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post #9271 of 14496 Old 02-21-2006, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikeykid View Post

550mhz area? lol good luck. lots of people are frustrated on this board, including keenan.

Especially Keenan!!!!

Bobby 

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post #9272 of 14496 Old 02-21-2006, 06:15 PM
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My reply to the report on KGO subtracting 2mbps by adding the weather channel was in the OTA forum. These guys (KGO and KNBC) gotta be kidding me. Saying that you "almost never" need full bandwidth is bogus. You need it when you need it. Not having it when you need it a distraction. A distraction that shouldn't be there. PLEASE KPIX, if you're reading this JUST SAY NO TO MULTICASTING!

I've noticed pixelization during fast pans which happen LOTS in bobsledding, alpine skiing, etc. If the shots wide enough, then you almost never pixelate. But what fun is that. On my 73'' mits, I LOVE the tight shots. That's what HD's all about.

Rant off.
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post #9273 of 14496 Old 02-21-2006, 09:45 PM
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watching george lopez right now to gauge the PQ on ABC... it looks like crap now. not as crisp for sure since that 2mb reduction... anyone else notice?
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post #9274 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 09:11 AM
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Hey KGO-TV: Thanks for doing your part to make my multi-thousand dollar investment in HD, and evangelizing HD to friends & family look really stupid. Look fuzzily really stupid.

All this for a weather channel (which we already have) and a "news" subchannel that - most of the time I'm viewing it - runs thinly veiled "buy real estate!" "news" shows. As it is, with one subchannel, I was getting complaints by people about the macroblocking and loss-of-resolution during high-motion & live-sports content.

HDTV WAS SOLD TO US AMERICAN CITIZENS AS A WAY OF GETTING HIGH-DEFINITION TV, NOT A WAY FOR YOU DINOSAURS TO PUSH MORE CHANNELS OF SCHMUTZ!

What a mess - I think it's time we form a nation-wide HD oriented consumer group to put our collective foot down about multi-casting, copy-protection, and cable shenanigans.
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post #9275 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 09:12 AM
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The cable and HSI are out in Milpitas. Anyone else having this problem. It went out about 11 PM last night after a brief power outage; power can back on in a few minutes, but cable didn't. I didn't get to see Sasha Cohen skate, how did she do?
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post #9276 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exponent View Post

HDTV WAS SOLD TO US AMERICAN CITIZENS AS A WAY OF GETTING HIGH-DEFINITION TV, NOT A WAY FOR YOU DINOSAURS TO PUSH MORE CHANNELS OF SCHMUTZ!

What a mess - I think it's time we form a nation-wide HD oriented consumer group to put our collective foot down about multi-casting, copy-protection, and cable shenanigans.

That might have been the reason you bought your TV and that might have been what the salesman told you, but the only thing the FCC ever required was the broadcasts move to digital to free up the analog spectrum. They never specified it had to be HD. I only mention this because because you mentioned American Citizen. I'm not happy about the reduction in bitrate for KGO either, but this is an issue to take up with KGO.

I think there are many people at the stores who don't realize
digital != HD

digital = SD and/or HD
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post #9277 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 10:27 AM
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I would almost bet the problem with the KGO weather channel addition was not a choice that the local ABC affiliate had anything to do with, it was probably mandated by the parent company. What they hope to do with this useless channel is beyond me. I watched it for a while and it seems to deal with national weather and once in a while it goes to local weather but I did notice it is loaded with commercials and banner ads. So to me it's just another way for them to garner more money from sponsors and not to fill a need for the general public. It serves no useful purpose, if I want to know the weather I'll stick my hand out the window and if it gets wet then it's raining if it remains dry then it's not raining. Besides we already have 3 weather stations ( 4 if you count the one in the guide ) so why do we need another one ???
I really hope that Comcast will not add this piece of tripe to their lineup but I've got a bad feeling that this will fall under the must show clause. So The way to get rid of this channel is to write to or email KGO and let them know your feelings on this waste of bandwidth and that you will not support it or it's sponsors. I seem to remember a Doppler Radar channel that use to be broadcasted by this same network I believe and that's how it got removed from the airways. If you don't tell them that you don't want it then they will assume that everyone is just fine with this addition to their lineup and continue on with it, so let them know. Just something to think about.

Laters,
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post #9278 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikef5 View Post

I really hope that Comcast will not add this piece of tripe to their lineup but I've got a bad feeling that this will fall under the must show clause.

Well, I just noticed the ABC AccuWeather channel showed up on Comcast today. I don't know what channel it is on the cable box or even if it exists yet, but it shows up on a QAM tuner (at 117.8 for me)

Same as Mikef5 said, looks about the same as the KNTV-W channel.

There are different opinions on the "must show" clause, but most interpretations are saying the "must show" only applies to the main channel and not all the subchannels. Potentially it could end up being a point of major dispute between MSOs and networks.
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post #9279 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rshaw View Post

The cable and HSI are out in Milpitas. Anyone else having this problem. It went out about 11 PM last night after a brief power outage; power can back on in a few minutes, but cable didn't. I didn't get to see Sasha Cohen skate, how did she do?

Cable is back on now; Sasha Cohen is number one after the short program.

I wonder why it takes 8 hours to restore service after a power outage?
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post #9280 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rshaw View Post

I wonder why it takes 8 hours to restore service after a power outage?

KGO-Weather is the current scapegoat-du-jour.
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post #9281 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rshaw View Post

Cable is back on now; Sasha Cohen is number one after the short program.

I wonder why it takes 8 hours to restore service after a power outage?

That's strange, I never lost power last night and I live in Milpitas also. I live near Curtner School so we might be on a different grid. I've had power go off at my house and the people two streets down haven't lost it. I guess it's just the luck of the draw.

Laters,
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post #9282 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 12:04 PM
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i never write letters... but i will monitor ABCHD's PQ for the rest of the week and if I still see the same fuzzy watered down pictures, i will voice my displeasure to ABC, KGO or whomever I can find email addresses for.
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post #9283 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 12:08 PM
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I emailed KGO. Here's the reply (from KGO engineering):

"The decision to implement a 3rd DTV channel is a Division requirement.
We use the Harris Flexicoder and have statistical multiplexing enabled
to give the priority to the HD channel. Meaning that if the HD channels
needs 19.4 Mb's it will receive them. "

It's easy to find their email address and thy replied in less than 30minutes.

jeff
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post #9284 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 12:22 PM
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Glad too see posts regarding KPIX and KGO pic quality. Last night we watched Desperate Housewives (KGO) and I was very disappointed in the picture quality. Very soft.
My initial reaction was that the cable box needed to be replaced.

Matt
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post #9285 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfhub View Post

Well, I just noticed the ABC AccuWeather channel showed up on Comcast today. I don't know what channel it is on the cable box or even if it exists yet, but it shows up on a QAM tuner (at 117.8 for me)

Same as Mikef5 said, looks about the same as the KNTV-W channel.

There are different opinions on the "must show" clause, but most interpretations are saying the "must show" only applies to the main channel and not all the subchannels. Potentially it could end up being a point of major dispute between MSOs and networks.

"Must carry" only applies to the analog main channel, so far..if the main channel(such as the HD version) is carried under a retransmission agreement, then anything goes, the station can negotiate the carriage of all it's sub-channels. I believe within the next 2-3yrs stations will have to chose one or the other and it could impact whether the sub-channels are carried. Currently Congress and the FCC have resisted efforts by the broadcasters to mandate "must carry" for all digital channels, (main and sub).

For example, as a condition of carrying KGO's HD feed, Comcast may have had to agree to carry all the digital sub-channels as well. If Comcast decided only to carry the "must carry" analog feed, then all digital main and sub-channels be damned. I'll bet the only reason we haven't seen any sub-channels from KTVU or KPIX is simply because they don't have any yet, as long as the negotiation for KTVU-HD took, you can bet sub-channel carriage was one of the points being negotiated. KTVU is sitting on almost 4Mbps of bandwidth right now during primetime they could utilize for subchannels due to the FOX network 15Mbps slicer feed system.
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post #9286 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 12:30 PM
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See my post above. The sub-channel carry was dictated by "Division".

jeff
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post #9287 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greeno View Post

I emailed KGO. Here's the reply (from KGO engineering):

"The decision to implement a 3rd DTV channel is a Division requirement.
We use the Harris Flexicoder and have statistical multiplexing enabled
to give the priority to the HD channel. Meaning that if the HD channels
needs 19.4 Mb's it will receive them. "

It's easy to find their email address and thy replied in less than 30minutes.

jeff

This needs a little clearer explanation for if the HD channel needs 19.4Mbs, which it will quite often, do the other sub-channels just quit sending a signal...? Why not just turn the damn things off during primetime..?

There's an excellent post in the local Yahoo bay area forum by, who I believe uses the name dr1394 here at AVS, that shows that these channels really need far more bitrate than is being given to them. Maybe he could weigh in with a possible explanation of what KGO is trying to say in that email.
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post #9288 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greeno View Post

See my post above. The sub-channel carry was dictated by "Division".

jeff

Yes, but ABC/Disney can't force a sub-channel on a cable company without it being negotiated in a contract, most likely a retrans agreement which probably includes the HD channel and all/any sub-channels. IOW, cable wants the HD, well then, you will have to carry all of our sub-channels as well. When the analog OTA shutoff comes this is going to change as the main channel that would fall under "must carry" will be in most cases be the HD channel. I believe the stations will have to choose one or the other type a carriage agreement, not both as happens right now. If the station chooses to go the "must carry" method, cable can tell the station to keep the sub-channels and send them where the sun doesn't shine.

Disclaimer: I believe the above to be fairly accurate, but things have and are still being negotiated with the communication bill in Congress.

P.S. I think CBS(KPIX) has said already that they are going to demand cash for their HD channel at contract time, which could mean that CBS will only provide a SD channel for the "must carry" provision.
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post #9289 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 01:40 PM
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Keenan,
WRT to your P.S., does that mean I'll need to set up OTA again, i.e. that comcast will lose KPIX HD programming and I'll have to use OTA from Sutro to get it, if contract talks fail?

Regarding full bandwidth. If people are seeing a difference, then there's a difference and it's not small. I'll check the yahoo forum for details. Thanks for the pointer...

Life used to be so much simpler...

jeff
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post #9290 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greeno View Post

Keenan,
WRT to your P.S., does that mean I'll need to set up OTA again, i.e. that comcast will lose KPIX HD programming and I'll have to use OTA from Sutro to get it, if contract talks fail?

Regarding full bandwidth. If people are seeing a difference, then there's a difference and it's not small. I'll check the yahoo forum for details. Thanks for the pointer...

Life used to be so much simpler...

jeff

Unlikely that Comcast will not have KPIX in HD, but Les Moonves, CEO of Viacom/CBS has already stated that things are going to be different with the next round of contracts and that CBS is going to demand much more than they are getting, if anything now. Currently I don't think much of anything is exchanged between KPIX and Comcast other than some advertising commitments. Keep in mind that if ESPN can get $3-4 per subscriber, having far less coverage than CBS, you have to figure that the major networks are going to go after that money as well.

Below is a copy of the post from Ron, I don't think he'll mind a re-posting here, but if he does, I'll remove it. Some very good information in it. There's another one at the Yahoo forum where he shows what portions of Letterman on KPIX looks like.

************************************************************ ********

As an MPEG-2 encoder designer at LSI Logic, I analyze video
bitstreams all the time. Over the years (I've been in the MPEG
business since 1993), I've created a tool set to quickly assess
quality of MPEG-2 encoding.

I'll describe the process with links to JPEG's on my web-site.
The first graph is a plot of KNTV's video bitrate for about
14 minutes. It was captured with a MyHD card on Sunday
night Olympics.

http://www.w6rz.net/kntvbits.jpg

The graph shows that the HD bitrate is pinned at 16.1 Mbps almost
all the time with a few excursions below 16.1 Mbps during some 4x3
commercials. The SD bitrate is always 1.5 Mbps.

Although technically, the bitstream is VBR (Variable Bit Rate), the HD
encoder is really programmed to use a CBR (Constant Bit Rate) rate control
and not bother stuffing to the CBR rate during sequences that aren't complex
enough to generate 16.1 Mbps.

Because the encoder is using CBR rate control, the bitrate tells us almost
nothing about the encoded quality of the video. Another metric is
needed, and
the most easily extracted information from the video bitstream is the
quantization
level of each macroblock in the frame. By adding up all the quantization
values
and dividing by the number of macroblocks, an average quantization can be
assigned to each frame.

This graph shows the average quantization per frame for the same clip.
Larger
numbers are more poorly coded pictures. The maximum quant level is 56, and
a frame of all quantization 56 macroblocks has an effective resolution of
1920/8 x 1080/8 or 240 x 135. As you can see, the quantization is all over
the place. Things will start to look blocky at around 15, and anything
over 20
is pretty hideous.

http://www.w6rz.net/kntvq.jpg

Now lets zoom in on a sequence where the encoder had trouble. I chose the
region around frame 6800 as an example because the high quantization lasts
for about 25 frames (close to a second), and is easily noticeable while
viewing.

http://www.w6rz.net/kntvq6838.jpg

Since I've decoded the bitstream to generate the quantization information,
I also have a map to the bitstream. Here's the portion of the map around
frame 6838.

http://www.w6rz.net/kntv6838.txt

Then I use an MPEG-2 editor to seek to that point in the bitstream. Here's
what frame 6838 at average quantization 48.55 looks like:

http://www.w6rz.net/bus.jpg

This is a frame after a cross-fade from a close-up of the "Bus" just sitting
in the studio. It's an "MPEG killer", and the encoder produces a pretty
shabby sequence of frames.

So it boils down to what David Lee posted, "Perhaps there is some more
formal definition where there is no more than x seconds where the blocks
are visible per y hours of show?"

Of course there's no formal definition, but with the toolset I've just
described,
one can objectively determine how many blocky frames there are per unit of
time. Upgrading to the Harmonic encoder is a step in the direction of fewer
blocky frames per unit time.

These graphs also show that Richard Swank's original post contains some
serious misinformation.

1) However there is very, very, very little program HD content that
requires anywhere near 19 megabits of bandwidth for pristine 8VSB
broadcast HD quality. Even high motion sporting events such as football
or the Olympics seldom requires more than 16.5 megabits for error free
compression. The highest demand during this years Olympics so far has
been 16.5 megabits and that occurred so quickly it was only noticed by
our equipment's statistics monitoring system.

Unfortunately, you've come to an invalid conclusion. The encoder is
programmed
to 17.1 Mbps, and because you never see it generate a bitrate over 16.5,
you've
concluded that the program material never requires more than 16.5 Mbps.
Sorry, that's completely wrong. In reality, the Flexicoder likes to add
around
1 Mbps of PES (Packet Elementary Stream) overhead to the programmed
bitrate. You don't see peaks over 16.5 because you've actually programmed
the encoder CBR rate at around 16.1 Mbps. From the quantization graph,
it's obvious that there's plenty of program material that will exceed
16.5 Mbps.
In fact, if you programmed the encoder to 70 Mbps (in an offline test),
you'd
see peaks of 69 Mbps.

2) I expect these guys will get it someday so we can send two
simultaneous HD signal for viewing in the 19 megabits and no one will be
able to tell the difference, especially two sitcoms or drama series
programs.

Not with MPEG-2. We're at the end of the quality improvement curve on
MPEG-2.
Only H.264 can do two 1080i HD channels in 19.39 Mbps.

3) Our signal multiplexing system however is very smart and fast. It
automatically uses any of the 17 megabits bandwidth that isn't being
required for the current HD signal compression to provide additional
bandwidth automatically for the sub-channel and does use the full 17
megabits for HD if required.

As you can see from the bitrate graph, the SD encoder is glued at 1.5
Mbps. There's
no "borrowing" of bandwidth from the HD sub-channel. That would be
stat-muxing.
KNTV-DT is not using any stat-muxing. It's two essentially independent
encoders
in CBR mode.

4) ....or even our high priced HD monitoring systems.

Unfortunately, a professional CRT based HD monitor is very forgiving for
viewing compressed video. What you really need to evaluate quality is what
your audience is using. That is, an LCD or Plasma flat panel (on the factory
100% contrast settng) that shows every possible wart and imperfection in
the image.

5) In fact the signal begins to deteriorate the instant it leaves the
antenna.

Sure, the analog modulated 8-VSB signal deteriorates. But if your receiver
has sufficient signal to noise ratio, the error correction will deliver
the exact
same digital bitstream that was transmitted. 8-VSB is heavily error coded.
It uses a 2/3 rate convolutional code and a 188/208 Reed-Soloman block
code. In other words, almost half the bitrate of the channel is error coding
(the actual bitrate of 8-VSB is 32.28 Mbps with 19.39 Mbps leftover for
payload). The 14 minute clip that I made the graphs from has zero bit
errors.
I receive the exact same bitstream, bit for bit, in Milpitas that was
generated
at KNTV-DT on Mt. San Bruno. That's the beauty of digital television.

Ron
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post #9291 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 03:16 PM
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Yep Keenan, I saw that over there (yahoo). I'm not sure how we, as consumers of HDTV, have much of a chance getting the best possible pq, when managers get it wrong. e.g. "the encoder is set to X mbps, and you never need more than X, therefore it's good enough". I would hope that the engineering staff understands this stuff. My interactions with KGO's engineering staff seemed to indicate that they did and that they also seemed to care about pq (and audio quality).

Like I said, things used to be so much simpler ;-)

Best,
jeff
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post #9292 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 04:27 PM
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I'd imagine setting up ATSC MPE2 encoders would be akin to the difference in using the user controls on a display, brightness, contrast, etc, and having the display professionally calibrated, the former may be "good enough" but the latter should be done for ultimate performance. No doubt the engineers at these stations are just beginning to understand how to get the most from the new equipment they are now using. The danger is that once something is "set" there may be a tendency to forget it and not strive to get the most out of it. Hopefully in the future when that is all they are using they will fine-tune the equipment as they have done until now with the NTSC analog stuff.

..and yes, things did use to be much simpler(but it didn't look as gooooood!)
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post #9293 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 05:25 PM
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Hah, that's awesome. Though you don't need to be an MPEG engineer with sophisticated test equipment to notice macroblocking. It's there plain as day - and this on a well calibrated CRT-based set - god help those poor J6P's with LCDs they just bought from Costco set on 100% contrast...

You almost never see artifacts on InHD (they are there, but rare). In contrast to HBO-HD which blocks up like a Lite-Brite on any kind of transition, or strobe-light type SFX... I wonder what bitrate HBO is using? Anyway, at least the Olympics look 100% better than last year... there are still rare artifacts though.
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post #9294 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 06:22 PM
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they should run sky 7 HD 24/7 on that new subchan..... unfortunately i'm in dreamland. why do we only get a few minutes a day with that copter... MORE MORE MORE.
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post #9295 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikeykid View Post

they should run sky 7 HD 24/7 on that new subchan..... unfortunately i'm in dreamland. why do we only get a few minutes a day with that copter... MORE MORE MORE.

What they really should do is move that camera into the studio and start HD broadcasting the news. God, Pete Wilson in Hi-Def

Laters,
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post #9296 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 07:25 PM
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I forwarded ron's link to the KGO engineering staffer that replied to me.

jeff
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post #9297 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 08:01 PM
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I have been following this thread for about 9 months. I have learned that some systems like in S. Rosa have what are called "550mz systems", most of the rest of us have "800mz systems". (I forget the exact numbers.)
I assume these numbers are a measurement of bandwidth - (or lack thereof). Have the "800" systems been maxed out? or is there room to add more HD? If there is no more room to add HD channels, it would seem that satellite would begin to have a potential advantage since they can just put up more birds.
If there is no more room, then I would assume that what we have now is all we are going to get. In that case, I guess I need to consider getting an HD sat. DVR box to replace or augment cable.
I am operating under the assumption the Bay Area is not going to be getting FIOS from SBC. At least I haven't heard anything.

...mike
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post #9298 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snidely View Post

I am operating under the assumption the Bay Area is not going to be getting FIOS from SBC. At least I haven't heard anything.

...mike

i think ATT's lightspeed is coming to san ramon. who knows when it'll hit the rest of the bay area. i think there is space on 800+MHz systems but comcast is trying to avoid full out war with subs if there is such inequalities in HD packages until their cap ex evens things out.
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post #9299 of 14496 Old 02-22-2006, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snidely View Post

Have the "800" systems been maxed out? or is there room to add more HD? If there is no more room to add HD channels, it would seem that satellite would begin to have a potential advantage since they can just put up more birds.
If there is no more room, then I would assume that what we have now is all we are going to get.

My area is 860Mhz. The highest they have used so far is 765Mhz. Each channel is 6Mhz and handles 38.4Mbps (2 ATSC HD channels or 10 ADS SD channels) Don't know if all that bandwidth between 765 and 860 is usable, but it seems to me they have plenty bandwidth available.

If all that space is usable, they have room for at least 30 HD channels.
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post #9300 of 14496 Old 02-23-2006, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by greeno View Post

I forwarded ron's link to the KGO engineering staffer that replied to me.

jeff

The reply to my reply from KGO engineering is it's a divisional requirement and is not going away. Get used to upto the minute weather...

jeff
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