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Las Vegas, NV - HDTV - Page 214

post #6391 of 9174
so... can anyone confirm if this is fox or kvuu or cox? Maybe some one on Directv or antenna can pop over and see if, for example, Daytona Qualifying or the Pro-bowl is in HD?

TIA,
bob
post #6392 of 9174
The problem was with Fox local. When I went to watch a recording of the Bud Shootout, which I believe started 5pm our time, there a message from D* stating that there was a problem with our local broadcaster and that they were aware of it. So if you folks had problems on Cox and I had problems on D*, it was obviously something at Fox 5. (At least D* acknowleged the problem and let me know what was going on. I don't know why Cox didn't put up a message.) BTW, the signal came back about 40 some minutes into the broadcast.
post #6393 of 9174
It did not ever come back on Cox, and was out for the entirety of Daytona Qualifying, and is not on now for the beginning of the pro bowl.

-b
post #6394 of 9174
I really feel for you Cox subscribers.
The qualifying was great. Nice to see a one car team (Front Row Joe) get locked in to the race. Third place after J. Johnson and Mikey. (And good for him too!)
post #6395 of 9174
http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6529086.html

Q&A: Cox’s Steve Necessary (Cox Corporate VP of Video Product Development and Support)

George Winslow -- Multichannel News, 2/4/2008 4:12:00 PM
As the satellite operators and telcos tout their ability to deliver more HD tonnage than cable, major operators are scrambling to free up bandwidth for bulked-up HD packages. Cox Communications vice president of video product development and support Steve Necessary spoke to HD Update about the “tool box” Cox is using to free bandwidth for more high-def content. An edited transcript follows:

Q: We’ve seen a lot of very dramatic announcements about the amount of HD channels satellite and telcos will be offering this year. Is this marketing hype or does it mean that they are ahead of cable in terms of the amount of HD channels they can offer?

A: There is a lot of rhetoric. But I suspect that it is rhetoric that passes legal muster. We all have lawyers and they look at everything. So, one would have to assume that the tonnage claims are backed by fact.

That said, the fundamental question behind those claims is simple. How much of that tonnage does the consumer actually care about?

If 20 of those channels or some large number of the channels being offered are regional sports networks, what’s the value in that? Most of us are not very interested in out-of-market regional sports.

You can also make the same argument about some of the unbranded content or niche content that is part of those packages. The channels that have strong name appeal will have highest value for consumers. Having a large number of channels that no one knows about will have commensurately less value.

But when you peel that onion, you see that we are offering the same amount of high value content. Then, on top of that cable has the advantage of being able to augment its high-def offering by literally orders of magnitude with the choices you’ll find in our HD on-demand offering.

So we are not particularly worried about tonnage itself. Ultimately quality is what matters. We are confident that our variety of choices will ultimately dwarf the number of HD choices that satellite can offer.

Q: That will require a lot more bandwidth. What are you doing to get the capacity for more HD choices?

A: The good news is that we have a pretty good tool box. We basically are using all of the tools at our disposal.

A quick laundry list would be bandwidth expansion -- we’ve taken all of our markets or are in the process of taking all of our markets to at least 860MHz. We are deploying switched digital video in several markets. We are selectively and modestly looking to take away analogue channels, which frees up capacity.

We are also looking to increase our compression ratios, which you have to do carefully so it doesn’t have a negative impact on signal quality. But there are some things that can and are being done that yield great pictures with a little less bandwidth with MPEG-2, and in the future MPEG-4 will be another tool in that mix.

Last but not least, is the physical architecture of our systems. You can reduce node sizes so that your capacity -- particularly your on-demand capacity -- is shared over a smaller footprint, which effectively increases the capacity in that node.

So we have a pretty full tool box. We are very confident that with the number of tools we have available that we will be able to provide a superior HD experience for our customers.

Q: What is your timetable for switched digital?

A: We have it operational in our Northern Virginia system and then we have two other large markets in the deploying in the first half of this year, Phoenix Arizona and Orange County California.

Q: How much new HD content have you added as a result of switched digital in Virginia?

A: It will obviously allow us to add more. But, Cox has a very high emphasis on quality. So we have been and will continue to be very deliberate in assessing the utilization and how much bandwidth actually gets freed up by switched digital before we try to fill all that capacity back up.

Said differently, the last thing we want is for a customer to turn to a channel and get an error message that says that channel is not available. We have not had that scenario and hope to never have that scenario. It is working very well and we are very encouraged by that.

Q: What are you dong in the area of compression?

A: The typical implementation of high definition would mean that we would carry that content on a system at somewhere around 19 Mbps.

We have found that with improved MPEG-2 encoders, that we can get equally good pictures to the eye in the 13 Mbps to 14 Mbps. So basically, that means you can squeeze three high-definition channels into one of the 6 MHz blocks instead of 2 channels.

Q: With increasing broadband speeds, do you have plans to offer more HD content online?

A: There is an opportunity to utilize the IP path as a means of delivering video. But our plans for it would at best be considered nascent. Frankly there are easier and more efficient ways to deliver HD content with MPEG-2 over QAM as opposed to MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 over an IP path. Yeah, it is ultimately another tool but it is a tool that we will leave at the bottom of the box for a while.

vegggas
post #6396 of 9174
Congratulations to the cast and crew of Cirque's "Love" at the Grammy Awards for a rEVOLutionary and outstanding performance.
We appreciate and are proud of all of you local Las Vegans who are being recognized for your hard work!
Enjoy your spotlight and a few days off, at least until Wednesday's show :-)

vegggas
post #6397 of 9174
cliffs on Cox commentary: more lip service from our "friends in the digital age"

post #6398 of 9174
Still no HD on Fox...
post #6399 of 9174
The information in the previous post about the Cox Q&A confirms some of what I am seeing on the test channels. There are dozens of new channels spanning upwards towards the 860Mhz mark and it appears that they are running three HD channels per QAM without reducing the resolution or affecting the picture quality. The quality of those channels is on par with the same channels already on the system and in some cases, I can do a direct comparison between the two versions.
I strongly think that the new channels are not originating from Las Vegas, but are being pumped from the two super headends located in Atlanta and San Diego. This means, except for local channels, most of the HD will be based on national distribution feeds of high bitrate SDI source material and instead of local sat and decoding/encoding schemes, the highest value ($$$) encoders are being used.
At CES last year (Jan 2007) I got to test out the advanced mpeg2 encoders being fed by an uncompressed studio backbone SDI signal (200Mbps?). I was able to personally crank down the bit rate of the 1080i signal to the 13mbps range before noticing any blocking or distortion at full resolution with heavy screen movement. Since that time, the encoding has gotten a bit more efficient and I see no problem with the new encoders as long as studio feeds are being encoded. The problems will exist when the studio feeds are first compressed by the originators removing some resolveable detail before being sent to distributors.

vegggas
post #6400 of 9174
Veggas,
You quoted Steve Necessary as saying,

"If 20 of those channels or some large number of the channels being offered are regional sports networks, what’s the value in that? Most of us are not very interested in out-of-market regional sports."

Who says THAT'S True??

Most Las Vegans were NOT born in this city, and have migrated here from other sections of the United States.

This is yet another example of Cox "head-honchos" imposing their likes and dislikes on the viewers in this city.
post #6401 of 9174
Why has the Fox HD signal been restored on D* while it has NOT been restored on Cox?
I suspect that the Cox "engineers" are away from their consoles because its Sunday night.
We peons can wait until Monday morning at the earliest. And we probably won't get it back by then either.
post #6402 of 9174
I suspect that D* has a built in advantage over Cox which Cox can NEVER equal.
This is only conjecture, but it sure makes alot of sense to me. When the problem is at our local Fox 5 affiliate, D* simply switches another cities national feed to their local Fox HD channel. For example it may be possible for D* to present us with the San Diego, or LA feed when our local Fox affiliate or Cox Communications is asleep at the switch.
post #6403 of 9174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Word Maestro View Post

Veggas,
You quoted Steve Necessary as saying,

"If 20 of those channels or some large number of the channels being offered are regional sports networks, what’s the value in that? Most of us are not very interested in out-of-market regional sports."

Who says THAT'S True??

Most Las Vegans were NOT born in this city, and have migrated here from other sections of the United States.

This is yet another example of Cox "head-honchos" imposing their likes and dislikes on the viewers in this city.

Ok, I'll bite. What the heck, here's my $.02 worth of an opinion, based on a quote from a news magazine.
The Q&A was from a VP at Cox corporate in Atlanta Georgia, not Las Vegas Nevada, answering questions about the corporate stance of Cox in general terms compared to other providers carrying out of region programming. Many Cox markets have major league sports teams and Cox either carries their own sports network affiliates or owns a local television channel dedicated to carrying local sports coverage. Why would Atanta be interested in carrying all the NorthEast RSN's, or for that matter all the NorthWest RSN's? Since Las Vegas has people from all over the world, should we have dedicated channels for each city and state in the US and every television market in the world? Why not carry 1000 channels of sports and no HD at all? I'm sure relocated Canuks would want to see their hometown curling preliminaries and our heavy population of Futbol fans would love to see more soccer events, but how does that relate to our Las Vegas market? The major events are carried by the existing outlets in a crippled, but useful way, until franchising and viewership rights can be changed, or until Vegas can get it's own teams.

Las Vegas is a unique market where we have no major sports teams, but where nearly all teams in the entire Western region claim us as their home market for television rights. This kind of regional licensing screws with distribution platforms, where a local provider has virtually no say in providing out of region programming due to local competition, but a national distributor, like D*, can claim programming to all markets, so it's no problem to open those channels to other viewers.
I'm rambling now, and there are others on here with more detailed answers. Since you have D* already, you should enjoy that programming and be done with it. You have a choice, make it so.

ve666as
post #6404 of 9174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Word Maestro View Post

Why has the Fox HD signal been restored on D* while it has NOT been restored on Cox?
I suspect that the Cox "engineers" are away from their consoles because its Sunday night.
We peons can wait until Monday morning at the earliest. And we probably won't get it back by then either.

Who knows?
What HD programming on Fox are you missing out on tonight or tomorrow morning? There is no HD programming until 8:00 PM on Monday. Today there was only one program in HD and that was the qualifying from Daytona. Too bad the ProBowl was SD (widescreen, but still SD), or there could have been more than two hours of HD on today.

I know, it's still the point about it being in SD, but it looks like Cox reprogrammed the STB's to view the SD channel version until they can reprogram the STB's again to view the HD version. They only remap and reprogram STB's overnight, so probably sometime overnight during paid programming hours, they will send out reprogramming and rebooting instructions to alll the digital STB's. I guess you would rather they reboot a couple hundred thousand HD STB's during the Probowl or during the Grammy's, leaving everyone with a down box for 5 minutes?

ve666as
post #6405 of 9174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Word Maestro View Post

I suspect that D* has a built in advantage over Cox which Cox can NEVER equal.
This is only conjecture, but it sure makes alot of sense to me. When the problem is at our local Fox 5 affiliate, D* simply switches another cities national feed to their local Fox HD channel. For example it may be possible for D* to present us with the San Diego, or LA feed when our local Fox affiliate or Cox Communications is asleep at the switch.

They can't replace a local feed with an out of market feed. There would be hell to pay and D* would lose the right to carry that station.
Most D* users can pick up the OTA signal and see any changes in real time as the station actually fixes the OTA feed. This is the stations priority signal as it is transmitted from the tower. The D* users that get the Mpeg4 feed from D* instead of from OTA, still get an OTA signal as carried by the local affiliates broadcasting tower. Cox, as a Local into Local provider, gets a feed via fiber with commercial insert feed splices. Meaning that Cox gets to insert a small percentage of commercials into predetermined timeslots of local programming, but they need a seperate feed before it hits the local ad splicer, muxer and transmitter. This level of programming doesn't get as much priority as the tower feed because it's Cox vs. local affiliate ad revenue being lost. A station will always get THEIR OTA signal on air first if at all possible to maintain their ad revenues, where Cox would lose any ad revenue they couldn't provide.

vegggas
post #6406 of 9174
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegggas View Post

Who knows?
I know, it's still the point about it being in SD, but it looks like Cox reprogrammed the STB's to view the SD channel version until they can reprogram the STB's again to view the HD version. They only remap and reprogram STB's overnight, so probably sometime overnight during paid programming hours, they will send out reprogramming and rebooting instructions to alll the digital STB's. I guess you would rather they reboot a couple hundred thousand HD STB's during the Probowl or during the Grammy's, leaving everyone with a down box for 5 minutes?

ve666as

FYI, the ClearQAM signal for FoxHD was also broadcasted in SD all day yesterday...

BTW, keep up the good work vegggas! I have been lurking here for years but only recently registered for the forum. Your insight on our local cable provider is amazing and I always look forward to reading your posts.
post #6407 of 9174
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegggas View Post

Who knows?
What HD programming on Fox are you missing out on tonight or tomorrow morning? There is no HD programming until 8:00 PM on Monday. Today there was only one program in HD and that was the qualifying from Daytona.

ve666as

Exactly. Daytona Qualifying. As well as the Bud pole shootout on Saturday. Not a huge deal to most, but I enjoying racing, and NASCAR has gone to great lengths to get everything on in HD. I just hope it gets fixed for the Main Event on Sunday.....

If only cox could get SPEEDHD in time for the Duels. I can dream can't I?

-b
post #6408 of 9174
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegggas View Post

http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6529086.html

Q&A: Cox's Steve Necessary (Cox Corporate VP of Video Product Development and Support)

George Winslow -- Multichannel News, 2/4/2008 4:12:00 PM

You can also make the same argument about some of the unbranded content or niche content that is part of those packages. The channels that have strong name appeal will have highest value for consumers. Having a large number of channels that no one knows about will have commensurately less value.

Unless you happen to like one of those niches. The MGM channel and HDNet Movies come to mind for me.

Now if Cox could only make it where you didn't have to reboot the stupid CableCards everytime Cox decides to move stuff around.
post #6409 of 9174
has anyone ever noticed how much actual HD programming per week some of those D* Channels offer? IIR the smithsonian channel had a whopping 13 hours of programming per week when it launched last fall.

Whew, and i thought that HD Theatre was bad for repeating.

Anyhow...

Any word on when the last of the real important HD nets will get to vegas? Namely:

Animal Planet
Travel Channel HD

And are these a simulcast like Discovery channel and TLC are?
post #6410 of 9174
And that's the rub. Who defines what the real important HD nets are? For me they would include HDNet Movies and Fox Sports West.
post #6411 of 9174
Quote:
Originally Posted by lvthunder View Post

Unless you happen to like one of those niches. The MGM channel and HDNet Movies come to mind for me.

Now if Cox could only make it where you didn't have to reboot the stupid CableCards everytime Cox decides to move stuff around.

Still in negotiations - Stuck on subscriber fees and charging them as premium channels. Cox wants them to be free with whetever tier of service you already have, but the channels want individual fees based on every viewer.
Both have been talked about and tested.

vegggas
post #6412 of 9174
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegas-steven View Post

has anyone ever noticed how much actual HD programming per week some of those D* Channels offer? IIR the smithsonian channel had a whopping 13 hours of programming per week when it launched last fall.

Whew, and i thought that HD Theatre was bad for repeating.

Anyhow...

Any word on when the last of the real important HD nets will get to vegas? Namely:

Animal Planet
Travel Channel HD

And are these a simulcast like Discovery channel and TLC are?

As with all the Discovery Suite of channels besides HD Theater, there are a LOT of upconverts where they zoom the image halfway between cutting off the top and leaving black lines on the sides. Puppy bowl in HD was fun though and looked great.

vegggas
post #6413 of 9174
Quote:
Originally Posted by lvthunder View Post

And that's the rub. Who defines what the real important HD nets are? For me they would include HDNet Movies and Fox Sports West.

See my previous posts about carriage fees for both of these Channels.

vegggas
post #6414 of 9174
Quote:
Originally Posted by bftlg View Post

Exactly. Daytona Qualifying. As well as the Bud pole shootout on Saturday. Not a huge deal to most, but I enjoying racing, and NASCAR has gone to great lengths to get everything on in HD. I just hope it gets fixed for the Main Event on Sunday.....

If only cox could get SPEEDHD in time for the Duels. I can dream can't I?

-b

Yes, you can dream....or you could get the reality with D* which has had SPEEDHD for months now.
post #6415 of 9174
FOX's HD feed has been out for the last two months at least. I thought they were in cahoots with COX to get folks to buy the their HD STB for the Super Bowl, but I guess I was wrong.

Any one have any info on what's going on here? I called COX two separate times about this and they say that it is FOX's issue, not theirs - they just pipe whatever feed they get from fox over basic cable (the way I get my HD).
post #6416 of 9174
Fox's feed hasn't been out for two months. What kind of equipment are you using to get it with.
post #6417 of 9174
Quote:
Originally Posted by trdn1 View Post

FOX's HD feed has been out for the last two months at least. I thought they were in cahoots with COX to get folks to buy the their HD STB for the Super Bowl, but I guess I was wrong.

Any one have any info on what's going on here? I called COX two separate times about this and they say that it is FOX's issue, not theirs - they just pipe whatever feed they get from fox over basic cable (the way I get my HD).

FoxHD had a transmit issue over the weekend and Cox replaced the blank HD feed from them with the SD feed until Monday. All is working now, as has been.
Not sure what kind of problem you are having a problem, but FOXHD has been working and is in the same place for a long time. If you have an HD STB it's on channel 735, if you have a manual tuner, it's located at 723 Mhz or cable channel 112.1. You might want to recheck your equipment and connections and if you have your own QAM tuner, do a rescan.

vegggas
post #6418 of 9174
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsblaski View Post

Yes, you can dream....or you could get the reality with D* which has had SPEEDHD for months now.

D* has an exclusive with the fox owners of Speed channel to be the only US carrier of SpeedHD until sometime after speed weeks are over and will be available to other providers sometime after the start of the regular season.

vegggas
post #6419 of 9174
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsblaski View Post

Yes, you can dream....or you could get the reality with D* which has had SPEEDHD for months now.

D* has an exclusive with the fox owners of Speed channel to be the only US carrier of SpeedHD until sometime after speed weeks are over and will be available to other providers sometime after the start of the regular season.

vegggas
post #6420 of 9174
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsblaski View Post

Yes, you can dream....or you could get the reality with D* which has had SPEEDHD for months now.


NOT having "exclusive private use of a south facing balcony or patio" makes this difficult....

-b
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