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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Marina Del Rey, CA, USA
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The acid test will come Aug. 08-24 2008, to see how NBC puts on the Beijing 2008 Olympics.
The technical aspects of the coverage from Athens was well-documented by viewers posting in this forum as quite flawed, both for audio (a first for supposed DD5.1 from NBC) and video. Many explanations and excuses were expounded (50/60 and PAL/NTSC conversions from the native country's cameras, too low a bitrate than was really required, too high a compression during US distribution, etc.).
The net result to the viewer was simply one of badly pixelated motion sequences (especially on running, jumping, swimming and diving) and audio levels that were way way way too low (except when you got one of the zillions of commercials inserted here in the US which, by comparison to the Athens audio, were way way way too high).
I find NBC's prime time shows to have improved in picture quality over the past few years, e.g. "Las Vegas" which early on couldn't even handle a "flying camera" through the casino without making the whole screen go all blocky. Things have changed markedly here, and "low-motion" sequences (and other similar shows) now look gorgeous.
Low-motion sports (e.g. The Masters) look gorgeous in 1080i, even from NBC.
I still find NBC's audio to be much too low (at least here in LA, on TWC), and CBS's to be MUCH higher (i.e. local highest!) by comparison.
I find CBS's sports coverage (e.g. US Open Tennis) to be gorgeous in 1080i. And I prefer their high audio level, through truth be told I prefer ABC's which is between NBC's and CBS's.