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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Northern California
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I recently wrote some emails to local FOX station KTXL complaining about their aspect ratio, specifically the 4X3 material being cropped and zoomed to 14X9. It took some griping, but they have agreed to now show 4X3 stuff in 4X3!!! I am so proud of myself.
Here's the emails...
I just wanted to let you know that as of today we will no longer transmit 4:3 programming in 14:9. We will pass the signal through in the native aspect ratio. If we get a 16:9 feed we will pass it through, if the feed was produced in 4:3 we will transmit it in 4:3. Please note that occasionally Fox network sends us programming that they say is in 16:9 but it is in 4:3, the example being NASCAR racing.
Thanks for watching, we do appreciate it.
Originally sent 02/06/02
I want to thank you for broadcasting Digital Television in Sacramento, and for passing the prime time national feed 4X3 and 16X9 programs through in their original
aspect ratio. I am however, concerned about the aspect ratio of the national feed non-prime time and the locally generated programming. They appear to not be 4X3 or 16X9, rather something closer to 14X9. While this seems acceptable for your local programs e.g. news, taped, and syndicated shows, there is definitely a quality problem with the nationally fed non-prime time shows like football, nascar, and Fox News Sunday. Somehow during the "zoom" process on these shows, artifacts are introduced into the picture. I liken the distortion to vertical wrinkles that are most visible on shots of solid or smooth colored objects like a face or a suit jacket, but can also be very distracting during far shots of football fields or a pack of race cars.
All that I am interested in is that you send out the best possible picture for us to
receive and display on our digital televisions. If that means not modifying the aspect ratio of the national non-prime time shows, then I am all for it. I would
much rather see a clear picture in 4X3 or 19X9 than a 14X9 distorted picture.
I did finally get a response to the above original message and was given an explanation that:
"We implemented the 14 X 9 upconversion quite some time ago on a corporate
basis due to a number of complaints of screen burn on projection sets. I am not aware of any local complaints but in Los Angeles and back East there were some problems. Any programming from Fox that is supplied in 16 X 9 we pass through intact and do not alter in any way, the local programming both live and on tape is up converted to 14 X 9 to the DTV transmitter. "
Now I've noticed that "Fox News Sunday" has the "FOX Enhanced Digital WideScreen" LOGO during the opening credits. Yet, you at KXTL have decided once again to crop and zoom the original product from 16X9 to your 14X9. I want to state again that the digital television owners in Sacramento are adamant in seeing the original aspect ratio for all programming. You should also be aware that we have the knowledge and capability to adjust our equipment as we see fit in order to prevent screen burn. We want 4X3 or 16X9, PERIOD.
ps. Thanks for the original aspect ratio pass thru for the Star Wars movies!!!
I'd say that we are pretty lucky to have a cool Chief Engineer. Thanks Jack Davis! I can tell a difference already in the picture quality. I can't wait to see how much better NASCAR and Football will actually look(For FOX of course).
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