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Seeking Help Zee Tamil HD (LCN 752) picture clarity issues.

Ramesh DthSky

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Guys,

It seems Zee Tamil HD channel (LCN 752) is not provided with enough space /bandwidth in the transponder and hence I could see more pixelation/graininess on the faces of the actors when the long-distance shot scenes are shown. The resolution of the channel is not quite up to the mark when compared to other HD channels. It could be seen very prominently during serials telecast or more visibly during reality shows like 'SaReGaMaPa' or 'Tamizha Tamizha' when they frequently show long-distant shots. Further when a horizontal movement of an actor or camera is shown, sometimes I could see stuttering or non-smooth motion of that specific scene. To observe this non-smooth movement easily, please watch the host of 'Tamizha Tamizha' when he moves during the show.

Could someone subscribed to Zee Tamil HD (LCN 752) please check if you find some time ? At the outset, things may look normal but to really understand how good the picture clarity is for any HD channel in any DTH, one should actually have to look very keenly the faces of actors during the long-distant shots to observe this graininess/pixelation on the faces of actors or during fast moving scenes. Also the distance between the TV and the viewer should be closer by about one metre. In Zee Tamil HD, I could clearly see the blurriness or graininess on the faces of actors during long-distant shots. When we could not see enough detail in the long-distant shots, then the primary reason is compression. It is similar to comparing a long distant shot in any YouTube video at 360P or 480P with 720P or 1080P.

One might ask why should somebody attach an importance to view an HD channel and that too for long distant shots. I only watch HD channels and when graininess appear during long-distant shots then the entire screen would appear with improper resolution slightly and I would wish that HD channels should always appear crisp with High Definition without any picture clarity issues. In fact, this is the primary reason for me to switch from my previous DTH service provider to Airtel two years back.

@Siva, I hope you remember that we had discussed a similar issue for another DTH in a different thread for some regional music and movie HD channels. For this problem in Airtel, I have checked Zee Telugu HD (LCN 884) and found this issue to some extent during the 'Zee Heroes' show. For example, I found the non-smooth motion or stuttering when the camera was moved faster horizontally when the contestants were on a four wheeler vehicle. When you have some time, could you please check if you are getting those issues in Zee Telugu HD in Airtel ?

Note:- I have then checked Zee Keralam HD (LCN 833), Zee Marathi HD(LCN 517) and Zee Bangla HD(LCN 704) but these channels are perfectly fine without any issues in Airtel.
 
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Siva

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I have verified this. I do feel the quality of this channel is subpar compared with Star Maa HD or Star Maa Movies HD! I'm not sure if this is a broadcaster's issue or Airtel's issue. The quality is fine though, when a fairly new movie is being telecasted. On serials and reality shows, the quality is not up to the mark IMO.
 

Ramesh DthSky

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Thank you, @Siva . It is now quite confusing to understand where exactly the issue is from, either Airtel or the broadcaster. But whoever watches Zee Tamil HD can easily notice the blurred faces during long distant shots especially during SareGaMaPa.
 
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Liverpudian

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Thank you, @Siva . It is now quite confusing to understand where exactly the issue is from, either Airtel or the broadcaster. But whoever watches Zee Tamil HD can easily notice the blurred faces during long distant shots especially during SareGaMaPa.

I googled regarding Zee Tamil HD channel VQ issues and I found two links:

Picture Quality

It looks like there is an issue with the clarity of the channel.
It would be best if you can check it in any of your family or friend(s) television set having some other DTH.
In this way it can be verified from where exactly the issue is occurring.

 
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Ramesh DthSky

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I googled regarding Zee Tamil HD channel VQ issues and I found two links:

Picture Quality

It looks like there is an issue with the clarity of the channel.
It would be best if you can check it in any of your family or friend(s) television set having some other DTH.
In this way it can be verified from where exactly the issue is occurring.

I am finding it difficult to cross check with other DTH operators because earlier I had a Tata Sky HD connection in my home for another room and one more in my Uncle's home but now both the connections have been replaced with Airtel.

With respect to the link you have shared, it seems they are discussing about Zee Tamil SD and not Zee Tamil HD. Further I have seen many times that viewers were expecting good clarity for a Standard Definition channel in an HD LED TV while using an HD Set Top Box.

What is a good video clarity ? The video when watched by remaining closer to the TV should not have any blurriness or pixelation especially during long-distant shots (on the faces of actors) and also during fast moving sequences like dance or fight scenes. Since even an HD Ready LED TV expects 768 progressively scanned horizontal lines in one frame (a Full HD TV expects 1080 progressively scanned horizontal lines in one frame), one cannot get / should not expect good fllawess picture clarity for a Standard Definition channel while watching in an HD TV since SD channels are broadcast through interlaced scanning of maximum 576 lines (576i and only half of it in one field i.e 288 lines and two fields form one frame in interlaced scanning).

We set the resolution settings in our HD Set Top Box as [email protected] Since the source broadcast contains only 576 horizontal lines from the broadcaster whereas the destination requires 768 lines (HD Ready) or 1080 lines (Full HD), one would never get good picture clarity when we watch a Standard definition channel in an HD TV. Add to this the compression by the DTH operators for the want of space in the transponders to accommodate many channels which further decreases the quality of a standard definition channel. Hence if someone wants to check the quality of a standard definition channel, it should be compared only in CRT TVs and not in HD LED TVs. The fact is, for the lack of HD feeds for many channels, we have no option but to watch the SD channels.

I have raised this issue related to Zee Tamil HD with Airtel's official Twitter handle and also with the Nodal team and initially they said that everything is fine from their end and later after my insistence, they arranged a call with a person from their technical team and he told me that he would be checking that with the broadcaster and will update the same.

It seems the issue may be with the broadcaster also since this is quite bizarre to identify, for example, I am seeing the stuttering issue on the dresses and faces of actors only primarily during the 10:00 PM serial and in the talk show 'Tamizha Tamizha' even if the actors move slightly sometimes but the same was not the case during other serials. But I could see the blurring on faces during long-distant shots in many serials and also during SaReGaMaPa. As @Siva mentioned regarding the quality of movies, I saw the movie Manikarnika where I did not see any blurring issue even during the climax fight which suggests there might not be any compression by Airtel. But this still needs to be confirmed.

I initially thought Zee network is not providing Dolby Digital Audio for HD channels in regional feeds to reduce costs. May be I am wrong here because of lack of knowledge in this DD audio concept, but if cost cutting is the reason for that, then I suspect for the same reason they might not be deploying sufficient technology as deployed by Star network or Sun network or Viacom network for flawless HD video broadcast in regional HD feeds. But I am not sure completely.
 
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Siva

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I have noticed this issue very clearly yesterday during the movie Kanchana 3 on Zee Telugu HD. There was stutter in the picture. And what's surprising was, the same issue occurred even on Star Maa HD during Bigg Boss 3 telecast at 9 PM. The faces of the actors were switching between blurry and clear. I have never seen this before on Star Maa HD. I'm now thinking Airtel is doing something on the transponders which is causing this. Probably they are making space to add channels!? Need to confirm.
 

Ramesh DthSky

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Yeah, I saw that stuttering or non-smooth motion in Zee Telugu HD while watching 'Zee Heroes' show and only after that I requested you to check for confirmation in my first post. The three HD channels namely Zee Tamil HD, Zee Telugu HD and Zee Cinemalu HD were added on the same day and I doubt whether they have given enough space in the transponder. If we get some information about the transponder in which those channels are up-linked, then we might decode the issue to some extent and narrow down that to who might be responsible like- whether Airtel is compressing or the broadcaster itself is not providing the HD content in good quality.

I cross checked the content in Zee5 app at 1080p and found those two stated below.

1.) Blurring is there in the app as well for long-distant shots exactly in the same scene where I found during the TV broadcast.
2.) Stuttering -- I did not find this issue in the app for the same content exactly at the same scene where I saw the stuttering during the TV broadcast. I guess the issue happens only during TV broadcast and still we could not exactly point who is responsible, either Airtel or Zee network.

With respect to Star Maa HD, are you seeing blurring constantly ? One thing I wish to convey here is, during Bigg Boss or a show where many people are shown in a long-distant shot, the camera will not focus the faces completely unlike a closer shot and as a result of which we cannot see the faces clearly. It is actually normal. But if we watch keenly and see some pixellation on their faces (it will almost look like something running or moving on their faces constantly like what I am seeing in Zee Tamil HD currently or in the another issue that we have discussed last year regarding our previous DTH service provider for regional music and movie HD channels), then there might be compression for sure and should be notified to Airtel.

It is similar to comparing a long-distant shot in any YouTube video at 360p with 1080p. We can clearly see that in a 360p video, during the long-distant shot, there will be lot of pixels running on the faces due to compression but in a 1080p video, though the faces in a long-distant shot will not appear clearly, you will not see any pixellation like something running or moving on the faces of actors.

But if you could get some time, you can check the Bigg Boss 3 content in Hotstar and compare the video clarity for the long-distant shot exactly where you saw blurring. This will help us for the issue in Star Maa HD.

Since the number of HD channels are going to increase and with some already pending HD channels to be added as well, it would be wise for Airtel or for that matter all other DTH operators to fast track the transition to the HEVC compresson standard just like Sun Direct so that the space crunch issue in transponders will be resolved to a greater extent and we might also get enhanced HD video clarity.

 

Siva

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Star Maa HD was having the stuttering issue that day even during close shots, like when only the host was shown on the screen. One second the face will be clear and another second it's blurred. It was constantly switching like this. This usually happens when changes are happening on the transponder. Anyhow, I'll check the same episode on hotstar. Coming to Zee, yesterday I was watching "Happy wedding" in Zee Cinemalu HD, and there was no issue whatsoever. It was perfectly alright. The issue seems to be very program specific.
 

telugurocks

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Is anyone noticed the recording size, even whenever I am recording Zee Telugu HD content for 3 hours it stores half of the memory than Star Maa HD content.
 
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