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roger1818 said:
Similarly when converting from 16:9 (either WS or HDTV) to 4:3 for live events, do you always take the middle portion of the picture...
We always crop the sides of live HD events for SD viewing.
 

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I think GeorgeMx works in the business. ;)
D86 (Edmonton) is the one modified for widescreen.
 

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Marc said:
We always crop the sides of live HD events for SD viewing.
Now that the majority of the TVs in the stores seem to be widescreen, wouldn't that frustrate everyone who has a widescreen set, but doesn't get an HD signal (and they seem to be the majority). They all seem to stretch the 4:3 picture to fill their 16:9 screen (which just pains me to death, everytime I see it). Wouldn't it make more sense to broadcast in 16:9 letterbox, and then people can just zoom in to get the whole picture?

Nick
 

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One thing I've noticed when widescreen is cropped for 4x3 is that closeups become huge and show only part of a face and 2-shots crop the people on either side of the screen.
If you want to see how NOT to do it, watch Foyle's War on TVO - that is originally a 16x9 format but blown up to 4x3 (PBS used to run it too but they chose to show it in 16x9). At times it's annoying to watch on TVO. Why letterboxed shows can't be shown as is, beats me.
 

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nfitz said:
...Wouldn't it make more sense to broadcast in 16:9 letterbox, and then people can just zoom in to get the whole picture?
Right now those TV are in the stores not the homes. Most sets in the homes are 4:3 and don't zoom.
 

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Harl said:
One thing I've noticed when widescreen is cropped for 4x3 is that closeups become huge and show only part of a face and 2-shots crop the people on either side of the screen...
That happens when you crop something that was intended for widescreen presentation. CBC shoots live HD events with 4X3 cropping in mind. In the control room the 4:3 frame is marked on the HD production monitors so they can tell what will be in or out of the SD frame.
 

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Marc said:
Right now those TV are in the stores not the homes. Most sets in the homes are 4:3 and don't zoom.
Right. Just like in the 60s - most colour TVs were in the stores, not the homes. That's why nobody ever bothered with colour TV. :)
 

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Watching a colour show on a black and white TV didn't eat up some of the screen with black bars.
 

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True, but colour transmissions made people's investments in b&w TV sets kind of obsolete, which sure must have annoyed lots of people. On top of that all 4:3 TV sets have such enourmous overscan, that the black bars do not really seem so objectionable to most people as broadcasters seem to think. Did Conan lose any viewer numbers because it is letterboxed now even in SD?
The truth is most decision makers in broadcasting are pathetically backwards, and try to justify their ignorance or fear of change by pretending to care about stuff they never cared about before.
 

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nfitz said:
Wouldn't it make more sense to broadcast in 16:9 letterbox, and then people can just zoom in to get the whole picture?
When you zoom, the picture is often unwatchable on a larger TV - not always, but often. (you've zoomed by 1.33 horizontally and 1.33 vertically, basically doubling the size, and any imperfections)

On these programmes I'll often use the non-linear stretch to get a better PQ, even though the aspect is off a bit and I have small bars top/bottom.
 

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I wish the CBC would not spend the extra money for widescreen SD broadcasts, but rather put that money towards real HD. I have read that some people are happy with widescreen SD hockey broadcasts, and in fact some thought they were watching high definition. This will delay real HD.

Widescreen hockey looks terrible on my tv compared to HD.
 

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This will delay real HD.
You can fool some of the people some of the time...

I don't think it will delay real HD. FOX has been doing baseball on Saturday in WS for the past couple years, and people are asking for it in HD. It's only a fix, it's not a solution.
CBC has committed to a second HD truck. They're the only network with actual OTA HD plans with more than 2 transmitters (counting Montreal). When was Global's last original HD programming? Never?

I think networks have to see the transition to HD as an investment, rather than an expense or a hinderance. CBC seems to get this so far.

Enough about non CBC issues though.
I applaud the WS hockey. Much better than 4x3 (even if it is a band-aid).
 

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lars said:
I wish the CBC would not spend the extra money for widescreen SD broadcasts, but rather put that money towards real HD...
lars, if you read post 773 of this thread you will see that the equipment used to make widescreen possible is actually on loan from HD projects. The hardware was purchased for HD. It's just being borrowed until the HD installations are ready for them.
 

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This is a bit off topic, but is a follow-up to the 16x9 versus 4x3 discussion.
Seems it isn't always the network that's at fault. The following is part of a reply from TVO regarding Foyle's War in 4x3:


"TVO endeavours to show all programs in their originally intended formats.
However, not all programs are delivered to us as they were originally
produced. In the case of Foyle's War, the distributor sent us an
anamorphic 4:3 version instead of an "unsqueezed" 16:9 version. Normally,
we would catch this discrepancy in time to have the tapes replaced with
the correct aspect ratio.

In this specific case, the delivery of the master tapes was so close to
the broadcast that that option was not available to us. You see,
videotapes from Europe are delivered to us in the PAL system format.
Before we can screen them for technical acceptance and for close
captioning, they are sent to an outside supplier for conversion to the
NTSC system format. We always request that anamorphic tapes be
"letterboxed" so that the correct ratio is maintained. This is a process
that usually takes a few days. By the time we discovered the discrepancy
in the format (4:3 versus 16:9), it was too late to request new tapes."

Obviously this doens't apply to CBC Hockey or any other CBC originated shows, but it does show there are more forces at play than we're aware of when it comes to TV programs!
 

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JesseJ said:
When was Global's last original HD programming? Never?
Vanity Insanity is original Global programming and was produced in HD. I don't have Global HD (thank god), but I assume it was broadcast on there in HD.
 

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nfitz said:
Wouldn't it make more sense to broadcast in 16:9 letterbox, and then people can just zoom in to get the whole picture?
I also disagree with this idea. The puck can be hard enough to see as it is on an old (small) TV (especially if you have a weak signal). If you squished the image to 16:9 letterbox, it would probably become a single pixel on the screen.
 

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GeorgeMx said:
The CBC web site (http://www.cbc.radio-canada.ca/mobile/images/pdf/edmontonD86.pdf) shows Edmonton has an SD digital truck with some widescreen 16:9 capability. If CBC put some WS SD cameras or HD cameras in SD widescreen mode into the truck they would be able to do WS production. This seems to be what Marc is referring to in other posts. The CBC Winnipeg truck (http://www.cbc.radio-canada.ca/mobile/images/pdf/winnipeg.pdf) appears to be widescreen capable as it has a complement of WS SD cameras but it doesn't appear to be a digital truck. You can do widescreen in NTSC but the results won't be as good because of the colour bandwidth limitations imposed by the NTSC signal.
Cool link! Thanks. I did some looking around and the "Mobile D80 - Montreal" also has the same WS capable cameras and it seems to have more equipment in common with the Edmonton truck than the Winnipeg truck does. It also seems similar in size and layout to the Edmonton Truck. Would it be feasible for CBC to make this into a WS truck? I know WS isn't as good as true HDTV, but if they have the equipment, they might as well take full advantage of it.

Also, when the new HDTV truck is finished, do you know where it will be based? Will it replace one of the existing trucks?
 

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roger1818 said:
Also, when the new HDTV truck is finished, do you know where it will be based? Will it replace one of the existing trucks?
I don't know, I read the CBC web site just like you. Hopefully, CBC will be able to do some winter sports productions like skiing, snowboarding and skating in HD. The major sports events generally occur on weekends and conflict with Saturday night hockey so we did not get anything but HD hockey from Toronto last winter. With two trucks they will have more flexibility and could send a truck west to do a few hockey games and other winter sports. On weekends when western HD hockey games are shown, the east game could be in SD and the second HD truck could do other programming. Hockey fans would still get an HD game each Saturday while other viewers (taxpayers) would get to see their sport in HD too. And remember that CBC French network, SRC, will also need HD production capability.
 

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Marc said:
the equipment used to make widescreen possible is actually on loan from HD projects. The hardware was purchased for HD. It's just being borrowed until the HD installations are ready for them.

Thanks for the info Marc.
 
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