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jihenry - ya just noticed here tonight that global 41 from toronto now has a SD sub channel 41.2 never seen that before, but it actually seems to be a stronger signal not weaker, wonder whats the deal with the SD channel?
 

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41.2

Yup, 41.2 SD is coming in. Don't know about Paris 6 having a sub. Who said subs would never happen in Canada?
 

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Wow, isn't that sumthin. Thought I'd never see the day.
Nice that they are using the technology now
 

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wonder whats the deal with the SD channel?
I see it's currently the same content as the HD channel. I wonder if they're planning something else for it? Also, it'd be nice if it was 16:9, even if still SD.
 

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IMHO if the current HD and SD channels are the same, then it's better to keep the SD subchannel at 4:3 for people with SD-quality, square TVs.

If it's a different sub-channel with different content, then SD Widescreen would be nice.
 

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^^^^
What happens when a 16:9 SD signal is received on a OTA HD converter? IIRC, they have a button for aspect ratio, so perhaps viewers could select letterbox or full height 480 line images. Also, they're supposed to handle all ATSC formats, which includes 16:9 SD.
 

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yeah I don't see the point in a sub channel in SD if it is going to be the same programming as on the HD channel. Anyone watching on an old TV is going to be using a converter that likely has a zoom option to make the HD channel fill their old 4:3 aspect ratio TV if that is what they want to do. Sun TV did the same thing when they first started broadcasting in Ottawa but a month or two later the sub channel disappeared as it had the same programming as the HD channel so it didn't really serve any purpose.

Hopefully though this is an indication that Global is planning to offer different programming at some point on the SD subchannel. This would be a first for Canada as far as I know if they do.

Now if they would just do something about the low power of RF 6 in Ottawa or move to UHF so that it would be more reliable, that would really make me happy.
 

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The SD stream looks better when using a digital 2 analog converter box.

WNED has had 17.1 hd and 17.2 sd for a long time and on a CRT TV it is handy to have. I would, of course, prefer another entirely different channel, but if that's not in the cards, it's still good to have the SD.
 

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^^^^
What happens when a 16:9 SD signal is received on a OTA HD converter? IIRC, they have a button for aspect ratio,
Yes and no.

In the case of my RCA DTA800, the aspect ration can be changed, but only after decending into a few levels of menu.
and while you're in the menu system, there is no audio or video.

The only buttons on the remote that allow for live changing of parameters are for audio cannel seclection, and Closed Captioning selection.
Changing aspect ratio on the fly with a single button push on the remte would be nice.

Note that some stations that broadcast 24/7 in 4:3 use AFD to tell the converter to display the signal as full frame 4:3 on a CRT display. This is the case for some PBS subchannels, as well as CHCH-DT-1 in Ottawa, which is sending a 480i signal as 1080i 19 Mb/s 4:3.
 

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The SD feed serves a small purpose to OTA viewers: It's adjusted for old TV screens.

The show producer and advertisers decide if it should be sent out with cutted sides or with black bars on top and bottom.

In the morning (non-news), Global have filler shows from HGTV/Slice which are shot in 16:9 but in standard definition, so on the HD channel you'll see black bars all around the screen. Your digital to analog converter box will put additional black bars on top and bottom, which is ridiculous. Someone suggests to use the Zoom button but that messes up with the advertisements, so again not as intended.

But for us, OTA users and HDTV set owners, we just see that SD simsulcast channel as useless as it brings nothing new and eats up precious bandwidth that could be best used to either improve the HD channel quality or to provide a digital sub-channel with original content. Hope for the latter.
 

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HD vs SD

In the case of my RCA DTA800, the aspect ration can be changed, but only after decending into a few levels of menu.
I don't know if this is an unusual feature, but my Zinwell (ZRC-4502) remote does have a zoom button to change the aspect ratio on the fly. Handy feature.

The SD stream looks better when using a digital 2 analog converter box.
In my experience, I haven't found this to be the case. WNED 17.2 SD has noticeably softer graphics compared with 17.1 HD. The audio is noticeably better on 17.1 as well. I much prefer the crisp picture and full sound of 17.1 even on my 32-inch CRT.

2nd month with no cable fees -- sweet. Cogeco has yet to get around to disconnecting the cable feed.
 

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Well in the hopes that Global/Shaw is just running some testing with the idea towards putting something else in the subchannel, theoretically what would that be? I know that this idea may not be very likely, but is there anything stopping them from adding one of their specialty channels as a subchannel?

I wonder if Sun News a precedent for this. They were licensed as a Category 2 specialty channel but continued airing OTA for several months. Granted they were not a subchannel but the same principle may apply. Also if a category 2 channel started airing as a sub on 41.2, would they receive must-carry status on cable/sat?

I don't think there would be much benefit to Shaw in placing a Category 1 channel in the subchannel, aside from the slightly increased exposure, as these channels are already must-carry on cable/sat. But if they were able to gain some enhanced visibility on cable/sat by placing a Category 2 channel in the subchannel, I wonder if it could be worth it to them.
 

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The Stevenson Global 22-1 down here does not have this SD sub channel that the the others seem to have.

Other than that though, it looks like they are using a old encoder from the late 90's or something. Terrible macro blocking with motion.
 

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An SD simulcast does make it convenient for PC cards and PVRs to record casual programming without chewing up several Gigabytes of HD space. On the one set here that runs off of a Zenith DTT-901, I just leave the Zenith set to "auto" or "set by program" for the aspect ratio.
 

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I think these SD subchannels have been present since the stations went live in the summer. They were just hidden before where your tuner couldn't see them. Global Winnipeg had one when it went live. There has been a discussion with a Global engineer in the the Global PSIP thread about how some tuners weren't able to pick up Global at all when the SD subchannels were hidden.

I think the SD subchannel is for use by some cable distributors for the analog/SD tier. It is probably more reliable to use this than to try getting AFD working to determine what should be centre cut and what should be letterboxed.
 

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ralph_sinclair, I would tend to agree.
 

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I have a TSReader dump from CIII-HD Toronto on Aug 31st, the 1st time I was ever reliably able to receive it here, And yes there was a PID 0x41 , 0x44, 0x45 at
2.8 Mbps, .2Mbps, ,2Mpbs as indicated in TSreader, with no association in the Program Association Table. So yeah, if ya had some means to manually have entered them PIDs, like with a PC based tuner, and PC S/W u would have likely received the SD feed back then as well. Of course I didn't look that close until now:)

Snippet
Code:
PID Usage Chart

0x0000 (0.13% ~ 0.02 Mbps)	
0x0000 MPEG-2 Program Assocation Table
0x0030 (0.13% ~ 0.02 Mbps)	
0x0030 MPEG-2 PMT for program 1
0x0031 (78.37% - 15.20 Mbps)	
0x0031 MPEG-2 Video for program 1
0x0034 (2.04% ~ 0.39 Mbps)	
0x0034 AC-3 Audio for program 1
0x0035 (1.02% ~ 0.20 Mbps)	
0x0035 AC-3 Audio for program 1
[B][I]0x0041 (14.44% - 2.80 Mbps)	
0x0041 Unknown usage
0x0044 (1.02% ~ 0.20 Mbps)	
0x0044 Unknown usage
0x0045 (1.02% ~ 0.20 Mbps)	
0x0045 Unknown usage[/I][/B]
 
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