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post #631 of 10075 Old 03-21-2003, 04:21 PM
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As far as multcasting goes my first choice would be one HD channel at its full-bandwidth best quality showing something that I want to watch. Obviously, that's not true 24x7.

If there's nothing being shown that I want to watch, it matters not whether they use some bandwidth for a multicast.

If there is something I want to watch, I'd rather see multicasting than preemption. To me, that is the true value of Dan's experiment with the basketball games. If I were a fan of some HD afternoon soap opera and they could multicast the basketball instead of preempting my favorite show, I'd gladly make the tradeoff.
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post #632 of 10075 Old 03-21-2003, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
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The images we are seeing appear similar to those experienced by other CBS affiliates who are also multicasting the NCAA games (see the NCAA thread over in Programming). Multicasting indeed can be used to make available a program that otherwise would not have been available. SCETV/WRLK had similar problems well over a year ago with mandatory programming (classes) that interferred with PBS-HD programs. Last spring a new encoder that enabled multicasting alleviated that problem. Here we seeing multicasting being used to solved a different problem... with different results perhaps.

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post #633 of 10075 Old 03-21-2003, 07:58 PM
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We just watched our first HDTV movie since having the TWC service installed a week ago, it was The Others on HBO. Not a bad movie, although not exactly our cup of tea. The 1080i image was amazingly good, though. This is the sort of film that really challenges the DVD format with mostly dark interiors, candlelight and some fog scenes. It would be interesting to rent the DVD in a few days and see if the quality would equal that of HBO's HDTV feed.

I believe the OAR for this movie was 1.85:1 so the full-frame 16:9 image we were seeing is pretty much the whole thing. I thought there was a time or two where I saw some kind of mometary "catch" in the image that could have been pan&scan shudder. But it must have been something else since this movie wouldn't have been panned and scanned very much, if at all.

The DD5.1 soundtrack was very effective, too. A couple of things really snuck up on us from the rear surrounds.

For the $5/month we're paying right now for HBO (plus another $5/month for Showtime) it's worth it even if we only catch one movie a month on at a time we can watch. When the discounted price ends I suspect we'll miss having those two HDTV channels.
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post #634 of 10075 Old 03-21-2003, 08:33 PM
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Boy, is my face red. Not really, but I just checked online and The Others tonights wasn't on HBO it was Showtime. And it was upconverted. Boy, they have some nice upconversion hardware I guess because that was a fine, fine transfer. And, being on Showtime, it was in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio.

How many things could I get wrong in one message? I decided not to edit my original post in the spirit of owning up to ones mistakes. Wouldn't want to be sent to Limbo or anything like that...
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post #635 of 10075 Old 03-22-2003, 06:15 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Brent Hutto
Boy, is my face red. Not really, but I just checked online and The Others tonights wasn't on HBO it was Showtime. And it was upconverted. Boy, they have some nice upconversion hardware I guess because that was a fine, fine transfer. And, being on Showtime, it was in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio.

How many things could I get wrong in one message? I decided not to edit my original post in the spirit of owning up to ones mistakes. Wouldn't want to be sent to Limbo or anything like that...

Pales comparing to me praising FOX for their HD quality

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post #636 of 10075 Old 03-22-2003, 09:06 AM
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"Slam me if you wish, I've got thick skin"
You are right. I do want your feedback and I take it as that. Not bashing.



"SCETV/WRLK had similar problems well over a year ago with mandatory programming (classes) that interferred with PBS-HD programs. Last spring a new encoder that enabled multicasting alleviated that problem. Here we seeing multicasting being used to solved a different problem... with different results perhaps."

We have the same encoder which PBS uses. It is a Harris Flexicoder. I don't know which version of software Hap has over there though.

As the games get fewer, I will go back to 2 channels. One HD and one SD.
That will be our normal configuration.

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post #637 of 10075 Old 03-22-2003, 09:12 AM
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"As the games get fewer, I will go back to 2 channels. One HD and one SD.
That will be our normal configuration"

Thank you!
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post #638 of 10075 Old 03-24-2003, 05:58 AM
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I live in Chapin and just put up a VU 190 Radio Shack antenna (strongest they had). I'm picking up Channel 25 DT at 100% and 19 DT at 77%. Channel 10 is terrible though, sound is good but bad picture that is unwatchable. Channel 57 isn't too good either. I'm using a Samsung 160 receiver. I'm looking for any suggestions or help from some of you that may have already been through this problem. Thanks for any info you can give me.


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post #639 of 10075 Old 03-24-2003, 06:42 AM - Thread Starter
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tritchie,

Some quesions If I may: Are you trying to pick up the analog signals or digital?
WIS =10, WIS-DT= 41 WOLO=25, WOLO-DT=8
WLTX=19, WLTX-DT=17 WRLK=35, WRLK-DT=32,
WACH=57, WACH-DT=48

- When you say unwatchable, what are the artifacts you are seeing?
- Where is your antenna; attic or roof? If the latter, how high is your antenna?
- Have you tried changing the height of the antenna yet?
- Are there any hills/structures/trees blocking the view towards NE Columbia?
- Do you have a rotator?
- Do you have a preamp mounted on the mast?

I gather you are about 32 miles or so from the towers (zip 29036 anyway) so you should not be "too far away." If you are suffering severe multipath (ghosting on analog signals; no signal lock or frequent breakups on digital), you may need to move your antnna position by going laterally or vertically. Higher is usually better. Also a rotor may allow you to tweak the antenna pointing (rough azimuth from Chapin only varies from 90 to 108 degrees; Augusta is about 57miles/210 degrees). A preamp may help bring in weak signals.

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post #640 of 10075 Old 03-24-2003, 06:55 AM
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I'm trying to get all the channels. I'm not picking up WIS-DT at all. On WIS 10 analog, I think the ghosting term would be correct to use. I'm picking up WLTX as 19-1, not 17, and WOLO 25-1, not 8, WACH 57-1, not 48. Is this unusual or am I missing something? My antenna is on the roof, probably about 25 feet off the ground, there is not any obstructions in the way (it actually points out over the water back torwards Cola). I don't have a rotator (I'm assuming that is something that allows you to turn the antenna from a control of some sort?) or a preamp? I've thought about a preamp but wanted to make sure there's not an easier fix first. I'm probably only about 20 miles from downtown by way of a crows flight. Any good suggestions to try. I really appreciate your help!

Trip
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post #641 of 10075 Old 03-24-2003, 07:48 AM
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Thank you WOLO for the excellent broadcast!
I only noticed 2 brief (less then 1/2 sec) sound interruptions at the beginning of the ceremony.
Excellent PQ, very nice camera work!

PS: Why did they switch to SD at midnight while Oscar's was still on? Oh well, only the last few minutes

Thank you again!
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post #642 of 10075 Old 03-24-2003, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
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tritchie,

Okay. Your channel indication is fine. I was just checking to see if your problems were with the digital stations or the digital ones. Your ATSC receiver usually will remap the digital channel number to the analog one (41 to 10-1, 8 to 25-1, etc). That is a function of what is known as PSIP (Program and System Information Protocol) which is included in the broadcast stream. Sometimes PSIP itself can cause problems but that does not appear to the the case here. What is the signal like for the various analog channels (using the set's tuner or the Sammy's?).

As I understand it, if your pointing your antenna at NE Cola at your distance and without major obstructions (trees/hills), then I would have to guess maybe the lake is causing multipath problems. If so, best I can suggest is for you to first try moving your antenna vertically up or down several inches/feet. Height usually is your friend; another pole section might be needed.

If you have a tilt function; you might try tilting the front up/down a few degrees to see if that helps too. A rotator/rotor allows one to finesse the azimuth; and may or may not be necessary. You need to first manually tweak the pointing azimuth to see if there is one position that works for all or if you need a rotor. If you are getting week signals, a preamp (located on the mast close to the antenna itself) might be in order and/or perhaps a better antenna (perhaps one more directional). Last, I would double check the cable, all connections; the grounding block, and even the balun.

Keep us posted on how your troubleshooting goes.

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post #643 of 10075 Old 03-24-2003, 08:29 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Kir
Thank you WOLO for the excellent broadcast!
PS: Why did they switch to SD at midnight while Oscar's was still on? Oh well, only the last few minutes

You are very Welcome.

As to going to SD, we had the HD enable timer set to switch off at midnight, based on info from ABC that it would end by midnight..

..

Bob

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post #644 of 10075 Old 03-24-2003, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Very much enjoyed the HD broadcast of the AA here as well. Things went very well I thought. But I switched off right at midnight so did not see the network SD switchover myself.

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post #645 of 10075 Old 03-24-2003, 11:25 AM
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"As to going to SD, we had the HD enable timer set to switch off at midnight, based on info from ABC that it would end by midnight.. "

Bob,
Can't your master control operators switch between SD and HD or do an over-ride of the timer?
All of our switching is done manually by our master control staff. We purchased the Harris Master Plus system. It uses a touch screen to allow the ops to switch between 2 HD, 1 SD input and an internal test pattern generator as well as key bugs. It works great. I can automate it using GPIs if needed.

Just curious......
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post #646 of 10075 Old 03-24-2003, 12:08 PM
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Hey Dan-hope all is well with our friends over at WLTX.
Yes, they can, but with two stations, news and feeds are typically too busy chase the dtv "reliably".. That's why the timer enables a tally chase of the M2100, otherwise there would be a lot of HD switches either missed or late. There is an override on the timer for such purposes, this would not be a problem if ABC (really all networks) would feed a complete primetime
feed. We, and others, have asked them to provide a seamless primetime feed that has upconverted material if the program is not available in HD, then we would not have to do so much timer programming, and the tally chase would always work, without the need for a timer... that would also give the networks control over the upconversion of their non-hd program material. However, I do understand ABC's reasoning for not doing that,
which is primarily an internal cost accounting issue, not technical reasons.
It does seem intersting that ABC can feed upconverted commercials or the "test tape" during primetime and not upconverted programming....
FOX provides us a full-time 16x9 feed, so anytime we're on FOX network, the DTV tally chases the widescreen feed. Our MCOs' never have to worry about making sure the FOX 16x9 feed is switched properly..........

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post #647 of 10075 Old 03-24-2003, 12:13 PM
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Cbs does provide an upconverted prime time for us. However, I will not take it unless I have to. It forces us to have bleck bars up on HD instead of the grey I use to try to prevent burn-in. None of our HD switching is timed it is all done manually. The ops have the touch panel right next to M.C. so all they have to do is hit two buttons at the same time. They are really good about switching. Sometimes I have to remind them, but not often.
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post #648 of 10075 Old 03-24-2003, 12:21 PM
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Viewers here overwhelmingly and QUITE vocally protested the bars of any color, as most of us here have tried them, so we don't use them. Personally, I don't like them, but I would accept,as FOX calls them, "wings"
if they were graphic in nature and not static, similiar to what FOX does
on FOX News Sunday AM with 4x3 sources. However, that may be a problem with some program producers and or advertisers who may feel the
bars or wings artistically compromise the look of their material..
besides, If the network doesn't add grey bars as well, It's a moot point..

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post #649 of 10075 Old 03-24-2003, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys,
As an ignorant ATSC viewer I would ask why a network or station cannot/will not use one of the other formats provided on Table 3 instead of sending out an upconverted 4:3 signal? Does everyone want upconverted 1080i that has to have side bars added to fill in the space? Why not blow off sending it out as upconverted HD over the HD channel and just send out a nice 4:3 version that is SD only? (and let users sets do the gray or stretch). Do your encoders not have that flexibility? What does Fox do?. Would doing that be prohibitive due to personnel (monitoring) costs?

I can see this might be a problem with cable (lots of channel holders maybe). Personally I would rather tune to Station x-1 or x-2 and watch an SD version of the image than a 4:3 image on a HD channel. As it is now I tune to the analog version. Last year when we sub'd to HBO I would for example switch to the standard HBO presentation of Six Feet Under rather than watch the upconverted version with black bars. (current season is HD). WRLK manages to do quite nicely with their occasional widescreen programs on a SD subchannel.

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post #650 of 10075 Old 03-24-2003, 12:44 PM
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Hi Bruce-
Easily said but in practice harder to do. HD encoders won't do SD, and vice versa. It can be done in other ways, but some STB's don't react to changes
very well in the transport stream, as many have found out. WRLK, as well
as WTVI does this sort of thing nightly. It does require management, as
well as software and hardware. Some encoders are more flexible than others with such changes as well.

Bob

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post #651 of 10075 Old 03-24-2003, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Bob,

Thaks. I take it you are saying many of the DTV encoders in use now don't have the flexibily to do HD (or HD/SD) one hour and then just SD another. Nor can user's STBs necessarily easily adapt either (perhaps would require constant rescanning). And I take it your station's hardware setup is pretty much fixed and so not a problem either.

I was under the impression that the bitstream was 19.39 mbs wide and could be divided into one or more services (and null packets added as needed). Dan did however recently say they had to do one HD and 2 SD but could not do 3 SD services (question was about the CBS and the NCAA tournament). So I now take it that type of encoder behavior is pretty much industry standard.

Thanks! I have been wondering about this for awhile. I have never seen a good explanation here in these forums or elsewhere about what flexibility was actually practical/available.

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post #652 of 10075 Old 03-24-2003, 01:24 PM
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Well since we're on the subject of upconversion........
WLTX's encoder has the ability to do 1 HD and 2 SD channels at one time. To change configurations, you must go into software and manually realocate the 19 MB bandwidth the way you want. This is not something you want a master control operator doing at 11PM when you are going into a news cast. You can store the setups and recall the files. However, this is still too deep into the encoder than you want a novice to be. If it done incorrectly, you will not be on air. Something I think you all would say is not acceptable. Take the NCAA tournament we now have on air on WLTX. I spent hours up here this weekend switching transponders, virtual channels and updating the channel mapping for the multicast.

As of today, we are back to two channels on digital, 1 HD and 1SD. I hope you all enjoy the higher bitrates.

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post #653 of 10075 Old 03-24-2003, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Dan,
Ah. The configuration process does appears to be rather complex (and less automated/foolproof that perhaps I would have thought). I do appreciate yours and Bob's feedback! And yes I agree with your conclusion! Better to be on with an upconvert than off due to a dufus mistake. Thanks. I shall check in tonight though I not know yet what portends (rerun wise and/or war coverage).

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post #654 of 10075 Old 03-26-2003, 04:15 PM
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Dan,
Will WLTX be multicasting with the HD games Friday evening and the HD games on Sunday?
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post #655 of 10075 Old 03-27-2003, 03:26 AM
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WLTX-TV Channel 19-analog (cable channel 9)
7:27pm: Texas/Connecticut
9:40pm: Syracuse Auburn

WLTX-DT Channel 19-1 - digital (cable channel 810)
7:27pm: Texas/Connecticut - (HDTV)
9:57pm: Maryland/Michigan State - (HDTV)

WLTX-DT Channel 19-2 - digital (cable channel 811)
7:10pm: Oklahoma/Butler
9:57pm: Maryland/Michigan State
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post #656 of 10075 Old 03-27-2003, 05:35 AM
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Bob: In reviewing your various responses for the past couple of months, I am prompted to ask about the practice by one of our Western Carolina DT stations. It sends its NTSC video over its DT with a black vertical bar between the side panels and the picture. This stable black verticle line concerns me with respect to burn-in. There has been no response from the station to suggestions that this be corrected. Is my thinking correct that this can be a problem?
jb

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post #657 of 10075 Old 03-27-2003, 05:52 AM
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"Bob: In reviewing your various responses for the past couple of months, I am prompted to ask about the practice by one of our Western Carolina DT stations. It sends its NTSC video over its DT with a black vertical bar between the side panels and the picture. This stable black verticle line concerns me with respect to burn-in. There has been no response from the station to suggestions that this be corrected. Is my thinking correct that this can be a problem? "


Jerry,
We have the same situation here at WLTX in Columbia. It is not something the station is doing by choice if they are equiped with the Harris Flexicoder system. What you are actually seeing is the inactive part of the picture content. This area is used by television stations to send information for your analog sets such as closed captioning and other data. I talked to Harris about the issue and to date there is no resolution. The Flexicoder does not discriminate active from inactive content. It treats them as one source and upconverts the entire image. As far as burn-in goes. We have been running that configuration here in Columbia for almost a year now and I haven't had any issues on my set. It is a picture tube 16x9 model though. As far as I know there are no issues out there with the projection models as well. It greatly depend on how much 4x3 viewing you are doing on your set.
I hope this helps. Bob, chime in if I am incorrect about this situation.

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post #658 of 10075 Old 03-27-2003, 07:37 PM
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Jerry,Dan gives a good explanation above in simple layman's terms.
This is called blanking, a product of NTSC video. It can be "covered" up in the upconversion process, if the Upconvertor allows it. Not all do, ours here
can. BUT, if we were running grey bars as Dan does, we'd have to make the bars a little wider to ensure you'd never see the blanking, and in the process cover up a bit of the active picture most of the time. BooHiss!
I agree with Dan that it probably won't cause a burn in problem, I tend to believe that unless you're running a plasma set or tube projector, that the
concern over burn in is excessive. I have a 35" 4x3 set here at home, and watch a lot of 16x9 material, and have had no problems with burn in.
Despite what most members here think, DTv is still in the early stages,
and we all, especially most networks, are still figuring out how to do some
of this stuff. I loaded beta software this week, for the WOLO & WCCB PSIP generators, the Dolby E decoders, program multiplexors, and the WOLO
TV-25 ASI decoders.. Point being is this stuff is still pretty much a science project that's about to become reality..unlike analog Tv which has had decades to be perfected, if that's what you'd call it..

Bob

The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent those of the FOX,ABC,CBS,or CW Networks,MeTv, my employer or its parent company. Nor my wife for that matter!
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post #659 of 10075 Old 03-28-2003, 05:07 AM
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Dan and Bob:
Thanks you very much for taking time to explain the side-bars. Not all areas have engineers who care enough to help the industry through its growing pains.
jb

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post #660 of 10075 Old 03-28-2003, 07:00 AM
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The engineers at the stations seem to be even more excited with the new technology then we are - imagine something new to play with after "decades" of polishing the old stuff

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