Pro AV Catalog

Contemporary Research

4355 Excel Pkwy
Suite 600
Addison, TX 75001
United States
Project List
What is MPEG-4 for?
Posted on Friday, October 24, 2014
What is MPEG-4 for?
Our new 232-ATSC 4, our 4th generation HDTV Tuner, can now tune MPEG-2 channels as well standard MPEG-2 channels. Interesting, but what does that really mean?

The programs carried by off-air and cable TV channels are based on MPEG-2 format video streams. All U.S. TV and HD tuners have compatible MPEG-2 decoders that can display the programs.

Several years ago, DirecTV and Dish switched to MPEG-4. As MPEG-4 is more efficient, this allowed the satellite providers to carry more HD channels. This is fine for the satellite recievers, as they were upgraded to decode MPEG-4.

Both DirecTV and Dish have technology that can re-broadcast the channels as HD cable channels. The drawback is that the system does not convert the MPEG-4 programs to MPEG-2, so most TVs and tuners can’t play the media. There are a few Smart TVs that can pick up the MPEG-4 programs from the RF cable channels, but that ability varies widely between TV makes and models.

We’ve added MPEG-4 to our new 232-ATSC 4 so it’s now compatible with sites that use DirectTV and Dish technology.

Q and A
Does this mean the ATSC 4 can directly tune satellite TV?

No, the channels right off the dish are not standard QAM channels, and they are encrypted. We can tune the channels after they have been decrypted and converted to QAM channels.

Can a firmware update add the MPEG-4 capability to older ATSC tuners ?

No, it’s a hardware technology that’s only in the 232-ATSC 4.
Model: 5099-001

We use cookies to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

learn more - settings