Are Any Sub-Channels Broadcast In High Definition?

ACE - Professor

Are Any Sub-Channels Broadcast In High Definition?

Since ME-TV is the only sub-channel that U-Verse has in the St. Louis area, I have this question. If U-Verse decided to include all of the sub-channels, do any of them or some of them have high definition capabiltiy?

 

I know that ME-TV is broadcast only in standard defintion. Is this the case for most sub-channels?

 


Owning a computer and not having the internet is like buying a refrigerator and not stocking it with food.

Owning a computer and not having the internet is like buying a refrigerator and not stocking it with food.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 1 of 12 (1,173 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Are Any Sub-Channels Broadcast In High Definition?

In addition to ME TV, both Antenna TV & Cozi TV only broadcasts in 480i. 

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 2 of 12 (1,134 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Are Any Sub-Channels Broadcast In High Definition?


skeeterintexas wrote:

In addition to ME TV, both Antenna TV & Cozi TV only broadcasts in 480i. 

 


I would assume that the PBS sub-channels, and any other sub-channels that I see on the television listings for St. Louis are also 480i so they would not have high definition capability either if U-Verse would ever broadcast sub-channels.

 

http://tvlistings.aol.com/listings/mo/saint-louis/over-the-air/63132

 


Owning a computer and not having the internet is like buying a refrigerator and not stocking it with food.

Owning a computer and not having the internet is like buying a refrigerator and not stocking it with food.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 3 of 12 (1,117 Views)
Expert

Re: Are Any Sub-Channels Broadcast In High Definition?

It is technically possible to broadcast a subchannel in HD, but no broadcaster does it.

An over-the-air HD channel has 19 Mbps of bandwidth available. Because OTA digital is limited to MPEG-2, not H.264, that means you need at least 12 Mbps for an HD feed, and at least 3-4 Mbps for an SD feed.

Because the main channel (x.1) is usually HD, that leaves only about 7 Mbps of free bandwidth in the channel, which is insufficient for another HD feed. Thus, subchannels are practically always SD.

I have seen a few channels here in the Houston area that use all-SD for their channels, and have 6-8 total channels in the feed (x.1 through x.8).
Message 4 of 12 (1,083 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Are Any Sub-Channels Broadcast In High Definition?

In my area, TW used to show all the NCAA tournament games on the CBS subchannels. They would set up special channels on their service, since CBS just normally has one subchannel.

For example, CBSHD is 10.1. The regular subchannel is 10.2. Channels 10.3 and 10.4 would be set up on a temporary basis and all those subchannels would be something like 86-88 on the TW system.

Because they had to split the signal so many ways, they lost HD formatting for 10.2..I think. I remember them not having the ability to show the extra games in HD. They even announced such so people wouldn't freak.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 5 of 12 (1,046 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Are Any Sub-Channels Broadcast In High Definition?


SomeJoe7777 wrote:
It is technically possible to broadcast a subchannel in HD, but no broadcaster does it.

An over-the-air HD channel has 19 Mbps of bandwidth available. Because OTA digital is limited to MPEG-2, not H.264, that means you need at least 12 Mbps for an HD feed, and at least 3-4 Mbps for an SD feed.

Because the main channel (x.1) is usually HD, that leaves only about 7 Mbps of free bandwidth in the channel, which is insufficient for another HD feed. Thus, subchannels are practically always SD.

I have seen a few channels here in the Houston area that use all-SD for their channels, and have 6-8 total channels in the feed (x.1 through x.8).

Since subchannels are practically always SD, this is a conflicting problem for some people. There was a poster a couple of weeks ago that wanted to get rid of all of the standard definition channels. On the other hand, there are posters who are unhappy that U-Verse does not have sub-channels.

 

This is a big problem for my fictional combination poster, if he does exist, who does not want standard definition channels, but is unhappy that there are no sub-channels on U-Verse. It sounds like you cannot have it both ways.

 


Owning a computer and not having the internet is like buying a refrigerator and not stocking it with food.

Owning a computer and not having the internet is like buying a refrigerator and not stocking it with food.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 6 of 12 (1,028 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Are Any Sub-Channels Broadcast In High Definition?

Or as my momma used to say "You'd complain if they hung you with a new rope."
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 7 of 12 (1,025 Views)

Re: Are Any Sub-Channels Broadcast In High Definition?

 


SomeJoe7777 wrote:
It is technically possible to broadcast a subchannel in HD, but no broadcaster does it.

An over-the-air HD channel has 19 Mbps of bandwidth available. Because OTA digital is limited to MPEG-2, not H.264, that means you need at least 12 Mbps for an HD feed, and at least 3-4 Mbps for an SD feed.

Because the main channel (x.1) is usually HD, that leaves only about 7 Mbps of free bandwidth in the channel, which is insufficient for another HD feed. Thus, subchannels are practically always SD.

I have seen a few channels here in the Houston area that use all-SD for their channels, and have 6-8 total channels in the feed (x.1 through x.8).

SomeJoe,

Have a look at this:

www.rabbitears.info/oddsandends.php?request=dualhd

 

Some of these are in 1080i!  The macroblocking must be terrible.

 

Regards.

 

Message 8 of 12 (987 Views)

Re: Are Any Sub-Channels Broadcast In High Definition?

Here in the SF Bay Area KGO ch 7 and all other O&O ABC affiliates  has both Live Well HD 7.2 Live Well SD 7.3 and its complete waste bandwidth to carry SD version with HD. They use to carry Local accuweather channel 7.3 but replace it with Live Well SD.

Message 9 of 12 (959 Views)
Expert

Re: Are Any Sub-Channels Broadcast In High Definition?

ethanedwards,

Yes, those are some unusual configurations. Anything below 12 Mbps for 1080i or 720p is not going to look very good, but most of the stations that are trying to do this (2 feeds in HD) are using a technique that can help mitigate the situation.

They are using some new encoders that do shared variable bitrate between all the feeds. What this means is that the encoder doesn't just look at a single feed on one (sub)channel, but instead looks at all the MPEG-2 streams together as a whole. If one subchannel has some fast action going on, and the other subchannel has stationary content, the encoder dynamically "borrows" bitrate from one subchannel to give to the other. So the total bitrate for all the subchannels stays at the maximum (19 Mbps), but individual channels swap around their allocation so that scenes that require higher bitrate can (usually) get it.

The satellite industry has been doing this since the early 2000's. A single satellite transponder on DirecTV or Dish Network usually has around a 60 Mbps total feed, and can carry upwards of 10 HD channels using H.264. The encoders are similar, and swap around bitrate within the 10 channels on that transponder. This works better than the same variable bitrate solution on ATSC, because more channels within the total transport stream means more opportunities for still scenes and therefore bitrate savings.
Message 10 of 12 (937 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Are Any Sub-Channels Broadcast In High Definition?

Hi SJ - I was going to post the link to rabbitears.info link but ethanedwards beat me to it.

 

You know, the real elephant in the room will be the FCC and their lusty desire to remove RF space from TV broadcasts and other users and auction the space off to wireless interests.  I have heard of the FCC wishing to truncate TV RF space at UHF channel 31.  That will mean some stations will have to consolidate and there will be more instances like Monterey, CA or Biloxi MS, where two of the big four network stations will be on a 720p x.2 subchannel against a 720p x.1.  I really think that the FCC is wanting to push TV away from OTA and that would be a good way, unfortunately.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 11 of 12 (907 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Are Any Sub-Channels Broadcast In High Definition?


dhascall wrote:

Hi SJ - I was going to post the link to rabbitears.info link but ethanedwards beat me to it.

 

You know, the real elephant in the room will be the FCC and their lusty desire to remove RF space from TV broadcasts and other users and auction the space off to wireless interests.  I have heard of the FCC wishing to truncate TV RF space at UHF channel 31.  That will mean some stations will have to consolidate and there will be more instances like Monterey, CA or Biloxi MS, where two of the big four network stations will be on a 720p x.2 subchannel against a 720p x.1.  I really think that the FCC is wanting to push TV away from OTA and that would be a good way, unfortunately.


And so it goes, the FCC chief has mentioned "Channel Sharing:" in a blog.  Sorry but  I told you so.

 

Read this here (there is lots more on the web)

 

And this is from Scott, a broadcast  engineer (sorry for the formating issues).  I am sharing without Scott's permission but it is allowed with a mention to the "Worldwide FM TV and DX Asn. DX list:"

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Channel sharing is partially an FCC pipe dream, partially a ploy to move 

 

      OTA TV to more modern technology.

 

       

 

      The fixed factor here is the 6 MHz of RF. Within that 6 MHz, the current 

 

      ATSC technology allows for 19.39 megabits/second of data. How that 19.39 

 

      Mbps is divided is up to the station, and up to the level of encoding 

 

      technology they want to employ. Early encoders weren't especially good 

 

      at the job, but more modern encoding technology has improved the quality 

 

      of multicasting to the point where it's possible to do multiple 720p HD 

 

      streams on one signal. If it takes 11 Mbps or so for a decent 720p 

 

      signal, how is that possible? Through the use of dynamic encoders that 

 

      don't always give the same amount of data throughput to the same 

 

      streams: if 12.1 is showing a relatively static image (say, a 

 

      talking-head newscast) and 12.2 is showing a sports event, 12.2 will get 

 

      more bandwidth and 12.1 will get less. But instead of doing this by the 

 

      show, the best new encoders can do this by the second, or even less.

 

       

 

      Moving to a more efficient encoding algorithm - say, MPEG4 or H.264 - 

 

      would allow for even more streams to fit in that 19.39 Mbps, at the 

 

      expense of reverse-compatibility with existing receivers. That may or 

 

      may not be a pipe dream.

 

       

 

      But here's the key: the whole "two stations sharing a channel" is a 

 

      purely regulatory matter, not a technical matter.

 

       

 

      Consider Elmira, New York, for instance: WENY-TV (RF 36) runs three 

 

      streams of programming right now on its 19.39 Mbps of throughput. 

 

      There's ABC on 36.1, CBS on 36.2 (downconverted from 1080i to either 

 

      720p or 480p, not sure which) and CW on 36.3 in SD.

 

       

 

      A few miles away, WETM (RF 18) runs two streams - NBC on 18.1 in 1080i 

 

      and independent "WETM2" in SD on 18.2.

 

       

 

      Now imagine that the third station in town, WYDC (RF 50/virtual 48), 

 

      decides to give up its RF channel to auction and enters into a sharing 

 

      agreement with WETM. Now WETM has NBC on 18.1, WETM2 on 18.2 and WYDC's 

 

      Fox programming on 48.1.

 

       

 

      From a technical standpoint, again, there is NO difference between the 

 

      three streams of video coming out of WENY-TV's transmitter on 36 and the 

 

      three streams of video that would be coming out of WETM's transmitter on 

 

      18. It's only from a regulatory point of view that they're any different 

 

      - WYDC would continue to be responsible for all of the programming 

 

      requirements that attach to its portion of the stream, including 

 

      children's programming and EAS.

 

       

 

      But as DXers, channel sharing per se shouldn't really have any effect on 

 

      us. So what if KLCS, for instance, is now broadcasting some streams that 

 

      are "58.x" and operated by KLCS and others that are "57.x" and operated 

 

      by KJLA? As it stands, we can already receive transmitters that are 

 

      broadcasting multiple streams with different major channel numbers (e.g. 

 

      "9.2" alongside "5.1" on WNYW RF 44 and "5.2" alongside "9.1" and "9.3" 

 

      on WWOR RF 38 in New York). The only difference between those situations 

 

      and, say, KJLA/KLCS is that WNYW and WWOR have common ownership.

 

       

 

      (What channel sharing WOULD do to make our lives more complicated, in 

 

      the event that the FCC's complicated reverse-auction system ever 

 

      actually achieves what it's designed to do, is to further congest an 

 

      even more limited UHF spectrum - more locals and fewer open DX channels. 

 

      But that's the FCC's goal right now regardless of whether channel 

 

      sharing works.)

 

       

 

      That make any sense?

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 12 of 12 (837 Views)
Share this topic
Announcements

Welcome to the AT&T Community Forums!!! Stop by the Community How-To section for tips on how to get started.