Using XBMC with your HDTV


4th - Understanding TV scene tags

What is HRHD, you ask? A quick search on wikipedia will tell us:

HRHD (High Resolution High Definition) (also HR or HR.HDTV) is an acronym, often seen as part of the filename of TV shows shared on the Internet.

It refers to a standard of encoding video, meaning that the video signal was ripped directly from a HDTV broadcast, then down-sampled to approximately 960x540. While the horizontal resolution of 960 remains constant the vertical resolution can fluctuate up to 5% to provide clean cropping.

A HRHD encoding for a 40-55 minute TV show should be approximately 700MBs. It contains the original AC3 sound, which is often 5.1 channels, instead of the reencoded MP3 stream found in 350MB releases.

For example, if you missed this week's episode of Lost, you might look to download the episode via BitTorrent. However, many people do not realise that the most popular releases online often only have a video resolution of 624×352, and an MP3 audio stream of roughly 128kb/s. As we now know, this is hardly taking advantage of either your HDTV or your Xbox!

To help you understand, there are multiple common formats for TV scene releases. They usually include (

TVRip: Recorded from analog TV, lowest quality of all TV rips

DSRip: Recorded from Digital Satellite, good quality rip

PDTV: Recorded from Pure Digital Source, but not HDTV. The quality is similar to a DSRip

HDTV: Acceptable quality. Recorded from an HDTV source. Good video and sound quality. The video resolution is often 624×352, and the audio stream 128kb/s MP3. A 45 minute show is usually 350MB.

HR.HDTV: Very good quality. Recorded from an HDTV source. The video resolution is often around 960×540 which is half the size of the original HDTV broadcast. A 45 minute show is usually 700MB.

720p HDTV: The highest quality possible. Recorded straight from an HDTV source at 1280x720 resolution. A 45 minute show is usually 1400MB. XBMC will not be able to play this due to it's limited processing power and RAM, however, a higher powered HTPC or home computer should be able to display these higher resolution videos.

So now that you know your Xbox can handle HR HDTV, next time you miss that favorite TV show of yours, you'll be able to watch a much higher quality version of your missed show!

Thanks for reading!

please digg this article if you liked it!


  • Awsome article! This helped me alot with my XBMC vs. Other MC decision.

    XBMC is just what I needed!

    By Anonymous slazh, at 2:55 PM  

  • Thnx for the post, much appreciated. Was wondering how my xbox would match up with my ordered HDTV.

    By Blogger Benjamin Sveen, at 7:24 AM  

  • It sucks a bit cos it doesn't include details of the hardware requirements with pics and how to connect them up.

    But apart from that it's alright.

    By Blogger Stephen, at 8:15 AM  

  • Great blog. Helped me answer some questions about how my xbox w/ xbmc would do if I got an HDTV. Thank you!!!!!

    By Blogger JPInTheHoopdy, at 1:39 PM  

  • you forgot to mention that 720p rips are using the .mkv codec container! many standalone set-top boxes don't play back .mkv, only divx/xvid codec...!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:31 PM  

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