Originally Posted by TVOD
Best distribution system in the business? While it has some advantages I don't think it can be considered the best considering the limitations.
I agree with you. Other problems:
1) Bitrate is too low. For example, tonight's Terminator
averaged only 11 Mbps. Have you carefully looked at the fades? Horrible. I never see that with what ABC provides to the affiliates. ABC affiliates can determine the bitrate that they will broadcast, i.e., if they do not have a seconday stream, they can use all of the available bandwidth. Fox affiliates do not have that option.
2) What Fox provides is bitrate limited in order for the station to "potentially" add a secondary stream. A total waste of what limited bitrate is available with ATSC.
Since I do not have the necessary expensive equipment to receive Fox, I can't run the complete mux of a typical night through TSReader to verify the following statement. I've only done some simple math, so someone like bdfox18doe will have to comment on my thoughts.
With each transponder's mux supporting four SD streams and four HD streams, even at 79 Mbps (or whatever it is in the 70s), there aren't enough bits to go around. If, for example, the four HD streams needed 17 Mbps, that is 68 Mbps. Not much left over for the SD streams and audio and other data. I know that is extreme. I hope you get my point, The mux is jammed packed. IMHO, the quality of the HD video could be better. On the bright side, once SD goes away, the bits that were being used for SD can now be applied to HD. Will anything improve with the video quality? Don't know. Won't know until the SD feed goes away.
As I understand it, the idea of Fox doing the end-to-end is to reduce problems with stations doing a decode-encode with the MPEG-2 video, as well as being able to deliver DD5.1 audio to viewers. From what I've seen, my local affiliate's MPEG-2, after a decode-encode, is better than the Fox delivered MPEG-2.
Don't even get me started with the stupid idea of letting the affiliates design their own bug to place on the screen. Way to many of them are opaque, including the one used at my local affiliate. Horrible. The new Fox HD bug that appears after breaks would be perfect if it stayed on the screen, as it is really translucent. I prefer ZERO screen clutter.
The network-local transition is a cut only.
That is a problem? In many cases, the affiliates do not have the time to do a fade to net. Fade what, black to black? The last thing I want to happen is for the program to be transitioned into. NBC, provides very little time for local breaks. There are plenty of times that the local NBC affiliate doesn't get back to net in time, and there wasn't a real screwup. There is no way they could do a fade transition from local to net and not screw up the network program. As far as I am concerned, cuts are perfect.