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Cedar Rapids, IA - HDTV - Page 148

post #4411 of 4950
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4lids View Post

It seemed to be in all ABC programming, since I saw the last 10 minutes or so of dancing with the stars waiting for Lost to begin. I thought it was an issue with the live show until the problems continued in Lost.

I just lost ALL respect for you - you watched DWTS???!!!

anyway, fwiw, you might want to make sure your talent watches their marks; also, check on your title generators. At work, at lunch today, I was watching OTA on my old 4x3 analog set, using my STB. Eileen kept stepping out of the frame, or at least, getting cut off pretty hard. I know, that's not under your control, but you might have the director talk to her.

More under your control - Sunny was talking about something (dunno - its not like I listen that much ) and the title behind her was more than half cut off. (you know - where you put up something like "Fire Today" or whatever, all I would have seen was "FIR") I forget what the story was - sorry.

Not complaining - just sharing what schmucks with old 4x3s are seeing, in case it helps you. For me, it just makes the noon news a bit more entertaining.
post #4412 of 4950
I didn't say I watched DWTS... I just saw it (kind of like the difference between hearing and listening!). I was like sitting through the 11 minutes of stupid commercials before a movie now.

I've already warned Eileen about this. We've marked the floor and the monitor. I was actually more concerned originally about then being out of the wings, than staying center-cut safe. Time to get some more markers on the monitors!

Most of our graphics have been good so far, but there are some that slip through that need adjustment. I'm sure the director saw it. The CG has been our biggest hurdle so far, since we are the first North American station to be using the Ross Xpression with news. Avid and Xpression haven't been playing nice so far, but Ross is sending programmers our way to sort things out.

Audio is still getting smoothed out too, as we haven't fully sweetened the new console. We have made good progress, but it still needs work.

Overall though, I can't complain too much and most comments have been positive aside from one little old lady who yelled at me about the motion in the new graphics package. She said all of the movement got her all wound up and she wants it gone!
post #4413 of 4950
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4lids View Post

I didn't say I watched DWTS... I just saw it (kind of like the difference between hearing and listening!). I was like sitting through the 11 minutes of stupid commercials before a movie now.

I've already warned Eileen about this. We've marked the floor and the monitor. I was actually more concerned originally about then being out of the wings, than staying center-cut safe. Time to get some more markers on the monitors!

Most of our graphics have been good so far, but there are some that slip through that need adjustment. I'm sure the director saw it. The CG has been our biggest hurdle so far, since we are the first North American station to be using the Ross Xpression with news. Avid and Xpression haven't been playing nice so far, but Ross is sending programmers our way to sort things out.

Audio is still getting smoothed out too, as we haven't fully sweetened the new console. We have made good progress, but it still needs work.

Overall though, I can't complain too much and most comments have been positive aside from one little old lady who yelled at me about the motion in the new graphics package. She said all of the movement got her all wound up and she wants it gone!

Just chiming in from the peanut gallery here...

I remember you mentioning recently about NBC lobbying for Active Format Description usage. Is there anything preventing you from sending your video with AFD8 or 10, instead of 15, to force letterboxing on the newscast on 4 x 3 TVs? It seems to me that it would prevent issues with center-cutting and whatnot.

It would also give you a pretty good idea of how many people in the area watch the news on a 4 x 3 television, as I'm sure it would generate a fair share of complaints.

And, unrelated, just keeping score here of current local claims to fame:

KWWL: "Only HD local news in Eastern Iowa"
KCRG: "Your choice of how to stay current on severe weather"
KFXA/KGAN: *crickets*

Wait, that's unfair to KGAN. KGAN's recent promo is: "We don't air dance programs when funnel clouds are in the sky." Instead, they send vans out to chase it, and never actually record a real tornado.
post #4414 of 4950
Quote:
Originally Posted by CR_Client View Post

Just chiming in from the peanut gallery here...

I remember you mentioning recently about NBC lobbying for Active Format Description usage. Is there anything preventing you from sending your video with AFD8 or 10, instead of 15, to force letterboxing on the newscast on 4 x 3 TVs? It seems to me that it would prevent issues with center-cutting and whatnot.

It would also give you a pretty good idea of how many people in the area watch the news on a 4 x 3 television, as I'm sure it would generate a fair share of complaints.

Shush. Quiet. And a pox upon your house.

I'm watching the news, as I type, on a 13" 4x3 set. Unless you care to buy me a new ASTC equipped panel, I plan to keep watching on said set. The only good thing that could possibly come from letterboxing is that the talent would never have to diet again - they'd be the size of a small action figure, and I hate to even imagine trying to decipher text on the maps.

If nothing else, such a move would force me to move exclusively to NOAA for my weather radar - I can see that quite nicely on my computer screen.
post #4415 of 4950
I sure love holding up progress so that people don't have to replace obsolete technology.

Just imagine if we ran the internet that way!
post #4416 of 4950
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobgpsr View Post

Digital QAM unencrypted channels on ImOn Cedar Rapids cable.

39-1 HGTV HD 1080i
...snip...
123-3 A&E HD 720p

Bob

Is this just a glitch? If they are going to offer these HD channels in ClearQAM I would spend the couple hundred bucks to build myself a home media PC.
post #4417 of 4950
Quote:
Originally Posted by CR_Client View Post

Is there anything preventing you from sending your video with AFD8 or 10, instead of 15, to force letterboxing on the newscast on 4 x 3 TVs? It seems to me that it would prevent issues with center-cutting and whatnot.

Our harmonic encoders for our digital broadcast don't pass AFD (not compliant)... so you 4x3 people are safe until we get a new encoder!

As for slogans, KGAN does have the "built for breaking news" and "changing the way you watch news" pitches... Although I still wouldn't be bragging about that virtual set thing. Everytime I see that thing, I can't believe that someone actually looked at that and thought it would be a good idea!
post #4418 of 4950
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsduke View Post

Yup. In fact I called last night and a guy at the news desk turned up the audio and heard it as well. Said he was going to talk to master control, but they never went away. Also had stutters in video. I've seen stutters in video quite a bit off and on this year during Lost.

audio is still messed up during shows as of 04/15/10, but works great during commercials. I have 5.1 receiver and i hear cracking and popping anytime somebody is talking. same happens with TV speaker.
post #4419 of 4950
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgarringer View Post

Is this just a glitch? If they are going to offer these HD channels in ClearQAM I would spend the couple hundred bucks to build myself a home media PC.

Dunno. They have being doing all those sources since January. Will they keep up with providing more than the local stations in HD? It would be nice if they did.

Mediacom used to have a lot of QAM channels unencrypted, ahem -- adult channels -- years ago. They must have bought more hardware and got around to encrypting them.
post #4420 of 4950
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingvee View Post

Shush. Quiet. And a pox upon your house.

I'm watching the news, as I type, on a 13" 4x3 set. Unless you care to buy me a new ASTC equipped panel, I plan to keep watching on said set. The only good thing that could possibly come from letterboxing is that the talent would never have to diet again - they'd be the size of a small action figure, and I hate to even imagine trying to decipher text on the maps.

If nothing else, such a move would force me to move exclusively to NOAA for my weather radar - I can see that quite nicely on my computer screen.

Had to chime in here, as our main tv is also 13" 4x3. But I'm willing to concede that at some point I'll be watching letterboxed screens or graphics that roll off the screen. Latter already happens regularly w/our local PBS station. At some point TV producers will have frame for 16x9 and ignore the limitations of 4x3. Hopefully it'll be letterboxed; that's the lesser of two evils IMO.
post #4421 of 4950
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgarringer View Post

I sure love holding up progress so that people don't have to replace obsolete technology.

Just imagine if we ran the internet that way!

If, you're referring to my comment on active formatting, I really don't see where, why, or how I'm holding up progress. Afaik, the content is properly displayed on my HD sets. (and I am doing my part to support the economies of China, Indonesia, Taiwan, and wherever else - I currently have 5 HD-compliant displays in my house, and I'm feeding an HD signal to my ancient crt projector.) I'd just rather not have a borked 4x3 display if possible; since right now I'm getting good results with my 16x9s and my lonely lil orphan 4x3, I'm not quite sure why a change is needed on the broadcaster's part.

and you know - I have a far larger beef with TBS-HD (and TNT-HD) - all the times they stretch 4x3 content just so their idiot viewers don't have black bars on their HD sets. I have sets that can't squeeze the stretched HD content back to what it should be; I usually end up watching something else.
post #4422 of 4950
I agree wholeheartedly...4x3 content shouldn't be stretched by the broadcaster/cablecaster to fill 16x9 screens, or vice versa. I'll take the black bars as needed
post #4423 of 4950
I thought Turner got the original masters of shows and upconverted it to HD. I've only ever watch Sienfeld on TBS-HD but that doesn't look stretched. As for TNT-HD all of their shows are in HD or at least whenever I see it they're HD.
post #4424 of 4950
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobgpsr View Post

Dunno. They have being doing all those sources since January. Will they keep up with providing more than the local stations in HD? It would be nice if they did.

Mediacom used to have a lot of QAM channels unencrypted, ahem -- adult channels -- years ago. They must have bought more hardware and got around to encrypting them.

I just had ImOn install internet service to my home and asked the installer about the clear QAM. He confirmed that this is operating as intended and they plan on putting all their HD content that is not premium (Showtime, HBO, etc) in Clear QAM. He said they have been billing this as "free HD" to compete with other cable companies, but unlike them if you have a QAM tuner you don't need to rent a box.
post #4425 of 4950
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgarringer View Post

I just had ImOn install internet service to my home and asked the installer about the clear QAM. He confirmed that this is operating as intended and they plan on putting all their HD content that is not premium (Showtime, HBO, etc) in Clear QAM. He said they have been billing this as "free HD" to compete with other cable companies, but unlike them if you have a QAM tuner you don't need to rent a box.

And people thought I was nuts suggesting that the language on their website implied that their non-premium HD programming was available on QAM for free, and that they intentionally did things that way...
post #4426 of 4950
Anyone else having OTA reception problems?

KGAN, KWWL, KCRG, and KRIN are all off the air as best I can tell.

I'm still getting 28 without any issues though... Anyone else having issues?

NEVERMIND: Forgot my OTA amp was unplugged!
post #4427 of 4950
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4lids View Post

Thanks! I was wondering if anyone would notice since it's a soft launch. The first show went about as well as a newscast could. I'm sure we'll have our growing pains, but things definitely look better now. That chroma key with the HD camera and HD weather graphics is a dramatic change. Hope you all enjoy the new HD programming!
-Jarrett
... now I'm going home to go to bed!


Jarrett,

I just returned to work after a couple weeks and just had my first opportunity to see the HD. Congrats on getting it all working! I can imagine how many extra hours went into the installation and testing of the new equipment, I know we are still working through interfacing complications between the old and new worlds ourselves. I'm excited to hear how the Ross gear is treating you, I've looked at it a couple times myself at NAB but would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Good job!

Kirk
post #4428 of 4950
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgarringer View Post

I just had ImOn install internet service to my home and asked the installer about the clear QAM. He confirmed that this is operating as intended and they plan on putting all their HD content that is not premium (Showtime, HBO, etc) in Clear QAM. He said they have been billing this as "free HD" to compete with other cable companies, but unlike them if you have a QAM tuner you don't need to rent a box.

Good to know, hopefully they expand the extra 2 block needed to provide service to my house. So close, yet so far...
post #4429 of 4950
I don't like the idea of automatic ratio switching. My set; my choice how I watch it. ----- I watch my old analog set neither letterboxed nor cropped. I watch it in a "halfway" zoom (14:9?) that splits the difference between the standard 16:9 and 12:9 settings. It shows just a narrow black line on the top-and-bottom of the screen, and therefore makes both SD or HD programming look good without cutting anybody off.
Quote:


Anyone here wanna talk me out of getting a dish?

My dish only costs $20 for about 40 cable channels. Great deal.
post #4430 of 4950
The Talledega race just started. No idea which of these paragons of perfection should get credit, but after watching Darrell and the boys do the unending pre-race show in full 16x9 HD, now that the race is actually in progress, we are treated to 4x3.

Good to know KFXA-Chief isn't here - hoping that he is instead at work prodding the chipmunks at the transmitter into producing a genuine HD image.
post #4431 of 4950
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingvee View Post

The Talledega race just started. No idea which of these paragons of perfection should get credit, but after watching Darrell and the boys do the unending pre-race show in full 16x9 HD, now that the race is actually in progress, we are treated to 4x3.

Good to know KFXA-Chief isn't here - hoping that he is instead at work prodding the chipmunks at the transmitter into producing a genuine HD image.

Glorious HD on KYOU on south side!

As you probably guessed, it ain't FOX national. Of course we all know its not KFXAs fault.
post #4432 of 4950
HD back on 28.

This just reaffirms to me that they just don't pay any attention to what's going out.

Sorry to hurt any poor engineers feelings, but don't come trying to blow smoke up our butts about how it was beyond your control.
post #4433 of 4950
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdtvincr View Post

HD back on 28.

This just reaffirms to me that they just don't pay any attention to what's going out.

Sorry to hurt any poor engineers feelings, but don't come trying to blow smoke up our butts about how it was beyond your control.

I'll second that.
post #4434 of 4950
Correct - came back to HD around 1pm, around the 32 lap mark. With all the Green/White/Checkered restarts, we ended up with what - 3/4 or better in HD?
post #4435 of 4950
Well, just finished 40 minutes of House in glorious pillar-boxed, letter-boxed SD. And it appears that 24 is starting off the exact same way. (Can't stand that show). Either way, short of some extenuating circumstances I think someone must have fallen asleep at the control board. Maybe too much time eating dinner and not enough time keeping an eye on the outgoing product??
post #4436 of 4950
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgarringer View Post

Well, just finished 40 minutes of House in glorious pillar-boxed, letter-boxed SD.

Definitely annoying, given that some might expect we should be in an all-HD era by now, but changing formats is always slow. I just read Sony finally decided to stop manufacturing 1.44" floppy disks. It's been several years since I've known anyone to actually still use that storage medium, at least for everyday file storage, so I suppose it wouldn't surprise me if these kinds of format issues will continue on our televisions out to say at least 2020.
post #4437 of 4950
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivorygate View Post

Definitely annoying, given that some might expect we should be in an all-HD era by now, but changing formats is always slow. I just read Sony finally decided to stop manufacturing 1.44" floppy disks. It's been several years since I've known anyone to actually still use that storage medium, at least for everyday file storage, so I suppose it wouldn't surprise me if these kinds of format issues will continue on our televisions out to say at least 2020.

If the primary issue was that the content was produced in SD, I might agree with you. It still confounds me that some of the most popular "reality" TV shows are still shot in standard def, when those shows are precisely the ones that would have an audience large enough to justify the expense of HD equipment. Then again, if people keep watching them in SD, why bother to change a good thing?

The primary issue in this case, however, was a failure at the local station, either in an equipment failure, or in a breakdown of Master Control to actually "flip the HD switch". If it was still, say, 2006, I might cut KFXA some slack and blame the equipment, but they've had enough time to work out equipment problems, and have a pretty long track record of "human error" when it comes to frakking up HD content.
post #4438 of 4950
What I don't get is why are they still bothering with the SD feed anyway. All the cable providers monitor the HD feed and crop the sides to make it 4:3 and feed that out as the SD version of the channel. So why are they not just feeding through everything in HD with the exception of when they're inserting something local?

That being said there are lots of people that still use 1.44MB floppy disks. I just used one yesterday to load a SATA driver to install Windows XP on a computer. And I use them probably every other day to recover a hard drive with full disk encryption. But I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. The show is produced in HD. It's uplinked in HD. It's downlinked in HD. But that's where it hits the roadblock because someone didn't push, or flip, or do something to feed it through.
post #4439 of 4950
I also have those types of utility boot disks, so I was careful to say "everyday file storage".
My point was just about formats at a general level, such as 4:3 formatted video versus 16:9. I know nothing about the equipment being used, but given that there is so much 4:3 content out there that will be aired for years/decades to come, what is the solution to make this particular problem go away for good? I guess I don't understand this "flip the HD switch" business. Does all of the 4:3 content in the world have to be re-encoded?
post #4440 of 4950
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivorygate View Post

I guess I don't understand this "flip the HD switch" business. Does all of the 4:3 content in the world have to be re-encoded?

As far as I know, and I may be COMPLETELY wrong with this, as I haven't been in a master control booth, ever, this is what it's about:

There's a National Feed, which comes down in HD, and there's a Local Feed, which, in $inclair's case, is in SD.

In order to air local commercials, local news updates, and other local syndicated programming (all of the infomercials that KFXA runs on the weekends), someone in Master Control has to switch from the National Feed to the Local Feed. In order to watch the National Feed in High Def, they need to switch back to the National Feed, otherwise, it's just the Local Feed, which is a stereo-only, 4:3 version of the National Feed.

They also have to make sure that the audio encoding equipment is functioning properly, so that they're actually sending out the full 5.1 channel audio feed, but that's a separate issue.

So, the "solution" in this case is to upgrade all of the local equipment to HD-capable equipment, so that you don't have to literally babysit the equipment all the time JUST to be able to show local commercials during the times in national programming when local commercials are allowed. Not cheap, not necessarily easy, but not exactly so expensive that half the market hasn't already done it.

Or, just do what $inclair does, and just leave it on the local feed and flip the bird to your HD-capable customers. (If KFXA-Chief was still around, I'm sure we'd hear some explanation about how unreasonable we are to expect HD all the time, and some excuse about how the toilet backed up during the NASCAR race, and there's only one engineer in the building who has to take care of the plumbing, electrical, microwave, and vending machines, and how the toilet running was more important than an HD feed for "a couple of people to watch cars drive in circles".)

Kirk and Jarret, feel free to correct me, but the whole "local feed/national feed, with a big switch to manually throw between them" has been my understanding for a while now.
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