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HDTV is always 16:9 Telecast?


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#1 of 21 kumar

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Posted November 29 2003 - 01:34 PM

Hi all,

I am quite new to Bigscreen TVs. I am considering buying a Widescreen TV. I read a lot about burn-ins and I understand your views on it.

Here is my basic question. Does all HD Transmission have a 16:9 aspect ratio?

I have Time Warner in my area and they telecast all the local channels (6 news channels) in HD Transmission plus PBS is in HD. They also offer HBO and Showtime in HD if we have subscribed for it. Now my question is, Does it mean all these channels will appear in 16:9 for me if I have a HD TV and a tuner/decoder connected?

If that is the case, I also hear(from all these sales rep ofcourse) that by 2005 all TVs must have Digital Tuners, which forces indirectly all the networks to go HD. IS that so? Does that mean in the next 2 or 3 years we all will be watching 16:9 at our home always (whether, DVD, or Regular TV)

A long thread. But pls do answer my questions. I could not get all these answers in the HT Primer.
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#2 of 21 Jeremy Scott

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Posted November 29 2003 - 01:45 PM

yes, it will all be 16:9

#3 of 21 kumar

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Posted November 29 2003 - 04:15 PM

Wow! So what the sales rep said for onnce is true. That all the TV Network by 2006/7 will have only HD Transmission.

That will be cool to watch all the sports, movies in 16:9

Thanks Jeremy.
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#4 of 21 Mark:F

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Posted November 30 2003 - 04:11 AM

Sorry to say, it's not exactly so. I have TWC in Syracuse with HDTV, same stations that you have available. The HDTV stations all broadcast HDTV quality, but not all 16:9...the exception is Discover Theater which is all 16:9.
It gets a little complicated-
-HBO and Showtime send along the aspect ratio of the original material, so you get 16:9 when they're showing a widescreen movie or an original show, but if they're showing an old movie or show it will probably be 4:3 with black bars on the side.
-The networks are all messed up...I don't know if it has to do with local station facilities or network limitations...for example NBC HDTV locally does Leno in 16:9....awesome...but local and national news is 4:3...I wish someone in this forum could explain that, it makes no sense.
All that said, the HDTV is sensational, and the better TV's will blow you away on DVD's too...the better the TV, the better you'll get non-HDTV stations' 4:3 material....it can't be more than a couple of years before everything will be at least available in HDTV 16:9...go for it!

#5 of 21 Jeff Gatie

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Posted November 30 2003 - 04:49 AM

True HDTV content is always 16:9. Movies sometimes have black bars in the HD picture to preserve aspect ratio. Local newscasts or shows with black bars on the side are always non-HD content that is upscaled to HD. So, yes all true HD content is 16:9, but not all that is broadcast on a given HD channel is true HD.

#6 of 21 Mark:F

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Posted November 30 2003 - 05:35 AM

Sounds reasonable Jeff...can you explain why Leno is true HDTV and NBC news is upscaled?...who decides that?
Also, I had thought HBO HDTV has bars when necessary on top and bottom to preserve aspect ratio for widescreen material, just like DVD's do...but I thought side bars on HBO would have to mean the material wasn't widescreen format...is that true?

#7 of 21 Jeff Gatie

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Posted November 30 2003 - 06:53 AM

Sidebars on HBO are for material that was filmed 4:3, not 16:9. This is often material that is not HD, just like the other HD channels. Leno uses HD cameras to film, the news does not. Until all newsrooms, SportsCenter, etc are upgraded to HD cameras and editing equipment, they are stuck filming in 4:3. When each upgrade takes place is up to the station. ESPN is said to be building a new HD capable studio to open in 2004.

#8 of 21 kumar

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Posted November 30 2003 - 11:54 AM

I can see the reason behind Jeff's post.
Because when I watch Leno they say it is HD transmission. Our local CBS news cast is on HD, but the ABC news and FOX news are not.
So I guess these news cast, Leno etc I will get over 16:9.

Is my understanding right?
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#9 of 21 Mark:F

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Posted December 01 2003 - 01:08 AM

Thanks Jeff for your clear explanation.

#10 of 21 Tim K

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Posted December 01 2003 - 02:41 AM

All HD material is 16:9. The confusion is that people believe that "Digital Broadcasts" equal HDTV. The FCC has mandated that stations switch over to digital broadcasts and turn over their analog frequencies. These stations have analog and digital channels. Most of the time the digital channel carries the exact same broadcast as the analog, but in digital form...this does not mean HD. All this means is that the signal is transmitted differently...the material is still exactly the same. If you watch "Jerry Springer" on the analog broadcast it will be 4:3. If you watch it on the digital broadcast it will be 4:3. The picture quality will be better simply because it is a digital feed and not really subject to interference, it has no added resolution

The majority of HD programming is:
-NETWORK broadcasts (mostly primetime, some sports, and Leno)
-PBS HD demo loop
-ESPN has a few games and "Playmakers"
-Discovery and HDNet have pay HD channels
-HBO and SHO have upconverted movies

All other broadcasts on the digital channels will be 4:3 standard definition broadcasts. When you receive these on a widescreen TV, your cable/sat box will display them with black bars on the sides.

Note: upconverted material like HBO HD movies and Primetime TV shows will not look as if you are staring out a window. The picture will be WAY better than the standard image, but not quite as stunning as true HD. If you want True HD, you need a program that was filmed with HD cameras...such as Leno, Monday night football, PBS demo, HDNet or Discovery HD.

#11 of 21 kumar

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Posted December 01 2003 - 03:32 AM

Tim, Thanks for your explanation.

Is there any plans/deadlines for the Network Stations to convert all their programming to HD?
I heard they have to convert all their transmissions to Digital by '05 or '06. Does that mean more and more programs/stations would also switch over to HD Cameras and start shooting on HD.
I guess with the kind of locations, Survivor may be good to be shot on HD Camera. ain't it?
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#12 of 21 Mark:F

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Posted December 01 2003 - 05:26 AM

Tim or Jeff...one last question...my local ABC station uses grey bars instead of black, saying that the grey bars are equivalent to 60% luminance in a normal scene, thereby eliminating the possibility of damage to plasma monitors. Sound right to you?

#13 of 21 Jeff Gatie

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Posted December 01 2003 - 06:45 AM

Tv manufacturers and broadcasters often use grey sidebars because they cut down on the risk of burnin. Since the black bars are a large difference in contrast from the picture being displayed, they are less prone to wear than the display area, thus causing uneven phosphor wear or "burnin". The grey bars are less of a contrast, so they wear about the same as the display area, thus reducing "burnin".

#14 of 21 Stephen Tu

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Posted December 01 2003 - 08:20 AM

Quote:
All other broadcasts on the digital channels will be 4:3 standard definition broadcasts. When you receive these on a widescreen TV, your cable/sat box will display them with black bars on the sides

To be a bit more accurate, in most cases the digital channels, when not broadcasting HD, are upconverting their SD feed to 720p/1080i HD, adding bars to the sides, ending up with an upconverted 4:3 picture within a 16:9 window.
Exception is ESPN which is doing a full stretch to 16:9, plus some oddball stations doing partial zooms to 14:9.

Quote:
HBO and SHO have upconverted movies

This is not true. HBO movies are all true HD transfers from film. SHO is a mixture of true HD transfers and upconverts, more upconverts than I would like. If you go to showtime's website and check their HD schedule they distinguish between the real HD and the upconverts.

Now HD transfers of film have a different look than HD video, because of issues like depth-of-field and sometimes grainy film. It certainly can look stunning but there is greater variability.

#15 of 21 Jeff Gatie

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Posted December 01 2003 - 08:28 AM

Thanks, Steven. I was just going to post about the upconvert vs. SDTV issue and the look of film transfers vs. native HD content. You beat me to it. Also, to correct another misnomer from above, the 4:3 content that has black bars on the side is not the same as the regular content broadcast on the analog channel(s). Jerry Springer on an analog channel will be full width, the digital upconvert will be broadcast with the bars in the signal, unless they do like ESPN and stretch the 4:3 to 16:9. This will greatly effect how you view the material and which (if any) stretch/zoom modes you use on you HDTV.

#16 of 21 William K

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Posted December 02 2003 - 04:15 AM

I too have been trying to read up on HDTV and bigger TV's since (thanks to my wife's suggestion) I'm now in the market!

So if I buy, say a Toshiba 42", will I most likely be watching most programs in a "stretched" mode when not watching DVDs, ESPEN or Leno if I do not have HBO or Show time but susbscribe to the HDTV cable?

I'm assuming for the next 4 years or so I'll watch most "regular" programmming in a stetch so as to not: a)burn the screen w/ black bars and b) make use of the full 42" by filling the whole picture.

#17 of 21 JohnSni

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Posted December 02 2003 - 04:25 AM

Tim K - why then is ABC Monday night football advertised to be in HD, but broadcast, at least in ATL market via OTA Antenna, in 4:3?

This is truly annoying to me....am I doing something wrong?

When I tune in CBS OTA I get a super crisp 1080i HD signal and the CBS SEC game of the week looks incredible.

EPSN HD Broadcasts of the Sunday night NFL in 720p look good, particularly at night. I think the 1080i is superior.

Further, if the forum doesn't mind commenting, the OTA material looks much better than my directTV 1080i material (HD Net, etc)....I have a Zenith Sat 520 pumping through a brand new Tosh 57H83.
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#18 of 21 JohnSni

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Posted December 02 2003 - 04:39 AM

For my research Toshiba and Hitachi had the best stretech modes....though the NEWER Hitachi's were best....The S series rather than the F series.

You'll see the F series on sale quite a bit - don't be fooled.
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#19 of 21 Jeff Gatie

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Posted December 02 2003 - 05:13 AM

Quote:
why then is ABC Monday night football advertised to be in HD, but broadcast, at least in ATL market via OTA Antenna, in 4:3?


Something is wrong. Maybe your station is unable to broadcast the HD signal. I'd call you local ABC affiliate.

Quote:
the OTA material looks much better than my directTV 1080i material (HD Net, etc)....


All depends on the source and whether or not they are compressing. OTA/Cable live sports tend to look the best. TV dramas and sitcoms are good. Movies are all over the place depending on if they are upconverted, poor transfer etc. The differences you see may be due to satellite compression. I can't compare becasue I have cable.

#20 of 21 kumar

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Posted December 02 2003 - 06:36 AM

william, yes looks like if you do not have a HD transmission, you would be watching the programs/shows on the stretched mode.... or with vertical bars.
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