Problems with ABC HD picture quality on the West Coast? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 58 Old 09-23-2008, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
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First noticed soft picture on ABC on the Emmys. Now on Dancing with the Stars (softer than Emmys; appears 480i at best). Videojanitor commented that he agreed the picture was soft on the Emmys and suggested it may be a network problem as AVS forum members in the East and Central made no comments about the poor picture quality. Since both Videojanitor and I are in Northern California, possibly problem isolated to that area? Observations/opinions? Thanks.
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post #2 of 58 Old 09-23-2008, 09:47 PM
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I have gathered more information since this past Sunday. Seems that there are a lot of people in the Pacific Time Zone who are noticing this severe lack of resolution. I've received reports of this problem from L.A, S.F., Sacramento, Portland and Seattle.

In another thread, I posted a couple of pics to illustrate the problem, but I'll post them here as well. These are screen caps of a commercial that aired Monday on both ABC and FOX. Since both are 720p, you would expect them to be quite similar -- but if you take a look, you will see that the one captured from ABC has a serious problem and is very soft.

The left image is from ABC. The right, from FOX.

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post #3 of 58 Old 09-23-2008, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videojanitor View Post

I have gathered more information since this past Sunday. Seems that there are a lot of people in the Pacific Time Zone who are noticing this severe lack of resolution. I've received reports of this problem from L.A, S.F., Sacramento, Portland and Seattle.

In another thread, I posted a couple of pics to illustrate the problem, but I'll post them here as well. These are screen caps of a commercial that aired Monday on both ABC and FOX. Since both are 720p, you would expect them to be quite similar -- but if you take a look, you will see that the one captured from ABC has a serious problem and is very soft.

The left image is from ABC. The right, from FOX.



Wow, can certainly tell the difference. Thanks for the reply. You always have great info. Would be interested in any additonal info you may find while looking into the problem.
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post #4 of 58 Old 09-23-2008, 10:41 PM
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heres some screens from tonights dancing with the stars

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post #5 of 58 Old 09-23-2008, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igreg View Post

You always have great info. Would be interested in any additonal info you may find while looking into the problem.

Thanks. I try not to post anything unless I have some idea of what is going on. In this case, the only common thing I've found so far is that it seems to be isolated to the West coast. Not sure what else I will be able to find out, though I have alerted a friend who works at an ABC station, and hopefully if he calls the network BOC and reports the problem, it will be fixed shortly thereafter.
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post #6 of 58 Old 09-23-2008, 11:20 PM
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Yup, wayyyy tooo soft for HD.
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post #7 of 58 Old 09-24-2008, 12:44 AM
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And now for a twist, I was watching Nightline and it didn't seem to have the problem. Then a couple of HD commercials came on and it was more tha obvious that this feed was fine. I wonder if there's a different point of origin for the Nightline West feed vs. prime-time?

End graphic of an HD movie spot aired in Nightline:

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post #8 of 58 Old 09-24-2008, 01:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videojanitor View Post

And now for a twist, I was watching Nightline and it didn't seem to have the problem. Then a couple of HD commercials came on and it was more tha obvious that this feed was fine. I wonder if there's a different point of origin for the Nightline West feed vs. prime-time?

End graphic of an HD movie spot aired in Nightline:


I didn't even realize Nightline was in HD now. Will have to check it out. It's days could be numbered with Leno possibly moving into that time slot in January 2010.
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post #9 of 58 Old 09-24-2008, 09:10 AM
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Thanks for your hard work investigation guys. I was flipping through the channels yesterday and stopped on ABC 7 LA HD news for a sec, they showed a upclose pic of one of the newscasters, and thepic was definitely soft. I knew I wasnt going crazy. I said something to myself like what the hell is wrong the picture. Thanx.

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post #10 of 58 Old 09-24-2008, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videojanitor View Post

And now for a twist, I was watching Nightline and it didn't seem to have the problem. Then a couple of HD commercials came on and it was more tha obvious that this feed was fine. I wonder if there's a different point of origin for the Nightline West feed vs. prime-time?

End graphic of an HD movie spot aired in Nightline:


This is in fact true. WC Primetime and Nightline are uplinked in two different places and to two different transponders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by videojanitor View Post



Not quite a fair comparison as FOX feed is passed through untouched to affiliate encoders. But, is striking.
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post #11 of 58 Old 09-24-2008, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tele-TV View Post

I was flipping through the channels yesterday and stopped on ABC 7 LA HD news for a sec, they showed a upclose pic of one of the newscasters, and thepic was definitely soft. I knew I wasnt going crazy. I said something to myself like what the hell is wrong the picture. Thanx.

Actually, that's a DIFFERENT problem. The one we're discussing only affects ABC network programs. The problem with soft video on KABC's news has to do (as near as I can tell) with their studio cameras. Whatever those are, they just don't look very sharp. They must have got a package deal on them, because KGO in S.F. (another ABC O&O) has the exact same look.
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post #12 of 58 Old 09-24-2008, 01:25 PM
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^^ Ohhh. Thanks video janitor.

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post #13 of 58 Old 09-25-2008, 08:09 PM
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Just to keep this thread alive ... it's now Thursday night, and the ABC/West HD feed is still hosed.
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post #14 of 58 Old 09-25-2008, 09:20 PM
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Here is what I captured at 8:48 pm tonight on KGTV-DT San Diego, CA.
Does anyone get a clear image of this on ABC at some other location such as East coast?

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post #15 of 58 Old 09-25-2008, 09:50 PM
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Here's one from an ABC station on the east feed.


Edit: found the exact same frame for a better comparison
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post #16 of 58 Old 09-25-2008, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyoteaz View Post

Here's one from an ABC station on the east feed.

Hey, that's great work! Shows that the problem is, as suspected, only with the West feed.
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post #17 of 58 Old 09-26-2008, 01:21 PM
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My local ABC affiliate, KNXV, wastes ~5Mbs on a crappy, worthless, traffic channel so the PQ is always so bad that I haven't noticed a difference.
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post #18 of 58 Old 09-26-2008, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac The Knife View Post

My local ABC affiliate, KNXV, wastes ~5Mbs on a crappy, worthless, traffic channel so the PQ is always so bad that I haven't noticed a difference.

Well that stinks, but does Phoenix broadcast the Pacific time zone feeds? I thought they recorded/delayed the East feeds?
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post #19 of 58 Old 09-26-2008, 03:28 PM
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Phoenix does get delayed east feeds. The PQ on KNXV isn't too bad during most shows, though the PQ is noticeably degraded on football compared to ESPN. The 13.3Mbit/s KNXV provides is still quite a bit more than the ~10Mbit/s provided by ABC O&Os thanks to their multicasting of 2 SD subchannels.
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post #20 of 58 Old 09-26-2008, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyoteaz View Post

Phoenix does get delayed east feeds.

Thanks. I guess that explains why Mac The Knife hasn't noticed the problem. FYI, it's Friday night, and the West feed is still bad -- World News is mighty blurry. Now the last segment is in 4x3. Hmmm, it'll be interesting to see what happens at 6pm ...

Edit: 6pm -- The debate is blurry too ...
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post #21 of 58 Old 09-26-2008, 06:04 PM
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i dunno if the actual debate looks like this since i changed the channel to NBC

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post #22 of 58 Old 09-26-2008, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaCHooKa Man View Post

i dunno if the actual debate looks like this since i changed the channel to NBC

That's what it looks like. Blech. I went to NBC too.
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post #23 of 58 Old 09-28-2008, 08:17 AM
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In the Sacramento area (KXTV) Sat night college football (Ill vs Penn St) finally looked really good for HD. We'll have to see if this was just a fluke or maybe prime time ABC HD will finally be sharp again.
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post #24 of 58 Old 09-28-2008, 11:24 AM
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The Illinois-Penn State game was coming from the East feed, while Virginia Tech-Nebraska was using the West feed and looked as terrible as primetime. A couple screenshots I took:


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post #25 of 58 Old 09-28-2008, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videojanitor View Post

Hey, that's great work! Shows that the problem is, as suspected, only with the West feed.

How many subchannels do the stations you are comparing run, and how much data do those subchannels siphon from the main HD feed?
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post #26 of 58 Old 09-28-2008, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hphase View Post

How many subchannels do the stations you are comparing run, and how much data do those subchannels siphon from the main HD feed?

One subchannel here, and it occupies less than 2 Mb/s. Definitely not a bit rate issue, as it just started a few weeks ago and is affecting every ABC affiliate in the PT zone. And feeds (such as NIGHTLINE) from other origination points are fine. Also when the station goes to local HD content, it looks great.
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post #27 of 58 Old 09-28-2008, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyoteaz View Post

The Illinois-Penn State game was coming from the East feed, while Virginia Tech-Nebraska was using the West feed and looked as terrible as primetime.

Yep, looks like the same problem. There's a NASCAR race on right now, and it looks bad too ...
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post #28 of 58 Old 09-28-2008, 02:09 PM
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Hopefully they get it fixed. I live in Sacramento and its still bad.
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post #29 of 58 Old 09-28-2008, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videojanitor View Post

One subchannel here, and it occupies less than 2 Mb/s. Definitely not a bit rate issue, as it just started a few weeks ago and is affecting every ABC affiliate in the PT zone. And feeds (such as NIGHTLINE) from other origination points are fine. Also when the station goes to local HD content, it looks great.

How did you determine that Nightline was fed from some place other than where the rest of the network programs originate?
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post #30 of 58 Old 09-28-2008, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hphase View Post

How did you determine that Nightline was fed from some place other than where the rest of the network programs originate?

I took the word of the fellow in this post:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...4#post14729494

Seems to be good information, as Nightline looks fine every night, while prime-time does not.
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