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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have some questions regarding Fox's EDTV netwrok feed -- please, no flames on 480p versus 1080i!


Our local Fox in Austin finally got the network feed to the transmitter this past Tuesday -- 7 months after going "live".


I have some questions about the network feed:


1) The NFL games today (Sunday 12/1) look vastly superior to the Cowboys game on Thanksgiving. Are they using different cameras? The image is sharper and brighter. Is this a case of upconverting widescreen NTSC to 480p on Thanksgiving, and using 480p cameras on Sunday? Or do they have just one set of cameras, all 480p?


2) It is fairly easy to tell when the network is providing programming and when the local station is upconverting -- local material is stretched to fill the screen. So if I see programs or commercials in 4:3 with black bars, I know it is the network feed. Several primetime shows have been in 4:3. Is Fox providing an evening feed for their locals like NBC is? If so, does anyone know what hours this includes?


3) I haven't been able to find a good listing of what shows, including recurring evening weekday and weekend specials and sporting events, are wide screen. Is there a listing out there?



Thanks,



Joe
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by DrJoe



1) The NFL games today (Sunday 12/1) look vastly superior to the Cowboys game on Thanksgiving. Are they using different cameras? The image is sharper and brighter. Is this a case of upconverting widescreen NTSC to 480p on Thanksgiving, and using 480p cameras on Sunday? Or do they have just one set of cameras, all 480p?
The cameras Fox uses are 480i 16:9. The same cameras have been used for all the Fox Widescreen games, but according to most reports there must have been a different problem with the Thanksgiving Day Fox game. Today's Bears @ Packers game is representative of the previous Fox Widescreen games.


What Fox does is to acquire the images in 480i 16:9, send them to the local stations, where the they upconvert to 480p. All this is done in the digital domain.


Quote:
2) It is fairly easy to tell when the network is providing programming and when the local station is upconverting -- local material is stretched to fill the screen. So if I see programs or commercials in 4:3 with black bars, I know it is the network feed. Several primetime shows have been in 4:3. Is Fox providing an evening feed for their locals like NBC is? If so, does anyone know what hours this includes?
Fox does a number of their filmed episodic programs in the Fox Widescreen format. These include 24, The Bernie Mac Show, Boston Public, Fastlane, Firefly and a few more. None of the animated or reality shows are in Fox Widescreen, so you can get a rough idea based on the info at http://fox.com/schedule/ .


Quote:
3) I haven't been able to find a good listing of what shows, including recurring evening weekday and weekend specials and sporting events, are wide screen. Is there a listing out there?
Are you referring to Fox Widescreen or HDTV? HDTV schedules can be found in the HDTV Programming Synopsis, above, and Fox Widescreen is listed in some of them.
 

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What Ken said, and additionally on question 2, all of the FOX prime shows use the same transmission method. 4:3 shows have black side panels added at the network.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Ken H
Are you referring to Fox Widescreen or HDTV? HDTV schedules can be found in the HDTV Programming Synopsis, above, and Fox Widescreen is listed in some of them.
Fox Widescreen.


I get most of my scheduling info from TitanTV -- via email they told me they didn't get Fox widescreen info.


I looked around for HDTV guides; the ones I checked (HDTVGalaxy.com, Hometheatermag.com, atlantadtv.com, etc) didn't have schedules for Fox presumably because it is EDTV not HDTV; I didn't see widescreen info on Fox's website.


Thanks for the other info.



Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I did look at Hidefguide.com -- But it didn't specify what was widescreen (on Tuesday the 26th, for instance, That 70's Show was 4:3 while 24 was 16:9), plus it didn't list NFL football on Thanksgiving (11/28) or today (12/1).


I don't mean to be a picker of nits -- I was hoping that this sort of info was more readily available. I can't easily find out, for instance, if any other Fox Sports programming is widescreen. is anything besides NFL Football?


And thanks, everyone, for keeping it to the topic!




Take care,




Joe
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by DrJoe
I can't easily find out, for instance, if any other Fox Sports programming is widescreen. is anything besides NFL Football?
Nope, at least right now. I would expect NASCAR next.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by DrJoe
Is Fox providing an evening feed for their locals like NBC is? If so, does anyone know what hours this includes?
Technically what FOX is sending is TWO feeds from the SAME source all the time. The source is sent 16:9, whether it is native 16:9 or 4:3 with side bars for non 16:9 material. That single source is send sent down TWO different satellite streams to TWO different satellite receivers at the affiliates. The first satellite receiver outputs a 4:3 center cut or "zoom" of the transmitted 16:9 picture and is used to send to the analog transmitter. The second stream is the true 16:9 (sent anamorphic). The local affiliate takes that 16:9 anamorphic picture and converts it to true "letter box" (I hate to use that term, but for a layman that will work) for transmission to the digital transmitter to your home. It appears in talks I have had with other engineers that FOX is the only network that uses anamorphic to send 16:9. The other networks choose to send a letter box style picture. They both are true 16:9 pictures though.


Hope that helps.
 

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Ken, what you said was a good idea, but don't bet on it. NBC uses the same truck for NASCAR, I'd think they'd not want it modified for what they won't use it for anyway, and I'd think, too, that it's not totally feasible anyway for Fox (using Fletchers, lipstick cams, etc)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Mark Vidonic
Ken, what you said was a good idea, but don't bet on it. NBC uses the same truck for NASCAR, I'd think they'd not want it modified for what they won't use it for anyway, and I'd think, too, that it's not totally feasible anyway for Fox (using Fletchers, lipstick cams, etc)
I still think it's a strong possibility. Since Fox now has the production capability, they could combine both of the NFL units to do say, Daytona. As for the other cams, they would still continue to use them, either 4:3 or stretched.
 

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No, they wouldn't do that - it's 3 times the size of their Super Bowl, they'd stay with what works for that. If the show were HD, that might be another thing.
 

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Maybe we should rename the forum "HDTV/ATSC Programming" -- that way, there'd be no question that Fox widescreen programming was on topic! :)


Seriously, when I first got an HD setup 3 years ago, I was watching on a 19" computer monitor. Now HD looked fantastic on there -- but I'd have to say that the Fox signal looked pretty decent, as well. Remember, this was a 19" standard screen monitor. Once I got my 43" Hitachi, the difference between 1080i and 480p was easier to see :D
 

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Quote:
1) The NFL games today (Sunday 12/1) look vastly superior to the Cowboys game on Thanksgiving. Are they using different cameras? The image is sharper and brighter. Is this a case of upconverting widescreen NTSC to 480p on Thanksgiving, and using 480p cameras on Sunday? Or do they have just one set of cameras, all 480p?
I think they may have dialed in less edge "enhancement" on Sunday. EE makes for a nasty picture if you are not seated as far back as the engineers assume.
 

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I don't understand. If all FOX uses are 4:3 camera's that are in use today, why can't they do all of their programming in "FOX HIGH RESOLUTION WIDESCREEN"? Where is the added expenses in producing standard def programs in WIDESCREEN 480P, unlike networks that produce true 720P/1080i High Definition content?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Linux23
I don't understand. If all FOX uses are 4:3 camera's that are in use today, why can't they do all of their programming in "FOX HIGH RESOLUTION WIDESCREEN"? Where is the added expenses in producing standard def programs in WIDESCREEN 480P, unlike networks that produce true 720P/1080i High Definition content?
$20,000+ a piece camera lenses for starters.
 

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Won't they save when you compare against shooting on film?




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Originally posted by foxeng
$20,000+ a piece camera lenses for starters.
 

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Originally posted by dynamohum1
Won't they save when you compare against shooting on film?
No one owns their own movie cameras. They are always rented. Those buggers get REAL expensive! It is ridiculous what lenses cost! Just a couple of pieces of glass! But the price of the lenses are still pretty steep. Just for comparison, the lens on a lowly news camera, is between $4,000 and $10,000. That is why stations are looking at cheaper DV formats that deliver the same picture quality as the Sony Beta SP cameras, but the whole outfit costing only $10,000 a piece instead of $35,000 a piece!


None of the networks own their own production trucks. They used to, but it was found to be cheaper to rent them. Of course if you ask for more toys, the price goes up on those trucks! (That is why Mark Cuban is trying to recoup with is own truck! Smart man!) The American Way! I love it!
 
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