Originally Posted by MrTV3
That's right, both WSTM and WSTQ will be switching to 720p, both OTA and cable. Presumably, DirecTV and DishTV will then add WSTQ HD to their local lineup. By switching to 720p (which is what ABC and FOX have used from the beginning), keeping 3.3 SD at a very low bit rate, and using the Harmonic 8100 with statistical multiplexing, it will be possible to have two HD signals and one SD OTA. I have not yet personally viewed the results, but people I (mostly) trust have told me that the PQ is quite good with this arrangement. I plan to keep 5.1 Dolby audio on both HD signals, unless we absolutely have to have those bits to throw into the HD pictures.
So there you have it. Let the debate over the wisdom of this decision begin!
Wow, that's... disappointing.
So the Syracuse DMA will have:
WSTM (NBC) - Down converted to 720p ~8Mbps VBR
WSTQ (CW) - Down converted to 720p ~8Mbps VBR
WSYR (ABC) - Natively 720p ~6-8Mbps VBR (it used to look a lot better when it was 14.5Mbps CBR) and still 2.0 audio
WCNY (PBS) - Natively 1080i ~10-11Mbps and frequently macroblocky with 2.0 audio at 128kbps (!)
WSYT (FOX) - Natively 720p and as far as I know, essentially the network feed for broadcast with the local logo inserted
WTVH (CBS) - Natively 1080i ~16.95Mbps CBR
WNYS (MyNetwork) - Natively 720p ~15-16Mbps
WSPX (ION) - Natively 720p ~11-12Mbps
WTVH is the clear winner here. I'd go so far to say that it is probably one of the best looking CBS affiliates in the country!
If we're lucky, maybe Syracuse can be the first DMA with all 720p broadcast channels!
Even though the current WSTM encoder is an 'antique' I have to say it has done a pretty darn good job (and even supports telecine with film based material, yielding an effectively higher video bitrate).
I've always wondered why the current WSTQ feed had such a relatively low bitrate considering it is fed by fiber and thus has no subchannels to deal with, but I suspect Time Warner has something to do with that considering their obsession with no channels video bitrate going over 12Mbps (with all the hoopla over SDV and analog crush you would think they could stop transcoding everything since they should have so much bandwidth available).
Come to think of it, Time Warner must be ecstatic - they can probably cut down the local channel QAM allocation from 2 down to 1! I suspect they will be able to chop those 8Mbps NBC and CW transport streams down a bit -- here's how this could work!!
WSTM (NBC) ~4Mbps
WSTQ (CW) ~4Mbps
WSYR (ABC) ~4Mbps
WCNY (PBS) ~7Mbps
WSYT (FOX) ~4Mbps
WTVH (CBS) ~8Mbps
WNYS (MyNetwork) ~4Mbps
WSPX (ION) ~4Mbps
OK I know that's .2Mbps over 38.8Mbps and there's some overhead but I bet the statmuxing can take care of that!
Time Warner, feel free to mail me a check for my consulting fee!
I hope everyone read this with the tongue in cheek intention that I had, it's just disheartening to see video quality getting ever worse instead of ever better (if I recall, even dishnetwork and directv had ~6Mbps standard definition channels in the late 90's... sure it wasn't HD, but it was some good looking SD!).
It is just a bit sad knowing all these locals are coming from beautiful looking ~35Mbps MPEG2 feeds and ~24Mbps H264 feeds.
Not like there is anything I can do about it though! At least NBC ondemand will still be 1080i on fios (even though it does get a little blocky at times), and I always have WTVH to enjoy watching (for now)!