Does WTTW Chicago do ANY HD? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 04-16-2002, 12:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I was pleased when WTTW went live with their Digital channel but have yet to see a single HD program from them! I have heard from those who have PBS stations doing HD that there are a lot of killer HD programs yet WTTW has done squat as far as I have seen! Do they only do it during the day for an hours or so (if at all) or what. I have never seen anything in primetime except there normal SD programming. Are we stuck with another WGN who has gone live with the Digital channel and does no HD at all?
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post #2 of 14 Old 04-16-2002, 07:14 AM
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The day WTTW went live they broadcasted several hours of HD programing in 1080i. I watched one of the shows that evening "Chicago by L", and the picture was amazing.

From what I've heard they will start to broadcast more HD programming in the evenings only and may multicast during the day.

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post #3 of 14 Old 04-16-2002, 07:51 AM
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WTTW recorded "¡Musica!" a few years ago, and "Chicago by L" last year, and they both aired on April 4. WTTW has created and showed original HD content.

They have been on the air all of 12 days -- more will come with time. PBS has some compelling HD programming, you can see the schedule at this PBS page.
"The Shape of Life" is on tonight at 8pm and "The American Family" airs tomorrow night at 7pm, and next month "The Desert Speaks" will be on Thursday evenings.

WTTW will continue to make HDTV programming, and they will also share programming with other PBS affiliates who are making HD shows, including KCTS in Seattle, KQED in San Francisco, and WGBH in Boston.

I think it's time to be grateful that WTTW is on the air, send them a check, and watch the listings for upcoming HD programming.
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post #4 of 14 Old 04-16-2002, 09:22 AM
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I have noticed that they adhere strictly to the PBS schedule. Re-runs of the same HD program do not get broadcast in HD and programs which are obviously in HD from other stations(because it says so at the beginning of the program) do not get HD status on WTTW. I wish they would broadcast the PBS demo loop all day long instead of their SD stuff. The PBS demo is true HD eye candy.
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post #5 of 14 Old 04-16-2002, 11:39 AM
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I just spoke with Fred Engel, Director of Engineering at WTTW. He says that they have no plans to air the HD demo loop regularly, and that we may see it from time to time, but they plan to just pass through the SD feed most of the time for now.

I then asked about multicasting, and he said that they already have more encoders and that they are considering multicasting, but that it would be a little while before a decision is made. I didn't hassle him on a particular date, but said that it would be nice to have several shows available at once, as they're doing in Milwaukee.

About making more shows in HD like Chicago by L, they definitely plan on doing that. I told him how great it was, and he said that making more HD shows locally is a big priority. In addition, they will be passing through other HD programming from PBS affiliates around the country.

And as for studio news being in HD, he didn't expect that to happen for several years.
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post #6 of 14 Old 04-16-2002, 12:31 PM
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Cool, thanks for the update.

SR
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post #7 of 14 Old 04-16-2002, 02:00 PM
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Don't encourage them to do more multicasting. They may tend to go in that direction. I would prefer more HDTV instead.

I give them credit for at least being on the air with DTV, but it sure was a long time coming. And although they started with a bang, there has not been much since then! Let's hope "Shape of Life" is HD tonight and that more will follow.
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post #8 of 14 Old 04-16-2002, 03:00 PM
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Until more HD material is available, I support multicasting. I think it would be nice to have several SD feeds available, at least while the SD content outweighs the HD content by a huge factor.

Personally I would like to see the demo loop at least once. I'll miss "Shape of Life" tonight but I expect it to look great, and I'm eager to read comments here.
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post #9 of 14 Old 04-16-2002, 07:13 PM
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"The Shape of Life" looks pretty good to me. What do you think, FrankS?
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post #10 of 14 Old 04-16-2002, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
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HOT DAMN!!! Now I can say I watched a PBS HD production! Would love to know when they are scheduled to run this great PBS demo loop that is so incredible!
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post #11 of 14 Old 04-17-2002, 04:23 AM
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Actually, as good as "Shape of Life" was, Chicago by L and the Chicago Symphony premiere on April 4 was even better in terms of HD picture quality. Just my opinion.

But not to be ungrateful, thanks WTTW.
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post #12 of 14 Old 04-17-2002, 12:17 PM
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Went home for lunch just now, and WTTW-DT had a cropped image going. The show was Jay Jay the Flying Plane or something like that. I didn't watch too long.

I'll check later, but it appears that they switched from 4:3 with gray side bars to cropped overnight. I preferred 4:3...

Dan

By the way, the Eastland disaster show at 8 last night was very compelling. I had completely forgotten about NYPD Blue and missed the first half hour because I was mesmerized by the Eastland story.
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post #13 of 14 Old 05-23-2002, 06:47 AM
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Well, WTTW has 168 hours of HD programming available to its new digital channel each week. I also wonder why they choose to broadcast 1 - 3 hours per week of the avaialble programming? The program director seems to want to skip the scheduled HD PBS programs as well? I also wonder why, with the 168 hours of PBS demo and progarmming available, they choose to broadcast the same SD programming 3 times on their analog and digital sub channels? Does it take much to switch 11-1 to PBS HD demo when no scheduled HD programming is avaialble?
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post #14 of 14 Old 05-23-2002, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gmichael
Well, WTTW has 168 hours of HD programming available to its new digital channel each week. I also wonder why they choose to broadcast 1 - 3 hours per week of the avaialble programming?
24 times 7 is 168 -- you are getting that number simply because there are 168 hours in a week. I don't think that "168 hours of HD programming available" is a very accurate or meaningful term.

Yes, they could show the PBS demo loop all the time. I rather wish they would, as I haven't seen it and it's supposed to be beautiful. But they have decided to send out the same signal as the analog station when not showing HD, which is also the decision of every other station in town. (It should be noted that WCPX is multicasting five other feeds in addition to a copy of their analog feed.)

Quote:
The program director seems to want to skip the scheduled HD PBS programs as well?
It was discussed in another topic that WTTW chose to broadcast local programming this Tuesday, and they showed Evolution on Monday. PBS national didn't transmit the HD version of Evolution until Tuesday, after WTTW aired it. That's why we didn't see it in HD.

Quote:
I also wonder why, with the 168 hours of PBS demo and progarmming available, they choose to broadcast the same SD programming 3 times on their analog and digital sub channels? Does it take much to switch 11-1 to PBS HD demo when no scheduled HD programming is avaialble?
I will agree that WTTW could show HD material on the digital channel and something else completely on the analog channel. For example, they could have shown whatever local programming this Tuesday night on channel 11 and Evolution in HD on channel 47. We would have had our choice of what to watch that way. Instead, they have decided to mirror the SD feed on WTTW-DT.

I don't like their decision either. Perhaps we should send out polite letters to the station, asking for them to air different materials on the analog and digital channels? WBBM did that during the Masters golf tournament and the NCAA basketball tournament, and WMAQ did that during the Olympics.
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