High Quality Video or lots of subs - OTA ONLY

OTA ONLY - Choose Content vs Picture Quality

  • I would rather just have a crisp HD main channel

    Votes: 10 40.0%
  • I would rather have more content and less quality.

    Votes: 15 60.0%

  • Total voters
    25

Piggie

Super Moderator
#1
An OTA channel has only so much bandwidth. It's limited. So there are constraints to using MPEG2 and AC3 currently in the ATSC specs.

I am not talking about the future, or what could be, but what there is to work with now.

An ATSC channel has 19 some mbps to work with. Some of it is used on other data and audio (which takes so little we can eliminate it as using much bandwidth). So by the time you are done to round off one has about 18 mbps to use.

Here are the bandwidths used but they are subjective.

19:6
1080i - 15.75 to really look good
720p - 14.5 to really look good
Then as you cut into these 1080i tends to pixelate on motion, or fast fades.
720p tends to get less defined as you cut into it's bandwidth.

4:3
480i
4.5 looks crisp
3.5 isn't too bad
3 starts to blur and it's near analog 4:3 to my eye
2 noticeable loss of sharpness. zooming something letter box looks bad.
1.5 constantly breaks up into blocks.

ATSC-M/H
416x240
Currently most are using three streams for error correction.
M/H 3 mbps

========

Now as you add these up, you see you can't have it all. If you choose high picture quality you can't have a myriad of sub channels.

I hear the argument both ways. Some want the main channel to be crisp as possible. Others want more and more sub channel choices.

Which do you want and how good or bad of a picture can you stand?
 

Yes616

The Mod Squad
#3
I didn't vote as my choice is really not there.

I understand more channels take up more bandwidth and as a new OTA viewer (you have all seen my "fool" thread) I see that if you just add one more sub-channel, the HD channel still looks very good.

The poll should have been 1 HD, 1 HD with 1 sub-channel, 1 HD with 2 sub-channels, etc.

Aren't there are some channels actually doing 2 HD channels? None that I can get. I wonder what they look like?

I have been flipping back and forth between HD channels (via OTA and Dish Network) and I see the much sharper OTA picture on my 57" CRT set. Even where an HD channel has sub-channels.

There needs to be some in between choices as well.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#4
I voted More Content & Less Quality....however I think that is a false dichotomy.
How so? We are stuck with what we have for OTA at the moment. If you mean what could have been or what can be, that is a different subject. And would make one dead horse thread and another interesting one.
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#5
Firstly as you yourself has stated, 720p and one SD subchannel does not a crime against quality make.

You also need to broaden your horizons from analyzing one channel to analyzing a DMA. Say the big 4 networks could run 1 HD channel in high quality (not much compression) and 1 subchannel. But other channels could run 5 broadcasts in SD (without an HD feed at all) and provide loads of content without disrupting the HD of the big 4 channels.

Thus the false dichotomy.


Here is a list of OTA Networks...
 
Last edited:

Piggie

Super Moderator
#6
I didn't vote as my choice is really not there.

I understand more channels take up more bandwidth and as a new OTA viewer (you have all seen my "fool" thread) I see that if you just add one more sub-channel, the HD channel still looks very good.

The poll should have been 1 HD, 1 HD with 1 sub-channel, 1 HD with 2 sub-channels, etc.

Aren't there are some channels actually doing 2 HD channels? None that I can get. I wonder what they look like?

I have been flipping back and forth between HD channels (via OTA and Dish Network) and I see the much sharper OTA picture on my 57" CRT set. Even where an HD channel has sub-channels.

There needs to be some in between choices as well.
I agree on the choices but don't. I would need to come up with some scenarios for how many subs, is the main 720p or 1080i, etc.

I think we can discuss that part out, then do a poll. The reason I bring this up is I see some posters saying give me give me more and more subs. More choices. Oh yeah and I want my ATSC-M/H also! I like choices, but there is a limit.

The point of this is to show where the limits exist. Then they are very subjective between the type of TV. CECB into analog, RF from the CECB or composite input to the TV. Or a 19 vs 52 inch HD ATSC ready tv.

You point is very well taken. Lets go through what each of us think is acceptable.

=====

I prefer content. most of the time when I watch TV I don't google eye stare at the screen. I mostly listen and look up from what I am doing. Now if I am watching NASCAR, HD makes seeing the car numbers and what is happening many times better.

The my favorite comparison are my two PBS channels.

WUFT
5.1 > 14.35Mbps 1080i
5.2 > 2.05Mbps 480i
5.3 > 1.25Mbps 480i

WJCT
7.1 > 9.9Mbps 720p
7.2 > 2.85Mbps 480i
7.3 > 1.7Mbps 480i
7.4 > 1.75Mbps 480i
7.5 > 1Mbps 480i

.1 is the main on both stations
.2 is Create on both
.3 is World on both (at night)
.4 is a mix of old World and PBS programs
.5 is Florida Ed then slides at night.

For purposes here forget .4 and .5

Comparing mains.
WUFT looks great until too much moves on the screen. A field of wheat or ocean waves all break into blocks. If they do a standard .5 second fade, it all goes to blocks.
WJCT doesn't break up into blocks. Causual viewing it's hard to tell it's not only 720pp but only 9.9 mbps. No breakups on fades or fields of wheat, etc. But some finer detail is lost. I watch on a 720p 32 inch, so it may look a lot less crisp on a 1080i larger screen.
To me I actually would rather loose the detail and not see the blocks.

Comparing Create.
Both look pretty good, both obviously blurry and jumping back and forth it takes a lot of looking to see WJCT's Create looks better. Not even enough difference to bother. Still both are noticeably barely as good as analog 4:3

Comparing World
No comparison. WUFT looks like warmed over you know what. Mega blocks if someone turns their head, blurry, yuck, not even close to a good analog signal. WJCT is blurry but doesn't mega block if the only moving item on the screen is a fly the way WUFT does.

Then you have to figure they are squeezing 2 more channels in there. 7.5 looks awful but 7.4 is slightly noticeably better than 7.3. It appears just a tiny bit more bandwidth in the 1.25 to 2.0 bandwidth range make a lot of difference.

=====

My point to this is if one is going to run a subchannel it works a lot better with 720p than 1080i. And in my humble opinion, 720p can be compressed down a lot more than 1080i and still end up with something watchable.

So I too have never seen a station with two 720p channels on it, but WJCT's main PBS is close to what it would be like and it's acceptable on my TV.
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#8
Where can you find data bandwidth information for particular television broadcast stations?

I noticed the other day when using the Zinwell to test antennas, that the subchannels often gave better Signal Quality which Im guessing is Bit Error Rates, than the primary HD channels. But not always.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#9
Where can you find data bandwidth information for particular television broadcast stations?

I noticed the other day when using the Zinwell to test antennas, that the subchannels often gave better Signal Quality which Im guessing is Bit Error Rates, than the primary HD channels. But not always.
The only place I know you can find that information is on Trip's site.
RabbitEars.Info
Put in the call sign or go down and find the city.
Then once on a station click on the Technical details. If the station has been scanned by one of Trips many capture crews it will be listed.

For example, I capture Gainesville, Orlando and sometimes Jax for Trip with TSReader. There are places where it hasn't been done yet and you won't see a bandwidth amount in the tech details.
 

Aries

DTVUSA Member
#11
Even though I like having a good signal, it's simply not worth it if there's nothing worth watching. They're trying to cram too much into a little cable, and we're all suffering as a result.
 

Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#13
When it comes to tv reception I'll take quantity over quality, especially since the ota sd channels look so great to me. When using the tv's digital tuner to pick up ota sd channels they look better than pay tv's sd channels ever did.

I'd like to see every channel carry 4 additional subchannels or more if that's possible. We currently have 15 main channels in this area, add in all the subchannels we get and it's a total of 36. If each one of those 15 channels carried 4 subs, we'd have roughly 75 choices of programming at any given time of the day or night and that would be awesome.

Don't know if that would ever happen but it's good knowing the potentials there.
 

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#14
I chose content over HD, only because I do not watch over-the-air all that often except for HD. And the HD I receive is perfectly fine according to what I have available to me on the crowded California spectrum.

I think that OTA needs more quality channels than anything else to be competitive.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#16
When it comes to tv reception I'll take quantity over quality, especially since the ota sd channels look so great to me. When using the tv's digital tuner to pick up ota sd channels they look better than pay tv's sd channels ever did.

I'd like to see every channel carry 4 additional subchannels or more if that's possible. We currently have 15 main channels in this area, add in all the subchannels we get and it's a total of 36. If each one of those 15 channels carried 4 subs, we'd have roughly 75 choices of programming at any given time of the day or night and that would be awesome.

Don't know if that would ever happen but it's good knowing the potentials there.
4 subchannels is pushing it, unless the station is running 720P on the main feed and chops that down.

Lets say each sub is 2.5 mbps. On a LCD it will look blurry. You can't see it on a CECB even into a 27 inch analog.

If each of the four subs is 2.5, that uses up 10 mbps. Leaving the main channel 8 mbps for 720p at best. It will look like HDTV Lite version.

I have never seen 720P below 9.9 mbps, but it looks ok there on an small 32 in LCD. That only leaves 8 mbps for the subs. If you divide that by 4 it will look noticeably blurry.

I say the most you can do is 720p and 3 subs. Even that will make the videophiles have bad dreams of blurred vision.

=========

Here is a good example of what WPTD 16.4 at 1.75 mbps. Notice the artifacts

on the face.


Something one may never have seen with a CECB into an analog set. But it sticks out like a sore thumb on an LCD.
 
Last edited:

Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#20
Besides Dayton, which other DMA can you receive?

Also are you watching a LCD or Plasma or watching an analog set with a CECB?
It's an analog tv with a digital tuner but I usually use a CECB because its tuner picks up more channels than the tv's tuner will. Using just the tv tuner will get a much better picture than CECB (it's an Insignia model) will deliver but like I said before, it's quantity over quality for me, as long as the quantity has good quality. And it does.

The other broadcast markets we receive are from Richmond, Indianas WKOI 43 (+4 subs) (not sure if that's considered a Dayton or Cincinnati market). We also get the Cincinnati market with channels WSTR 64, WLWT 5 (+1 sub), WKRC 12 (+1 sub), WPTO 14 (+4 subs), WCET 48 (+1 sub), WCPO 9 (+1 sub), and WXIX 19 (+1 sub). And from the Columbus market we get WWHO 53.
 

Similar threads

Top