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Opinions about Superbowl coverage on ABC

Discussion in 'Local Reception' started by Chris Blount, Jan 26, 2003.

  1. Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

    Jun 22, 2001
    After watching the Superbowl on ABC, I must say that the network still has a little further to go for a really outstanding presentation.

    The picture quality was stunning. On my setup (Dish 6000 receiver, 8VSB tuner, Toshiba 57" 16X9 Monitor) it didn't look quite as good as CBS HD but still quite excellent for 720P upconverted to 1080i. In this regard, I'm completely satisfied.

    Now if you want to talk about the actual coverage of the game, there is where ABC has more work to do.

    First, why in the hell haven't they figured out a way to place the yellow first down line on the field like they do on the standard def feed? CBS can't do it either and I'm having trouble believing that with all of the high paid engineers they have running that place, nobody has come up with a fix.

    Second, the HD camera angles were different from the regular SD feeds. It got quite distracting because John Madden would be explaining a play using his finger painting monitor while we are looking at some nutball in the stands with his tongue hanging out.

    Third, it looked as though the hand held HD camera operators were being treated like second class citizens. We could barely see the coin toss because the steadycam SD operator was pushing everyone else aside. The half time show was almost a bust because the hand helds were getting blocked by spectators and security guards. Lord knows why they had 2 separate camera crews in the first place when all they needed was to simply downcovert the HD video to SD like what CBS does.

    With that said though, there were some good things about the broadcast. Most if not all of the replays were in HD. The Dolby Digital 5.1 sounded fantastic and the video quality as a whole was nothing short of spectacular. The HD movie trailers were also quite a treat especially the trailer for Bad Boys II.

    All in all, not bad for the first true HDTV superbowl (I think?). Hopefully future sporting events will get better as the technical crews works out the bugs.
  2. James_F

    James_F Damn you woman! DBSTalk Gold Club

    Apr 23, 2002
    Agreed, seems like an oversight on their part.
    Then at the end when they finally started showing the "chalkboard" it looked like crap. It got really anoying when they were talking about a good block and all you see is Gruden on the sideline.
    That didn't bother me so much. No overhead shots from the blimp though. :( I didn't watch the halftime show so I don't know how that looked. I agree about the downconvert comment. No idea why they didn't do that. :shrug:
    I was happy, now stop with all the ESPN HD commercials and give it to me.
  3. tampa8

    tampa8 Godfather/Supporter

    Mar 30, 2002
    Everything Chris Blount said except I use a DTC 100 to receive off air.
    All in all, very good viewing experience.
  4. invaliduser88

    invaliduser88 Welcome to Torchwood DBSTalk Gold Club

    Apr 23, 2002
    I thought the audio was a little out of sync with the video. When the picture was of Al & John talking.
  5. ibglowin

    ibglowin Godfather/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

    Sep 10, 2002
    I second the out of sync audio when they had close ups of Al and John in the booth. I was wondering if it was a local phenomenon but guess not. For all we know the whole game was out of sync by a second or two but you only noticed when they showed the announcers talking.
    Picture was stunning.....I think I may have sold a couple of HD TV's to our friends tonight. They had never experienced HD in the home, most had no idea what channels are out there or even that we have 5 Digital OTA channels online right now.

    The future looks bright, now lets hope Hollywood doesn't F**K it up for all of us.
  6. Mark Lamutt

    Mark Lamutt Your Neighborhood Liasion

    Mar 23, 2002
    On this point, I completely disagree with Chris: I really, really liked the fact that they used different cameras for the HD feed and kept it different from the SD feed because the HD camera operators were able to frame the image for 16x9 televisions, not 4x3 televisions! Meaning that we'd be able to see the quarterback all the way back to the safties - something you cannot get into a single frame when using the same feed for both HD and SD. With the same feed, you have to protect the 4x3 frame area, so you end up with the quarterback in the middle of the screen and half the screen being empty field. For this reason alone, I though ABC's job was superior to CBS' coverage of the playoffs.
  7. Phil T

    Phil T Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Mar 25, 2002
    Overall I thought the HDTV telecast was great. I didn't see any of the regular SD, so I guess I didn't realize we were getting such a different feed. I thought the camera work was better the the CBS games with not as much zooming. (it may be just me)

    Here in Denver, the local ABC low power station had no sound on the digital channel all morning and until about half way into the pregame. The 20 of us that can get a digital signal thought we might be out of luck, but luckily it all worked out.
  8. WXYZ-DT Detroit had it's usual DD sound problems especially at the start (no center channel - dialogue) Picture was very good. Overall, I agree with others CBS is best HD
  9. Scott Greczkowski

    Scott Greczkowski Banned User

    Mar 21, 2002
    I was REALLY (and I mean REALLY) happy I set up a SD TV next to my HDTV.

    There were many times the announcers were talking about things and showing graphics (or Madden was drawing on the screen) and on the HD version they were showing something complete different.

    The PQ was OK, when the ESPN HD commercial came on and they had sports clips my guests asked why the Super Bowl did not look that good.

    The Half Time looked like total CRAP, Most of the shots were from behind so you were looking at the backs of everyone on stage. I really wanted to see the front of Shania Twain not her jacket from behind. :D

    The audio could have been better, there should have been more sound from the surrounds, the only times you could hear the rears were when there were announcements over the PA system. I was hoping for a more "in the stadium" feel.

    The sound on the HD commercials was GREAT but it was 200 times louder then everything else. Everyone jumped from their seats when the Bad Boys commercal came on. Again the HD commercial sounded GREAT but were WAY too loud.

    The clock on the screen was cut off on my TV, people were watching the SD TV to see the clock.

    Also the Lip Sync was off big time, when they were showing the announcers in the booth everyone was asking me if something was wrong on my TV. Of course for the game you could not tell things were not in sync.

    Overall I give the ABC HD SuperBowl a C- for those guests who saw CBS's HD Football broadcasts at my house over the past few weeks they commented that the CBS games looked much better and were better done. I must agree.

    Now even though I am not a avid sports fan I must say... "I want my ESPN HD!" :D
  10. James_F

    James_F Damn you woman! DBSTalk Gold Club

    Apr 23, 2002
    I didn't have that problem, must have been your TV. The clock was visable the whole game on my Mitsu....
  11. Mark Lamutt

    Mark Lamutt Your Neighborhood Liasion

    Mar 23, 2002
    I honestly don't recall the clock being cut off on my screen as well, but I've adjusted my overscan down to nearly none as well.
  12. Scott Greczkowski

    Scott Greczkowski Banned User

    Mar 21, 2002
    People at AVSforums are reporting the clock cut off as well, but all of them who have reported the problem have mentioned that (like me) were watching with the 720p (which my TV does not support) in 1080i.
  13. mgideon

    mgideon Cool Member

    May 14, 2002
    I don't have an ABC in my area, so I had to watch it over the dish in standard deffinition. I though it was terrible. Voice was off during most of the interviews. Also during the interviews the audio would cut out completely. Did anyone else notice it took about 3 or 4 minutes to have the fly by after the national anthem.

    I wish it had been on CBS.
  14. James_F

    James_F Damn you woman! DBSTalk Gold Club

    Apr 23, 2002
    After I wrote it I figured out what happened. Thats too bad, must have looked somewhat weird also. Too bad for ya.
  15. brentp

    brentp Mentor

    Sep 25, 2002
    I think it is all a matter of expectations and perspective, . . .

    I too realized that HD viewers were missing the telestrator shots, . . . and the first down yellow line. Were there other glitches, . . . you bet.

    However, . . . prior to the game I tried to set my expectations for the show. I knew this was going to be ABC's first major live HD show in some time. Unlike CBS that did a college game every week this year and had a chance to work out the kinks, ABC had to produce this show without any prior recent 'experience'. I expected some bugs, . . . but I also expected excellent PQ. I think ABC delivered on both accounts.

    Now, going forward, we have ABC and CBS in an 'HD War' over which network can produce the most shows (live and filmed). We are now going to get the Oscars, the Grammy's, ESPN-HD, . . . and next season, 3 NFL football games a week in HD (compared to 4 total for this entire season). Practice makes perfect, and the more shows the networks do, the faster the HD productions will ramp up to meet our expectations, . . . and the faster more SD viewers will get exposed to HD and want this technology. Without the continual showing of ‘show in HDTV’ logo at the start of shows, most people will not make the transition. Guys at the office today are already starting to talk. Some of them have read positive press reports today about the HD show, . . . this is good!

    ABC will get this right, . . . soon. You can bet that the HD folks at ABC are patting themselves on the back this morning; . . . and very soon they will be dissecting the broadcast to figure out what worked and what didn't. From this, will come better productions. And I bet folks are working on solving the yellow line and telestrator technology issues as well. ESPN and ABC will each be producing an NFL game each week next year, and I'm sure they want those issues solved too.

    On a final note, I'm not sure that comparing the HD production to the SD production is valid, . . . or wise. If you didn't have the SD feed right next to your set, you probably wouldn't have felt you were missing as much. But like it was said earlier, if they produce the HD show with a 4:3 SD downcovert in mind, we would not have gotten the full benefits of an HD production. I for one prefer HD replays versus bouncing back and forth between HD and SD to show every camera angle. Do I too ‘want it all’, . . . you bet, but I also know that it takes time to procure the proper equipment and get the production right.

    Thanks ABC for a great show! Should we be critical and demand more, absolutely! But we should also be thankful that we now have the content ramping up so that we can be critical.

  16. Ryan

    Ryan Icon

    Apr 24, 2002
    I'm guessing the first-down line system has not yet been implemented in an HD format yet. It's a rather complicated process that works so well that it seems easy. But ramping it up for HDTV during a live event probably isn't worth the payoff for the outside companies that provide the technology.

    I expect to see it in another year or two.
  17. DarrellP

    DarrellP Hall Of Fame

    Apr 24, 2002
    I was watching via a Dish 6000 set at 720p output to a DLP projector which scales to a native pixel rate of 720p.

    Since it was a fixed pixel device, I did not experience the cutoff clock as people with RPTV's have. I thought the picture was quite soft compared to the CBS games, especially the graphics they put up and the crowd shots were lacking detail.

    The SD shots were absolutely horrible, but some were bad on NTSC TV also, so it must have been the cameras or something.

    Sound was good with good surround utilization.

    The HD movie commercials kicked some major A$$, they were awesome. PQ was rock solid, sharp and the DD 5.1 BOOMED!

    All in all, not too bad a presentation. I shut the projector off after the half time show (I had to see Shania) since the game was pretty well over I didn't want to waste the lamp hours.

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