Originally Posted by icemannyr
WABC-DT 7.1 looks much sharper tonight and the softness is gone.
It seems at least a meg of bandwidth was taken away from 7.3 the weather sub which is back to looking more like low quality web streamed video feed.
This is from tonight:Free Image Hosting by ImageBam.com
OK; I'll admit that this looks pretty good. Do you know what the average bitrate of 7-1 was last night (or could you check during tonight's Kimmel)?
It would help, at least in the short term, if WABC's settings are sent to the engineering departments of other ABC O&O's. But this probably won't help with fast motion, like basketball or racing. We'll probably see a terrible-looking screencap when the next NASCAR race or NBA game comes on.
Originally Posted by CKNA
Using h.264 you could do 2 HD channels with acceptable quality.
H.264 is part of ATSC spec since summer of last year.
If I had to guess, if/when H.264 becomes prominent, most networks will switch their primary channels to 1080p, which encodes properly in the 15-18 Mbps range via H.264. So I doubt that H.264 will help like you hope.
Originally Posted by sneals2000
The encoders for decent H264 at 8Mbs weren't quite delivering late last year - when I was last able to look at them. You still needed around 11-12Mbs for good quality H264 1080/50i stuff - which would allow 3x12Mbs H264 streams in a 36Mbs DVB-T mux. We're aiming for 4 in the UK - which would be nearer 8-9Mbs per service - but I don't know if the H264 encoders are quite there yet - but they will be I'm sure.
Here in the States, DirecTV (satellite TV) uses Harmonic H.264 encoders for HD national channel distribution. IIRC, they average in the 8-9 Mbps range, and they look pretty good.
I'll add this:
Originally Posted by kucharsk
99% of the public won't care
, or if they do will just grumble about it, and those who do aren't a loud enough voice to matter.
But is someone going to stop watching Desperate Housewives
or Grey's Anatomy
because the PQ sucks? I doubt it.
You never know.
I found something online about HD Radio and how NPR Labs, Kenwood (a radio manufacturer), and iBiquity (the developer of the HD Radio codec) came together to test HD Radio's audio codec. With HD Radio, a station gets 96 kbps to air whatever it wants, including the potential for multiple stations (kind of like how DTV stations get 19.39 Mbps of room to air whatever they want).
Anyway, the radio companies wanted to determine how low a station could take its bitrate and still get good results in audio quality, with the hope to add multiple audio streams on that 96 kbps area. Towards the end of the report (pdf)
, it shows the results from two different panels to this question: Would you listen to a station at the given bitrate for a long period of time? We'll focus on the second panel, because it consisted of members of the general public. They found that there's no risk in reducing the bitrate to 64 kbps. At 48 kbps, 5% of the respondents said that they'd turn the station off compared to 96 kbps.
Why have I mentioned all of this? Let's say that ABC has determined that the bitrate settings of ABC proper, under the current 2 HD + 1 SD arrangement, are the equivalent of taking the ABC HD feed back to the audio equivalent of 48 kbps. As a result, ABC loses 5% of viewership. 5% loss in viewers might not seem like much to most, but that's not chump change in such high-profile markets, at such high viewership levels. It's doubtful at best that they'll make that money back with advertising revenue from Live Well. Also, it's highly unlikely that the Live Well channel will make any less money as an anamorphic SD widescreen (over-the-air) station, compared to an HD station.
But, you might say, HD isn't in even half of homes, so ABC wouldn't lose 5% of viewers. Not quite: Note my experience with FiOS. That's SD cable, and cable remains the dominant player (and for all I know, D* and E* also create SD feeds from HD ones). If Ken H
is correct, and SD will be created via the HD feeds, poor HD quality translates to poor SD quality on cable systems everywhere. So if I'm at Disney, I don't want to mess too much with ABC's picture, whether in HD or SD: ABC's where the money is. Not Live Well, or whatever other channel that Disney could concoct.