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post #10291 of 11167 Old 02-13-2012, 09:00 PM
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Family Guy and Simpsons were terrible last night and Alcatraz is as well tonight. Definately not full HD, rather 16:9 of like a 480i signal. Last night watched OTA, and tonight over Dish network feed.
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post #10292 of 11167 Old 02-13-2012, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCat View Post

BTW, Cox will soon be sending different commercials to Cox subs than the ones broadcast OTA on local stations (for their own commercials) so that they can target non-subs OTA and on DBS and upsell existing subs more services.

Are the inserts done at Cox facilities or at the station? I've heard of Comcast doing this before, but they provided the equipment to the station and relied on the station to handle the insertion using their own cues rather than trying to rig something up with audio tones or whatever. The result was then fibered over to Comcast.
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post #10293 of 11167 Old 02-13-2012, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valuedguest View Post

With the rising popularity of Sickbeard and other methods people find to cut the cable, you would think the local Fox affiliate would be a little more 'on the ball' in order not to offend their local viewers. Not having Fox shows in HD is a pretty good motivation to cut out the local affiliate and buy the shows from Apple or obtain them by other means.

Anyway.. my two cents: Fox 10 is shooting themselves in the foot with their incompetence here. This is not the first time they've had this issue.

First off, most viewers don't give a crap about HD. Second, a lot of the ones that do, only care about it as a buzzword, and wouldn't know the difference between 16:9 SD and HD unless you specifically pointed it out to them. As long as it fills their screen they're happy, and bonus points if the people don't look all fat from the picture being stretched.

As for competence, you can't really question it if they haven't fixed a problem they didn't know existed. At least give them a chance before calling for their heads.
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post #10294 of 11167 Old 02-13-2012, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdastas View Post

FWTW, I watch House MD and Alcatraz tonight both were NOT HD quality and seemed more like up-converted SD. Anyway to communicate this issue to FOX PHX?

Done and done. Expect a fix by tomorrow. Apparently a problem with the MPEG splicer. Details to follow, that is if anyone actually wants them.

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post #10295 of 11167 Old 02-13-2012, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyoteaz View Post

First off, most viewers don't give a crap about HD. Second, a lot of the ones that do, only care about it as a buzzword, and wouldn't know the difference between 16:9 SD and HD unless you specifically pointed it out to them. As long as it fills their screen they're happy, and bonus points if the people don't look all fat from the picture being stretched.

As for competence, you can't really question it if they haven't fixed a problem they didn't know existed. At least give them a chance before calling for their heads.

I guess everybody could ask for a refund. Oh wait; broadcast TV is FREE, even though each station spends 10's of millions of dollars bringing it to you 24/7/365. For FREE.

Thanks, 'AZ, for sticking up. I, for one, sincerely appreciate that.

When Apple had Siri off line for 3 days last year, was that a question of competence? Hardly. It was equipment failure, and that's what this is. An act of God. Curse Him at your own risk.

As for them not knowing, 4 million potential viewers didn't know either, as there was not one single phone call. Not one in 4 days. That sort of underlines "AZ's point. They found out through this forum. From you.

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post #10296 of 11167 Old 02-13-2012, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyoteaz View Post

Are the inserts done at Cox facilities or at the station? I've heard of Comcast doing this before, but they provided the equipment to the station and relied on the station to handle the insertion using their own cues rather than trying to rig something up with audio tones or whatever. The result was then fibered over to Comcast.

Cable is usually smart enough to defer to the experts, so yes, this is the typical pattern. It is apparently worth it to them, as there is about $100k in infrastructure involved for each station. If something is going to have the potential to interrupt the station's signal, the station generally wants to have control of that under their own roof.

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post #10297 of 11167 Old 02-13-2012, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan_CoxPHX View Post

Fringe last Friday was not in HD, but was full screen 16:9. I will report on Alcatraz tonight. Fox10 News was fine however.

Cox Ahwatukee area.

EDIT: I just checked the TiVo recording and it has a bitrate as 16.77Mbps, I am downloading now to check the file with MediaInfo.

MediaInfo:
Complete name : C:\\kmttg\\Fringe - Welcome to Westfield 412 (02_10_2012).mpg
Format : MPEG-PS
File size : 6.36 GiB
Duration : 1h 0mn
Overall bit rate : 15.2 Mbps

Video
ID : 224 (0xE0)
Format : MPEG Video
Format version : Version 2
Format profile : Main@High
Format settings, BVOP : Yes
Format settings, Matrix : Default
Format settings, GOP : M=3, N=6
Duration : 1h 0mn
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 14.9 Mbps
Nominal bit rate : 38.8 Mbps
Width : 1 280 pixels
Height : 720 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate : 59.940 fps
Standard : Component
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Progressive
Compression mode : Lossy
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.269
Stream size : 6.23 GiB (98%)

Bryan, the reason all of the MediaInfo specs are declaring this HD is because it technically is; these are the identical attributes we would see had there not been a problem. What MediaInfo can't suss out is whether it is true HD (it's not) or upconverted HD (it is). There is no way for it to know, just like there would be no way for it to know if it were just shot out of focus. It's still HD, just not HD of the quality we have come to expect. But thanks, I see asses and elbows only over on 5th and Washington right about now, so a fix is imminent.

What is also interesting is it shows a bit rate for the stream (15.2) as well as a bit rate for the QAM channel (38.88).

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post #10298 of 11167 Old 02-14-2012, 01:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCat View Post

Done and done. Expect a fix by tomorrow. Apparently a problem with the MPEG splicer. Details to follow, that is if anyone actually wants them.

Thanks TomCat, As you saw I'm sure, Alcatraz tonight was also not of a quality I would call HD.

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post #10299 of 11167 Old 02-14-2012, 01:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCat View Post

What is also interesting is it shows a bit rate for the stream (15.2) as well as a bit rate for the QAM channel (38.88).

MP@HL can go up to 80, so I've seen stations use anything from the encoder's VBR peak all the way up to 80. I don't think that header is useful for anything other than confusing people who think it means something .

What I find interesting is the "Format settings, GOP : M=3, N=6" line. Is KSAZ really using a 6 frame max GOP on local? Certainly an uncommon setting for any station I've ever seen. Usually 15 or 30 frames on 720p, with overcompressed stations like those owned by ABC (with the main program in 720p, Livewell in 720p, and a letterboxed downconvert of Livewill in 480i) running 75 or more max, but highly variable.
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post #10300 of 11167 Old 02-14-2012, 08:42 AM
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Does anyone know if and when Cox plans to drop their analog channels?

Whoops, found it, thanks Bryan:

"I have been told by Cox employees that analog will be around for a while.
Evidence to support that would be Cox's rapid deployment of SDV across most of its markets, and the current test deployments of MPEG4, in Arizona and NoVA markets."

Next question: If I drop Cox Cable and keep Cox internet can I still receive Cox analog?
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post #10301 of 11167 Old 02-14-2012, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john_3000 View Post

Next question: If I drop Cox Cable and keep Cox internet can I still receive Cox analog?

Legally, no.

Technically, maybe. If they do not filter on your cable after you cancel then you could still receive the analog channels.

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post #10302 of 11167 Old 02-14-2012, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyoteaz View Post

MP@HL can go up to 80, so I've seen stations use anything from the encoder's VBR peak all the way up to 80. I don't think that header is useful for anything other than confusing people who think it means something .

I was actually referring to something else. 15.2 was the instantaneous bit rate of the program stream from KSAZ, while 38.8 is the bit rate of the QAM channel (which illustrates how cable can put 2 locals into one channel without compressing them further, but not 3). I use MediaInfo all of the time, but to look at files, never streams, so I had not seen that before.

Quote:


What I find interesting is the "Format settings, GOP : M=3, N=6" line. Is KSAZ really using a 6 frame max GOP on local? Certainly an uncommon setting for any station I've ever seen. Usually 15 or 30 frames on 720p, with overcompressed stations like those owned by ABC (with the main program in 720p, Livewell in 720p, and a letterboxed downconvert of Livewill in 480i) running 75 or more max, but highly variable.

Local is coded for M=3, N=15, or more precisely, IBBPBBPBBPBBPBB. That is quite suitable a GOP structure for MPEG-2 delivery, assuming the bit rate is high enough.

What the MediaInfo report was showing was for Alcatraz, which of course is not local (although it did pass through the local infrastructure last night). But the source of that is really FOX, and they discovered a few years ago that if they used a long GOP and a scene change fell just after the I frame, that the difference between consecutive difference frames would propagate for the entire half second, and by the time it got to the end of the GOP it would deteriorate to the point where there was noticeable pixellation.

Placing an I frame at a scene change or placing them closer together successively either prevents this or masks this. So my best guess is that they are throwing an extra I frame in every other half-second so we won't see this. I have noticed a sharp decrease in these instantaneous artifacts over the past couple of years, and I assume this might be why.

It also greatly increases the accuracy of the MPEG splicer, which is never perfect and has to add, drop, and stretch frames to get the splices to line up. Having the I frames closer together reduces that error and prevents mutes and burps at the switch points, which a lot of folks were experiencing a few years ago with the Scientific-Atlanta DVRs.

The price paid for that reliability and PQ improvement is of course a slightly higher bit rate to match the original quality compression level.

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post #10303 of 11167 Old 02-14-2012, 10:26 AM
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They would have to be completely blind or never watch their own primetime HD programming for days on end to miss this. So either they're incompetent for not noticing it, incompetent for not giving viewers some feedback and a timeline on a fix, or.. they won't/can't fix the problem.
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post #10304 of 11167 Old 02-14-2012, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCat View Post

Done and done. Expect a fix by tomorrow. Apparently a problem with the MPEG splicer. Details to follow, that is if anyone actually wants them.

Any chance of a re-air of Fringe after the fix?
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post #10305 of 11167 Old 02-14-2012, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCat View Post

...As for them not knowing, 4 million potential viewers didn't know either, as there was not one single phone call. Not one in 4 days...

FYI, I went to this page:

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/subindex..._us/contact_us

and found this number: 602-257-1234.

There has been no answer in two different calls from me in the last hour.
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post #10306 of 11167 Old 02-14-2012, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valuedguest View Post

They would have to be completely blind or never watch their own primetime HD programming for days on end to miss this. So either they're incompetent for not noticing it, incompetent for not giving viewers some feedback and a timeline on a fix, or.. they won't/can't fix the problem.

I was going to say the same thing. Does nobody at Fox 10 (or the other stations, for that matter) monitor their broadcast?

I just went to the Fox contact page linked in the previous post and reported the issue, but in my experience such things fall on deaf ears. Our CBS station (KPHO) has tons of issues, especially with late night programming like Letterman and Ferguson (I don't know if it's from the network or local), but the quickness of issues getting fixed seems to be random and has nothing to do with whether I've reported them or not. I never get any feedback. So if Fox 10 actually didn't get any complaints for 4 days, that may be more to do with their lack of transparency with these issues and their clearly poor quality control, rather than "nobody noticing".
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post #10307 of 11167 Old 02-14-2012, 02:40 PM
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I do like TomCat & coyotaz's post though: nobody cares about HD and over-the-air TV is free to you 24/7/365 so shut up. In a nutshell, they don't need to QC their own product because their viewers are idiots that don't care about picture quality and, in any case, the advertisers are paying for Fox 10, not the viewers.

In reality, quite a few people .. and especially the more discerning ones with disposable income ..*do* care about HD programming. And the advertisers aren't paying Fox 10 because they like them. They're paying Fox 10 because they deliver viewers with disposable income to spend on the advertisers' products.

Lower QC = Less Viewers = Less cash for Fox 10. 24/7/365.
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post #10308 of 11167 Old 02-14-2012, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by puckhead View Post

Any chance of a re-air of Fringe after the fix?

Absolutely. Hulu.com.

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post #10309 of 11167 Old 02-14-2012, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valuedguest View Post

I do like TomCat & coyotaz's post though: nobody cares about HD and over-the-air TV is free to you 24/7/365 so shut up. In a nutshell, they don't need to QC their own product because their viewers are idiots that don't care about picture quality and, in any case, the advertisers are paying for Fox 10, not the viewers.

In reality, quite a few people .. and especially the more discerning ones with disposable income ..*do* care about HD programming...

I can't disagree with that, but "shut up" was hardly the message. We on this forum are either viewers with a problem searching for answers, or HD enthusiasts, or both, which is kind of probably why you guys noticed the problem first.

But you have to understand the business and how it works, and the double-hit from the internet video proliferation combined with the economic hit that has changed the business over the last few years, to be able to have an intelligent opinion about this. Broadcast TV stations have as much or more reason to downsize as anybody, and they have. The typical station employs about 2/3rds of the people it employed in 2007. And they did that while at the same time bringing you more channels and subchannels, and while replacing their core infrastructure to bring it to you in HD. That, in a word, is challenging. We do more with fewer resources all the time, every day.

I got out of TV for a number of years because it just wasn't cutting edge anymore, although the illusion was that it was very cutting-edge. It wasn't, and I was bored. It was a very mature industry that had been doing things pretty much the same way for 30 years; the last three big developments since 1953 had been color, stereo, and the transition from film to tape. Woo, hoo.

By 1982 that was all complete and virtually nothing changed until the mid 90's when digital started to proliferate, and then another decade passed and HD and the transition to servers and computer-based automation took hold, and its been a wild ride ever since. Well, I am no longer bored; you have to know a whole hell of a lot more these days than you ever did before to survive as an Engineer in Broadcasting.

Stations used to pay attention before automation because you had to have a skilled Operator there live to make the switches between different sources. Today, what passes for a Master Control Operator is a guy in a room maybe 2000 miles away monitoring up to half a dozen stations at once over a SlingBox with 20 seconds of delay, and that person is typically not monitoring air as much as he is editing a playlist on a spreadsheet for the next day's automation to run in the background tomorrow while he preps the next day's playlist. He's no longer invested in what is happening now; his head is into what the automation system needs for tomorrow. Its all he can do to half-pay attention to the dull roar of 100 video monitors over his shoulder at the same time.

And that's not just KSAZ or Phoenix, that's every station.

And here's another problem: If you expect that operator to monitor 100 sources that basically time-share his attention, what is the biggest monitor you can put in the room and how far away is the Operator forced to sit from that monitor and still be able to see all the other monitors?

About the biggest monitor would be 46" or 50", and the larger it is the more room it takes up displacing the other monitors which means you have to be that much farther away from it the larger it is.

Now to fully resolve HD with the human eye, you have to have a viewing angle of about 31.2 degrees, meaning that for a 46" TV, you have to be within 6 feet of it. For a 50" TV, you have to be within 6.5 feet or less. If you are much further away, the limitations of human vision can't resolve HD, which means if that monitor has high-quality 16:9 SD on it, no one, even if they are paying rapt attention, can even tell if it's in HD or not.

So the dirty little secret due to the logistics of monitoring for broadcast by a typical MCO in a typical MC room is that it would be rare indeed if any MCO could be able to determine if their outgoing signal is in HD or not. They are too far away from the monitors to have even a fighting chance to be able to discern that, and their attention is too fractured with other tasks anyway.

This makes the fact that it took 7 hours of network content, all after hours, for anyone at the station to notice, and the fact that none of 4 million potential viewers other than a couple of eagle-eyes right here on this forum ever even figured this out, is really not all that surprising.

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post #10310 of 11167 Old 02-14-2012, 09:04 PM
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"This makes the fact that it took 7 hours of network content, all after hours, for anyone at the station to notice, and the fact that none of 4 million potential viewers other than a couple of eagle-eyes right here on this forum ever even figured this out, is really not all that surprising."

Admittedly I don't know what the 'operators' have to contend with - or why there would only be 1 operator per 100 channels given the 'value' of the product. But certainly (?) there are at least a few people employed at Fox 10 locally... and *somebody* should've noticed that their own prime time content wasn't going out in HD. It's the source of their livelihoods after all.

Working in software development, I can attest to the fact that just because the phone isn't ringing doesn't mean everything's fine. If you take the passive approach to QC .. it will bite you in the end. If half a dozen people bothered to post here.. and others used the contact form on the Fox 10 site (myself included) .. you can bet there are hundreds.. probably thousands.. that noticed the crappy picture and didn't bother to provide feedback.. and of course the viewership of Fox 10 is nowhere near 4 million.. ever.

Bottom line: I don't really see the percentage of complaints, or the lack of spending on QC by Fox 10 as a valid excuse for not catching an ongoing defect in the ONE product they are depending on to pay the bills.

That's kind of like saying.. "okay my product is a little shoddy but.. I don't give it the attention it requires so.. what do you expect? It's not *my* fault."
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post #10311 of 11167 Old 02-14-2012, 09:08 PM
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I for one noticed it in about 10 seconds of watching Simpsons as the resolution couldn't effectively resolve the cartoon lines and created jaggies for a show that never has them. First thing I did was google it and see if the problem had been reported or was being talked about. It doesn't surprise me too much that the average idiot in front of his TV can't tell HD from shinola, but you'ld think someone from the station would actually watch their own network at home and wonder about it. The station should allow people to post to their Facebook wall, then people would probably actually comment/report it. Who picks up a phone any more. Companies should have text in lines for comments and reports, people might actually do it then.

Hopefully it gets resolved quickly if it wasn't already. Thankfully I had no need to watch that station tonight. Local stations could pretty much go away and I'd be fine. Just show national network feeds. I never watch local programming.
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post #10312 of 11167 Old 02-15-2012, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCat View Post

Absolutely. Hulu.com.

Clearly the superior choice to KSAZ Fox 10.

Do you drive away viewers in real life too, or just on the Internet?
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post #10313 of 11167 Old 02-15-2012, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valuedguest View Post

Bottom line: I don't really see the percentage of complaints, or the lack of spending on QC by Fox 10 as a valid excuse for not catching an ongoing defect in the ONE product they are depending on to pay the bills.

That's kind of like saying.. "okay my product is a little shoddy but.. I don't give it the attention it requires so.. what do you expect? It's not *my* fault."

This.

Fox 10 has only ONE product, the channel they broadcast, why does nobody locally care enough about the quality to bother looking closely at it, or at least spot-checking it regularly? Doesn't anybody who works there actually watch their shows? The Simpsons clearly looked awful, I couldn't even watch it. Some of the other shows may have been harder to detect, but when you see shimmering blinds and moire effects galore, and you can barely read the text on the screen, you should know something is going on.

On the bright side, it appears the problem has been fixed, last night Fox 10 primetime looked to be in full HD.
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post #10314 of 11167 Old 02-15-2012, 02:54 PM
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Every commercial TV station has one product, viewers. They are sold to advertisers. Things like master control operators are a cost center that do not add value to their product (in the eyes of the beancounters) and are thus are targets for consolidation and cost cutting. From the perspective of the station's GM, the most important functions of the station are ad sales, ad broadcasting, and tracking of viewers to determine how much they can sell those ads for (i.e., ratings). Putting out a quality product is nice, but only to the point that it doesn't interfere with important things. What a few nerds on the internet think doesn't matter as long as Joe Six Pack is still watching American Idol.
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post #10315 of 11167 Old 02-15-2012, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyoteaz View Post

What a few nerds on the internet think doesn't matter as long as Joe Six Pack is still watching American Idol.

WOW, that is a disturbing attitude if true.

I also compared several episodes of Fringe and Alcatraz between what has been recorded on my TiVo to the feed from Hulu Plus also through the TiVo and the PQ of Hulu Plus was noticeably better than the KSAZ Fox10 recordings.

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post #10316 of 11167 Old 02-15-2012, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by valuedguest View Post

Admittedly I don't know what the 'operators' have to contend with - or why there would only be 1 operator per 100 channels given the 'value' of the product. But certainly (?) there are at least a few people employed at Fox 10 locally... and *somebody* should've noticed that their own prime time content wasn't going out in HD. It's the source of their livelihoods after all.

Working in software development, I can attest to the fact that just because the phone isn't ringing doesn't mean everything's fine. If you take the passive approach to QC .. it will bite you in the end. If half a dozen people bothered to post here.. and others used the contact form on the Fox 10 site (myself included) .. you can bet there are hundreds.. probably thousands.. that noticed the crappy picture and didn't bother to provide feedback.. and of course the viewership of Fox 10 is nowhere near 4 million.. ever.

Bottom line: I don't really see the percentage of complaints, or the lack of spending on QC by Fox 10 as a valid excuse for not catching an ongoing defect in the ONE product they are depending on to pay the bills.

That's kind of like saying.. "okay my product is a little shoddy but.. I don't give it the attention it requires so.. what do you expect? It's not *my* fault."

It's a lot more like saying "okay my product was for part of less than 7 hours not completely acceptable to less than one hundredth of one percent of the viewers, and we only were able to deliver 98% of the quality that they have grown accustomed to, although the other 99.99% of the viewers never even knew there was a problem at all; and thankfully we were conscientious enough to invest real resources in a backup path that kept every single second of content on the air." Of course they know what is expected, ferchrissakes, and of course it is their fault that a piece of technology had the nerve to fail all on its own while their backs were turned, and they accept the blame for that. That's technology, and that's life.

There is not even the hint of some sort of a pattern of being shoddy here, so let's not try to pretend that there is; on the contrary the stations in this market are nothing if not exceptionally professional, by whatever standard you can dream up. It's not really a big deal. It was a glitch, it's over, and no longer breaking news. It happens. Get over it.

Again, this is a simple case of you misunderstanding the situation just enough to not be able to have an informed opinion. Either that or you just love to bash and kick others when they are down. You are of course welcome to your uninformed opinion, but I can inform you of this much: that carries with it the risk of not being taken seriously by those who actually are informed, and even appearing understandingly short-sighted to them. And bashing someone based on holding an uninformed opinion is just simply bad form, and really won't buy you very much at the line at Starbucks.

You may find this grim, but the source of a station's livelihood is not that the product is in HD or not. It is selling air time. Period (and that right there is proof that you are not perfect and can be wrong and can make mistakes, just like everybody else, most of who will not bash you for being that human).

And there are plenty of stations out there that have NEVER put any HD on their air and are still doing just fine, thankyouverymuch, along with about 200 cable/satellite networks, so HD is absolutely not their livelihood, not even a little bit.

It does follow that the better the product the more competitive you are, but even among that tiny fraction that recognized that some part of 7 hours of programming were not in HD but in pristine SD, I will bet you dollars to donuts that very few if any of them tuned out because of it. The station stayed on the air full power, the programs all ran, The network commercials still ran, and the local commercials still ran in HD (when available) during this. And the viewers did not tune out at all, at least according to the ratings. It was a non-event, at least to everyone other than you.

Everybody still got paid, and I am still willing to offer out of my own pocket a complete refund to all viewers who were not totally satisfied; I've got that much on me right now.

I was not giving an excuse, I was explaining why there was a problem. I'm sure it was embarrassing for a few folks I know. Hell, I'm embarrassed and I wasn't even involved or affiliated with them on this. But it was still an act of God, and an equipment failure, and a pretty mild brain fart at the worst.

And I never claimed that any station in this market every reached 4 million viewers, although KSAZ has had on occasion share numbers as high as 87% of all available eyeballs, regularly has prime time ratings that trounce the average FOX ratings nationally, and has been on some nights as high as the 5th most watched station--not in Phoenix, but in the entire country.

Since you have such scary-perfect hindsight, why don't you get in your Wayback machine, go back in time, and call the station last week and warn them that they are going to have an equipment failure at 7 PM after 90% of the staff has gone home? If Alcatraz not being quite as sharp as you expected it to be is the worst problem in your day, you're still having a pretty good day and really don't have much to complain about, unless you are just looking for something to complain about.

But then I guess this is an understandable uninformed opinion for someone who only knows perfection. Working in software development, I'm sure you never made any mistakes, and I'm sure the term "debugging" is completely foreign to you, and I'm sure every thing you produced was always perfect the first time. Where there is technology, stuff happens. And when stuff happens, there is always someone who wants to moan about it endlessly. Congratulations; you're that guy. Now deal with it and move on.

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post #10317 of 11167 Old 02-15-2012, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by puckhead View Post

Clearly the superior choice to KSAZ Fox 10.

Do you drive away viewers in real life too, or just on the Internet?

Blame FOX, not me. I don't own any part of FOX or hulu. I have no dog in that fight. They are the ones with the arrangement. I was just suggesting the alternative to someone who wanted to know what it was, which was a conversation between two people, neither of which was you.

Tell me, "puck", do you insult and drive away people in real life too, or just on the internet?

I'm sure FOX will shed a tear without you. Buh-bye; watch out for that doorknob.

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post #10318 of 11167 Old 02-15-2012, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by coyoteaz View Post

Every commercial TV station has one product, viewers. They are sold to advertisers. Things like master control operators are a cost center that do not add value to their product (in the eyes of the beancounters) and are thus are targets for consolidation and cost cutting. From the perspective of the station's GM, the most important functions of the station are ad sales, ad broadcasting, and tracking of viewers to determine how much they can sell those ads for (i.e., ratings). Putting out a quality product is nice, but only to the point that it doesn't interfere with important things. What a few nerds on the internet think doesn't matter as long as Joe Six Pack is still watching American Idol.

Sums it uo nicely. Make no mistake, I am no cheerleader for the stations or the choices they have made, but I understand why they make those choices. I don't like problems that are essentially due to a choice some beancounter made that interferes with my enjoyment of a program any more than anyone on this forum. But then I am not a fan of the starving in Darfur or the mutilation of young women in African tribal regions either. Priorities, people.

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post #10319 of 11167 Old 02-15-2012, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Bryan_CoxPHX View Post

WOW, that is a disturbing attitude if true.

I also compared several episodes of Fringe and Alcatraz between what has been recorded on my TiVo to the feed from Hulu Plus also through the TiVo and the PQ of Hulu Plus was noticeably better than the KSAZ Fox10 recordings.

I realize that came out as picking on TV stations, but that attitude isn't unique to them and they weren't the first to do it. Pick any industry that caters to the consumer culture. Small electronics: ever bought a coffeemaker, toaster, or waffle iron and had it crap out just outside the warranty period? Same idea. Fast food: all the burger joints going "upscale" but serving the same basic low quality crap they always have but in shiny new packaging. People are always going to complain about something, the decision has to be made as to the threshold where that complaining matters, and that usually falls along the lines of what it costs to change vs. what it will bring back in revenue. Fixing an obvious technical fault that maybe took a couple hours of engineering time to trace out, above the threshold. Paying a staff of people to constantly monitor the broadcast on the off chance that .01% of their yearly broadcasting might be in degraded quality? Yeah right. I really dislike some of the decisions made by Fox over the years, in particular not shelling out for full HD gear for KUTP until after MNT launched, and that fugly splicer bug on KSAZ, but this entire situation was handled as well as can be expected.
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post #10320 of 11167 Old 02-15-2012, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Bryan_CoxPHX View Post

WOW, that is a disturbing attitude if true.

Both. Disturbing, and true.
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I also compared several episodes of Fringe and Alcatraz between what has been recorded on my TiVo to the feed from Hulu Plus also through the TiVo and the PQ of Hulu Plus was noticeably better than the KSAZ Fox10 recordings.

Only possible if you are either doing it wrong, or doing it with defective equipment.

The best PQ available to consumers is Blu-Ray, followed very closely by broadcast TV, followed very closely by cable and DBS. Bringing up the rear is the internet. And there is a simple fact that supports this; higher compression levels result in lower PQ. That is an unbreakable rule. An almost linear inverse equation. The items on this list would be ranked in the same order by bit rate and by the number of stages of compression, except for hulu. It has but one stage of compression, but has the lowest bit rate and file size of any of these available choices, which greatly outweighs that one potential small advantage. If you look at the bit rate or file size of hulu programs it is but a tiny fraction of what broadcast TV bit rates and file sizes are. If it had an equivalent bit rate (or actually a bit rate higher than it has) it would be impractical to download on available broadband internet, unless you live in Korea.

And of course HD as it arrives at the TV station blows them all completely out of the water, and for the same reason; it's delivered at 100 mbps or even more. The signal you get at home from broadcast contains less than 1% of the original data. hulu carves out even more than half of what is left of that.

Of course you can disagree with an opinion, but these are hard facts based in the laws of physics, and not opinion. You can be unhappy with the facts, but there is actually no opportunity to disagree with them.

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