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post #631 of 6677 Old 01-03-2005, 03:42 PM
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Originally posted by vurbano
FCC & Industry Updates


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



FCC to rule against multi-channel must-carry
Dec 27, 2004 8:00 AM, Beyond The Headlines

The FCC, forced by a federal appeals court to update the status of digital must-carry policy, said the issue has been decided, and the answer to anxious broadcasters is no to more than the primary digital signal.

The answer is not news FCC chairman Michael Powell has repeated it many times previously but some broadcasters aren't willing to take no for an answer. Lowell Paxson, one of them, brought the matter to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, forcing the agency's response.

The FCC previously determined that digital stations' carriage rights are limited to one primary channel and do not include the additional multicast channels that digital transmission enables stations to offer. Powell has said that he and the majority of commissioners still support that policy. He has questioned the legality of requiring cable operators to transmit all of a broadcaster's signals.

Paxson, whose Paxson Communications is owner of a group of mostly UHF television stations, wants the FCC to require cable companies to carry all of the programming that TV stations can offer via their new digital spectrum.

All that says is they won't be forced. The broadcasters have every right to withhold the primary channel from the cable company. It's business and nothing more. If the cable companies don't want to carry them fine, they also just might not get the primary signal as is the case now.

The broadcaster as a business has every right to operate that business in their best interest. If cable companies don't want to play ball that's also their right.

The FCC never should have allowed cable companies to operate in urban areas where the OTA signal is perfectly adequate. Just because some do not want antennas visible is not a valid reason as the FCC had to come back and mandate they be allowed. They are a monopoly and have no competetion. Cable companies not only harm broadcasters they now are doing great harm to the telephone companies like Verizon who has provided me with excellent and affordable telco service. I think that cable companies need far more regulation and oversight than they are subjected to now.

Harold Jackson
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post #632 of 6677 Old 01-03-2005, 04:06 PM
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Originally posted by hjriver
The FCC never should have allowed cable companies to operate in urban areas where the OTA signal is perfectly adequate.

So we shouldn't have access to any channels other than the networks?? Plus, why do you think the main reason that so many people switched to cable was...they were sick and tired of screwing around with their antennas!
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post #633 of 6677 Old 01-03-2005, 04:38 PM
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Harold,

As usual your blind bias oozes out of your keyboard


First, this clarification has little to no effect on network affiliates, 98% use retransmission consent to get on cable, not Must-Carry. I have mixed opinions on what is happening between WAVY/WVBT, WVEC and Cox. I won't re-hash that now.


You say this:

Quote:


The broadcaster as a business has every right to operate that business in their best interest.

Then this:

Quote:


The FCC never should have allowed cable companies to operate in urban areas where the OTA signal is perfectly adequate.

I believe the cable cos are also a business Sure the cable business started by getting the OTA signals to the valleys up North, but the broadcasters weren't complaining then! Things didn't start changing until CNN brought news and ESPN started buying rights to sporting events. Then the urbanites wanted some.

Quote:


They are a monopoly and have no competetion.

Who do you get your multi-channel service from? So much for that point.

Quote:


Cable companies not only harm broadcasters they now are doing great harm to the telephone companies like Verizon who has provided me with excellent and affordable telco service.

How are they harming the broadcasters? By COMPETING with them? How are they harming Verizon? By COMPETING with them? I would also bet the Feds payed to wire most of Matthews county for telephone service, not so for cable.

Quote:


I think that cable companies need far more regulation and oversight than they are subjected to now.

Sure, the clowns in Washington know what is best for us, let them decide.

Brian

All,

I don't have Cox or anybody else's cable service nor am I affiliated whatsoever. I just like to think for myself
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post #634 of 6677 Old 01-03-2005, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally posted by hjriver
...I think that cable companies need far more regulation and oversight than they are subjected to now.

Harold,

Your analysis of the TV/DT vs cable Must Carry issue is correct. However, all is not well for the cable companies. Following is an article that appeared in TV week in mid-December:

Quote:


Firing the opening salvo in what is expected to escalate into a full-blown regulatory war next year, Robert Sachs, president and CEO of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, last week urged cable operators to fight the efforts of major phone companies to sidestep the local franchising obligations that apply to cable and get into the TV business.

"Cable operators must be vigilant about plans by phone companies to circumvent the local franchising process to gain unfair competitive advantage," Mr. Sachs said in a speech to the Washington Metropolitan Cable Club. The primary target on Mr. Sachs' radar screen is SBC Communications. The mammoth Regional Bell Operating Co. recently announced that it is investing up to $6 billion to install a new fiber-optic network that will clear the way for the company to offer a bundled package of high-speed Internet access services, telephone services and cable TV programming to up to 18 million households within the next three years.

At the same time, Verizon, another huge regional Bell company that offers phone service in 29 states and the District of Columbia, recently announced plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to bring a cable-TV-compatible fiber network to 3 million homes in its service areas by the end of next year.

Earlier this month, BellSouth, another phone industry giant, announced its own plans to invest $2 billion within the next three years to bring fiber-optic networks within striking distance of 80 percent of the 13.8 million homes in its service territories. The company is already within striking distance for 46 percent of its homes.

"The cable and satellite industries need to take these announcements seriously," Mr. Sachs said.

According to Mr. Sachs, the cable TV industry should be particularly concerned that SBC is arguing that it is free to offer cable TV services without a cable TV franchise. With no cable franchise, SBC would be free to "cherry-pick" and target only the most affluent customers in its service areas, Mr. Sachs said.

"Serving only high- and middle-income neighborhoods in a community is both discriminatory and anti-competitive," he added.

But Mike Balmoris, an SBC spokesman, said the phone company plans to offer its TV service as an integrated Internet protocol-based service package of voice, video and data. IPTV, according to Mr. Balmoris, should be sheltered from regulation, as are the IP telephone services offered by cable systems-even though the IPTV service is said to be largely indistinguishable from traditional cable service to the consumer.

"When the cable folks argued that their IP phone services should be sheltered from traditional phone rules, we agreed," Mr. Balmoris said. "It's not surprising that the NCTA, whose members must face this potent competition, would argue that the new entrants must be saddled with legacy franchise regulations."

Despite Mr. Sachs' call to arms, the phone industry appeared to have at least one major ally in the cable industry. Brian Roberts, chairman of Comcast, recently said he believes all Internet protocol-based services should be subject to "an absolutely bare minimum of regulation."

"Any unexplainable disparity in regulatory requirements is better resolved by eliminating the regulation in question for everyone," Mr. Roberts said in a speech to the U.S. Telecom Association. "I ask you to join me in helping to unleash the power of competition ... to use our energies not to pit government against each other, but toward building a rational, deregulatory telecommunications policy that benefits all of us."

On the other hand, Verizon has announced it is seeking franchises for the more traditional form of cable TV service that it expects to start offering over its fiber networks next year.

"Given the service we want to provide out of the gate, we need to get franchise agreements," said Sharon Cohen-Hagar, a Verizon spokesperson.

Still, the dispute over the new ground rules for the delivery of cable TV programming is expected to blow up on Capitol Hill next year, when Congress is slated to launch a major review of the nation's telecommunications law.

"We're now at the beginning of a huge battle between phone companies and cable as they prepare to invade each other's markets," said Chris Stern, an analyst for Medley Global Advisors. "This will be a focus of any rewrite of the Telecom Act."

Industry sources said the phone industry's new rush to video is being spurred in part by the fact that phone companies now have much of the fiber-optic network technology in place to clear the way for delivering the service economically.

In addition, consumers are increasingly demanding packages of services from their telecommunications providers that include cable TV, high-speed Internet access and telephone services, in part because a package offers the convenience of a single bill.

"We want to be able to offer the grand slam of services, and that includes local and long-distance phone service, high-speed Internet, Cingular wireless and a video component," said Brent Fowler, a spokesman for BellSouth.

On a related note, Verizon last week announced an agreement clearing the way for it to distribute Discovery Communications' 14 U.S.-based cable TV networks over Verizon's new fiber-to-the-premises network-the first programming deal the phone company has announced.

As part of its own rollout plan, Verizon has negotiated cable franchises in Beaumont, Calif., and the Dallas suburb of Sachse, Texas.

You don't have to read between the lines much here: The cable companies, who have been loosing subscribers to DBS for a couple of years (after 20 years of increasing those numbers), now has another, able-bodied and deep-pocketed competitor. What we have here is the battle of the 21st century broadband distribution systems. Enjoy the fireworks!

Unfortunately, that 20th century distribution system we know and love as broadcasting will see it's demise in the next 10 to 15 years. For some of us, it's time to find a new line of work.

Peter Dennant
XBE Group
[former Director of Engineering for WVEC-TV/DT]
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post #635 of 6677 Old 01-03-2005, 05:19 PM
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Originally posted by pdennant
Harold,

Your analysis of the TV/DT vs cable Must Carry issue is correct. However, all is not well for the cable companies. Following is an article that appeared in TV week in mid-December:


You don't have to read between the lines much here: The cable companies, who have been loosing subscribers to DBS for a couple of years (after 20 years of increasing those numbers), now has another, able-bodied and deep-pocketed competitor. What we have here is the battle of the 21st century broadband distribution systems. Enjoy the fireworks!

Unfortunately, that 20th century distribution system we know and love as broadcasting will see it's demise in the next 10 to 15 years. For some of us, it's time to find a new line of work.

I think if that happens we the viewers will be the losers. Broadcasters have done all the work and research to bring HD to the viewers and the cable companies will reap all the benefits and profit. Cable companies should be made to compensate the broadcasters for the full value. I don't know what cable pays now but I am charged $6/mo for Directv local service. I have to assume (hope) the broadcasters get some of it.

Harold Jackson
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post #636 of 6677 Old 01-03-2005, 05:32 PM
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Originally posted by hjriver
I think if that happens we the viewers will be the losers. Broadcasters have done all the work and research to bring HD to the viewers and the cable companies will reap all the benefits and profit. Cable companies should be made to compensate the broadcasters for the full value. I don't know what cable pays now but I am charged $6/mo for Directv local service. I have to assume (hope) the broadcasters get some of it.

Of course any money that the cable or satellite companies have to pay to the local stations will be passed on to us, the consumer. Think of how much money it has cost DirecTV(and will cost over the next couple of years) to get all of those locals to the viewers. Just like local HD, it ain't cheap.
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post #637 of 6677 Old 01-03-2005, 05:53 PM
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Originally posted by Todd
Of course any money that the cable or satellite companies have to pay to the local stations will be passed on to us, the consumer. Think of how much money it has cost DirecTV(and will cost over the next couple of years) to get all of those locals to the viewers. Just like local HD, it ain't cheap.

You're right "It ain't cheap". What I resent with Directv is all the channels I have to pay for that I don't watch and have no interest in watching. Cable is the same. I don't mind the charge for the locals but wish the push to allow customers to choose the channels they want succeeds.

At the rate non-broadcast is offering HD if we didn't have the OTA broadcasters there would be little to no HD with the exception maybe of HDNET and Discovery HD. Even the premium channels are dragging their feet. I for one am grateful to the OTA broadcasters for bringing us digital with the added benefit of HD.

Harold Jackson
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post #638 of 6677 Old 01-03-2005, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally posted by hjriver
I think if that happens we the viewers will be the losers. Broadcasters have done all the work and research to bring HD to the viewers and the cable companies will reap all the benefits and profit. Cable companies should be made to compensate the broadcasters for the full value. I don't know what cable pays now but I am charged $6/mo for Directv local service. I have to assume (hope) the broadcasters get some of it.

Unfortunately, the fact that broadcasters have been responsible for inventing digital high definition television technology is, as the Borg say, irrelevant. As has been evidenced by past conversations on this thread, people want a one-pipe, plug-and-play solution. Additionally, as our good friend Vincent Urbano (I know he likes to see his name every chance he gets) points out in every post, they want full bandwidth. These broadband approaches address those issues. Not only for TV but everything else that can be digitized.

Broadcast stations do receive some compensation for the DBS services who carry us but the cable companies have steadfast refused to pay for OTA programming when it is available to anyone who has an antenna and tuner. But, as evidenced by their premium charge for the HD tier, they have no problem charging their customers for it.

No one said life was fair.

Peter Dennant
XBE Group
[former Director of Engineering for WVEC-TV/DT]
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post #639 of 6677 Old 01-03-2005, 06:05 PM
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Is this pre-game yapping suppose to be SD?

Guess so... Game looks good so far...

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post #640 of 6677 Old 01-03-2005, 07:14 PM
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The game looks better than the bowls on Saturday, but there is still very noticeable pixelization issues during camera movement. Worse than MNF usually is, but better than Saturday. Solid reception though.
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post #641 of 6677 Old 01-03-2005, 07:45 PM
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Originally posted by Todd
The game looks better than the bowls on Saturday, but there is still very noticeable pixelization issues during camera movement. Worse than MNF usually is, but better than Saturday. Solid reception though.

Agree...

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post #642 of 6677 Old 01-03-2005, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by Todd
The game looks better than the bowls on Saturday, but there is still very noticeable pixelization issues during camera movement. Worse than MNF usually is, but better than Saturday. Solid reception though.

Believe it or not, I finally broke down and bought a DTV two weeks ago. Even though I'm not a team sports enthusiast, I watched the 1st quarter of the game (I've got to keep up with you guys).

I've been critically evaluating HD images for at least 10 years. I would not characterize what I saw on my setup to be "...very noticeable pixellation." The fast pans and fades to/from black are the real test as they require the most bandwidth. Those transitions did show some bit starvation. Those artifacts can manifest themselves differently, dependent on equipment. I'm using a Harris ARX-H200 (first generation Samsung receiver built into a broadcast grade OTA demodulator).

I am satisfied with the WVEC-DT product.

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post #643 of 6677 Old 01-03-2005, 08:02 PM
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You may not have seen the same problems or they may have been significantly less for some reason but I think the average viewer with standard equipment saw something that I would call marginal at best.

Quote:


Originally posted by pdennant
Believe it or not, I finally broke down and bought a DTV two weeks ago. Even though I'm not a team sports enthusiast, I watched the 1st quarter of the game (I've got to keep up with you guys).

I've been critically evaluating HD images for at least 10 years. I would not characterize what I saw on my setup to be "...very noticeable pixellation." The fast pans and fades to/from black are the real test as they require the most bandwidth. Those transitions did show some bit starvation. Those artifacts can manifest themselves differently, dependent on equipment. I'm using a Harris ARX-H200 (first generation Samsung receiver built into a broadcast grade OTA demodulator).

I am satisfied with the WVEC-DT product.

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post #644 of 6677 Old 01-03-2005, 08:02 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by pdennant
Believe it or not, I finally broke down and bought a DTV two weeks ago. Even though I'm not a team sports enthusiast, I watched the 1st quarter of the game (I've got to keep up with you guys).

I've been critically evaluating HD images for at least 10 years. I would not characterize what I saw on my setup to be "...very noticeable pixellation." The fast pans and fades to/from black are the real test as they require the most bandwidth. Those transitions did show some bit starvation. Those artifacts can manifest themselves differently, dependent on equipment. I'm using a Harris ARX-H200 (first generation Samsung receiver built into a broadcast grade OTA demodulator).

I am satisfied with the WVEC-DT product.

You only now got an HDTV Peter?

The pixelization stuff isn't just during fast pans, sometimes it's during slow ones. The weird thing is that it doesn't do it during pans of the field while showing action on the field. Maybe that's because most of the field is green in that case? Overall it looks pretty good, just not as good as we'd like. But then we are sticklers here...
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post #645 of 6677 Old 01-03-2005, 08:06 PM
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Is the game in HD or not? I just tuned into the halftime show and it's SD
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post #646 of 6677 Old 01-03-2005, 08:07 PM
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The pre-game and halftime yapping is in SD for some reason. I guess they couldn't afford the extra cameras.
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post #647 of 6677 Old 01-03-2005, 08:18 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by pdennant
Believe it or not, I finally broke down and bought a DTV two weeks ago. Even though I'm not a team sports enthusiast, I watched the 1st quarter of the game (I've got to keep up with you guys).

I've been critically evaluating HD images for at least 10 years. I would not characterize what I saw on my setup to be "...very noticeable pixellation." The fast pans and fades to/from black are the real test as they require the most bandwidth. Those transitions did show some bit starvation. Those artifacts can manifest themselves differently, dependent on equipment. I'm using a Harris ARX-H200 (first generation Samsung receiver built into a broadcast grade OTA demodulator).

I am satisfied with the WVEC-DT product.

I am satisfied with the WVEC-DT product

I don't see any problem with it either. Looks very good to me. Maybe my obsolete first generation RCA DTC-100 junk still is doing it's thing?

Harold Jackson
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post #648 of 6677 Old 01-03-2005, 08:58 PM
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I can't believe that I am the only one not getting a center sound signal from the announcers during play. Their voices are coming out of the side speakers. I am only getting the center during the commercials and other break-ins. Video is OK. (using HDTIVO)

Drew
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post #649 of 6677 Old 01-03-2005, 09:08 PM
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Originally posted by HILLTOP SAILOR
I can't believe that I am the only one not getting a center sound signal from the announcers during play. Their voices are coming out of the side speakers. I am only getting the center during the commercials and other break-ins. Video is OK. (using HDTIVO)

Drew

I hadn't even noticed that. I'm not getting any center channel sound during the game or commercials.
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post #650 of 6677 Old 01-03-2005, 09:14 PM
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Interesting...same here. Everything is coming out of my L & R...center is silent. Strange thing is that my receiver thinks it's getting a DD5.1 stream because it shows all 5 speakers are active. Guess what else...check your surrounds...SILENT. We're getting DD2.0

On a positiv note, the PQ is 100% better compared to Saturday...not perfect but completely acceptable. Guess we had to give up the DD5.1 for PQ.

Quote:


Originally posted by Todd
I hadn't even noticed that. I'm not getting any center channel sound during the game or commercials.

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post #651 of 6677 Old 01-03-2005, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by TH3_FRB
Interesting...same here. Everything is coming out of my L & R...center is silent. Strange thing is that my receiver thinks it's getting a DD5.1 stream because it shows all 5 speakers are active. Guess what else...check your surrounds...SILENT. We're getting DD2.0

ABC Network Operations (NYC) informs me that this is not regular MNF and tonights game is only DD2.0. WVEC's audio switching is fairly rudimentary: Even though we are passing the DD2.0 to the audio encoder, it is still encoding for DD5.1.

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post #652 of 6677 Old 01-03-2005, 09:59 PM
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Watched the Auburn/VT game tonight. Perfect PQ, not a single problem, but I know I am blessed with a good location with no multipath problems and no trees.
Earl

I guess I didn't notice the audio problem, too focused on the game.
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post #653 of 6677 Old 01-04-2005, 01:37 AM
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I didn't notice the audio either, but it was fine by me. While I did see a few brief and infrequent break-ups on fast pans, I by no means would call the PQ "marginal". While I'm not a huge VT fan, after the Cav's Boise blues I will say nothing.
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post #654 of 6677 Old 01-04-2005, 05:13 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by pdennant
Broadcast stations do receive some compensation for the DBS services who carry us but the cable companies have steadfast refused to pay for OTA programming when it is available to anyone who has an antenna and tuner. But, as evidenced by their premium charge for the HD tier, they have no problem charging their customers for it.

Cox has no HD tier or additional fee for HD programming. It is part of their Digital Deluxe package. They do have lesser digital tiers that don't include access to Starz/Encore, Pay-Per-View, On-Demand and other subscription services (HBO, Max etc). Cox had planned to initiate an HD fee this month but abandoned that idea. Since much of their HD programming is looped I suspect that another fee would cause many subscribers (like myself) to drop the digital tier altogether. Were it not for Starz/Encore movie package (incl. Sundance, Mystery, Indies) I would have dropped it long ago.
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post #655 of 6677 Old 01-04-2005, 05:36 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by hjriver
I am satisfied with the WVEC-DT product

I don't see any problem with it either. Looks very good to me. Maybe my obsolete first generation RCA DTC-100 junk still is doing it's thing?

could be that even analog looks good on a small set. Personally I didnt think VT vs Auburn looked that bad. Color was a bit washed out though.
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post #656 of 6677 Old 01-04-2005, 05:43 AM
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Originally posted by vurbano
I find that perplexing. No wonder Todd is talking to a wall.

Dude, not called for...

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post #657 of 6677 Old 01-04-2005, 05:44 AM
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Originally posted by VARTV
Dude, not called for...

Isnt most HD shown at night on ABC?
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post #658 of 6677 Old 01-04-2005, 05:47 AM
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Originally posted by vurbano
Isnt most HD shown at night on ABC?

Yeah... maybe Peter thinks ABC's primetime stinks...

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post #659 of 6677 Old 01-04-2005, 04:14 PM
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What on earth were the past 4 posts about?
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post #660 of 6677 Old 01-04-2005, 04:42 PM
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What on earth were the past 4 posts about?

I have no clue Todd. Care to shed some light on this mystery Vurbano or Vartv?
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