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HD Locals Theory

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by jcrandall, Sep 7, 2005.

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  1. Sep 7, 2005 #1 of 36
    jcrandall

    jcrandall Godfather

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    This is something that has been bugging the back of my mind a few days:

    With the MPEG4 changes bandwith will still be a factor of what can be done with expansion of HD locals. Has something like this ever been considered:

    Broadcast HD feed from each major network, 1 for each time zone, with 6 major networks that is 24 channels. Broadcast all local channels in SD, which they are close to doing already.

    When airing something in HD, the box tunes the HD feed. When commericals come on the box switches to the SD feed, automatically. The only thing the local broadcaster looses is logos on screen and possible emergency messages. The SD feed would still be available to subscribers for access to emergency info.

    If the switch cannot be setup off the network feed data, the E* could have employees that throw the switch manually during prime time, etc.


    It would seem there has to be a better solution than trying to carry all HD feeds for all local area. Even with MPEG4 the bandwith wouldn't handle it.
     
  2. Sep 7, 2005 #2 of 36
    derwin0

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    What about non-network HD programming?
    That's a huge monkeywrench in that plan. Remember, network programming is only 3-4 out of 24 hours.
     
  3. Sep 7, 2005 #3 of 36
    lakebum431

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    How much non-network HD is there? I wouldn't think that there is much locally generated HD programming even in some of the major networks, but I'm not really sure.
     
  4. Sep 7, 2005 #4 of 36
    Jason Nipp

    Jason Nipp Analog Geek in a Digital World Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

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    During the Olympics last year an area NBC affiliate in my area added a 3rd subchannel OTA DT. Sub 1 was a mirror of the network HD feed of the games, sub 2 was locally mixed content/highlights of the games, and was in HD at times, and sub 3 was continued local programming in SD such as local news and programming.

    Some are mixing HD content and rebroadcasting as I have described above, but not sure how many actually produce their own content. I know PBS does to an extent in certain markets. Not sure how many others do?
     
  5. Sep 7, 2005 #5 of 36
    jcrandall

    jcrandall Godfather

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    Local HD programming is very limited, and will be years before there is much locally, except some sports. The prime markets where the sports are may be the feed they use for the network HD. In the end they could have 10-15 of the major markets where HD is a factor on a local level. Another option is to air them based on zip code on special feeds like they do now with the NBA/MLB on the HD special event channel. There is a lot of options if they think about it.

    The idea could give all 4 networks + WB/UPN in HD to all markets. There are many many markets where the local broadcaster is not even digital, and may never go HD.

    This would be the best of both worlds, local information and comercials for the affilates and HD for the viewer. I would think the affilates would go for it as they would increase their viewership.
     
  6. Sep 7, 2005 #6 of 36
    jcrandall

    jcrandall Godfather

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    Didn't E* have a HD Olympic feed? I can't remember for sure, but I think for special events they could figure something out. Most of that comes right from the network directly.
     
  7. Sep 7, 2005 #7 of 36
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Somewhere in an old thread we hashed through this before ... the switching would be very difficult.

    JL
     
  8. Sep 7, 2005 #8 of 36
    Jason Nipp

    Jason Nipp Analog Geek in a Digital World Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

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    I belive that NBC HD feed used during the Olympics on Dish was a network uplinked feed. I do not believe E* mixed that, but I do remember they Only commerical the first few days was that Sony HD Wega commercial with the crowd out side that guys apartment. Got annoying after the few 100 times it played.
     
  9. Sep 7, 2005 #9 of 36
    jcrandall

    jcrandall Godfather

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    It just seems that if they could make it work, it would be a much more efficent use of bandwith.


     
  10. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    No real savings on bandwidth ... probably a great loss to make it work right.
    Just for fun, change your TV to channel 101 - then change to channel 104 or 9901. How long was your screen black? Would you like that going into and out of each break between network HD and local SD? Probably not.

    The way to avoid the long delay is to put the channels on the same transponder. A transponder can only hold 12 SD channels today ... maybe 30 with MPEG4/8PSK? You would need a transponder for every 30 affiliates - during HD simulcast most of that transponder would be empty - if some station wasn't showing the national feed their local SD would have to be there all the time. There would be no room for any HD unless at least seven or eight affiliates were sync'd. SD only unless they were playing the network. Messy Messy Messy.

    Plus in order to cover 30 markets they would not fit on the current spot beams. Even if a spotbeam was given to seven markets and the four major networks it probably wouldn't cover the whole seven markets. Conus beams are wasteful.

    E* and D*'s eventual plans are to offer every local station's HD signal - a goal that isn't reached by doing an odd switching arrangement. Nice thought - but not really workable.

    JL
     
  11. SimpleSimon

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    Sadly, JL is right.
     
  12. olgeezer

    olgeezer Guest

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    As HDV becomes used in local markets, I think the move to digital, with locally originated programming will be accelerated. As more local stations convert too high power transmission and the digital repeater network is built out, I'm not sure the need for HD locals over sat will be that great. Give me 500 HD channels an OTA digital tuner that works well and I'll worry about my locals.
     
  13. jcrandall

    jcrandall Godfather

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    I was thinking of the bandwith after the switch to MPEG 4. To do it right with all 6 major networks they would need 24 channels if each time zone had one. 12 if only E/W. From the sounds of everything in their 'forward lookings statements' to wall street everything is going to be HD Locals. The question I ask is there an alternative to having hundreds of HD channels with essentially the same content during the time most viewers watch - Primetime. Obviously the box would just air the local SD channel when HD content from the network feed is unavailable.

    Seems like a huge bandwith saver versus what they are planning. 12 stations could feed HD locals nationwide at no more bandwith than VOOM is using.
     
  14. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Me too. :) You may note I mentioned MPEG4 8PSK in my post the combination of which allows more channels on a transponder. Currently under MPEG2 QPSK the practical limit is 12. Current HD is MPEG2 8PSK with three channels per transponder. Perhaps with MPEG4 they could do five or six HD per transponder? I'm sure that even E* doesn't know until they finish up their testing.

    The issue you may be forgetting is that local channels want people to see their advertising - so "national" HD feeds are out. Yes, the stations apparently are showing the same content at the same time in each time zone. But they are not showing the same local commercials nor graphics overlays and other local "enhancements".

    To keep local stations happy a switching scheme like I mentioned above would have to be followed - commercials in SD and program in HD. Messy Messy Messy - some stations can't even remember to change from SD upconvert to HD (according to reports on our sister site AVSForums). Do you expect E* to get it right in up to 210 markets?

    Plus locally produced HD is coming ... there is already enough screaming about the potential downconverting of HD locals for satellite broadcast. Stations certainly would not be in favor of downrezing local inserted into a national HD.

    The insert process is more complicated than simply putting up another satellite. E* is preparing for the future with their DBS and FSS satellites plus other services coming online. They will find the space.

    JL
     
  15. jcrandall

    jcrandall Godfather

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    Do you expect E* to get it right in up to 210 markets?


    JL- I think you summarize it right there. It was a nice though, but just not easily possible. Just seems to me they need to come up with something, the current system will just not work as more and more HD shows up.

    Thanks for your opinons everyone.
     
  16. kb7oeb

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    Another problem would be synchronizing all the stations, my local wb digital is almost one minute behind the analog channel. It might work when stations just retransmit the network satellite feed but in Phoenix all of the network programing is delayed since there is no network feed for our time zone. Come to think of it that would leave Phoenix out anyway since there is no network feed for dish to overlay.

    As far as emergencies they could probably come up with a way for the station to signal the box to switch to the SD channel. If you have cable and connect the STB over FireWire there is no way to do onscreen graphics so if an emergency alert is issued the box will tell the tv to switch to an analog station.

    I think its all a waste anyway, if you can't get locals OTA you should be allowed to sign up for distants. On most stations my analog signal was better than dish and I am sure that my local digital will be better especially considering they have to transcode to mpeg4.
     
  17. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I still say that neither Dish nor DirecTV will need to provide HD locals for all markets. By the nature of the beast, the digital signals will be easier to receive than the analog ones now.

    I get all my local channels in digital, and most in HD also using just the UHF-remote antenna that came with my model 6000u! I know, from reading the forum, that many areas in the US are easy to pick up their local channels OTA in digital.

    I hope that Dish will focus on providing HD locals/networks for those parts of the country that for whatever reason cannot receive local stations (rural areas, mountainous terrain, etc.)... Many of the larger markets are going to have their HD locals OTA and not need the satellite transmission of these signals.
     
  18. SimpleSimon

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    I wish you were right HDMe. Unfortunately, the economics and legalities are such that they won't take care of those of us that started this whole direct-to-home satellite TV business. :(

    Oh - just for reference, this whole thing about LiL bandwidth is just a repeat of what happened the first time around with SD/analog. It's a waste of bandwidth then/now and will continue to be.
     
  19. scottchez

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    This bugs me also.

    The idea presented in the first post will never happen as long as BIG cable companies are around. You see this would only benifit DBS companies, it would not help cable.

    They would complain and file law suites. This is why it has not already happened. After all it is a good idea.

    Just too much red tape.
     
  20. Big Bob

    Big Bob Godfather

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    Local HD commercials will probably come before local HD programing. And those advertisers will want those commercials to be shown in HD so they will stand out.
     
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