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The lead engineer from my local PBS affiliate just told HDTV enthusiasts here that starting in July PBS will no longer convert digital widescreen shows to 1080i for distribution as they are now doing. His explanation is as follows:


"Take a show like "Nature"- almost exclusively produced in widescreen digital. If you have a progressive display and we trasmitted it in 1080i, you would see a picture that had been converted from 480i to 1080i, and then to either 720p or 480p. This double-conversion introduces artifacts. It's better to just transmit the show in 480i, and then let each consumer receiver convert it to the proper format for the display. One conversion instead of two."


I wish I knew what the consequences of this decision are (if any).


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Rich Peterson

DBS Consumer Guide Author
 

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IMHO, this is exactly the right thing to do. All programming should be transmitted in its native format (especially 4:3 as I have ranted about in the past).


The only potential problem is a momentary glitch while the receiver and/or TV resynch to the new format.


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STOP DVI/HDCP; Boycott JVC


[This message has been edited by Larry Hutchinson (edited 05-11-2001).]
 

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That's fine as long as they're broadcasting it in 704x480 16:9 format. If they broadcast in 4:3 format with letterboxing, as NBC is doing with "ER", that would be a real bonehead thing to do.


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You have a right to install OTA and dish antennas on property under your control.


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It sounds Like PBS'a commitment to give us the Best Quality

possible.

As someone said earlier. How will we see widescreen on. Will it be letterbox with black bars on allsides or in the 14x9 format?
 

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Huh? I thought those Nature shows were being broadast in 480p widescreen, and that my Dish 6000 was doing the upcast to 1080i. I didn't even know there was a DTV widescreen variant that uses 480i.


Dave



[This message has been edited by davestill (edited 05-11-2001).]
 

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The 704x480 DTV format is valid for either the 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratios, and for either 480i (60i), or 480p (60p, 30p, 24p).


There's also 640x480 formats at 4:3 (square pixels to make the PC guys happy).


So PBS could be sending out 16:9 704x480 480i, which if derived from film material using 3:2 pulldown, would contain essentially the same information as 480p (24p).


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You have a right to install OTA and dish antennas on property under your control.


See http://www.fcc.gov/csb/facts/otard.html
 

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I wonder how this will affect the HD Demo channel which has been showing some of the Nature widescreen shows. Will PBS stop showing the widescreen SD material completely or will they change the transmission to 480 when one of these shows comes on?
 
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