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Old 05-28-11, 05:33 PM   #1
Chaco
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TV Coverage of the Giro

This is the first time I've ever watched the Giro on TV, and there's something I don't understand. The quality of the image was so poor on my TV, it was like going back to the 1950's. The contrast was especially glaring after watching the TOC in hi-def. On clear days, the image looked like a rainy day, and on rainy days, as in stage 19, it was virtually unwatchable.

The announcers kept mentioning that this was "Italian TV breaking up." So I'm assuming this was like a pool feed, and the quality had nothing to do with Universal Sports.

But if that's the case, then I don't understand something else. If I were Italy [LOL] I'd want to make the Giro THE event to watch, more than the Tour. Certainly it seemed more difficult than the TDF. But who, except die hard fans, can stand to watch that crappy quality broadcast?

It can't be THAT expensive to broadcast it in hi-def, can it?

Surely, I'm missing something here. Please educate me.
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Old 05-28-11, 08:13 PM   #2
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I expect that the Giro is broadcast in HD in Europe. Maybe Universal Sports is too cheap to buy the HD rights? Or maybe their broadcast bandwidth in the USA is limited to low definition broadcasts?
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Old 05-28-11, 10:01 PM   #3
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It's cheaper from end-to-end and probably more compatible with broadcasters in Europe and Asia. And besides, USN doesn't broadcast in HD at all so it makes no sense for them to buy a feed that is in HD. It sucks.
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Old 05-28-11, 10:05 PM   #4
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don't complain!
i just found out, too late, that the digital channel aired the giro..had I known, i'd have upgraded to digital. Oh well, next time! crap.
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Old 05-29-11, 12:14 AM   #5
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My understanding is that Universal is just taking the world feed and adding their announcers to it. If you look at most of their programing, its done that way. Its a cheap model. The network airs a lot lower tier (from a viewership standpoint) sports. Spending a lot of money on HD broadcasts would call for increased revenues from advertisements. This goes the same for all of the track and field, swimming, gymnastics, skiing, ect. You asked, "who, except die hard fans, can stand to watch that crappy quality broadcast? " Well, its the diehard fans of those sports that Universal is catering to. Without them, Universal Sports probably wouldn't exist.

The TdF is in a different class in the U.S. It gains viewership from the casual sports fan. So they dump in a lot of advertising and product spots. Note the production of the TdF on Versus. Ads everywhere (like the "Kenda final kilometer")

Just be happy you can watch the Giro on TV. Its only been in the last couple of years that we've been able to watch every stage of all three grand tours on TV here in the states. Let alone all of the other races (classics, Worlds, etc.) Universal carries. Stop complaining about the quality or the announcers. Be thankful its on TV and they usually have quit a few re-airs.
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Old 05-29-11, 03:12 AM   #6
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I've been watching the Giro on British Eurosport which is a digital channel available through a sattelite provider (in my case Sky). It's not HD but Eurosport have a HD channel which covers the TdF every year. Costs more so I don't pay. As far as I know there is no HD TV feed for the Giro.

Don't know but would expect it's more expensive to cover a race like the Giro in HD. Don't you need HD cameras?

I've no complaints about the picture I'm getting. Normal picture breakup when camera motorcycles loose contact with helicopters but this is understandable.

Weather conditions this year have been generally very good and TV coverage IMO has been close to TdF standard.

The TV feed for the Giro is provided by RAI (Italian), the TdF feed comes French TV and the Vuelta from Spanish TV. This is normal in Europe.
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Old 05-29-11, 03:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaco View Post
This is the first time I've ever watched the Giro on TV, and there's something I don't understand. The quality of the image was so poor on my TV, it was like going back to the 1950's. The contrast was especially glaring after watching the TOC in hi-def. On clear days, the image looked like a rainy day, and on rainy days, as in stage 19, it was virtually unwatchable.
The quality of the feed was very good IMO. Not HD but considering HD has only come in the last few years hardly '50s standard.

You have to realise this is a three week road race i.e. over roads through mountains, villages, forests etc.

Weather does play a big part especially when it prevents the helicopters from flying you don't get any picture. This years Giro has had generally very good weather and the pictures have been exceptional IMO.

Don't mean to be facitious but I seem to remember the picture breakup on Stage 1 of the TOC lasted all day and on Stage 2 it was pretty bad also.
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Old 05-29-11, 03:57 AM   #8
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I think the Italian tv was doing a phenomenal job. Yeah, when there's bad weather it can be different to get the signals through, but don't forget that this is so much more difficult than if you're covering a basketball or football game or whatever where you have a fixed field you can point your cameras to, with big satellite dishes and everything; compare that to a moving, somewhat fluid field of cyclists stretching out over several kilometres of road with a different course every day, cameras mounted on motorcycles and helicopters and everythign coordinated in real time.
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Old 05-29-11, 12:22 PM   #9
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I wish we could get eurosport, you guys are so lucky! they have everything...skiing, f1.
In our part of the world, everyone gets to watch their sports except cyclists, until very recently. Even now, you have to have cable or satellite.
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Old 05-29-11, 07:14 PM   #10
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Anyone know who the two announcers were at the beginning of each stage's broadcast? They never introduced themselves. One of the guy's names was Rob, and I'm pretty certain he's the one who did post-race interviews in English, Spanish and Italian with the riders (very impressive). I much preferred them to Schlanger and Gogulski — although I'm not complaining about those guys, I was thrilled to watch it every day!
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