Is Content King for OTA Broadcasts

Piggie

Super Moderator
#1
Since for every subchannel added, in most cases it reduces the bandwidth of the main HD channel, which do you prefer? Content or HD.

Both is not an option, as it violates the laws of physics, and is a blue sky dream with the current standards.

The exceptions are a 720P program with MPEG2 looks about as good as it's going to get at 14 mpbs. This leave 4 mbps for an SD subchannel.

At 4 mpbs SD looks pretty good with little to no blocking.

But then a 1080i, needs nearly 16 mpbs of bandwidth, leaving about 2 mbps for an SD channel. The SD channel then looks sub par and will blur and block.

I can't see where the current system if you satisfy both content and picture quality crowd can have but a single subchannel and only if the main content is 720p without upsetting the picture quality crowd.

1080i can't have any subchannel except maybe a low bandwidth weather, etc.

Then add to that rounded ATSC-M/H needs 3 mbps so where is that bandwidth coming from?

It seems with upgrade after upgrade in the last 15 years to customer broadband service at home, the average person just says add more bandwidth. Not possible with wireless. What you have is what you get, period. No expansion.

So now choose. Would you rather have a small handful of high picture quality channels, or a lot with less picture quality?

Is content king or is picture quality?
 
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DLove

DTVUSA Rookie
#2
I swear I've noticed picture quality go down on DirecTV the last 5 years. But I'm pretty happy with all of their HD content now. I'd say content is King, but picture quality is a close second.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#3
I swear I've noticed picture quality go down on DirecTV the last 5 years. But I'm pretty happy with all of their HD content now. I'd say content is King, but picture quality is a close second.
Guess I should have added for OTA broadcasts when I set up the thread.

Still voting content vs PQ is valid from anyone's perspective from any source.

With satellite and enough transponders rented on the birds, content and picture quality can both be addressed.

The problem with OTA is there is FIXED bandwidth, so if you were, which you weren't talking about OTA, one can't be a close second, unless you are willing to give up more than one subchannel per transmitter, and then only 720p on the main source.
 
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TonyT

DTVUSA Member
#4
Since for every subchannel added, in most cases it reduces the bandwidth of the main HD channel, which do you prefer? Content or HD.

Both is not an option, as it violates the laws of physics, and is a blue sky dream with the current standards.

The exceptions are a 720P program with MPEG2 looks about as good as it's going to get at 14 mpbs. This leave 4 mbps for an SD subchannel.

At 4 mpbs SD looks pretty good with little to no blocking.

But then a 1080i, needs nearly 16 mpbs of bandwidth, leaving about 2 mbps for an SD channel. The SD channel then looks sub par and will blur and block.

I can't see where the current system if you satisfy both content and picture quality crowd can have but a single subchannel and only if the main content is 720p without upsetting the picture quality crowd.

1080i can't have any subchannel except maybe a low bandwidth weather, etc.

Then add to that rounded ATSC-M/H needs 3 mbps so where is that bandwidth coming from?

It seems with upgrade after upgrade in the last 15 years to customer broadband service at home, the average person just says add more bandwidth. Not possible with wireless. What you have is what you get, period. No expansion.

So now choose. Would you rather have a small handful of high picture quality channels, or a lot with less picture quality?

Is content king or is picture quality?
Wonder what the stats are for OTA watchers with an HDTV in the first place. If 50% are using a converter box, I can tell you that their answer would probably be content is King. We're all a bunch of informed A/V enthusiasts here, but I'm willing to bet that if you asked the same question in a Under Water Basket Weaving forum, you'd probably get a different answer.
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#5
Content is King

This is especially true for those people who do not have multiple broadcast feeds. Sure if you have Sat or Cable, then its nice to have a higher quality OTA broadcast feed for special events and sports and whatnot. But for the poor folks who cannot afford those options (and they may not have HDTVs anyway (think older folks especially) then more programming choices is better.

I have an HDTV and watch SD shows over HD all the time. Like PBS subchannels that run primetime 3 hours delay to the primary HD channel.
 
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bicker

DTVUSA Member
#6
Neither "content" nor "picture quality" is king. Instead, money is king.

Interesting related article:

Why Content’s Kingdom is Slipping Away

I think this paints a very clear picture of the problems facing media, in general, in our country. I like how Handel drew the parallel between entertainment, and news (the integrity of which he placed even above that of entertainment).

He's generous when he says the solutions are "unclear". He seems very resistant to the idea that there may not be any solution that achieves what the content side of things wants. I think a lot of folks in the industry are not willing to face the fact that the things are never going back to where they used to be. Once the market share for paid professional content is splintered, the challenge is to try to keep what you have left. There isn't much hope of getting people to give up their free or cheap UGC, once it has secured some share of the market, when the alternative is to pay big bucks for professional content. The only hope for any market share recovery comes from fighting the other source of loss of market share: piracy. Yet every attempt to do so is met (at least in the blogs) with rapacious condemnations from pirates and other supporters of the "everything for nothing" philosophy of Entitlement Mentality.

So who wins? Cheap wins. Cheap content; and cheap PQ. Don't be surprised if twenty years from now there are fewer OTA channels operating, those that are operating spend more time airing infomercials and cheap programming, and even sub-channels, if any still exist, are presenting far more infomercials and cheap programming. I wouldn't be surprised if This TV is still presenting the exact same series that they're presenting now... licensing for those series will be that much cheaper then. :)
 

TVTom51

DTVUSA Member
#7
So who wins? Cheap wins. Cheap content; and cheap PQ. Don't be surprised if twenty years from now there are fewer OTA channels operating, those that are operating spend more time airing infomercials and cheap programming, and even sub-channels, if any still exist, are presenting far more infomercials and cheap programming. I wouldn't be surprised if This TV is still presenting the exact same series that they're presenting now... licensing for those series will be that much cheaper then. :)
Cheap content will only get so far with viewers. It's doubtful that this is the model of the future for all broadcasters though I do believe your statement that cheap and cheap PQ wins for now.

Bit of a gripe here, but, traditional cable and satellite providers are in an increasingly changing environment. Streaming broadcasts are slowly but steadily gaining ground on them. Rather than spending money on lobbying, they should focus on two things: 1. How to adapt and/or work to provide TV services over the internet 2. Find better, creative ways to get their advertisers message across.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#8
He makes a lot of good points, mainly that the internet has diversified distribution of all types of content and goods away from some concentrated sources.

But he is a lawyer. He sees things through a lawyers eyes. And he practices media law, so he has a shoe in the outcome. He subtly belittles User Generated Content, as it strips the industry he represents of income. The UGC people aren't going to hire him or most won't.

To me the last reason was like reading an article done by an RIAA lawyer explaining how things are headed down hill, non-professional on the cheap when new music groups put their music directly on the net instead of paying the record company 95% of the profits for their works.

The other side is the people that support his income have deemed themselves professional. Yes a lot of much less than talented people generate UGC, but I also know musicians locally that generate some really good UGC. They might give away one song for free, clips of others, but they sell their albums directly on the net. They also sell their albums directly to audiences in small restaurant and bar type venues on CDs they had made, so if they did a good job on the content, the media distribution is professionally done with printed j-cards, jewel cases, etc.

So that said, and an interesting read, it wasn't the question I asked. As the average viewer doesn't read TVWeek and thinks less of lawyers. They open a beer and say, why isn't this show in HD? man oh man. Or they say, all the good stuff is gone and we have soap operas and reality shows in HD, what waste.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#9
Cheap content will only get so far with viewers. It's doubtful that this is the model of the future for all broadcasters though I do believe your statement that cheap and cheap PQ wins for now.
Definitely not "all broadcasters" -- only OTA. I think that we'll see a clear value difference develop (even further) between the content you get "for free" and the content you pay for.

2. Find better, creative ways to get their advertisers message across.
Precisely. Product placement is becoming much more prominent this summer, with Mary Shannon drinking a specific brand of beer, and A.J. Butterfield always looking things up on Bing. Bing also has the distinction of being one of the first brands that was advertised using an overlay, other than other media presentations. Overlays are yet another way to get people to be exposed to get advertisers' messages across.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#10
He subtly belittles User Generated Content, as it strips the industry he represents of income.
I find that assertion to be self-contradictory. It seems to me that Handel is giving a lot of credit to UGC, not belittling it. He highlights it as one major risk to the folks he represents. I suspect some people might claim he's overstaing the importance of UGC, if anything.

Yes a lot of much less than talented people generate UGC, but I also know musicians locally that generate some really good UGC.
Music is different from video. Many regular Joe's are financially able to equip a studio and record a track that has good-enough sound to be on a CD (I'm talking technically, not just creatively). Very few regular Joe's can equip and direct a film/video production that would look like it belongs on national network television.

As the average viewer doesn't read TVWeek and thinks less of lawyers. They open a beer and say, why isn't this show in HD? man oh man. Or they say, all the good stuff is gone and we have soap operas and reality shows in HD, what waste.
One of the things the videoheads complain about these days is how there is a lot of HD out there that isn't really HD. They hate, for example, when TNT or A&E stretches a program to fit the wide screen, but these networks do so because there are enough beer-drinkers, as you referred to them, who prefer not seeing black bars.
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#11
You obviously havent seen the daytime soap operas, I can do that with one consumer oriented video camera and a couple of kids to hold the poster board for fill lighting.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#12
So what you're insinuating is that everything on broadcast television will eventually looks like daytime soap operas. That's pretty consistent with what I wrote.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#13
I find that assertion to be self-contradictory. It seems to me that Handel is giving a lot of credit to UGC, not belittling it. He highlights it as one major risk to the folks he represents. I suspect some people might claim he's overstaing the importance of UGC, if anything.

Music is different from video. Many regular Joe's are financially able to equip a studio and record a track that has good-enough sound to be on a CD (I'm talking technically, not just creatively). Very few regular Joe's can equip and direct a film/video production that would look like it belongs on national network television.

One of the things the videoheads complain about these days is how there is a lot of HD out there that isn't really HD. They hate, for example, when TNT or A&E stretches a program to fit the wide screen, but these networks do so because there are enough beer-drinkers, as you referred to them, who prefer not seeing black bars.
Sorry I read it as UGC is ruining the game. Or it's the way I see it, and why I drew the RIAA into in and TVTom follows. If RIAA had of set forth with their own internet sites for streaming music they would have played the game early on, instead of suing and chasing pirates.

I live in the SE, there are a LOT of beer drinkers, six pack joes around here. They are not video heads. They don't like the black bars but have no idea what or why they are there.

Back to the subject please.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#16
Sorry I read it as UGC is ruining the game.
"Ruining the game" is giving it a lot of credit. The opposite is something that can be ignored. That's not anything like what he said.

If RIAA had of set forth with their own internet sites for streaming music they would have played the game early on, instead of suing and chasing pirates.
Again, music and video are completely different, due to the technical and logistical considerations.

I live in the SE, there are a LOT of beer drinkers, six pack joes around here. They are not video heads. They don't like the black bars but have no idea what or why they are there.
The question is whether they react negatively to what TNT and A&E do; probably not.
 
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