|Originally posted by Ken H
You don't understand. This a technical issue beyond NBC's ability to alter it at this time.
In simple terms, it comes down to this:
1) Have the ability to interrupt with breaking news from their New York news HQ studio and not do HDTV.
2) Not have the ability to interrupt with breaking news and do the HDTV programs.
It's obvious they made the correct choice.
Thank you Ken.
FOX too has had issues with what to put on the the "famed HD receiver C." (tongue in cheek on the HD).
Monday morning FOX provided what is called a "level 2" network cut in for Colin Powell's speech, the difference between a "level 1" and 'level 2" is 2 is outside of normal network programming and 1 is during normal network. On the analog side we had Colin Powell. On the "DTV" receiver, RX C, we had MASH on FX. (we sometimes get National Geographic Channel also during the day as well on that receiver!) So for the first two minutes of that report, those watching our DTV channel saw MASH while the analog viewers saw Colin Powell. Now I realize some of you would rather watch MASH on FX, but WE ARE NOT AUTHORIZED to the transmit that. It gets into legal issues.
So a quick call to the Satellite Ops Center in LA netted disturbing news. RX C is directed to main programming only during sports programming or regular network programming and not level 2 cut ins. Sorry.
WHAT!!!!!?????!!!!?????? We contacted the head of network distribution and described the situation. He instantly saw the problem, and said it deals with available bandwidth, but he thought that the receiver could be programmed in such away to take the main feed and provide it in 4:3 with sidebars for the level 2 cut ins, and it could then be reprogrammed to take the 16:9 for regular programming on the fly. They must have done this since we have taken level 2 and level 1s and regular 16:9 programming with no problems since then.
The HD viewer is not the main viewer for this war. The networks are fighting for all the bandwidth they can get for war coverage, and HD bandwidth is VERY expendable when it comes to one HD video feed verses 10 to 20 low to normal res video. Since none of it is in HD but mostly ISDN linked video sat phones, (nice rolling video on FOX News Channel, when the pixialization isn't too bad), but I can tell you, that is HARD engineering in the field. You never know when a gun is going to be shoved up your nose by a terrorist or a government solder or official for that matter. Long hours, bad to no food or water for long stretches and stress on a scale of 1-10 in the 100's! What a life!
Those guys in the field, on all the networks, have really done something historic. I sometimes wish I were there.