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No HD Locals so what happens Feb 19?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Programming' started by sbelmont, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. sbelmont

    sbelmont Legend

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    Aug 5, 2007
    I haven't seen anything on this, but was wondering what D* was planning to do with those that only have SD locals once the analog signals go away. I suppose they will need to change out the equipment in those cities to pick up the digital stations instead of the analog stations, but if they need to go through that expense why not go all the way?

    My next question would be, if they are picking up the digital signal and converting it to SD, will they sqeeze the picture from 16x9 to 4x3 or leave it alone?

    Curious...
     
  2. russdog

    russdog Godfather

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    Jul 31, 2006
    I think you're confusing "digital" with "HD".
    While all HD signals are digital, not all digital signals are HD.
    There are and will be digital signals for both HD and SD.
    So, D* will pass on the digital-SD signals regardless of whether they also pass on the digital-HD signals.
     
  3. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Sep 16, 2006
    Im my market, they are taking the digital HD transmissions, cropping the sides of the 16:9 picture off to make it 4:3, and sending it out in SD for those stations transmitting an HD signal.

    If the stations are transmitting 4:3 material, it looks totally normal. If they are showing widescreen programming, you get the sides lopped off (including some of the logos :)
     
  4. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 13, 2007
    As Davenlr stated, the standard practice for TV providers is to take the digital (usually HD) signal, center-cut it to 4:3 dimensions, and send that out for their SD subscribers.

    DirecTV has already converted to using the digital signals in many markets, and somewhere around here someone posted DirecTV's conversion schedule. They aren't waiting until February for most markets; they are doing it now.
     
  5. bobnielsen

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

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    Jun 29, 2006
    Bainbridge...
    Here's the link to the schedule: http://mstv.org/docs/satschedalpha.pdf
     
  6. shenefie

    shenefie Legend

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    Dec 15, 2006
    what's funny is when i was going round and round with getting a new off air receiver for the hr21, the guy on the phone with DTV insisted that ALL locals will be gone on feb 19. like they were dissappearing forever, so i need not worry. there is waaaay too much disinformation out there, especially from the cable and satellite companies. the gov. website isnt much better either.
     
  7. sbelmont

    sbelmont Legend

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    Aug 5, 2007
    That's the answer I was looking for. Glad I still have HR20 & H20 receivers.
     
  8. xrobmn

    xrobmn Legend

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    Oct 22, 2007
    Wow.. that's an old document :) wonder if there is a new one somewhere (I'm in Rochester MN. we switched over a month and a half ago on Directv.. even the TV stations on the local news said that Directv was taking the digital signal, which is amazing since Charter Cable is in their pockets )..

    Now I will impatiently wait for our locals to go HD :)
     
  9. bobnielsen

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

    8,473
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    Jun 29, 2006
    Bainbridge...
    I have seen that document updated once (in September) since I started checking it. It says Rochester was schedule to switch on October 6. The Seattle switch happened a few days later than shown in that document.
     
  10. LoopinFool

    LoopinFool Icon

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    Aug 31, 2007
    Also, I noticed that this season at least NBC and CBS have moved their logo "bugs" inside the 4x3 safe area due to this center-cut practice.

    The logos are now far more distracting and even cover up some credits on their own shows!

    - LoopinFool
     
  11. egould

    egould AllStar

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    Sep 25, 2007
    I have a related question. In my market, we have SD locals broadcast in MPEG-4. The D* website says we get HD locals first quarter '09 (pushed back from 12/08). If the changeover here does not happen before February 19, what signal do we get for our locals? Is there a bandwidth issue involved in SD v. HD signals sent via MPEG-4 which would mean that we would still only get center cut SD signals? Inquiring minds want to know.
     
  12. islesfan

    islesfan Hall Of Fame

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    Oct 18, 2006
    Nevada
    I can tell you that our local CW, which is not in HD, just takes the widescreen version, aligns the bottom right corner of the widescreen picture with the bottom right corner of the 4:3 box and crops all the rest. The result can be rather humorous with whole characters cut off the left side of the screen and halves of words missing. Nevertheless, that's nothing compared to their PQ which is nearly as good as YouTube on my Treo or their sound quality which is cranked up past the distortion point. Then, you add in the picture breakup and the studdering and the random commercial placement and I find that I end up watching Supernatural and Smallville on the web instead. (pardon the drift into rant. Our local CW station is awful here in Reno!)
     
  13. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 13, 2007
    On or before Feb 17, DirecTV is going to start using the digital feeds for locals in your market. Those feeds may be SD or HD, 4:3 or 16:9. Regardless, the digital feed will be the source used. If they are SD feeds, they will be center-cut.

    For markets where all locals are MPEG4, I believe the plan is that any channel that is available in HD will be sent in HD, so only a single feed is used for that channel. Since everyone has to have HD-capable equipment in those markets, they can use the zoom features in the receiver to fit the picture to the screen as they wish.
     

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