Conference in HD?

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russellhltn
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Conference in HD?

Postby russellhltn » Tue Oct 02, 2007 6:21 pm

So, there I was making sure the RS Broadcast went OK (the big screen remote is a priesthood responsibility :D) When a couple of people asked me about getting a bigger screen.

Bigger? I think it's at least 5' wide. I quickly point out that a bigger screen means you must get a brighter projector since double the dimensions means you're spreading the same amount of light over 4 times the area - for 1/4th the brightness, but I don't know as that went far.

But that got me thinking (dangerous, I know). Bigger also means fuzzier. Church broadcasts are all in SD. But with falling prices of big screens and increasing penetration of HD in the home, how long before the membership turns up their noses at SD broadcasts?

So, the question - what is the Church's plans for HD in the future? Can it be done over the existing C-band bird or does this also mean a whole new satellite system? Within 20 years, we'll have a generation that's known nothing but HD and SD will look like YouTube.

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Postby JamesAnderson » Tue Oct 02, 2007 7:35 pm

For those who don't know about the changeover that is happening in the US, it is a very major deal.

All full-power TV stations, such as KSL-TV, KBYU-TV, etc., will shut down their analog transmitters at midnight on Feb. 17, 2009, that date was mandated by Congress. The only thing left will be alot of translators and low power stations that have only now begun to migrate over to digital transmssion.. The vast majority of full-power stations will be on different channels than they are now because of the assignment of channels they took during the transition period. Due to the compression technology, many stations are broadcasting as many as three channels, a few, like KBYU, have gotten in as many as five.

You can also run one purely high definition channel in 1080i resolution on the station, but I'm finding that to be somewhat rare.

Older TVs will still work with DBS carriers and cable systems, and a massive set-top box promotion will begin early next year for those that don't subscribe to eitehr satellite or cable.

So KSL is doing some HD, although right now it only involves really the number of lines on the screen (Fox for example plans to urn all their programming at about 875 lines of resolution and still get multiple channels on thier station feeds)

If anyone has an HD tuner here in Salt Lake and gets the signal off the air, let us know what Conference looks like and what you believe the resolution to be. Once in digital, you can use any numer of lines of resolution, so if it's over I think 525, it's in the newer ATSC format. By the way, KSL will be on Channel 38 after the transition. It is there already although your tuner will still say 5.



.

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lincles-p40
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Postby lincles-p40 » Tue Oct 02, 2007 11:39 pm

I get KSL in HD through comcast. when i am on that channel, SD content is small and surrounded by a black box, News, games and programs in HD fill the whole screen (and are in wide screen).

The past several conferences i have watched on that channel have been wide screen and extremely clear, i didn't specifically check the signal, but assumed that since it filled the whole screen like the other HD content on KSL, that it was HD. It looked really good.

Just a note, also for the past several conferences, the box in the top of the screen where they show the conductor during a congregational hymn has been a 16:9 box indicating that the cameras are all HD. (you'll notice the wide box on a SD broadcast also)

I wonder how long it will be until the HD signal that we enjoy through KSL here locally will be available from a satellite feed - or if it already is

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Postby thedqs » Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:34 am

For satellite I believe that you can get HD without any change over from the current system. It just takes up more bandwidth (or better compression) but since it would take up more bandwidth you might get less channels of the other languages.

Though the internet stream I think will stay as audio or low def video just because there is too much demand on the servers by everyone staying home to watch conference in bed off the laptop.
- David

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Postby russellhltn » Wed Oct 03, 2007 11:48 am

thedqs wrote:For satellite I believe that you can get HD without any change over from the current system.


I'm sure we'd have to change out the receivers, but I was wondering if it included the antenna too.

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Postby JamesAnderson » Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:11 pm

Might the dish part of the satellite receiver look something like these two 18" DBS dishes that DirecTV provides to its customers for HD programming?

http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/global/contentPageNR.jsp?assetId=P4370040

The LNB part won't be the same of course on the large dishes the Church uses, but I'm wondering if the actual 'dish' part is going to have to look like the concave 'eyeglass lens' shapes seen here.

The other piece of equipment that might have to be swapped out eventually is going to be the box that is in each building that we use to get the broadcasts to the TVs in the building.

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:05 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I'm sure we'd have to change out the receivers, but I was wondering if it included the antenna too.


The antenna just focuses the data stream into the receiver. Unless they are operating on frequencies that the dish is not tuned for I do not see any reason to have to change dishes.

As for getting two dishes I believe DirecTV just has two different satellites, one for HD and one for SD. Dish I believe uses the same dish for HD and SD since they use the same satellite.
- David

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Postby jkarras-p40 » Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:18 pm

The DVB standard now requires support for MPEG4. I believe things are moving away from MPEG2 in the satellite realm to conserve RF space. Its not cheap to put new birds up there and there is only so much RF space to go around. A new dish would only be required if the frequency or satellite changed. Even then only if you changed bands e.g. C to Ku or something.

I believe the newer DirectTV and DishNetwork boxes that support HD are using MPEG4. Those with HD packages on satellite may notice that most of the providers seem to over compress the image leading to blocky artifacts. I have seen where people in other parts of the US were dropping cable because of this. They found that the over the air HD was better quality and cheaper than paying for over compressed images.

An example of HD on some satellites is here: http://www.lyngsat.com/hd/echo3.html
On EchoStar 3 there is a mix of MPEG2 and MPEG4 HD content. The Church Satellite system is broadcasting in the pre-HD DVB format if you will. The North America feeds are on Galaxy 28 and Galaxy 25. These satellites also carry BYU-TV. Click on link below and search for BYU-TV.

http://www.lyngsat.com/galaxy25.html

The reason the DishNetwork and DirectTV dishes are strange shapes some times is because they have two LMB's and are picking up two satellites.

I wanted to say that one of the first HD broadcasts for KSL was General Conference but I can't find any articles saying that. Does anyone remember if this is true?

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Postby russellhltn » Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:41 pm

jkarras wrote:The DVB standard now requires support for MPEG4. I believe things are moving away from MPEG2 in the satellite realm to conserve RF space. Its not cheap to put new birds up there and there is only so much RF space to go around.


Well, the story I heard is that that church was pushed from analog into digital by the satellite folks. It could happen again.

jkarras wrote:A new dish would only be required if the frequency or satellite changed. Even then only if you changed bands e.g. C to Ku or something.


I've been told that our dish at the stake center is overdue for a change. It was built when the satellites weren't spaced as closely together as they are now, so it doesn't have a sharp enough focus to keep neighboring stats out of the signal. But otherwise, yes, I'd agree. OTOH, if the Church has to make a good sized change to the system, I hope they do look at the bands. I'm sure lots of people would like to see smaller dishes. :rolleyes: Not to mention the possibility of doing two-way/Internet connection.

jkarras wrote:I wanted to say that one of the first HD broadcasts for KSL was General Conference but I can't find any articles saying that. Does anyone remember if this is true?


I can't say, but I heard the Conference Center was designed ground up for HD. Now that the tab has been renovated, it may be in even better shape. But the real issue is distribution.

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Postby thedqs » Thu Oct 04, 2007 5:29 am

RussellHltn wrote::rolleyes: Not to mention the possibility of doing two-way/Internet connection.


From what I remember about sat internet the uplink is still 56Kb or 128 Kb and it goes through your phone line (I think similar to DSL). The downlink however is through the sat and depending on how many people are using it at the same time determines how fast you can go.

So I still would like the wards and stakes to go fiber-optic, currently possible here in Utah Valley, and then you could have the church on one large network and get access to intranet resources for church buildings only.
- David


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