Get Better Gear!

Premier Sponsors

Other World Computing


Top 5 Free Apps

Release Date: August 05, 2009
Genre: Games
Release Date: May 22, 2009
Genre: Games
Release Date: August 29, 2009
Genre: Games
Release Date: March 27, 2009
Release Date: August 07, 2009

iTunes New Music Releases

Release Date: September 29, 2009
Genre: Rock
Release Date: September 20, 2009
Release Date: September 15, 2009
Release Date: August 25, 2009
Genre: Rock
Release Date: August 25, 2009

Top 5 Paid Apps

Release Date: April 22, 2009
StickWars $0.99
Release Date: March 31, 2009
Genre: Games
Bloons $0.99
Release Date: April 05, 2009
Genre: Games

Discover New Music

  • The Wall (Deluxe Packaging Digitally Remastered)

    • 10 out of 10
    • Pink Floyd
    • Okay, someone had to say it, and though others on the iPO staff are more qualified to review this album, I decided the time was now. This is the quintessential concept album. Though others came before
  • Jagged Little Pill (Acoustic)

    • 6 out of 10
    • Alanis Morissette
    • Ten years after the original release, comes the traditional celebratory acoustic re-recording. The album has held up remarkably well. While it is not as meaningful to me as it was when I was sixteen,
  • The Printz

    • 8 out of 10
    • Bumblebeez 81
    • Part white rap, part alternative, part pop, and part rock, the Bumblebeez grabbed a hold of me with "Pony Ride," and didn't let go.

      This group does a marvelous job of moving seamlessly be

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Once More, with Feeling

    • 10 out of 10
    • Various Artists
    • Most musical episodes of TV shows frankly stink. They are usually little more than ill-conceived vehicles intended to let the stars show off what musical talent they have. Once More, With Feeling,

  • Modern Lovers

    • 10 out of 10
    • Modern Lovers
    • This timeless masterpiece is little known, but it has inspired almost as many bands as The Modern Lovers' own inspiration -- and only slightly better known -- The Velvet Underground & Nico.

Reader Specials

Visit Deals On The Web for the best deals on all consumer electronics, iPods, and more!


Satellite TV Claims of Blu-ray Quality Questioned

DIRECTV and Dish Network have both announced plans to upgrade some of their transmissions to 1080p via MPEG4 and have compared that to "Blu-ray" format. However, the compression and data rates used raise the question of whether the picture really is "Blu-ray" quality, according to the New York Times on Thursday.

Until recently, satellite transmission rates limited the picture quality to 720p or 1080i. However, new compression algorithms, such as MPEG4 and others, have allowed the carriers to expand their signal to 1080p on PPV channels.

That has led to claims that some upcoming offerings "will be available in 1080p resolution -- same as Blu-ray Disc quality."

There’s a catch there. The vertical resolution and progressive scan (1080p) doesn’t guarantee the same picture quality as Blu-ray due to the additional compression used. [Blu-ray video is also compressed.]

For example, broadcast HDTV video has a bandwidth of about 17 Mbps. Video comes off a Blu-ray disc at about 30 Mbps. According to Pete Putnam, a TV engineer with ROAM consulting, the satellite companies are sending their HD signals at about 6 to 8 Mbps.

Customers have been able to notice the different compression rates used by cable and satellite. Sometimes, the extra compression reveals itself in a softer picture or even small digital blocks scattered around on the screen.

One of the advantages of having a Blu-ray player is not only the extra bandwidth for video but also for audio formats of much higher quality than the standard Dolby 5.1 used by satellite and cable for HD. Accordingly, the Bu-ray disc association is watching this new marketing terminology by the satcasters with interest.

"We’ll have to see what comparisons are made and what comes out of it," said Andy Parsons, head of the Blu-ray Disc Association.

Post Your Comments

  Remember Me  Forgot your password?

Not a member? Register now. You can post comments without logging in, but they'll show up as a "guest" post.

Commenting is not available in this section entry.