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ABC O&O's destroy HD quality with launch of Live Well HD. - Page 2

post #31 of 355
Quote:
Originally Posted by andgarden View Post

My worry is that some people might notice, but most wont, and the world will go on. Just wait until NBC decides that it's going to try two 1080i feeds in the same ATSC mux.

I somewhat doubt they'll do this, for two reasons:

1. Backlash from viewers on the ABC deal (and there probably will be some) will sour NBC on trying it themselves.
2. 1080i requires even more bandwidth than 720p to look good. I said earlier that a single-pass encoder requires 14.5 Mbps; that's for 720p content. 1080i requires 16.1 Mbps or so to look good. So if NBC does do the 2 HD channel deal, they'll be asking for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kucharsk View Post

The higher-ups know exactly what they are doing.

They know people aren't going to just stop watching, they see the horrid SD PQ that D* and E* deliver that people gladly pay for, and know people will view anything better than that as "HD."

This way they gain additional revenue at no real risk of a drop in viewership.

Not necessarily. There are artifacting errors in the SD feeds, but the primary issue that makes the images so bad is that the physical resolution settings are so paltry (in the 480x480i range).

When people are getting HDTV sets, they tend to upgrade from 27-36-inch sets (and more like 27), to 40-52 inches. Some are going DLP for the better colors than LCD, and getting sets in the 61-67-inch mark as a result. Either way, these larger sets mean that flaws in the picture are enhanced over what you'll see with an SD set. If there's enough poor image quality, over a long enough period of time, there is a likelihood that viewers will throw their hands up, and give up on a network's programming, since it's so difficult to watch.

Another thing to consider is that most people get their HD via cable. It's bad enough to have their providers offer three or even four(? Wow.) MPEG-2 HD channels on a single QAM channel. That would mean that the cable providers might have to re-compress the already-bitstarved HD feeds. So that further requires a pristine feed coming from the station -- anything else, and after the re-encode by the cable company, the picture would look beyond horrendous, and most viewers would probably blame the station, because they don't tend to be techno-proficient, and understand what the cable cos. are doing, and how each re-encoding reduces picture quality.

You also have to wonder if people that do go over-the-air will think they did something wrong with their setup. I read a report in The Washington Post about some new HDTV DVR that tunes in over-the-air signals. He mentioned occasional blurriness and pixelization on the NBC station. That was probably due to our local NBC affiliate's use of two SD subchannels.
post #32 of 355
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kucharsk View Post

The higher-ups know exactly what they are doing.

They know people aren't going to just stop watching, they see the horrid SD PQ that D* and E* deliver that people gladly pay for, and know people will view anything better than that as "HD."

This way they gain additional revenue at no real risk of a drop in viewership.

I know that I'll simply be watching less ABC, and I seriously doubt that Live Well TV will find much of an audience. It's programming niche is already well if not overfilled.
post #33 of 355
Even the name of the channel is stupid. It reminds me of fishing boats.
post #34 of 355
I'd be willing to bet that this thread right here is about 80% of the public "backlash." Talking ABC out of this is going to be really hard.
post #35 of 355
andgarden,
Reminds me of the Parks & Recreation thread.

I checked this out last night. I did not notice any HD programming. I got to see a infomercial about a blues CD. Maybe I was on the wrong sub channel.
post #36 of 355
Looking at the description of this channel it seems to be basically 100% advertising (some of it disguised as programming). Pure profit for ABC, no matter how many people hate it.
post #37 of 355
Quote:
It's an opportunity to fill a space that up until now has not had a lot of original content, Florsheim said. We have program producers at stations in the group that see an opportunity, and we're excited about it.

Channel 13's as-yet-untitled show will focus on trends in fashion, beauty and health. Much like KHOU's (Channel 11) Great Day Houston, it will include paid product placement and sponsorship opportunities for advertisers.

However, Florsheim said, The primary goal of the product is to entertain and inform. We would entertain product placement, but that is not the end. The goal is to create product that viewers want to see and find informative.

There are already many stations that do this. Style, E!, Bravo, TLC, etc. So where is the opportunity where there is not a lot of content?
post #38 of 355
Quote:
Originally Posted by mx6bfast View Post

There are already many stations that do this. Style, E!, Bravo, TLC, etc. So where is the opportunity where there is not a lot of content?

It's not about the content, it's about monetizing that "extra" bandwidth. Saw an article today that revenue at ABC O&O's was down 30%, this channel will add another 24 hrs a day in which to sell advertising, and with General Mills and AT&T already on board, it looks like they're well on their way to accomplishing that.
post #39 of 355
Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

It's not about the content, it's about monetizing that "extra" bandwidth. Saw an article today that revenue at ABC O&O's was down 30%, this channel will add another 24 hrs a day in which to sell advertising, and with General Mills and AT&T already on board, it looks like they're well on their way to accomplishing that.

Here's part of the article for those that didn't see it:
Quote:


MediaDailyNews

ABC O&O Revs Expected To Plummet 30%
by David Goetzl, Friday, April 24, 2009, 5:31 PM

Two months ago, Disney said revenue at the 10 ABC owned-and-operated local stations plunged 15% at the end of 2008. Now the drop could be even steeper for the first three months of 2009, according to projections issued Friday by UBS.

A report by the Wall Street firm predicted that revenues could be down 30% in the January-March period, likely driven by declines in spending by the large U.S. automakers. The drop would place revenue at $151 million for the quarter.

http://www.mediapost.com/publication...art_aid=104819
post #40 of 355
Quote:
Originally Posted by kucharsk View Post

The higher-ups know exactly what they are doing.

They know people aren't going to just stop watching, they see the horrid SD PQ that D* and E* deliver that people gladly pay for, and know people will view anything better than that as "HD."

This way they gain additional revenue at no real risk of a drop in viewership.

Why waste all kinds of money on expensive HD technology if you're going to pass through DVD quality video? ABC could've saved a fortune by skipping HD entirely for SD widescreen, and then they could've thrown up a dozen of low-quality channels at each O&O.

Thank God I don't live in an ABC O&O market.
post #41 of 355
Quote:
Originally Posted by URFloorMatt View Post


Thank God I don't live in an ABC O&O market.

Don't think that Disney won't try to offer this to their affiliates at some point. I could see some station groups desperate for some extra revenue going for this.
post #42 of 355
Quote:
Originally Posted by StudioTech View Post

Don't think that Disney won't try to offer this to their affiliates at some point. I could see some station groups desperate for some extra revenue going for this.

Absolutely.
post #43 of 355
If advertizers don't want to buy on the primary channel, I doubt any significant revenue will be generated by the second channel that will have miniscule viewers.THis is a complete waste of time. Subchannels will never be a major source of revenue for broadcasters. It is about time they woke up to the obvious.
post #44 of 355
Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mx6bfast View Post

There are already many stations that do this. Style, E!, Bravo, TLC, etc. So where is the opportunity where there is not a lot of content?

It's not about the content, it's about monetizing that "extra" bandwidth. Saw an article today that revenue at ABC O&O's was down 30%, this channel will add another 24 hrs a day in which to sell advertising, and with General Mills and AT&T already on board, it looks like they're well on their way to accomplishing that.

But from what I've read from various local forums, like here, each of these HD feeds seem to look like 704x480i anamorphic widescreen at best. So for the OTA audience, taking Live Well to a 16x9 anamorphic format would allow a higher HD bitrate, and better picture quality, for the bread and butter ABC feed, which will remain the primary ad revenue source over the years. I'm not saying that ABC shouldn't air the Live Well channel. It's just that it looks like it's a no-lose situation to air it over-the-air in an anamorphic DVD-like format -- who would care about the difference?

Another benefit to taking the true HD version of Live Well to cable only: It might encourage some people to get cable, just for the HD version of this subchannel. The big deal about that is that ABC could grab more cable retransmission royalty money, if they ask for it. Currently, I think they include ABC O&O stations free with ESPN carriage rights, but this could change at any time.
post #45 of 355
Quote:
Originally Posted by StudioTech View Post

Don't think that Disney won't try to offer this to their affiliates at some point. I could see some station groups desperate for some extra revenue going for this.

I think you are right it will be offered. I am just glad I really don't watch ABC other than CFB and local news.
post #46 of 355
So would cable viewers be immune to this degradation of ABC O&O channels?

I guess my question is where in the chain does the ABC feed for a cable company comes into play. If the cable company gets the feed before the station compresses it, then cable subscribers don't get affected, right? Or is it a station by station kind of issue?

ft
post #47 of 355
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWhip View Post

If advertizers don't want to buy on the primary channel, I doubt any significant revenue will be generated by the second channel that will have miniscule viewers.THis is a complete waste of time. Subchannels will never be a major source of revenue for broadcasters. It is about time they woke up to the obvious.

That hasn't quite been the experiences in the UK - where the digital OTA system is seen to have been quite succesful.

Many of the main networks have seen their audiences drop on their original legacy "analogue" networks, but they have been able to compensate this audience loss, at least in part, by growing audiences to their new digital-only channels (which are our equivalent of "sub-channels" - though as we are SD 16:9 only via OTA currently - the bitrates are different)

Most UK terrestrial broadcasters have a number of digital only channels OTA :
BBC Three, BBC Four, BBC News 24, CBeebies, CBBC and BBC Parliament, BBC News Interactive and BBC Press Red Video screens 1 & 2, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, CITV, E4, More4, Film4, Fiver, FiveUS etc. plus a number of "+1" time delayed variants. These in addition to BBC One, BBC Two, ITV1, C4 and five - which are analogue simulcasts.

The obvious difference is that it is relatively easy to squeeze 4-8 SD 16:9 services into a single 8MHz RF slot - whereas HD will only sustain 3-4 services in the same bandwith once we launch our next gen modulation and encoding system (36Mbs DVB-T2 with H264 encoding)
post #48 of 355
Quote:
Originally Posted by ftaok View Post

So would cable viewers be immune to this degradation of ABC O&O channels?

I guess my question is where in the chain does the ABC feed for a cable company comes into play. If the cable company gets the feed before the station compresses it, then cable subscribers don't get affected, right? Or is it a station by station kind of issue?

ft

No, cable viewers are not immune. With few exceptions the cable and satellite feeds are taken from the same point in the chain as the OTA feed.
post #49 of 355
I was surfing through the 5pm newscasts here in NYC and hands down WABC-HD broadcast was at the bottom in quality of the picture, you could just see the softness and faded looking image, the quality was as follows.

WCBS
WNBC
WNYW (Fox)
WABC - by far the worse of the lot to watch. I would even rank WABC below the CW11 affiliate WPIX here in NY.

Its one thing if folks don't care about quality but if you have seen better and are now viewing what ABC has done to their O&O stations in the major markets its disgraceful to HD quality. I vow to never view ABC again. I will surf right over it, this is not HD. What's worse is that they did this for a b.s. channel that isn't worth the time of day to degrade your primary stations quality in such a manner.

My only alternative is not to watch it and that is what I will indeed do.

We just have to keep our fingers crossed that CBS, NBC and Fox don't follow this path of multicasting two "HD" channels.
post #50 of 355
Quote:
Originally Posted by ftaok View Post

So would cable viewers be immune to this degradation of ABC O&O channels?

No. Cable and DBS providers get the same signal as an OTA viewer.

The only way this is not the case, is if the local cableco or DBS provider has a fiber feed directly to the local ABC station, and the ABC station provides the main ABC HD feed prior to it being multiplexed with the second HD subchannel. I know of no DTV stations where this is happening at this time.
post #51 of 355
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

No. Cable and DBS providers get the same signal as an OTA viewer.

The only way this is not the case, is if the local cableco or DBS provider has a fiber feed directly to the local ABC station, and the ABC station provides the main ABC HD feed prior to it being multiplexed with the second HD subchannel. I know of no DTV stations where this is happening at this time.

Isn't NBC in NYC done via fiber? Or am I "misremembering"?
post #52 of 355
Quote:
Originally Posted by StudioTech View Post

Don't think that Disney won't try to offer this to their affiliates at some point. I could see some station groups desperate for some extra revenue going for this.

I know. But once Lost is finished a year from now, it won't matter. And you've got to figure that affiliates will need to see revenue numbers from a couple quarters before they consider picking this up.

Plus, my affiliate already has three subchannels, so it's not like they afford to add this one without dropping something else.
post #53 of 355
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

No. Cable and DBS providers get the same signal as an OTA viewer.

The only way this is not the case, is if the local cableco or DBS provider has a fiber feed directly to the local ABC station, and the ABC station provides the main ABC HD feed prior to it being multiplexed with the second HD subchannel. I know of no DTV stations where this is happening at this time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAnnapolis View Post

Isn't NBC in NYC done via fiber? Or am I "misremembering"?

I think you missed the "and" part of Ken's remarks. Several areas use fiber connections, but I don't believe any provide cable or sat with the signal prior to processing by the station.
post #54 of 355
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StudioTech View Post

Don't think that Disney won't try to offer this to their affiliates at some point. I could see some station groups desperate for some extra revenue going for this.

Just putting a channel ON doesn't guarantee revenue. At some point advertisers are going to expect VIEWERS.
post #55 of 355
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

I think you missed the "and" part of Ken's remarks. Several areas use fiber connections, but I don't believe any provide cable or sat with the signal prior to processing by the station.

They could, and they should, but they won't.
post #56 of 355
It's a disaster. I tried to watch a basketball game yesterday both on Directv and OTA in Chicago and there was blockiness/compression artifacts everywhere. I've never seen such a horrible HD picture. What's even more pathetic is the subchannel is showing the same handful of crap over and over. If all my HD channels looked like this I'd cancel my satellite sub.
post #57 of 355
Quote:
Originally Posted by posg View Post

They could, and they should, but they won't.

It would require an additional encoder and they are expensive.
post #58 of 355
Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

I think you missed the "and" part of Ken's remarks. Several areas use fiber connections, but I don't believe any provide cable or sat with the signal prior to processing by the station.

Eh, I thought I remembered there being something special about NYC's NBC affiliate that involved the cable providers having a higher bitrate feed than the OTA viewers, but I guess I could be mistaken. It's been known to happen.
post #59 of 355
Anyone in the NYC area who watches WABC please contact Bill Beam, VP of Engineering WABC-TV.

His email is in the public domain. bill.beam@abc.com
post #60 of 355
Thread Starter 
Just for grins I've watched a few minutes of Live Well HD, and here's the verdict. Aside from the weak content, the HD is NOT going to attract viewers. It is much worse than the digital simulcast SD channels on my cable system (TWC), much worse.

At least ABC didn't split the bandwidth 50/50, looks more like 70/30.
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