Why does HD football on CBS look better than the other networks? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Is CBS using different cameras? Even the FOX OT and pre-game looks mediocre in HD compared to CBS' football programs. But games are the most glaring difference. NBC's Sunday games and ESPN MNF come close but still aren't as good as the CBS games in teams of PQ. And Fox, oh Fox, the games look very mediocre in HD. I just don't get it.

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post #2 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 11:58 AM
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Fox's pregame is 16:9 SD, so that's why that looks horrible.

But I do agree, Fox's games look pitiful compared to CBS.
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post #3 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 12:05 PM
 
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I see the CBS at 1080i and the FOX at 720p
I agree, the CBS looks much better.
Would this be enough to notice the difference?
Do I have something setup wrong? (brand new tv)
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post #4 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 12:15 PM
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Yes as there are double the amount of pixles in a 1080I frame than a 720P frame but thats not the whole story as 720P done right can come close. Fox seems to be lazy when it comes to HD, they just havent done it right from the get go. Some of they syndication programs look good, but anything beyond that is crap.
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post #5 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JudgeSmails View Post

Is CBS using different cameras? Even the FOX OT and pre-game looks mediocre in HD compared to CBS' football programs. But games are the most glaring difference. NBC's Sunday games and ESPN MNF come close but still aren't as good as the CBS games in teams of PQ. And Fox, oh Fox, the games look very mediocre in HD. I just don't get it.

I know in NY they don't multicast (not sure for rest of country) which means they send the full 19.2 Mbps to the provider.

We can argue 1080i vs 720p until he Cowboys win a big game with Romo.
So, I will leave that alone.
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post #6 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 01:02 PM
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Wrong..they do multicast in NY. They carry My9 on 5-2.
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post #7 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sansri88 View Post

Wrong..they do multicast in NY. They carry My9 on 5-2.

WRONG.. I'm talking about CBS not FOX!
The question was does CBS use different cameras?
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post #8 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by dm145 View Post

WRONG.. I'm talking about CBS not FOX!
The question was does CBS use different cameras?

OOps. Thought you were talking about WNYW...sorry!
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post #9 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 01:28 PM
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it's not as simple as 1080i being superior to 720p.

nbc broadcasts in 1080i and their nfl games are no wheres near
as sharp as cbs.

i'm not sure what cbs is doing, but they provide the best hd pq of any of the networks hands down.

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post #10 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 01:33 PM
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Agreed. And it's not just the CBS football broadcasts that look great - their prime time shows also look significantly better than the other networks. Just check out an episode of Big Bang Theory or How I Met Your Mother - you'll forget you're watching broadcast.
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post #11 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prodwel1 View Post

Agreed. And it's not just the CBS football broadcasts that look great - their prime time shows also look significantly better than the other networks. Just check out an episode of Big Bang Theory or How I Met Your Mother - you'll forget you're watching broadcast.

Well CBS PQ in this scenario would have more to do with the transmission chain than anything else. Also a lot of this has to do with locals, I've been in a few locals where CBS has been terrible and broken to pieces on shows like Victoria's Secret and The Grammys, but I've also seen it look pretty darn good. Remember NFL remotes are almost always VYVX VenueNet Fiber Optics back to the network and then go out down the backhaul in many cases fiber as well that should offer an improvement of performance over satellite uplink and downlink (and re-uplink) which is standard at most other events.
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post #12 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. wally View Post

it's not as simple as 1080i being superior to 720p.

nbc broadcasts in 1080i and their nfl games are no wheres near
as sharp as cbs.

i'm not sure what cbs is doing, but they provide the best hd pq of any of the networks hands down.

CBS and FOX use the same backhauls / high bandwidth fiber.

NBC uses MPEG2/MPEG4 at low bandwidth.

FOX v CBS is due to 720p v 1080.

NBC v CBS is due to the cheap backhaul and low bitrate distribution to affiliates.
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post #13 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 02:46 PM
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720p can look just as good as 1080i, 720 vs 1080 is not the issue. The issue is what Fox and others do with their signal for broadcast.

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post #14 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kipp Jones View Post

The issue is what Fox and others do with their signal for broadcast.

Yep, and that's the thing that most people don't factor into the discussion. Once the signal leaves the truck, it may be pristine, however that is not what is going to the home viewer -- it must first travel through the network operation center, where it will be routed through an untold amount of gear until it eventually makes it way out to the network feed. A lot of things can happen between the "in" and the "out." That's the unknown that we cannot see.
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post #15 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videojanitor View Post

Once the signal leaves the truck, it may be pristine....

Speaking of which, to clarify the 'camera' issue, none of the broadcast networks own the production equipment they use. It's all leased, and you could well find the same truck that CBS uses for one type of event doing a different live event for FOX or ABC.

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post #16 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kipp Jones View Post

720p can look just as good as 1080i, 720 vs 1080 is not the issue. The issue is what Fox and others do with their signal for broadcast.

Again, I can show you Lost (on ABC) and House (on Fox) and their counterparts in 1080 - Lost from Europe and House on USA-HD - and its night and day.

One can point the finger at the Fox Splicer all day (a pretty flimsy excuse) - but that does not explain the difference on ABC Material.

If you feel that 720p with 50% less resolution can look as good as 1080, your Mitsubishi's need calibration.
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post #17 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kipp Jones View Post

720p can look just as good as 1080i, 720 vs 1080 is not the issue. The issue is what Fox and others do with their signal for broadcast.

This answer is fundamentally wrong. All things being equal; each broadcasting at the lowest amount of compression or alterations, 1080 is superior, by 340 lines of resolution. You can dress it up so it looks good but 720 will never look as good as 1080.

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post #18 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 07:07 PM
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And 720p is superior by having twice as many frames per second. Or at least it is with the same fallacious reasoning that says 1080i is better than 720p because 1080 is 360 more than 720. It ignores a few basic factors like only half the lines getting updated every 1/60 of a second in 1080i, while the entire frame updates every 1/60 of a second in 720p.

BeachComber's comparison of Lost and House is worse than meaningless to this discussion. Those shows originate at 24p and undergo either 2:3 pulldown to get 30i frames per second, or a 4% speedup and 2:2 pulldown to 25i frames per second. A good TV will be capable of reversing either of those pulldowns and displaying full 1920x1080 frames. All other things being equal, a 1920x1080p frame simply has the capability to display more than a 1280x720p frame. However, since that simply isn't possible with 60Hz content like sports (i.e. the topic of this thread), it's not a relevant argument and simply adds confusing information to an already unclear topic. A good deinterlacer will make for a good picture, but at best it's going to estimate what should be in those missing lines, and won't come close to 1080 lines of effective resolution.
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post #19 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeachComber View Post

CBS and FOX use the same backhauls / high bandwidth fiber.

NBC uses MPEG2/MPEG4 at low bandwidth.

FOX v CBS is due to 720p v 1080.

NBC v CBS is due to the cheap backhaul and low bitrate distribution to affiliates.

well said
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post #20 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuJac View Post

This answer is fundamentally wrong. All things being equal; each broadcasting at the lowest amount of compression or alterations, 1080 is superior, by 340 lines of resolution.

?

You're not taking into account the difference between interlaced and progressive.

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post #21 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyoteaz View Post

BeachComber's comparison of Lost and House is worse than meaningless to this discussion. Those shows originate at 24p and undergo either 2:3 pulldown to get 30i frames per second, or a 4% speedup and 2:2 pulldown to 25i frames per second.

I agree and moreover both Lost and House are shot at 24 frames per second on film, then transferred to D5 where they are aired at 720p over 23.98/59.94 progressive not 30i. FOX and ABC are 720p broadcasters. Also episodic material being originated in a 'progressive' format (i.e. film) should be better presented regardless of resolution on a progressive format (i.e. 720 or 1080p). Interlacing would most certainly introduce problems even if the resolution is higher.

Also it is very difficult to make a qualitative picture quality judgment based on material shot on film. Film grain is does not have 'resolution' so to speak, as grain is three-dimensional and does not exist neatly on a raster, not to mention the type of film, and filtering used, of which there is always will play significant roles. Also its rare that razor sharpness is a desired aesthetic in almost anything other than live sports. Both Lost and House are very grainy shows (I recently watched a D5 master its very evident), but I think House is moreso.
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post #22 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 09:33 PM
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The 720p verses 1080i argument is one in which I don't wish to engage. I want to stay away from that argument and focus on what many others have noticed which is CBS' superior picture quality when compared to their competitors. I agree that all the CBS material I watch whether it is sports or primetime looks great. Watching other networks leaves me longing for the PQ delivered by CBS.

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post #23 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 11:02 PM
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It is not just CBS vs Fox. Two summers ago I had the chance to compare in real time the exact same baseball game on ESPNHD and one on INHD. The INHD broadcast used a different crew, different camera angles and different productions.

The difference was startling. 1080i INHD was crisp and clear...the ESPNHD broadcast had that 720P haze. If you were only watching ESPNHD you would think it looks fine, but switching to the 1080i version was an entire different story.

Look at The Masters in 1080i. Look at hockey in 1080i. They all look terrific.

The myth that 720P is better for sports is absurd to the point of it becoming an urban legend that newbies like to spout.

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post #24 of 91 Old 12-29-2008, 11:35 PM
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While I agree with the notion that 720p is "better" for sports is a myth, I wouldn't agree that it's deficient when compared to 1080i. At their best, they should be indistinguishable. Both are "true" HD. CBS's quality is superior because they have invested in sound infrastructure while most everyone else has cut corners or sacrificed quality for efficiency. Period. Unsurprisingly, CBS is also the only network that hasn't pushed subchannels on its O&O affiliates.

For the record, Fox can put on one hell of a show when they're only sending one game over the splicer. Unfortunately that's usually not the case. The only thing I can't figure is why MNF on ESPN looks so unimpressive compared to CBS. (Since I'm on FiOS, compression isn't to blame.) But it probably just goes back to cutting corners with the technology. Just look at the whole SRS vs. 5.1 fiasco.
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post #25 of 91 Old 12-30-2008, 04:20 AM
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Here, CBS's and other 1080i almost always exceeds 720p's PQ and resolution. On occasions when they're similar, IMO it's because 1080i's doubled format resolution is being crippled, effective-resolution-wise , as outlined in '06. Also, 720's 60p doesn't appear notably advantageous over 1080's 60i for sports.
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post #26 of 91 Old 12-30-2008, 04:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason View Post

Here, CBS's and other 1080i almost always exceeds 720p's PQ and resolution. On occasions when they're similar, IMO it's because 1080i's doubled format resolution is being crippled, effective-resolution-wise , as outlined in '06. Also, 720's 60p doesn't appear notably advantageous over 1080's 60i for sports.

That's a point that some people do not get or refuse to get.

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post #27 of 91 Old 12-30-2008, 05:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyoteaz View Post

BeachComber's comparison of Lost and House is worse than meaningless to this discussion. Those shows originate at 24p and undergo either 2:3 pulldown to get 30i frames per second, or a 4% speedup and 2:2 pulldown to 25i frames per second. A good TV will be capable of reversing either of those pulldowns and displaying full 1920x1080 frames. All other things being equal, a 1920x1080p frame simply has the capability to display more than a 1280x720p frame. However, since that simply isn't possible with 60Hz content like sports (i.e. the topic of this thread), it's not a relevant argument and simply adds confusing information to an already unclear topic. A good deinterlacer will make for a good picture, but at best it's going to estimate what should be in those missing lines, and won't come close to 1080 lines of effective resolution.

Your comment is meaningless because 24p has nothing to do with 720p or 1080i. BOTH 720p and 1080i are converted from 24 frames per second to get up to 30 (or 60) frames per second, thus both go through a similar transformation prior to airing.
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post #28 of 91 Old 12-30-2008, 06:57 AM
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Not to sound naive, but I also wonder if there's some 'Institutional Pride" going on at CBS as well? That's not to say folks at the other networks don't care about thier product, but maybe CBS cares a little more about getting it right.
(more of a question than a comment)
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post #29 of 91 Old 12-30-2008, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kib View Post

Not to sound naive, but I also wonder if there's some 'Institutional Pride" going on at CBS as well? That's not to say folks at the other networks don't care about thier product, but maybe CBS cares a little more about getting it right.
(more of a question than a comment)

I dont know about this. I've found a pretty high commitment to getting it right at all four major networks. There is a very high level of quality control that is undertaken. But there are other issues like budgets and allocation of resources that can affect the overall quality of the product. For example CBS made a big infrastructure commitment in building HD integration rooms for the Final Four and NFL which makes the capable of sending out multiple HD streams to different regions. For ABC and NBC this type of build out would be probably a backburner project as there isn't nearly as much a need given their on-air lineup. There are a million small decisions that get made along the way, the sum of which can make major determinations over what you see at home and how you get it home. ABC is native 6-channel DD 5.1 because that was all that was available at the time. They're 720p because based on research and technology available in the late 90s they though it would be more advantagous. FOX uses the splicer system, as they were late entries into the HD game. CBS uses Dolby E. NBC has exclusive equipment contracts with Sony and on and on. Small decisions can add up over time, but generally speaking most networks take a large degree of pride in their product (the viewing public would really put them to the fire if they didn't) even if there is a large degree of variation in how that product gets finally perceived at home. In TV quality is money. You have to spend money to get high quality, but if you're not high quality enough you won't be viewed as legitimate in some circles and your bottom line will suffer.
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post #30 of 91 Old 12-30-2008, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JudgeSmails View Post

Is CBS using different cameras? Even the FOX OT and pre-game looks mediocre in HD compared to CBS' football programs. But games are the most glaring difference. NBC's Sunday games and ESPN MNF come close but still aren't as good as the CBS games in teams of PQ. And Fox, oh Fox, the games look very mediocre in HD. I just don't get it.

Others have said there is more to the end user experience in PQ than just how it is shot or what the resolution is.

For me, CBS football games via San Diego KFMB-HD (where HD means "horribly defective" PQ) SUCK!!!!!!!!!

Horrible breakup and macroblocking on motion shots.

I'd rather watch Fox or ABC - MUCH better viewing experience.

From what others have explained, the culprits are the local affiliates that *#$& the PQ up.

Lucky for you that CBS has good PQ - I'm jealous.

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