2004 Daytona 500 in HDTV on NBC Topic! - Page 10 - AVS Forum
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post #271 of 298 Old 02-16-2004, 07:26 PM
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I think the problem was our expectations. We heard here that this event would be broadcast in HD and I'm sure many people were hoping it would be on par with some of the great HD broadcasts we have come accustomed to lately. IMO, it was fair at best and miles away from an HD benchmark, yet it was still better than last years FOX 480p broadcast. If there was an initial understanding that this was a mixed SD/HD production this might have been better received.

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post #272 of 298 Old 02-16-2004, 07:33 PM
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Thanks to NBC for providing the coverage. It's greatly appreciated by this poster.
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post #273 of 298 Old 02-16-2004, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rcliff
If there was an initial understanding that this was a mixed SD/HD production this might have been better received.
Did you not see this thread with 13,166 views? I thought that it was patently clear, and well in advance.

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post #274 of 298 Old 02-16-2004, 08:15 PM
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Allan, thank you for your efforts. It's great that people directly working on these projects participate in this forum :)

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post #275 of 298 Old 02-16-2004, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Man E
Did you not see this thread with 13,166 views? I thought that it was patently clear, and well in advance.
Yea, I read it, sounded like top billing to me

“NBC’s high definition broadcast of the Daytona 500 will deliver the biggest event in motorsports and one of the premier events in sports to NBC affiliate stations’ digital television homes using the world’s premier television technology,†said Schanzer. “NASCAR has long been at the forefront of broadcast technology and it is only appropriate that the ‘Great American Race’ - the Daytona 500 - be the first auto race broadcast in High Definition.â€

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post #276 of 298 Old 02-17-2004, 04:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rcliff
Yea, I read it, sounded like top billing to me
A large part of that thread was spent on the speculation about the SD-to-HD camera ratio (starting with post #4). In post #99, the following was reported:
Quote:
NBC is adding a standard-definition camera in the infield grass to this year's Daytona coverage plus an elevated camera around a key turn to capture the cars rocketing down the stretch of roadway as well as a "sea of people. It will really be a terrific view for fans with HD," Wells said.

NBC will place its 18 HD cameras next to its SD units, and in most of the areas where it will shoot only in SD, the network will "upconvert" the signal so that viewers will still receive it in the 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio of HD rather than the 4:3 ratio of SD, Wells said.
True, this was not in the original announcement, but the technical details never are. Post #1 was the trumpeting of the event. Those who were curious about the details dug deeper and got their answer.

Fact is, that was the biggest racing event ever shown in HD. There were moments of brilliance in the video, and others that turned the stomach. While the overall video quality was not as good as the HDNet coverage of the CART weekend last year, it was (at the very least) head-and-shoulders above any race coverage that FOX has done. I now return to my "projector bulb savings" mode until the next high-quality coverage of racing.

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post #277 of 298 Old 02-17-2004, 04:41 AM
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Allan, Thanks.
NBC, Thanks. I think if the viewers of this event realized the high cost of adding hd to the production they'd feel lucky we had it for the first time. Also they'd realize NBC putting in the cost and effort of an hd broadcast of those races for an audience the size of the hd/nascar fan base is quite impressive. As far as mentions of hd go it was talked about by Bestwick/Parsons in the HK300 pre race show. I don't think slamming it in the face of the hd have nots is wise cause the race is there to be enjoyed by all not to cause resolution envy. Every big event that adds hd furthers our cause. A live broadcast event isn't something we pay for like a PPV, dvd or subscriber service like hd net. An outdoor event of that magnitude cannot be rehearsed ...it's not the Oscars. The only way these events will ALL become fully hd is if the advertisers know the audience is there for it and wants it....and the production people push it ahead. Thanks NBC again for starting nascar down the hd high road. If we want live broadcast hd events beyond contrived drivel like awards shows and a bit of nfl we best let them know it's well received or be prepared to ppv.
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post #278 of 298 Old 02-17-2004, 05:44 AM
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I would like to second the thanks to Allan for his work on the broadcast.

It was appreciated in my house.

I've seen things you wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate.
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post #279 of 298 Old 02-17-2004, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dirk1843
I would like to second the thanks to Allan for his work on the broadcast. It was appreciated in my house.
I appreciate the thanks, although it is not necessary. I get as much from this forum as you do. Besides, I didn't work on the race, I work on the "contrived award show drivel" that Paul was referring to...just kidding, Paul...

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post #280 of 298 Old 02-17-2004, 08:23 AM
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LOL... sorry Allan. I'm in the minority about awards shows I know. I'm actually glad that events like the oscars are there for hd crews and equipment to work on even though I'm not a fan. The pressure of a high production value presentation must cause many learning experiences which furthers the technology. The better they get at the live but rehersed stuff the more hd chances will be taken in less controllable enviroments. Then things like hd rf cams will soon follow. It's all good.
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post #281 of 298 Old 02-17-2004, 11:01 AM
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Doesn't GE still make TV's? I'd think that they might wanna step up their HD efforts to sell more TV's. It seems as if the guys upstairs at GE/NBC aren't thinking like the guys over at Disney who welcomed a sponsorship from Phillips and Best Buy and began helping them by promotiong their products.

As for NBC getting slack for this horribly produced event, I don't think they deserve it. ABC, CBS, ESPN-HD and TNT all do a much better job with their HD productions. I wouldn't even dare trying to compare any of the above to HDNet.

What they should do is hire a company that has experience with these type of events to produce their live HD broadcasts. Better trucks, more cameras, better staff.

I'd be a little happier if they were going to continue doing their races in HD, that way it would show that they are "trying" to get better. This 'once a year' stuff is not helping them advance technology in any way shape or form.

The "only 5% of american homes own an HDTV STB/TV" arguement is getting OLD. It's now becoming the fault of the broadcasters for the shortage of consumer HDTV ownership. The ONLY arguement I hear when asking people why they didn't buy an HDTV is that they "think" there is not a lot of programming for it. The other part of the blame is to go to the foolish salespeople at Best Buy [and other retailers] telling them there is no reason to buy an STB because of the lack of programming.
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post #282 of 298 Old 02-17-2004, 12:54 PM
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GE TV's are part of Thomson, they are not affiliated with General Electric Corporation the parent of NBC ,while GE washers,dryers and stoves still are.
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post #283 of 298 Old 02-17-2004, 01:38 PM
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To me, that's inconsequential. They need to make it known that there are more reasons to buy an HDTV than NOT to buy one.
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post #284 of 298 Old 02-17-2004, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
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A number of completely unnecessary comments have been deleted, sorry for the interruption from constructive dialog.

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post #285 of 298 Old 02-17-2004, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by AnthonyB
Doesn't GE still make TV's?
As pointed out, the GE TV brand is owned by Thomson, who also owns the RCA brand. GE is positioned as the entry level product, and I don't think they offer HDTV's at this time.

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post #286 of 298 Old 02-17-2004, 04:17 PM
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Ok heres the news Saturdays Busch Race was HD and 5.1 sound so have a few people over for the big race on Sunday HD but the sound at 2.0 that sucked. HD was ok not as good as ABC,CBS but way better than FOX.Springsteen any time you hear great music do you have to complain?

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post #287 of 298 Old 02-17-2004, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by brucefanru
Ok heres the news Saturdays Busch Race was HD and 5.1 sound so have a few people over for the big race on Sunday HD but the sound at 2.0 that sucked. HD was ok not as good as ABC,CBS but way better than FOX
The news is confused.

Both races were DD 2.0, and sounded as expected for two channel audio & matrix surround. 'sucked' is not an accurate description, by any means.

Fox does not do any HD, yet. Comparing HD to ED is of very little value; we all know HD is better.

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post #288 of 298 Old 02-17-2004, 06:28 PM
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No I was listening to the Busch race in 5.1 sound it sounded great it was not 2.0 like it was in Sunday my receiver did not lie to me like some of you have it hooked up to a surround mode mine was hooked up for Dolby Digital and it will play 5.1 if that is what is playing on the tv or it will play Dolby Pro Logic if not 5.1.

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post #289 of 298 Old 02-17-2004, 06:30 PM
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While I wasn't one of those who said "It sucked" I did leave out any specific instances where I thought it could have been better. Since I still have the race recorded on my Zenith HDR-230 I can now go back and give details on something that happened before the race that bothered me. This may get a little long, but bear with me.

(SD) A shot of the President's back as he speaks to some military folk.
(HD) wide shot of the flag ceremony with LeAnn & the Rev.
(SD) more of the President as he walks through the crowd on pit road.
(HD) a medium crane shot over & around the crowd. A wasted HD camera, IMHO.
(SD) wide crowd shot.
(HD) wide shot of the flag ceremony.
(SD) head & shoulders shot of Rev. Marchman for the prayer.
(HD) guy adjusting helmet. So we have mobile HD on pit road.
(SD) brunette, b-o-u-n-c-i-n-g (Note: the cars aren't even turned on yet) shot of the Bud pit crew w/heads bowed in prayer.
(HD) wide shot of pit road with crews lined up, backs facing us.
(SD) LeAnn sings our National Anthem accompanied by extended & bobbing pit signs, and a shot of the President.
(HD) medium pit road shot with more bobbing pit signs.
(SD) military saluting, LeAnn singing, the President, a driver, more saluting. B-2 flyby.
(HD) B-2 from rear.
(SD) extreme wide crowd shot.
(HD) medium crane shot over & around crowd (see above).
(HD) even more extremely wide crowd shot & pit road.
(SD) "Gentlemen, start your engines". So I guess there's no HD camera available for the President's quote. But wait ...
(HD) Orange glove flipping switch.
(HD) Blue glove flipping switch.

The last two lines above are the start of what soured me on this broadcast. We can't spare a single mobile HD camera for the "Opening Ceremonies", but we can spare two for close-ups of a gloved hand flipping a switch. No HD prayer, National Anthem, or President.

One last thing before I leave you folks alone. A post above stated there were 18 HD cameras. During the first lap I counted 13 separate shots to cover the track. This leaves five HD cameras. Even without doing double duty with those already covering the track, and subtracting the four used for pit stops (three individual cars plus one for pit road), there's still one HD camera left to roam about. Even if that one left over camera was mounted on a crane to swing around over the crowd there still should have been enough to cover the main action in HD. The SD in car cameras don't bother me at all as we knew in advance that they would be SD. Overall the 1080i looked less sharp than other live events I've seen.

I'm a huge proponent of HD. Admittedly not a huge NASCAR fan. But I'm sure there were at least a few people across the country who got their first glimpse of HD during this race. Most, if not all, of us here are already committed to HD. You don't have to sell us on the idea. You may need to appease us every now & then, but we're here to stay. But when one of us invites folks over to see HD on a properly set up system and the picture bobs back & forth between SD & HD continuously the start up costs for HD may seem to be a bit less worth it to those we're trying to convert.
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post #290 of 298 Old 02-17-2004, 06:57 PM
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Why do we keep reading references to Springsteen ...wasn't R-O-C-K in the USA a John Mellancamp song? I'm pretty sure Lee Ann lip synced everything including the anthem. The pre race hoopla, although very patriotic for US viewers (and a hoot to see AF1 do a fly by) was hardly the reason to watch...the race was great.
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post #291 of 298 Old 02-17-2004, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Knative
Since I still have the race recorded..I can now go back and give details on something that happened before the race that bothered me.

(SD) A shot of the President's back as he speaks to some military folk.
...
(HD) guy adjusting helmet. So we have mobile HD on pit road.
...
(SD) "Gentlemen, start your engines". So I guess there's no HD camera available for the President's quote.
But wait ...
(HD) Orange glove flipping switch.
(HD) Blue glove flipping switch.

The last two lines above are the start of what soured me on this broadcast. We can't spare a single mobile HD camera for the "Opening Ceremonies", but we can spare two for close-ups of a gloved hand flipping a switch. No HD prayer, National Anthem, or President.
For some reason, I didn't start my HiPix, so I couldn't go back and look. I didn't notice the earlier shot, but the last shots are (unfortunately) easily explained. It is common practice in racing coverage to pre-tape several cars starting their engines and editing it together to maximize the big moment. I'm actually surprised they didn't have more shots put together. Again, I didn't see the guy w/helmet shot, but would be surprised if it was HD only because we clearly saw no other HD handheld the rest of the day.

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post #292 of 298 Old 02-17-2004, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by brucefanru
....I was listening to the Busch race in 5.1....
No, you were not. Both events were 2.0 from the network.

It is possible your local NBC station used some kind of 5.1 simulation for Saturday, which would account for the 5.1 lamp being lit on your audio receiver.

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post #293 of 298 Old 02-17-2004, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
I'm a huge proponent of HD. Admittedly not a huge NASCAR fan. But I'm sure there were at least a few people across the country who got their first glimpse of HD during this race. Most, if not all, of us here are already committed to HD. You don't have to sell us on the idea. You may need to appease us every now & then, but we're here to stay. But when one of us invites folks over to see HD on a properly set up system and the picture bobs back & forth between SD & HD continuously the start up costs for HD may seem to be a bit less worth it to those we're trying to convert.
Anyone seeing HD for the first time on Sunday was most likely impressed, as they have no frame of reference. HD at its worst is almost always better than SD or ED.

Only the more critical (cynical?) HD diehards like ourselves get hung up on the nuances and nitpick every HD broadcast. And unless you point out the inconsistencies between HD and SD during the broadcast most of your guests would probably be none the wiser.
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post #294 of 298 Old 02-17-2004, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Knative
....I'm a huge proponent of HD. But when one of us invites folks over to see HD on a properly set up system and the picture bobs back & forth between SD & HD continuously the start up costs for HD may seem to be a bit less worth it to those we're trying to convert.
The issue is this: When the director chooses the shots for air, he's not thinking 'SD or HD'. He's thinking 'which is the best shot?' Period. End of story. Obviously, in the examples you gave it would seem other, more HD oriented choices could have been made. Unfortunately, that's not the way it works. For now, we're going to have to live with the type of HD broadcast NBC delivered over the weekend. Not perfect by far, but so much better than SD it's laughable some people react by saying 'it sucks' or some other brilliant negative comment.

Our real purpose should be to let them know we think they can do better, and support the efforts they make. Another way to look at what NBC is doing, is to compare the Daytona broadcasts to the Triple Crown broadcasts from last summer. The improvement across the board was dramatic, and I mean Daytona was really dramatically improved. If NBC keeps improving at this rate, their learning curve will be the shortest of any network doing live HD events.

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post #295 of 298 Old 02-17-2004, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ken H
The issue is this: When the director chooses the shots for air, he's not thinking 'SD or HD'. He's thinking 'which is the best shot?' Period. End of story. Obviously, in the examples you gave it would seem other, more HD oriented choices could have been made.
Then I was misinformed. As was quoted above in this thread, from Post #99 in a previous Daytona 500 thread:
Quote:
NBC will place its 18 HD cameras next to its SD units
Now I don't claim to be a Live HD Event Director. But logically thinking if I had 18 HD cameras, each of which was next to its SD counterpart, I would place those cameras to cover the action on the track. For those spectacular wrecks at close to 200 mph. That get replayed from multiple angles, multiple times. At least that's where the HD camera were according to 'Mike Wells, a 22-year veteran sports director who is handling NASCAR on NBC and TNT'.

Again, I counted 13 camera that covered the entire track during the first lap. Add in three for the split screen for the pits (the overall pit road shot seemed to be from a track camera) and you've still got two left. Waste, IMHO, one on a crane for hovering crowds shots and you still have one left to roam pit road as far as its cable will reach.

Either way, kudos to NBC for having a go at it. Hopefully we'll be able to have a similar discussion in seven months as it is "uncertain how many, if any, races NBC would air in HD when its NASCAR telecasts begin in September."

See you in September.
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post #296 of 298 Old 02-17-2004, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Knative
Then I was misinformed. As was quoted above in this thread.....
I'm about 99.44% sure (pure?) that information is incorrect. What it should have said is that the x number HD cameras will replace the SD ones, where possible. x number of additional SD cameras will also be used, where HD cameras are not possible due to logistics and existing technology.

This is the rational behind doing integrated HD & SD events; to save money by using the exact same hardware. The SD version is simply a center cut, downconverted. Which explains Allan's signature punch line:
Quote:
just say NO to center-cut"

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post #297 of 298 Old 02-17-2004, 09:18 PM
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As we are all aware now, NBC did, in fact, mix SD & HD cameras rather than provide dedicated feeds. For better or worse, that is lrgely the way of the future. The quick comparison is this year's Daytona 500 & Super Bowl to last year's Super Bowl on ABC. Honestly, I was working on the SD version of the halftime (last year's, not this year's!) and didn't see ABC's coverage, but as it was dedicated, I understand it was also limited. When the telecasts are"split" like that, the HD show would become the 2nd class citizen. In fact, I understand our Steadicam guy was the star of the HD Superbowl's halftime (since they were not allowed to have a camera on the field).
I feel that we benefit from the "all-in-one" broadcast because where HD technology is available, it drops right in and replaces its SD counterpart, instead of having to co-exist (and potentially double the cost of that aspect of the production). That means the HD cameras can take over the best angles, HD slo-mo get the best replays and so on.
I agree that it gets annoying to keep switching between HD & SD from shot to shot, and NBC definitely pushed that to new levels, but continuing to integrate HD, rather than segregate it to the "B" show is the best thing to get the deci$ion maker$ to see the blatant difference, as well.

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post #298 of 298 Old 02-17-2004, 09:31 PM
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OK, based on my above explanation, I guess it's time to explain said punch-line:
"just say NO to center-cut"
The struggle we've had with the networks is to let the 16x9 go out to the SD audience, in other words, broadcast the letterbox. It's been our belief that there would be no better reminder that the program is in HD than seeing it widescreen on a 4x3 monitor. The alternative, center-cut forces us to shove the all of the informational graphics (my roots) into the center oof the screen. With the amount of info on some of the award shows, racing, or any sport for that matter, losing the 16x9 real estate is a real waste. Not surprisingly, we have yet to win that fight, although we have managed to split the feed off occasionally on the Grammys & Oscars to keep a full 16x9 feed to the HD audience, when necessary.

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