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post #61 of 3533 Old 06-21-2004, 12:33 PM
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Hi

Another newbie to the forum here been reading for about 3- months now and finally bit the bullet with a new hitachi 50V500A, wasn't impressed with that so I got the sony 50" GWIII to compare and while the sony looks better I still have reservations with it and might end up returning them both and forgeting about a widescreen HDTV for a while.

Anyway as far as Charter goes I definetly think the Moxi box is cool it is nice to be able to record some of the high def stuff out there to show off the TV. I havn't seen any picture problems but I haven't had the other reciever to compare it with.

What I would really like to know is when Charter is going to get Discovery, ABC, CBS and if all the talk about FOX doing 6 football games a week in HD is going to look good on the FOXHD. I haven't seen a single show broadcast in high def on FOX yet.

Anyway, just thought I'd keep this thread going and see if there is any new info.

Absolutly Love this site!! But also hate what it has done to me I see everything now vertical banding, SDE, color uniformity issues and it has me second gueesing if I even want to keep this set. Oh well.

Thanks AVS Forum!
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post #62 of 3533 Old 06-22-2004, 06:56 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by shaunmzs

What I would really like to know is when Charter is going to get Discovery, ABC, CBS and if all the talk about FOX doing 6 football games a week in HD is going to look good on the FOXHD. I haven't seen a single show broadcast in high def on FOX yet.

First of all, Fox47 is not set up to do HD at this time. Last I heard, they were looking into getting the equipment to do so, but it is complicated by the fact that they don't have a microwave link for their digital signal - they send the analog signal to the tower via microwave, then convert it to digital there. The end result is that digital Fox47 is the worst digital signal I've seen OTA.

If Fox47 gets their act together in time, you'll be able to see the games in HD. I think Fox corporate will do a good job producing the games, so you shouldn't be disappointed.

Charter in Rochester is in a tough situation with CBS-HD and ABC-HD. KAAL is sending an SD-only version of their analog signal for their low-powered digital broadcast, and they have no plans to change that until 2006. KIMT does show HD, but their antenna is on the roof of their studio, meaning that it's a real stretch to get reliable reception in Rochester, even with ideal antenna setups. They also have no plans to change this until 2006.

What's in 2006, you ask? A megatower, which has FAA approval, is being planned as a joint project by KAAL, KIMT and KYIN (Iowa Public Television, for those of you crippled by cable.) It is expected to be 1/2-mile tall, located somewhere southeast of Austin, and should provide a strong, reliable signal for the entire DMA. Once that is up and running, KAAL plans to upgrade to HD. At that point, you may see some action by Charter.

In the meantime, Charter gains nothing by carrying the digital version of KAAL, and I doubt they get a reliable enough signal from KIMT to make it worth their while. And, as you know, Charter has to block distant network signals from the Cities when showing national programs, which happens to be the only time HD is shown.
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post #63 of 3533 Old 06-22-2004, 08:24 AM
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That news really sucks. Sounds like I might as well try out Voom or the D* satellite providers. I'm not waiting around with 6 HD channels and only two of them are HD all the time until 2006.

Maybe it's just to early in the game to worry about this HD stuff. Sure it's jaw dropping at first but I think the novelty wears off after awhile. I always seam to be watching shows I would never watch just because its in HD.

I really hope FOX47 can get their gear up and going before football starts or charter will be history in my house.
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post #64 of 3533 Old 06-23-2004, 12:27 PM
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The really stupid thing is KIMT shouldn't be the CBS local affiliate for Rochester anyway. The WCCO station and transmitter are closer to Rochester than is KIMT in Mason City. You might think there was some deal-making between KIMT and Charter....
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post #65 of 3533 Old 06-23-2004, 05:33 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by DuctTaper
The really stupid thing is KIMT shouldn't be the CBS local affiliate for Rochester anyway. The WCCO station and transmitter are closer to Rochester than is KIMT in Mason City. You might think there was some deal-making between KIMT and Charter....

Based on my location in NW, KIMT is 56 miles distant. WKBT in Eau Claire is 58 miles away (and I'm supposed to get a Grade B signal from them.) WCCO is 75 miles away. I'm not sure where in Rochester you'd be closer to the WCCO tower than the KIMT one. Maybe if you're in extreme southern Pine Island (Olmsted County.)

If you check out this website, it shows a county-by-county DMA:
http://www.northpine.com/broadcast/mn/tvmarkets.html

Olmsted is clearly in the Mason-City DMA, while Goodhue is in the Mpls-St.Paul DMA.

Charter isn't to blame for the DMA stuff. That's decided by CBS corporate.
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post #66 of 3533 Old 06-23-2004, 05:44 PM
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I think if KXLT can't get the HDTV setup for Football season then Charter should remove their digital channel. Its a waste of bandwidth to have an analogue signal taking up 1/4 of the digital capacity that charter is allowing for HDTV content. They should remove it and if they can't add either KIMT or WCCO for CBS HD content or CH 9 for FOX, they should add something else like another movie channel (Cinemax HD) or even Discovery HD.

Actually with all the problems with KTTC digital channel I wish they replace that one too. Breakups are not fun and it can cause the cable box to crash.
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post #67 of 3533 Old 06-24-2004, 07:19 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by AtogMuncher

Actually with all the problems with KTTC digital channel I wish they replace that one too. Breakups are not fun and it can cause the cable box to crash.

KTTC has been having major problems, even OTA. I get a rock solid signal from KXLT and KSMQ, and the signal strength doesn't change on KTTC during artifacting (indicating that it's not a reception issue) but the screen goes absolutely bonkers.

I emailed the engineer of KTTC a week ago and got no response.
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post #68 of 3533 Old 07-08-2004, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Just to give the thread a little bump:

I'm still happily not paying Charter for HD service, but the other day I went over to a friend's house who still has it to demo it on his 100" LCD front projector. I also took my PC over to see if recording still worked.

My findings:

Basically every thing is as I left it. HDNet and HDNet movies are still the highest bandwidth channels and most of the time look very good. There are still moments of pixellation and macroblocking, which I would be curious to find out if it is being caused by either a bandwidth cap or just a crappy encoder or whatever the device they use is called. They still peak at less than 19Mbps whereas before they could go as high as 25. Other channels like SHO-HD and ESPN-HD weren't showing HD at the time (another reason I'm glad I'm not paying for them) but both came in at less than 13Mbps. KTTC was 14 and FOX was something like 6 I think, neither HD at the time.

So I was disappointed they hadn't fixed anything, since they made it sound so simple to rearrage what they had to at least give people what they're paying for now. I shudder to think what will happen if/when they add channels.
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post #69 of 3533 Old 07-08-2004, 12:30 PM
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Does anyone have any information that KTTC has done anything to fix their problems. I watched most of a Law and Order episode last night and it didn't have any of the breakup problems that were occurring just a few weeks ago. I am wondering if they fixed something or if I just hit a lucky period where there were no problems.

Also, I would love to hear if there is any new information about KXLT and our chances that they will be converted to HDTV capability in time for football season.

BTW, I have charter's HDTV service and HDNET and HDNET movies has the best picture but I have also thought ESPN (when they have HD programming) has looked good, although my watching tends to be only for brief periods of time (since I don't really care about baseball), but once football starts I am really looking forward to my first HD football game.

Even though apprently Showtime and HBO HD are lower than expected bitrates I find that when I watch movies that are in HD they look pretty good (Daredevil and Terminator 3 come to mind as some of the better movies I have seen).

I know nothing is in the near future for adding HD channels but they sent a flyer out with new Digital channels, most noteworthy is the NFL Network channel and they are going to renumber almost all the (digital) channels (not sure why they are doing that).
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post #70 of 3533 Old 07-09-2004, 08:01 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by AtogMuncher

Also, I would love to hear if there is any new information about KXLT and our chances that they will be converted to HDTV capability in time for football season.

I got an email from their engineer that stated that they're still waiting on bids for the project and don't know if they'll be up by the beginning of the season.

I take this as a positive, though. They're *planning* on doing HD, and they're in the *process* of making it happen. That puts them miles ahead of WLAX/WEUX (Fox in La Crosse/Eau Claire market) which isn't even on the air, and has NO PLANS to broadcast a digital signal for quite some time.

Frankly, I was concerned after KXLT was sold from Shockley, but all signs look good that by the end of the season, we'll have HD.
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post #71 of 3533 Old 07-22-2004, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
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AtogMuncher:

The only HD I remember seeing on ESPN was baseball and it looked OK at the time to me too. But since most of baseball seems to be guys just standing around, it doesn't typically stress the ol' bitrate meter much. It sounds like ESPN has some college football lined up for the early fall... it'll be interested to see how that fares at 13Mbps.

Interesting about the channel renumbering. I wonder if that's a consequence of moving stuff around to make more room? Perhaps getting more equipment for more QAM256 channels (=more bandwidth, = potentially higher quality but probably more channels)? Can you post a summary?

sregener:

What exactly does KXLT needs bids for? Is it the above mentioned digital microwave link? If they don't even have bids yet I wouldn't count on anything being done this year.

By the way, do you know if FOX out of MSP is ready to go? Sounds like they have 720p on 9.2 now maybe?
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post #72 of 3533 Old 07-22-2004, 12:56 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by dfriend
What exactly does KXLT needs bids for? Is it the above mentioned digital microwave link? If they don't even have bids yet I wouldn't count on anything being done this year.

By the way, do you know if FOX out of MSP is ready to go? Sounds like they have 720p on 9.2 now maybe?

KXLT doesn't currently have a microwave link for their digital channel. Their upconverter runs directly at the transmitter, post-microwave link currently. They also do not have any of the products necessary to receive or pass-through HD programming. They'd certainly need a second satellite dish, as well as the equipment to insert their logo and other "local" information into the feed, including commercials.

I can't speculate on when they might be able to go. All I know is what they tell me, which isn't much.

KMSP showed the All-Star game in the same old 480p "Faux" widescreen. Some affiliates showed the game in HD, so the HD feed was available for them to show, if they had been ready. I suspect that they're still doing last-minute work on getting things set up.

Fox's HD programming is going to work very differently from what other networks do. They have the ability to "pass-through" the HD signal, while inserting their local logo and other information without needing to decode and then reencode the entire HD signal. This significantly lowers hardware costs, since studios don't have to bother with all of those extra processing steps. Yes, KMSP has been upconverting to 720p for some time, but they've had that capability for a few years.

Last I checked, KTTC was having some breakups of their digital HD signal, but not nearly as bad as it had been.
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post #73 of 3533 Old 07-22-2004, 09:06 PM
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The new channel lineup came through the mail on a post card so I won't list the channel number changes for existing ones but the new channels will be:

400 ESPNNews
402 NFL Network
408 Fuel (This has actually been added already)
410 Outdoor Channel
502 HBO-West
552 Cinemax-West

This channel lineup is supposed to happen on July 26.

As far as ESPN HD, I have seen basketball, hockey and baseball events in HD. Obviously the hockey shown on HDNET looked better, but I thought ESPN looked acceptable. Basketball was a mixed bag, I thought the NCAA events they had were pretty poor but the NBA East Finals were good. And of course the little baseball I have seen has look really good, but as you said there isn't much movement and most of the shots are pretty close up.

For football, the pre-season NFL games happen before the NCAA games so it will be known really soon how good their football will look. Anything is going to be a big improvement over anything I have seen before but I am hoping it will be really good.

I am disappointed that it now looks like KXLT will not be ready this year, if that is the case I stand by my previous comment on removing the channel in favor of some real HDTV capable channel but I know that will not happen.

I haven't notice any problems with KTTC since the June time when they had serious problems, but I only occasionally look at it, usually just channel surfing.
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post #74 of 3533 Old 07-26-2004, 02:27 PM
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Does Charter require you to subscribe to the HD package to get locals? If you have a TV with a built in tuner it should allow you to receive them as long as they aren't encrypted. I know Comcast doesn't encrypt the locals so you don't need a box from them for HD.
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post #75 of 3533 Old 08-02-2004, 12:17 PM
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Well, I've given in and ordered the Moxi box back again, and agreed to do the minimum HD package which gets you NBC and Fox. I'll have it just in time for the Olympics...

No clue why, but I'm giving charter another chance.

My 50" LCD panny is hungry for some HD

Any updates on FOX HD?
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post #76 of 3533 Old 08-02-2004, 06:19 PM
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Drizzt88, since you said you are only getting the local channels I assume you are doing this because you don't have an OTA tuner/antenna. Unless KXLT can get converted to HD for football season I am not sure how useful those two channels will be once the olympics are over (unless you watch NBC primetime programming thats in HD).

I would like to get your experiences with the moxi box, I currently have the standard box, which means no recording capability. I have stayed away from getting the moxi box because I remember reading posts saying their was a picture quality degradation with that box. One thing I won't settle for is a less quality picture than I already have.

Now for a little follow up on my last post. Looks like the NFL network is a good add to the digital lineup, not just because its 24/7 football network but the picture quality is really good (the best of any of the non-HD digital channels). Anyone else out there notice this? Is there a reason for it (like its not as compressed as the other channels)?

Anyway only a little over a week until my first HD NFL experience thanks to ESPN HD, can't wait.
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post #77 of 3533 Old 08-12-2004, 04:52 AM
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I'll shortly be moving to your home area (Rochester) and wanted to know what HDTV options are supported. I am using an OTA HDTV tuner and local cable from Adelphia. There has been a recent boom in HD programming from these sources (almost all options except local CBS and HD Discovery). I see from your thread that Charter has been problematic at best. Is it likely that I should keep my OTA tuner and look into sat.? Also, is UPN covered (have to admit a star trek viewer). Thanks for any info.
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post #78 of 3533 Old 08-13-2004, 04:38 AM
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bump for another attempt at a response
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post #79 of 3533 Old 08-13-2004, 06:55 AM - Thread Starter
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HD options in Rochester, quite frankly, suck. Don't bother with cable. OTA works if you get a big antenna and live in a good spot so you can get channels from the Twin Cities, 88 miles distant: NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, UPN, PBS, HDNet (the OTA one, not the real one), PAX (I think). Locally we only have NBC and Fox. As for satellite, I've never had it so I can't say. I don't like what I hear about PQ issues so I've never ponied up for it.

I'm happy with OTA and like being able to record, but it would be nice to get more channels like ESPN-HD and movie channels in HD. I won't pay for crap PQ though and that seems to be the only thing available. I just talked to a friend this morning who watched a football game on ESPN-HD last night and said it was terrible. No surprise with Charter squashing it down to 13Mbps.
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post #80 of 3533 Old 08-13-2004, 07:05 AM
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Depressing. I had understood that Rochester was a major testing center for Charter (e.g., the test of Moxie service--HDTV recording, etc. is in Rochester) and assumed signal quality and software would be good. I have never had sat. service either but will look into that option.

I have gotten used to HBO HD (Sopranos, Deadwood, etc.) as well as other options and the picture quality over cable here in Cleveland is excellent. I guess I will just have to enjoy those great winters I hear you have relying more on upconverted DVD. Thanks for the info, cheers.
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post #81 of 3533 Old 08-14-2004, 11:39 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by panjj
Is it likely that I should keep my OTA tuner and look into sat.? Also, is UPN covered (have to admit a star trek viewer). Thanks for any info.

Rochester can be a great/terrible location depending on your elevation. (Over 1100 feet is good.) If you're up on a major hilltop, you can get flawless reception from the Twin Cities, including all digitals except WB. If you're in a valley, you're sunk (nothing but the local NBC, currently-non-HD-Fox and non-HD PBS.) If you're in between, like me, you can put up a tower and an awesome antenna and get some stations, some of the time.

The local CBS station shows Star Trek:Enterprise episodes in late-night on Saturdays. This used to be four days after the UPN affiliates, but now it's only a day so it may not be an issue. The distant UPN, WFTC in Minneapolis, broadcasts from a lower antenna spot that makes them difficult to receive in less than ideal spots in Rochester.

You can read my review of the AntennasDirect 91XG at http://www.geocities.com/figbert/ant...irect91xg.html which has some specific information about my reception luck in Rochester. Your mileage will probably vary.
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post #82 of 3533 Old 08-16-2004, 09:00 PM
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Anyone else in Rochester Minnesota try watching the Olympic coverage on KTTC-DT (782 on Charter or OTA)? Is it just me or are they having lots of technical problems? Seems like there are times when there are digital stutters and of course the artifacts with any kind of fast movement. I assume this is just KTTC problem again but am wondering if anyone else has made similar observations.
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post #83 of 3533 Old 08-17-2004, 06:52 AM
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Originally posted by AtogMuncher
Anyone else in Rochester Minnesota try watching the Olympic coverage on KTTC-DT (782 on Charter or OTA)? Is it just me or are they having lots of technical problems? Seems like there are times when there are digital stutters and of course the artifacts with any kind of fast movement. I assume this is just KTTC problem again but am wondering if anyone else has made similar observations.

I've watched a little OTA. (No cable here. Costs too much.) Apparently NBC is having some problems with their HD feed, as people on www.hdtvtwincities.com are complaining about breakups and audio pops on KARE-DT, which has full bandwidth allocated to their HD programming.

KTTC-10.2 is *so* soft it's practically unwatchable for sports. During the volleyball game the other day, the ball turned into a blocky blur every time it was hit. Most distracting and difficult to watch. If not for the impulse noise static on the analog station, I'd probably watch that instead of 10.2.

KTTC is still breaking up into macroblocks occasionally, and not always at obvious points - sometimes fast scene changes look fine. Then, when there doesn't appear to be much action, the screen will break up. My signal meter doesn't move an inch when this happens, which means it has to be an encoding problem.
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post #84 of 3533 Old 08-17-2004, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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A friend who still has cable HD said that swimming the other night looked really bad. Lots of blocking artifacts.

I attempted to do some A/B comparisons of KARE-DT and KTTC-DT last night. Both had a softness that wasn't necessarily unpleasant, it just wasn't the razor sharp picture I expected from an HD video cam production. They both also had blocking when the olympic logo would woosh across the screen during scene changes. I can't say if that's bandwidth related or just a really crappy production. I've seen similar things in the past on MNF and other shows where the graphics are obviously produced for SD and then shoehorned into the HD feed.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure I saw blocking on the KTTC version during some of the fast motion during gymnastics last night. I don't recall seeing much of that on KARE. I did record some of each channel so when I get time I'll really look for it, but that's not being fair either. If you can't see it live does it really matter? FWIW I recorded some of the opening ceremonies off of KARE and I didn't see much blocking despite all the flashes and strobes, which kind of surprised me. WCCO blocked like crazy during the Grammys when they had strobe effects. That may indicate NBC does a better job or it may indicate they do more preprocessing, including perhaps some softening to reduce the bitrate. Pure speculation on my part however.

Overall a mixed bag and I can't really say who to blame it on. Since NBC is about last place when it comes to HD and especially when it comes to HD sports I didn't really expect much. But given it's their one real chance to show what they can do I'm surprised they didn't make a bigger effort.

I wonder if KTTC would consider shutting down their SD feed during the olympics to try and improve their HD PQ? I was going to write to them ripping them for multicasting, but since KARE wasn't that much better I don't know how much it will help.
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post #85 of 3533 Old 08-17-2004, 09:15 PM
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dfriend, thanks for the information about the other NBC station. I think this means its NBC and not all KTTC. FWIW, I did see some of the replay of the Winter Olympics figure skating and it looked better than what they are currently showing but that production was done by HDNET and we know they do sports right. Earlier in the year when NBC did Dayton 500 in HD the picture didn't even look HD, I have recently saw some NASCAR racing on HDNET and that tells me they didn't do a true HD (or bought the cheapest equipment) for that race (no I am not a racing fan, just checked it out for the picture).

Based on some of the discussions of this in the programming forum it looks like the motion artifacts are being seen by most people, but nobody has said anything about picture studdering so that is probably cause by KTTC and their faulty equipment.

Also there have been at least two different times since the olympics started when KTTCDT was off the air on Cable and as far as I could tell OTA too (no signal strength). At least they seem to know when it goes out because it gets fixed, whereas before it seemed if I didn't call charter nothing would ever get done.
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post #86 of 3533 Old 08-18-2004, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by AtogMuncher
dfriend, thanks for the information about the other NBC station. I think this means its NBC and not all KTTC. FWIW, I did see some of the replay of the Winter Olympics figure skating and it looked better than what they are currently showing but that production was done by HDNET and we know they do sports right. Earlier in the year when NBC did Dayton 500 in HD the picture didn't even look HD, I have recently saw some NASCAR racing on HDNET and that tells me they didn't do a true HD (or bought the cheapest equipment) for that race (no I am not a racing fan, just checked it out for the picture).

That reminds me... I still have recordings of the '02 Olympics I made when I had just gotten my Hipix card, I should drag those out and A/B them vs. the recordings I made the other night. I'll bet the '02 Winter Olympics were sharper. Hmmm....
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post #87 of 3533 Old 08-25-2004, 11:39 AM
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I watched quite a bit HD Olympics through the Moxi box. Other than those scenery shots at the end of each hour (which were amazing), I saw problems with just about every event. Gymnastics seemed to be the worst. Not only did I get the small blocks every few minutes, but at times the entire screen just froze for a few seconds.

I was about to go pester charter to try out their regular HD tuner and compare next to the Moxi, but why bother, it would appear that everyone is seeing the same problems.

Atog, about your earlier Moxi question. I do like it for your basic recording and channel surfing. I did a fair amount of HD recording and it seemed to work ok, although, I found out when the broadcast is unusually long (like 5 hours) the moxi had problems scheduling that to record.

If fox doesn't have HD games, i'll prolly quit paying the $3 for the HD.
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post #88 of 3533 Old 08-30-2004, 08:48 AM
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Did anyone watch the preseason football game this weekend on FOXHD ?

It was garbage for me. The picture was nothing but blocks. I recorded a small segment on the DVR Moxi so when charter comes to my house I can show them the crap they are selling us.

I wonder though if the Moxi is to blame?
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post #89 of 3533 Old 08-30-2004, 10:58 AM
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Drizz88,

There is no fox HD in Rochester Minnesota, they are just passing their analogue signal through the digital channel. I did observe what you describe when passing by, I was hoping maybe it was happening because they were doing the HD upgrade but I just think it was a problem with KXLT. This is the kind of thing that happens on KTTC all the time but its the first time I saw anything wrong with KXLT, but then again I hardly ever watch it unless its for a syndicated rerun and I happen to be in the HDTV tier.

I believe someone posted in this thread that KXLT 'hopes' to convert to HDTV before the end of the year, but who knows when that will happen, I was hoping for sooner, but I assume it will be later, which means we will miss most of the football HD this year (thank goodness for ESPN, at least we get to see some games, even if its not the team you want to watch).

I have called charter when there are problems with KTTC and they always say its the channels problem not theirs so if its breaking up you probably need to call the station. I have kind of given up on our locals, the olympic coverage was some of the poorest HD picture quality I have seen (all kinds of motion artifacts, and believe me it has to be really bad if I can pick it out).

Also looks like KTTC other problems with breakups and the ocasional BSOD (Black Screen of Death), although in the past a BSOD used to mean no more HDTV for the next week at least seems to get corrected quicker now.

With Charter and KTTC advertising about HDTV its frustrating that there are so many technical issues. Now it looks like KXLT is starting to have these same problems.

Unfortunately I have come used to having the limited HD channels (especially HBOHD, ESPNHD and HDNET) that I can't bring myself to drop the whole digital package as a statement to this poor product offering, but it is something I should do and give them the reasons for it, but since HD viewers are in the minority they probably won't care.
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post #90 of 3533 Old 08-30-2004, 11:40 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by AtogMuncher
There is no fox HD in Rochester Minnesota, they are just passing their analogue signal through the digital channel. I did observe what you describe when passing by, I was hoping maybe it was happening because they were doing the HD upgrade but I just think it was a problem with KXLT...

Did anyone watch it on both the digital and the analog to see if the same problem existed on both? I can't imagine what could have caused problems for KXLT-DT, but readily admit that I was watching the Vikings on KSTP-DT most of the evening. I did flip over to KMSP-DT during some commercials and the 480p picture (Fox itself isn't yet sending out the HD programming) looked superb.

I've got an email in to the engineer at KXLT asking about the HD upgrade. Still waiting to hear back.
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