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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had the opportunity to watch the last three innings of tonight's game in native 720p on a multisync HD broadcast monitor.


Congratulations to Marvin Bernard for his fabulous throw from right field to end a Dodgers scoring threat in the top of the 12th and his game winning two out double that followed soon thereafter.


That said, I must confide in you all that I am quite disappointed in the overall PQ of ESPN-HD and I think that most of you HDNet/PBS/CBS HDphiles will be as well.


Don't get me wrong: Production values are top notch. Lots of cameras and camera angles. Real HD graphics.


If ESPN-HD had been first out of the gate then perhaps we would not be so spoiled.


But the simple fact is that these native 720p broadcasts simply do not hold a candle to the 1080i sports broadcasts from HDNet and CBS.


The Master's golf broadcast today had a true "you are there" character (at least when the true HD cameras were being used).


Last year's HDNet baseball broadcasts also had that same fabulous quality that only native 1080i video seems to achieve.


NHK MLB broadcasts sent back to Japan from Seattle also use 1080i.


ESPN-HD is certainly a nice overall experience, but it falls far short of industry standards as defined by NHK, CBS, and especially HDNet.


What is really interesting is that Panasonic, Disney, and many of our favorite broadcast engineers have adopted an attitude akin to "The Emperor's New Clothes."


First they were blaming the "outdated" Ikegami cameras. Now that those have been replaced by the new Thomson's it must be "compression artifacts" playing havoc with the ABC/ESPN pictures.


Nobody outside of this forum seems to want to admit that current state of the art native 720p video sourced broadcasts are not nearly as lifelike or satisfying as video sourced native 1080i.


I wonder how long Disney and the rest will remain in denial.
 

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If it's compression artifacts caused by the equipment, you can't say the format is flawed (and maybe you aren't). I, for one, think that 1080i can't hold a candle to 720p.
 

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I agree with you. I haven't seen an ESPN broadcast, but the Super Bowl was quite disappointing. It has been argued that 720p is better for fast-moving programming (like sports), but I have a tough time arguing with the quality of sports programming I've seen on HDNet. I would also think that stations supporting 1080i will have an easier time upgrading to 1080p when the time comes, but that is pure speculation as I don't understand the industry too well.
 

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I also agree that the 720p broadcasts I've seen, while looking pretty good, just don't have the WOW factor of the best 1080i broadcasts.


Tonight's Giants/Dodger's game was the first baseball game I've watched in 720p. I thought it was a nice picture, but I remember being much more impressed with last year's HDNet MLB broadcasts.


The most beautiful sight I've ever seen on my TV was January's Raider/Jets AFC Playoff 1080i broadcast on CBS. I was greatly disappointed by ABC's 720p Super Bowl broadcast two weeks later, and it wasn't just the outcome of the game - the picture was much softer than I was expecting from a live HD production.


I've attended many games at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum over the years, and the CBS 1080i broadcast really did have that you-are-there feel.


I really hope CBS produces a weekly NFL HD broadcast this upcoming season. Monday and Sunday nights on ABC and ESPN-HD will be nice, but it is the CBS broadcasts I am really looking forward to.


I think 720p is fine for film-based sources like Alias, but I hope 1080i becomes the standard for live sporting events.


Dick Diablo
 

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tmitch,

Quote:
First they were blaming the "outdated" Ikegami cameras. Now that those have been replaced by the new Thomson's it must be "compression artifacts" playing havoc with the ABC/ESPN pictures.
Have you seen a lot of compression artifacts on the ESPN HD broadcasts? Or is your complaint in reference to the relative lack of detail?


I wonder what bit rate ESPN is using for their HD channel?

Quote:
I would also think that stations supporting 1080i will have an easier time upgrading to 1080p when the time comes, but that is pure speculation as I don't understand the industry too well.
The trucks ESPN is now using are reportedly equipped with Thomson Grass Valley LDK 6000 Mk II WorldCam cameras, which are capable of 720p @ 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 60; 1080i @ 50 and 60; and 1080p 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30.
 

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Would anyone seriously argue that 320p is "just as good" as 480i? I think 320p would likely look awful.


I don't think you can cut down the number of pixels by more than half, and expect the detail to be the same.


Even on moving things, if you assume the resolution of 1080i gets axed by half, you still have more pixels than 720p does ever.
 

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I've been mulling the claim of 720p for 'fast action' sports, and don't believe I've heard this slant:


Other than racing, where the motion is constant, many many sports that we discuss are mostly slow with occasional bursts. Watch a football game and really honestly look at how much time is spent in huddles, walking to the line, cameras on the sidelines, etc. etc. Golf even more so, baseball as well. Heck movies, etc. are the same.


I believe even those that are 720p advocates admit that on still or slow moving frames, that more pixels are better. I believe the majority of sports shows are of slow or stationary shots.


Disclaimer: I'm watching on a 1080i rptv, so cannot compare 720p natively for myself. The above is not mean to bash 720p, just questioning the assertion of 'sports = fast motion = 720p domain'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by bfdtv
tmitch,


Have you seen a lot of compression artifacts on the ESPN HD broadcasts? Or is your complaint in reference to the relative lack of detail?


I wonder what bit rate ESPN is using for their HD channel?


The trucks ESPN is now using are reportedly equipped with Thomson Grass Valley LDK 6000 Mk II WorldCam cameras, which are capable of 720p @ 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 60; 1080i @ 50 and 60; and 1080p 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30.
No, I do not believe the problem is one of compression artifact. This has been suggested by some of the broadcast engineers but I don't buy it.


Disney has yet to demonstrate that any 720p sourced video broadcast can deliver the same WOW impact as any of the 1080i HD video sourced content from PBS, CBS, HDNet, etc.


Ironic isn't it that even though these new Thomson HD cameras certainly have the ability to deliver the goods, ABC chooses to use them with one hand tied behind its proverbial back?


I would guess that simply allowing the acquisition /satellite transmission to occur at 1080i/60fps and then allowing the affiliates to downconvert to 720p might still result in better PQ than we are currently seeing...
 

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I also still have to see any 720p broadcast look as good as 1080i. I have seen 720p displayed natively and converted to 1080i. It did not make any difference. 720p always looked softer. I think it is most likely due to having 1/3 less of horizontal resolution compared with 1080i.
 

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I have seen native 1080i sports on PBS, NBC, HDNet and Showtime consisting of Baseball, Soccer, racing (boats, cars, bicycles, horses etc), skiing, diving, running, skating, shooting, boxing, hockey, basketball, football, girls in bathing suits (yes, that is a sport according to Sports Illustrated), Lacrosse, Ice skating, softball, tennis and more.


I have seen two 720p events on ABC that have been up-converted to 1080i. Football (Superbowl) and the Oscers. These LIVE events looked pretty awful compared to what I'm used to seeing on MY HDTV.


Why is there such a difference between 1080i and 720p material?


Is it because my set does not display 720p natively?

Is it because they are LIVE events.


On the other hand, I have seen 720p up-converted to 1080i that look just as good (or at least in a way I could not tell a difference) as native 1080i...such as certain commercials that were broadcast during the Superbowl on ABC. Other such programming I have seen that blew me away was a test loop my local ABC station used to run once in a while that contained a trailer for a movie called 101 Dalmatians and some native 720p video shot of people running around kicking a ball and a girl dressed up like a belly dancer. All pretty stunning.


Anytime I read about ESPN-HD being a little "soft" or not as "detailed" as 1080i, it does not surprise me one bit. In fact, I can relate from what I have already seen from two other LIVE events that I have seen broadcast on ABC.


In closing, I have seen good and bad HD quality on ABC...all of it 720p up-converted to 1080i. For some reason, it's the LIVE events in the 720p format that does not stand up for what ever reasons. At this point even if I was able to get ESPN-HD from DirecTV, I would have to admit at least at this time, that I would not expect the quality to be much different from what I have already seen of other LIVE events from ABC. :confused:
 

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I dunno- I upscale everything to 720p on my HDTV, and I prefer it.


Haven't you guys watched NYPD Blue? It's impressive on a weekly basis.


Lots of the Disney presentations have been great too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
NYPD Blue and the Disney movies are film based.


Film converted to 720p does look very good, although not as sharp as when converted to 1080i.


We are primarily discussing HD that is video sourced. It is here that 720p really appears to suffer by comparison.
 

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Both formats have advantages/disadvantages, and if you saw some of ABC's earlier Monday Night Football broadcasts I don't think this issue would be in doubt.


Unfortunately the Superbowl was a poor demonstration of how good 720p can be.
 

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720p video source does seem to be inferior to 1080i. Of course, the only production values to this point are from Disney.....I am not prepared to blame the format yet, though- I would like to see it from a different messenger first.


Andrew B.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jckessler
Would anyone seriously argue that 320p is "just as good" as 480i? I think 320p would likely look awful.


I don't think you can cut down the number of pixels by more than half, and expect the detail to be the same.


Even on moving things, if you assume the resolution of 1080i gets axed by half, you still have more pixels than 720p does ever.
1080i is only 540 lines per frame.
 

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No, 1080i is 1080 lines per frame (30 frames per second). It is 540 lines per field (60 fields per second).


On static images or very slow motion, you will have close to 1080 lines. With fast motion, you will have closer to 540 lines. On most motion, you will have somewhere between the two.
 

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I've seen references to the SuperBowl not looking that great.I couldn't disagree more.My TV upconverted it to 1080i and I thought it looked just as good as the Giants/Ravens SuperBowl on CBS that was broadcasted in 1080i.

I don't know what they did for this years SuperBowl but it looked much better than those MNF games 3 years ago.


Is this talk about 1080p for real.Could this be the industry standard in a few years?Has anyone actually seen 1080p and how much better could it be?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bfdtv
No, 1080i is 1080 lines per frame. It is 540 lines per field.
Sorry...mixed up my terminology. But there are only 540 lines on the screen at a time, right?
 

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aviator,


For 1080i video, are 60 fields of 540 lines which are combined to create 30 frames (per second) of 1080 lines. So for very fast motion, you get closer to 540 lines, and for static or slow motion, you can closer to 1080. Or at least, that's how it is discerned to the human eye.


With the 720p/60 used by ABC/ESPN, you get 720 lines every 1/60 second, so you effectively get 720 lines regardless of the amount of motion.
 
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