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post #1 of 8 Old 07-30-2013, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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With all the compression we have on cable and satellite ,and the retransmission of network signals from the sporting event . I wonder how much better is the picture quality in the production truck and announcers monitors. Is it a tremendous improvement on what we have at home or hardly noticeable. Thanks for any info or comments.
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-31-2013, 08:33 AM
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It's a big improvement, because there is no compression with the signals in and out of the production truck. Pretty much everything is sent with HDSDI. The compression comes first in the satellite truck, second at the network's head end, and third at your cable/sat provider.
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-31-2013, 08:56 AM
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OTA is the least compressed, generally speaking. I've watched a live, local sporting event (football) OTA at home. And then walked across the street and compared the same broadcast to my neighbor's cable. Both signals originate from the same on-site production truck. The difference in pq was very noticeable with OTA looking far better than cable.
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-02-2013, 02:14 PM
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There is a significant difference. The signals from cabled/fibred cameras are uncompressed (apart from some light compression on recent Sony Digital Triax models, and there is some analogue noise introduced if earlier triax solutions are used - which still use analogue systems down the cable), and the compression used in EVS or similar servers, is pretty light (100-200Mbs intra), and the picture usually look very good indeed. As OLED production monitors appear in more and more trucks, the monitors are pretty amazing too. (Sony 17" and 24" OLEDs are appearing everywhere)

Satellite Backhauls are between 24 and 60Mbs MPEG2 (slightly lower bit rates used for H264 - 34Mbs H264 can look very good), whilst fibre can be uncompressed or high bitrate (~200Mbs) JPEG2000 or similar, or satellite equivalent bitrates and codecs can sometimes be used. You notice some compression artefacts if you look carefully.

Compared to the MPEG2 OTA I've seen whilst in the US - it's like night and day. The H264 compression used in Europe for HD is a bit better - but you still notice the differences.
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-02-2013, 11:14 PM
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Good information I'm sure but keeping the topic on what we have here on this side of the pond, is OTA (generally speaking) better overall pq than cable or sat, depending on the service area? It seems to me, from observation only, and not based on specs, that it is.
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-03-2013, 01:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

Good information I'm sure but keeping the topic on what we have here on this side of the pond, is OTA (generally speaking) better overall pq than cable or sat, depending on the service area? It seems to me, from observation only, and not based on specs, that it is.
The answer is (potentially) yes. Just as the fiber optic or microwave feed to the tv station (potentially) has better PQ. However, that difference disappears if the TV station passes the stream unadulterated and the cable company doesn't compress it any more, either.
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-03-2013, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

Good information I'm sure but keeping the topic on what we have here on this side of the pond, is OTA (generally speaking) better overall pq than cable or sat, depending on the service area? It seems to me, from observation only, and not based on specs, that it is.

I guess that is a question based on how the station encodes their signal locally for OTA, and how the cable and satellite re-broadcasters receive their version of the signal, whether they re-encode it, and how good their re-encoding is?

AIUI some rebroadcasters are effectively just receiving OTA off-air and re-broadcasting it (I think usually it is decoded and re-encoded - but I guess it could just be remuxed), whilst others have a distribution feed which is higher quality than OTA off-air as the source?

However the OP's question was more about the difference in quality between the origination (i.e. the production truck) and what you see at home wasn't it - taking into account the links from production site to network, distribution of network to local station, and encoding at local station and/or cable/satellite rebroadcast?

As someone who sits in production trucks and studio control rooms for a living, and has worked in the US and Europe, I have some experience of being at both ends (remote truck and network control room) as well as a viewer at home. I also have high quality recordings (ProRes HQ and DNXHD) of shows I've worked on, as well as PVR recordings of the same show as recorded at home, so have been able to do some comparisons!
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-03-2013, 09:24 AM
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^^^^^ thanks! It would appear then that there really isn't a black and white answer to OTA vs cable from original feed to home because of the various factors (local endcoding or not, cable encodiing, etc) involved. I guess we just live in an area where local transmission of OTA is better in a lot of cases than cable. As they say, it's location location location.
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