AVS Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 66 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
716 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just received this:


November 9, 2001 Contact:

Tamara Charnow

For Immediate Release (619) 594-1237


KPBS-TV TO LAUNCH DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION NOV. 21

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Launch Date Marks Anniversary of World’s First Digital Broadcast


KPBS Television is scheduled to launch its digital station Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 8 p.m. – 10 years to the day from when KPBS and General Instrument (now Motorola Broadband Communication Sector) transmitted the world’s first digital broadcast.

KPBS’ new digital station will be on channel 30 and is separate from the existing analog KPBS station, which airs on broadcast channel 15 and cable channel 11. To access KPBS DT30, viewers must have a digital television set or a set-top box that converts a digital signal to analog.

KPBS DT30’s first program will be a high definition presentation of “Little Women†from the Houston Grand Opera. Programming on the new station will feature the best of KPBS’ archive of high definition programs, highlighting the technology’s high-quality picture and sound.

“It is both symbolic and appropriate that we launch our digital station 10 years to the day from when we participated with General Instrument to originate the first digital broadcast in the world,†says KPBS General Manager Doug Myrland. “KPBS’ move to digital programming not only reinforces our commitment to serving the community, but also shows that we have the desire and ability to remain on the forefront of leading technologies in the industry.â€

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandated that all public broadcasters convert to digital programming by the year 2003. About 11 percent of all public television stations have made the conversion to digital.

KPBS’ $4 million-digital transition is funded by the Viterbi family, the Weingart Foundation, General Instrument (now Motorola Instrument (now Motorola Broadband Communication Sector), Gateway Inc., the Leichtag family, and grants from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the State of California.

KPBS, a broadcast service of San Diego State University, serves the region with TV, radio and Internet content that is educational as well as entertaining – and free of commercial interruption.

-DT
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
716 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I'm a bit concerned about this in the email:


"We'll also broadcast a standard-definition channel that is a simulcast of our analog programming on channel 15, so viewers of our DTV channel will always be able to choose to watch their favorite KPBS programs."


Is that multicasting?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
339 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by HiDefGuy
I'm a bit concerned about this in the email:


"We'll also broadcast a standard-definition channel that is a simulcast of our analog programming on channel 15, so viewers of our DTV channel will always be able to choose to watch their favorite KPBS programs."


Is that multicasting?
Insofar as KPBS will be broadcasting multiple programs (one HD and one SD) in a single channel, that would seem to qualify as "multicasting". I hope we don't get too caught up in semantics however, and don't believe that you should have any cause for concern. The station is not substituting multiple SD program offerings in lieu of HD programming in any day part.


This "dual program stream" policy accomplishes more than one objective. KPBS will be one of a very few stations in the country--certainly the only in San Diego--offering full-time HDTV programming. At the same time, it aims to satisfy a requirement of the FCC Rules for an increasing percentage of simulcasting of its NTSC programming on the DTV channel in each year of the transition period. It also provides those able to receive DTV broadcasts a technically superior version of the full channel 15 program schedule. For many, content remains king and the content currently available in HD remains extremely limited.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
339 Posts
By the way, it should be noted that the program schedule that you included in your original message is for NTSC channel 15 (and, of course, KPBS-DT's SD program stream), not the station's expected HDTV program line-up.


Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
716 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Quote:
Originally posted by Old Fogey
Insofar as KPBS will be broadcasting multiple programs (one HD and one SD) in a single channel, that would seem to qualify as "multicasting". I hope we don't get too caught up in semantics however, and don't believe that you should have any cause for concern. The station is not substituting multiple SD program offerings in lieu of HD programming in any day part.
John;

I'm unclear about the technicalities of this; You are saying that there's no degradation of HD signal if one of the subchannels is being used to broadcast an SD channel.... (genuine question, I don't know)

Quote:
By the way, it should be noted that the program schedule that you included in your original message is for NTSC channel 15 (and, of course, KPBS-DT's SD program stream), not the station's expected HDTV program line-up.
Edited out... it was too long a post anyway



... and well done John on getting this up and running. Are there plans for test transmissions later this week or early next before the launch?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
John,


How come I can't find any menton of this on the KPBS Web site?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
339 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by HiDefGuy



John;

I'm unclear about the technicalities of this; You are saying that there's no degradation of HD signal if one of the subchannels is being used to broadcast an SD channel.... (genuine question, I don't know)



And a fair question. It is our intent that there be no discernible degradation of the HD programming. Mind you, engineering is mastery of the fine art of compromise. It all boils down to the allocation of bits within a finite and fixed availability of bits. KPBS is choosing to employ 720P as an emission standard not because it provides a superior image (that's an issue for acquisition and display), but because the progressive image can be more efficiently encoded. That is, fewer bits need to be allocated for a desired quality of service. While every compression scheme may have its "sweet spot", there are no magic numbers for this. It depends on picture content, the sophistication of the encoders, and any number of other factors. Our research and tests to this point indicate that we will be able to do what we propose without injury to the HD product. If we find differently, I assure you we will change the way we do things.

Quote:
... and well done John on getting this up and running. Are there plans for test transmissions later this week or early next before the launch?
Thanks! I'll pass that on to those in the trenches. As for tests, they are inevitable but not scheduled. Don't expect to see anything for a few days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
339 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by TomF
John,


How come I can't find any menton of this on the KPBS Web site?
Short answer: a shortage of staff resources, but never a shortage of needs to be addressed by those resources.


Expanding on that, those responsible for the web site are aware of the issue and I'm sure will have something online as soon as they can. In the meantime, we have tried to communicate our DTV transition status to those interested via this and other venues.


We genuinely regret not having any information up on the web site earlier, but there's only so many of us and we're running as fast as we can while still trying to keep our priorities straight. Sometimes, it ain't easy...


Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
716 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Quote:
Originally posted by Old Fogey
KPBS is choosing to employ 720P as an emission standard not because it provides a superior image (that's an issue for acquisition and display), but because the progressive image can be more efficiently encoded.
Really? Man, I missed that part of the announcement. I think 720P gives a superiorior image on hardware designed to display receive and display 720P. On my HD100 and DTC100 STB's, if reception from the local ABC affilliate is indicative, the image is noticeably less sharp than 1080i sources. (I know, technically 720P -> 1080i is a downconvert). I don't know whether this is because of the STB's or my Hitachi, but it is noticeable.


As far as I'm aware, there are no low - mid end HDTV's currently on sale that support 720P any more, are there?


There are some excellent posts in this group covering the question of 720P vs 1080I PQ, but I'm suprised that KPBS has gone that route. I hope those of us in SD who can receive KCET will do a side-by-side comparison for us of the PQ.


Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
625 Posts
The Sampo HDTVs can display 720p and are low cost "budget"HDTVs.


Will KPBS broadcast any test screens prior to the start of programming? Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
339 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by HiDefGuy



Really? Man, I missed that part of the announcement. I think 720P gives a superiorior image on hardware designed to display receive and display 720P. On my HD100 and DTC100 STB's, if reception from the local ABC affilliate is indicative, the image is noticeably less sharp than 1080i sources. (I know, technically 720P -> 1080i is a downconvert). I don't know whether this is because of the STB's or my Hitachi, but it is noticeable.


You didn't miss that part of the announcement. It wasn't part of the announcement.


I won't get into the 1080i vs. 720p picture quality issue here because that would lead to a long and, to my mind, pointless debate. Some material looks better in one format and some in the other and when these differences are noticeable, they don't seem to necessarily correspond to what we think we know are the relative strong points of the respective formats. I don't think anyone is likely to want to take my word for it but they really are, for all practical purposes, equivalent. Honestly!


The key to your assumptions about 720p is the statement "if reception from the local ABC affiliate is indicative...". It isn't. Not to disparage my colleagues at KGTV, because it's not their doing either, but the same material would look as soft (or noisy, or whatever) if it had been broadcast in 1080i. It has more to do with the source media, how it was shot, how it was transferred, and a lot of other things that may have happened to the image before it was ever encoded. That being said, we are very concerned about the quality of cross-conversion at the consumer end and intend to be very attentive to that potential problem.

Quote:
As far as I'm aware, there are no low - mid end HDTV's currently on sale that support 720P any more, are there?


Greg
I haven't been following that as rabidly as I once did so I can't say. The Sampo 34" direct-view is one, the Princeton Graphics line qualifies under your definition, I think. I don't know if the current Panasonic RPTV's do anymore--probably not because it is a cost issue. Virtually all of the new, non-CRT based display technologies (e.g., plasma, LCOS, fLCD) are either 720p native or perform best with a 720p input however. Consider us trend setters...


Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Old Fogey



Short answer: a shortage of staff resources, but never a shortage of needs to be addressed by those resources.


Expanding on that, those responsible for the web site are aware of the issue and I'm sure will have something online as soon as they can. In the meantime, we have tried to communicate our DTV transition status to those interested via this and other venues.


We genuinely regret not having any information up on the web site earlier, but there's only so many of us and we're running as fast as we can while still trying to keep our priorities straight. Sometimes, it ain't easy...


Cheers!
Thanks, John! Here's wishing you and all of your staff a successful implementation!


Is retirement still next on the agenda?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
606 Posts
From one "Old Fogey" to another.


I live in LA and, although the programming is not to my taste, am frequently able to receive KSWB (ch 23) from Mt. San Miguel.


I believe you are in virtually the same location as KSWB and I understood your ERP will be the same as theirs.


Can you confirm this?


If I'm wrong, where is your tower and what is your ERP?


Will you be at full power from the outset?


Since my location is blind to KCET in LA (mountain in the way), but relatively clear to Mt. San Miguel (except for the over the horizon problem), I've placed an order for a long range antenna (gain =18 dbd) that is "cut" to optimize channels 14 through 35 with a view to receiving KPBS reliably.


I'm delighted you are going the 720p route so that you can use your channel to share SDTV and HDTV programming. I'm looking forward to Nov. 21.


Finally, thank you for sharing all your information with us. If I can receive KPBS, I will be signing up as a member.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
339 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by cymro
From one "Old Fogey" to another.


I live in LA and, although the programming is not to my taste, am frequently able to receive KSWB (ch 23) from Mt. San Miguel.


I believe you are in virtually the same location as KSWB and I understood your ERP will be the same as theirs.


Hi Cymro!


Not to put too fine a point on it, but KSWB-DT is on channel 19. Channel 23 is XETV-DT (Fox) out of Tijuana. Actually, for the next couple of weeks at least, KPBS(TV) and KPBS-FM will be in precisely the same location as KSWB. We share a tower. However, KPBS-DT is located at a new site that we're moving to that's about 800 feet away. I believe KSWB-DT is running an ERP of 200 kW. We have maximized our facilities at 350 kW. The HAAT (Height Above Average Terrain) of both of our antennas is about 570 meters. We will be at full power from the outset.

Quote:
Since my location is blind to KCET in LA (mountain in the way), but relatively clear to Mt. San Miguel (except for the over the horizon problem), I've placed an order for a long range antenna (gain =18 dbd) that is "cut" to optimize channels 14 through 35 with a view to receiving KPBS reliably.


That sounds like a Band "A" antenna from the UK--a Blake DY28A maybe?

Quote:
I'm delighted you are going the 720p route so that you can use your channel to share SDTV and HDTV programming. I'm looking forward to Nov. 21.


Finally, thank you for sharing all your information with us. If I can receive KPBS, I will be signing up as a member.
That's really great to hear--Thanks!


(Aside to TomF: The station is holding me hostage until this project is completed ;) Afterwards though, it's off to the desert!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
606 Posts
John:


Thanks for your reply.


I "mis-spoke" when I typed ch 23 for KSWB. I meant ch 19. As an aside, ch 23 from Tijuana is often the best S. Diego station for me using a Blake JBX21WB (wideband)



And, yes, I am getting a Blake DY28A group A antenna next week.


I am also looking into a professional masthead preamp with 0.5db noise figure from Research Communications in the UK. Subject to my confirming with them what appears to be a very good overload rating, I will probably order this to replace my Channel Master 2db N.F. preamp.


My friend Glenn will do the initial testing at his very difficult location in LA, then I'll install at my place.


Glenn and I will report our results in the HDTV hardware forum in his Mt. Wilson thread. He has already reported his expriences with a number of antennas in this thread (do a search on "Wilson" to find the thread.


Thanks again
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
716 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Quote:
Originally posted by sdsalsero
my 2 cents re the choice of 720p instead of 108i :

720p looks great on my Sony 34XBR2!
On a 34" screen, I'm guessing that even 480P looks pretty comparable....


Personally I am very concerned about John's decision to go this route. While I have no question about whether 720P gives a better PQ with 720P compatible equipment, I do have doubts about most commercially HD STB's ability to translate that to 1080i at comparable display quality to a native 1080i broadcast, which after all, is what most current HD TV's are able to display. My understanding is that some of the most popular HDTV brands, such as Mits, Panasonic, Hitachi, don't provide native 720P display. Added to this is the question about whether taking a subchannel away for broadcasting KPBS standard programming will further degrade PQ for the majority of San Diego viewers that likely don't have native 720P display equipment.


Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Old Fogey


I believe KSWB-DT is running an ERP of 200 kW. We have maximized our facilities at 350 kW. The HAAT (Height Above Average Terrain) of both of our antennas is about 570 meters. We will be at full power from the outset.
This is good news! KSWB is shown as broadcasting at 322 kW ERP and I can get them quite well, although I never watch anything on "The WB".


With my attic-mounted CM 3021 antenna on a rotator, I can get KCET from LA pretty well most of the time and they're broadcasting at 340 kW ERP from more than 100 miles away. Getting good reception on KPBS was one of the reasons that I went with an attic-mounted antenna and it looks like I should have great reception! Looking forward to it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,029 Posts
I am very dissapointed by the 720p decision. It sounds like they've done this to improve multicasting. I'm sure they have their reasons; but, the bottom line is that 720p is a step down for people who's hardware only does 1080i, which is most of us, especially TVs larger than 34" where HDTV really matters. I'll give KPBS channel 30 a try but I imagine I'll keep my antenna pointed to KCET. They appear to have a true commitment to HDTV.


Mark
 
1 - 20 of 66 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top