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Washington, DC / Baltimore, MD - HDTV - Page 447

post #13381 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by slats7 View Post

Free, over-the-air broadcasts are supposed to be clearer than compressed cable broadcasts, right? Well, that's not the case with my local FOX station. The first jpeg is from a cable recording of last year's Seattle-Atlanta playoff game.
The first jpeg is from mocksession:

http://30fps.mocksession.com/2013/01/13/fine-the-ball-is-snapped-and-foxs-clock-still-shows-001/

How do you know this is cable? Did you uplink it? If so, how did you record it, and from what cable system?
post #13382 of 13749
Generally speaking, NFL telecasts look sharper on CBS and NBC than Fox due to the difference in resolution. Fox broadcasts 720p, whereas CBS and NBC are 1080i. And each local affiliate may do a good or not so good job of encoding the picture and multiplexing the various subchannels. So pic quality can vary from market to market. And your individual TV itself may have different pic control settings for the cable box connection and the OTA input. Check and see if both inputs are adjusted the same in the pic control menu.
post #13383 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Loudin View Post

ALL HD sources are compressed. There is not enough bandwidth in over-the-air channels to deliver data for each pixel on your screen. Neither is there enough bandwidth via cable or satellite. Even the data on Blu-ray discs is compressed.

With digital TV broadcasts, once your tuner can decode the data stream, you get the full quality of the broadcast. Additional signal strength does not change the resolution. Besides, an antenna simply captures RF signals. It does not care how the signal is modulated. You can attach your rabbit ears to an FM receiver and get reception.

In the early days of cable television, the operator had to get the broadcast stations over-the-air. Now, in most cases, local stations feed the cable companies via direct connections. This is important to know because all of our local stations do not use their entire bandwidth for the main HD broadcast. Additional services, like additional standard-def channels, mobile DTV channels, or other data, are multiplexed in. The impact to the main channel depends on the encoder the station uses to generate the data stream that is broadcast.

You're definitely going to notice this on CBS programming via WUSA, as it includes two subchannels (Bounce and a weather radar). Really fast scene changes or lots of motion will have noticible artifacts. FOX programming via WTTG should be cleaner, as there are fewer, for now, other services included. Looking at data rates, WUSA's main channel averages just under 12 Mbps while WTTG's main channel averages around 14.5 Mbps (source: rabbitears.info).

The direct feeds to cable companies do not necessarily have these issues, so they may be delivered at the "full" data rate of nearly 19 Mbps. That could be the difference you see.

So basically you're saying that a $100 outdoor HD antenna may not deliver better quality than the ol' rabbit ears. I've always been led to believe that OTA pic quality was superior to cable, but the "direct feed" theory has me thinking otherwise. I need to find someone in the DC area who recorded these games on Comcast or FIOS in order to compare quality.
Quote:
Originally Posted by joblo View Post

The first jpeg is from mocksession:

http://30fps.mocksession.com/2013/01/13/fine-the-ball-is-snapped-and-foxs-clock-still-shows-001/

How do you know this is cable? Did you uplink it? If so, how did you record it, and from what cable system?

I emailed them but they never replied. I just assumed they used cable or perhaps satellite, because all they do is post screengrabs, and it helps if you have a steady signal. With OTA, you're at the mercy of the weather, swaying trees in the wind, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post

Generally speaking, NFL telecasts look sharper on CBS and NBC than Fox due to the difference in resolution. Fox broadcasts 720p, whereas CBS and NBC are 1080i. And each local affiliate may do a good or not so good job of encoding the picture and multiplexing the various subchannels. So pic quality can vary from market to market. And your individual TV itself may have different pic control settings for the cable box connection and the OTA input. Check and see if both inputs are adjusted the same in the pic control menu.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Rules View Post

Resolutionwise there is NO visible difference between Fios, Fox 5 OTA or Fox 45 OTA. The only difference being Fox 45 with it's slightly more saturated color on Fox network programming.

Top = FOX
Bottom = NBC

The Georgia Dome field is significantly greener in the FOX broadcast. The bad news is that the FOX oversaturation sort of blurs the players and the graphics. Kinda absurd that you get a different result depending on what city you live in.

post #13384 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by slats7 View Post

So basically you're saying that a $100 outdoor HD antenna may not deliver better quality than the ol' rabbit ears.
No such thing as an "HD antenna." An antenna is an antenna. Some are much better than others... wink.gif
post #13385 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by VARTV View Post

No such thing as an "HD antenna." An antenna is an antenna. Some are much better than others... wink.gif

You know how a rabbit ears antenna has a knob/dial that you can set in like six or seven different positions? Will fiddling with that improve picture quality?
post #13386 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by slats7 View Post

You know how a rabbit ears antenna has a knob/dial that you can set in like six or seven different positions? Will fiddling with that improve picture quality?
That -- I have no idea... sorry.
post #13387 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by slats7 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by VARTV View Post

No such thing as an "HD antenna." An antenna is an antenna. Some are much better than others... wink.gif

You know how a rabbit ears antenna has a knob/dial that you can set in like six or seven different positions? Will fiddling with that improve picture quality?
Not for digital TV, in the sense that if you have no dropouts, etc., then you are getting a perfect copy of what was sent by the broadcaster.
post #13388 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by slats7 View Post

You know how a rabbit ears antenna has a knob/dial that you can set in like six or seven different positions? Will fiddling with that improve picture quality?
That may help the antenna tune to the RF channel a bit better, but it should not affect pic quality. With digital, you either get the pic or you don't. When signal is weak, the pic will start dropping out.
post #13389 of 13749
slats7,

1) larger outdoor antennas have more gain (are more sensitive) than rabbit ears. You're barely 3 miles from all the DC stations, so you have very strong signals and can use a less sensitive antenna. I'm 40+ miles south, so I need the larger antenna to get reliable reception.

2) you assume the mocksession folks have cable. I bet your OTA reception is darn near 100% reliable, so you could do screen grabs whenever. My reception is 90% or more reliable, so I could probably do much the same thing.

3) it's not really that absurd that you get differing picture quality across the country. It has ALWAYS been so, since every station is a unique combination of broadcasting equipment.

4) Let go of the notion that there is any relation between signal strength and picture quality. Remember that you area receiving a bitstream. Once you have enough signal for your tuner to decode those bits, that's it. Having more signal does not add more bits.
post #13390 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Loudin View Post

slats7,

1) larger outdoor antennas have more gain (are more sensitive) than rabbit ears. You're barely 3 miles from all the DC stations, so you have very strong signals and can use a less sensitive antenna. I'm 40+ miles south, so I need the larger antenna to get reliable reception.

I'd only invest in an outdoor antenna if it would improve pic quality (not pic stability), but I guess I'm getting the best quality that I can possibly get with the ol' rabbit ears. If only Fox came in as sharp as CBS and NBC.
Quote:
2) you assume the mocksession folks have cable. I bet your OTA reception is darn near 100% reliable, so you could do screen grabs whenever. My reception is 90% or more reliable, so I could probably do much the same thing.

A lot of their screengrabs are from ESPN, so yes, they're either using FIOS, cable, or satellite.
Quote:
3) it's not really that absurd that you get differing picture quality across the country. It has ALWAYS been so, since every station is a unique combination of broadcasting equipment.

understood
Quote:
4) Let go of the notion that there is any relation between signal strength and picture quality. Remember that you area receiving a bitstream. Once you have enough signal for your tuner to decode those bits, that's it. Having more signal does not add more bits.

Understood. Still can't figure out why FOX has a cruddy picture despite no sub-channels hogging up their bitstream/bandwidth.
post #13391 of 13749
Quote:

Understood. Still can't figure out why FOX has a cruddy picture despite no sub-channels hogging up their bitstream/bandwidth.

 

You mean WTTG is exceptional in a bad way?

How does the PBS affiliate, WETA look?

post #13392 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by veedon View Post

You mean WTTG is exceptional in a bad way?
How does the PBS affiliate, WETA look?

FOX has brighter colors but a fuzzier picture compared to CBS and NBC. WETA looks fine, but I don't watch it that often.
post #13393 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by slats7 View Post

Understood. Still can't figure out why FOX has a cruddy picture despite no sub-channels hogging up their bitstream/bandwidth.

It's because FOX pre-compresses the picture before sending it out to their affiliates so they don't have to do any additional compression to add subchannels.
post #13394 of 13749
Really? News to me. Well, FOX 5 in DC must be doing something in addition to that to make it look worse than say FOX in Wichita.
post #13395 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by slats7 View Post

Really? News to me. Well, FOX 5 in DC must be doing something in addition to that to make it look worse than say FOX in Wichita.

Maybe WTTG is paying homage to its years as a DuMont affiliate.

They didn't have any subchannels back then.

post #13396 of 13749
WTTG is using some of its bandwidth for mobile DTV, which is an alternate format suited for portable devices. FOX is launching a movies subchannel that WTTG will carry.
post #13397 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by slats7 View Post

I'd only invest in an outdoor antenna if it would improve pic quality (not pic stability), but I guess I'm getting the best quality that I can possibly get with the ol' rabbit ears. If only Fox came in as sharp as CBS and NBC.
A lot of their screengrabs are from ESPN, so yes, they're either using FIOS, cable, or satellite.
understood
Understood. Still can't figure out why FOX has a cruddy picture despite no sub-channels hogging up their bitstream/bandwidth.
Also has to do with how good the encoders are that they use.
post #13398 of 13749

I have UHF outdoor antenna and have trouble (of course) getting the ABC and CBS. CBS hardly appears. ABC is with breakup if I connect two TVs. If I connect one TV (and only one particular TV), I do get ABC.

I understand that ABC and CBS are on VHF. It is surprise that it even works with my UHF antenna.

 

Having said that, how can I make my UHF antenna VHF capable or getting the new antenna is the only solution. I live in zipcode 20136. If new antenna is the only solution, please recommend an appropriate model.
 

post #13399 of 13749
You have 2 choices.

1. Augment your present UHF antenna with this & join then together with this. You could also get the compact C-5 VHF antenna, but it is a bit more pricey.

2. Buy a combo antenna to cover both bands. The appropriate model depends on whether or not you are looking to recieve anything from Baltimore.
post #13400 of 13749
Perhaps a Winegard 7698 or Antennacraft HBU55 if a UHF/HiVHF combo antenna is desired for both DC and Baltimore. And possibly a Winegard 8700 preamp. But if you use separate UHF/VHF antennas, both Winegard and Antennacraft offer dual input preamps from Solid Signal. But smaller 7696 and HBU33 antennas may work, but not sure of your location. And make sure the preamp is needed at your distance and does not overload. Sometimes they help, other times they do not.
post #13401 of 13749
Hi there.

I think I'm in a bit over my head. Just a quick question.

Has anyone in the Baltimore market lost TCM?

I am on Comcast. The Comcast line feeds into my Magnavox 2160. About a month ago I lost TCM. It was channel 114.6. That channel is now scrambled. I have re-scanned, using the Magnavox's automatic scan feature, and have yet to rediscover TCM.

Am I alone?
post #13402 of 13749
Noticed that the software (and firmware) on my comcast box was updated to version a30 last night. This version is supposed to enable the use of an external hard drive to increase the storage. See comcast forums (http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/external-dvr-storage/) for more information. Note I think the local offices have to do something before the external disc will work - may take a few more days. Unfortunately I have a DCX3400 which is not currently supported (but may work).
post #13403 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Rules View Post

Thanks guys, what I don't understand is why 95.9 was chosen in Haymarket when there are quieter frequencies available? Even an adjacent channel allotment (102.1 for instance) would likely suffer much less from interference issues than a receivable co-channel station. I can't imagine a 4 watt signal causing much adjacent channel havoc unless right next to the tower.

That translator is now off-air, and the owner has applied to change frequency.
post #13404 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Rules View Post

You have 2 choices.

1. Augment your present UHF antenna with this & join then together with this. You could also get the compact C-5 VHF antenna, but it is a bit more pricey.

2. Buy a combo antenna to cover both bands. The appropriate model depends on whether or not you are looking to recieve anything from Baltimore.

 

Thank you much... That seems a neat idea to join the two together...

This seems second best to the combined antenna offering..

post #13405 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post

Perhaps a Winegard 7698 or Antennacraft HBU55 if a UHF/HiVHF combo antenna is desired for both DC and Baltimore. And possibly a Winegard 8700 preamp. But if you use separate UHF/VHF antennas, both Winegard and Antennacraft offer dual input preamps from Solid Signal. But smaller 7696 and HBU33 antennas may work, but not sure of your location. And make sure the preamp is needed at your distance and does not overload. Sometimes they help, other times they do not.

 

 

Thanks. Those combos are bit pricey and huge size wise.

 

What I have now is something in line with CM 4221 and reception is pretty good (mounted just 15 feet from ground. Will move it upwards sometime). So pre-amp may not be needed.

 

Adding the VHF should do the trick.. (I guess).

post #13406 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaranddeeman View Post

What I have now is something in line with CM 4221 and reception is pretty good (mounted just 15 feet from ground.
I have both a CM4221 (currently pointed at Baltimore) and a CM4228 (currently pointed at DC). Regardless of which direction I pointed it, the CM4221 would not pick up any VHF channels, while the CM4228 picked up everything for the direction it was pointed.

I had to join the Y5-7-13 to the CM4221 so that I could pick up 11 and 13 from Baltimore. The CM4228 gets 5, 7 and 9 from DC with no problems.
post #13407 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Loudin View Post

That translator is now off-air, and the owner has applied to change frequency.
Thanks Dave, 95.9 just didn't seem like a very good choice. WGRQ is now coming in loud & clear. (Woo hoo)
post #13408 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by nabsltd View Post


I have both a CM4221 (currently pointed at Baltimore) and a CM4228 (currently pointed at DC). Regardless of which direction I pointed it, the CM4221 would not pick up any VHF channels, while the CM4228 picked up everything for the direction it was pointed.

I had to join the Y5-7-13 to the CM4221 so that I could pick up 11 and 13 from Baltimore. The CM4228 gets 5, 7 and 9 from DC with no problems.


The 4221 gets me 4,5,14,20,50 and much more.

The only issue is for 7 and 9. I felt the need as the Superbowl was on 9 and Oscars on 7..

Having said that as I stated before, one of my TV if connected alone gets 7 w/o any issue.

post #13409 of 13749
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaranddeeman View Post

The 4221 gets me 4,5,14,20,50 and much more.
The only issue is for 7 and 9. I felt the need as the Superbowl was on 9 and Oscars on 7.
So, what you're saying is the only VHF channel that your CM4221 can pick up is 5. All the rest you list are UHF (NBC 4 is frequency 48), which it excels at.
post #13410 of 13749
Channel 5 is on UHF 36. The only VHF channels inside DC are 7(7.1),8(47.1),9(9.1) & 12(66.1).

Oops forgot about analog 6 in Arlington.
Edited by Digital Rules - 3/1/13 at 4:43am
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