Skinny people on my TV

Skinny people on my TV

Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 22nd, 2008, 1:10 am #1

As you probably know, the country is converting to digital TV next year. Right now all TV stations are broadcasting in both the old analog and on a different channel- the new digital system. Generally the same program is sent to both transmitters. But this can be a problem because most digital programing is produced in a wide screen format. So stations are presented with a dilemma- how do you fit a wide-screen picture on a squarish 3x4 format analog screen?

There's three options- all with problems- the first is simply crop the sides of the picture so that it looks normal on a analog TV- except that 33% of the picture is missing. The second option is to "letterbox" the picture- shrink it down until the whole picture is visible on the analog screen. This causes everything to appear smaller and with black bars at top and bottom.

One station around here has chosen the third option- to compress the picture horizontally to fit the analog screen. This results in everything appearing 33% thinner than normal- which for some people might be a good thing. Still it's a bit disconcerting.

There are variations on these methods- some stations use a little bit of all three methods as a compromise. Another technique which has been used by some is selective compression- the middle of the picture has normal aspect but as you get towards the side the compression becomes increasingly severe. This is not done much because it can produce some very weird effects.

I just thought I'd mention this so you can look and see what the stations in your area are doing.
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Bob
Bob

March 22nd, 2008, 3:36 am #2

I don't see any picture distortions that you noted. We don't have the "shadow box" areas at top or bottom either. We have analog cable. Whatever distortion there is appears subtle.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 22nd, 2008, 5:52 am #3

They are probably cropping the sides then- you wouldn't know what you were missing without seeing the uncropped picture.
Ofcourse it's not likely you are missing anything important since for the time being they will be making sure all the important stuff will be in the middle 2/3 of the screen that you see.
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Marseil
Marseil

March 22nd, 2008, 8:30 am #4

As you probably know, the country is converting to digital TV next year. Right now all TV stations are broadcasting in both the old analog and on a different channel- the new digital system. Generally the same program is sent to both transmitters. But this can be a problem because most digital programing is produced in a wide screen format. So stations are presented with a dilemma- how do you fit a wide-screen picture on a squarish 3x4 format analog screen?

There's three options- all with problems- the first is simply crop the sides of the picture so that it looks normal on a analog TV- except that 33% of the picture is missing. The second option is to "letterbox" the picture- shrink it down until the whole picture is visible on the analog screen. This causes everything to appear smaller and with black bars at top and bottom.

One station around here has chosen the third option- to compress the picture horizontally to fit the analog screen. This results in everything appearing 33% thinner than normal- which for some people might be a good thing. Still it's a bit disconcerting.

There are variations on these methods- some stations use a little bit of all three methods as a compromise. Another technique which has been used by some is selective compression- the middle of the picture has normal aspect but as you get towards the side the compression becomes increasingly severe. This is not done much because it can produce some very weird effects.

I just thought I'd mention this so you can look and see what the stations in your area are doing.
Nat: This results in everything appearing 33% thinner than normal- which for some people might be a good thing. Still it's a bit disconcerting.

At last, an attempt to do something against overweight people!

Marseil
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 22nd, 2008, 3:04 pm #5

Yes, well I guess this is one solution to our overweight population.
Traditionally people have complained cameras make them look fatter so guess this is compensation.

By the way- what's France doing about digital TV?
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Cool beans boi
Cool beans boi

March 22nd, 2008, 3:15 pm #6

As you probably know, the country is converting to digital TV next year. Right now all TV stations are broadcasting in both the old analog and on a different channel- the new digital system. Generally the same program is sent to both transmitters. But this can be a problem because most digital programing is produced in a wide screen format. So stations are presented with a dilemma- how do you fit a wide-screen picture on a squarish 3x4 format analog screen?

There's three options- all with problems- the first is simply crop the sides of the picture so that it looks normal on a analog TV- except that 33% of the picture is missing. The second option is to "letterbox" the picture- shrink it down until the whole picture is visible on the analog screen. This causes everything to appear smaller and with black bars at top and bottom.

One station around here has chosen the third option- to compress the picture horizontally to fit the analog screen. This results in everything appearing 33% thinner than normal- which for some people might be a good thing. Still it's a bit disconcerting.

There are variations on these methods- some stations use a little bit of all three methods as a compromise. Another technique which has been used by some is selective compression- the middle of the picture has normal aspect but as you get towards the side the compression becomes increasingly severe. This is not done much because it can produce some very weird effects.

I just thought I'd mention this so you can look and see what the stations in your area are doing.
I have noticed this big time on our local CBS station's 11 pm news. WCBS 11pm news in in HD. Some of the reports look normal, but some look very skinny. I guess those are the ones in HD. I have seen the broadcast on HD a few times. The non HD stories have the CBS logo in the corners on the HD channel. I guess this will get worse after 2009.
The funny thing is that the NBC and ABC and FOX affiliate does HD local news as well. I do not notice the concave look on their analog broadcasts. There must be a way of mimimizing that effect.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 22nd, 2008, 3:56 pm #7

Most likely they are simply cropping the sides of the picture off- which usually doesn't contain anything important so people watching on regular TVs don't know they're missing anything. This has been done for years when wide-screen movies are shown on TV so it's nothing new.

I actually find the wide screens distracting. Like you see one person siting there and all this empty space on each side. Rarely does the extra width add anything important while it tends to distract one's focus from what is.
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Marseil
Marseil

March 22nd, 2008, 6:12 pm #8

Yes, well I guess this is one solution to our overweight population.
Traditionally people have complained cameras make them look fatter so guess this is compensation.

By the way- what's France doing about digital TV?
I think the answer to your question is the TNT (television numérique terrestre). There are two wikipedia articles in French about them. You can try an automatic translation, or directly read the French version as you will catch the technical terms.
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Télévision ... _française
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Télévision ... _Terrestre

There is a very short English translation at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Télévision ... _Terrestre

Marseil
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 22nd, 2008, 9:22 pm #9

Well I didn't get a lot out of the French stuff but I did make out that they are using MPEG4 encoding and COFDM modulation.

You know when talk about digital TV began some 10-15 years ago people were saying that this was opportunity for the world to co-operate on one uniform standard instead of the mishmash of analog standards we have had all these years. But alas it wasn't to be- there's 4 different codecs and 3 or 4 different modulation methods being used- and as before the US and Europe are different.

One of the things that delayed digital TV here was a fierce debate between the American develop 8VSB and the European COFDM modulation. Ofcourse, each side contented their's was best and when the FCC chose 8VSB for the US there were howls of protest and lawsuits charging it was a decision based politics rather than technical merits.

But despite my misgivings about the decision process, I think it turned out to be a pretty good one. About all the initial problems with 8VSB have been resolved and it is a more efficient system. It's lower power and peak ratio is easier on transmitters which was my main concern.
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R
R

March 24th, 2008, 8:21 am #10

As you probably know, the country is converting to digital TV next year. Right now all TV stations are broadcasting in both the old analog and on a different channel- the new digital system. Generally the same program is sent to both transmitters. But this can be a problem because most digital programing is produced in a wide screen format. So stations are presented with a dilemma- how do you fit a wide-screen picture on a squarish 3x4 format analog screen?

There's three options- all with problems- the first is simply crop the sides of the picture so that it looks normal on a analog TV- except that 33% of the picture is missing. The second option is to "letterbox" the picture- shrink it down until the whole picture is visible on the analog screen. This causes everything to appear smaller and with black bars at top and bottom.

One station around here has chosen the third option- to compress the picture horizontally to fit the analog screen. This results in everything appearing 33% thinner than normal- which for some people might be a good thing. Still it's a bit disconcerting.

There are variations on these methods- some stations use a little bit of all three methods as a compromise. Another technique which has been used by some is selective compression- the middle of the picture has normal aspect but as you get towards the side the compression becomes increasingly severe. This is not done much because it can produce some very weird effects.

I just thought I'd mention this so you can look and see what the stations in your area are doing.
Well, I've upgraded to 1024x768, most of the time, but I still don't have digital TV.

I'm still using an old Sears TV. Its tuner is gradually deteriorating, and the remote is lost somewhere. We haven't turned it on in weeks, anyway.

Maybe later someone here will worry about finding a converter box and getting a voucher for it.
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