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Greensboro, NC - HDTV - Page 344

post #10291 of 11117
Quote:
Originally Posted by jspENC View Post

In the east, WNCT and WCTI do really well, except for when lightning is around. I get about 5-10% higher signal with their VHF's than I do with the UHF's on the same towers, and I am technically using a UHF antenna. Winegard 8800. Height being at 2000 ft helps too.

I don't know nearly enough about this, but there is some evidence that a fair bit of the problems with VHF DTV do not involve raw signal strength. Low Band VHF probably never should have happened. High Band VHF seems to work in open spaces, such as we have in the middle of the country, much better than in urban areas. There were immediate signs of trouble with High Band VHF in urban areas. Much of it had to do with various forms of multipath, Electro-magnetic interference from automotive sources, electrical apparatus, etc. In some cities, there was great trouble with DTV on CHs 7-13. But, 40 or 50 miles away, the reception was OK. Before the transition, I had no trouble with WGHP on CH. 35 from about 19 miles. I did have trouble with CH.8, though. From about 50 miles, I have little problem with WTVI on CH. 11 from Charlotte. My guess is there is little EMI around me, and any bouncing signal will be too weak to matter at this distance.. As I confess, I don't know enough about this. But, I would guess that if VHF has to be employed, it should be used in open country, not in urban areas.
post #10292 of 11117
Quote:
There are many that know more than I about this. WRAL was the first, as far as I know, DTV station in the US. I saw it a little back when it was on CH.32 in its first year as a digital station. At that point, source material wasn't great. It did not impress me. I'm sure I would have liked it much more in the next couple of years.

I was there in July of '96 when WRAL-HD became the first TV station in the US to transmit a digital television signal. Bob is right, the encoder was a 36" x 36" x 24" cube box made by Mitsubishi. We shared it with WHD in Washington, DC, which was the PBS/NAB experimental station and KCTS (PBS) in Seattle. The audio was encoded into Dolby 2.0 on a PC. You plugged analog, stereo audio into a card in the back of the PC and another card outputted Dolby 2.0 which connected to the Encoder. The encoder inputted Y/Pr/Pb component video. For the first two years, WRAL-HD transmitted 1035i, not 1080i..1035i was the Japanese standard from NHK. Evertz made a graphic ID box which input/output 1035i, Y/Pr/Pb serial no. 0001. The transmitter was a Harris Solid State transmitter. The exciter was black, metal box that was not mounted in the transmitter but sat on a table in front of the unit. The antenna was an Andrew ALP LP (now part of ERI) Video/audio was mux together on a fiber which ran between the studio at 2619 Western and Auburn. We had no demod on that first day, only a SA looking at a RF envelope. We would get a demod in 3 months made by a German company whose name escapes me now ...Video came from a Pluto Server, now AVID. It had a 4 hour loop of various shows...I setup the sat receiver that would receive HD from CBS for the 98 Winter Games and John Glenn's Shuttle launch. I was the first affiliate to receive a HD picture . WRAL would use the NHK HD truck after the 96 Atlanta games to record a Football game, a baseball game (Durham Bulls) and the NC Symphony. That would give WRAL appox 8 hours of HD video. The football game was NC State vs Duke from Wallace Wade. I was EIC on the game since I drove the right hand drive truck from Atlanta to Raleigh and back. I was taught the tech setup of the truck from NHK engineers. As far as I know I EICed the first HD sport event in the US. If I add a nickel to that, I can get 5 cents worth of coffee today. That was a good time in my career, we had no guide to go by...we didnt know if we were right or wrong.......
post #10293 of 11117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theo1080 View Post

I was there in July of '96 when WRAL-HD became the first TV station in the US to transmit a digital television signal. Bob is right, the encoder was a 36" x 36" x 24" cube box made by Mitsubishi. We shared it with WHD in Washington, DC, which was the PBS/NAB experimental station and KCTS (PBS) in Seattle. The audio was encoded into Dolby 2.0 on a PC. You plugged analog, stereo audio into a card in the back of the PC and another card outputted Dolby 2.0 which connected to the Encoder. The encoder inputted Y/Pr/Pb component video. For the first two years, WRAL-HD transmitted 1035i, not 1080i..1035i was the Japanese standard from NHK. Evertz made a graphic ID box which input/output 1035i, Y/Pr/Pb serial no. 0001. The transmitter was a Harris Solid State transmitter. The exciter was black, metal box that was not mounted in the transmitter but sat on a table in front of the unit. The antenna was an Andrew ALP LP (now part of ERI) Video/audio was mux together on a fiber which ran between the studio at 2619 Western and Auburn. We had no demod on that first day, only a SA looking at a RF envelope. We would get a demod in 3 months made by a German company whose name escapes me now ...Video came from a Pluto Server, now AVID. It had a 4 hour loop of various shows...I setup the sat receiver that would receive HD from CBS for the 98 Winter Games and John Glenn's Shuttle launch. I was the first affiliate to receive a HD picture . WRAL would use the NHK HD truck after the 96 Atlanta games to record a Football game, a baseball game (Durham Bulls) and the NC Symphony. That would give WRAL appox 8 hours of HD video. The football game was NC State vs Duke from Wallace Wade. I was EIC on the game since I drove the right hand drive truck from Atlanta to Raleigh and back. I was taught the tech setup of the truck from NHK engineers. As far as I know I EICed the first HD sport event in the US. If I add a nickel to that, I can get 5 cents worth of coffee today. That was a good time in my career, we had no guide to go by...we didnt know if we were right or wrong.......

Excellent detail, thanks. I remember a "nature" film that wasn't very well shot. I imagined that Super8 shot at 30fps second would have been better.
post #10294 of 11117
You know, it wasn't that long ago that the local stations couldn't transmit the weather crawl at the bottom of the screen in HD. It was really bad during spurts of cold weather, seeing the same few church and business closing crawl by for days on end.
post #10295 of 11117
I know! Then we finally figured out that the tee-vee weather guy was charged with saving mankind from Mother Nature and we fixed it! biggrin.gif
post #10296 of 11117
if i remember correctly, atlanta's "world of coca-cola" had the first HDTV display. of course we knew nothing, it just looked like a small movie screen. it was in a small theater setting, and ran a coca-cola promotional video. "it looks as good as film," was the typical comment. honestly, i couldn't tell the difference.

i don't remember exactly when this was, but sometime around the atlanta 1996 olympics, i think.


on a totally different subject, i wish the crawler had never been invented! truly, it's important for weather bulletins, but why do we need crawlers on newscasts giving news. the crawler is just fluff.
post #10297 of 11117
With WXII's graphics update any word on when they'll go HD (studio, remotes?)
post #10298 of 11117
Quote:
Originally Posted by ncbill View Post

With WXII's graphics update any word on when they'll go HD (studio, remotes?)

I have heard that their corporate engineer doesn't see the need to go HD for news. Now they have been forced to go HD in some markets where they numbers are behind, but it is always a three way race here so who knows if they will go here or not.
post #10299 of 11117
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

I have heard that their corporate engineer doesn't see the need to go HD for news. Now they have been forced to go HD in some markets where they numbers are behind, but it is always a three way race here so who knows if they will go here or not.
Well, WYFF4 here in GVL SC went HD back in May, and for a while there, it did not seem like they were in any hurry to do so either. Perhaps it was a ratings decision, as WSPA and WLOS were already there. Meanwhile, WYFF also has the new graphics.
post #10300 of 11117
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

I have heard that their corporate engineer doesn't see the need to go HD for news. Now they have been forced to go HD in some markets where they numbers are behind, but it is always a three way race here so who knows if they will go here or not.
Well, WYFF4 here in GVL SC went HD back in May, and for a while there, it did not seem like they were in any hurry to do so either. Perhaps it was a ratings decision, as WSPA and WLOS were already there. Meanwhile, WYFF also has the new graphics.

If I could really talk.....
post #10301 of 11117
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

If I could really talk.....
Yea, speculation was that Hearst was originally looking to upgrade WXII but for some reason the decision was made to go with WYFF instead.
post #10302 of 11117
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

I have heard that their corporate engineer doesn't see the need to go HD for news. Now they have been forced to go HD in some markets where they numbers are behind, but it is always a three way race here so who knows if they will go here or not.

IMO, high definition is not the end all as far as choosing which local news station to watch. However, I think it's a factor on some level concerning the competition. And while WXII is a respected news source in the Triad, I don't know how they plan on beating WGHP in the three way race (without HD) unless they plan something that is miraculous with their content and talent. Personally, I prefer WGHP as they do a good job of covering all of the Triad (with no particular emphasis on High Point-the city of license). And the fact that they are in HD just makes WGHP news better. We know the cost factor is always an issue with studio upgrades. But I think it is unfortunate for WXII that Hearst does not appear to be interested in making any changes at this time.
post #10303 of 11117
Quote:
Originally Posted by evan237 View Post

IMO, high definition is not the end all as far as choosing which local news station to watch. However, I think it's a factor on some level concerning the competition. And while WXII is a respected news source in the Triad, I don't know how they plan on beating WGHP in the three way race (without HD) unless they plan something that is miraculous with their content and talent. Personally, I prefer WGHP as they do a good job of covering all of the Triad (with no particular emphasis on High Point-the city of license). And the fact that they are in HD just makes WGHP news better. We know the cost factor is always an issue with studio upgrades. But I think it is unfortunate for WXII that Hearst does not appear to be interested in making any changes at this time.
Ultimately, from a financial standpoint, it is probably a business decision by broadcasters as to where they feel they would get the best return on their investment. For example, in Charlotte, I'm sure Belo feels that upgrading WCNC to HD will not make a bit of difference in the overall ratings, as they are a consistent number three, or perhaps fourth rated when you factor in WCCB. They need to work more on upgrading talent and content, and overall presentation. But I do like Larry Sprinkle.
post #10304 of 11117
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post

Ultimately, from a financial standpoint, it is probably a business decision by broadcasters as to where they feel they would get the best return on their investment. For example, in Charlotte, I'm sure Belo feels that upgrading WCNC to HD will not make a bit of difference in the overall ratings, as they are a consistent number three, or perhaps fourth rated when you factor in WCCB. They need to work more on upgrading talent and content, and overall presentation. But I do like Larry Sprinkle.

Yes, and I think of WCNC as the 'step child' in the Charlotte market as far as their local news is concerned. Maybe that will change someday if Belo decides to invest more money in the station.

Out of the big 4 networks, I think of our local ABC affiliate, WXLV as the Triad's 'step child' where local news is concerned, since they don't even produce their own news. But in the Triad, I don't think there's really room for additional local news competitors besides WGHP, WXII, and WFMY.
post #10305 of 11117
Were there!

Matt
post #10306 of 11117
Quote:
Originally Posted by evan237 View Post

IMO, high definition is not the end all as far as choosing which local news station to watch. However, I think it's a factor on some level concerning the competition. And while WXII is a respected news source in the Triad, I don't know how they plan on beating WGHP in the three way race (without HD) unless they plan something that is miraculous with their content and talent. Personally, I prefer WGHP as they do a good job of covering all of the Triad (with no particular emphasis on High Point-the city of license). And the fact that they are in HD just makes WGHP news better. We know the cost factor is always an issue with studio upgrades. But I think it is unfortunate for WXII that Hearst does not appear to be interested in making any changes at this time.


In my mind, the entire thing about technical improvements is still secondary to other considerations. To me, the big deal was digital format. Period. One could receive a good NTSC picture, but never a great one. ATSC even in SD if far superior to any NTSC transmission. Once out of the studio,. NTSC degraded fast.. From a arithmetical standpoint NTSC could produce a better display than ATSC SD can, but never did outside a closed environment.. A lot of people are still watching on NTSC receivers, and have no clue what they are missing.. It will be a while before enough viewers will notice the vast difference between a NTSC display and a true HD display that there will be general demand for the best picture. A number of viewers have older LCD receivers that , in my opinion, aren't all that good. 1080i is probably wasted on them. In fact, my guess is that only a small minority of viewers in the Triad can appreciate a true HD transmission.. It may be 5 years before that changes. As a start, the NTSC receivers have to be retired. I believe, if I had to decide for a TV station, it would be content right now, not a optimal theoretical picture resolution. It took Color TV over a decade to become a decisive factor in viewership.
post #10307 of 11117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Smith-WGSR View Post

Were there!
Matt

Yes, but your news is localized to a specific region within the Triad. And your reach does not include the entire viewing area at this time. I was only referring to the big four, Fox, NBC, CBS, and ABC.
post #10308 of 11117
Content is important of course, but for example the weather graphics and high tech radars look much sharper on the HD stations. Especially when they zoom in on the storms right down to your neighborhood.
post #10309 of 11117
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post

Content is important of course, but for example the weather graphics and high tech radars look much sharper on the HD stations. Especially when they zoom in on the storms right down to your neighborhood.

I agree smile.gif
post #10310 of 11117
Quote:
Originally Posted by difuse View Post

In my mind, the entire thing about technical improvements is still secondary to other considerations. To me, the big deal was digital format. Period. One could receive a good NTSC picture, but never a great one. ATSC even in SD if far superior to any NTSC transmission. Once out of the studio,. NTSC degraded fast.. From a arithmetical standpoint NTSC could produce a better display than ATSC SD can, but never did outside a closed environment.. A lot of people are still watching on NTSC receivers, and have no clue what they are missing.. It will be a while before enough viewers will notice the vast difference between a NTSC display and a true HD display that there will be general demand for the best picture. A number of viewers have older LCD receivers that , in my opinion, aren't all that good. 1080i is probably wasted on them. In fact, my guess is that only a small minority of viewers in the Triad can appreciate a true HD transmission.. It may be 5 years before that changes. As a start, the NTSC receivers have to be retired. I believe, if I had to decide for a TV station, it would be content right now, not a optimal theoretical picture resolution. It took Color TV over a decade to become a decisive factor in viewership.

No doubt, content is the most important with news, as it is with movies and other video. I've always felt like all the modern special effects in the world would never make a good story line without content that backs it up. (Hollywood needs to be more mindful of this now days). But in my opinion, technical improvements are still a competitive factor on a certain level. And despite the bad economy, more people are buying new sets every year as the prices have continued to drop while exposing an ever larger part of the viewing public to HD. Just consider how much HD sets have dropped in the past 5 years.. I hardly ever watch SD except in cases of vintage TV or old movies, which I enjoy.
post #10311 of 11117
I find this current thread here about content vs technology quite interesting for one simple reason. A few years ago, I was in a discussion in a different place here on AVS about how stations would embrace HD when the time was right. I also said that most people, unlike the people who frequented AVS at the time, cared more about content than technology. I was roundly denounced and called a heretic for my view. I also said that stations would go HD because it was in their financial interest to do so. even though that changeout is a several million dollar prospect per station. Again I was roundly denounced as a shill for the industry because the industry was just cheap b*stards who only want more money and nothing else and stations were doing everything in their power to stop HD. Well of course that last statement is totally preposterous. It was said by people who HAD an agenda. More HD for their expensive HD TV's. They didn't understand how the industry worked or nor did they care. It was all about them. Now HD is so prevalent that people (even those people) don't think in those terms anymore.

It appears that more people do care about content than the flash of technology. And the industry has adopted HD much, much faster than I thought they would (and I believe that is because they are no longer shackled to a NTSC analog signal that most of the viewing public watched), and the public doesn't want to be left out of the new technology either (ego). And this in a bad economic time. In my own case, I stopped watching my own analog signal in 2003 when I got my first HD TV. If something happened to the analog transmitter, the station had to call and tell me because I wasn't watching it. I set up an antenna on my back porch and used that for my HD TV reception for several years until I put up an antenna on my roof that is still there and I still use today even though I do have DirecTV and mostly use the local signal off of it.

But content is still king. Pretty pictures will take you just so far. I said that then, and I stand by that statement now.

And I do kind of agree with the corporate engineer at Hearst. You really don't need your news in HD. Do you really want to see the blood of a fatal traffic accident victim in HD? I think not. But the reality is, you can't maintain two separate formats within the same plant. The work flow is all screwed up and the maintenance becomes twice as hard. So yeah, you have to convert and adopt to HD news. That is the reality. If your plant is an HD plant, you have to have your studio set for HD as well. It just makes good sense.
post #10312 of 11117
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

I find this current thread here about content vs technology quite interesting for one simple reason. A few years ago, I was in a discussion in a different place here on AVS about how stations would embrace HD when the time was right. I also said that most people, unlike the people who frequented AVS at the time, cared more about content than technology. I was roundly denounced and called a heretic for my view. I also said that stations would go HD because it was in their financial interest to do so. even though that changeout is a several million dollar prospect per station. Again I was roundly denounced as a shill for the industry because the industry was just cheap b*stards who only want more money and nothing else and stations were doing everything in their power to stop HD. Well of course that last statement is totally preposterous. It was said by people who HAD an agenda. More HD for their expensive HD TV's. They didn't understand how the industry worked or nor did they care. It was all about them. Now HD is so prevalent that people (even those people) don't think in those terms anymore.
It appears that more people do care about content than the flash of technology. And the industry has adopted HD much, much faster than I thought they would (and I believe that is because they are no longer shackled to a NTSC analog signal that most of the viewing public watched), and the public doesn't want to be left out of the new technology either (ego). And this in a bad economic time. In my own case, I stopped watching my own analog signal in 2003 when I got my first HD TV. If something happened to the analog transmitter, the station had to call and tell me because I wasn't watching it. I set up an antenna on my back porch and used that for my HD TV reception for several years until I put up an antenna on my roof that is still there and I still use today even though I do have DirecTV and mostly use the local signal off of it.
But content is still king. Pretty pictures will take you just so far. I said that then, and I stand by that statement now.
And I do kind of agree with the corporate engineer at Hearst. You really don't need your news in HD. Do you really want to see the blood of a fatal traffic accident victim in HD? I think not. But the reality is, you can't maintain two separate formats within the same plant. The work flow is all screwed up and the maintenance becomes twice as hard. So yeah, you have to convert and adopt to HD news. That is the reality. If your plant is an HD plant, you have to have your studio set for HD as well. It just makes good sense.

I certainly understand those who have and appreciate full HD as wanting more of it.. It definitely has a place. Well filmed prime time shows and live event coverage, a lot of movies. but I'm not all that sure there is that big a demand for it among the general viewership. There is a not so great economy now. I can wait for a while. Actually, I often would prefer 4 SD choices over a full HD or an HD and an SD. The analogy with color TV is not perfect, but is relevant. Almost 60 years ago, WFMY jumped on color. It cranked up a film-slide chain, and................discovered nobody was buying into color.. That ended color for WFMY for a decade. There is a lot more to the story, but, the station did VERY WELL without it.. Its not the same thing now, but, there will need to be a reward for the risk. Later, WGHP went to studio color a while later than WFMY and WXII, but did not seemed to be hurt much by it. As businesses, I want to see broadcasters do well. I don't always get what I want, but, without them, I have no idea what I might get.
post #10313 of 11117
People should do what makes them happy. And if that means keeping an older television set, there's nothing wrong with that.

But mainstream programming in high definition is pretty standard now days. And prices of LCD and Plasma lines are now only a tiny fraction of what they used to be. According to Nielsen data, two thirds of households contained at least one HDTV set, as of June 2011. That statistic generally seems to be backed up from other sources as well. And while I am sure content will continue to reign as king (as it should), there's no doubt that many Americans very much enjoy the technology of HDTV and what it has to offer, not to mention the space savings of modern televisions versus their bulky predecessors.

I can see somewhat of an analogy with color television technology in that both color and HDTV were a bit slow to take off. I don't think HDTV sets were even available for sale until the late 1990's. The first time I actually looked at one (about 12 years ago), they were ridiculously expensive. But the fall in prices has been dramatic since then, particularly in the last 5 years.
post #10314 of 11117

Amen to the idea that content has to be king.

Some of the local stations run those insufferable "judge shows" all afternoon.

A test pattern would be better than that dreck.

 

But for the real programming, the stuff that shows some respect for the viewer, I do like a high def picture better than standard def.

HD just looks much sharper than SD.

A good program (even an old program) in standard def, though, is better than a brand new abomination in HD.

post #10315 of 11117
Quote:
Originally Posted by veedon View Post

Amen to the idea that content has to be king.
Some of the local stations run those insufferable "judge shows" all afternoon.
A test pattern would be better than that dreck.

But for the real programming, the stuff that shows some respect for the viewer, I do like a high def picture better than standard def.
HD just looks much sharper than SD.
A good program (even an old program) in standard def, though, is better than a brand new abomination in HD.
But you don't want to mess with Judge Judy.biggrin.gif
post #10316 of 11117
Quote:
Originally Posted by evan237 View Post

Yes, and I think of WCNC as the 'step child' in the Charlotte market as far as their local news is concerned. Maybe that will change someday if Belo decides to invest more money in the station.
Our Belo station (in SE VA) is still doing widescreen SD news. BUT all their weather graphics are in HD. We get to watch "fuzzy" meteorologists superimposed on HD weather backgrounds...
post #10317 of 11117
Quote:
Originally Posted by veedon View Post

Some of the local stations run those insufferable "judge shows" all afternoon. A test pattern would be better than that dreck.

They (We) run that "dreck" rolleyes.gif because people watch it and advertisers buy it. Judy does very well. And as TylerSC said.." you don't want to mess with Judge Judy." biggrin.gif

Like with Springer and Wilkos..the ambulance chaser lawyers eat that up! tongue.gif
post #10318 of 11117
The dreck pays the bills.
post #10319 of 11117
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post

The dreck pays the bills.

Maybe so.

 

 

I am old enough to remember when no reputable lawyer would advertise on TV, pharmaceutical ads were not permitted, and infomercials were limited to late night hours or other periods of low viewership.

 

There is a real yearning now for a return to better broadcasting, and stations could use the high quality of OTA HD images as a way of attracting an audience of viewers who are tired of the high cost and declining quality of the shows on pay TV.

 

I wonder whether broadcasters could find a way to distribute content both OTA and via the internet but bypass cable companies and satellite providers.

post #10320 of 11117
Quote:
Originally Posted by difuse View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

I find this current thread here about content vs technology quite interesting .

The analogy with color TV is not perfect, but is relevant. Almost 60 years ago, WFMY jumped on color. It cranked up a film-slide chain, and................discovered nobody was buying into color.. That ended color for WFMY for a decade. There is a lot more to the story, but, the station did VERY WELL without it..

 

WFMY has always had CBS as its primary affiliation, right?

 

Didn't CBS originally develop a color TV system that was not compatible with existing B&W sets, and when the B&W-compatible color standard for NTSC was adopted a few years later, it was NBC that took the lead in promoting color TV because NBC had a business relationship with RCA, the company that manufactured most of the color sets?

 

For a while CBS had the most popular shows, but it did not have as much of an incentive to move to color broadcasting as NBC did.

 

Add to all of that some manufacturing restrictions during the Korean War, the launching of the ABC network, and the decline of DuMont, and the whole industry was in flux during the 1950's.

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