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Squeezed Atlanta Distants

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by Mister B, Jul 26, 2007.

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  1. Mister B

    Mister B Cool Member

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    Feb 19, 2007
    I recently qualified for the distant CBS and Fox networks as they are the channels which are so hard to get from El Paso. I have seen that the Atlanta channels are the digital versions converted to SD. Are the other 2 networks the same? On the CBS affiliate they use the "zoom" mode for SD shows, however they go to the squeezed mode for HD shows which causes people to look tall and skinny and SD commercials have vertical black bars on the side. I would prefer the zoom mode all of the time, and just cut off the sides of the wide screen picture. I have not seen a HD show on the Fox affiliate but assume it is the same. Of course there are problems with changing modes minutes into the show or even leaving it wrong for hours. Has this always been the case? I did a search and found one reference to the situation. The San Francisco channels appear to be analog and are actually much sharper. I hope they do not switch to the digital version also. This is probably the future of broadcast channels available in SD over the satellite dish, but by 2009 I hope to have a HD TV.
     
  2. levibluewa

    levibluewa Icon

    629
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    Aug 13, 2005
    WA, OR, CA
    I've only noticed it on the CBS station. Been that way from the beginning...when was it Dec. 06-Jan.07? Complaints go nowhere! Fairly standard business response nowdays!!
     
  3. Mister B

    Mister B Cool Member

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    Feb 19, 2007
    Yes, I have only seen the squeezed mode used on WGCL although I am still not sure if I have seen a 16:9 ratio show on WAGA yet with so many contest and game shows this time of year. I did see the notation "WAGA-DT" across the bottom of the screen. I have written an e-mail using the questions link on mydistantnetworks .com page although as stated above do not hold out a lot of hope as far a reply. I saw somewhere that in the early days of AAD some messages were sent to the CEO of that company, or the parent company NPS and it did appear they got a response. If anyone has the name and e-mail address, I would appreciate it so I could further voice my concerns.
     
  4. levibluewa

    levibluewa Icon

    629
    2
    Aug 13, 2005
    WA, OR, CA
    I'd appreciate it if you'd add me to you inquiries. Feel free to use my name, as another subscriber, who would like to see the "squeeze" issue resolved. Also, I'd really like to see them offer the HD versions of these channels. After August 15th most DISH subscribers will probably be viewing with mpeg4 receivers, so maybe they could cram the 8HD channels on the transponder they already have leased--I'm not a techie, so I wouldn't know about the details of such a move.

    Thanks Mister B...let me know what you find out, please.

    Bruce, N of Seattle
    levibluewa@comcast.net
     
  5. joblo

    joblo Godfather

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    Dec 10, 2003
    The problem has nothing to do with whether the source program is 16:9 or 4:3, or HD or SD.

    NPS uses the 16:9/HD signal for CBS Atlanta, and it is supposed to be cropped/zoomed all the time. But NPS has a flaky HDTV receiver that spontaneously changes from cropped mode to squeezed mode, presumably in response to some glitch or anomaly in the digital signal stream. My Zenith HDV420 does exactly the same thing. Very annoying, but probably not much they can do about it other than getting another receiver, or perhaps new firmware, if available.

    The good news is that only CBS Atlanta is affected. I think ABC Atlanta might also be from a DT source, given that it has the same fuzzy, washed out appearance as CBS Atlanta, but it’s possible that the Atlanta ABC affiliate, like many others, has a 4:3 subchannel, and using that signal eliminates the possibility of spontaneous mode switches. NBC Atlanta and all the San Francisco stations are obviously from analog sources. Fox Atlanta is the only one of the eight that seems to have no telltale defects, so I’m not sure whether it’s analog or digital, but as with ABC Atlanta, the network bug indicates clearly that it is from a 4:3 source.

    Btw, by my reading of SHVERA (iirc), delivering eastern digital signals to western time zones is illegal, so this practice might adversely impact NPS in its court battle with the nets. SHVERA makes no distinction between HD and SD, only analog and digital, and the CBS signal, at least, is clearly digital in origin.
     
  6. Mister B

    Mister B Cool Member

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    Feb 19, 2007
    Thank you, that makes a lot more sense than my assumption that AAD was manipulating the HD receiver based on the screen ratio of the particular show. I also was sure that WAGA (FOX) was digital but could not understand how the network icon could show during wide screen presentations. I forgot that some digital stations do have a SD copy on a 4:3 sub-channel.
    I understand that the company is reluctant to install fiber optic cable or such until legal matters are settled and they resorted to using some of the digital transmissions in Atlanta. It is hard to believe that a properly installed antenna could not deliver a good analog signal there. I have never been to Atlanta, however it is not in the mountains or any unusual terrain. Actually, I would think San Francisco would be much more challenging to get a good OTA analog signal as it is famous for its hills, tall buildings and such.
    I e-mailed AAD on their questions page but as somewhat expected, they do not have a clue as to what my concern was.
    Let's just be glad that the SF signals are good quality, it is just a shame that we have to pay for both.
     
  7. makman

    makman Legend

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    Dec 1, 2002
    "Mike Mountford" <mmountford@allamericandirect.com>

    Mitch
     
  8. joblo

    joblo Godfather

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    Dec 10, 2003
    I wouldn’t go so far as to call them good. I have seen some Dish locals that look worse, but certainly Dish’s LA channels were better. NPS’s SF ABC has a pronounced ghost that I find particularly annoying.

    Also, none of the SF feeds have ever passed closed captions. (And now NBC Atlanta seems to have messed up captions as well.) I’m sure this violates some law/regulation somewhere.

    NPS distants are better than nothing, though, and with the court case likely to drag on until close to the analog shutdown or perhaps even beyond, this is probably as good as we’re going to get.
     
  9. Mister B

    Mister B Cool Member

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    Feb 19, 2007
    Thanks for the e-mail address of Mike Mountford. I contacted him this morning and already have a reply that they are aware of the problem concerning the screen ratio changes on WGCL and are working on it. That is about all one could ask. Possibly those of you with other problems such as the above quoted ghost on San Francisco's ABC affiliate would also like to let your concerns be heard. I chose not to pay for ABC and NBC as I am pulling in a decent signal with the antenna although I qualified for all networks. I did have to call and order the service over the phone as I could see no way to select less that all channels qualified for on the web site.
    Hopefully we can work with this service until all of the obvious changes at the end of the analog era.
     
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