Now that the Hi-Def transition has happened

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Norm, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. Norm

    Norm Cinematographer

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    Why aren't all the channels being broadcast in Hi-Def?
     
  2. PaulHeroy

    PaulHeroy Stunt Coordinator

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    It wasn't an HD transition, it was a *digital* transition. They are not the same thing. You can broadcast SD video digitally. This move is mainly about reclaiming analog broadcast frequencies so they can be used for other purposes.
     
  3. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    Besides which, there are millions upon millions of cable subscribers with SD sets who don't even really understand what the digital transition was about because, for all intents and purposes, nothing happened.

    What is happening now with Comcast is they are scrapping their analog cable channels and going digital only to increase bandwidth. As Patrick related on a different but related thread, you have to get a QAM tuner that converts digital to analog for SD sets and devices (like my dusty, old, series 2 Tivo). When the analog channels are shut off, you will not longer be able to plug the cable directly into your SDTV or VCR tuner (or even many older HDTV sets with analog cable/8VSB tuners and no QAM like mine).

    Also, Hi-def, of course, requires investments that some channels are not willing to make yet.
     
  4. Mark_B

    Mark_B Second Unit

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    Now correct me if I'm wrong, but if everything is now digital, HD broadcasts will be sent letterboxed to 4:3 sets. There will be bars top and bottom if you don't have a wide screen set. If this is so, can the networks please move their bugs to the corners instead of having them in the middle where the 4:3 screens end! The only network that does this is Fox. The others are in the middle.

    Just a pet peeve of mine.
     
  5. Brian^K

    Brian^K Supporting Actor

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    There are two ways to deal with down-converting HD for display on analog televisions: letter-boxing and center-cutting. Given that the folks who are "still" using analog televisions are, on average, less technically sophisticated as compared to folks who only have HDTVs, it would not be surprising for more of these less technically sophisticated folks to complain about black bars, so we may see a good bit of center-cutting. (More technically sophisticated could be told to use zoom to accomplish that, if they wished it.)

    I suspect as long as anyone is center-cutting, and as long as anyone out there is zooming, there will be some incentive for broadcasters to leave their network identification in the center area of the screen.
     
  6. Steve Berger

    Steve Berger Supporting Actor

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    My prediction is that we will see center-cutting for about the next 10 years. As long there is TV content which was produced prior to the HD transition, still being aired, they'll probably still center-cut for broadcast.

    The typical lifespan of the last analog TVs is 15 + years, so they could be around for quite a while. A 2002 model could still be ticking along in 2020.
     
  7. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    This has been discussed before, but since the cable companies will continue to broadcast the network feeds as SD and HD, they will be the ones in charge of displaying the SD material. I assume that they will continue to crop off the sides of the picture rather than letterbox, which means that the bugs will stay in the middle of the screen.

    The real question is how many shows are filming for widescreen only and how many are still protecting for 4:3, either by choice or force of habit? Because if viewers on 4:3 sets keep missing what's going on, they may start to clamor for letterboxing. If it's protected, the viewers won't notice the cropping. If most people are watching on 4:3 sets via their SD cable stations, then it would behoove the producers to shoot with 4:3 in mind lest viewers tune out of certain shows because the cropped version is "confusing to watch".
     
  8. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I think it depends on what the affiliate provides to the cable company. The local CBS and WRGB affiliate are owned by the same company, and both provide a letterboxed feed to the cable company -- meaning windowboxed 4x3 content and visible closed captioning data along the top. The NBC affiliate here has some sort of auto detect, whereby 16x9 content flickers for a moment and becomes letterboxed and 4x3 content flickers a moment and gets centercut.
     
  9. Norm

    Norm Cinematographer

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    I agree but I still think the networks are going to kowtow to the masses who still have the old 4:3 sets. Thinking the 16:9 crowd won't notice.
     
  10. Brian^K

    Brian^K Supporting Actor

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    No, not "won't notice" but rather just don't amount to enough people to trump the substantially larger contingent of Average Joe's.
     
  11. Norm

    Norm Cinematographer

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    Well i pointed it out to my Dad the other night & he looked at me like who cares. And then he said he never noticed it. I guess because he's so use to it. I wish we could turn them off.
     

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