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post #2911 of 2998 Old 06-21-2020, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post
Reduced resolution? Won't that require hierarchical transmission and multiple transmission modes? Are ATSC 3.0 stations doing that/planning for that - with a more robust and a less robust modulation scheme running on the same RF channel?
I don't know if any specific 3.0 stations are planning to do it any time soon, but the ATSC 3.0 technical standards do allow for multiple physical layer pipes (PLPs), with each pipe capable of a different resolution (SD, HD, 4K), coverage area, error correction, modulation, etc.
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post #2912 of 2998 Old 06-21-2020, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jmccurrytech View Post
I would say yes, OFDM is very robust, it takes a lot of noise to cause uncorrectables. I've witnessed the robustness of OFDM while using a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem. You'll get reduced resolution before you lose signal or get any interruptions.
That is very incorrect, compared to legacy Docsis 1.0 , Docsis 3.1 with upstream and downstream channel bonding requires MER of 38> where in the past with 64-QAM and QPSK you could get away with a Low MER and SNR, that is why legacy set-top boxes with QPSK could get away with return SNR values of 22db. or less.

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post #2913 of 2998 Old 06-21-2020, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by NashGuy View Post
Well, ATSC 3.0 is supposed to go live here in Nashville a week from today. The broadcasting configuration was posted by a local blogger here.

As I suspected, two of Sinclair's three local stations will be the ATSC 3.0 hosts. Although I was only half right about which two it will be. It's going to be WUXP 30 (RF 21), our MyTV affiliate, and WNAB 58 (RF 30), our CW affiliate, serving as the stations cutting over to 3.0. Sinclair's most popular local station, our Fox affiliate WZTV 17 (RF 20) will remain ATSC 1.0.

Along with those three stations, our local CBS affiliate (WTVF) and ABC affiliate (WKRN) will also be involved in the ATSC 3.0 launch. Left out are our local NBC and PBS stations.

It isn't clear to me yet whether all of those five stations' subchannels will be broadcast via ATSC 3.0 or not. But it looks like all of their current subchannels will remain on ATSC 1.0. I hope they've bought some good 1.0 encoders because here's what the three stations remaining on 1.0 will be pumping out:

WKRN: two 720p + three 480i channels
WTVF: one 1080i + five 480i channels
WZTV: two 720p + four 480i channels
Get the sense that this pattern will be repeated in many markets.

Rather than broadcast something better than what we have today, PQ-wise, they will just push quantity over quality.

Something like 1080p HDR or better may be the exception than the rule.
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post #2914 of 2998 Old 06-21-2020, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
Get the sense that this pattern will be repeated in many markets.

Rather than broadcast something better than what we have today, PQ-wise, they will just push quantity over quality.

Something like 1080p HDR or better may be the exception than the rule.
Yeah. And, just in case anyone misread my post, I listed how many HD and SD channels will be carried on each of the remaining 1.0 towers, not the two towers converting to 3.0. I don't know exactly WHAT is going to be carried on those two 3.0 towers, other than at least the main channels from the five participating local stations (i.e. our local ABC, CBS, Fox, CW and My Network TV in HD). Perhaps all five stations' existing SD subchannels will be carried too. Or maybe there will be one or more new HD subchannels exclusive to 3.0? Maybe there will be one or more subscription channels on one of the 3.0 towers? We'll see. It doesn't really matter right now anyhow given that virtually no one has an ATSC 3.0 tuner. So for the coming weeks/months, these new 3.0 broadcasts will just be about the local broadcasters getting their feet wet and figuring things out, I guess. The channels they carry via 3.0 might be fairly different a year from now when 3.0 tuners will presumably be widely available at retail.

It's possible we could see some limited 4K and/or 1080p HDR content aired on 3.0 soon but, if so, it will probably just be stuff that the local station owners (Sinclair, Nexstar, Scripps) provide. There won't be any significant content in 4K or 1080p or HDR until the national broadcast networks themselves -- ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CW, PBS, etc. -- begin producing it and offering it to their local affiliates. I know at least some of those networks have indicated (unofficially) that they foresee offering content in 1080p HDR as we move into the ATSC 3.0 era. But I don't know if any of them will do it this year. If and when they do, though, I expect them to also make the higher quality format available on their paid streaming platforms (Hulu, CBS All Access, Peacock), their cable authenticated apps, and the on-demand platforms offered by their cable TV distributors (e.g. Comcast, AT&T, Charter, etc.).
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post #2915 of 2998 Old 06-21-2020, 03:59 PM
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Sure it's a chicken and egg thing.

Networks have no reason to distribute higher PQ content until there are enough stations on 3.0 and stations may be reluctant to invest in 3.0 higher bandwidth capacity -- reserving bandwidth with the intent to broadcast higher PQ content -- unless they know the networks are going to give them that higher PQ content

Or they probably figure that one or two 1080p HDR or greater channels won't bring in more viewers and ad dollars than a half dozen ATSC 1.0 quality channels.
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post #2916 of 2998 Old 06-21-2020, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ybsane View Post
That is very incorrect, compared to legacy Docsis 1.0 , Docsis 3.1 with upstream and downstream channel bonding requires MER of 38> where in the past with 64-QAM and QPSK you could get away with a Low MER and SNR, that is why legacy set-top boxes with QPSK could get away with return SNR values of 22db. or less.

OK, I stand corrected. Thanks for the clarification.
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post #2917 of 2998 Old 06-22-2020, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
They also have some number of shows produced in other countries.

Recall reading that Netflix would start up their production of shows made in South Korea a couple of months ago.
How much TV can Korea, Iceland, and New Zealand produce when it's difficult/impossible to come in and out?

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Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
Sure it's a chicken and egg thing.

Networks have no reason to distribute higher PQ content until there are enough stations on 3.0 and stations may be reluctant to invest in 3.0 higher bandwidth capacity -- reserving bandwidth with the intent to broadcast higher PQ content -- unless they know the networks are going to give them that higher PQ content

Or they probably figure that one or two 1080p HDR or greater channels won't bring in more viewers and ad dollars than a half dozen ATSC 1.0 quality channels.
Not really. The VQ of the 1080i/720p master feed from the networks today is far higher than that's being broadcast due to over-compression. If ATSC 3.0 can at least reduce the over-compression, there could be a significant jump in VQ with existing content coming in to the stations. If the 720p stations move to 1080p, then the jump could be even bigger. 1080i to 1080p is a far less significant jump.

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Rather than broadcast something better than what we have today, PQ-wise, they will just push quantity over quality.

Something like 1080p HDR or better may be the exception than the rule.
I'm hoping that HEVC alone in both quality and efficiency will improve video quality significantly, even if content stays at current or similar resolutions to what we have today.
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post #2918 of 2998 Old 06-22-2020, 12:08 PM
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Well until a couple of weeks ago, they couldn't do any film and TV production in the state of CA.

So whatever little production they did in other countries is more than the US has been doing for a couple of months.

But it's speculative.


I would be optimistic about better PQ with better codecs but look at cable companies since going to H.264. They are just choking the bitrate low and pushing out 720p, which isn't as good as 1080i on networks like CBS used to be.

We have to get content from companies which are inclined to shovel the most minimal quality.
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post #2919 of 2998 Old 06-24-2020, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post
How much TV can Korea, Iceland, and New Zealand produce when it's difficult/impossible to come in and out?
Why would people need to come in and out of Korea for Netflix to make content there? Korea is a large market for Netflix, and they make/commission a lot of domestic shows there. (Netflix makes/commissions a lot of local content for Spain, Germany, Poland etc. AIUI)

Iceland and NZ have far smaller domestic industries for Netflix - but a lot of major motion pictures are shot in New Zealand. If they can cope with the quarantine requirements then making movies and high-end episodic TV there would be entirely feasible.
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post #2920 of 2998 Old 06-24-2020, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post
Why would people need to come in and out of Korea for Netflix to make content there? Korea is a large market for Netflix, and they make/commission a lot of domestic shows there. (Netflix makes/commissions a lot of local content for Spain, Germany, Poland etc. AIUI)

Iceland and NZ have far smaller domestic industries for Netflix - but a lot of major motion pictures are shot in New Zealand. If they can cope with the quarantine requirements then making movies and high-end episodic TV there would be entirely feasible.
They wouldn't for TV, but the domestic producers of content there aren't going to magically scale their production to meet the desires of the entire world just because they're the only places that aren't overrun with COVID. Movies would likely be international efforts, and be very difficult to do right now.
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post #2921 of 2998 Old 06-25-2020, 02:22 PM
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From the DC/Baltimore local thread:

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Originally Posted by VARTV View Post
WJLA, WTTG to Trial 3.0 Advanced Emergency Alerting in D.C.

Trial will be organized in four two-week blocks to test various aspects of the technology

Two local television stations in the nation’s capital will conduct an eight week trial of ATSC 3.0’s advanced emergency warning capabilities, including text-based alerts and rich media, and the workflow needed to support the alerts...

Continue reading @TVTechnology
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^^ I'm guessing that this a behind-the-scenes, offline sort of testing, and not an indication that Sinclair and Fox are going to partner to flip one of their DC channels to 3.0 sometime soon, right?

(Frankly, I've always wondered why in the world an improved emergency alert system, which we definitely need, requires a whole new and incompatible broadcast TV system. That's always struck me as the lamest of the 3.0 justifications.)
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post #2922 of 2998 Old 06-25-2020, 03:09 PM
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(Frankly, I've always wondered why in the world an improved emergency alert system, which we definitely need, requires a whole new and incompatible broadcast TV system. That's always struck me as the lamest of the 3.0 justifications.)
ATSC 1.0 has no way to send an emergency alert that would automatically turn your TV on and play the alert (which could be very helpful if a tornado is approaching in the middle of the night). Nor can ATSC 1.0 support alerts based on geographic location for only part of the viewing area. ATSC 3.0 can do those things.
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post #2923 of 2998 Old 06-25-2020, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NashGuy View Post
ATSC 1.0 has no way to send an emergency alert that would automatically turn your TV on and play the alert (which could be very helpful if a tornado is approaching in the middle of the night). Nor can ATSC 1.0 support alerts based on geographic location for only part of the viewing area. ATSC 3.0 can do those things.

Hrm, not planning to replace any of my TVs. I hope a new ATSC 3 enabled HDHomeRun doesn’t have the ability to do anything like that!


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post #2924 of 2998 Old 06-26-2020, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by NashGuy View Post
ATSC 1.0 has no way to send an emergency alert that would automatically turn your TV on and play the alert (which could be very helpful if a tornado is approaching in the middle of the night). Nor can ATSC 1.0 support alerts based on geographic location for only part of the viewing area. ATSC 3.0 can do those things.
It's potentially a nice feature, though I've got a weather radio that does the same thing and a phone that's actually more accurate; it won't buzz above the lock unless the emergency actually involves my specific location.

My question is ..who controls the alerts? You live in Nashville, so I'm sure you're aware wall-to-wall we're-all-going-to-die weather coverage is a local television mainstay. IIUC, AEA allows stations to initiate alerts. I can see them gleefully activating screens all across the city at the first sign of a wall cloud just to get viewers to tune in to Action Mega Doppler First Alert Weather Center coverage.

They already go overboard with "Breaking News" alerts, as it is. I've gotten a half-dozen heat advisory alerts from Tampa stations and it's only 9:30 in the morning. I can't imagine settling in to stream a movie on Netflix just to have crawls come across the bottom of the screen for a chemical spill three counties away or a weather watch box in the upper third.

That could get annoying very quickly.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.

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post #2925 of 2998 Old 06-27-2020, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
It's potentially a nice feature, though I've got a weather radio that does the same thing and a phone that's actually more accurate; it won't buzz above the lock unless the emergency actually involves my specific location.

My question is ..who controls the alerts? You live in Nashville, so I'm sure you're aware wall-to-wall we're-all-going-to-die weather coverage is a local television mainstay. IIUC, AEA allows stations to initiate alerts. I can see them gleefully activating screens all across the city at the first sign of a wall cloud just to get viewers to tune in to Action Mega Doppler First Alert Weather Center coverage.

They already go overboard with "Breaking News" alerts, as it is. I've gotten a half-dozen heat advisory alerts from Tampa stations and it's only 9:30 in the morning. I can't imagine settling in to stream a movie on Netflix just to have crawls come across the bottom of the screen for a chemical spill three counties away or a weather watch box in the upper third.

That could get annoying very quickly.
Ugh, yeah. I have no idea who controls the alerts. I haven't dug into the specifics of ATSC 3.0's AWARN system all that much, I just know the main bullet points. It seems strange to me that the system would be constructed in a way that each individual broadcaster can use it to issue their own branded alerts based on their own news/weather operation. I mean, could you see four different alert graphics pop up on the screen at the same time, one from each of your major locals? That doesn't sound right.

I *imagine* it being more like some kind of joint effort. Maybe that happens at the local level, or maybe it's just the National Weather Service (which already has a robust nationwide weather alert system in place) that would be in charge of issuing emergency weather alerts.

P.S: I don't think ANY aspect of ATSC 3.0, including emergency alerts, could be overlaid atop content from Netflix or any other third-party app unless the operating system of the overall device (the smart TV, the phone, etc.) gave the resident ATSC 3.0 app permission to do such. And that would probably require the user's consent.

P.P.S: If you look at the bottom of the AWARN homepage, it shows that its advisory committee includes National Weather Service, US Dept. of Homeland Security, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, FEMA, APCO International.

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post #2926 of 2998 Old 06-27-2020, 09:22 PM
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It's actually better to send alerts to a phone because it will relate to where you actually are. If you're 500 miles away from home, you'll only get weather alerts for where you are not where your billing address is. For most people their phone is usually where they are. Warnings on TV are very 20th century, we don't need any more 20th century solutions at this point.
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post #2927 of 2998 Old 06-28-2020, 12:01 AM
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Though I hate the Amber alerts on my phone.

They were also blasting, stay at home alerts too.
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post #2928 of 2998 Old 06-28-2020, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NashGuy View Post
P.S: I don't think ANY aspect of ATSC 3.0, including emergency alerts, could be overlaid atop content from Netflix or any other third-party app unless the operating system of the overall device (the smart TV, the phone, etc.) gave the resident ATSC 3.0 app permission to do such. And that would probably require the user's consent.
For the AWARN system to be effective, it'll have to work no matter the state the display is in. What's the point of having it if it only works when viewing an ATSC 3.0 channel or with the display off? If this is a selling point, it'll have to interrupt anything the display is doing... Netflix, gaming, BD player.. all of it.

Yes, I suppose there'll be some user configuration involved. Like weather radios, there will be some alerts you can't turn off... unless you disable the whole thing, which I'm pretty sure people will do the first time one of those can't-disable alerts interrupts "Frozen II" on Disney+, sending the kids into a fit.

The spec appears to allow television stations to use the AWARN system. This is understandable given how much EAS misses or wasn't designed to handle. You'd be shocked at the amount of time that elapses between spotting, confirming and the actual tornado warning going out. I've been in many a newsroom when we heard the spotters relay the confirmation to NWS. Ever notice how some stations interrupt programming BEFORE your weather radio goes off? If minutes matter, it'd be advantageous to allow stations to make the interruption before EAS gets activated.

Then there are things that fall to individual counties for EAS activation. A television station with a decent news department is going to outrun EAS with that stuff every single time. Action News Chopper One will be livestreaming the thing half an hour before the alert tones go out.

As to which station gets to take over your set, I'd guess that pecking order would follow EAS's CPCS designations, as well. Or maybe you'll get hyperlnks on your screen that say, "We're all going to die. Choose which station you'd like to be watching for complete coverage: WXXX, WYYY, etc"

Again, if it's going to be a selling point, then it's gotta be better than anything else that's out there. If stations have to wait for "official" alerts or can't interrupt streaming, then this scheme isn't much better than a $30 weather radio.
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Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.

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post #2929 of 2998 Old 06-28-2020, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
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Again, if it's going to be a selling point, then it's gotta be better than anything else that's out there. If stations have to wait for "official" alerts or can't interrupt streaming, then this scheme isn't much better than a $30 weather radio.
That's silly. The vast majority of US homes don't have weather radios but they do have TVs. Most consumers would think AWARN is just a bonus feature of their new TV. And as long as there's some degree of user control over how the alerts are presented, consumers will appreciate it. If local stations are continually blasting out emergency alerts that take over their TVs, of course there will be consumer backlash. People will just shut the entire feature off, or if that can't be done, they'll just yank the antenna from the TV. Consumers obviously have lots of other choices for entertainment, news and local weather than free OTA TV.

And I'd say the bigger audience for whom AWARN was intended to be a selling point for ATSC 3.0 was the FCC, not the buying public. Being able to tout an advanced public safety/emerging alerting feature to the government helped Sinclair and the other TV broadcast industry backers of 3.0 to gain approval for the new standard.
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post #2930 of 2998 Old 06-28-2020, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joblo View Post
From the DC/Baltimore local thread:
Sinclair is buying WDCO-CD and WIAV-CD. Wouldn't surprise me if one of them ended up converted.

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Though I hate the Amber alerts on my phone.
I have all the alerts turned off on my phone. Whenever I replace my phone, the first time the alerts go off, I disable them.

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ATSC 1.0 has no way to send an emergency alert that would automatically turn your TV on and play the alert
The first time that happens, I will disable the feature. If it can't be disabled, I'll start unplugging the TV when I'm done with it.

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post #2931 of 2998 Old 06-28-2020, 12:37 PM
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I have all the alerts turned off on my phone. Whenever I replace my phone, the first time the alerts go off, I disable them.

All alerts or just the Amber alerts?

If you have to turn off all alerts just to turn off a particular alert, that's not too convenient.
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post #2932 of 2998 Old 06-28-2020, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
For the AWARN system to be effective, it'll have to work no matter the state the display is in. What's the point of having it if it only works when viewing an ATSC 3.0 channel or with the display off? If this is a selling point, it'll have to interrupt anything the display is doing... Netflix, gaming, BD player.. all of it.
If it interrupts whatever else is on the TV... ok that's one thing. However, if it turns the TV on..... that's insane. For one, it would have to constantly monitor the ATSC 3.0 signal, which could consume power, but imagine if there was widespread adoption and an average of 1.5 TVs per household all turns on at once? It would cause a massive spike in electricity demand. Usually nothing happens all at once.
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post #2933 of 2998 Old 06-29-2020, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
All alerts or just the Amber alerts?

If you have to turn off all alerts just to turn off a particular alert, that's not too convenient.
I could have turned off just Amber alerts, but I turn off all of them. I do not need my phone deciding for me that when I put my phone on "Vibrate" that I didn't actually want it to be silent other than vibrating. I'd prefer to see the alert quietly, but no such luck, so off they go.

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post #2934 of 2998 Old 06-29-2020, 11:46 AM
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The first time Comcast started doing Amber Alerts the thing came up blasting. Apparently they had not tested it well and the volume was way too high.
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post #2935 of 2998 Old 06-29-2020, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post
If it interrupts whatever else is on the TV... ok that's one thing. However, if it turns the TV on..... that's insane. For one, it would have to constantly monitor the ATSC 3.0 signal, which could consume power, but imagine if there was widespread adoption and an average of 1.5 TVs per household all turns on at once? It would cause a massive spike in electricity demand. Usually nothing happens all at once.
Aren't today's smart TVs always "on" to some extent, i.e. asleep in a low-power state rather than totally off like they are when the plug is pulled from the outlet?

Anyhow, FWIW, the actual language that the industry uses to describe this specific AWARN feature seems to be "wake-up" rather than "turn on" as I used.

Here's a TV Technology article from last year that touches on the topic we're discussing. Key quote:

However, both groups expressed some concern about overusing 3.0’s enhanced warning features, such as the TV wake-up function, geo-targeting and rich media, to disseminate emergency information. Doing so might fatigue the public and ultimately desensitize audiences to bona fide alerts, causing them to hesitate to take action or ignore warnings altogether.

“The emergency managers see the best use of ATSC 3.0 alerting being reserved for imminent threat alerting, something that is severe and urgent,” says Lawson. Those from the TV community concurred and said voluntary arrangements are needed with emergency managers about what does and does not qualify for an imminent threat alert.
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post #2936 of 2998 Old 06-29-2020, 06:46 PM
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From what I picked up at the NAB Express seminars for the foreseeable future broadcasters will use 1080P HDR. HDR has the biggest impact. The broadcasters will use the additional bandwidth for additional channels which for them is much more profitable.
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post #2937 of 2998 Old 06-30-2020, 05:12 AM
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From what I picked up at the NAB Express seminars for the foreseeable future broadcasters will use 1080P HDR. HDR has the biggest impact. The broadcasters will use the additional bandwidth for additional channels which for them is much more profitable.

Now THAT'S a plan I could live with, especially some new extra channels are free. If so, I'm impressed.
I'm no expert, but my gut told me months ago the whole idea is to simply broadcast on fewer frequencies (more channels on each frequency), them sell the other frequencies off for other uses in the future.
4K and other dreams (TV on cell phones, etc) just don't seem as likely to this industry outsider. Picture quality has never been much of a priority with the broadcast industry it seems to me.
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post #2938 of 2998 Old 06-30-2020, 06:43 AM
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Picture quality has never been much of a priority with the broadcast industry it seems to me.
I bring this up every 6 months or so... I've read very few articles about the major broadcasters (NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, CW, PBS) producing 4K content with HDR. I think I saw an article about a year ago about Fox and ABC looking into it- my my memory may be flawed. Without any source material from the networks themselves, the affiliates broadcasting 4K HDR is relatively inconsequential. 4K local news probably isn't a huge "selling point."

Does anyone know if the major networks might be planning for generating 4K HDR content?
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post #2939 of 2998 Old 06-30-2020, 06:44 AM
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Picture quality has never been much of a priority with the broadcast industry it seems to me.
It's more about the public and advertisers. I've always said, "there has to be an economic advantage for doing something or an economic disadvantage for not doing it." Picture quality clearly doesn't drive ratings, so there's no economic advantage, there. Shooting "NCIS" in 4k HDR won't bring in any new viewers. Ditto sports. Enthusiasts like us might check out a cornhole tournament if it's in 4K, but Joe Sixpack won't and a station or network needs tons of new eyeballs to justify the expense (or a set manufacturer to underwrite the expense as they did in the early HD days)

The other side of the equation is advertising. Those commercials better look good to the client. If a jewelry commercial looks better on WXXX than on WYYY, WXXX will likely get the bigger guy. Economic disadvantage to WYYY.

You'd be surprised at how many station upgrades are driven by advertisers. I'm old enough to have worked in stations that had to buy tons of new gear just because ad agencies started delivering commercials in stereo and demanding they be aired that way. Get a handful of them to start doing those jewelry ads in 1080p HDR and watch how fast stations race to ATSC 3.0.
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Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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post #2940 of 2998 Old 06-30-2020, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by NashGuy View Post
Aren't today's smart TVs always "on" to some extent, i.e. asleep in a low-power state rather than totally off like they are when the plug is pulled from the outlet?
Yeah, but I doubt that they are monitoring an antenna input in that power-power state, probably just for WoL/IR input.

Quote:
However, both groups expressed some concern about overusing 3.0’s enhanced warning features, such as the TV wake-up function, geo-targeting and rich media, to disseminate emergency information. Doing so might fatigue the public and ultimately desensitize audiences to bona fide alerts, causing them to hesitate to take action or ignore warnings altogether.

“The emergency managers see the best use of ATSC 3.0 alerting being reserved for imminent threat alerting, something that is severe and urgent,” says Lawson. Those from the TV community concurred and said voluntary arrangements are needed with emergency managers about what does and does not qualify for an imminent threat alert.
There are so many problems with this and it seems largely redundant to what we have with smartphones anyway.
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