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Anyone with a converter being "denied" letterboxed output? - Page 3

post #61 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmar View Post

My local NBC station (KUSA in Denver) started transmitting AFD yesterday. I monitored the AFD codes during Conan, and NBC is sending the wrong code (they're sending 9, indicating the picture is pillar boxed 4:3, rather than 15 which indicates that the signal is 16:9 full frame but is 4:3 "safe"). So, although I believe the DTVpal is still wrong to ever disable the ability to change the zoom, NBC is also at fault for sending the wrong code.

I did notice another bug in the DTVpal. AFD codes are sent multiple times per second, so when the codes are not sent a receiver should quickly timeout and revert to whatever default behaviour it has when AFD is not present. The DTVpal does not do that. I goes by whatever the last code received was. I was able to see this behaviour on a DTVpal during the commercials. The network commercials all had AFD, but the local commercials did not. If the last network commercial was sent with code 9 then all of the local commercials were locked in 4:3 cropped format, regardless of what format the commercial was in.

The DTVPal seems to get some type of indication from 480i broadcasts to automatically zoom/crop the picture.
The user has no control of the picture format on 480i broadcasts. Except the display shows "full" picture mode on 480i, not zoom.
Full picture mode on the DTVPal is actually horizontal squeeze on any 720p or 1080i broadcast.

Full picture mode is also the mode it is locked to by the NBC AFD code, even though it is actually zoomed/cropped.
During commercials, the aspect ratios are all over the place, from letterbox pillared to horizontally squeezed.
post #62 of 182
I checked my APEX DT502 and I don't see where any station in the Altoona, Baltimore, D.C., Hagerstown, or Lancaster/York areas are implementing AFD yet.
post #63 of 182
Could NBC get any more ridiculous??? They are now using AFD in the middle of Saturday Night Live, so parts of the show are forced to Zoom to 4:3 and the rest is in 16:9. It's really ANNOYING, because when they make the switch, the whole picture shudders as it zooms up to 4:3 for like 5 seconds and then goes back to "normal". They did this during a specific skit where the character was showing other characters parts of a VHS tape on a 4:3 television. Thank you, I would get the joke WITHOUT you forcing a 4:3 zoom.

NBC are such f*cking MORONS.

P.S. actually whenever they switch between zoom and normal the picture shudders. You see this all the time when they transition to "zoom" on commercials from "normal" letterbox programming and especially during commercial breaks when the AFD flags are, as said earlier, "all over the place." You even see the screen shudder when they go from one "normal" program to another "normal" program, during the brief half second of black. It's almost as if on NBC, the 4:3 zoom mode is default, and going to "Normal" 16:9 is the exception, rather than the other way around, hence the shudder during the brief second of black. I've had the on-screen info turned on when this happens, and you know what the screen is doing when it shudders during that brief half second of black going from one "normal" 16:9 show to the next? It's zooming to 4:3. During black! For a half second!
post #64 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beeper View Post

The DTVPal seems to get some type of indication from 480i broadcasts to automatically zoom/crop the picture.
The user has no control of the picture format on 480i broadcasts. Except the display shows "full" picture mode on 480i, not zoom.
Full picture mode on the DTVPal is actually horizontal squeeze on any 720p or 1080i broadcast.

Full picture mode is also the mode it is locked to by the NBC AFD code, even though it is actually zoomed/cropped.
During commercials, the aspect ratios are all over the place, from letterbox pillared to horizontally squeezed.

I believe that has always been the behavior of the DTVpal, and most , if not all, converters when processing 480i. I'm not sure what you would expect the other settings to do, since there is nothing to convert with respect to aspect ratio in this case.
post #65 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmar View Post

I believe that has always been the behavior of the DTVpal, and most , if not all, converters when processing 480i. I'm not sure what you would expect the other settings to do, since there is nothing to convert with respect to aspect ratio in this case.

I was only pointing out that whatever AFD flag is being used by NBC, it has the same effect on the DTVPal as whatever was being used for 480i broadcasts all along.

The part I haven't understood is why the 480i broadcasts and the NBC AFD flag make the DTVPal picture format show as "full" instead of "zoom".

Full picture mode normally gives a horizontally squeezed picture on HD channels.
post #66 of 182
Here's a quick update on my situation with my local CW affiliate. They finally responded to one of my e-mails.

They get their content from something called The CW Plus, which packages prime time CW programming and syndicated programming into a single package. As suspected, that content isn't being sent to them in HD. However, they may be using the wrong AFD code. It looks like they were unaware of the AFD problem and will be looking to see who's at fault.

Basically, if the problem is on my affiliate's end, they've said they're going to correct the problem since they'd much rather their viewers have options when watching their channel. If it isn't on their end, then they're going to forward my concern on to the appropriate people that manage The CW Plus.

Consider me both shocked and impressed that they're taking the time to look into this. If this course of action fails, I guess my only option would be to get a converter box that lets me override AFD codes.
post #67 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeuralClone View Post

Consider me both shocked and impressed that they're taking the time to look into this. If this course of action fails, I guess my only option would be to get a converter box that lets me override AFD codes.

Or a brand spanking new 65" HDTV!
post #68 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beeper View Post

Or a brand spanking new 65" HDTV!

I would've agreed with that a couple or so years back, but the way they're degrading all the OTA channels, he may turn out to regret spending all that money eventually. I know I am. I'm really not into DVD's or Blu-Ray. I just want to watch local and national OTA television.

I at least would like to downgrade the size of my main-viewed HD display from 50" to no larger than 42". Might sound silly, but that's the point things are at here. I actually find myself watching the 32" analog set in the other room more and more these days. I still always watch live sports on the HD set, but pretty soon that won't be preferred, either. WGN has always looked pretty bad, and that's our main, OTA sports channel here. Anymore subs and forget it.
post #69 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

I would've agreed with that a couple or so years back, but the way they're degrading all the OTA channels, he may turn out to regret spending all that money eventually. I know I am. I'm really not into DVD's or Blu-Ray. I just want to watch local and national OTA television.

I at least would like to downgrade the size of my main-viewed HD display from 50" to no larger than 42". Might sound silly, but that's the point things are at here.

Why is that silly? I'm not interested in anything over 37" and I may end up with a 32". For me, even 40" is too big for my taste.
post #70 of 182
It might sound silly to some (maybe not you - but Beeper in particular, who recommended moving up to a 65"), that I already own a 50" display, and I'd actually want to downgrade it to 42" or smaller (especially a Pio Elite, which I couldn't even replace with another 42" of the same anymore).

Maybe not here so much, but in the HD forums, they'd laugh me right outta there. Yeah, they gripe about the decline in PQ each time it happens, but then they forget about it and go on their merry way. Me, I really feel I have to do something about it at this point.

I just want to honestly inform people in these sub-forums in case they're seriously considering it. If they were going to do it, they should've done it a few years ago - it'd be senseless now, because OTA HD will all look like widescreen SD soon enough. We're already halfway there. Unless you're really into Blu-Ray, like I said.
post #71 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

It might sound silly to some (maybe not you - but Beeper in particular, who recommended moving up to a 65"), that I already own a 50" display, and I'd actually want to downgrade it to 42" or smaller.

Maybe not here so much, but in the HD forums, they'd laugh me right outta there.

Well these forums, I am guessing, are made up mostly of Home Theatre enthusiasts, of which I am not. I don't need or want a "movie theatre" in my home. I only started posting here because of technical issues I was having with digital television reception and the DTVPal+.
post #72 of 182
When our 27 inch Sony analog CRT died - we specifically got our 32 inch 720P class LCD.

4:3 programming on the LCD looks to be about the same size as the 27 4:3

And we haven't upgraded to HDTV on DBS yet - so yes - image quality WAS a concern about going to a larger TV. OTA HD looks REAL GOOD however...

So yes - I understand about wanting to not maximize screen size based on what you watch.
post #73 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCLA* View Post

Well these forums, I am guessing, are made up mostly of Home Theatre enthusiasts, of which I am not. I don't need or want a "movie theatre" in my home. I only started posting here because of technical issues I was having with digital television reception and the DTVPal+.

But again, I wasn't really talking to you - I was talking to Beeper and the like.

Or is that not OK? I wasn't aware that the ownership of the thread had been handed over to you.
post #74 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

But again, I wasn't really talking to you - I was talking to Beeper and the like.

Or is that not OK? I wasn't aware that the ownership of the thread had been handed over to you.

LOL, chill out. The forums are open to anyone that wants to respond. It's a public conversation.
post #75 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooper View Post

And we haven't upgraded to HDTV on DBS yet - so yes - image quality WAS a concern about going to a larger TV. OTA HD looks REAL GOOD however...

Yeah, when I bought the TV a couple of years back, Direct hadn't sent up their new satellites yet, Dish was already severely downgraded, Comcast was following, and FIOS wasn't and still isn't available here.

OTA was all I really wanted in HD anyway at that time (probably even moreso now, unfortunately, with all the reality cr*p that's on cable).

If it were that bad here, I truly would've done what I said by now, but I'm still holding on. But it is getting closer and closer with each "Live Well" and useless subchannel that's added (supposedly got that "dot.2" HD movie subchannel coming, too). I'll give it about a year at this rate, unless they all of a sudden just come on with a flurry (and with the economy - or their excuse of it - they just might for the added advertising. Then you've got this pushing of "diversity programming" thing).
post #76 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCLA* View Post

LOL, settle down. The forums are open to anyone that wants to respond. It's a public conversation.

I know, I just wanted to make it clear that I wasn't directing it at everybody. I realize here that the majority don't even care about that sort of thing. It was just that Beeper brought it up.
post #77 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

(probably even moreso now, unfortunately, with all the reality cr*p that's on cable).

Unfortunately, all the reality crap isn't relegated only to cable. Have you seen NBC's line up lately? And the other networks aren't far off.
post #78 of 182
True - but I watch mostly local programming, sports, late-night talk shows, and just a couple or so scripted series. I also have standalone DVR's, so I can make my own schedule amongst what's on, in a sense.

Main thing is, at least I ain't payin' for the programming, and I find it satisfying enough.
post #79 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

True - but I watch mostly local programming, sports, late-night talk shows, and just a couple or so scripted series. I also have standalone DVR's, so I can make my own schedule amongst what's on, in a sense.

Main thing is, at least I ain't payin' for the programming, and I find it satisfying enough.

Well it sounds like we are on the same wavelength, viewing habits wise. Your description of what you watch is exactly the same as how I would describe my viewing habits, though less sports (if I do watch any sports at all, it's something on NBC's Universal Sports. I'm not a baseball/basketball/football fan). The ironic thing? Almost everything I watch is on - NBC!. That's why this whole AFD thing is especially extra infuriating to me (to bring this thread back on topic ).
post #80 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

I know, I just wanted to make it clear that I wasn't directing it at everybody. I realize here that the majority don't even care about that sort of thing. It was just that Beeper brought it up.

You thought I was serious? Doesn't size matter?

I watch HD on a 42" and PQ around here is stellar, except some CBS. Strangely, Letterman tape looks better than some prime time.
CBS NFL football is ugly, but I think that is because of the production, not broadcasting.
Maybe the CBS HD PQ would be a little better if they didn't cut into their bandwidth with the TVGOS stream.

To me, the worst HD is still miles ahead of SD. And then of course there is no comparison of 5.1 audio vs. stereo.
I certainly wouldn't steer anyone away from HD. I try to confine my own SD watching to the garage.
post #81 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beeper View Post

Or a brand spanking new 65" HDTV!

Well, true. An HDTV would solve the problem immediately. I would have done that in the first place if I had thought it was worthwhile. I personally think it's a complete waste of money at the moment. For one thing, I don't have room for a screen that big. And well, it's just too freaking big for my current setup. If I had more space and had digital cable and a Blu-Ray player, then maybe I'd consider it more strongly.

Also, I don't currently own a Blu-Ray player and I'm content with just regular DVDs for the time being. Many of the shows and movies I've been buying weren't filmed in HD anyway. So buying them on Blu-Ray is downright moronic when nothing is gained visually by purchasing them in that format. Blu-Ray and everything related to HD is so absurdly overpriced that I just don't think it's worth jumping on board yet. It'll be worth it at some point but not yet.

A converter box is a cheap, temporary solution until HD becomes reasonably priced. So until that happens, I have to continue putting up with a 4:3 TV and letterbox. In that case, my only options for dealing with incorrect AFD codes are to get a converter box that lets me override the code or contact the affiliate and hope they can/are willing to do something about it. Otherwise I'm stuck with a really unpleasant and sometimes laughable viewing experience (e.g., unintentional nose shots, conversations where I can only see the noses of the people talking).

Oh and with regards to NBC screwing around with the AFD codes, I haven't had a problem with this at all. I've checked out the shows mentioned in this thread that are causing people problems and they've been in letterbox for every episode I've tuned in for. And they stay that way for the whole broadcast.
post #82 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeuralClone View Post

Oh and with regards to NBC screwing around with the AFD codes, I haven't had a problem with this at all. I've checked out the shows mentioned in this thread that are causing people problems and they've been in letterbox for every episode I've tuned in for. And they stay that way for the whole broadcast.

Lucky you.
post #83 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beeper View Post

To me, the worst HD is still miles ahead of SD.

To me, the best SD I've ever seen (including analog) is far better than the worst HD I've ever seen.

CBS Football can look pretty ugly here, too, at times. And that was even before they carried the TVGOS stream. Also, it doesn't have any subchannels here. Sometimes I wonder if it's local or something when I read all the time in the HDTV sub-forum how everybody raves that CBS Football OTA looks so great to them. We often get artifacts galore here - especially on the closer-up shots.
post #84 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

To me, the best SD I've ever seen (including analog) is far better than the worst HD I've ever seen.

CBS Football can look pretty ugly here, too, at times. And that was even before they carried the TVGOS stream. Also, it doesn't have any subchannels here. Sometimes I wonder if it's local or something when I read all the time in the HDTV sub-forum how everybody raves that CBS Football OTA looks so great to them. We often get artifacts galore here - especially on the closer-up shots.

Is your CBS station a CBS O&O? If so, then it is not allowed to broadcast any subchannels. CBS prohibits it's O&O's from doing so. Because of this, CBS's HD picture quality is the best of the major networks, broadcasting 1080i at close to the max 19Mb.
post #85 of 182
Thread Starter 
The only thing is, it seems that CBS stations are actually sending out that signal, the same one that's caused some cable viewers to get their CW affiliate's broadcasts in "zoomed" format, with the sides of widescreen shows cut off.

Our CW station's engineering department told me they're doing it because the standard is being set by CBS, which owns half the CW.

Seems CBS's choice is that if someone's watching their shows on a 4x3 screen, they want it to display fullscreen, not letterboxed. (Not sure if this is on all their shows, or just some, like NBC is doing.) Thing is, I've only become aware of this because of still having analog cable, and the cable company is feeding the "zoom" signal thru their equipment, and so the analog feed gets the 4x3 picture instead of letterbox.

I've given up recording SMALLVLLE off analog cable for this reason. I now record only off the digital side, or off an OTA converter. (Happily, the CW OTA feed for some reason doesn't switch to "zoom" like it does with NBC. The "zoom" signal only affects the cable feed. Weird.)

Oh...

A side point...

From what I understand, there are areas where the CBS stations DO have sub-channels, because that's the only way some areas ended up with the CW. As sub-channels of another TV station on its digital broadcast. Usually this would be a sub-channel of the CBS station, which makes sense.
post #86 of 182
Our CBS affiliate is doing CBS in HD, a 2nd channel, and an ATSC M/H subchannel. This is in Raleigh. Thankfully - no forced flags that I'v seen.
post #87 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by gastrof View Post

The only thing is, it seems that CBS stations are actually sending out that signal, the same one that's caused some cable viewers to get their CW affiliate's broadcasts in "zoomed" format, with the sides of widescreen shows cut off.

Our CW station's engineering department told me they're doing it because the standard is being set by CBS, which owns half the CW.

Seems CBS's choice is that if someone's watching their shows on a 4x3 screen, they want it to display fullscreen, not letterboxed. (Not sure if this is on all their shows, or just some, like NBC is doing.) Thing is, I've only become aware of this because of still having analog cable, and the cable company is feeding the "zoom" signal thru their equipment, and so the analog feed gets the 4x3 picture instead of letterbox.

I've given up recording SMALLVLLE off analog cable for this reason. I now record only off the digital side, or off an OTA converter. (Happily, the CW OTA feed for some reason doesn't switch to "zoom" like it does with NBC. The "zoom" signal only affects the cable feed. Weird.)

Oh...

A side point...

From what I understand, there are areas where the CBS stations DO have sub-channels, because that's the only way some areas ended up with the CW. As sub-channels of another TV station on its digital broadcast. Usually this would be a sub-channel of the CBS station, which makes sense.

Only CBS O&O (Owned & Operated) stations are prohibited from broadcasting subchannels. If your CBS station is brodcasting a sub-channel, then it is not an O&O. Also, FYI, neither CBS or WPIX (CW) are forcing 4:3 or Zooming using AFD, here in New York. Everything is letterbox on both, thank God.

As far as cable goes, here in New York, the cable companies broadcast two feeds of the same broadcast channels. For instance, CBS SD feed in 4:3 on channel 2, and CBS HD feed in 16:9 on channel 702. The people who are getting CW "zoomed" on cable should probably check to see if their cable company is doing a simultaneous HD feed on another channel, as described above.
post #88 of 182
Our CBS is O&O (Chicago). It generally looks excellent - although I do seem to have noticed some extra edge-enhancement added on some primetime shows in recent months (Ghost Whisperer looks especially bad - no, I don't watch it - just flipped past it). It's only some shots on the occasional Football game that I'm talking about having the artifacts. I think some of the problem might be that it's interlaced (1080i).

As far as Smallville, that looks awful on WGN here. Explosions, scene transitions and other fast movements block up like crazy. Sporting events can suck, too. Especially, for some reason, the Cub games (they've got a Latino music video subchannel).
post #89 of 182
I say well all report this to the FCC.

I made a post over here about the same problem.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post16782860

This is even happening on my Panasonic DMR-EZ28K DVD Recorder.

I have a Digital Stream converter box from Radio Shack that is a quick fix.

I did record a episode of Chuck from NBC the episode that was in 3D.

What I do if a show starts a 8pm I set the recorder to go off at 7:57pm and end at 9:03. Well the show that was still on at 7:57 was a 4:3 image but it was more like a 4:0 or something. When set to normal viewing on my Dynex tv. Change that to wide mode and and the 4:3 viewed right.

When Chuck started everything was fine even the commercials aspect ratio from 16:9 to 4:3 was fine.

So sometime after the airing on Chuck in 3D NBC station changed the Active Format Description (AFD). I can not really say when they did it here in Boston as I do not use my Panasonic DVD Recorder that much.
post #90 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beeper View Post

I was referring to the big four networks that broadcast HD, ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. I should have made it clearer.

Why would Telemundo be using AFD, they are 480i in my market? Does Mundo have HD in Chicago?

I noticed another strange thing. "Set by program" doesn't necessarily mean the program will be cropped.
Tonight's NBC 7 PM CDT show is cropped on my Zenith DTT901 when using "set by program".
My older LG LST-3510A external HD receiver shows the same program in widescreen when "set by program" is selected.

In the settings you might be able to fix this. Set to Anamorphic, 16:9, 14:9, Zoom.

I have the same problem with my Panasonic DVD Recorder. But my DTV Converter Box from Radio Shack the Digital Stream fixes this problem.

Beeper, can you over ride "set by program"? And will it fix the problem?
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