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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since a lot of content currently broadcast on OTA digital television is not in HD what do you think they should do with the bandwidth? I think that upconverting 4:3 SD programming to 1080i is a waste of bandwidth. Why don't they time shift two sub-channels? For example, the .1 channel would be on normal schedule and the .2 would be an hour or two behind. If they did a good job encoding the picture you would have a high quality 480p picture and since there are very few solutions available today for time shifting or recording digital TV, you would be able to see more of the shows that you want to see.


Does this make sense to anybody but me?


- Mike
 

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Upconversion done poorly does seem silly, though SHOHDs upconversion is amazing.

I think it would be great if they'd do what you suggest, though I really want them to just play HD.

The problem I think is that they are giving "licenses" to broadcast and it typically specifies how often they are allowed to broadcast the show, so if they were allowed to show it twice they would be using both instances in one night rather than spreading it out over multiple nights which would probably get a bigger audience. Though I do think it makes sense to use the bandwidth. Why not stream old reruns of the simpsons 24 hours a day or something like that? (because it costs money and it doesn't get enough additional viewers to warrant it now that very few have SD or HD receivers)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm sure that Showtime has plenty of time to do good upconverts. They may not even do it in house. I think this is a very different situation from what a local station can do. I don't know enough about local station operations and equipment, but I don't think that you can get equivalent results from a box that takes a 601 broadcast feed in and an ATSC stream out.


Your point about how many times they're allowed to show it is well taken though. If there was no additional cost to the broadcaster, then I would think they would come out ahead with the shifted scheme because it would yield a few more total viewers.


- Mike
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by miimura
I'm sure that Showtime has plenty of time to do good upconverts. They may not even do it in house. I think this is a very different situation from what a local station can do. I don't know enough about local station operations and equipment, but I don't think that you can get equivalent results from a box that takes a 601 broadcast feed in and an ATSC stream out.


- Mike
Upconversion is done in real time by taking the standard def signal and running it through a device that converts the input signal to either 720p or 1080i. Several things influence the quality of the process.


First is the quality of the signal you start with. Is it analog NTSC, analog component, or digital component (the 601 signal you mentioned). If it's NTSC, it needs to be decoded to component format first and different decoders produce different results. There are some bad decoders out there. Once it's in component form, it can be upconverted and again results may vary dependent on the quality of the device used.


The most likely explanation for the good results achieved by Showtime, is that they start with a clean component digital signal and upconvert it with a high quality processor.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by miimura
If there was no additional cost to the broadcaster, then I would think they would come out ahead with the shifted scheme because it would yield a few more total viewers.
You'd think. But someone watching "Friends" time-shifted to, say, 10pm won't see the local commercials inserted into real-time "ER." Now, you could solve that by putting the same local commercials into the same slot on the main and time-shifted channels, but that's not how spots are sold. If Jeff Wyler Chevrolet buys "Friends," they expect to see their commercials on "Friends" whether it runs at 8, 9 or 10. It's all about keeping the sponsors happy.


This is the same reason "The Amazing Race" Friday replays disappeared from UPN; local stations balked at the potential loss of viewers who might prefer the later showing and how they'd explain that to advertisers.


Doc
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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Originally posted by DrDon
You'd think. But someone watching "Friends" time-shifted to, say, 10pm won't see the local commercials inserted into real-time "ER." Now, you could solve that by putting the same local commercials into the same slot on the main and time-shifted channels, but that's not how spots are sold. If Jeff Wyler Chevrolet buys "Friends," they expect to see their commercials on "Friends" whether it runs at 8, 9 or 10. It's all about keeping the sponsors happy.
It never occurred to me when I originally proposed the idea that they would change the commercials to match the time slot. I thought the same stream of program and commercials together would be delayed and rebroadcast. It's certainly a lot less work. So, as far as the advertiser is concerned, the ad would still match the program and it wouldn't matter which airing was watched. After all, in a practical sense it's the same channel. I would expect the only thing that they might change is to insert the local blurbs about breaking news or "upcoming on the 11:00 news..."


- Mike
 

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No, but it WOULD matter to the guy who bought commercials on the real-time "ER" if some of the local NBC viewership opted to watch the timeshifted "Friends," instead. Without the timeshifted "Friends," all those local NBC viewers would (theoretically) be tuned to "ER" and his commercials. He's going to want a refund.


Then there's the network breathing down your neck. They need people to watch "The Agency," but your TV station offers a rebroadcast of "Survivor" in the 10pm slot on a subchannel, potentially thinning down the audience for "The Agency." You can bet there's a WB affiliate that would be happy to promise to clear real-time only programming if it would mean snatching the CBS affiliation away from the station that currently has it.


Nasty business, ain't it?
 
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