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NBC Olympic coverage pixelation

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Anonymous
August 22, 2004 6:00:19 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

I have experienced a great deal of pixelation during some of the
fast-paced Olympic events. For example, the diving competition was
almost unbearable to watch. The quick action of a person doing a
double-back somersalt, coupled with the camera scanning down to follow
the diver, with the audience in the background, caused extreme
pixelation. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come with HDTV. If
sporting events are going to be riddled with MPEG-2 artifacts, then
HDTV will not be all that it is hyped up to be. I don't know if this
is NBC's fault, or the format of the HDTV signal, or my reception.
But it was painful to watch, nonetheless.

Has anyone else experienced similar pixelation artifacts?
Anonymous
August 22, 2004 10:54:49 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

cub wrote:
> I have experienced a great deal of pixelation during some of the
> fast-paced Olympic events. For example, the diving competition was
> almost unbearable to watch. The quick action of a person doing a
> double-back somersalt, coupled with the camera scanning down to follow
> the diver, with the audience in the background, caused extreme
> pixelation. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come with HDTV. If
> sporting events are going to be riddled with MPEG-2 artifacts, then
> HDTV will not be all that it is hyped up to be. I don't know if this
> is NBC's fault, or the format of the HDTV signal, or my reception.
> But it was painful to watch, nonetheless.
>
> Has anyone else experienced similar pixelation artifacts?

Yes, it is exactly the same here. I'm not sure whether the problem is
in the NBC feed or the result of the local (Cleveland) affiliate's
bandwidth allocations, but it makes the presentation almost unbearable
to watch.
Anonymous
August 22, 2004 1:16:18 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

cub <cub1966@aol.com> wrote in message news:<1vngi051rj1a0u5jhssq9ld661gqk2l68i@4ax.com>...
> I have experienced a great deal of pixelation during some of the
> fast-paced Olympic events. For example, the diving competition was
> almost unbearable to watch. The quick action of a person doing a
> double-back somersalt, coupled with the camera scanning down to follow
> the diver, with the audience in the background, caused extreme
> pixelation. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come with HDTV. If
> sporting events are going to be riddled with MPEG-2 artifacts, then
> HDTV will not be all that it is hyped up to be. I don't know if this
> is NBC's fault, or the format of the HDTV signal, or my reception.
> But it was painful to watch, nonetheless.
>
> Has anyone else experienced similar pixelation artifacts?

It's hit-and-miss on the San Francisco Comcast transmission.

As far as "things to come", new technologies always have bugs. The
most important thing to consider about HDTV is that it is good, it is
VERY GOOD. My transmissions of Discovery HD Theater, for instance,
have been stellar.

As more people see how excellent HDTV can be, viewers will start
demanding better service from the networks and cable companies.
Related resources
August 22, 2004 7:46:57 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

On Sun, 22 Aug 2004 02:00:19 -0700, cub <cub1966@aol.com> wrote:

>I have experienced a great deal of pixelation during some of the
>fast-paced Olympic events. For example, the diving competition was
>almost unbearable to watch. The quick action of a person doing a
>double-back somersalt, coupled with the camera scanning down to follow
>the diver, with the audience in the background, caused extreme
>pixelation. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come with HDTV. If
>sporting events are going to be riddled with MPEG-2 artifacts, then
>HDTV will not be all that it is hyped up to be. I don't know if this
>is NBC's fault, or the format of the HDTV signal, or my reception.
>But it was painful to watch, nonetheless.
>
>Has anyone else experienced similar pixelation artifacts?

Oh yes. I'm not sure, but I would hope that this is caused by a
combination of limited encoding technology and (human) errors in the
decision-making process regarding compression options.
Anonymous
August 23, 2004 10:52:03 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

>>As far as "things to come", new technologies always have bugs.>>

One factor is this stuff is a lot more live (if not in fact totally live
sometimes) so they don't have the time to do the great compression they do on
something like DVDs or movies. At least I hope that's the case. I figure it's
just going to improve just as regular color tv did, took 10 or 20 years before
the sets had really deserving pictures. Once compression technology comes of
age on hdtv producrtion (faster chips, more work put into it etc.) I'd bet it
will improve dramatically. Personally I almost wish NBC could just do things
like this that are pixelization-prone in 720p so it would become a
non-issue...Frenchy
August 24, 2004 5:30:53 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

"mark french" <mf101723@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20040823025203.18203.00001978@mb-m03.aol.com...
>>>As far as "things to come", new technologies always have bugs.>>
>
> One factor is this stuff is a lot more live (if not in fact totally live
> sometimes) so they don't have the time to do the great compression they do
> on
> something like DVDs or movies. At least I hope that's the case. I figure
> it's
> just going to improve just as regular color tv did, took 10 or 20 years
> before
> the sets had really deserving pictures. Once compression technology comes
> of
> age on hdtv producrtion (faster chips, more work put into it etc.) I'd bet
> it
> will improve dramatically. Personally I almost wish NBC could just do
> things
> like this that are pixelization-prone in 720p so it would become a
> non-issue...Frenchy
>
Guys; there is pixelization on their NTSC feed also. Must be a failure to
purchase enough bandwidth, or some such thing.

Richard.
Anonymous
August 24, 2004 1:32:34 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Richard wrote:

> Guys; there is pixelization on their NTSC feed also. Must be a failure
> to purchase enough bandwidth, or some such thing.

AOB (Athens Olympic Broadcasting) supplies most (maybe all) of the
video, and many (maybe most or all) of the cameras are neither NTSC nor
ATSC, so NBC is having to do standards conversion on the fly.

http://www.snellwilcox.com/aboutus/press/75
http://www.shibasoku.com/news/jun30_2004.htm

Presumably this is why there are occasional weird speed variations in
the SD broadcast, as if somebody accidentally hit fast forward for a
second, and it may also be a source of pixelization.

There may also be other sources of artifacting in the AOB pipeline,
which is reportedly all-digital.

- Ernie http://home.comcast.net/~erniew
Anonymous
August 25, 2004 10:50:33 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Ernie Wright <erniew@comcast.net> wrote in message news:<OfWdnWdDEoFh3LbcRVn-gw@comcast.com>...
> Richard wrote:
>
> > Guys; there is pixelization on their NTSC feed also. Must be a failure
> > to purchase enough bandwidth, or some such thing.
>
> AOB (Athens Olympic Broadcasting) supplies most (maybe all) of the
> video, and many (maybe most or all) of the cameras are neither NTSC nor
> ATSC, so NBC is having to do standards conversion on the fly.
>
> http://www.snellwilcox.com/aboutus/press/75
> http://www.shibasoku.com/news/jun30_2004.htm
>
> Presumably this is why there are occasional weird speed variations in
> the SD broadcast, as if somebody accidentally hit fast forward for a
> second, and it may also be a source of pixelization.
>
> There may also be other sources of artifacting in the AOB pipeline,
> which is reportedly all-digital.
>
> - Ernie http://home.comcast.net/~erniew

Actually, it's comforting to know that this a known problem which
could have been prevented; it means that HDTV can avoid becoming a
white elephant technology like (shudder) quadrophonics. If the
transmissions CAN have higher standards, in time market forces will
mandate that the standards will have to be higher. Now if HDTV
manufacturers would put pressure on broadcasters to meet higher
standards on a constant basis ('cause when the picture looks bad it
makes it difficult to sell the tvs) that would help us early adopters
sell all of our friends on buying into HDTV. And more viewers means
more content for everyone.
!