Internet TV and Bit-Rates

When we hook up our Internet TV box for the first time, we are allowed – in most cases – to set our TV resolution to 1080p. But the reality today is, that this resolution does not by itself state the picture quality.

Such video streams are sent to the receiver in compressed format, and the compressed bit-rate is a more accurate indication of what the actual picture quality will be. I.e., even if the basic format is 1920×1080, by compressing the stream more, lower bit-rates can be achieved, at the expense of picture quality.

Modern Internet TV boxes are quite intelligently programmed, to be able to change the bit-rate in mid-stream. Thus, when my ‘‘ started buffering, during an initial test, it did not only allow for its buffer to catch up with the point in the movie I was watching, but also noted that the real bit-rate of my connection was not high enough to support the highest quality level, available at 1080p. Immediately after that, the picture seemed slightly less sharp, but as I continued to watch, the overall quality of the picture started to recover again.

My has never had a streaming-interruption since then.

In fact, the way it is with HDMI connections to our TV, it is impractical for the source of the stream to change the picture-format in mid-stream. It tends to stay fixed.

And when we compare – which is a service offered by my ISP, also to stream TV to me via DSL – its reason for maintaining a consistent picture-quality is actually different. In this case, the bit-rate of the stream is reserved at the Modem / Router, which also belongs to Bell. I.e., the Bell Modem can ensure that a certain rate of bits per second are available for TV, and can do so at the expense of actual computers also trying to communicate. My is counted by the Bell Modem, as just another connected WiFi client.

What this actually means, is that if another person is considering buying a , but worried that his Internet is not fast enough – as long as he does have some form of high-speed Internet – he need not worry much. The receiver would detect his slow connection, and adjust the picture quality to suit.

Also, with a , we get to set the picture format to 720p instead, so that the required bit-rates start at a slower one.

If my TV was a 4K TV, I could set the format accordingly, but then I would worry, that this might be time and money wasted, because then, the picture quality on my network might not keep up with the 4K format.

Dirk

 

Renewed Hope in my DSL Connection

No matter how advanced a civilization becomes, it is my belief that there will always be the possibility, of some sort of malfunction or unforeseen source of problems. And one main reason I think this, is the fact that superior capabilities, eventually also encourage superior ambition. A civilization will want to do more, if it is capable of doing more, so that the chances of malfunctions return.

If most home users suffer from temporary disconnections from their DSL, it means little to them, because they may have no personal need to use the Internet at one moment. My case is a bit different, because first of all, my numerous computers are generally using the Internet, even if I am not at home, and because secondly, I am using my home IP address to host a Web-site, access to which will be interrupted, even though I was not home when the connection failed.

In recent months, I have experienced disconnection issues with my DSL. But I have renewed hope that the most recent solution, enacted yesterday, may actually put a fix to them. My reason is as follows:

The technician connected my twisted-pair of wires to a different circuit-board in the junction box, which was supposed to have been the correct circuit-board in the first place. I.e., during tech-support calls in the past, the representative got the reading that I was not connected, even though on my end, I was able to surf. At the same time, the technician yesterday also gave me a new DSL modem.

What this means is that basically, all the circuitry which is providing my DSL has been exchanged. There is little left, that could still cause malfunctions at this time. The only reason I could think of, why there might still be a problem, would be if the actual twisted-pair of wires, that stretch from my home to the junction box, was still a point of failure.

But according to what was done on November 10, there was a Wasp Nest in the cable, which was cleared out, after which the wires were reconnected. Once they are reconnected, there is little else that can go wrong with them – unless this time, maybe a beaver thought that the telephone cable was his source construction material for a den, or some such nonsense. :)

So let us hope for a stable connection, now.

Dirk

 

New DSL Modem, Downtime

According to This Posting, quite some time ago, I had written of having had DSL disconnection issues, which also caused my Web-site and my blog to go offline. But according to the posting above, those problems were positively supposed to have been solved, in that there had been wiring issues between my DSL Modem and the Junction Box.

The unfortunate reality is, that since then, I have been experiencing ongoing difficulties with my DSL, also resulting in intermittent downtime.

Today, a technician from my ISP came, and reported to me that my DSL wires had actually been connected to an incorrect circuit-board, in the junction-box. But additionally, he gave me a new DSL Modem / Router.

So from about 13h00 until 15h10 this afternoon, my site was in a state of disarray, and thus in essence, down once more.

But this time around, I am hoping that the work done – and the offline time it took to perform that work – will have paid off, in a DSL connection which is finally stable.

Dirk