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Final 4 game questions...picture quality?

1085 Views 15 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Rick Fehnel

I just had a quick question about Saturdays Final 4 games on CBS. I was attempting to watch it in HD, local here OTA. For the most part the picture was awesome but it seemed that "fast" motion caused the picture to become "grainy" and out of focus. It seemed that the cameras were constantly re-focusing. It was very annoying and ultimately made me switch and watch it on regular SD.

Was it just the local OTA or did everyone have this issue?

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I noticed the same thing. It happened at the regional NCAA games as well that were shot in HD. It only seems to happen on the "main" viewing camera and seems to happen most often when fast-moving action is going on. It goes out of focus for a second and comes back.
I noticed the focus issue, but it seemed more like a slow MPEG decoder having trouble with a lot of motion in the picture.

There was a while after a commercial break in the Marquette/Kansas game where they were feeding upconverted SD for about 3 minutes.

Everyone at my house (most watching HD for the 1st time) was screaming that something was wrong. Then BOOM, it went back to HD.
Quality was not nearly as good as the games on HDNet.
I was wondering if it was my TV or something. It was getting pixilated on fast breaks and such, quite annoying. Was about to go out and buy a plasma.....riiiight.


Part of the problem could be your local broadcaster. If they are not providing sufficent bandwidth for the HD feed, there will be an excessive amount of pixelization during motion. Even with a full 19.4Mbps, there may be some pixelization, but if your broadcaster is allocating bandwidth to a subchannel (are they using a subchannel?), the issue could be much, much worse.
I'm in Dallas and I noticed the slight pixelation whenever a player went for a layup or jumped near the hoops. It wasn't terribly annoying.

This was the first OTA sporting event I have seen and I was surprised that there were so many non hi-def cameras being used. The wide shots looked great, but everytime they went to the close-ups courtside, it was very obvious that it was an upconverted SD camera.

It seems like it would be easier to shoot everything in HD and then downconvert for the SD broadcast instead of switching back and forth. Do they not make hand-held HD cameras yet?
One of the reasons CBS is gunshy on having the HD cameras on the floor is last year at least two that I know of were broken from players colliding with them and the camera man. These things are not cheap!! Ron artest broke one earlier in the year in an NBA game and it cost him a $100,000!!!Rock Chalk!!
Originally posted by KUJayhawk20659
One of the reasons CBS is gunshy on having the HD cameras on the floor........
This is flat out wrong.

I'm not sure, my provider is Time Warner NY. This is the first time I have seen it get that bad though.

all 1080i sporting events that i watched seems to exhibit this MPEG compression artifact, which makes the picture seem very dirty.

that is why i am a strong believer in having 720P being the broadcast standard for all sporting events.
I've never seen the artifacting on any of the HDNet hockey broadcasts.
all 1080i sporting events that i watched seems to exhibit this MPEG compression artifact, which makes the picture seem very dirty.
While this seems to be true, I think it has more to do with the lack of ability for the cameraman to do the 1080i cameras justice. The "quick closeups" that typically show a lot of artifacts are due to the fact the camera zooms for the 4:3 feeds. If they would pan out, the artifacts would basically disappear. I think that's the major difference between the HDNET hockey and the CBS basketball. The larger the area of play, the better the 1080i looks. HDNET hockey has the 1080i cameras set in a position and then pan out to show the entire rink, not the closeups, as they skate down the ice. I'll still take 1080i over 480i/p anyday...:)
My favorite shot (used both Saturday and Monday night) was the shot on the floor, directly across the court from the bench. They had it on both ends, and used it primarily during free-throws and immediately thereafter. The action on the court was a little fast (with some interlace artifacts) but not too bad and the faces in the crowd were amazing. Obviously this camera is, on average, 30 feet from the action, whereas their main cameras are much further away and using significant zoom. Any HD camera experts out there know if this has any effect on perceived resolution?

I watched the second half of the final game and it looked great to me, no pixellation to be seen anywhere, even on fast motion. I was watching it downconverted to 480i on an SDTV, so obviously my setup isn't as prone to artifacts as genuine HD sets, but I *have* seen interlacing artifacts on other HD shows.
I totally agree with Joe's assessment that the best video shots were the shots taken across the court from the benches.

For real NBA basketball junkies like myself, it would be truely awesome to see HD video cameras on each side of the floor (at courtside floor level)that would run the length of the floor on a track, being controlled remotely. It would be like getting the view from Jack Nicholsen's courtside seat at Staples Center, only better, since the cameras would move from one end of the court to the other as needed, following the players up & down the court.

The camera views of such cameras at courtside level for basketball would be absolutely amazing in HD! Much more exciting than the conventional boring upstairs midcourt camera views we usually get for basketball broadcasts. If you have ever had the treat of sitting front row center courtside for an NBA contest you know very well how great it would be to have courtside level cameras. With the court level cameras you will see things going on in the game that you never could see before with the conventional camera angles.
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