Anyone with a converter being "denied" letterboxed output? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 182 Old 06-13-2009, 09:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Beeper View Post

I think the objective was to make CECB aspect ratio grandma friendly, at the expense of the end user not having complete control.
(With certain brand receivers.)

I thought of that, and here's what I have to say: Tough cookies. If Grandma doesn't know how to use the aspect ratio control buttons on her box, she can ask grandson to show her how. I love how the rest of us have to suffer because "Grandma and Grandpa" "won't get it". You know what? They'll be dead soon and I don't like suffering because they are "too old" to handle change (and not all senior citizens are that helpless either).
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post #32 of 182 Old 06-13-2009, 09:31 AM
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Stop holding back. Tell us what's really on your mind.
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post #33 of 182 Old 06-13-2009, 01:42 PM
 
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Does anyone know if the AFD circus sideshow affects the DTV Pal DVR or Tivo???
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post #34 of 182 Old 06-13-2009, 04:14 PM
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I love how you want choice, but at the same point you want to deny others their choice. You have an idea of the way it should be, and as far as you are concerned, no one else should matter. Perhaps a camera analogy might make it clearer, but at this point I doubt I'm going to convince you, so this is primarily for the benefit of other readers.

When I buy a camera I don't buy the cheaper point and shoot types that don't have the option to go full manual. I always want the option to be able to disable auto focus, and set both the aperture and the shutter speed, along with the equivalent ISO. But I do want the camera to also have full auto features. 95% of the time I use a setting that is somewhere between the two, i.e. I use aperture or shutter speed priority with auto focus enabled. I hardly ever use full auto (that's for my wife) and I also don't use full manual very often, but I do use it.

You bought a CECB that is the equivalent of full auto in the presence of AFD, and what you appear to want is one that only offers full manual. I want to have the choice of using AFD or not using AFD. It bugs the hell out of me every time I see window boxed content, even if it is for a commercial, but I don't want to have to keep changing the zoom to fix it. I kept saying, "that should never happen, there should be a way of automatically adjusting that". Well there is, and it is called AFD. I have a variety of screens in my house, one of them being a 20" 4:3 TV. When I am watching on a screen that small I want to avoid letterboxing whenever possible, so I like the fact that once AFD is available and set correctly then by checking the "Set by Program" zoom setting I can see how likely I am to miss something if I crop the image. Frankly if I am watching Conan I really don't care about seeing the empty seat next to the guest. If I am watching on a larger 4:3 screen then I prefer the letterboxed 16:9 image. A talk show is probably not the best example, because it's fairly clear what I am missing when I crop the image, but that is not always the case.

I totally understand the fact that you are upset about the situation that you are in. I would be upset also. I would want the option of not going with the full auto setting. But again, I don't think you should be painting the broadcasters as the bad guys here. You bought the point and shoot camera without the manual option. Sure, you didn't know it at the time. You should be upset at Echostar for not providing the manual option and not making it clear that they did not provide that option. Someone else in this forum said that Echostar was ahead of the curve, but the Zenith CECB's were designed and on the market before the DTVpal was available, and they got the AFD implementation right. CECB's exist that allow manual control, and now that you know it is an important feature for you you should buy a different CECB.

Stop telling people that they should not want the full auto option, and if it was up to you they would not be allowed to have it. There are cases where AFD is the best option. Most of those cases are not for the end user like you, but for cable/satellite providers who are converting HD content from the broadcaster to SD content for the much larger non OTA audience who have been told they don't need to do anything and their 4:3 TV's will still work with their existing equipment. That's the primary use case for AFD.

Also, if you want to continue to get upset about AFD, I thought I should warn you that getting a 16:9 TV won't solve your problem. There is also AFD for the opposite conversion, although the implementation of that appears to be further out. SD content will continue to exist for some time, and so will SD TV channels. There is AFD to tell your 16:9 TV how to convert the 4:3 material to 16:9. Some SD content is letterboxed because the original material was shot in 16:9 and letterboxed for 4:3, so you want to crop it and present it full screen on a 16:9 TV. Otherwise you probably want to pillarbox it. But there is also the case of 16:9 friendly full frame material in 4:3. Consider a movie that was shot for the wide screen but was shot full frame so that it could be made available in 4:3 without having to do pan and scan to convert it. The original movie was meant to be wide screen, so the extra stuff above and below the 16:9 window is just fill in, i.e. if you buy the widescreen DVD of the movie you wouldn't be seeing that stuff. I'd rather crop the 4:3 picture and watch it in wide screen on a 16:9 display. However, if the movie was pan and scanned then I'd want to watch it pillarboxed (actually I'd rather go rent the widescreen DVD in that case). It might not be clear right away which is the case, but in the ideal world the broadcaster would know and set the AFD appropriately. So, as you can see, all the same issues exist in reverse. So, now that you know about this issue, make sure you buy the right 16:9 TV (one that won't only do full auto in the presence of AFD) once your budget allows for that purchase, because the same AFD standard covers both cases, and TV's manufacturers have already implemented the standard, so the only thing remaining is for the SD broadcasters to start sending AFD in their digital transmissions.

Some day, nothing will be done anymore in 4:3, and even SD channels will be 16:9 SD (I wonder how long it will be before we start seeing that -- it's all part of the ATSC DTV standard, so no changes need to happen on the consumer end). Then all of these problems will go away. But that won't be for quite some time.
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post #35 of 182 Old 06-13-2009, 06:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmar View Post

I love how you want choice, but at the same point you want to deny others their choice. You have an idea of the way it should be, and as far as you are concerned, no one else should matter. Perhaps a camera analogy might make it clearer, but at this point I doubt I'm going to convince you, so this is primarily for the benefit of other readers.

When I buy a camera I don't buy the cheaper point and shoot types that don't have the option to go full manual. I always want the option to be able to disable auto focus, and set both the aperture and the shutter speed, along with the equivalent ISO. But I do want the camera to also have full auto features. 95% of the time I use a setting that is somewhere between the two, i.e. I use aperture or shutter speed priority with auto focus enabled. I hardly ever use full auto (that's for my wife) and I also don't use full manual very often, but I do use it.

You bought a CECB that is the equivalent of full auto in the presence of AFD, and what you appear to want is one that only offers full manual. I want to have the choice of using AFD or not using AFD. It bugs the hell out of me every time I see window boxed content, even if it is for a commercial, but I don't want to have to keep changing the zoom to fix it. I kept saying, "that should never happen, there should be a way of automatically adjusting that". Well there is, and it is called AFD. I have a variety of screens in my house, one of them being a 20" 4:3 TV. When I am watching on a screen that small I want to avoid letterboxing whenever possible, so I like the fact that once AFD is available and set correctly then by checking the "Set by Program" zoom setting I can see how likely I am to miss something if I crop the image. Frankly if I am watching Conan I really don't care about seeing the empty seat next to the guest. If I am watching on a larger 4:3 screen then I prefer the letterboxed 16:9 image. A talk show is probably not the best example, because it's fairly clear what I am missing when I crop the image, but that is not always the case.

I totally understand the fact that you are upset about the situation that you are in. I would be upset also. I would want the option of not going with the full auto setting. But again, I don't think you should be painting the broadcasters as the bad guys here. You bought the point and shoot camera without the manual option. Sure, you didn't know it at the time. You should be upset at Echostar for not providing the manual option and not making it clear that they did not provide that option. Someone else in this forum said that Echostar was ahead of the curve, but the Zenith CECB's were designed and on the market before the DTVpal was available, and they got the AFD implementation right. CECB's exist that allow manual control, and now that you know it is an important feature for you you should buy a different CECB.

Stop telling people that they should not want the full auto option, and if it was up to you they would not be allowed to have it. There are cases where AFD is the best option. Most of those cases are not for the end user like you, but for cable/satellite providers who are converting HD content from the broadcaster to SD content for the much larger non OTA audience who have been told they don't need to do anything and their 4:3 TV's will still work with their existing equipment. That's the primary use case for AFD.

Also, if you want to continue to get upset about AFD, I thought I should warn you that getting a 16:9 TV won't solve your problem. There is also AFD for the opposite conversion, although the implementation of that appears to be further out. SD content will continue to exist for some time, and so will SD TV channels. There is AFD to tell your 16:9 TV how to convert the 4:3 material to 16:9. Some SD content is letterboxed because the original material was shot in 16:9 and letterboxed for 4:3, so you want to crop it and present it full screen on a 16:9 TV. Otherwise you probably want to pillarbox it. But there is also the case of 16:9 friendly full frame material in 4:3. Consider a movie that was shot for the wide screen but was shot full frame so that it could be made available in 4:3 without having to do pan and scan to convert it. The original movie was meant to be wide screen, so the extra stuff above and below the 16:9 window is just fill in, i.e. if you buy the widescreen DVD of the movie you wouldn't be seeing that stuff. I'd rather crop the 4:3 picture and watch it in wide screen on a 16:9 display. However, if the movie was pan and scanned then I'd want to watch it pillarboxed (actually I'd rather go rent the widescreen DVD in that case). It might not be clear right away which is the case, but in the ideal world the broadcaster would know and set the AFD appropriately. So, as you can see, all the same issues exist in reverse. So, now that you know about this issue, make sure you buy the right 16:9 TV (one that won't only do full auto in the presence of AFD) once your budget allows for that purchase, because the same AFD standard covers both cases, and TV's manufacturers have already implemented the standard, so the only thing remaining is for the SD broadcasters to start sending AFD in their digital transmissions.

Some day, nothing will be done anymore in 4:3, and even SD channels will be 16:9 SD (I wonder how long it will be before we start seeing that -- it's all part of the ATSC DTV standard, so no changes need to happen on the consumer end). Then all of these problems will go away. But that won't be for quite some time.

You have wasted your time writing an epic defense of AFD, and I have not even bothered to read the entire post beyond the first few words. I am not interested in your long winded defense of AFD. AFD is forcing 4:3 aspect ratios on shows that are shot in 16:9. That's a flaw, end of story.
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post #36 of 182 Old 06-14-2009, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by NYCLA* View Post

You have wasted your time writing an epic defense of AFD, and I have not even bothered to read the entire post beyond the first few words. I am not interested in your long winded defense of AFD. AFD is forcing 4:3 aspect ratios on shows that are shot in 16:9. That's a flaw, end of story.

Sir, with all due respect, it is your POV that is flawed. The reason the programs you mentioned are set to be center cut even though it is 16:9 content is that is what the producer chose. The producer wants 4:3 viewers to see a center cut instead of letterbox. YOu are basically saying you want to override what the person producing the content wants. Would you go to a movie and complain about the framing and the intent of the director? Even in the days of 100 SD 4:3, the producer chose to show you some commercials in letterbox (actually faked alot of the time as I worked in post and saw commercials shot in 100% 4:3 just place bars on top and bottom to give the letterbox look). They shot it with that in mind from the get go. IT is how they intended for the viewer to see it.

You are upset for the wrong reason. As others have mentioned, you are looking to place blame in the wrong direction. AFD can come on the tape from the commercial or program producer. There are commercials with the AFD flag already in them. All NBC did was turn on the ability to pass the flag and therefore allowing it to reach the CECB. The programs you see in center cut are often shot with 4:3 protection, so you don't gain one bit from having the extra content on the sides.

Donate your box to someone in need and go get one you can manually control if you want the control back. PLain and simple.
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post #37 of 182 Old 06-14-2009, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by ja2bk View Post

You are upset for the wrong reason. As others have mentioned, you are looking to place blame in the wrong direction. AFD can come on the tape from the commercial or program producer. There are commercials with the AFD flag already in them. All NBC did was turn on the ability to pass the flag and therefore allowing it to reach the CECB. The programs you see in center cut are often shot with 4:3 protection, so you don't gain one bit from having the extra content on the sides.

Donate your box to someone in need and go get one you can manually control if you want the control back. PLain and simple.

You are applying logic and common sense here. Somehow, given the other comments here, I suspect your advice will fall on deaf ears.

I, for one, found jsmar's analogy quite enlightening and not at all a waste of my time.
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post #38 of 182 Old 06-14-2009, 11:09 AM
 
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Sir, with all due respect, it is your POV that is flawed. The reason the programs you mentioned are set to be center cut even though it is 16:9 content is that is what the producer chose. The producer wants 4:3 viewers to see a center cut instead of letterbox. YOu are basically saying you want to override what the person producing the content wants. Would you go to a movie and complain about the framing and the intent of the director? Even in the days of 100 SD 4:3, the producer chose to show you some commercials in letterbox (actually faked alot of the time as I worked in post and saw commercials shot in 100% 4:3 just place bars on top and bottom to give the letterbox look). They shot it with that in mind from the get go. IT is how they intended for the viewer to see it.

You are upset for the wrong reason. As others have mentioned, you are looking to place blame in the wrong direction. AFD can come on the tape from the commercial or program producer. There are commercials with the AFD flag already in them. All NBC did was turn on the ability to pass the flag and therefore allowing it to reach the CECB. The programs you see in center cut are often shot with 4:3 protection, so you don't gain one bit from having the extra content on the sides.

Donate your box to someone in need and go get one you can manually control if you want the control back. PLain and simple.


Conan O'Brien, WNBC's local news, the Today show, and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams are not art, so don't try to use the film director's analogy here. I'm a film school graduate, and while I agree a film should be seen as the director intended, I don't buy it when it comes to the aforementioned shows.

If the producer of The Tonight Show (for example) really wanted viewers to see that show in 4:3 than it would be shot in 4:3, and it would display in 4:3 even if you were viewing it on a 16:9 TV, just like shows such as Extra! and Access Hollywood. I mean, really, if it was so important for The Tonight Show to be shown in 4:3 because of some producers "artistic" choice, then everyone would be seeing it that way, so your analogy as applied to The Tonight Show (or other shows shot in the same way), claiming that that is how the producer wants people to see it totally falls apart.

I'm going to have to buy a 16:9 television and a Tivo or DTVPal DVR to eventually solve this. The Zenith box may allow me to turn this AFD crap off, but it has sh*t for a program guide. The DTVPal+ has the best program guide, but acts as a slave to the AFD sh*t. With a 16:9 television I'll be able to see programming as mentioned above that was shot in 16:9 displayed as 16:9, and not have 4:3 forced down my throat and I'll get my EPG From the Pal DVR or Tivo. But that will have to wait awhile.
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post #39 of 182 Old 06-14-2009, 11:57 AM
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Here's a local complaint of certain equipment no longer working as the owner would like.

http://www.milwaukeehdtv.org/forums/...ed=1#post52314

My NBC affiliate's local newscasts are being broadcast in HD widescreen and they are not using AFD for that, yet.
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post #40 of 182 Old 06-14-2009, 07:32 PM
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My APEX DT502 and Insignia -APT give you the ability to disable the AFD. The APEX DT502 also has the ability to set the type of ratio of the television it is connected to.

If you want an EPG better than a Zenith/Insignia, then get the APEX DT502.

I've been waiting for the broadcasters to implement AFD so that I don't get commercials in "Postage Stamp" while watching 16:9 programs or when they switch between a 16:9 and a 4:3 sitcom. This would make recording a lot easier.

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post #41 of 182 Old 06-14-2009, 07:38 PM
 
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If you want an EPG better than a Zenith/Insignia, then get the APEX DT502.

Got any screenshots of the APEX DT502 EPG???
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post #42 of 182 Old 06-14-2009, 07:47 PM
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Why not look at the DT502 thread.

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post #43 of 182 Old 06-14-2009, 08:00 PM
 
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Why not look at the DT502 thread.

I didn't know there was one; I will do that. Thank you.
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post #44 of 182 Old 06-15-2009, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

My APEX DT502 and Insignia -APT give you the ability to disable the AFD. The APEX DT502 also has the ability to set the type of ratio of the television it is connected to.

If you want an EPG better than a Zenith/Insignia, then get the APEX DT502.

I've been waiting for the broadcasters to implement AFD so that I don't get commercials in "Postage Stamp" while watching 16:9 programs or when they switch between a 16:9 and a 4:3 sitcom. This would make recording a lot easier.

With the DTV Pal, when NBC uses the AFD flag, (for instance on the Today show) the artistic intent of the commercial director is tainted.
You will see letterboxed 4:3, 4:3 and squeezed 4:3 commercials without touching the remote. Not that I'm watching or recording commercials anyway.

Right now, NBC is the only major broadcaster that is using the AFD flag to crop the picture when the "set by program" picture format is selected on the receiver. On the other major networks, the set by program and letterbox picture formats seem identical.

So it is likely that most of not all digital receivers that do not have a "set by program" selection (or some type of override) will be negatively affected.

Anyone with other brands that are affected, please post the brand/model and picture format settings available.
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post #45 of 182 Old 06-15-2009, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Beeper View Post

Right now, NBC is the only broadcaster that is using the AFD flag to crop the picture when the "set by program" picture format is selected on the receiver. On all other networks, the set by program and letterbox picture formats seem identical.

That isn't happening on our NBC station in Chicago, but it is on our Telemundo station, and NBC owns Telemundo.
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post #46 of 182 Old 06-15-2009, 05:19 PM
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That isn't happening on our NBC station in Chicago, but it is on our Telemundo station, and NBC owns Telemundo.

I was referring to the big four networks that broadcast HD, ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. I should have made it clearer.

Why would Telemundo be using AFD, they are 480i in my market? Does Mundo have HD in Chicago?

I noticed another strange thing. "Set by program" doesn't necessarily mean the program will be cropped.
Tonight's NBC 7 PM CDT show is cropped on my Zenith DTT901 when using "set by program".
My older LG LST-3510A external HD receiver shows the same program in widescreen when "set by program" is selected.
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Originally Posted by Beeper View Post

I was referring to the big four networks that broadcast HD, ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. I should have made it clearer.

Why would Telemundo be using AFD, they are 480i in my market? Does Mundo have HD in Chicago?

I noticed another strange thing. "Set by program" doesn't necessarily mean the program will be cropped.
Tonight's NBC 7 PM CDT show is cropped on my Zenith DTT901 when using "set by program".
My older LG LST-3510A external HD receiver shows the same program in widescreen when "set by program" is selected.

Yes they do have HD In Chicago and several other markets.

Check out these 2 articles:

http://www.engadgethd.com/2009/04/02...asts-april-23/

http://www.adweek.com/aw/content_dis...57e70baac92196

They also have a thread on this forum about it:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1134559
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post #48 of 182 Old 06-15-2009, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beeper View Post

Why would Telemundo be using AFD, they are 480i in my market? Does Mundo have HD in Chicago?

Yes, as cube799 has corroborated.  WSNS broadcasts in 1080i on 44.1 and has the same content in 480i on 44.2; everything on 44.1 is upconversions except for the occasional sports event.

I erred about one other point: WMAQ, our NBC O&O, is doing it too.  I hadn't noticed that before, or maybe they just started it.
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post #49 of 182 Old 06-15-2009, 08:53 PM
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I'm going to have to spend more time in front of my television, checking out AFD, instead of outside in the Hot Tub, watching the satellites and Space Station fly over.

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post #50 of 182 Old 06-16-2009, 10:14 AM
 
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Yep - NYCLA* is not interested in "discussion" on AFD - he is more interested in expressing his displeasure with the way it was implemented on the Echostar CECBs.


You're absolutely right, there's nothing to "discuss" anymore. Sure, I think Echostar was stupid not to include an AFD override, but I also do truly think AFD was/is a waste of time to have been developed in the first place. I'll solve the problem for myself when I purchase a 16:9 TV with a decent EPG built in or a 16:9 TV and a Tivo.
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post #51 of 182 Old 06-16-2009, 01:58 PM
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I see electrictroy has returned with a new ID and is already up to the SOS.

Rrrrroger that!
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post #52 of 182 Old 06-16-2009, 03:05 PM
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"DTVenemy" - the man's back in town!

I love the digital transition. The voices in my head just say 0 and 1 now.
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post #53 of 182 Old 06-16-2009, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by partsman_ba View Post

"DTVenemy" - the man's back in town!

You'd think he'd be more careful. Especially if he was granted secret double probation.
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post #54 of 182 Old 06-16-2009, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beeper View Post

You'd think he'd be more careful. Especially if he was granted secret double probation.

Under an assumed name

I love the digital transition. The voices in my head just say 0 and 1 now.
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post #55 of 182 Old 06-16-2009, 06:17 PM
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post #56 of 182 Old 06-19-2009, 03:39 PM
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My local NBC station (KUSA in Denver) started transmitting AFD yesterday. I monitored the AFD codes during Conan, and NBC is sending the wrong code (they're sending 9, indicating the picture is pillar boxed 4:3, rather than 15 which indicates that the signal is 16:9 full frame but is 4:3 "safe"). So, although I believe the DTVpal is still wrong to ever disable the ability to change the zoom, NBC is also at fault for sending the wrong code.

I did notice another bug in the DTVpal. AFD codes are sent multiple times per second, so when the codes are not sent a receiver should quickly timeout and revert to whatever default behaviour it has when AFD is not present. The DTVpal does not do that. I goes by whatever the last code received was. I was able to see this behaviour on a DTVpal during the commercials. The network commercials all had AFD, but the local commercials did not. If the last network commercial was sent with code 9 then all of the local commercials were locked in 4:3 cropped format, regardless of what format the commercial was in.
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post #57 of 182 Old 06-19-2009, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ja2bk View Post

Sir, with all due respect, it is your POV that is flawed. The reason the programs you mentioned are set to be center cut even though it is 16:9 content is that is what the producer chose. The producer wants 4:3 viewers to see a center cut instead of letterbox. YOu are basically saying you want to override what the person producing the content wants...

Poppycock and ishkabibble.

The shows being so affected are being aired in widescreen.

How does THAT fit with your "the producer wanted it cropped" theory?

My STANDARD DEF television, with digital tuner, can display the show in letterbox, BECAUSE IT'S BEING AIRED IN WIDESCREEN.

For some reason NBC and my local affiliate are MAKING my converter box "zoom" on some widescreen programming that people with widescreen sets are able to watch in widescreen.

If the producer wanted it seen only in 4x3, it'd be aired that way.

It's not.

Let's get something clear here, people...

There's also plenty of widescreen programming that NBC is NOT doing this to.

Seems it's the latenight talk shows and news, both local and national, that this is happening with. It's not consistent with those either, because repeatedly on both national news and local I've seen it switch to letterbox for certain "outside of the studio" bits, only to jump back to fullscreen 4x3 (or "zoom") when it gets back to a shot of the news anchor in the studio.

Worse, when there IS a transition like this, for a brief moment you WILL see the anchor in letterbox, but then it "leaps" back up to fullscren 4x3.

It's royally ANNOYING.

They're airing the thing in widescreen for people with widescreen sets, but because I have a digital converter box and a 4x3 TV set they're not letting me see it letterboxed.

This is a singling out of people with standard def equipment, and it's not right.

I prefer to see things in letterbox if they're done in widescreen. If I choose to zoom in on the letterboxed image and chop the sides off the picture so's to fill my 4x3 screen, then LET ME DECIDE TO DO IT.

People have been asking what type of converter box I have, and I do own two DTVPals, but also have the Zinwell Zat 970A as a backup.

I'm going to switch things tomorrow and see for a few days if the Zat also gets locked on "zoom" on such programming.

Oh...

As for someone who suggested that the box should only do it with stuff in 480, but is also doing it with higher resolution stuff, again, it's only happening with things that ARE 4x3 to begin with (which is great, in my opinion...automatically makes the big black frame go away), but it's also blowing up and chopping the edges off SOME widescreen programming of TWO particular types, and NOT doing it to other widescreen programming.

I'm sorry, but this is being done by choice, not by accident. (My local station's engineering dept. ADMITTED to me they're doing this and that NBC is also doing it. This was explained at the start of the thread.)

I've said this repeatedly, WHY would they do this? WHAT earthly reason would they have for denying converter box users the widescreen format for CERTAIN shows, but not for others? WHY do it at ALL to ANY widescreen material?

Let them do the auto-zoom all day long with stuff that's in 4x3. Fine. But don't do it with ANY widescreen stuff. That's not what the signal was MEANT for!
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post #58 of 182 Old 06-20-2009, 12:34 AM
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I'm having this exact same problem, only with my local CW affiliate. I've yet to have this issue on NBC.

I've been having this problem since late February of this year and have been trying to track down what was causing it ever since. I knew it was likely a problem with AFD but finding information on this specific issue has been extremely difficult. I've repeatedly contacted my local affiliate about this to see what's up and it has yet to yield a response.

I'm inclined to agree with those that think that forcing specific aspect ratios on those with 4:3 TVs is extremely annoying. I have no problem whatsoever with AFD. However, we should be allowed to choose the aspect ratio/zoom level on our own without being locked into a specific aspect ratio simply because we don't have super expensive HDTVs. When you can't see over half of what's going on in a TV show, as is the case with everything I watch on The CW (Supernatural, Smallville), that hardly results in a "better" viewing experience.

It's frustrating. What's the point of DTV if we can't even take advantage of its features? Is it simply because we have lowly 4:3 analog TVs with converter boxes? It makes me want to seek out the shows through other means so I can see them the way they're supposed to be seen.

Oh and for what it's worth, I have a Digital Stream DTX9950, which quite frankly, isn't all that great. And I regret getting it. It's mostly adequate but it forces AFD and doesn't allow me to override it (as far as I can tell). The zoom options seem to be on a "by channel" basis and are dependent on the current AFD code of the channel. I'll post more information after I examine the settings on my converter a bit more.

(Perhaps a Zenith DTT901 is in order? That particular converter box allows you to override AFD with personal viewing preferences, yes?)
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post #59 of 182 Old 06-20-2009, 12:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Not to be picky, NeuralClone, but it's on your local CW affiliate you're seeing this, not any local CW network. Network's are national, channels/affiliates are local.

Anyway, I know exactly what this is.

CBS's "suits", who (it seems) are now running the CW, decided that they're going to air widescreen content in 4x3 with the sides chopped on their ANALOG stations. This started maybe two months ago.

I phoned the station to complain that the night before I'd watched an interesting show with the title "MALLVILL", and they told me it was a choice by the network. Analog was to be in 4x3 from now on, not in letterbox. (Supposedly any show they're doing it to is "4x3 friendly", meaning it'll still look okay. I disagree.)

The same has been done on cable systems still running analog channels. If they run that CW channel, any widescreen content shows up in 4x3.

It's odd to hear that you're seeing this on a converter box, however. My converter box is still getting the CW's widescreen programs to my TV in letterbox.

If I were you I'd call the station, ask to talk to Engineering, and tell them they're sending out the wrong aspect ratio signal. Describe to them what's happening, and see what they say.

Again, my local CW station is coming thru in letterbox if I want it that way. (Shhh.... Don't give them any ideas.)
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post #60 of 182 Old 06-20-2009, 01:40 AM
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I do know the difference between network and affiliate. But I posted that at 3:30 AM and didn't catch the mistake.

For me, the problem started at the end of February when the station went completely digital (they switched over according to the previous deadline as planned). It used to correctly show up in letterbox (I couldn't zoom, however) for months before that. Nothing has changed on my end.

Tracking down a phone number for this station may be tricky since it isn't listed on their website (believe me, I've gone over it and over it and over it). They have an e-mail address but after sending multiple e-mails since February without any response, I'm beginning to think that this is an intentional thing on their part, they don't bother to read anything sent to that address, or they have no idea what they're doing.

This particular channel is a subchannel of a local CBS affiliate (I don't have the problem on the main channel) and is therefore in SD, but that shouldn't make any difference.
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