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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had my first opportunity since the SuperBowl to again view the "high resolution" Fox product via ExpressVu's HD Channel 286.


Again I must apologize to you Fox engineering types for the implication that the wide aspect ratio was simply a cynical use of zoom mode; it isn't.


That said, I was able to compare the Fox feed with that of my OTA analog affiliate, both at 4:3 and a zoomed 16:9 aspect ratio.


Comparisons were made on a Panasonic DT-M3050W studio HD broadcast monitor.


There is no question that the NON line doubled NTSC analog broadcast presented better overall detail and color with an absence of digital artifact. It was simply a much more watchable picture.

And was by no means anywhere near as good as the analog wildfeeds or Sunday Ticket broadcasts from C-band analog satellite.


OTOH, the Fox Widescreen presentation was riddled with the many sickening digital mpeg and compression artifacts that are documented in another thread today. Even the simplest of motion induced a ghosting and melting artifact that is unmistakable.


Actually it is exactly this type of artifact that is so prevalent on the compressed SD feeds from DirecTV and DISH. This degree of artifact has rendered DBS sports broadcasts simply unwatchable from my point of view.


As a matter of fact, only the aspect ratio clearly distinguished the 480p widescreen product from the standard 4:3 DBS broadcast on ExpressVu of the same game.


Interesting to note that it is precisely this degree of dumbing down of video quality that Fox has held up as "value added" digital programming.


In other words, Fox has endeavored to achieve the same degree of picture quality that the LCD in the population associates with the "incredible digital picture quality of direct broadcast satellite."


In the process, not only are we not getting any HD from Fox, we are in fact being served up a product significantly inferior to the analog broadcasts it is replacing.


Now that my friends truly is cynical...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The post quoted below was lifted from the Fox digital artifact thread:





bdfox18doe

Senior Member


Registered: Oct 2000

Location: Charlotte, NC

Posts: 390


I noticed it here too, but thought it was our upconvertor since we changed it out Wednesday..Guess not..



__________________

Regards,

Bob Davis,Director of Engineering

WCCB-FOX18/WCCB-DT27

WOLO-ABC25/WOLO-DT8





Bob,

Thanks for the candor...
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by tmitchmd
Had my first opportunity since the SuperBowl to again view the "high resolution" Fox product via ExpressVu's HD Channel 286.


Again I must apologize to you Fox engineering types for the implication that the wide aspect ratio was simply a cynical use of zoom mode; it isn't.


That said, I was able to compare the Fox feed with that of my OTA analog affiliate, both at 4:3 and a zoomed 16:9 aspect ratio.


Comparisons were made on a Panasonic DT-M3050W studio HD broadcast monitor.


There is no question that the NON line doubled NTSC analog broadcast presented better overall detail and color with an absence of digital artifact. It was simply a much more watchable picture.

And was by no means anywhere near as good as the analog wildfeeds or Sunday Ticket broadcasts from C-band analog satellite.


OTOH, the Fox Widescreen presentation was riddled with the many sickening digital mpeg and compression artifacts that are documented in another thread today. Even the simplest of motion induced a ghosting and melting artifact that is unmistakable.


Actually it is exactly this type of artifact that is so prevalent on the compressed SD feeds from DirecTV and DISH. This degree of artifact has rendered DBS sports broadcasts simply unwatchable from my point of view.


As a matter of fact, only the aspect ratio clearly distinguished the 480p widescreen product from the standard 4:3 DBS broadcast on ExpressVu of the same game.


Interesting to note that it is precisely this degree of dumbing down of video quality that Fox has held up as "value added" digital programming.


In other words, Fox has endeavored to achieve the same degree of picture quality that the LCD in the population associates with the "incredible digital picture quality of direct broadcast satellite."


In the process, not only are we not getting any HD from Fox, we are in fact being served up a product significantly inferior to the analog broadcasts it is replacing.


Now that my friends truly is cynical...
There is only one feed of the football game to the affiliates. It is the widescreen feed, the analog is a center cut of this feed.


The difference in the two starts at the affiliate.


The digital feed is, as you say, line doubled and sent to the transmitter with no further filtering.


The analog feed is NTSC encoded, which means the color difference signals are reduced from two signals with a bandwidth of 2.75 Mhz each to two signals with bandwidths of 1.5 Mhz and .5 Mhz. Even if this particular feed was an analog upconvert (I don't know, because I didn't see it) it should have at least looked equal to the analog feed. That would be the worst case.


I don't know how ExpressVu gets the signal, so these comparisons may not apply in your case.
 

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This Fox NFL thing is like beating a dead horse (where did that expression come from anyway). I am in total agreement with you that the quality isn't great - but look at the bright side at least you don't have to zoom or stretch and make the football players look like fat midgets - nor do you have to worry about uneven wear on the the sides from watching 4:3. I for one am just happy for that. After watching true HD CBS SEC football nothing will ever compare. It is absolutely stunning. I for one will take FOX as a temporary means to an end - and when they do get real HDTV at least you won't have any "burn in".
 

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When people ask me about FOX's "Enhanced" picture, I readily tell them that it means widescreen and I don't even get into the 480i vs 480p, yaddy yaddy yaddy. People's eyes glaze over when you start to talk about technical stuff beyond the word "WIDESCREEN." To most people 480i and 1080i don't mean anything to them.


I was most disappointed yesterday when I showed up at my brothers house for Thanksgiving Day diner to have him tell me he "has a new toy that he knows I would JUST love!" Knowing how my brother likes to buy big boy toys, I thought he had bought a HD monitor. Nope. He still had his 1999 Toshiba 50 inch NTSC RP but had just added a whole new DD 5.1 sound system. I asked him when he was getting his HD monitor. He replied he didn't care about HD, all he wanted was the DD 5.1 for his DVD's! HDTV was DESIGNED with him in mind and HE doesn't even care! He has digital cable with the Big 4 networks all on the system and transmitting HD/ED on all 4 and he doesn't care! OWAY VAY!


FWIW.


Noting personal, but oh yes, this subject is SO beyond tired. I think EVERYONE has had a say on this, good, bad or indifferent. Can we retire it? IMHO, 4 threads in 2 weeks on this is enough.
 

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I agree that this topic is being "beaten to death". It reminds me of the HBO OAR discussions. We can make our wishes known to the broadcasters and networks but eventually you just have to accept that they are going to do it the way they want to. Now if a representative of one of those entities comes into our forums and tries to justify their position (i.e. MisterANTIDTV) then by all means we should "bring out the big guns" and make our positions known.


I watched the Cowboys - Redskins game on WTTG-DT and thought it looked pretty good, definitely not HD but better than the 4:3 analog. FOX will not get the message until they actually get beat in the ratings by another network showing an HD game the same time they are showing one of their Widescreen games. Hopefully that will be sooner than later.


This is just my opinion, if others want to keep debating these topics they certainly should be allowed to. In my four years on this great forum the only topic I have seen off-limits were the nauseating CODFM vs. ATSC discussions.
 

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Of the 2 games on Thanksgiving, the FOX sidescreen was the much better broadcast. Widescreen is always better than 4x3, all else being equal. As much as I'm disappointed with this semi-HD effort by FOX, the even bigger disappointment is with CBS showing the NE/Detroit national broadcast in 4x3 SD, when they are capable of HD and had been showing SEC HD football for 2 years. CBS easily could have sacrificed one of their two HD college games and gone HD on the New England/Detroit NFL game. When was the last time any NFL game was on HD? The Ravens superbowl?
 

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""all he wanted was the DD 5.1 for his DVD's! """


for now... boys who like toys, will always someday want more :)
 

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To get back to the original topic, the comparison of FOX widescreen to analog OTA or C-band satellite, let me state it in less technical terms.


FOX widescreen is equivalent to anamorphic widescreen, progressive scan DVD.


C-band satellite is a little better than laserdisc, due to LD's higher noise level.


NTSC OTA is a little worse than LD, due to the narrower bandwidth.


These comparisons are based on the maximum capabilities of the various formats not the PQ of individual programs. There will always be variations within each format. Some DVDs look very good, others are poor at best. The same is true of HD programming, CBS sitcoms don't look as good as The Olympics. There are also variations within FOX 480p and even between football games.


Finally, my comparison is based on what FOX widescreen is capable of when the local affiliate adheres to FOX's recommended broadcast chain. Your results may vary if you are getting the feed some other way.


I really don't think we need to go through this every freakin' week, but as long as people keep posting exaggerated claims of how much Faux sucks, I will try to keep them honest.
 

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As I said earlier, I didn't see this game, but I have received confirmation that the PQ was very poor.


Also, as I said earlier, results will vary from game to game.
 

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For what it's worth, I, a Canadian non-football fan, watched a few minutes on ExpressVu yesterday.


The picture was quite obviously non-HD quality, nor is it what I would call "DVD Quality." I've seen DVDs that looked like that, but I wasn't impressed.


That said, the picture quality was far superior to ExpressVu's feed of the Fox station's analog signal, or indeed any of its SD channels
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by spwace

FOX widescreen is equivalent to anamorphic widescreen, progressive scan DVD.
That doesn't sound right. It may be true when it gets to the affiliate, but leaving their transmitter it would have to be a non-anamorphic transmission or it wouldn't have the correct AR via most receivers. Given that, it could equal non-anamorphic DVDs.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Man E
That doesn't sound right. It may be true when it gets to the affiliate, but leaving their transmitter it would have to be a non-anamorphic transmission or it wouldn't have the correct AR via most receivers. Given that, it could equal non-anamorphic DVDs.
Also, isn't it true that for football, since the source is interlaced, Fox widescreen would not be as good as a progressive DVD?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Man E
That doesn't sound right. It may be true when it gets to the affiliate, but leaving their transmitter it would have to be a non-anamorphic transmission or it wouldn't have the correct AR via most receivers. Given that, it could equal non-anamorphic DVDs.
That's correct, the anamorphic squeeze is removed at the affiliate.

Quote:
Originally posted by aviators99
Also, isn't it true that for football, since the source is interlaced, Fox widescreen would not be as good as a progressive DVD?
Also correct, but the same is true of DVD's taken from interlaced sources.
 
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