ABC transitioning to 16:9 letterbox SD? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 09-08-2012, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Noticed that our ABC affiliate here in San Diego, KGTV, is presenting ESPN on ABC sports programming in 16:9 letterbox SD. Don't know if other ABC affiliates are doing this and I do not know if this just for sports programming or all ABC network programming. The top screenshot is in SD, the bottom is in HD. Those screen shots are taken from Cox Cable and Time Warner Cable has it framed the same way on my tv.

I can confirm that on DirecTV in Los Angeles, that while KABC's SD feed, while not letterboxed, it is "squished" in where if one uses thecstretch setting on their tv remote, the picture would fill in perfectly on a 16:9 framed tv.

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post #2 of 21 Old 09-08-2012, 11:19 PM
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There is something wrong at your affiliate. ABC doesn't even have any way to send SD anymore. They are a full 100% HD plant. The satellite transponder configuration is only HD. No SD at all.

I've been waiting for the news at my local affiliate, as I do not follow this stuff, so I check in every now and then and the picture is HD.

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post #3 of 21 Old 09-09-2012, 12:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Honestly I don't think anything is wrong with out affiliate. Local tv stations still send some sort of digital standard definition feed for the cable companies.

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post #4 of 21 Old 09-09-2012, 01:17 AM
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Then I misunderstood your original posting. I think you are saying that the first image was from tuning into a SD channel and the second by tuning into the HD channel. That is not what I got from your posting originally.

Some networks are now using AFD and some cable locations have the equipment o understand AFD. AFD is a flag that lets video gear know if the video is SD upconvert or true 16:9. If SD upconvert, the cable SD channel's gear will center cut the HD. If the video is true 16:9, the video gear will letterbox the video.

IIRC, CBS does not use AFD and not all cable head ends are equipped to use it, so in those cases the HD video is always center-cut.

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post #5 of 21 Old 09-09-2012, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Didn't I say the first screenshot was in SD &the second was in HD?

And the FOUL!
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post #6 of 21 Old 09-09-2012, 08:12 AM
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Whatever is going on, the answer to the original question is no - ABC is not transitioning to a 16x9 letterbox HD.

If you're seeing that, it's either a mistake from your affiliate or your cable provider. ABC is set up to centercut for SD.
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post #7 of 21 Old 09-09-2012, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Wellman View Post

Didn't I say the first screenshot was in SD &the second was in HD?

Not specific enough. To many people, a SD upconvert on a HD channel is considered SD. That is what I thought you were seeing.

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post #8 of 21 Old 09-09-2012, 10:47 AM
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Scripps has transitioned all of their stations to a letterboxed SD presentation. KGTV is one of their stations.
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post #9 of 21 Old 09-09-2012, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy W View Post

Scripps has transitioned all of their stations to a letterboxed SD presentation. KGTV is one of their stations.
While the affiliates have that ability, ABC is not not changing anything to warrant it. If Scripps is doing it, it's likely for ease in workflow across multiple network sources for the various stations. One procedure makes for fewer mistakes instead of "this station does this, and that station does that" and having all the operators keep it straight.
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post #10 of 21 Old 09-09-2012, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

While the affiliates have that ability, ABC is not not changing anything to warrant it. If Scripps is doing it, it's likely for ease in workflow across multiple network sources for the various stations. One procedure makes for fewer mistakes instead of "this station does this, and that station does that" and having all the operators keep it straight.
I believe Scripps is also going to full 16:9 newscasts on their stations as well. Unfortunately, as you said, ABC isn't doing anything.
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post #11 of 21 Old 09-09-2012, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrvideo View Post

Not specific enough. To many people, a SD upconvert on a HD channel is considered SD. That is what I thought you were seeing.
To clarify, the top shot was taken from Cox Cable ch 10, KGTV-SD, then second shot was taken ch.1010, KGTV-HD

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post #12 of 21 Old 09-09-2012, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy W View Post

I believe Scripps is also going to full 16:9 newscasts on their stations as well. Unfortunately, as you said, ABC isn't doing anything.
I honestly wish the networks would so we could stop having the bugs and "New Episode of Hard Core World's Deadliest Cake Wrestling Next!" fonts in the middle of the screen. At least ABC usually stops with the logo and maybe a Twitter hash tag, which is far less intrusive than the likes of the CW.

Maybe someday...
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post #13 of 21 Old 09-09-2012, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

I honestly wish the networks would so we could stop having the bugs and "New Episode of Hard Core World's Deadliest Cake Wrestling Next!" fonts in the middle of the screen. At least ABC usually stops with the logo and maybe a Twitter hash tag, which is far less intrusive than the likes of the CW.
Maybe someday...
Fox is the only broadcast network that has fully embraced it. The rest just don't seem to care. You'd think with ESPN being 16:9 for a while now, ABC would at least be making moves in that direction. But that's not the case at all.

Cable networks, on the other hand, are definitely heading in the right direction.
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post #14 of 21 Old 09-09-2012, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy W View Post

Fox is the only broadcast network that has fully embraced it. The rest just don't seem to care. You'd think with ESPN being 16:9 for a while now, ABC would at least be making moves in that direction. But that's not the case at all.
Cable networks, on the other hand, are definitely heading in the right direction.
Well, ESPN can do it a little easier since they have to deal with fewer affiliates (i.e., the cable and satellite companies). Also, since they provided the equipment to them to do the conversion, it meant it was more likely to be done correctly.

ABC has to contend with not only the affiliates (210 of them) and all the cable and satellite companies, but with converter boxes and standalone DVRs getting the conversion right.

Sure, they could do it, but the logistics are far greater.
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post #15 of 21 Old 09-09-2012, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

ABC has to contend with not only the affiliates (210 of them) and all the cable and satellite companies, but with converter boxes and standalone DVRs getting the conversion right.
Sure, they could do it, but the logistics are far greater.
It's definitely a bigger challenge than doing it with a cable network. But I believe it's something that's worth doing. It's time to stop holding progress back just because a minority of people are stuck in the stone age. Let them watch letterbox, and let the people who spent good money on HDTVs take full advantage of them.
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post #16 of 21 Old 09-09-2012, 05:09 PM
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Doesn't seem to be the case at all with OTA but that's a different animal altogether.
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post #17 of 21 Old 09-09-2012, 05:36 PM
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Ya know, in Europe, they've been letterboxing SD for many years.....

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post #18 of 21 Old 09-09-2012, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobby94928 View Post

Ya know, in Europe, they've been letterboxing SD for many years.....
Well they actually had 16:9 analog SD broadcasts, we never did. So they're much more used to that sort of thing.
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post #19 of 21 Old 09-10-2012, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy W View Post

Well they actually had 16:9 analog SD broadcasts, we never did. So they're much more used to that sort of thing.

I just checked the analog channels on Comcast which are going away soon but some like the NBC station is doing letterbox and others doing center cut. That was by the analog input that goes to the set from the cable. From the DVR the same thing except that Comcast puts a little button on the info display saying "Available in HD" on the channels except for some reason the CW channel which of course is also available HD.

Yup when travelling in the 1996 I recall seeing a Sony ad at the Amsterdam airport about people needing to get the new widescreen sets. I had been paying attention to this and had even considered one of the analog Pioneer sets that were on sale in the early 90s around here. By now the public should be used to 16:9 and the number of folks watching on old analog 4:3 sets probably not worth supporting anymore other than by converter boxes.
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post #20 of 21 Old 09-10-2012, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Wellman View Post

Noticed that our ABC affiliate here in San Diego, KGTV, is presenting ESPN on ABC sports programming in 16:9 letterbox SD. Don't know if other ABC affiliates are doing this and I do not know if this just for sports programming or all ABC network programming. The top screenshot is in SD, the bottom is in HD. Those screen shots are taken from Cox Cable and Time Warner Cable has it framed the same way on my tv.
I can confirm that on DirecTV in Los Angeles, that while KABC's SD feed, while not letterboxed, it is "squished" in where if one uses thecstretch setting on their tv remote, the picture would fill in perfectly on a 16:9 framed tv.


The local affiliates have the option of telling cable companies how they want the SD channel presented. Your local station has decided they want the SD channel to be letterboxed. It is not coming from a nationwide network level. As someone else stated earlier in the thread, ABC only sends out a 16:9 MPEG4 HD program stream. Each local affiliate has to downconvert from that if they want to have a SD version.

My local ABC station has chosen to centercut 4:3 for the SD cable channel.
My local FOX station is using AFD to letterbox during primetime only. Other times throughout the day the SD channel is 4:3 centercut.
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post #21 of 21 Old 09-11-2012, 01:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aemeeich View Post

My local FOX station is using AFD to letterbox during primetime only. Other times throughout the day the SD channel is 4:3 centercut.
Fox stations don't have a choice as to how network programming is presented. Outside of network programming, they can do whatever they want.
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