Originally posted by DoubleDAZ
I'm not sure what you are saying here, I think we may be talking about 2 different things when referring to a delay-server. I'll use KPHO as an example, since I'm most familiar with it. I assume CBS passes 'live' signals since we get 'live' sports, etc., but I'm not sure what you mean by an AZ feed from CBS vs nothing from UPN.
My understanding is that all scripted shows (everything except 'live' events) are recorded and viewed on a delayed basis though this may not require the delay-server you refer to...It seems to me that if UPN doesn't send a specific mountain feed, then it wouldn't be all that much different if KUTP simply got the central feed and recorded it, since it's all recorded anyway. This is where I'm lost when it comes to KUTP not having a delay-server and the other stations not needing one...
It's true, most tv, other than sports, is recorded. Even most of what you see on a live newscast is recorded, believe it or not. But that's not the issue, it's WHERE its recorded, and what the cost is. It is easy to justify a server to delay programming 24/7 if you are a zillion-dollar national network and want to provide a (delayed) live network feed to half the U.S. population. It is harder to justify if you are a local affil delaying only 10 hours of prime a week just for the Phoenix DMA, and just for the 5000 HD sets out there, especially since there is yet to be any ROI for HD. KUTP makes a boatload of money selling commercial time within Suns games. They stand to make zero money bringing you "Veronica Mars" in HD.
Networks typically have provided a east coast and (by virtue of essentially recording that and playing it back) a west coast feed. That means east, central (where prime starts at 7 vs. 8 on the east coast) and west coast stations normally just switch live to network when airing network content. Mountain stations historically have had to either shift the program times to do that, or delay them by recording and playing them back locally. Prime was therefore always delayed in a local net delay pattern. Eventually, mountain feeds began appearing for the networks, and they could do away with net delay, but that is a recent development. KSAZ net delayed FOX SD until last year, if fact.
HD means an entirely new set of feeds, and while most networks provide a mountain HD feed, UPN does not for Arizona. Since Arizona agrees with me that DST was Ben Franklin's worst idea, that complicates things even more. Bottom line, most stations here do not need to invest in a local delay server. If KUTP wants to air HD in prime, (and they do), they are SOL without one, and it is a very costly item. That does not mean they are less commited than, say, KSAZ, just that they are comparitively behind the 8-ball in being able to do that. But in time, this discussion will be moot.
Originally posted by DoubleDAZ...As for the level of committment, it seems to me that KPHO has had, and continues to have, the best HD PQ since the day they went live with HD. Other stations (ABC-15 in particular) may have been first and may have installed more equipment sooner, but they have a lousy PQ on many programs (Lost and NYPD Blue being the exceptions), all kinds of switching problems week in and week out (particularly on Lost), and multicast to the detriment of the HD PQ (particularly MNF)
... I hate to give up until the light goes on, if you know what I mean.
I'm right there with you, brother. But I find it an oversimplification to equate a station's level of commitment to HD with their ability to bring it to you. Ironically, some who brought it to you early and invested millions before some late-comers finally did are having more of a problem bringing it to us as transparently as those who were probably less committed can today, because in general the newer, cheaper, better equipment purchased in 2004 just simply works better than the older, more expensive, earlier generation equipment some bought in 1999.
I don't find any difference in raw, static PQ among any of the stations in Phoenix as far as HD goes. The only differences I see are some tiling problems (motion artifacts) on the stations that multicast. I am personally against multicasting, unless you are giving your audience a choice of getting more quality programming. Since the stations in Phoenix that multicast are either duplicating their main HD channel or are providing other alternatives that also do not fall in that category, I kind of wish they'd wake up and smell the propane and just simply cut it out, but then that's only my opinion. I don't question those folks committment to bringing us HD, just their committment to using the bandwidth wisely.
If I owned a TV station, multicasting would be reserved for non-prime and when high-dollar live sports was NOT being broadcast, if at all.