High Def Forum
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Is 5LNB and MPEG4 receiver just an option?

03-23-2006, 06:11 PM
Will I have to upgrade to the 5LNB dish and an MPEG4 receiver sometime in the near future even though I presently get great OTA reception for all my network digital stations along with the DTV HD package. What will I be missing if I don't upgrade? Or is the 5LNB only for those who can't get OTA reception? What will MPEG4 give me that MPEG2 cannot? Lastly, if conversion is mandatory, is there a cut off date by which this must be done? I'm a happy camper with my HD right now.

03-23-2006, 06:45 PM
If your getting your locals in HD via OTA, I wouldn't be in any hurry. The MPEG4 is currently for HD locals. Until they launch the new satellites next year, I highly doubt if D* will add any "non-network" channels in the MPEG4 format. I also hear rumors that they are redesigning the new 5LNB dish that will not be as bulky and heavy as the current dish. MPEG2 will likely be around for a while, so if your happy with your OTA and the MPEG2 HD channels you currently receive, I would wait. Until they start getting serious with adding quality HD programming, I will stick with the 3 LNB dish, TIVO HD receivers, and standard HD receivers. Thats my opinion anyways.

03-24-2006, 03:48 AM
I would agree that the 'panic button' is a bit far out to be thinking about quite yet.

BUT, new SD locals are being added in MPEG4 right now, and 'eventually' there will be a push to move the HD MPEG2 transmissions to MP4, irrespective of dbs vrs. Ka transmission. MP4 is at least 50% more efficient than MP2, and we're talking first generation encoders. Lots of work yet to be done.

And then, of course, the MP2 SD will be transitioned over. That will be the BIG job; that's why they are positioning the equipment to a lease arrangement rather than stay with the purchase model that's been in existance for 10+ years. This way, they will be able to write off the major expense of swaping out millions of boxes for millions of customers.

One can figure the timetable by the launch schedule of their transmission systems, i.e, the satellites. Mid 07 for big push to transition all HD to MP4, including all current HD content (including national networks). End 07 / Start 08 start working on transistioning current SD programming to MP4, having moved a majority of users (if not all) over to leased equipment during the intervening 2 years between now and then.

What will be interesting to see, is if any new/additional nationwide dbs band (non-Ka) HD channels come on line as MPEG4 ONLY. At that point the handwriting will be 'on the wall'.

03-26-2006, 05:19 PM
Thanks Steve and Data. You confirmed my suspicions. I can relax for another year or two. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" seems to apply here - at least for now.