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Central Florida Winter 2004 thread - Page 6  

post #151 of 498
Peter - I think I agree with pretty much everything you said in that last post. I'll try harder and come up with something to disagree with next time.

Greg - How about a custom request for a HD PVR. :) Heck I'll even settle for a DVI HD STB here in little ole Brevard, actually I need two of them. Speaking of which, do either of the HD PVRs under consideration have DVI? How about Firewire for archiving once the drive fills up?
post #152 of 498
IMHO C-Band loses most of it's technical advantages when you are talking digital signals. Analog is of course a whole nuther story.
post #153 of 498
I'm using an 811 and noticed today when I was re-scanning in the digital channels that WRDQ's digital channel 14 showed up. So I guess they are broadcasting in HD finally. Anyone else notice this?
post #154 of 498
Welcome to AVS Roger S. I have been following your Orlando TV Times website for awhile and was wondering when you were going to show up here. Glad to see you finally got in the HD game!
post #155 of 498
Roger,

Welcome to the local thread. I have enjoyed your website.

However I do take issue with statements like this.

"Besides being surprised at how little HDTV programming there is, I'm also amazed area stations aren't taking more advantange of their signal splitting."

I consider sub channels a waste of bandwidth that badly degrades HD programming. I also think the networks except for FOX are doing a good job so far in filling the prime time schedule with HD content.
post #156 of 498
Barry

Many of the issues we have discussed for years are new to some and often we must revisit issues previously debated.

I have tried to remain quiet, but I feel compelled to share some of my perspective despite how some people feel about me doing so here.

Whether we like it or not multicasting will happen sometime down the road once the broadcasters see an advantage or purpose to do so. Let's just hope the people in charge of allocating the limited throughput resources on the OTA DTV channel convey to those not so technical types involved the impact multicasting has on HD quality and how bit intensive HD is. As well as, the percentage of DTV throughput it takes to preserve HD quality.

After reading about the new Fox HD distribution setup at affiliates and another article called 'Out FOXing HD' this week in B&C I was hoping there would be some mention of how the new setup would regulate the throughput devoted to the FOX network HD signal when secondary channels are present in a local stations DTV mux. It seems no one thought about managing to incorporate a way for network to control a consistent picture quality around the country, that doesn't vary from affiliate to affiliate/market to market depending on each towns devotion to multicasting.

Multicasting is a great idea during times of the day when SD predominates.
Its wasteful not to. However, during HD presentations devoting anything more bit intensive than a relatively static image like a radar picture is risky.
Not only would it be like taking away bits from those of us that already come to expect a certain level of quailty, it would also impact those seeing HD for the first time.

However, as we can already see stations who are multicasting already can be careless and throw precious bits around like they are limitless.

Case in point WMFE-DT, WCEU-DT, and WBCC-DT are all transmitting some of the same ETV networks on their sub channels. They all have equal coverage of the market so why do the same on all three. This shows poor allocation of the resources they have all been given. I could understand if each channel decided to exclusively carry one ETV network exclusively, but why do all 3 of these PBS affiliates insist on devoting throughput to the exact same program streams that the other is already passing through from the source.

Tell me all 3 receive state or federal funding (times 3) for doing the exact same thing!
post #157 of 498
I'm happy to report that WRDQ-DT is back on the air.
post #158 of 498
Greetings and salutations from New Smyrna Beach.

I just installed my Samsung ts-160 D* receiver, hooked up to a Channel Master 3020 in the attic.
In New Smyrna, I'm about 30 or so miles from Bithlo, and it looks like I'm getting all the locals in digital at 90+% signal strength. HD looks very sweet.
I'm not using an amp...tile roof....the attic is about 22' or so above grade, and I'm on the ICW, so I have a clear shot southwest.

My only issue now is figuring out how to get my Replay TV to tune DTV subchannels rather than regular air.
post #159 of 498
Thread Starter 
John,
Glad to see WRDQ-DT is back !

Satpro,
During the tour of WCEU on Saturday, Bill told us they are required to broadcast what is on their subchannels by to state in order to receive funding. Same is true for WBCC & WFME. They would just as soon show unique programming but their hands are tied.

I agree that subchannels during non-HD broadcast are a good idea if they are used properly. e.g. the CBS station in West Palm gives the complete weather forecast for the week on their subchannel. But I'd rather the subchannels go away during most HD programming.

lombana
My STB threw a fit last week and had to hard reboot it. Now WMFE-DT is not remapping to 24-x for me either. I'll email them later today...
post #160 of 498
Quote:
Originally posted by satpro
Barry

Many of the issues we have discussed for years are new to some and often we must revisit issues previously debated.

I have tried to remain quiet, but I feel compelled to share some of my perspective despite how some people feel about me doing so here.
I have never had a problem when you bring your knowledge of the industry to this forum. If you offend people so they no longer will communicate with us that is a different story.

Quote:
[i]Whether we like it or not multicasting will happen sometime down the road once the broadcasters see an advantage or purpose to do so. Let's just hope the people in charge of allocating the limited throughput resources on the OTA DTV channel convey to those not so technical types involved the impact multicasting has on HD quality and how bit intensive HD is. As well as, the percentage of DTV throughput it takes to preserve HD quality. [/b]
Multicasting is only profitable if there is an audience to sell. If cable does not carry the subchannels and only the people receiving off air ATSC can see them the audience will remain small.


Quote:
[i]After reading about the new Fox HD distribution setup at affiliates and another article called 'Out FOXing HD' this week in B&C I was hoping there would be some mention of how the new setup would regulate the throughput devoted to the FOX network HD signal when secondary channels are present in a local stations DTV mux. It seems no one thought about managing to incorporate a way for network to control a consistent picture quality around the country, that doesn't vary from affiliate to affiliate/market to market depending on each towns devotion to multicasting. [/b]
I don't know what WOFL or FOX are up to except that WOFL-DT looks heavily compressed on air with only 480i content.

Quote:
[i]Multicasting is a great idea during times of the day when SD predominates.
Its wasteful not to. However, during HD presentations devoting anything more bit intensive than a relatively static image like a radar picture is risky.
Not only would it be like taking away bits from those of us that already come to expect a certain level of quailty, it would also impact those seeing HD for the first time. [/b]
I would support sub channels during the day if the bandwidth was available for HD at night but it seems the encoders are not yet capable of being reconfigured on the fly to switch between multiple channels and one HD channel. Some stations are trapping themselves by generating a 480i copy of the main channel that stays up full time to feed distant cable systems so it can never be shut off to show HD with full bandwidth.


Quote:
[i]However, as we can already see stations who are multicasting already can be careless and throw precious bits around like they are limitless.[/b]
This is the math as I understand it for the mpeg compression.

When a HD show is mastered uncompressed it is produced at 1,500,000,000 bits per second or 1.5Gbps. The maximum amount the stations can fit into 6MHz is 19,300,000 bits per second or 19.3mbps. My calculator says this a compression ratio of 77 to 1. Now if the broadcaster adds 2 subchannels at 3mbps each so now the HD feed only has 13mbps then the compression ratio jumps up to 115 to 1 which drops HD into large blocking during motion content.


Quote:
[i]Case in point WMFE-DT, WCEU-DT, and WBCC-DT are all transmitting some of the same ETV networks on their sub channels. They all have equal coverage of the market so why do the same on all three. This shows poor allocation of the resources they have all been given. I could understand if each channel decided to exclusively carry one ETV network exclusively, but why do all 3 of these PBS affiliates insist on devoting throughput to the exact same program streams that the other is already passing through from the source.

Tell me all 3 receive state or federal funding (times 3) for doing the exact same thing! [/b]
Rich explains the PBS situation above. The state funding requires that the PBS stations carry the sub channel. Every time I ask a question about why broadcasters or cable run subchannels there is a contract requirement involved every time.

If we do not fight for the HD bandwidth now then once the subchannels are in place they will never be removed.
post #161 of 498
I would think that the the advertisers would not like the subchannel idea. If brand "X" pays station A for a 30 second comercial, they want as many people seeing it as possible. If station A has subchannels that show other content, that is competition for the main channel. If station A didn't have the subchannels, theoretically, more viewers will be watching the main attraction on channel A.
post #162 of 498
Quote:
Originally posted by rich21


During the tour of WCEU on Saturday, Bill told us they are required to broadcast what is on their subchannels by the state in order to receive funding. Same is true for WBCC & WFME. They would just as soon show unique programming but their hands are tied.

As I suspected is the case. The question is why is the state throwing away money like this then charging us an almost 14% tax on satellite delivered services! Ridiculous! I don't blame the stations for wanting this money. I do fault them for not explaining to the people allocating the money that it should be spent more wisely doing unique programming.

Glad to see John of WFTV/WRDQ back on the thread.
post #163 of 498
Quote:
Originally posted by jdemshock
I'm happy to report that WRDQ-DT is back on the air.
John,

Can you explain what the WRDQ-DT problem was with the FCC and what you had to do to prevent your channel from interfering with the nearby frequencies?
post #164 of 498
I got a call from a BH employee to discuss my request for a Pace box (presumably in response to the memo that the CSR had filled out for me).

I'm guessing it was a manager I was talking to since they supposedly are the ones to whom the requests are sent, but I didn't specifically ask.

The person I was talking to asked me if I had a DVI input on my TV (the same question the CSR had asked me previously). When I told her no she said that they would only deploy a Pace box on request if the customer had a DVI input (this is in concert with what the CSR told me a few days before). I had been hoping that the fact that I have a 1.33:1 HD set, and therefore would benefit more than most from the upgrade, may get me some consideration but no luck.

The good news is that the person I was talking to (whom I am presuming was management) reassured me that BH of Central Florida is definitely planning to roll out the Pace boxes in the future (she estimated mid-Summer) for general availability (I was glad to hear this since on my most recent conversation with a CSR I was told on no uncertain terms that BH had no plans to make the Pace boxes available at any time in the future).

The manager said that once the new box is rolled out they wouldn't go out and swap everybody's box out automatically, but would swap them out for customers who called and requested it.

She also estimated mid-Summer for the time that they would make the HD-PVR available, but told me that the HD-PVR box would not have selectable aspect ratio output at launch. Interestingly she said that that functionality would be added later. I'm not sure what that meant...i.e. will they make a different box available later or somehow change the functionality on the box they release in mid-Summer?

The bottom line: I was impressed that they had somebody call me back so promptly, and was heartened by another affirmation (in addition to Greg's) that BH is indeed planning on letting us get the Pace boxes sometime in the foreseeable future.

Bob
post #165 of 498
Quote:
I would think that the the advertisers would not like the subchannel idea.
Not if the ads cost a bit less and and the ads can be targeted a bit tighter.

It's why the cable companies can sell ads. Everybody won't see the ad, but it's the "right people" that count.
post #166 of 498
So the broadcasters should become mini cable companies with multiple channels each?

What your describing is narrowcasting.

Does anyone think once PVR's become common in homes there will still be a advertising based business model for the broadcaster?
post #167 of 498
Greg, can you explain how the NHL games work on HD Net. I was so excited to finally get Hd Net. Went home last night put the game on and all I saw was college basketball. The replay was on later that night but I couldn't watch it live. I know there is a thread that discusses this with no real conclusion. I was hoping you can explain why we can watch some games and not others.

Does it have anything to do with the Lightening being on at the same time?

Thanks for all your help,
Mike
post #168 of 498
--What your describing is narrowcasting. --

That's right. With the networks declining numbers, trying to appeal to all audiences appears to be passe, the locals will be looking for new revenue streams. You said the advertisers would not like it, and I pointed out how they might.

--Does anyone think once PVR's become common in homes there will still be a advertising based business model for the broadcaster?--

Different issue. Affects all advertising. Will not affect advertising on sports shows, since people want to see that live.
post #169 of 498
I thought the networks plan to confront declining numbers was supposed to be hi def. This is currently the one thing setting them apart from the cable channels that have been eroding the broadcasters ratings. I never said anything about the advertisers.

I agree that people will still watch commercials during live sports but how many hours a week do the networks run sports and what if your affiliated with a network who does not do sports?

Do the current PVR owners on this thread watch the entire 3 hour sporting event or do you join the broadcast half way in and use the PVR to skip the commercials and delays to catch up to the live feed for the ending?
post #170 of 498
Quote:
Originally posted by VanderRG
The person I was talking to asked me if I had a DVI input on my TV (the same question the CSR had asked me previously). When I told her no she said that they would only deploy a Pace box on request if the customer had a DVI input (this is in concert with what the CSR told me a few days before).
Bob
I can't be the only one that finds it interesting that they will only give about the pace box to those with DVI, yet when they come set it up, they used svideo cable. If they're only going to deploy these boxes to those with DVI connections, the least they can do is put said connection to use to justify the restriction.
post #171 of 498
Quote:
If they're only going to deploy these boxes to those with DVI connections, the least they can do is put said connection to use to justify the restriction.

Maybe it's because an S video cable is a lot less expensive than a DVI cable.


Since I have a DVI connection on my TV, I'm considering making a request to swap my SA box for the Pace. However, I am awaiting the HD DVR box to be available and I don't want to make too many special requests or arrange to meet the cable contractor at my house too many times to connect it. If I could only stop by the BHN office and swap.
post #172 of 498
Quote:
Originally posted by Gilley
Maybe it's because an S video cable is a lot less expensive than a DVI cable.


Since I have a DVI connection on my TV, I'm considering making a request to swap my SA box for the Pace. However, I am awaiting the HD DVR box to be available and I don't want to make too many special requests or arrange to meet the cable contractor at my house too many times to connect it. If I could only stop by the BHN office and swap.

I realize the cost issue, but when you call them up to schedule them to come out, they treat you like you have no clue how to set something up and their people are experts. In my case, the guy had never set up an HD box before and set it up wrong.

I understand the logic behind what cable is provided, but look at it this way, if people that KNOW how to set this stuff up are asking for the box and arn't getting it, how many people ARE getting the pace box that have no idea they can/should use DVI.
post #173 of 498
Ok, I understand your statement now. The contractors should at a minimum know how to connect HD via component, but they should also be familiar with the equipment they install.
post #174 of 498
Answer from HDNet about the hockey game:

[quote]I will check into this for you. Some of the markets have launched us without sending us our launch forms to authorize them to show the NHL games. I will make our technical staff aware so they can take care of this./QUOTE]

Greg - can you confirm this?

On the DVR and add thing - I personally am convinced that within 1-2 years we will start seeing some technology that "beems" down adds to the DVR and there is no option but to see the ads every 15 minute etc - how else is programming going to survive???

The guy that came with my pace box to my home had component cables with him. He said that DVI cables are just to expensive and that even the component are really to expensive. I suggested that they bulk buy them and offer the DVI cables at a discounted rate instead of for free since that would still be better for most than $100 at CC / BB.

I also had all cables run etc for him and it was the simplest installation and he appreciated it and it went quick and easy.
post #175 of 498
You can also use computer DVI cables, as long as it is the correct type for your equipment - A,D, or I - which are much less expensive than the $100 Monster stuff.
post #176 of 498
I must be lucky ..... when I called BHN requesting to swap for the pace box last month, the csr knew about the box. After a bit of talk, he talked to a supervisor and was able to swap out my box.

The installer seemed knowledgeable, but I told him that I would set up the cables. Already had a dvi cable. Get your dvi cables on ebay and save some money. I now own two dvi d cables and both work flawlessly. Got each for under $20 delivered. The installer also knew quite a bit about the pace box and showed me how to select the resolution from both the remote and and using the buttons on the box. He also had the same comment about not supplying dvi cables as being too expensive for BHN to supply. Got another set of component cables though. Quite nice ones actually.

Overall, I was pleased with my swapping out for the pace box.

I eventually found that allowing the HD signal to pass through to my tv in its native format and then allowing my tv's circuits to take care of the correct resolution provided an absolutely stunning picture in HD. Digital channels were very good quality and analog improved dramatically when viewed in this manner via dvi.

I still get the occasional audio drop out (the most common), picture breakup (less common) and complete video drop out (not often). I have no idea if it is my cable in the house, the signal or what.

The one wierd thing that has happened with the pace box was that one day it displayed a message stating that my dvi connection was not HDCP compliant. The only thing that fixed the problem was to disconnect the dvi cable at the tv connection. Neither resetting the pace box, nor disconnecting the dvi cable from the pace box fixed that issue. Very strange.

Having the ability to control the video resolution and the fact that you can stretch the picture (if needed or desired) in dvi mode is absolutely great. I am so sold on these features that if the HD PVR does not have them, I will just forgo upgrading to that.

Greg, if you have any influence, please make sure the upcoming HD PVR has those features. It would be a step backwards as far as I am concerned if the HD PVR did not have those features. I really am jonesing for the HD PVR.
post #177 of 498
How do you change the resolution with the remote? I know about using the # key to change stretch, zoom etc mode and I guess that it does actually swap between 480p and 1080i - is that what you are reffering too? Also if you choose Pass on the box do you still have the guide features????

I changed to Pass - thinking this lets the tv do the job, but then I lost the guide feature which sucks - is this not the case for you others???
post #178 of 498
I have a friend who is a custom home theater installer. Being in the business, he gets everything at wholesale. He says that DVI and fiber optic (for digital sound) are the most marked up items sold in stores today. They cost only a few dollars wholesale, but you'll never find a sticker price below $18. (18 is a cheap one from Radio Shack, most are in the 30's or higher)

As mentioned by someone else, you can find more reasonable prices on the net.
post #179 of 498
Quote:
I eventually found that allowing the HD signal to pass through to my tv in its native format and then allowing my tv's circuits to take care of the correct resolution provided an absolutely stunning picture in HD. Digital channels were very good quality and analog improved dramatically when viewed in this manner via dvi.
Adios ... just curious, what dvi enabled tv do you have and what is it's native resolution?
post #180 of 498
Adios:
I'm also intruiged to hear how you can change resolution with the remote...can you also change the aspect ratio output with it? (even though I don't have the box I did read the manual for it and was surprised that it says you can only change aspect ratio output and resolution using the buttons on the front of the box)

Bob
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