Originally Posted by spike jones
So I'm striving to be optimistic about the presentation on NBC. Will the broadcast from England have any better pq than the one from France maybe because the cameras and production facilities are set up for the BBC HD show? And NBC gets their feed off them right?
The BBC provide mixed court-feeds, some ISOs, as well as pooled interview areas, to other rights holders as host broadcaster.
NBC traditionally contract their on-site production facilities (i.e. the facilities that take in the BBC feed and add NBC specific presentation / replay / graphics etc.) to Visions (now NEP Visions) who have both HD and SD facilities.
BBC Resources haven't traditionally provided NBC with production facilities - I suspect that the BBC would be a bit pressed to do this with their own trucks - as they also have Glastonbury taking place this weekend (a huge multi-stage music festival - with a number of HD stages, and output on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC HD alongside 5 streams on BBC Interactive TV) which runs until the day before Wimbledon on the other side of the country...
The bottom line for NBC and ESPN is the following decision making process :
1. Only two courts are HD, the others are 16:9 SD.
2. Do we run our UK operation entirely in HD and upconvert the 16:9 SD feeds whilst retaining HD quality for Centre Court and Court Number One, and backhaul in HD? (Expensive as HD facilities and links are required even though not all coverage will be HD)
*** Also HD to HD conversion is still not as advanced as SD to SD conversion - and it could be that the SD quality would be reduced as a result of the HD route - especially if the new S&W Alchemist PhC HD converters NBC are buying haven't arrived - they are being bought for Beijing which, like Wimbledon, is 1080/50i. ***
3. Do we run our UK operation entirely in 16:9 SD and upconvert to HD for transmission (ideally directly from 576i and not via 480i) - this gives full widescreen coverage, but no HD, and may mislead people into thinking that this is poor HD? The additional costs would be reworking graphics and titles to 16:9, upconverting to HD and possibly running an HD operation in the US to handle it?
4. Do we run our UK operation entirely in 4:3 as we always have ? (No cost issues)
5. Do we have a hybrid operation - complex and both technically and production-wise difficult to support and sustain effectively - and still costly.
Nothing is simple - especially for commercial broadcasters who have to be ruled by the bottom line... (Commercial TV only exists to make money by selling you stuff, it isn't a public service...)