Ackkk! Digital Watermark behind the TV image on "Alias"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Randy Tennison, Feb 4, 2003.

  1. Randy Tennison

    Randy Tennison Screenwriter

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    I just wrote a nasty letter to my local ABC affilate (KMBC Kansas City). While watching Alias, I noticed that the station had place a full screen sized "watermark" of the station logo on the screen. It was only really visable during dark scenes. However, Alias had plenty of dark scenes, so each time, my eye would get distracted to this embossed image of the station logo showing out of a characters back, or the black wall, etc. It was almost like an image burn of the logo on my tv. But of course, they didn't put it on the commercials.

    Has anyone else noticed this? I find this 100x more annoying than the network bugs. At least with the bug, it is there all the time. With this watermark, you wouldn't see it until a dark scene, and then "Bammo". There it is. It really pulled me out of the show several times.
     
  2. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    Not good news, but the rest of us should be experiencing the same video vandalism (you heard that here first) very soon. As we learned in Oklahoma!....Kansas City is cutting edge:
    "Ev'rythin's up to date in Kansas City
    They've gone about as fur as they c'n go!
    They went and built a skyscraper seven stories high,
    About as high as a buildin' orta grow.
    Ev'rythin's like a dream in Kansas City,
    It's better than a magic lantern show!
    Y' c'n turn the radiator on whenever you want some heat.
    With ev'ry kind o' comfort ev'ry house is all complete.
    You c'n walk to privies in the rain and never wet your feet!
    They've gone about as fur as they c'n go,
    (Yes sir!)
    They've gone about as fur as they c'n go!
    Ev'rythin's up to date in Kansas City
    They've gone about as fur as they c'n go!
    "
     
  3. MancusoB

    MancusoB Agent

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    You know, this may or may not be related, but every once in a while I can see a full screen "ghost" image of my local ABC affliate's logo on screen. It usually occurs at a commercial break when the screen goes black, waiting for the start of the commercial.

    It looks a lot like one of the station ID screens that the station uses sometimes, but it's barely visible... almost a ghost. It looks similar to screen burn-in.

    I've often wondered if it's present all the time during programming as a subliminal message.
     
  4. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    Hopefully, this is just bleed-over from another video switcher input, or a down-stream key that is on by accident, but "clipped" off so that whoever is in Master Control hasn't noticed (i.e., someone bumped the "clipping" knob on the switcher by mistake). I've seen a local affiliate do that and not notice it for several hours.

    If this isn't an accident and becomes standard practice, I will stop watching even the good shows, and wait for tv-on-dvd.

    -Scott
     
  5. Joel Mack

    Joel Mack Cinematographer

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  6. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    Heh, the problem is, the average joe is too lazy to complain anymore. We have to wait for things to get really bad before something happens [​IMG].
     
  7. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    I hadn't caught that yet Randy, but my NBCABC viewing has dropped lately.

    Sill, just knowing it is there will drive me crazy. [​IMG]

    *Edit : Don't know my station letters *
     
  8. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    Was it THAT stations logo of the ABC logo?
     
  9. Joel Mack

    Joel Mack Cinematographer

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  10. Nick Graham

    Nick Graham Screenwriter

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    Don't drop this on me...if I get a job I am currently in the running for (and have a very good chance of getting due to family friends being in high places) I was highly considering moving to the Olathe area (all my in-laws live there, and my wife grew up there...and I grew up only an hour away in Ft. Scott). The prospect of finally getting OTA HDTV had me hyped, so don't tell me they are doing this (then again...I don't watch much of anything on any network other than Fox). Surely if it was full screen it's just a glitch from KMBC. BTW, aren't they the idiots who broadcast the name of the hospital where the victim of a failed murder attempt was staying when the would-be murderer was still on the loose a couple months back?
     
  11. Randy Tennison

    Randy Tennison Screenwriter

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    I received a response today by email. Basically, they stated it was an technical glitch that should now be corrected.

    RIGHT!

    If it was a technical glitch, why did it not continue into the commercials?????? The logo was gone during each commercial. I looked very hard to see if it was still there.

    I guess we will just have to wait and see if they were telling the truth.

    On a related note, I wish they would tell me how they did it. I am editing a church fund raising video, and would love to have a watermark in the image! [​IMG]
     
  12. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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  13. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    Most of the commercials during prime time are "national" commercials sold by the network and included in the network's satellite signal. The TV stations air these commercials in a totally passive way, i.e. the signal path of these commercials is the same as the program. There is no need for routing or switching until it is time for a "local" commercial, which during prime time comes about once every half hour.

    The only thing the TV station has to do when it is time for a network commercial break is to remove its bug. This should be a clue of the cause: it is likely that the TV station's bug inserter was flaked out and was displaying the station's bug full screen instead of shrunk down in a corner as it normally is.
     
  14. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

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    Glitch or no, it's kind of a scary possibility. If people accept opaque bugs at the bottom right, and animated interruptions all over the screen, than why not a watermark?

    I'm so happy that most of my favorite shows are on pay TV. I only have to deal with station logos on 24 and Stargate SG-1. Everything else I watch is inconsequential enough that I don't care.
     
  15. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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  16. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    "The only thing the TV station has to do when it is time for a network commercial break is to remove its bug."

    No, they have to remove it after it's been onscreen for 15 seconds, if it's on at all! [​IMG]
     
  17. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    Let's not confuse what they have to do with what you want them to do.
     
  18. Joel Mack

    Joel Mack Cinematographer

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  19. Randy Tennison

    Randy Tennison Screenwriter

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    Just fyi, I finally watched my Tivo'd episode of Dragnet, and the logo was there as well.

    I guess we'll see tomorrow!
     

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