HDTV Health...excellent? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-11-2001, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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It is now unusual for there to not be HD programming on any given night. There is a lot of stuff being shot in HD, although it may be awhile before we see it. There's talk of at least three more satellite HD channels in the relative near future. It is possible to have a decent HD set-up relatively inexpensively as Costco is selling the Sampo 34" @ $1999 and Best Buy is selling the "demo" Panny tu-50 @ $299, the combo allowing for native 720p resolution.

Folks, HD has really only been around for two years.

Granted there are set-backs, such as many NBC affiliates dragging their feet for HD, ABC chosing to stop HD MNF, cable battles, etc., but all things considered, it is remarkable things have moved forward so quickly.

Just an opinion.

Fall 2002 should be very interesting. I'm curious to see what prices for HD equipment will be, as well as the improvements, and how much programming will be available.

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post #2 of 8 Old 07-11-2001, 06:47 PM
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Jeff-
Excellent points! There are a lot of naysayers out there, but the industry is moving forward...not as fast as we'd like, I am sure, but we have things to be encouraged about.
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-13-2001, 08:23 AM
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Agreed. I still think we need some more HDTV blockbuster-type programming announcements (such as MNF) to really make things take off, but things certainly are progressing. Good post.

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post #4 of 8 Old 07-13-2001, 03:42 PM
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I would not say they have moved quickly. But I commend the enthusiasm. The only real progress is HBO and occasionally CBS and PBS come through. The rest is an embarrassment. All bureaucratic red tape. The reality is that 9 months ago, I feel as though I had more High Def. HBO was west coast so we could actually watch some films as opposed to standard def Sex and the City, Arliss, etc...NO LONGER.

HBO:
Mostly standard definition during Prime time; until about 10:00 PM when we are so generously given B movies galore. Terrorists steal a nuclear bomb and Dolph Lundren or Lorenzo Lamas or Don "The Dragon" Wilson have to recover it.
But, I am still very grateful for it, but feel discriminated against for living on the West coast. The 2nd, West coast feed would be not just nice, but appropriate.

PBS
Same loop would be better then multicast. So at its best we have a repetitive loop. Not much progress, aside from the Japanese garden I never even saw.

CBS
Now here is a valiant effort. But it switches quite often from 16 X 9 to 4 X 3. I am not a big fan of the programming, but that is not in question. Good job to them. But what about Letterman?

ABC
The only HD content I will find is if I leave it on this channel and wait until Sunday. Or maybe there is more, but I have only stumbled across HD once, Sunday movie with Whoopy Goldberg. Kept clicking right on by.

NBC
Forget it. I no longer even get this channel and I am in LA a few miles from the studio and Mt. Wilson. Besides, what am I missing? Jay Leno. Maybe the signal dropped for a reason.

Fox
Forget It...

So out of Directv's line up of channels ranging from 01 to 900 something, we have 1 channel with random HD and a loop until bedtime.
Off the air, we have 1 real watchable channel: CBS, with commercials which is garbage for the brain. Never saw a "Show" on PBS, so it does not really count.

Not to be negative, but that does not seem to be real progress in my opinion. And definitely not "Quickly"

DVD, now that is fast progress. No questions asked, everyone is on board and delivering. We are not entirely sure HD will even survive. I will be beyond pissed if it doesn't. Multicasting is more in tune with Big, Greedy corporations. Good old standard def times 4.

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post #5 of 8 Old 07-13-2001, 08:49 PM
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I think a good part of the HDTV health issue is that very, very few retailers are making any effort to show HD in its best light. In contrast, several dealers in this area were running side-by-side DVD and VHS comparisons (and one even threw in a laserdisc) on identical sets. The improved quality was evident.

But aside from one local chain, I haven't seen good side-by-side comparisons of HD and conventional sets of roughly the same size showing the same picture. Worse, most of the dealers put the sets out on the floor under harsh, bright florescent lighting.

Not to pick on them but the local Best Buy had an RCA DV set on their floor that was fed by what appeared to be an S connection. The 4:3 picture was expanded to fit the screen and it looked really crappy.

Until the manufacturers train their reps better and thump a few store managers on their heads I don't think the average person will see any real advantage to buying an HD set.

The CES should have sponsored Superbowl parties nationwide this year to bring potential customers into the stores. Barring that, they could sponsor an evening when good HD from CBS, HBO, or Showtime could be compared and contrasted. But that would take a national advertising effort, and I don't think the money or the effort is there for that.

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[This message has been edited by cpto (edited 07-13-2001).]
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-14-2001, 02:39 AM
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Quote:
Granted there are set-backs, such as many NBC affiliates dragging their feet for HD, ABC chosing to stop HD MNF, cable battles, etc., but all things considered, it is remarkable things have moved forward so quickly.


We just got the interesting news last week that ABC has asked our post house about how best to proceed on doing ALL of their shows in HD for this coming season, which is pretty alarming. No editing or film transfer houses in town are ready for this kind of workload, so it's gonna take some doing to make that happen. I would assume you could expect most of ABC's top shows -- I'd put DHARMA & GREG and DREW CAREY in that batch -- to go this route shortly.

Also, I believe NBC is going HD on some of their top-rated shows as well. I would expect WILL & GRACE to do that, and some of the WB shows like E.R. and WEST WING are already being edited in HD, from what I understand.

Interestingly, all the film shows are going 1080 24P, then getting dubbed over to whatever the networks require -- 1080i for CBS, and probably 720P for ABC. As far as I know, there's no quality loss going through this process, and it makes the show easier to downconvert for foreign distribution later on.

Should be a very interesting year for TV's technical side. ("Interesting" as in "lotta last-minute craziness beyond belief.")

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post #7 of 8 Old 07-14-2001, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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It's been an interesting week for HD. This ABC news along with CBS's is pretty dramatic stuff. Still don't understand the MNF thing, though.

RCA reported, as noted in the HD hardware forum, that sales of analog sets are on the decline and the only expansion in the TV industry is in HD.

It also looks like 720p and 1080i are both here to stay, which I think is necessary. I still believe, eventually, networks will use both formats.

The next two things that need to happen are to make compatability of components by all manufacturers (let's pick our cable hook-ups now, please) and each company has to come out with at least one inexpensive monitor.

I would think these changes, over the last week alone, has got to force retail electronic chains such as Best Buy and Circuit City to re-think how they display HD compatable stuff on their sales floors.

By doing such a poor job displaying this stuff has got to be costing them big bucks in sales.

Because of these announcements, you've got to wonder if the "snowball running downhill" effect is starting to take place. I also wonder how much of our e-mails to these guys made a difference.

I bet we'll see stuff sooner than later now, such as Discovery HD, and I'll go out on a limb and almost guarantee HD MNF for the 2002 season.

Now, if we could only imporove Plasma displays and get DLP sets down to around $2K...
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-17-2001, 06:16 PM
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The only real progress is HBO and occasionally CBS and PBS come through
How in the heck can you say CBS occasionally comes through! That has got to be the most uninformed statement I have heard here in quite a while! CBS does all but 2 hours of their primetime lineup in HD, They do all their major sporting events in HD, they are the first and only network to do a soap opera in HD, and they now are even doing HD national feeds of there East & West coast feeds on DISH Network so people can see nightly HD where they normally could not! If this is occasionally coming through then I don't know what thye would need to do to be considered always coming through to you!

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