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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I dont understand his arguments from the NBC problems. Everyone else, CBS, WB, seem to be able to solve all these problems. I think he needs to go visit them and get on the same page.

Kudos to the other stations for getting it right! All we need now is PBS to get in gear, and start showing that great HD they have available, since Discovery HD is a waste of money, and loops the same 3 hours of programming all day.
 

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You can add me to the list of viewers hoping for DD 5.1. I just discovered this Forum recently and and glad to know I am not alone in Jacksonville!


I've had a Hughes E86 feeding a Mitsubishi 55809 since January and have been impressed with how quickly we have gone from no HDTV to actually having a choice on some nights.


Any ideas on how we can get more traffic to this site? I suspect there are more of us in Jacksonville who have HD sets who, like me, didn't know there is a forum like this where an actual station engineer is willing to listen to suggestion, and also hear that we appreciate the efforts to bring us reliable signals.


By the way, if anyone is interested, I live in Fruit Cove and with a Radio Shack antenna mounted in the attic all the stations come in at signal strength 100 on the E86 except 13-1 which registers at 51.
 

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Welcome petergaryr;It is always nice to have more people on the local forum.On another note,does anyone know when or if our PBS will go HD?
 

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Evening. I have not purchased a HDTV yet, but I am doing research to do so. Can someone in Jax point me in the right direction for best pricing on 43" and up HDTV and a tuner? Also, should I buy a special tuner to work with cable, or will any tuner work?


Thanks
 

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I also watch the Jacksonville thread very closly. I have a Sony HD100 and live in Mandarin, I enjoy watching HD also. (I think CBS is the leader in HD) Hats off to CBS47!!!! Thanks for all the hard work, it does not go by un-noticed.


John
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jmorgis
I also watch the Jacksonville thread very closely. I have a Sony HD100 and live in Mandarin, I enjoy watching HD also. (I think CBS is the leader in HD) Hats off to CBS47!!!! Thanks for all the hard work, it does not go by un-noticed.


John
Thanks! Its just as new to us broadcast engineers as it is to the viewers. We are learning as we go. The information all of you provide to us sure is helpful in finding out what we need to work on.


As for PBS. They have just purchased a transmitter so it will be at least several months before they are on the air with it. It took us at CBS47 and Fox30 about 6 months to complete the transmitter installation.



Jerry
 

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CBS/WTEV is definitely numero uno when it comes to HD in jacksonville. Keep up the good work guys. Even their upconversion is leading the pack. I'm watching survivor and it looks great. No compression artifacts in sight.


Now maybe if they could sprinkle some of that WTEV magic on WAWS :)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by cschaul
I dont understand his arguments from the NBC problems. Everyone else, CBS, WB, seem to be able to solve all these problems. I think he needs to go visit them and get on the same page.

Kudos to the other stations for getting it right! All we need now is PBS to get in gear, and start showing that great HD they have available, since Discovery HD is a waste of money, and loops the same 3 hours of programming all day.
What he is saying is analog is providing my paycheck and digital is in development.These guys talk to each other and they each have problems. The others don't have the analog transmitter located so close to the digital transmitter. They aren't having the same tyoe problems with ABC. Most of the problems with NBC is not sending the feed. They make it worse by not switching to SD.


I think the Discovery Channel is too expensive but still enjoy it. One nice thing is that it always works.It's probably the best example we have to show the benefits of HD.Programming.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jsimoneaux
Evening. I have not purchased a HDTV yet, but I am doing research to do so. Can someone in Jax point me in the right direction for best pricing on 43" and up HDTV and a tuner? Also, should I buy a special tuner to work with cable, or will any tuner work?


Thanks
Add Sears to the list. HD Cable boxes and how they will connect to your TV haven't been determined yet. Take a deep breath because they won't be in a hurry. Will any tuner work? NO If you want HD I wouldn't consider cable.
 

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hi bob, glad to here you talked to some one overthere i never can,with that beeing said i dont buy his explantation that nbc is not sending the feed to them,because ER is not in hd but if you go to the hdtv programing you'll find a thread "no er in hd tonite" one guy asks if it's in hd and everybody else says it is,so everybody else is getting ER in hd but us. so in conclusion he's blowing smoke up our ass!!!!!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by mymac
hi bob, glad to here you talked to some one overthere i never can,with that beeing said i dont buy his explantation that nbc is not sending the feed to them,because ER is not in hd but if you go to the hdtv programing you'll find a thread "no er in hd tonite" one guy asks if it's in hd and everybody else says it is,so everybody else is getting ER in hd but us. so in conclusion he's blowing smoke up our ass!!!!!
Couldn't find the thread you referred to. Bill said most of the time they don't get the feed. This could be a problem with the local station. Will check. Last night they had a frozen picture on the screen for over an hour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I would not recommend buying big screens from any of the stores locally. They all have no idea of the true facts about HD and/or big screens. Sound Advice only sells mitsubishi and sony now.

best buy only sells the low end toshibas and mitsubishis, circuit city does sell the nice hitachi's, but way overpriced. I bought a toshiba 57hdx82 from onecall, delivered just fine and love it so far!

bought the zenith 520 to receive HD locally and with Directv.

live near gate pkwy, so i only need a set top antenna.

Still think NBC/ABC should talk more with the guys at CBS here, CBS seems to be doing it all right so far, picture and sound are great.(ABC/NBC still blows me out of chair with their volume problems)

IMHO, I'd use the local guys to find a tv u like, then buy it online, not worth the extra cash just for peace of mind.
 

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cschaul, do you still need that DVI cable, if not I am going to mail it back to the vendor. Just thought I would ask.


And Much like what cschaul had commented above, I to purchased my TV from the same online vendor and couldn't be happier. Great product and in Jax, you just will not be able to view the HDX82 in a B&M.



Bob here is the thread mentioned above (I think

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=197907
 

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Gator:


That's it ! THANKS I forwarded it to Bill @ NBC.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by cschaul
I would not recommend buying big screens from any of the stores locally. They all have no idea of the true facts about HD and/or big screens. Sound Advice only sells mitsubishi and sony now.

best buy only sells the low end toshibas and mitsubishis, circuit city does sell the nice hitachi's, but way overpriced. I bought a toshiba 57hdx82 from onecall, delivered just fine and love it so far!

bought the zenith 520 to receive HD locally and with Directv.

live near gate pkwy, so i only need a set top antenna.

Still think NBC/ABC should talk more with the guys at CBS here, CBS seems to be doing it all right so far, picture and sound are great.(ABC/NBC still blows me out of chair with their volume problems)

IMHO, I'd use the local guys to find a tv u like, then buy it online, not worth the extra cash just for peace of mind.
Sound Advice also sells Pioneer,Samsung and Panasonic.


I answered the loudness question in Nov. Thread. It's not on their list to fix at this point. To much money and not enought digital customers. I'm sure they would accept a donation. :) I agree that they are not placeing the importance on HD that we think they should. They know the problems and I guess they will fix them in due time. Digital has been mandated or NBC would due little to nothing. The only network worse is FOX. Murdock has been a weight around the digitial transitions neck.


I have had good luck on big items locally. If someone wants a Toshiba I can probably beat one-call's price. The problem is viewing the set. I bought my 65" Toshiba from Sound Advice for $2700 and got the zero interest and 12mo. deal. I really wanted the Pioneer but couldn't get the price I wanted.
 

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Bob- In the public interest, I will copy your 12/4 response from Bill here as I think it is important to have in the limelight as everything responded to is current. Hope you don't mind.-


From November thread- posted by BobHofOP:
"

To All Members:


Just got off the phone with Bill Schneider (Engineer at NBC/CBS) who works for Bishop Ellison. Bishop responded to Gator's e-mail earlier about HD Problems. I will try to address each point.


1. HD Programs that aren't broadcasted.


Each day the network sends a HD Schedule to the local stations. They set their switchers to pass the HD Program to us. The program starts and the HD Feed ISN"T there. The network didn't send it. This is 98% of the problem. Bill said his people have been LAX in switching to SD rather than a blank screen. They have an ongoing training program for people.


2. Slow Lock ON and Perceived Lower Power


Bill swears they are running FULL POWER. They think the problem is caused by the analog transmitter being located near the digital transmitter. The ABC analog transmitter is not located there and we don't have a problem with ABC. They have a $ 5000 STB that acts like most of ours do. The MFG. of theirs stated it doesn't do well when analog and digital transmitters are located near each other. Bill has ordered an assortment of filters to try to fix the problem. We will talk in a week or two to see if anything works. The filters cost from $100 to $350. If it works;the filter would be placed on your antenna feed. You will not be able to get the analog NBC. You can do nothing and when the FCC stops the analog the problem will go away.(If we live that long)


3. I will group these two problems together. EXCESS VOLUME when switching from HD to local and the question of WHEN WILL YOU PROVIDE DD 5.1 from ABC.


Bill stated: "You won't like my answer. When over 20 people are watching digital. The equipment is too expensive for our return on investment." This equipment isn't furnished by ABC or NBC. He said when cable started doing HD it would be an easy sell for the volume control but Dolby Digital was a long way off. I suggested that the Networks work on a group buy and pass the savings on to the locals.That might happen but the saving wouldn't be that great because Dolby doesn't bend easily.


NBC has been a slow starter on Digital and aren't helping the locals that much. RIGHT NOW 8:25 pm (Wednesday) the picture is frozen and the people haven't switched to SD. I guess they haven't finished their training????


ABC has been more aggressive and have helped more. Maybe 5.1 can be pushed.

I think if and when cable comes on board some of these things will get solved quickly due to the increased numbers. Hope this helps.

"
 

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I am going to get a cost on the LM100 digital/analog level monitor from Ken at KSL. I believe that wtlv/wjxx would need two of these. I know the hardware for DD5.1 is expensive but I didn't think this LM100 was.


Interesting about the notch filter. I'd be willing to test one here. and report the findings. If it is important then I suppose people who will want to get 13-1 will have to buy one? Not sure what Bill meant by that comment. What I don't understand is that also 10-1 is low in strength. Now both 10-1 and 13-1 are VHF anf you all are using UHF antennas your first order of business would be to put up a VHF/UHF LP yagi. But that IS what I'm running as should most Jax DT viewers should be running. The bowties used in some cities just won't do here in Jax on 10-1 and 13-1.
 

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Here is a complete reply from Ken English regarding the audio issues. I had sent this to Bill last summer but now with many Jax stations coming on line, maybe they will also get some benefit from Ken's early work:

"RE: Looking for audio line level matching device

Actually, we have been working with Dolby quite a bit lately on this and a few other matters. Jim Hilson, at Dolby, says he may write up some of this for the trade mags.....you might want to forward this entire info to your local stations.


When we originally converted our studio and our transmitter plants for digital, we were running three channels.....our analog station (fed by an analog STL), and an HDTV and SDTV channel (fed by a digital STL, which also carries the backup analog station's "far less compressed" backup feed, since we were replacing the "hot standby" analog STL with the digital STL).


At the time, we were processing the analog station using the Orban Optimod 8182, operating as a split system....part of the system at the studio, part at the transmitter (the recommended method). The digital channels, an HDTV channel (mostly upconverted) and the SDTV channel (a 480i copy of our analog station) were running un-processed AES/EBU audio coming directly from the Master Control switcher ("more or less" directly...still the usual routing switchers and delay boxes, but no compressors, limiters, etc).


We had a couple of problems with this setup:


1. The other stations were starting "loudness wars" with their processing, and we were not as loud....especially on "non-processed" local news when up against commercials and network/syndicated programming.


2. The Optimod would "lock-up" when it saw switching clicks, which were ultimately caused by discontinuities in the AES/EBU digital audio. We have not really discovered where this particular problem came from....we don't use an audio Word Clock in our plant, but the switching glitches don't always occur between different sources, either. Sometimes, they occur between commercials off the same (hardware) Media Pool. We may be just cutting off the AES/EBU stream prior to the point where the next commercial starts.


3. The translator guys are working with Zenith and the FCC to build a "test bed" for DTV translators. They are using our (copy of the analog station) SDTV channel to feed the analog translator stations in Southern Utah. So, now we have to have "analog style" processing and (more importantly) EAS added to the SDTV signal, so they can feed modulators with the output of a STB!


In order to "fix" this, we hired a local consultant, who purchased an Aphex 2020 FM Pro to replace the Optimod. His plan, still only partially implemented, was to create numerous "presets" in the Aphex and have the station automation system trigger them (sort of like radio stations change their "on air sound" for different dayparts). This was to try and compensate for different amounts of processing on commercials, network shows, and (totally non-processed) local newscasts. Of course, this became very unwieldy, and has never been implimented. We are still using a generic "one size seems to fit all" processing scheme.


The Aphex unit did help the on air sound, and (since it seems insensitive to short-duration AES/EBU glitches) eliminated the "lock-up" problem we had with the Optimod (the 8182 would see the analog audio spike that came from the AES/EBU discontinuity and lock up at about -20 dB of gain, until it was power cycled). For a while, we were using the Aphex as the D/A Converter for the analog station's (analog) STL feed, as well as analog to Cable TV and DISH/ DirecTV feeds. The SDTV and HDTV were still getting unprocessed AES/EBU. The next step was to get the digital audio from the Aphex, through a digital EAS inserter, and then into the HD and SD channels' encoders. This is where we ran into a problem.....


The Digital AES/EBU output of the Aphex is "normallized" (much like the mastering process of a CD) to keep everything at almost 0 dBfs, since they designed it to feed a digital radio transmitter. So, everything coming out digitally is maximized, with almost no headroom (they make the digital output fixed at -1 dBfs) while the analog output is variable, to match your analog radio station transmitter.


Putting this into the Dolby AC-3 encoders made us about 20 dB louder than intended. Worse yet, when switching to an HDTV feed or local widescreen newscast (neither of which came through the Aphex), the audio dropped significantly (actually, back to what it SHOULD have been).


Jim brought in the LM-100 Loudness Meter, and we did some experimenting....


First, a little background (which you can read more about at Dolby's website, or call and get their CD-ROM).


Dolby Digital tries to keep all Dialog at a consistent level coming out of the consumer's system. They generally expect the dialog audio to be applied to the encoder at a specific level, and they output it at the consumer's decoder at a specific level. That way, the dialog level (assuming it's a normal speaking voice) is consistent from scene to scene, from source to source, from channel to channel. This dialog level could be a fixed level, which would never vary, but that would then also fix the amount of headroom in the system. What might be sufficient headroom for a bedroom love scene would be insufficient for the next scene when the soldier goes back into battle and a cannon goes off next to him! So, metadata is added, to tell the consumer's decoder where the dialog level should be at the moment, and to have it compensate. DialNorm is not usually changed moment to moment, but is set for a scene/chapter or even an entire program or DVD. The Dolby AC-3 encoders are usually supplied with a DialNorm (Dialog Normalization) setting of -27 dB, meaning that the averaged level of the dialog is about 27 dB below 0 dBfs. If a particular show needs more/less headroom, the DialNorm can be changed....but -27 works as a good starting point, assuming we make the old "0 VU" reference be about -20 dBfs.

In addition to the "keeping the voice the same level" function of DialNorm, the other advantage is in level compression. With the voice level set to match what the DialNorm says it should be, the consumer's STB or DD reciever can be "ordered" to do peak compression of the high-level dynamics (that are louder than voice/dialog), and expansion of the low-level dynamics (that are softer than voice/dialog). If done properly, the dialog never gets messed with, but the dynamics are kept under control. This part of the plan is actually called DRC, for Dynamic Range Control. The encoder actually sends out unaltered audio, together with two metadata compression profiles that control the consumer's decoder. A full-blown DD receiver can take advantage of the unaltered audio (full dynamic range), or can be switched to take advantage of one of the compression profiles, which are called "Line Mode" and "RF Mode". In the consumer world, they are often referred to as "Midnight Mode", since they allow for less dynamic range....what you might want for late-night viewing. Set-top DTV boxes actually output the "Line Mode" compressed analog audio on their L/R outputs, and the (even more restricted range) "RF Mode" to their built-in RF modulators, while sending all the DD data out the coax or TosLink connections to a separate "full blown" DD receiver.


So, the level that the dialog is sent to the encoder, together with the DialNorm setting is what is really critical. Next in order of precedence is probably the DRC settings for the two modes, Line and RF. As long as the dialog is sent at the level the decoders expect (from what they see in DialNorm metadata), things should be OK.


We found, by using the LM-100, that we needed to bring the AES/EBU output of the Aphex down about 15 dB, to match the default DialNorm setting of our AC-3 encoder. We could have changed the DialNorm setting, but that would have caused problems when switching between (Aphex) processed programming, and unprocessed programming, since the unprocessed stuff seems to work well with the default -27 DialNorm settings, as evidenced by the LM-100. Dropping the output of the Aphex by 15 dB seemed to make the dialog all match up pretty well.


Since the AES/EBU output of the Aphex is fixed, we had to pad it down digitally. As a stopgap measure, pending any new gizmos, we used a PanoramaDTV 2110 "Swiss Army Knife-type" Audio Re-Shuffler (actually made by Bel Digital Audio in the UK), that we bought for our dubbing area. That allowed us to digitally "pad" the output down until the LM-100 showed the proper dialog level, or Leq.


This seems to work OK for our day-to-day "old-fashioned analog" style programming. The dialog level stays consistent, although the "normalization" aspects of the Aphex eliminate a lot of the dynamic range we would like on digital. When we switch to NBC HDTV, the audio is not processed by the Aphex, so it is exactly what NBC HD sends. When we go to "Music and the Spoken Word" (Mormon Tab Choir) in HD, we actually get Dolby-E carrying the 5.1 audio AND the metadata, so their system actually passes all the appropriate DialNorm and DRC data to our encoder. The SDTV station still gets the processed audio at all times, which makes the translator guys happy.


What I plan to do is get 3 of the LM-100s, and put one in Master Control, one in the shop , and one where they dub the commercials. Then, try to have them set all audio levels to whatever gives the proper Leq readings on dialogue.

Hopefully, that will make things more consistent, both going to the unprocessed channel and to the input to the Aphex.


I guess we can then change methods as the transition progresses, when we move further away from analog style processing, and begin putting the full capability of the DD system to work.


Ken



"
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Don Landis
I am going to get a cost on the LM100 digital/analog level monitor from Ken at KSL. I believe that wtlv/wjxx would need two of these. I know the hardware for DD5.1 is expensive but I didn't think this LM100 was.


Interesting about the notch filter. I'd be willing to test one here. and report the findings. If it is important then I suppose people who will want to get 13-1 will have to buy one? Not sure what Bill meant by that comment. What I don't understand is that also 10-1 is low in strength. Now both 10-1 and 13-1 are VHF anf you all are using UHF antennas your first order of business would be to put up a VHF/UHF LP yagi. But that IS what I'm running as should most Jax DT viewers should be running. The bowties used in some cities just won't do here in Jax on 10-1 and 13-1.
Don:


ABC 10-1 has always been strong unless they were playing with something. No Lock problems just EXCESS Volume.


Bill said most give a lower reading on NBC 13-1 due to analog interactions. The first RCA STB (Model??) does the best job not reacting. If the filters correct the problem with his receiver he will let us know and we can install one on our antenna's to solve the long lock time and solve the false reading we are getting on the signal strength.


My biggest problem is not passing the HD Program. The day I talked to Bill the left a frozen picture on the screen for over an hour. They finally got it corrected for West Wing. Last night ER was to be HD and they ran digital SD and all other areas of the country were getting HD. That had to be a local problem. Later in that same evening when Jay Leno came on they would show the commercials and when it would cut back to Leno the screen would go black. Just more people problems. Tonight Law and Order:SVU was to be HD and it WASN'T. God knows whose problem it was. I'm waitng for Leno as I am typing this note.


I think the should change their TV ad to say FIRST DIGITIAL IN JAX AND THE LAST TO GET IT RIGHT.


GOOD NEWS !!! LENO IS IN HD. Looks good.
 
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