it beats plain stereo.

Creative calls this CMSS.

Other options can be played with via setting, etc.

Hope that sheds a bit of light.

And what triggered the post was actually a bad connectoin from my laptop to a 2.1 speaker system (el cheapo set). Because of this, I was only getting music and some effects, but no speech (why, I have yet to figure). Prompting me to use the desktop instead.
In the past, I have seen this same issue manifest when a Dobly mix has not encoded properly, so made an assumption, and then posted my OP.
  #8  
Old 2012-02-22 , 08:10
Simon Simon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewgerm View Post
If a sound track is just plain / basic stereo (as in a 2.0 mix, not Dolby) I am able to expand the field to play through similar to a Pro Logic mix. This is achieved, simply put, by pushing centre mixed audio through the centre speaker, and then panning between left and right as the field pans.
There is no reason why DSTV can't broadcast a 2 channel Dolby Surround audio track. However, despite a plethora of posts on this issue, I have YET to find someone who even knows what this is, let alone whether it is being implemented.

Dolby Surround has been a standard in TV broadcasts for decades, overtaken recently by Dolby Pro Logic II.
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  #9  
Old 2012-02-23 , 09:57
andrewgerm andrewgerm is offline
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@Simon
I see their reasoning in the reponse to my OP, of not having HD or a 5.1 soundtrack, but agree with you. From experience (although footage does vary) the encoding shouldn't take much (if any) additional space.

Even a 5.1 mix shouldn't increase the file size by too much (on the SD content)
  #10  
Old 2012-02-23 , 18:03
Simon Simon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewgerm View Post
I see their reasoning in the reponse to my OP, of not having HD or a 5.1 soundtrack, but agree with you. From experience (although footage does vary) the encoding shouldn't take much (if any) additional space.
Actually, a Dolby Surround encoded track takes up - and here's the kicker - ZERO extra space!
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