AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Maybe 1 in 5 shots in HD?!? I was most impressed by the fuzzy shots form the blimp. If you advertise HD, maybe you should actually give us a predominately HD event.


I actually expected more from them. Where were the rest of their HD cameras, at pre-season NFL games?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
460 Posts
I am guessing you meant the "PGA Championship", not the US Open, but I agree the coverage was marginal at best. Fuzzy beyond description. The best shot I saw was a closeup of the rotten lie in a sand filled divot that Elk faced on number 17 or 18 this morning. Otherwise, the coverage was pretty ordinary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
At least CBS knows the name of the event they televised this past weekend. NBC did the US Open (zero shots in HD).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,737 Posts
I agree there were a lot of SD shots, a lot. They need to leave the action on the HD camera's no matter what.


The absolute most annoying thing was that all the teebox shots I saw were SD, and then the camera following the tee shot would be SD too. Basically impossible to see the flight path of the ball.


Also, a little irony: The blimp shots were ugly, you coudn't see a darn thing from those SD cameras up in the air so high, but the shots of the blimp from the ground were HD. I thought that was classic.


A few shots, all from 7th hole fly-over:
http://img331.imageshack.us/my.php?image=golfaug140104fz.jpg http://img331.imageshack.us/img331/8...40104fz.th.jpg http://img331.imageshack.us/my.php?image=golfaug140114rv.jpg http://img331.imageshack.us/img331/5...40114rv.th.jpg http://img331.imageshack.us/my.php?image=golfaug140129le.jpg http://img331.imageshack.us/img331/9...40129le.th.jpg http://img331.imageshack.us/my.php?image=golfaug140136ym.jpg http://img331.imageshack.us/img331/7...40136ym.th.jpg




A few pics of Mastercard commercial in HD from Sunday:
http://img331.imageshack.us/my.php?image=golfaug140163gp.jpg http://img331.imageshack.us/img331/2...40163gp.th.jpg http://img331.imageshack.us/my.php?image=golfaug140174ub.jpg http://img331.imageshack.us/img331/5...40174ub.th.jpg http://img331.imageshack.us/my.php?image=golfaug140185in.jpg http://img331.imageshack.us/img331/4...40185in.th.jpg http://img331.imageshack.us/my.php?image=golfaug140194wc.jpg http://img331.imageshack.us/img331/7...40194wc.th.jpg http://img331.imageshack.us/my.php?image=golfaug140209sr.jpg http://img331.imageshack.us/img331/2...40209sr.th.jpg
 

·
AVS Forum Special Member
Joined
·
11,139 Posts
Perhaps they'll use HD-equipped blimps for the upcoming US Open tennis matches as they did last year. One announcer commented on the "good" quality of fuzzy blimp images in last week's/today's match! Too bad the Snoopy and other blimps aren't all equipped with MPEG-2 encoders; (JVC hardware, I recall, also used by some news organizations for airborne HD).


Spotted just a few HD tee-off shots, but remarkably--maybe factoring in their ~95% SD audience (?)--they switched between crisp HD and fuzzy SD even there. Many of the SD shots seem to be via cable, so using HD instead wouldn't seem to be a problem of bandwidth (compared to radio-linked delivery that for HD would require portable--as opposed to mobile or airborne--MPEG-2 encoding and radio transmission.)


Those fly-over shots to map out each hole had 'interesting' HD quality: very crisp, but it looked like someone really cranked up the green hue deliberately, presumably for the added graphics.


Anyway, thanks to all the camera folks dashing about with heavy gear in a temperature index that was felling spectators. For July/August PGA matches, think they should play in northern Minnesota or Washington each year--or provide/rent battery-powered fluid-based cooling units like those from Sharper Image to those wanting them. IMO the play would have been much better if many of the golfers weren't wilting and exhausted from the heat. What's the pro golf regs on portable heating/cooling? -- John
 

·
Registered
LG 55" C9 OLED, Yamaha RX-A660, Monoprice 5.1.2 Speakers, WMC HTPC, TiVo Bolt, X1
Joined
·
45,617 Posts
This will probably be a waste of time, but here goes anyways....


The only reason we're getting any HD for live sports on network TV, is because the broadcasts are unified. This means both the standard and HD production use all the same equipment.


Since the standard broadcast pays all the bills, and the HD side pays none (read: digital sink hole), the standard broadcast takes clear precedence over the technical and creative decisions made.


The only SD cameras used were the wireless handhelds; all the rest were HD. This is because the existing wireless capability for HD results in a noticeable delay compared to the SD feed. In other words, it's not possible to sync up HD from wireless sources to HD from hard wired sources. Also, there is not enough bandwidth available at this time (per the FCC) for all the HD wireless cameras needed to do golf, even if the sync could be achieved.


I should close this topic right now, and be done with it. Odds are high I'll end up doing it anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,321 Posts
Actually, that was a terrific post which explains in clear, concise detail what the remaining technological hurdles are for more HD golf telecasts, Ken, thanks. It will probably be referenced again as time goes on and new people enter the arena full of indignation at so little golf in HD. In addition, it has the added bonus of featuring Ken in "full irritation mode" (I see that a lot, personally. :p). Probably won't even have to lock up the thread now. ;)


I always felt the lack of HD golf coverage was because they hadn't invented the cameras yet. Now I know that it's more in the delivery and communication end.


Perhaps a new compression scheme (MPEG4 ?) will get around the bandwidth hurdle. The sync issue sounds like a solvable problem too given enough brains and dollars.


It's understandable that people are becoming impatient now that HD seems to have firmly taken hold in most other televised sports. It has seemed as if golf was lagging behind, especially odd considering the target demographic is one that can support the purchases of HDTV equipment.


Now then, we can still ***** at NBC for not doing the Open in HD though, right? :D
 

·
Registered
LG 55" C9 OLED, Yamaha RX-A660, Monoprice 5.1.2 Speakers, WMC HTPC, TiVo Bolt, X1
Joined
·
45,617 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy
Now then, we can still ***** at NBC for not doing the Open in HD though, right? :D
Not anymore. '06 in HD.
 

·
Registered
LG 55" C9 OLED, Yamaha RX-A660, Monoprice 5.1.2 Speakers, WMC HTPC, TiVo Bolt, X1
Joined
·
45,617 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy
Actually, that was a terrific post which explains in clear, concise detail what the remaining technological hurdles are for more HD golf telecasts, Ken, thanks.
Keep in mind that I don't always have time, or am not at liberty, to explain everything that is behind some of the more curt posts I make, but please believe there are always reasons. I don't make this stuff up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
i think some of the complaining is because the HD didn't look nearly as good as 'The Masters' did. with the course withering from the heat, that didn't help matters either.


i was surprised the CBS feed looked subpar as it is generally the best of the bunch. but the fact that someone bickered about CBS shows they don't have much experience with the nets and their HD programming; nobody comes close in general to CBS HD sports and ABC (Monday Night Football only) - with the same generally applying to primetime.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,958 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason
Perhaps they'll use HD-equipped blimps for the upcoming US Open tennis matches as they did last year. One announcer commented on the "good" quality of fuzzy blimp images in last week's/today's match! Too bad the Snoopy and other blimps aren't all equipped with MPEG-2 encoders; (JVC hardware, I recall, also used by some news organizations for airborne HD).
The HD MPEG2 RF gear used for single-camera news lives in HD - say HD chopper cams etc. - will have a significant delay in it (could be over a second) because it is employing long-GOPs to get a high enough level of compression.


This means it is fine for use in an isolated feed (say a News remote or chopper), but almost useless where you are switching between that camera and cable cameras covering the same event. Delaying the cabled cameras and cabled sound to match radio cameras just isn't feasible.


It has only relatively recently become feasible to do digital radio cameras in SD without significant delays - the first digital SD radio cameras (as used in News) added at least 18 frames of delay (sometimes more) through their use of long GOP MPEG2.


The best SD radio cameras (used in sport and entertainment) now only add about 3 fields I think - they use DV or I-frame only MPEG2 - so require more data to encode at a given fixed quality.


MPEG2 in Long GOP does provide an RF link solution for single camera (or remote mixed) back-haul. It is not a solution for encoding one camera in a multi-camera mix - wrong application of the technology. (Short GOP or I-Frame only IS possible - but this is not employing any motion compression)


Using the same technology for HD would require more bandwith with current technology - which means you'd probably only be able to deploy a quarter of the number of cameras if you have a fixed RF allocation from the FCC?


This stuff is still far from easy...
 

·
AVS Forum Special Member
Joined
·
11,139 Posts
As I mentioned in a parallel thread, thought some of the "look" to these cablecasts/broadcasts was due to the overcast skies at times and the dense muggy air. That minimizes HD/SD contrast, reduces color saturation, and smears images somewhat. It's not like a crisp clear autumn afternoon in a football stadium.


Also mentioned above that I saw technicians uncurling and hooking up camera cables a few times, apparently connecting them to the larger cable around the course running to the production truck(s), not the microwave 'guns' also used to relay portable-camera signals to the truck(s). Such hookups could obviously be used for HD or SD cameras, not requiring portable MPEG-2 encoding (compression) at the camera you'd need for microwaving TV transmissions to a relay balloon then on to the truck(s). Wonder if networks are using rugged fiber-optic links from cameras (available for mile+ runs for movie production with video cameras)? -- John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,958 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason
Also mentioned above that I saw technicians uncurling and hooking up camera cables a few times, apparently connecting them to the larger cable around the course running to the production truck(s), not the microwave 'guns' also used to relay portable-camera signals to the truck(s). Such hookups could obviously be used for HD or SD cameras, not requiring portable MPEG-2 encoding (compression) at the camera you'd need for microwaving TV transmissions to a relay balloon then on to the truck(s). Wonder if networks are using rugged fiber-optic links from cameras (available for mile+ runs for movie production with video cameras)? -- John
What you saw is pretty standard for SD cabled production. You lay a bunch of triax runs around a venue, and arrange them so that you can break these at suitable joins to connect cabled cameras as they move between locations, and to do this you usually connect a shorter run of triax from the camera to the cable-break (or termination if you are at the end of a run).


For coverage where you use the same cameras in multiple locations you will often lay far more cable runs than you have cameras - and re-plug the cable at both the camera and truck-end (so that cameras remain connected to the same truck CCU - Camera Control Unit)


This system is not just used for sports coverage - if you are doing a live show from around a hospital or other large building (where you will want multiple, multi-cam set-ups) you will often run multiple cable runs into the location, so you don't have to lay cable between set-ups.


(A show I worked on - which ran occasionally during the 80s and 90s - had 3 separate 3 camera set-ups - one per presenter/anchor - but there were about 10 different locations where each 3 camera operation needed to be potentially cabled into. During most shows the anchors each presented from at least 2 locations, so although there were 9 cameras used for presentation, there were 30 camera cabling points they could connect to, and a lot of re-plugging in a number of locations to get the right cameras back to the truck. Getting the sound and talkback to also work wasn't insignificant... The moves had to be done very quickly - and the level of planning for the cable patching was very detailed. Often 6 of the 9 cameras were all moving simultaneously, with the next location's cameras arriving and firing up VERY close to the time they were required. It DID work though!)


This method of working isn't a replacement for radio cameras - there are places you just can't safely go with cabled cameras, and there are limits to the amount of cable you can cost-effectively deploy.


When it comes to Fibre vs Triax, I think this is almost a manufacturer issue?


AIUI Philips/Thomson/GrassValley (Philips/BTS in my head still) LDK 5000s and 6000s are based on analogue Triax systems. Good for venues already cabled with Triax, and for relatively short runs. Triax is relatively easy to break and join easily, and can be used flexibly for cable re-plugging around a venue.


Sony are mainly fibre these days I believe (I think earlier Sony cameras used a multi-core conductor based cable rather than Triax?) Not sure if Fibre can be broken and joined as easily mid cable-run, but it does allow for long HD runs, and I believe repeaters can be used?
 

·
AVS Forum Special Member
Joined
·
11,139 Posts
Thanks for the details, sneals2000. So, presumably, the same triax main link to the trucks could be used for either SD or HD? Generally assumed the 'moderate' use of HD cameras was largely due to their high cost, plus of course the need for cable links instead of SD-type microwave relays, apparently due to bandwidth constraints (~1.5 Gbps) for portable HD (as opposed to mobile/airborne HD delivery.) JVC's compact mobile/airborne HD MPEG encoder chain, I believe, does compression in
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,943 Posts
CBS' coverage of golf, with its emphasis on handheld, wireless cameras and disdain for digital compression on HD wireless links, doesn't lend itself well to complete HD coverage, and results in more SD shots than HD shots. Also, by upconverting widescreen SD cameras (composite NTSC, even!) something their engineers have recommended against, they make a bad situation even worse. HD cameras are largely restricted to tower cameras at the greens. Pretty post cards shots, but not the whole story. I didn't see many (if any) HD shots from low cameras at the greens, either.


I believe ABC was the first network to cover all 18 holes of golf. They did it by leapfrogging and hop-scotching cameras from hole to hole, as Sneals has said. You saw the leaders and other groups with similar scores, and most people liked that. If someone started burning up the course, they would have to get creative with the "troop movements" to cover them. I belive they called it "bonus coverage" to draw attention to it (and maybe to apologize for the sometimes poorer camera angles.)


Back then, it was tough (and expensive) to get wireless camera coverage of the whole golf course, even in SD. You didn't see many wireless cameras on the air back then, so all of the shots (including the tees and fairways) were done with cabled cameras. This could be done with HD cameras, but Producers have fallen in love with the wireless camera look (even though the audio is NEVER in sync with them) and now expect to be able to cover any golfer anywhere on the course, any time they want to.


Not that anyone is asking for my opinion, but they should use HD wireless cameras on shots that they can pre-tape and show a few seconds after the shot is completed. Creative shot selection would result in a package where the extra delay of the HD wireless system would not be noticed. No one would be able to tell that it wasn't live. Besides, a lot of TV coverage of golf is "isolated" to tape and played back later as it is, so no big change there. Then they could load up coverage with wired cameras (hopefully HD) for the leaders.


I applaud CBS' efforts to do golf in HD. It's just a shame that their "look" precludes HD for a lot of their production (at least for now.) Now if they would only do more NFL games in HD...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,958 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason
Thanks for the details, sneals2000. So, presumably, the same triax main link to the trucks could be used for either SD or HD?
Yep - AIUI decent Triax used for SD is also usable for HD - though HD doesn't "go as far"? If a location has been recently pre-wired with Triax you should be able to use it for HD or SD triax working - unless the cables are too long.

Quote:
Generally assumed the 'moderate' use of HD cameras was largely due to their high cost, plus of course the need for cable links instead of SD-type microwave relays, apparently due to bandwidth constraints (~1.5 Gbps) for portable HD (as opposed to mobile/airborne HD delivery.) JVC's compact mobile/airborne HD MPEG encoder chain, I believe, does compression in
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,958 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by hphase
CBS' coverage of golf, with its emphasis on handheld, wireless cameras and disdain for digital compression on HD wireless links, doesn't lend itself well to complete HD coverage, and results in more SD shots than HD shots. Also, by upconverting widescreen SD cameras (composite NTSC, even!) something their engineers have recommended against, they make a bad situation even worse. HD cameras are largely restricted to tower cameras at the greens. Pretty post cards shots, but not the whole story. I didn't see many (if any) HD shots from low cameras at the greens, either.
You have the ever-present argument with HD vs SD, as to whether the production technology should limit the production aims, and how you trade these off. If you have less production flexibility with HD, do you compromise your production techniques (use fewer wireless cameras, not deploy super slow motion etc.) for the sake of improved image quality, or do you wait for HD to catch up, and deploy SD where an HD equivalent is not available/practical.


I'm not saying there is a right or wrong answer - just that there isn't a simple one. Whilst producers and directors should take engineers technical arguments on-board when making production decisions, there are times (and I speak as someone who has worked both sides of that fence) where you can't always follow the best engineering route, as there are production issues as well that might be compromised.


I WOULD however argue that analogue composite standard def wireless cameras (even if used with 16:9 cameras) really shouldn't be in widespread use these days! (There are direct SD replacements around which will deliver better quality, and more reliable, video...)

Quote:
I believe ABC was the first network to cover all 18 holes of golf. They did it by leapfrogging and hop-scotching cameras from hole to hole, as Sneals has said. You saw the leaders and other groups with similar scores, and most people liked that. If someone started burning up the course, they would have to get creative with the "troop movements" to cover them. I belive they called it "bonus coverage" to draw attention to it (and maybe to apologize for the sometimes poorer camera angles.)
Yep - this is where you take the decision that you alter your production ambitions to match your engineering abilities. If you are specifically aiming to cover everything in HD - and HD is a major selling point - then you have to compromise your production. If HD is a peripheral, and non-core, aspect of your coverage you may take a different decision.
Quote:
Back then, it was tough (and expensive) to get wireless camera coverage of the whole golf course, even in SD. You didn't see many wireless cameras on the air back then, so all of the shots (including the tees and fairways) were done with cabled cameras. This could be done with HD cameras, but Producers have fallen in love with the wireless camera look (even though the audio is NEVER in sync with them) and now expect to be able to cover any golfer anywhere on the course, any time they want to.
Ah - I haven't been a major Golf fan. In the UK, since the 70s, the BBC have always used quite a lot of wireless links to cover Golf - whether cabled cameras running to Golf buggies, two person wireless (with a second person aiming an antenna) single person wireless (which arrived in the late 80s with omni or dynamically switched antennae mounted on the cameras), or a combination of the two (single persopn wireless working into a golf buggy that then re-broadcasts again wirelessly!)


The BBC specifically went with Philips and Sony cameras in the 70s and 80s because they supported full radio working (with full remote camere colour balancing via radio a well as triax) They even used the very early Philips Minicam (the Beeb had the only PAL models) for SD wireless working in the very early 70s.

Quote:
Not that anyone is asking for my opinion, but they should use HD wireless cameras on shots that they can pre-tape and show a few seconds after the shot is completed. Creative shot selection would result in a package where the extra delay of the HD wireless system would not be noticed. No one would be able to tell that it wasn't live. Besides, a lot of TV coverage of golf is "isolated" to tape and played back later as it is, so no big change there. Then they could load up coverage with wired cameras (hopefully HD) for the leaders.
This would work on all wireless holes - where the delay on all cameras would be equal. However these wouldn't be an issue when covered live.


It wouldn't reallly help on the holes covered in a mix of cabled and wireless cameras, unless you edited the recorded coverage (which would have been cut as-live) to remove the delays - which wouldn't normally be the case. Usually the recorded material is played out as-live still - with the editing purely setting in and out points...

Quote:


I applaud CBS' efforts to do golf in HD. It's just a shame that their "look" precludes HD for a lot of their production (at least for now.) Now if they would only do more NFL games in HD...
I guess this is a question of whether the bulk of viewers appreciate "the look" more than HD?
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top