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post #31 of 121 Old 11-22-2018, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by TampBayOTA View Post
Oh yeah, those annoying main channels, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CW, all hidden! (Yes I am serious.)

Along with all the foreign, religion, shopping junk...

I'm not as big a fan of diginents I was just a few months ago. It may be my imagination, but I swear they now spend more time broadcasting advertisements than they do broadcasting programs.
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post #32 of 121 Old 11-22-2018, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by tenthplanet View Post
That's just the beginning. In an attempt to be cinematic there is a ton of shows that are shot soft, and sometimes dark. If you think live sports and the commercials look the best sometimes you're not imagining it. Add that in to everything else and you can see why 4k broadcasting (if it really comes) might not get people all that excited.

I am NOT an industry insider, just an end-user who really enjoys sharp video.

My fear, based on my view of past broadcasting history, is that ATSC 3.0 will solve nothing.
It will simply allow a greater number of over-compressed programs to be crammed into one channel.
I looked at some videos I recently took with a $200 DVR, and they looked better than anything I've seen recently via OTA or Xfinity/Comcast. I simply could not believe how crystal clear they looked.
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post #33 of 121 Old 11-22-2018, 04:23 PM
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I'm not as big a fan of diginents I was just a few months ago. It may be my imagination, but I swear they now spend more time broadcasting advertisements than they do broadcasting programs.
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post #34 of 121 Old 11-24-2018, 10:09 AM
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^^^ Thanks for the updates.

I just looked at the chart you linked to and it indicates that the AAC audio is encrypted. Huh?
It's not - some of the reporting on the website is incorrect.

The only thing that is protected for HD OTA channels in the UK is the 7 day programme guide (SD channels have an open DVB EIT guide) The HD programme guide data is compressed (not encrypted) using proprietary Huffman compression tables (as is the Freesat EPG for all channels). This is to require commercial HD PVRs to be licensed by Freeview and as part of this the licensing terms mandate DTCP DRM or similar is enforced on recordings of HD content. However the tables have been widely reverse engineered and are included in lots of Open Source software (TV Headend for instance) so this isn't a major restriction.
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post #35 of 121 Old 11-24-2018, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
If you mean the same affiliates' picture quality on Comcast or FiOS vs OTA, that'll depend on what the affiliate sends to them. Generally speaking, it's the same format and bitrate that's being broadcast. While it's certainly possible to send MPVDs a higher bitrate than what's being broadcast, it requires, putting it simply, a whole 'nuther rack of expensive gear with no way to recover the cost.
I've heard DirecTV gets higher quality feeds of some stations, even though they mostly just use OTA. The higher the quality the feed, the easier and more efficient it is to re-compress. However, most cable systems just take two 8VSB channels and re-modulate them into one QAM channel, and let the OTA stations deal with the compression.

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I sometimes get really bad pixelation on hockey games over Comcast/Xfinity, and I wonder if they are caused by what JHBrandt has described above.
Comcast is a whole different ball game, as they are using bit-starved MPEG-4 with CBR compression so that they can "slot" in channels in various markets and not have to make different stat muxes from region to region or system to system.
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post #36 of 121 Old 12-08-2018, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by nathill View Post
Terre Haute's WTHI broadcasts have improved a whole bunch through more dynamic variable bit-rates (at least that's my take on why they're better).
Here's the new set-up. Picture quality used to be atrocious on Fox especially, and I seem to remember that the bit rates didn't vary much. They jump around quite a bit now.

WTHI 1 - 4.5 to 8.2 Mbps - CBS - 1080i
WTHI 2 - 4.4 to 7.9 Mbps - FOX - 720p
WTHI 3 - 4.2 to 7.8 Mbps - CW - 720p
WTHI 4 - 1.2 to 2.1 Mbps - Ion - 480i

I can see a definite picture quality improvement, but considering how lousy the picture quality was, that's sort of faint praise. Even my old eyes can tell it's not as good as it could be. No question to me that cramming this many signals into one channel hurts picture quality considerably, even if improved variable-bit rates make things a lot better than they used to be.

I sometimes get really bad pixelation on hockey games over Comcast/Xfinity, and I wonder if they are caused by what JHBrandt has described above.
They are basically vomit inducing now. All of the local DC channels. I watched a few shows from Hulu this week instead of what was recorded from FiOS or OTA. The difference was huge. This did not used to be the case just a few years ago. And of course my ATSC recordings, I still have from the early 2000's, blows away anything that is broadcast now in this area.

I signed up for the Youtube TV trial yesterday and watched some more shows from there instead of OTA or FiOS with my TiVos. The quality is similar to what Hulu had. And again is so much better than the almost vomit inducing DC local broadcasts now.

I am seriously considering dropping FiOS, OTA, and my TiVos in favor of a streaming service. Since the quality is majorly better. The only caveat is that only some of it is in 5.1 audio. But I'll take 2.0 audio with much better video quality over 5.1 audio with crap video quality.

Watching the WTTG Fox shows earlier this week is what precipitated all of this. It just looked so bad from my FiOS recordings and my OTA recordings this week. That I could not take it. So I watched them from Hulu with the included commercials. Which I absolutely hate. But the quality from OTA here just looks like ass now.
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post #37 of 121 Old 12-08-2018, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post
But the quality from OTA here just looks like ass now.
While this might not be PC, there are a lot of women's asses that look pretty damn good.
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post #38 of 121 Old 12-23-2018, 06:51 PM
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Here are the average bit rates of my local stations during recent football games:

CBS (KOIN) 1080i: 13.6 Mbps
ABC (KATU) 720p: 12.0 Mbps
FOX (KPTV) 720p: 13.1 Mbps
NBC (KGW) 1080i: 13.5 Mbps

The bit rates are pretty close but to my eyes the quality varies a lot. Football on KGW (NBC) is the best looking. Football on KOIN (CBS) with the highest bit rate looks no better than KPTV (FOX) 720p and it used to be the best. Football on KATU (ABC) is approaching DVD standard definition quality.

Looks like the days of 15 Mbps and one subchannel are gone forever.
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post #39 of 121 Old 12-23-2018, 07:07 PM
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At this point in the DC area I wish our bitrates were like that.

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post #40 of 121 Old 12-23-2018, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by scowl View Post
Here are the average bit rates of my local stations during recent football games:

CBS (KOIN) 1080i: 13.6 Mbps
ABC (KATU) 720p: 12.0 Mbps
FOX (KPTV) 720p: 13.1 Mbps
NBC (KGW) 1080i: 13.5 Mbps

The bit rates are pretty close but to my eyes the quality varies a lot. Football on KGW (NBC) is the best looking. Football on KOIN (CBS) with the highest bit rate looks no better than KPTV (FOX) 720p and it used to be the best. Football on KATU (ABC) is approaching DVD standard definition quality.

Looks like the days of 15 Mbps and one subchannel are gone forever.

I could only wish for numbers that big in our area thanks to all the subchannels.
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post #41 of 121 Old 12-23-2018, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post
At this point in the DC area I wish our bitrates were like that.

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CBS is. Not the others.
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post #42 of 121 Old 12-24-2018, 07:29 AM
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CBS is. Not the others.
But CBS still looks nothing like it did just a few years ago. All the DC channels look like ass now. it is the main reason I recently switched to a streaming service for most of my programming. Now I rarely watch content from OTA or FiOS. Since the streaming quality is typically better than what is seen from FiOS or OTA or Comcast in my area.

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post #43 of 121 Old 12-24-2018, 07:38 AM - Thread Starter
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But CBS still looks nothing like it did just a few years ago. All the DC channels look like ass now. it is the main reason I recently switched to a streaming service for most of my programming. Now I rarely watch content from OTA or FiOS. Since the streaming quality is typically better than what is seen from FiOS or OTA or Comcast in my area.

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What did you switch to that has live feed of all 4 networks? Can you DVR them?
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post #44 of 121 Old 12-24-2018, 09:43 AM
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What did you switch to that has live feed of all 4 networks? Can you DVR them?
I've been trying out multiple streamers. I didn't see one that had a live feed of all the networks.

In the end I'll need to make a compromise between being able to avoid commercials, quality, and price.
Hulu seemed like the best deal for access to the networks and quality and not seeing commercials, but they were expensive to get it.
And youtube TV had good quality but some of the networks that weren't recorded had commercials you couldn't skip.

So I've decided to stick with SLing TV for the $30 with the DVR. WHich gives me access to NBC and Fox recordings. And then I'll access CBS from either CBS All Access or FiOS or OTA. And the other networks from FiOS or OTA.

Having the Discovery channel was also a major factor in the streaming service I chose.

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post #45 of 121 Old 12-24-2018, 10:43 AM
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This is so true... Here in Chicago, NBC and CBS are day and night difference. I DVR each of the Super Bowls and conference championship games, so I have the Super Bowls going back to 2011 on my DVR and I keep the best conference championship games if they are good.

NBC went downhill a couple of years ago. They used to be right up there with CBS, but then they started channel sharing with Telemundo, another 1080i HD channel. Then our NBC also had COZI and some other network. So NBC is sharing with another HD channel and 2 SD channels.

CBS is by far the best, but it is an ever so slight difference - they started broadcasting an SD subchannel. The interesting thing in Chicago - CBS HD is also a subchannel on 48 here, and the CBS feed there looks more poor.

FOX last year started the to downhill, and I think they were testing channel sharing that went into effect June 2018. Now our FOX channel shared with the HD CW channel, as well as 3 other SD channels (a movie channel, Buzzr, and Light TV). Yesterday's Bears game on FOX was heavily pixelated and many artifacts - nothing like it used to be. Once again - the DVR of Super Bowl 51 and it was so much better in Feb. 2017.

ABC is a mess as well. Definitely noticeable on the Cubs games that were broadcasted locally OTA. I believe ABC shares with Univision - they share with some spanish channels, and a handful of subchannels plus the Livewell network.

I put this degraded picture quality all on the channel sharing. I know some Chicago channels still will be changing frequency, but I am not aware of any new channels that need to share with other channels that would degrade CBS, FOX, NBC, or ABC more.
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post #46 of 121 Old 12-24-2018, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by zippyfrog View Post
ABC is a mess as well. Definitely noticeable on the Cubs games that were broadcasted locally OTA. I believe ABC shares with Univision - they share with some spanish channels, and a handful of subchannels plus the Livewell network.
WLS shares with Unimas (Telefutura) channel 60
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post #47 of 121 Old 12-24-2018, 12:18 PM
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Thanks for the clarification on that - I remembered it was some Spanish channels.
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post #48 of 121 Old 12-24-2018, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been trying out multiple streamers. I didn't see one that had a live feed of all the networks.

In the end I'll need to make a compromise between being able to avoid commercials, quality, and price.
Hulu seemed like the best deal for access to the networks and quality and not seeing commercials, but they were expensive to get it.
And youtube TV had good quality but some of the networks that weren't recorded had commercials you couldn't skip.

So I've decided to stick with SLing TV for the $30 with the DVR. WHich gives me access to NBC and Fox recordings. And then I'll access CBS from either CBS All Access or FiOS or OTA. And the other networks from FiOS or OTA.

Having the Discovery channel was also a major factor in the streaming service I chose.
It gets complex. For me, live TV is live TV. I need to have all of the major networks that I can either watch live or DVR them to watch later or watch time shifted. This will be less of a need once NFL season is done in Feb. Hulu (not Hulu TV) and Sling are not that. I did get in on the $0.99/mo 12/mo Hulu deal which is nice. Yes, it has commercials, but not too bad and the price is right.

For now, I dont see anything that can replace what I am doing with OTA except paying for Fios, and no reason to do that. Yes, quality is not what it used to be but at least I dont have to pay for it. If a streaming service has all the locals in high quality with cloud DVR capability for a reasonable price, I may consider, but I dont think its out there quite yet.
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post #49 of 121 Old 12-24-2018, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by zippyfrog View Post
NBC went downhill a couple of years ago. They used to be right up there with CBS, but then they started channel sharing with Telemundo, another 1080i HD channel. Then our NBC also had COZI and some other network. So NBC is sharing with another HD channel and 2 SD channels.
Are you talking about WMAQ? Wikipedia says it only has one subchannel (Cozi) but that it's "sharing spectrum" with Telemundo, whatever that means.

The goal of many HD stations is to be just slightly better than standard definition quality and nothing better.
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post #50 of 121 Old 12-24-2018, 01:32 PM
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Are you talking about WMAQ? Wikipedia says it only has one subchannel (Cozi) but that it's "sharing spectrum" with Telemundo, whatever that means.

The goal of many HD stations is to be just slightly better than standard definition quality and nothing better.
Exactly. It is sharing with Telemundo and whatever Telemundo's subchannel is. 44-2. WMAQ, Cozi, Telemundo, and that other subchannel are all working off of the same bandwidth pipe, so WMAQ gets a lot less than it used to.
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post #51 of 121 Old 12-24-2018, 01:50 PM
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It gets complex. For me, live TV is live TV. I need to have all of the major networks that I can either watch live or DVR them to watch later or watch time shifted. This will be less of a need once NFL season is done in Feb. Hulu (not Hulu TV) and Sling are not that. I did get in on the $0.99/mo 12/mo Hulu deal which is nice. Yes, it has commercials, but not too bad and the price is right.

For now, I dont see anything that can replace what I am doing with OTA except paying for Fios, and no reason to do that. Yes, quality is not what it used to be but at least I dont have to pay for it. If a streaming service has all the locals in high quality with cloud DVR capability for a reasonable price, I may consider, but I dont think its out there quite yet.
I was paying around $152 after all taxes and fees for the FiOS Ultimate HD Tier, Gigabit INternet, and digital phone.
I switched it to custom TV, Gigabit INternet and digital phone. Now my monthly cost is around $96 after all taxes and fees.
So the $55 in savings more than covers what I'm getting from streaming.
Ideally though, it seemed like Hulu TV was my best option to have access to almost everything. But it would have cost over $60 a month to get what I need. And at that cost I might as well have just stuck with the Ultimate HD tier.

So with a combination of OTA, FiOS, and Sling TV I can get all the channels I want.
Well I do still need to subscribe to Starz, HBO, and CBS All access for a few months out of the year. For access to other shows I watch periodically. But the quality from their apps is so much better than what FiOS has now.

And by cancelling after a couple months, when I'm finished watching my shows, it allows me to get better deals. See they typically offer some deals to come back For instance Starz just gave me six months for only $1 a month. Which will more than cover the time I need to watch the Counterpart show. And CBS All Access just gave me four months for half price. Which should cover me for Star Trek Discovery.

Ideally I would love a streaming service with UHD options, high quality HD, and access to all locals. But that does not exist. And if/when it does, it will be expensive.

With my current FiOS deal, if I dropped the custom TV option, they would raise my price for me to just get gigabit internet and phone service.

But I'm hopeful that something will come out in 2019 or 2020 that will come closer to meeting what I need.

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post #52 of 121 Old 12-24-2018, 05:44 PM
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Exactly. It is sharing with Telemundo and whatever Telemundo's subchannel is. 44-2. WMAQ, Cozi, Telemundo, and that other subchannel are all working off of the same bandwidth pipe, so WMAQ gets a lot less than it used to.
Bandwidth pipe? I've never heard this term. So... are they all on the same transmitter?
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post #53 of 121 Old 12-24-2018, 06:35 PM
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Bandwidth pipe? I've never heard this term. So... are they all on the same transmitter?
I can't describe it as well as others. There are about 19 megabits of data available per frequency. Since there are 5 channels sharing that 19 megabits, it means each channel gets less whereas it used to be a single channel got all 19 megabits.
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post #54 of 121 Old 12-24-2018, 08:25 PM
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I can't describe it as well as others. There are about 19 megabits of data available per frequency. Since there are 5 channels sharing that 19 megabits, it means each channel gets less whereas it used to be a single channel got all 19 megabits.
OK, they're just subchannels.
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post #55 of 121 Old 12-25-2018, 08:04 PM
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Bandwidth pipe? I've never heard this term. So... are they all on the same transmitter?
Yes. Even though they make it look like two different stations, in reality you just have two HD and two SD subchannels on the same transmitter: http://www.rabbitears.info/market.p...&callsign=wmaq

The big problem is having two HD subchannels on one transmitter. One HD and two SD channels usually looks OK (at least to me).
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post #56 of 121 Old 12-25-2018, 08:09 PM
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Yes. Even though they make it look like two different stations, in reality you just have two HD and two SD subchannels on the same transmitter: http://www.rabbitears.info/market.p...&callsign=wmaq
Oh, subchannels with the added trick of different display channels. Clever.

Quote:
The big problem is having two HD subchannels on one transmitter. One HD and two SD channels usually looks OK (at least to me).
I can't imagine how awful this looks. The HD channels can't be getting more than 7-8 Mbps. They must be stripping all the high frequency detail to make that happen.
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post #57 of 121 Old 12-26-2018, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by scowl View Post
I can't imagine how awful this looks. The HD channels can't be getting more than 7-8 Mbps. They must be stripping all the high frequency detail to make that happen.
Newer encoders do a fairly good job of statistical multiplexing on the fly, assuming they're set up correctly. Channels are allocated variable bandwidths based upon a number for variables. For example, the NBC affiliate in Tampa has 2 HD and 3 SD streams. Most of the time, WFLA (NBC) gets around 7-9Mbps, WTTA (MyN, 720p) gets 4-5 and the diginets seemed to be fixed at no more than 2Mpbs. When NBC's doing sports, everything else gets throttled back to give WFLA 9-12Mbps. At this point, a lot of movement on the diginets' programming looks awful and WTTA looks like Fox Widescreen used to (for those who remember THAT). Sunday Night Football looks quite good as does most NBC weekend sports programming. No, it's not the pristine HD from bygone days, but nobody's complaining. Literally. The general public's happy.

Oddly, the picture on pretty much all of WFLA's programming looks better now than it has in the past. The older encoder simply couldn't handle one 1080i and a single 480i dignet, let alone two. Any fast camera pan on football or golf fell completely apart. And the NBC logo transitioning in and out of replays was a complete mess. WFLA OTA currently is on par with WNBC (Via DirecTV). KNBC (also via DirecTV) easily beats them both, but not by enough to make the casual viewer go "wow."

It helps when two stations are co-owned or in an LMA. That gives engineering the flexibility to schedule bandwidth allocations. The issue is when two different broadcasters share a transmitter and the bandwidth allocation between the two is contractually fixed. I guarantee once the dust settles on the repack and we roll into the following Olympic cycle, the complaints will start popping up.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.

Last edited by DrDon; 12-26-2018 at 10:50 AM.
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post #58 of 121 Old 12-26-2018, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scowl View Post
I can't imagine how awful this looks. The HD channels can't be getting more than 7-8 Mbps. They must be stripping all the high frequency detail to make that happen.
If your location is accurate, check out KOPB, or KATU, or KNMT.

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post #59 of 121 Old 12-26-2018, 01:38 PM
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If your location is accurate, check out KOPB, or KATU, or KNMT.
I mentioned KATU a few posts ago.
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post #60 of 121 Old 12-26-2018, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scowl View Post
I can't imagine how awful this looks. The HD channels can't be getting more than 7-8 Mbps.
On average, you're not far off. But as Dr. Don said, it doesn't have to look too bad. Bandwidth needs vary depending on several factors, such as the amount of motion in the image. The stations use statmuxes that shift bandwidth around to where it's most needed at that instant.

On the rabbitears.info link I posted, click on "Technical Info" and scroll down. You'll see bandwidth ranges for each subchannel: in WMAQ's case, Telemundo gets the shaft, while NBC isn't too bad, as long as Telemundo doesn't happen to need lots of bandwidth at the same time.
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Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post
If your location is accurate, check out KOPB, or KATU, or KNMT.

- Trip
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Originally Posted by scowl View Post
I mentioned KATU a few posts ago.
Here's KATU at rabbitears.info: http://www.rabbitears.info/market.p...n=KATU#station

It's not channel sharing, but it is dual HD (which is kind of weird because MeTV's content was all recorded in and for SD ... but I guess advertisers are paying for HD ads?) so its problems are similar.
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