Question about HDTV programming.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Augustin Rodriguez, Oct 21, 2002.

  1. Augustin Rodriguez

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    I do apologize if this is not in the right section, but here goes.

    When we make the conversion in 2006, or whenever, will the programming requirements for HDTV broadcasts only effect off air broadcasts, or will cable and satellite companies be required to show their content in HD also? If cable and satellite companies are not required to show their content in HD I think it will be at least a decade before we see all content, in any format, in HD.

    What incentive would the cable and satellite companies have to spend money and broadcast all of their stuff in HD if they don't have to. Also if they are required to show their content or shows in HD, will we see matted pan-and-scan versions or the original aspect ratio reproduced for our viewing? I've done some searches on this topic and I cannot see where anyone has discussed this in particular.

    It makes me wonder what future HD will have if we won't even see it with our local cable and satellite providers. I have an HDTV now and do see some HD channels, but not enough to keep me entertained for more than a couple hours. We know they will have to re-broadcast any local channels in HD because the original source will be HD, but not other channels like HBO.

    I do not presume to know every little detail about HD or it's release date so if you respond about my topic please go easy on me. I look forward to hearing from my fellow members. Thank you.

    Augustin Rodriguez
     
  2. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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  3. Augustin Rodriguez

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    Can a moderator please move this to the right section. Thank you.
     
  4. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    As a quick answer: Broadcast uses public airwaves, therefore they can easily be forced into things like digital. Cable channels are NOT, but the FCC can make their lives difficult until they give in.
     
  5. Jim Robbins

    Jim Robbins Stunt Coordinator

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    Most of my HD viewing is coming from OTA with the local CBS station WRAL-HD leading the way. The other networks have very little content but ABC is getting better. All I presently get on DTS is HBO-HD which I watch a good deal (even movies I won't watch otherwise). The 119 sat has HD-NET and a few more channels but 2003 will bring quite a few more channels. It would seem to me that about half of the channels have very little interest and could make room for HD channels. On the otherhand all those local channels could not be made HD without putting up a lot more satelites and I don't see that happening.
     
  6. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    Cable companies are starting to realize they have to compete. If people can get HD shows over the air or via satellite but not through their systems, they face the very real potential of cancellations.

    Here in Las Vegas, COX cable has just started offering HD boxes. It's just a few channels at this point, but it is a step in the right direction.
     
  7. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Augustin, it is a misconception that telecasts must be in high-definition by any date. What is required, is for the telecasts to be digital. The digital telecasts may or may not be in HD. For example Fox’s decision to telecast digitally in 480p, meets the FCC requiremnt, though it does not meet a good many Ht enthusiasts’ wishes (the lamentable lack of HD on the World Series, for instance).
    The reason for the FCC’s requirement is so that bandwidth will be freed up for other, commercial uses. As this reason does not apply to satellite or (especially cable), it these services will be in HD for commercial, competitive reasons, but not likely to meet governmental requirements.
     
  8. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Let me 2nd what Lew has just said.

    This Hi-Def and Digital confusion is really bad right now.

    Digital = HOW the picture is brought to your receiver

    Hi-Def = what type of signal is brought to your receiver

    The conversion is only to DIGITAL, not to HD. ANYONE will be able to buy a digital TV receiver to get their local channels, even if they have an old TV. These set top boxes will just tune the station, extract the digital signal, downconvert from HD if necessary, and send out a video signal just like a VCR or DVD player already does today.

    Satellite TV is DIGITAL, but ask anyone about how much HD stuff is on there (not much and it usually requires a dish that can catch signals from 2 different satellites, or 2 seperate dishes even if the sats are farther apart in the sky).


    RIGHT NOW, you could buy a HD and/or SAT receiver, say the RCA DTC100. You could slap an antenna on it (just a regular VHF and UHF style) and if you are in a market that already has DIGITAL stations broadcasting you could watch those stations. Now, without a HD set you wouldn't be able to see any HD stuff they were sending, but you would get the benefits of digital broadcasting (like some 5.1 sound and crystal clear picture).

    You would NOT need a DirecTV subscription to do this. Stations are broadcasting over the air digital signals just like they already broadcast over the air analog signals.

    The only difference is that they piggy-back 1s and 0s on the waves rather than the analog video signal itself. The 1s and 0s are, of course, the bits that make up the digital version of the same video.

    The waves being used are at standard frequencies just like your old stations were (such as channel 9 or 22 or 58). Your regular tuner does NOT recognize the bitstream on these waves as a video signal however, so it can not tune these stations. You need a tuner for digital broadcasts.
     
  9. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Now, back to the issue Augustin is bringing up.

    Who will broadcast HD stuff?

    Anyone with unlimited bandwidth...ie, local stations that have to broadcast ONLY their signal and have the full 6MHz to do it (given to them by the FCC).

    Of course, these stations still need source material in HD in the first place. Also, these stations like to use the subbands on the digital stations to send out multiple video signals (like local weather).

    Cable and Sat companies have a real problem with bandwidth limits. Adding HD stations sucks up a lot more bandwidth and reduces their station roster. They will have to make the choice between 10 HDs stations or 20 regular stations. And they will also need HD sources.

    All in all, I don't think HD is just around the corner really and I certainly don't think 2006 will bring about some new attitude.

    However, HD-DVD should be on us in just 2 years, refined and cheap within 4. So that 2006 date still might work out, but only because HD-DVD might drive the demand for more HD programming.

    Until consumers show that HD shows get better ratings than 2 or 3 non-HD shows there will remain little incentive for broadcasters to focus on getting full bandwidth HD out to consumers.

    Also as Lew pointed out, there are several different views of HD - 720p, 1080i, and lame FOX's 480p thing. And that's a whole other can of worms.
     

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