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Old 07-23-05, 10:08 PM   #1
OrangeJTM46
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OLN Picture Quality

Did anyone else catch the Tour recap last weekend on CBS? It was the same exact footage as OLN, but the picture quality actually looked good, opposed to OLN's grainy and pale broadcast. Is there a reason for this?
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Old 07-23-05, 10:23 PM   #2
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they all supposedly get the same french national tv feed. i dont know why cbs' might be better.
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Old 07-23-05, 10:39 PM   #3
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the CBS footage is not the Live feed that is broadcast during the actual stage. OLN uses the same footage the world sees live, but they use it 3 times. I don't know where CBS gets thiers, but it was very nice to see a different perspective throught the race.
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Old 07-23-05, 11:22 PM   #4
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OLN needs to get with the High Def scene.

Honestly it's a MAJOR event and to have the picture so crappy, especially when you're promoting the whole French countryside/tourist thing with the georgeous scenery....well it's just unthinkable. The TDF is THE event to broadcast in HD.
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Old 07-23-05, 11:26 PM   #5
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In that case, Discovery needs to step to the plate, since they actually have the capability, and an HD channel to broadcast it on..

I guess you can say that OLN has the capability to produce HD, since they did the Lance Chronicles last year(which were broadcast on InHD)

Does anyone know if the French channel providing ALL the on course video is shooting in HD, or even widescreen?
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Old 07-23-05, 11:52 PM   #6
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I like the helicopter noises
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Old 07-23-05, 11:55 PM   #7
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If it goes HD how many people will be unable to watch it because they don't get the HD channel and/or don't have an HDTV?

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Old 07-24-05, 12:08 AM   #8
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I'm gonna guess here... OLN is broadcasting what... 4 or 5 hours of their own footage and French TV footage back to the US *each day*. Satellite "time" is expensive. They likely compress the hell out of it in order to save on sat costs.

CBS might have someone in France securing just the footage they want then either couriering the tapes to the US or sending that small amount of footage over satellite at a higher bitrate.

You'll see the same thing with Formula 1. The video looks OK (but not great) and the audio sounds like a tin can telephone.
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Old 07-24-05, 05:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monument Man
OLN needs to get with the High Def scene.

Honestly it's a MAJOR event and to have the picture so crappy, especially when you're promoting the whole French countryside/tourist thing with the georgeous scenery....well it's just unthinkable. The TDF is THE event to broadcast in HD.
Does France TV have HD capibility?
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Old 07-24-05, 08:10 AM   #10
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The graininess is caused by the conversion from European TV standards, PAL and SECAM, to our North American standard, NTSC. Most of Europe uses PAL which is 768x576 at 25 frames/second. We use NTSC which is 720x480 at 29.97 frames/second. France and Russia use SECAM which is the same as PAL but with a different transmission of color.

Anyhow, the resolution makes a small difference, but it's the different framerate (25 vs. 29.97) that makes motion look somewhat blurred. With 29.97 fps, you have more frames per second which creates a smoother picture when things are moving. But with a slower framerate, you get a more dramatic picture. Movies/film are shot at 24 fps.

HDTV will be the standard in a few years, but right now, it's prohibitively expensive to transmit, store, archive, and watch. MUCH better than DVD quality. That's a lot of information to sling around nevermind for TV stations to store and archive. TV folk are loathe to give up their Beta tapes in favor of digital solutions, so HD is like a deep impact asteroid on these people.
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Old 07-24-05, 08:21 AM   #11
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Would the cameras even support HD anyway? Technology is limited. I'm happy enough that you can see an entire race over +100 miles.
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Old 07-24-05, 08:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dolomiti
Would the cameras even support HD anyway? Technology is limited. I'm happy enough that you can see an entire race over +100 miles.
The question isn't the cameras, it's the radios. Could they do a live broadcast from the back of a motorcycle in HD? I don't think they've got a digital radio system to do that yet.

I agree that the OLN picture quality isn't good though. I hope they do something better next year.
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Old 07-24-05, 09:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve_wmn
The question isn't the cameras, it's the radios. Could they do a live broadcast from the back of a motorcycle in HD? I don't think they've got a digital radio system to do that yet.

I agree that the OLN picture quality isn't good though. I hope they do something better next year.
Yes, the technology exists, it's just expensive.

Have you ever watched golf in HD? They are using the setup the TDF would need. They just mount everything on a golf cart instead of a motorcycle. It's just expensive, and I'm guessing french TV isn't ready to shell out the money yet. There may also be limitations on the number of cameras they could have out in the field at a given moment.

It's not just the cameras that need to be updated, but every piece of equipment that the signal goes through between the camera and you. Those TV production trailers are EXPENSIVE.

(this is from someone who use to do TV support for pro golf events)

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Old 07-24-05, 11:38 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by nowonder
Yes, the technology exists, it's just expensive.

Have you ever watched golf in HD? They are using the setup the TDF would need. They just mount everything on a golf cart instead of a motorcycle. It's just expensive, and I'm guessing french TV isn't ready to shell out the money yet. There may also be limitations on the number of cameras they could have out in the field at a given moment.

It's not just the cameras that need to be updated, but every piece of equipment that the signal goes through between the camera and you. Those TV production trailers are EXPENSIVE.

(this is from someone who use to do TV support for pro golf events)

--nw
Only a small problem, well a large problem would could not use golf carts to film them. I am pretty sure most golf carts cannot keep pace with the peleton nevermind decents. You have to remember golf is very slow and very stationary by comparison to bike racing. Although supped up golf carts going down hill at 60 mph would add a whole new excitement to the race.
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Old 07-24-05, 11:57 AM   #15
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It would be too dangerous to have four wheeled vehicles doing all of the camera work.
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Old 07-24-05, 11:59 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve_wmn
I agree that the OLN picture quality isn't good though. I hope they do something better next year.
I just hope that they broadcast the TDF in the States next year.

I find it humorous that so many people complain about the coverage, Al and Bob, the commercials, the promos for the BBQ show and the picture quality. Does anyone remember just a few short years ago when there was no coverage (save for CBS wrapup show) or internet updates? I'm thankful that a small station such as OLN decided to take this on.
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Old 07-24-05, 12:30 PM   #17
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I'm not sure what the exact deal was but the Tyler Hamliton Foundation has one stage a year brocasted from several movie theaters around the country. I went last year and we saw a commercial free HD feed with Phil and Paul dubed in, I think it was the german feed. So the technology is there, I think its just out of OLNs budget.
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Old 07-24-05, 01:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by collegeskier
Only a small problem, well a large problem would could not use golf carts to film them. I am pretty sure most golf carts cannot keep pace with the peleton nevermind decents. You have to remember golf is very slow and very stationary by comparison to bike racing. Although supped up golf carts going down hill at 60 mph would add a whole new excitement to the race.
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that they could/should use golf carts for coverage. I'm saying in the past they used the same technology for the golf cart crews that they used for the motorcycle crews on the tour, and that the new HD equipment is roughly the same size. Cost is likely the big issue.

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Old 07-24-05, 09:54 PM   #19
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Different stations broadcasts look different on a digital cable setup. So CBS, Fox, and the big guys have great broadcasts which look great. Some of the smaller operations broadcast crappy signals. It's difficult to say whether OLN or the TDF cameras, or the sat uplink or whatever is officially to blame for the crappy feed.

I can say one thing though, if this race was held in the US, we'd find a way to have it in HD. And those without the HD sets would have no need to fear. Right now all football games, etc are broadcast in HD, and you can see the same camera shot on your regular TV. Cost is an issue but for a major event like the TDF it's ridiculous to not have it available. Hopefully soon!

Video equipment is a big past time of mine. If you guys want to learn so much useless knowledge about HD and all that junk go to avsforums.com which must be one of the busiest forums on the web.
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Old 09-04-05, 11:46 AM   #20
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I think there is probably a segment of the population that would pay for a HD feed. I certainly would...
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Old 09-04-05, 01:54 PM   #21
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OLN sucks D**K


ok sorry, I had to say it now that they cut out a shiza load of cycling.
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