Originally Posted by sansri88
Full text of email from Bill Beam.
Thank you for writing. We are closely monitoring the quality of our primary 7-1 channel with the change in 7-2 from 480i to 720p, and are not seeing the type of deterioration that you describe. As you mention below, the challenge is work within the fixed 19Mbps ATSC signal, but the allocations between the channels are dynamic, not fixed, with the demands of the 7-1 signal given priority over the other channels. We will continue to evaluate these signal quality issues so that the impact these additional services have on our primary HD signal will be minimal.
If possible, you should also look at our over-the-air DTV signal. While we have been working closely with the major cable and satellite providers, we have not been able to evaluate yet what impact, if any, this service change may be having on their systems and equipment.
alluded to, it's not shocking that he didn't notice a difference in picture quality. Pixel sizes on smaller HDTV sets are too small to appreciate the advantage of higher bitrates. He'd probably understand what you're talking about if he was watching an OTA feed of an NBA game, on a 52" LCD or 61" DLP set.
I'm wondering: Is Live Well being carried on SD digital cable, or high-def cable only? I'd think that since most the viewers out there still are on SD sets, Disney would put the channel on SD cable to maximise revenue opportunity.
Also, how would cable providers deliver an SD Live Well feed to viewers? For example, with Verizon FiOS TV, I've noticed that to get SD versions of local channels, Verizon takes OTA HD feeds, center-cut them, and re-encode at SD resolution. Comcast and other larger cable providers might do the same thing, although I don't know.
In any case, this Sunday, I was flipping between an ABC NBA game, and a FOX NASCAR race, on FiOS (SD set-top box connected to a 36" SD set). Our local ABC station, WJLA, isn't an ABC O&O, but for whatever reason, has an HD feed that is set to top out at 12.5 Mbps. With the ABC game, it was surprising how heavy the picture got dull and blocky in graphic sweeps. There was always noticeable artifacting whenever a strobe flash went off, or even with milder camera motion. There were times where the artifacting was so heavy, the scorebox at the bottom was unintellible. (Meanwhile, the FOX race, heavy motion and all, always looked fine.)
Anyway, I can't help but think that if FiOS takes the Live Well HD feed like they take the current HD feeds, the SD picture quality of Live Well will be practically unwatchable by any reasonable standards. So to maximize cable SD picture quality for Live Well, ABC will need to either a) give a higher bitrate for the HD OTA feed (which isn't feasible), or b) provide a standard-def feed to the cable companies. The encoding arrangement that I mentioned on the first page of this thread only makes more sense now.