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Guest Message by DevFuse

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CBS HD on 61.5 now being down converted!!!


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#76 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 11:59 AM

My local UPN is a subcarrier of the CBS station. My local ABC and WB are low powered stations. The ABC and WB are unlikely to be digital (at all) until the analog shut off date or until the owners of those stations ask for permission to end analog transmission early and convert their signals to digital. At that point they might be HD - depending on finances.

My UPN station will likly NEVER be HD. Unless they find a way of broadcasting the CBS primetime and the UPN primetime at the same time both in HD or shift UPN primetime to another time of day. The way may very well be 720p at some lower bitrate. It is a business decision that the local station will need to make.

Each television provider must make their business decisions. DirecTV has made theirs, Echostar is making theirs. If your local cable company does HD then you have a third option.

As far as visible glitches ... I watch OTA HD in 'glorious 1080i' that isn't perfect. I wonder if the PQ issues that can be found only when some expert gives you a precice flicker to look for is one on the inherant errors in transmitting a digital signal at any rate. Sending 1920x1080i does not guarantee a perfect picture.

And back to the original complaints ... IIRC: From the first week that Voom was on Echostar they were broadcasting six of the 10 channels in 1280x1080i. The sky apparently fell when the other four channels were changed to 1280x1080i. Why? Were the six channels junk where nobody cared about the conversion or were people living under the unrealistic assumption that for some magic reason all of Voom would be 'upgraded' to 1920x1080i ? If you have been living under that assumption, why? Does the history of E* tell you that they are a company that gives MORE bandwidth to a channel over time or that they are a company that tries to get as many channels as they can get away with on their bandwidth?

There are some unrealistic expectations at play here.
:backtotop

The "CBS is now being converted to 720p" thread is a recent thread started long after the Voom complaints started. As far as I was aware, the changes to CBS happened after the complaints about Voom. IF the change to CBS happened prior to the Voom changes, I wonder why no one complained?

The changes to CBS HD were observed when E* turned off the old CBS-HD East feed from Echostar3 and turned on the new CBS-HD East feed from Rainbow1. The new CBS-HD being part of a mux that will be delivering LIL-HD to the New York City DMA. Few know how long the 'new' feed has been testing in 720p - and no one is saying - but the 720p CBS-HD feed was not made available to customers until AFTER the Voom downrezzing complaints began, and in many of those complaints it was suggested that 1280x720p would be better than 1280x1080i. Which makes it appear that E* was listening to the complaints, just not choosing the real answer that the majority wanted.

JL

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#77 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 02:54 PM

As networks CBS,NBC,UPN,WB,PBS are 1080i and Fox and ABC are 720p. Fox is unique in that its bitrate is determined by the network and should look the same on every station.


Interesting about FOX... I didn't know that. My local affiliate for FOX is a different animal sometimes, though. The same company owns my CBS and FOX... so for FOX network programming (prime time and sports for instance) they are in 720p as the network broadcasts...

but for some local programming, like local news, they switch over to 1080i like the CBS station does (they share the same newsroom and personalities)... so sometimes my FOX station is 1080i during non-network programming.

I don't really know what kind of bitrates I'm getting locally... but it seems to me like my CBS, FOX, and WB stations are the best followed by ABC & NBC and PBS. Just based on the kinds of pixellation I get at times being more frequent on the latter channels than the former.

#78 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 03:02 PM

As far as visible glitches ... I watch OTA HD in 'glorious 1080i' that isn't perfect. I wonder if the PQ issues that can be found only when some expert gives you a precice flicker to look for is one on the inherant errors in transmitting a digital signal at any rate. Sending 1920x1080i does not guarantee a perfect picture.


I'm with you there... About a month ago I accidentally reset my TV picture settings... and had to tweak it again to get the best viewing experience. I noticed ABC Monday Night Football I can see a lot of glitches (MPEG glitches) in their transmission around the logos and stuff they put along the bottom of the screen during the broadcast.

I see other things on the other channels from time to time... but ABC seems to show the most for me... so I tweak my TV to a happy medium that smoothes some of that to make it less noticable. But it's there OTA.

And back to the original complaints ... IIRC: From the first week that Voom was on Echostar they were broadcasting six of the 10 channels in 1280x1080i.


I remembered hearing that at the beginning... and the thing is, all the channels looked nice. Sure, knowing that I would like higher resolution and I always noticed they weren't quite the same as the HDNets... but they still looked pretty nice to me and the only way to get those channels is via satellite so its not like I could switch to cable and get them better!

Few know how long the 'new' feed has been testing in 720p - and no one is saying - but the 720p CBS-HD feed was not made available to customers until AFTER the Voom downrezzing complaints began, and in many of those complaints it was suggested that 1280x720p would be better than 1280x1080i. Which makes it appear that E* was listening to the complaints, just not choosing the real answer that the majority wanted.


And that's what I was afraid of from the beginning... I know a business is a business, and I understand Dish has technical issues to overcome, but I would like to see 1080i where the programming is native to that resolution. I feared that people complaining who didn't know, and were just jumping on, might have the reverse effect of proving to Dish that most folks really don't know.

As a point of interest... I was reading recently about 1080p, and how it may never see the light of day as a broadcast standard... but rather it is used by movie studios for their capturing because that allows them to downconvert to either 1080i OR 720p with ease... and better 720p results than if they captured it at 720p to begin with... which kind of shoots those "downrezzing" concepts in the foot.

It's a commonly performed thing to capture video and audio at a higher resolution than you intend to use, so that when you convert to your final signal you will have the best quality left.

#79 OFFLINE   kb7oeb

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 12:31 AM

Interesting about FOX... I didn't know that. My local affiliate for FOX is a different animal sometimes, though. The same company owns my CBS and FOX... so for FOX network programming (prime time and sports for instance) they are in 720p as the network broadcasts...

but for some local programming, like local news, they switch over to 1080i like the CBS station does (they share the same newsroom and personalities)... so sometimes my FOX station is 1080i during non-network programming.


Fox stations take a pre-encoded signal off a satellite, splice in a station logo and dump it on the air. All the others start with a 40Mb network feed that is re-encoded at the station to fit in the 19.2 ota limit. I've read fox keeps their stream down to around 11Mbs so the stations have room to insert a sub channel.

Maybe the reason your station goes to 1080i for the news is because they are using the equipment they had before fox started doing hd. Is it actual HD or just upconverted? My non hd upn sends out 1080i and is owned by fox.

#80 OFFLINE   JohnH

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 12:42 AM

It is likely the WRAL CBS in Raleigh.

UPN Network is 1080i.

#81 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 03:19 PM

Maybe the reason your station goes to 1080i for the news is because they are using the equipment they had before fox started doing hd. Is it actual HD or just upconverted? My non hd upn sends out 1080i and is owned by fox.


As JohnH posted, I am talking about WRAL 5 for CBS and WRAZ 50 for FOX in Raleigh. WRAL was the first to go HD in the country way back when... and several years ago they built a new HD newsroom. They also have mobile HD cameras they take out for location shoots for news segments.

The 11:00 news is on WRAL, they have a 10:00 "early" news on WRAZ... and though they sometimes rotate the news persons around, its basically the same people and exactly the same newsroom.

Though I don't like hockey... they sometimes broadcast 1080i HD Hurricanes games on WRAZ during the hockey season (when hockey exists of course). And last year they doubled-up on the NCAA broadcasts so they could show an HD game on WRAL and another HD game on WRAZ when two of the local teams were playing games at roughly the same time.

So they take advantage of their 1080i equipment whenever they aren't broadcasting the FOX-forced 720p programming... which is kind of nice.

#82 OFFLINE   JohnH

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 03:51 PM

For informational purposes: ESPN2HD is now listed as Mpeg2 in the tables. The 5 new VOOMs are still listed as Mpeg4 regardless of what format they actually are.

#83 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 04:53 PM

For informational purposes: ESPN2HD is now listed as Mpeg2 in the tables. The 5 new VOOMs are still listed as Mpeg4 regardless of what format they actually are.

Thanks for staying on top of the numbers.

JL

#84 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 05:41 PM

For informational purposes: ESPN2HD is now listed as Mpeg2 in the tables. The 5 new VOOMs are still listed as Mpeg4 regardless of what format they actually are.


I gather from reading threads in the past that what the tables say may or may not reflect reality until activated for customers, right? So it is still possible that the extra Vooms will be turned on in MPEG2... but also possible that ESPN2HD could become MPEG4.

It just doesn't seem logical to me, that they wouldn't do this batch in MPEG2... and use the locals in HD rollout to "force" folks to buy the MPEG4 receivers while also giving them to all new installs after XX/XX cutoff date.

Otherwise it seems like they would be inundated with calls to upgrade to the new receivers and they can't meet that demand OR they would be met with disinterest from those of us angry enough to balk at the forced upgrade at this time.

Seems more likely that the January batch will be MPEG2... except for locals in HD... and then probably all new HD they add from February onward may be in MPEG4 to force upgrades then as well.

Otherwise they'll be in a pickle, charging folks for channels they can't get unless they pay for a receiver they maybe can't get either!

#85 OFFLINE   guruka

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 12:37 AM

Has ayone noticed that the audio sync is off ever since they switched CBS-HD to Rainbow 1 and started transcoding it to 720? The video lags the audio by several milliseconds. Very annoying! I emailed E* FWIW.

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#86 OFFLINE   bmanner

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 02:46 PM

Has ayone noticed that the audio sync is off ever since they switched CBS-HD to Rainbow 1 and started transcoding it to 720? The video lags the audio by several milliseconds. Very annoying! I emailed E* FWIW.

.....G


Yes, I have noticed it too. The audio will get out of sync but fluctuates back in and out. However the initial pixlization and video problems that were occurring when they first switched CBS-HD to TP17, now seem to be much better.

#87 OFFLINE   voripteth

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 04:06 PM

Waitaminute... Voom has historically had a problem with audio sync. Now that CBS-HD is being transmited on the Voom satellite we're seeing audio sync problems. Conicidence? :confused:

Or is this a flaw with the satellite itself? :eek2:



Hope Dish got a good price on damaged goods. :nono2:

#88 OFFLINE   hazydave

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 04:22 AM

Then there is something wrong with your set. I can tell a big difference between a 1920x1080 signal and a 1280x720p signal. 2 of my locals broadcaste in 720p and the other 3 are 1080i. The 720p signals are always a bit more grainy on my tv.
Ken


Quite a few of the HD sets, including nearly all smaller ones, have a native resolution of 1280x720 or thereabouts. It's pretty common for manufacturers to publish this now, it wasn't until recently. There certainly are full 1920x1080 sets, they tend to be large rear projection or very, very expensive flat panels.

So they can technically get away with it.

The 720p fans are confused, anyway... those who favor 720p [a] probably have 720p-only sets, and [b] they think the progressive is less flickery and offers some better motion characteristics. Well, the last one is true -- IF you have real 720p material.

However, when you downconvert from 1080i to 720p, you don't magically get 60 frames per second, you still have 60 fields per second. So what you get is 720/60i. You can convert fields to frames, but you're going to wind up with what's effectively 720/30p. Which, of course, Dish probably loves, it's going to be much smaller than 1440 or 1280 x 1080 interlaced. I don't believe they'd bother interpolating twice per frame to deliver what's basically a fake 60p anyway... plus, that offers little savings in bandwidth over real 1080i.

Most of the HD world has settled on 1080i for now. My new video camera does 1080i (albeit, at 1440 x 1080), and that's the big direction the industry's supporting, with cameras, tools, etc. Except JVC and ABC, I guess, who are the remaining standard bearers of 720p... and you need serious pro gear to get 720/60p. So you're going to see this on ABC TV and perhaps other ABC owned channels, but not elsewhere.

So that CBS downconversion is bad news for absolutely everyone.

#89 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 01:06 PM

:welcome_s hazydave
Some of the assumptions at the beginning of this thread are no longer true. It appears that E* is now doing straight 1080i conversions to 1280x1080i on those channels they have chosen to downsize and passing 1280x720p on channels such as ESPN2HD that are provided in that format. It does not appear that they are doing the 1920x1080i -> 1280x720p trick that was reported by a single source at the beginning of the thread.

JL




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