Originally Posted by ejb1980
The picture is smushed in the middle of the screen. QVC is a 16:9 channel and should be flagged as such. So, you have to stretch to get it correct. That stretches all of the others (except WGHP 8-2). WGHP 8-2 should win an award for being the only channel to understand aspect ratio.
I don't know if we need an award for something that is common sense, but it appears many engineers do not understand how anamorphic works. I think that is why many 480i channels do not attempt 16:9 and some that do, screw it up. I know in my own company, we are the only station that does a 16:9 subchannel. I got some interesting looks and comments when some corporate engineers found out we were doing 16:9 and not 4:3 on 8-2. Many believe that anamorphic 720x480 just can never have good PQ due to what they saw with NTSC analog in anamorphic. That was a mess. But SDI 601 digital 720x480 doesn't suffer many of the NTSC artifacts that show up when you do anamorphic. It is a picture bandwidth issue.
We did 480i anamorphic upconverted to HD for a year before we went HD and because we were completely digital in house, the PQ was quite good and some viewers thought we were already HD. Most people do not realize that during our 480i anamorphic days, we were using the same equipment we had been using since 2000. It was all 480i 4:3 equipment. In 2009 we just started doing anamorphic. I know it took a while to get my boss to understand what was happening. He just couldn't see how you could get 16:9 out of a 4:3 frame. I had to do a demo for him and the GM and the ND to show that we could do it without spending a lot of money and the PQ would still be good. Something so easy was such a hard sell. After we switched to anamorphic, I asked the head director what he thought of it. His answer was "I don't know how the hell you are doing it with SD equipment (meaning "4:3" equipment), but it looks damn good!"
If everyone started using 480p encoding instead of 480i, this wouldn't be a problem. 480p is setup as a 16:9 picture where 480i can be used either 4:3 or 16:9.