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Fox and HDTV (1 Viewer)

Doug Smith

Second Unit
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
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361
I was just passing through the few HDTV channels available in the Vancouver area through Shaw. Anyways I come across Boston Public on one of them. Its definitely in widescreen but it doesn't have the same quality as the other HDTV stuff. Just wondering how they're broadcasting it? Do they do other shows as well?
 

Adam_ME

Supporting Actor
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May 31, 2002
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930
Fox broadcasts their shows in what is technically called "standard definition". I believe the resolution of their SD presentations is 480p which is about on par with DVDs.
 
Joined
Jul 16, 2000
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Hey Doug, I'm in Vancouver too and I was wondering how's shaws HDTV service. Is it worth the $700 price tag for the box. How much are you paying a month afterwards and what channels are you getting. Thanks!
 

MikeM

Screenwriter
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Nov 23, 1999
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Yeah, technally speaking, Fox doesn't do HDTV since they broadcast in only 480p. For it to be classified as "High Definition", it has to be greater than 480p. (720p, 1080i, etc.)

For their shows it's a crap shoot. I've seen their NFL games in 480p look damn good. Then, I've seen the next week of games look like crap. It really depends on the show, but Fox has never shown anything as good as CBS's 1080i, etc.
 

Patrick Sun

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Fox calls it "High Resolution" and it's more like EDTV (Extended Definition", but as noted before, it's only DVD 480p quality, not HD quality. Isn't SDTV more like 480i (typical NTSC broadcast quality)?
 

Hanson

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SDTV used to be 480i or 480p, but they now classify 480p as EDTV (enhanced definition). True HDTV is 720p or 1080i.

While I'd love for Fox to start broadcasting in true HD, 480p looks damn fine, especially upconverted to 1080i. And they broadcast a bunch of shows in widescreen to boot.
 

Doug Smith

Second Unit
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
361
To Andrew:
I think I was one of the first to pick up Motorola's 5100 HD cable box in early January. I had bought a Toshiba 57"HDTV in December so I figured what the... The box is actually only 599.00 CAN as you get a hundred dollar programming credit. The box is a major improvement on their previous digital box - it has both an optical and a coaxe digital out. It has Dolby Digital output (in Vancouver thats channel 60 and up, and it upconverts the lower channels signals to digital so that you don't have to switch (when in the lower channels) to analog as in the old digital boxes. When I first bought the box there were 3 HD channels being delivered - channel 136 was a mish mash of PBS HDTV material (which I still think is the most superior picture quality in HD), and stuff from other networks that was coming in in HD, CBS's HDTV channel (138), and NBC's (139) - these channels are all free with purchase of the box. In the last week two more channels have been addes, and that special HDTV channel is now on 130. One of the new channels is apparently Fox's - as I have mentioned. If you have an HDTV widescreen and don't have a digital box, for sure get the 5100 over the old box - its worth the extra dough.
 

Garrett Adams

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Sep 27, 2000
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931
The local Oakland and Sacramento FOX stations upconvert their Wide-screen 'High Resolution' programs to 720p. Not quite as good as HDTV but close.
 

Dan Hitchman

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Don't give Fox one damn bit of credit. Their quality sucks (I could be talking about their shows too, but I won't get into that here-- although, even The Simpsons' creators agree with me and others; have you seen some of their latest rips on Fox??), and they have no intention of doing any better until they're dragged kicking and screaming into HDTV-land.

Rupert Murdoch is the antichrist of network TV (in Britain they probably call him the same for tabloid newspapers).

For the record, Fox Widescreen is 480i and the affiliates upconvert to 480p, however many of the shows originate on 35mm film or high definition video cameras.

Dan
 

Doug Smith

Second Unit
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Mar 14, 2002
Messages
361
If something is coming over the HDTV channels in 740p or 480p, will my motorola upconvert to 1080i (which I have set it for) or down convert it to 480i?
 

Jeff Kohn

Supporting Actor
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Dec 29, 2001
Messages
680
But isn't Fox just deinterlacing 480i to 480p?
Yes they are. In the case of filmed material, if it's encoded correctly the reverse 3:2 pulldown can be performed to get the original progressive frame, just like with DVD's. That said, none of the Fox 16:9 filmed programming looks anywhere near the quality of a good DVD, at least not here in Houston. Not only are there more jaggies and pixelation, but there's also a serious chroma delay error (which I think may just be a Houston thing).

As for the sports programming, it's shot with 480i video cameras, so it is not true 480p, the fact that it's deinterlaced is no different than any other local affiliate deinterlacing SD material. Fox Sports programming is just 480i 16:9, and since they shoot to protect for 4:3, the only real advantage over regular SDTV is that you don't have bars on the side. None of the Fox sports programming I've seen looked very good, especially compared to CBS/ABC. The 2002 Superbowl looked absolutely pathetic on Fox compared to the 2001 and 2003 games which were in true HD.

Fox may think they can fool J6P into thinking their "High Resolution Digital TV" is just as good as HDTV, and some people might actually buy it for the filmed programming, but for live video events the difference is night and day and Fox will be at a big disadvantage.
 

DaveBB

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 24, 1999
Messages
788
There have been some rumors that Fox might go high def in a couple of years. According to some posts on avsforum.com some Fox network people have been at some trade shows asking a lot of questions about 720p equipment for production. Apparently the story is that they'll hold on to 480p standard def as long as possible and go to 720p high def in a couple of years when the equipment is more reasonably priced.

My guess is that in two or three years Fox will go high def, act like they invented it and hype it so much that it seems almost as good as the second coming of Christ.

but Fox has never shown anything as good as CBS's 1080i, etc.
Fox had one test showing of Independence Day in 1080i about 3 or 4 years ago and that was it.
 

Hanson

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the only real advantage over regular SDTV is that you don't have bars on the side
Don't know about you, but simply due to the fact that it's digital, the PQ for SDTV via cable doesn't even come close. I don't know what your affiliate is doing, but my Fox picture is DVD quality.

And while I do fault Fox for not going full out with HDTV, they could be worse -- my UPN station's HD dept is run by monkeys. Their digital broadcasts actually look worse than cable, and for a week it was horribly pixelated -- I mean, it was like watching an 320X240 MPEG1 clip full screen on a 1024X768 desktop.

CBS has been the only net to do this right -- the majority of their prime time schedule is in HD.
 

Jeff Kohn

Supporting Actor
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Don't know about you, but simply due to the fact that it's digital, the PQ for SDTV via cable doesn't even come close. I don't know what your affiliate is doing, but my Fox picture is DVD quality.
I should have clarified, when I was talking about SDTV I was referring to OTA DTV broadcast, not digital cable/satellite, which for the most part is over-compressed and looks like crap.
 

Wayne Bundrick

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CBS has been the only net to do this right -- the majority of their prime time schedule is in HD.
I know ABC doesn't have any shows worth watching, HD or not, but most of their prime time schedule is also HD, plus they do 5.1 audio on a regular basis.
 

MikeM

Screenwriter
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Nov 23, 1999
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The local Oakland and Sacramento FOX stations upconvert their Wide-screen 'High Resolution' programs to 720p. Not quite as good as HDTV but close.
Hmmm...I'm in Oakland, and when I use HD decoder box, it shows it at 480p. Are you sure your TV or STB isn't upconverting this for you?

The gist of it is, however, that when it comes to HDTV, Fox sucks.
 

Hanson

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I know ABC doesn't have any shows worth watching, HD or not
LOL! Ain't that the truth! I don't watch a single ABC show on a regular basis. Sure, events like the Superbowl and Oscars require that I tune into ABC, but I have nothing from their prime time schedule programmed on my Tivo.

In the NYC area, you either get CBS & Fox OTA or ABC and NBC via cable. I happily went with OTA since a) I also wanted to record, and there are no solutions for recording QAM signals, and b) I almost never watch ABC.
 

Patrick Sun

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Jun 30, 1999
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Well, I enjoy Alias and Dragnet, and others seem to still be enjoying NYPD Blue and The Practice (though both are getting long in the tooth).
 

Doug Smith

Second Unit
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
361
It seems to me (being rather new to high def) that the networks could pick and choose their HD shows a little better. I mean whats the point of watching Everybody likes Raymond in Hd - its filmed on a stage. This is why the PBSW shows (like travelogues) and football games are so fun to watch - the camera is way back and the far off clarity really show off HDTV to its fullest. I guess this why these types of shows are playing in the audio/visual stores.
 

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