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WNPT (Nashville, TN PBS) Cropping SD feed


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12 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   xmguy

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 09:47 PM

Today I finally got tired of trying to watch Nashville, TN PBS (in SD) with the ends of the picture cropped off. So I wrote WNPT to ask them and someone wrote me back and said :

"WNPT does not crop our image to 4:3; DirecTV receives our widescreen HD image and crops the edges and downconverts it to SD. This problem will go away when DirecTV decides to start carrying our HD feed. We anxiously await DirecTV's switch to HD for just the reason you cite. Unfortunately, I have no idea when they will start carrying us. Since they don't pay us to carry our feed, and we don't pay them to carry it, we have no influence on whether or not they carry the HD feed. Since you pay them for the service, you actually have more influence on what they do than I do.

Good luck.

Kevin Crane
WNPT"

So Now I wonder what can I do now? Also I don't believe the issue will go away if/when D* starts carrying the HD feed.
DirecTV Subscriber Since 3/24/2008 || HR44-500 - SWiM and DECA to Vizio 32" LCD 1080P HDTV (SV320XVT) via HDMI | MY SETUP IN DETAIL UPDATED 3/21/2012 (Q1 2013 | I'm On FACEBOOK! "Originally Posted by xmguy : OK. I need directions. (to Sixto's house) Lol ;) | Originally Posted by Sea bass : Head down to 99c, skip over to 103ca, next over to 103cb and you have arrived.:)":hurah:

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#2 OFFLINE   texasbrit

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 10:25 PM

Your local PBS station is confused (it seems to happen rather often with PBS stations).
First, the problem is that PBS is delivering a 16:9 widescreen signal since the digital transition, there is no 4:3 analog signal any longer. So to produce a 4:3 signal for SD receivers, DirecTV has two choices. They can either deliver the 16:9 picture inside a 4:3 frame, with bars top and bottom
(called "letterboxing") or they can zoom in on the center of the 16:9 picture and cut off the edges, to produce a 4:3 picture (called "centercutting"). What you are seeing is the 4:3 centercut from the 16:9 signal. All the networks, and just about all the other stations, have opted for a centercut picture to avoid all the complaints from people that the picture does not fill the screen on their 4:3 TVs. My understanding is that if your local PBS station wants DirecTV to use letterboxing, they will do that, but it is bound to produce lots of complaints.
This problem has nothing to do with DirecTV's carriage of the local PBS station in HD. It is true that if it were in HD on DirecTV, HD viewers would see the full 16:9 picture but SD viewers would still get the 4:3 centercut.

#3 OFFLINE   rebkell

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 11:04 PM

It's a mess on WTCI in Chattanooga, it looks like Directv is center cutting, and then stretching it:

Comcast picture:
Posted Image

Directv picture:
Posted Image

#4 OFFLINE   Mr_A1

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 11:40 PM

Today I finally got tired of trying to watch Nashville, TN PBS (in SD) with the ends of the picture cropped off. So I wrote WNPT to ask them and someone wrote me back and said :

"WNPT does not crop our image to 4:3; DirecTV receives our widescreen HD image and crops the edges and downconverts it to SD. This problem will go away when DirecTV decides to start carrying our HD feed. We anxiously await DirecTV's switch to HD for just the reason you cite. Unfortunately, I have no idea when they will start carrying us. Since they don't pay us to carry our feed, and we don't pay them to carry it, we have no influence on whether or not they carry the HD feed. Since you pay them for the service, you actually have more influence on what they do than I do.

Good luck.

Kevin Crane
WNPT"

So Now I wonder what can I do now? Also I don't believe the issue will go away if/when D* starts carrying the HD feed.


This is odd, because I saw a transponder post some months ago where channel 8 had a reserved HD slot and if what the guy says is true, they may need to tell D* to go ahead and carry this channel unless there are unseen problems somewhere down the line.

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#5 OFFLINE   directvsub215

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 11:52 AM

I have had same probs in Philadelphia market--NBC10 (here in Phila) gets center cut with sides cut, while NBC40 from Atlantic City is appropriately broadcast with letterbox. ABC, CBS are broadcast with centercut. when I have tried to contact local stations, they ignore my phone calls and emails. When talking to DirecTV, the ignoramuses deny there's a problem and blame the local stations. Even though I have told them there is a different NBC broadcast on 2 local stations, they don't know what I"m talking about.

Problem with DTV is that you can't talk to anybody who knows anything or will do anything. I have 3 4:3 TVs with receivers that allow you to set how you want the ratios, though those settings don't work. The cable stations are broadcast with appropriate ratios--USA for example. Just local stations are distorted and bad. Makes me think of switching every day, especially since there is no accountability.

#6 OFFLINE   dubber deux

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 02:41 PM

.

Problem with DTV is that you can't talk to anybody who knows anything or will do anything. I have 3 4:3 TVs with receivers that allow you to set how you want the ratios, though those settings don't work. The cable stations are broadcast with appropriate ratios--USA for example. Just local stations are distorted and bad. Makes me think of switching every day, especially since there is no accountability.



That's a big roger on your observations on D* and their responses to technical issues that are at the headend (LABC or BOC) of their system.

I have repeatedly attempted to have D* address their issues with video levels being incorrect on a number of channels I watch and have tried regular customer service by phone, the customer advocate team, and even contacting their engineering department directly and I have not received a single legitimate response to my questions on THEIR problem.

I'm steering my friends, family and others away from D* until I can see some answers to my legitimate concerns, and I'm not the only one complaining either.

#7 OFFLINE   Tom Servo

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 03:23 AM

The problem won't go away when D* carries the HD feed, but the HD channel would at least present the picture the same way the local affiliate does. Which would help SD-only viewers not one dang bit.

Don't feel bad xmguy, APT has the same issue down in Alabama. Or did last time I watched public television. :lol: Half the APT logo was off the screen. APT also seems to go one worse and stretch their 4:3 content to always fill the screen. Yuck!

With MPB in Mississippi they are apparently still carrying their own SD feed along with an HD feed and Create. Their problem is the SD feed is squashed narrow when the HD feed carries 4:3 programming. Funny thing is I only noticed it on their Oxford transmitter site. I got a glimpse of another station and it was showing everything ok.

I thought there was supposed to be some data channel built into ATSC broadcasts that could signal cable/sat providers to automatically crop/letterbox the picture for SD downconversion? Is no one using it!?

#8 OFFLINE   LameLefty

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 06:27 AM

Here's is what WNPT looks like:

Attached Thumbnails

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#9 OFFLINE   nashpatrick

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 06:11 PM

It looks like WNPT is zooming SDTV content to fill the widescreen. This would explain why it looks funky on the center cut SDTV feed on Directv. I noticed this yesterday afternoon on the show about Tennessee waterways via OTA. Booo.

#10 OFFLINE   ChrisPC

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 08:43 AM

This is one reason I have an OTA antenna connected to my HR-20.

#11 OFFLINE   Jon J

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:53 AM

This is one reason I have an OTA antenna connected to my HR-20.

The very best current solution if you can get the signal. :up:
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#12 OFFLINE   xmguy

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 08:41 AM

This is one reason I have an OTA antenna connected to my HR-20.

I've gotten so I watch the WCTE (Cookeville, TN PBS feed) on DTV OTA. At at least I can see the image in true 16:9 and the picture quality is better.
DirecTV Subscriber Since 3/24/2008 || HR44-500 - SWiM and DECA to Vizio 32" LCD 1080P HDTV (SV320XVT) via HDMI | MY SETUP IN DETAIL UPDATED 3/21/2012 (Q1 2013 | I'm On FACEBOOK! "Originally Posted by xmguy : OK. I need directions. (to Sixto's house) Lol ;) | Originally Posted by Sea bass : Head down to 99c, skip over to 103ca, next over to 103cb and you have arrived.:)":hurah:

#13 OFFLINE   Jon J

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 11:12 AM

I've gotten so I watch the WCTE (Cookeville, TN PBS feed) on DTV OTA. At at least I can see the image in true 16:9 and the picture quality is better.

The SD signal that DirecTV carries is absolute crud. OTOH, it may not all be DirecTV's fault since many of WCTE's programs often look like they are being played back on a consumer grade VCR. ;)
When news breaks...we fix it.




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