What does “PDTV” mean?

Posted on August 20, 2012. Filed under: Definitions | Tags: , , |

PDTV stands for Pure Digital Television. The 2002 TV release rules provided the first definition of the tag: [Source]

 │▌    *HDTV* (High Definition Televison): Digital recording from a source   ▐│
 │▌           stream at either 1080i or 720p at a bitrate from 19,39mbps or  ▐│
 │▌           higher.                                                        ▐│
 │▌                                                                          ▐│
 │▌                                                                          ▐│
 │▌    *PDTV* (Pure Digital Television): Other resolution digital recor-     ▐│
 │▌           dings from source streams at a bitrate of 10+mbps or higher.   ▐│
 │▌           - This includes digital recordings from digital C-Band and     ▐│
 │▌             DVB.                                                         ▐│
 │▌                                                                          ▐│
 │▌                                                                          ▐│
 │▌    *SDTV* (Standard Digital Television): Digital recording or capture    ▐│
 │▌           from a source stream at any resolution with bitrate under      ▐│
 │▌           10mbps.                                                        ▐│
 │▌           - This includes DirecTiVo but also captures from digisat or    ▐│
 │▌             digicable with analog capture cards.                         ▐│

What the release group SFM said about it in 2003: [Source]

There has been much confusion in the TV rip scene about
what HDTV and PDTV mean. For the record, here is how
SFM defines these terms. The HDTV label is given is
given to releases that are both purely digital, AND are
broadcast at either 720p (60fps) or 1080i (30fps). The
PDTV label is given to releases with purely digital
sources with direct digital stream extraction such as
via a DVB-{S,T} pci card or a HDTV card. This includes
non-HDTV resolution digital transmissions such as the
Enhanced Digital TV format used by Fox that is captured
with an HDTV card. This does NOT include a captures
from a digital source with an intermediate analog
conversion, e.g. a digital satellite reciever box with
S-Video out to a capture card. These we label as TVRips.

pdtv.nfo from scenerules.irc.gs:

PDTV (Pure Digital Television) is a high quality digital signal with no analog conversion at any step from broadcast to encode & recorded from one of the following three sources:
1) ATSC compliant broadcast signals other than the HDTV standard resolutions of 1920x1080i and 1280x720p (ex., FOX’s 704x480p “Digital Widescreen” broadcasts)
2) EU DVB signals. Typically these are similar to the ATSC resolutions, but at a PAL width (ex., 704x576p)
3) Digital C-Band broadcasts. These are non-standard but high quality, high bandwidth digital broadcast signals sent out networks to local affiliates. The locals then reformat and broadcast these over analog signals. These feeds also lack some or all of the logos found on local broadcasts. Note that in many cases are are both analog and digital c-band broadcasts. The analog are generally very good feeds, but do not qualify for PDTV status.


-DirecTIVO, Dishnetplayer and other devices that digitally record a standard resolution broadcast (NTSC 480×480). The source signal is compressed and is not even close to the same quality as a PDTV source.

-HDTV/PDTV sources recorded off a TV via an analog means. This would include any caps off such a source that does not record the original transport stream to the computer, such as a captures via an AIW or Pinnacle card.

-Analog signals converted and broadcast over DTV signals. Typically stations do not broadcast high def feeds for all their shows. When they are not broadcasting HDTV/PDTV over their digital broadcast, they usually fill the air time with their analog signal on a digital carrier. This is an obvious no-no for capping as the signal is usually quite artifacted due to the station’s quick-change encoding job and far worse than the original analog signal. If there are doubts about the signal, check if it is using the full resolution of the feed. There aren’t many 4:3 over-the-air true pdtv broadcasts. If its not 16:9, its most likely upconverted. When in doubt, look for artifacting in the signal, or email the station and ask what the source is. Most stations have a technical feedback form on their website.

Admittedly, this can be a difficult task, especially if the PDTV is badly encoded. For some feeds it is obvious: If you see a FOX show that is WS when the normal broadcast is FS, then its going to be from the “FOX Digital Widescreen” PDTV broadcast. Other shows can quickly be identified as not being from a PDTV source because they don’t air on a channel that provides a PDTV resolution (shows on cable channels such as USA and SCIFI which have no HDTV/PDTV broadcasts).
If you are still uncertain and really want to know, ask for a source sample. A PDTV broadcast’s source will be at a much higher bitrate and resolution than a regular broadcast stream.

And here is the Wikipedia explanation:

PDTV is an abbreviation short for Pure Digital Television. Often seen as part of the filename of TV shows shared through P2P and the Scene FTP systems on the Internet. In this case, PDTV refers not to container, bitrate or dimensions of the video, but the digital nature of the capture source. Non Scene European rippers often use the label DVBRip or DVB-rip to specify a purely digital rip of a Digital Video Broadcast (DVB), however all Scene groups use standardized labeling.

PDTV encompasses a broad array of capture methods and sources, but generally it involves the capture of SD or non-HD digital television broadcasts without any analog-to-digital conversion, instead relying on directly ripping MPEG streams. PDTV sources can be captured by a variety of digital TV tuner cards from a digital feed such as ClearQAM unencrypted cable, Digital Terrestrial Television, Digital Video Broadcast or other satellite sources. Just as with Freeview (DVB-T) in the United Kingdom, broadcast television in the United States has no barriers to PDTV capture. Hardware such as the HDHomeRun when connected to an ATSC (Antenna) or unencrypted ClearQAM cable feed allows lossless digital capture of MPEG-2 streams (Pure Digital Television), without monthly fees or other restrictions normally implemented by a Set-top box. Although different from the analog hole, Pure Digital Television capture imposes no technological restriction on what is done with the stream; playback, Mash-Ups and even recompression/pirated distribution are possible without the permission of the rights holder.

A publisher of fan-made DVD releases also uses the name PDTV, but with no connection to the more common usage explained above. The “PD” in this case refers to “planet dust” with an additional connotation of Public Domain, even though the material offered is more often the video equivalent of abandonware as opposed to anything where copyright has actually expired. Whereas pdtv content online (as described above) is indiscriminate in terms of copyright, physical DVD releases from PDTV only exist to supply fans with material not officially published to the DVD format.

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What does “AHDTV” mean?

Posted on July 24, 2012. Filed under: Definitions | Tags: , |

AHDTV stands for Analog High Definition Television. The tag is defined in the SD and HD x264 TV rule sets:

ª   - HD video taken from the decoded HD output of a set-top box (e.g.        ª
ª     component, DVI, HDMI) must be tagged in dirname as AHDTV. Decoded       ª
ª     output of PDTV or DSR sources is banned. Releases taken from a natively ª
ª     recorded transport stream shall be tagged as HDTV, PDTV, or DSR.        ª
ª     - AHDTV captures must be done at the native format of the channel, e.g. ª
ª       720p or 1080i.                                                        ª

│   - Video taken from the decoded HD output of a  set-top box (e.g.          │
│     component, DVI, HDMI) may be used as a source; source must be tagged    │
│     in dirname as AHDTV. Releases taken from a natively recorded transport  │
│     stream shall be tagged as HDTV and do not dupe AHDTV releases. AHDTV    │
│     releases do dupe HDTV. AHDTV captures must be done at the native format │
│     of the channel, i.e. 720p or 1080i.                                     │

“The “A” in the “AHDTV” tag is for Analogue High Definition TeleVision, or in other words component cables. I see the intent to note it is not from the transport stream but that doesn’t make HDMI analogue you idiots.” [Source]

MOMENTUM is the first group to start tagging their releases with AHDTV. The.Ultimate.Fighter.Brazil.S01E04.720p.AHDTV.x264-MOMENTUM released on July 12, 2012 is the first release with AHDTV tagging.

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