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post #121 of 142 Old 01-15-2019, 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post
That has more to do with codec than resolution. H.264 and H.265 have much less mosquito noise and smaller macro blocks.
Yes - absolutely. The variable sized Macroblocks of h.264 and h.265 make them far less visible, and a lot of work has been done to reduce the visibility of compression artefacts in the newer codecs.
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post #122 of 142 Old 03-04-2020, 11:02 PM
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The big problem is having two HD subchannels on one transmitter. One HD and two SD channels usually looks OK (at least to me).
I can't imagine how awful this looks. The HD channels can't be getting more than 7-8 Mbps. They must be stripping all the high frequency detail to make that happen.
KPBS in San Diego has TWO HD channels and TWO SD channels. Each HD is about 5-5.5 Mbit/s. Both HD and SD look like crap; HD because it is soft, SD because it is interlaced. I remember seeing JVC blog where they say that with better compressors 720p can be compressed to 9 Mbit/s and 1080i to 12 Mbit/s to save bandwidth. Ha!

I have no idea why do they broadcast kiddie stuff 24/7, don't kids need to sleep sometime? And they broadcast the same stuff on the main HD channel in the morning and in the afternoon. How many cartoons can a kid watch?
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post #123 of 142 Old 03-05-2020, 07:11 AM
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KPBS in San Diego has TWO HD channels and TWO SD channels. Each HD is about 5-5.5 Mbit/s. Both HD and SD look like crap; HD because it is soft, SD because it is interlaced. I remember seeing JVC blog where they say that with better compressors 720p can be compressed to 9 Mbit/s and 1080i to 12 Mbit/s to save bandwidth. Ha!

I have no idea why do they broadcast kiddie stuff 24/7, don't kids need to sleep sometime? And they broadcast the same stuff on the main HD channel in the morning and in the afternoon. How many cartoons can a kid watch?
You realize you're replying to a 15-month-old post, right? NTTAWWT

To try to answer your programming question, PBS Kids is presumably kid-safe programming, so it better BE that when someone tunes to it anytime between 5AM ET and 9pm Honolulu time. Don't know for sure, but I rather doubt KHET timeshifts PBS Kids. Point being, there's not much to be gained by alternate programming for that small window nor much to be gained in bandwidth by a local station shutting the channel down overnight.

So, why the morning-and-afternoon duplication of programming? I'd guess it's because not everyone gets the PBS Kids subchannel. As a DirecTV subscriber, I can tell you local stations' subchannels aren't carried. In a lot of markets, terrestrial cable doesn't carry the subs, either. For those viewers, PBS runs kids programming in the mornings and afternoons. It's my understanding those blocks aren't simulcasts, though a lot of it consists of the same programs.

I may have you beat. WEDU in Tampa has one HD and FIVE SDs, which includes the ever-gripping "Florida Channel," Tallahassee's answer to C-Span.
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post #124 of 142 Old 03-05-2020, 09:59 AM
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You realize you're replying to a 15-month-old post, right? NTTAWWT
My son was born last year... it feels. Next year he'll go to high school.
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To try to answer your programming question, PBS Kids is presumably kid-safe programming
Everything on PBS is kid-safe, which is why a show dedicated to George Carlin having clips from his shows was unwatchable.
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nor much to be gained in bandwidth by a local station shutting the channel down overnight.
I wish they either shut it down completely, saving 2-2.5 Mbps, or removed the kiddie stuff from the main KPBS channel.
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So, why the morning-and-afternoon duplication of programming? I'd guess it's because not everyone gets the PBS Kids subchannel. As a DirecTV subscriber, I can tell you local stations' subchannels aren't carried.
It is not DirecTV, it is OTA. The broadcasting standards have been there for more than two decades, so anyone having a TV set is able to get these subchannels. My Panasonic TV set is so obnoxious that it turns automatically from time to time to check for new channels, and updates the channel listing. Yes, the morning and afternoons on the main channel are not the exact simulcasts, but are very close, separated by several hours, but still pretty much the same during a day.

The only positive side of this is that 720p @ 5 Mbit/s is much friendlier for my 2008 netbook that I use to capture some of the programs. I don't even bother re-compressing them and don't need to deinterlace them.
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post #125 of 142 Old 03-05-2020, 10:23 AM
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It is not DirecTV, it is OTA. The broadcasting standards have been there for more than two decades, so anyone having a TV set is able to get these subchannels.
I wonder if people in Campo, or Borrego Springs, or any of the other places that are terrain blocked from the KPBS signal would agree with that.

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post #126 of 142 Old 03-05-2020, 10:50 AM
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It's PBS, Public. Funded by grants and donations. They can do what they like with programming.



15.1 720p 16:9 KPBS-HD Main KPBS programming / PBS 5.5-6 Mbit/s

15.2 KPBS-H2 World / local programming 5-5.5 Mbit/s

15.3 480i Create Create 2.1-2.5 Mbit/s

15.4 Kids PBS Kids 2.1-2.7 Mbit/s



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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post #127 of 142 Old 03-05-2020, 11:05 AM
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I wonder if people in Campo, or Borrego Springs, or any of the other places that are terrain blocked from the KPBS signal would agree with that.
I am not sure what you are saying, Trip. As it has been clarified elsewhere in this thread, this is neither ABC or CBS or PBS per se adding all these subchannels, it is the particular stations. KPBS is a PBS affiliate and has its channel lineup, other affiliates have different lineups. If someone in Campo can receive the main KPBS channel, they as well can receive all the subchannels, because they all originate from the same tower. If they don't watch the PBS Kids now, they just need to re-scan. And if they cannot receive KPBS now, channel re-shuffle will not affect them.
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post #128 of 142 Old 03-05-2020, 11:38 AM
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Everything on PBS is kid-safe
I've heard cursing and seen nudity on PBS main. Not what I'd call kid-friendly.

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...anyone having a TV set is able to get these subchannels.
OTA reception is far from ubiquitous as others have noted.

The audience for PBS Main is many times that of PBS Kids due to the majority of television households who cannot or choose not to string up an antenna or can't get a reasonable signal even if they do. Hence the airing of children's programming culled from PBS Kids and other sources. Viewers and donors expect it. It's always been on PBS Main. Forcing MPVD viewers with kids to go to possibly extreme means to access that programming is a sure way to lose donors.

If you want better picture quality, then donate. The latest-greatest encoders do a pretty good job with 1HD and 3D channels. Even better if they're in the hands of an engineer who knows how to set 'em. Both cost money.

I came in here to attempt to answer your questions from a broadcaster's perspective, not to argue.

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post #129 of 142 Old 03-05-2020, 12:23 PM
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I am not sure what you are saying, Trip. [...] And if they cannot receive KPBS now, channel re-shuffle will not affect them.
You said they should "removed [sic] the kiddie stuff from the main KPBS channel." When you quoted the part of the post noting that only the main channel is carried on satellite, you countered by saying they should watch OTA. If they cannot watch OTA, then you are effectively arguing for removing that programming from those viewers.

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post #130 of 142 Old 03-05-2020, 01:22 PM
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Either way, IMHO, I typically don't watch or have a desire to watch PBS programming from 5am to 8pm anyway.
The last time I'd select any PBS channel or subchannel during the mornings or afternoons was when babysitting my grandkids when they were toddlers.


Since I (or anyone) don't donate to PBS, I (or anyone) have no right to "complain" about how they allocate bandwidth or schedule programming.


Personally, I don't donate out of spite as there is no way to avoid those cheesy "pledge breaks".



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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post #131 of 142 Old 03-05-2020, 01:43 PM
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Don, Trip, I've never had a dish, but if I understand correctly, there is only one PBS satellite channel for the whole nation, sort of the main channel, the best of PBS. I don't know how well is it aligned with local OTA channels, but I do knw for sure that at least from 6 p.m. and until midnight my local PBS affiliate has local news and programs. If my local OTA channel can diverge from the satellite one for 6 hours a day, why cannot it diverge for 24 hours a day? How this issue was dealt with in pre-satellite TV days? I do not care about the satellite channel.

I am not arguing, I am asking

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Either way, IMHO, I typically don't watch or have a desire to watch PBS programming from 5am to 8pm anyway. The last time I'd select any PBS channel or subchannel during the mornings or afternoons was when babysitting my grandkids when they were toddlers.
I do not watch much TV, OTA or cable or dish (don't have cable now and never had a dish). I watch mostly stuff I find on Netflix, YouTube and some other shadier places. But when I do watch OTA TV I watch my PBS affiliate. This was the whole point to put the antenna up. Sadly, because of the kid stuff well into afternoon time, and because of crappy British pseudo-historic shows there is little to watch on the main channel, but the Create subchannel has a lot of good stuff, mostly documentaries, sometimes big names other times from freshly minted directors and cinematographers.

Regular ABC/CBS/NBC/Fox is complete junk during daytime, and only slightly better in the evening, but I'd rather watch Russian Doll or Babylon Berlin or even Halt And Catch Fire on Netflix than anything the big three of four or how many of them now can offer. They can as well vacate the spectrum and fold, I will not notice.
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Since I (or anyone) don't donate to PBS, I (or anyone) have no right to "complain" about how they allocate bandwidth or schedule programming.
Well, it is not all funded by old cars and by the Kochs, some of it is funded by the feds, and I am paying my taxes. But "having a right to complain" has nothing to do with expression of dissatisfaction ;-)
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post #132 of 142 Old 03-05-2020, 01:52 PM
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Don, Trip, I've never had a dish, but if I understand correctly, there is only one PBS satellite channel for the whole nation, sort of the main channel, the best of PBS.
For most of the country, DirecTV subscribers get their local PBS affiliate just as they do with other local stations. There IS a PBS channel for those in RVs or with no PBS affiliate serving their area.

Cable and satellite can and do negotiate carriage rights with PBS affiliates just like they do other local stations. Those agreements rarely include subchannels.
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post #133 of 142 Old 03-05-2020, 02:00 PM
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I do not watch much TV, OTA or cable or dish (don't have cable now and never had a dish). I watch mostly stuff I find on Netflix, YouTube and some other shadier places. But when I do watch OTA TV I watch my PBS affiliate. This was the whole point to put the antenna up. Sadly, because of the kid stuff well into afternoon time, and because of crappy British pseudo-historic shows there is little to watch on the main channel, but the Create subchannel has a lot of good stuff, mostly documentaries, sometimes big names other times from freshly minted directors and cinematographers.

Regular ABC/CBS/NBC/Fox is complete junk during daytime, and only slightly better in the evening, but I'd rather watch Russian Doll or Babylon Berlin or even Halt And Catch Fire on Netflix than anything the big three of four or how many of them now can offer. They can as well vacate the spectrum and fold, I will not notice.

Well, it is not all funded by old cars and by the Kochs, some of it is funded by the feds, and I am paying my taxes. But "having a right to complain" has nothing to do with expression of dissatisfaction ;-)

It's not really a big issue. PBS will provide whatever to whomever. Grants, donations or funding doesn't change a thing.


Don't watch OTA during the day. Simple solution.


If they " ...vacate the spectrum and fold, I will not notice", why the discussion(s)? It is what it is.


EDIT:
https://www.kpbs.org/contact-us/



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post #134 of 142 Old 03-05-2020, 08:54 PM
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It's PBS, Public. Funded by grants and donations. They can do what they like with programming.

  • 15.1 720p 16:9 KPBS-HD Main KPBS programming / PBS 5.5-6 Mbit/s
  • 15.2 KPBS-H2 World / local programming 5-5.5 Mbit/s
  • 15.3 480i Create Create 2.1-2.5 Mbit/s
  • 15.4 Kids PBS Kids 2.1-2.7 Mbit/s
Interesting they're carrying PBS World in HD (or at least trying to).

Re: PBS Kids, I understand the rationale for PBS providing kid-orienting programming 24/7. I've never understood why any individual station wants to carry it 24/7, though.

What I'd suggest KPBS do is: drop World to SD so you can give 15.1 some decent bandwidth, and combine World and Kids into subchannel 15.2, eliminating 15.4. Broadcast World from 10PM to 6AM, and also during weekdays when 15.1 is airing kids-oriented programming. Broadcast Kids during prime time, and during the day on weekends, so kids have something to watch, either on 15.1 or 15.2, any time they're likely to be awake. All it would take is a PC app to switch the 15.2 feed at the right time each day (well, building the PSIP guide might be a bit tricky).
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post #135 of 142 Old 03-06-2020, 05:32 AM
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FWIW



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post #136 of 142 Old 03-06-2020, 07:14 AM
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My son was born last year... it feels. Next year he'll go to high school.

Everything on PBS is kid-safe, which is why a show dedicated to George Carlin having clips from his shows was unwatchable.
I wish they either shut it down completely, saving 2-2.5 Mbps, or removed the kiddie stuff from the main KPBS channel.
It is not DirecTV, it is OTA. The broadcasting standards have been there for more than two decades, so anyone having a TV set is able to get these subchannels. My Panasonic TV set is so obnoxious that it turns automatically from time to time to check for new channels, and updates the channel listing. Yes, the morning and afternoons on the main channel are not the exact simulcasts, but are very close, separated by several hours, but still pretty much the same during a day.

The only positive side of this is that 720p @ 5 Mbit/s is much friendlier for my 2008 netbook that I use to capture some of the programs. I don't even bother re-compressing them and don't need to deinterlace them.
I emailed my local PBS, WEDH in Hartford, and asked them to fix their encoder, which was only outputting 15-17mbps, and after a year they finally did. It seems that it wasn't a terribly high priority, but at least now their VQ is pretty good at around 12mbps. I wish all channels would drop subchannels, but unfortunately that's not going to happen.

In the case of KPBS, their encoding must suck, and it looks like they're giving too much bandwidth to the SD channels, as WVIT-DT here is running 2x1080i and 2x480i, and they're at about 8mbps on the 1080i channels, and while they're definitely a bit flatter and duller than they should be, there aren't a lot of compression artifacts. They generally look decent.
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post #137 of 142 Old 03-06-2020, 08:32 AM
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Ah, the good old days!
Remember when there was no satellite and you either had antenna or cable.


Antenna in my area was 4 VHF channels (PBS was one of them) and ~5 UHF channels. And PBS was kiddie shows for most of the morning and afternoon.

For cable? Well for $8 per month, a BIG step up with ~36 pretty clear channels and.... a wired/manual controller (channel selector)!!
Fortunately it had a long wire from the selector to the box so you didn't have to get up change the channel.
Of course... all in glorious 4:3 480i analog enjoyed on a 25' Zenith color TV!


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post #138 of 142 Old 03-06-2020, 09:00 AM
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Called up a PBS station general manager I've known for a very long time for some insight on PBS Kids, bandwidth allocations and ATSC 3.0 (I didn't ask about the latter, he volunteered the information).

The reasoning for PBS Kids being a 24/7 channel was what I posted. If it's gonna be a kids channel then it needs to be a kids channel all the time. In his words, "It's the purity of the channel. We get letters from hospitals thanking us for providing the programming so it's there for sick kids on unusual sleep schedules. We get letters from parents who are thankful it's there in the middle of the night for a child who can't sleep." He reiterated, "It's the purity of the channel, plain and simple." He went on to tout the streaming, the PBS Kids apps.. the whole platform is a win. It ain't going anywhere.

Of course, there's a financial aspect. Any diginet a PBS affiliate puts on has to make back its costs and Kids does that easily. It's an easy corporate donation as it's about as non-controversial as it can be. Thankful parents happily donate. Simply put, it makes dependable money.

There are constantly new ideas for new diginets but, in his words, "I don't want to start something that's going to get canceled." It's easy to obtain funding for Kids years out. Creating, for example, a channel centered around America's lakes would work, but for how long? Without a commitment for years of financial backing, it's not worth carving up the bandwidth for another channel. That's just one example of some of the ideas that have been floated, all of which were things I can't believe nobody's doing.

Oh, and the kids programming remains on PBS Main for the same reasons I and others stated above.

Thanks to everyone for inspiring me to make a phone call that was quite the enjoyable catch-up.

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post #139 of 142 Old 03-06-2020, 01:02 PM
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For most of the country, DirecTV subscribers get their local PBS affiliate just as they do with other local stations. There IS a PBS channel for those in RVs or with no PBS affiliate serving their area.
Ah, thanks, I did not know that.
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What I'd suggest KPBS do is: drop World to SD so you can give 15.1 some decent bandwidth, and combine World and Kids into subchannel 15.2, eliminating 15.4. Broadcast World from 10PM to 6AM, and also during weekdays when 15.1 is airing kids-oriented programming. Broadcast Kids during prime time, and during the day on weekends, so kids have something to watch, either on 15.1 or 15.2, any time they're likely to be awake. All it would take is a PC app to switch the 15.2 feed at the right time each day (well, building the PSIP guide might be a bit tricky).
I would not want them to drop World to SD, and interlaced at that.

If they must keep 15.1 to match their satellite version (or vice versa), then drop 15.4 altogether, drop 15.3 too, reduce the amount of repeats on 15.2 (they often show the same program in the morning and in the afternoon) and add the best stuff from 15.3 to it. By doing this, they will have just two HD channels: 15.1 Main/Kids and 15.2 World/Create, and they would add about 2 Mbps per each, getting almost decent 8 Mbit/s.

Ah, DrDon, just read your message about your talk to PBS station manager and PBS Kids not going anywhere. Ok then, keep 15.1, 15.2 and 15.4, drop 15.3 Create. Move some of its content to 15.2 by reducing the number of repeats on 15.2. This still would gain them about 2 Mbps, which they can use for the two HD channels.

Here is the JVC's article from 2011 that says that "the leading encoder manufacturers have brought to market new and improved efficiency ATSC MPEG-2 encoders significantly reducing the bitrate required for HD OTA broadcast quality, for both 720p60 and 1080i60," so that 1080i could be reduced from 16 Mpbs to 12 Mbps, and 720p could be reduced from 12 Mbps to 9 Mbps. These are funny, funny numbers.

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We get letters from parents who are thankful it's there in the middle of the night for a child who can't sleep.
There should not be that many kids who don't sleep at night. If there are, it is a whole different kind of problem. Their parents overworked, coming home after a late shift?

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Oh, and the kids programming remains on PBS Main for the same reasons I and others stated above.
Hospitals can latch onto this channel and make daily recordings in the morning and re-broadcast it in the afternoon. Can be fully automated on a ten-year old laptop. (Yes, I am arguing here. Just cannot stand this huge waste of bandwidth). They want to get entertainment for free, typical, despite that they themselves charge their customers exorbitant money.

Thanks, DrDon, for making this call and explaining their thinking to us!

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post #140 of 142 Old 03-06-2020, 02:55 PM
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The reasoning behind my World/Kids combo idea is that both adults and kids would have something to watch during both daytime and prime time. But if they keep the channel in HD, you'd still have two HD subchannels and one SD subchannel (Create). Dropping a single 2 Mb/s channel isn't going to improve the PQ enough to notice. A better statmux would very likely help more than that, but it's never gonna look great.

Given the constraint of fitting everything onto one ATSC 1.0 RF channel, the only way for HD to look great is to drop the other HD subchannel to SD or ED. I've never seen it used, but AIUI, 480p (sometimes called ED) is an available resolution under ATSC 1.0. That might be a reasonable resolution for channels 15.2 and up to use. It would both get rid of the interlacing and leave a large enough bitrate for 15.1 for it not to look so soft.

It's either that, or find the station a second RF channel....
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post #141 of 142 Old 03-07-2020, 04:42 AM
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I don't know why PBS is the focus of this (latest) discussion. Subchannel allocations are decided by almost all O&O's/affiliates/independents.
Some allocate bitrates better than others. Some may be worse. Some may carry subchannels that YOU don't like (I.E. reruns of old shows, crappy sci-fi movies, cooking, religious, etc.) while there are others that love that type of programming.


Best one can do is contact the programming director(s) at said stations and enter your complaints/suggestions. And... good luck.
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post #142 of 142 Old 03-09-2020, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post
Hospitals can latch onto this channel and make daily recordings in the morning and re-broadcast it in the afternoon. Can be fully automated on a ten-year old laptop. (Yes, I am arguing here. Just cannot stand this huge waste of bandwidth). They want to get entertainment for free, typical, despite that they themselves charge their customers exorbitant money.

Thanks, DrDon, for making this call and explaining their thinking to us!
Hospitals don't want to deal with stuff like that, they've got enough issues already. However, that's a good argument for PBS Kids as a cable channel, and they can have their local MSO or whomever is doing their cable put it into their lineup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Given the constraint of fitting everything onto one ATSC 1.0 RF channel, the only way for HD to look great is to drop the other HD subchannel to SD or ED. I've never seen it used, but AIUI, 480p (sometimes called ED) is an available resolution under ATSC 1.0. That might be a reasonable resolution for channels 15.2 and up to use. It would both get rid of the interlacing and leave a large enough bitrate for 15.1 for it not to look so soft.

It's either that, or find the station a second RF channel....
It's not going to be great, but it should be pretty good if they know how to do encoding right, and they have powerful encoders. Comcast/NBC crams 2HD/2SD and while it looks a bit flatter and softer, there's nothing obviously wrong with it. Using a really good encoder with 3-4 ED subchannels would allow the main channel to be truly stunning in 1080i HD. They also shouldn't be downrezzing to 720p, PBS is supposed to be 1080i, although like other networks, there are a few affiliates using the wrong resolution for various reasons.
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