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Topic # 12333 12-Mar-2007 10:58
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After years of F1 fans worldwide hassling Ernie to broadcast the F1 in WideScreen its finally going to happen starting this season in Melbourne 18th of March, it will also be in HD for those broadcasters who wish to take that option.

However I emailed SkyNZ to see if we would get it here in 16:9 but the reply came back as follows.

------------------------------------
Thank you for your email,

All Formula One will be shot in 16:9 but unfortunately we do not have the facilities to show in 16:9. We are in the process of upgrading our technology and this will hopefully be ready at the end of the year.

With kind regards,

Name Removed by Cyril7
Customer Relations Representative
SKY Television

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

Good to see that eventually Sky will be doing more 16:9, pity this F1 season will mis it.


Cyril

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  Reply # 63466 12-Mar-2007 11:53
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What a shame..:-(

At least the good news is that F1 races should be available from other sources (ie torrents) in WS and possibly HD. Not quite the same as watching it live however.

Getting slightly OT - any word on whether TVNZ and TV3 going to be transmitting stuff in native WS once Freeview is launched. I heard rumors at some stage TV3 would be transmitting everything that they have in WS in true WS but haven't seen this officially.




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  Reply # 63473 12-Mar-2007 12:17
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TV3 said that they would be 16:9 full time on FreeView, cannot remember when that media release was, but I clearly saw it. TVNZ have indicated the same but have not seen it in an original media release, only 2nd hand.


What will be interesting is how they implement it. In UK/Europe it is the more common technique to transmit 16:9 material as 16:9 and 4:3 as 4:3 and rely on the WSS flags to cause your TV (or STB if using 4:3LB) to scan appropriately. In Aus however it seems that broadcasters have chosen to operate in 16:9 full time, any 4:3 material is postage stamped, ie is transmitted in a 16:9 frame with side panels filling the diff. This approach is fine as it stops your TV switching scan sizes all the time which can be disturbing, however it does mean that on a 4:3 TV with 4:3LB on the STB you get all 4:3 material with top and bottom and side bars, ie postage stamp. If your STB has a aspect ratio button on the remote its not too bad as you can flick the STB to 4:3PS and extract. Not a real issue with 16:9 sets though.

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  Reply # 63483 12-Mar-2007 14:22
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Hold on are you telling me that Sky currently does not play anything in WS? I have Telstra Digital TV and that has some things in WS and some in standard. Even TVNZ plays some stuff in widescreen or am I missing something? We just stetch everything to widescreen anywaySmile







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  Reply # 63484 12-Mar-2007 15:05
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Currently TVNZ only plays out widescreen material in letterbox format, ie they letter box it for you before it is transmitted, and most material is actually played out as 14:9 not 16:9.

Sky Movie channels and the Rugby channel (and some of the ARTS channel) are played out in widescreen, anything else you see on any other Sky channel that is in widescreen is just like TVNZ currently is, letter boxed before transmission.

True SD 16:9 transmissions are anamorphic, ie with SD television there is only 4:3 frames, unlike HD where all frames are actually 16:9. To play 16:9 video in an SD environment the pictures are squeezed into a 4:3 frame. Thus if you were to view it on a 4:3 TV everyone/thing would appear tall and skinny. To correctly view it you should scan the whole active frame area over a 16:9 frame.

Currently widescreen material that you see on TVNZ and Sky (other than Movie/Rugby channel) are letterboxed before transmission, thus every 5th line is stripped, a vertical filter applied and black bars are added top and bottom. Therefore there is a lot of picture quality loss, and to display it correctly on a 16:9 screeen is impossible, so you stretching 4:3letterboxed material to fit your 16:9 screen will result in some picture loss or spatial distortion.

So once broadcasters actively transmit 16:9 they will transmit anamorphic frames, these will correctly appear on a 16:9 screen and at full resolution, and by use of 4:3Letterbox conversion in the STB can be corrrectly seen on a 4:3 screen.

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  Reply # 63495 12-Mar-2007 18:58
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Once again you have given a full and very helpful answer cyril, Thank you. Now we just have to wait for free view to go live..... waiting...







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  Reply # 63496 12-Mar-2007 19:11
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cyril7:..

Currently widescreen material that you see on TVNZ and Sky (other than Movie/Rugby channel) are letterboxed before transmission, thus every 5th line is stripped, a vertical filter applied and black bars are added top and bottom. Therefore there is a lot of picture quality loss, and to display it correctly on a 16:9 screeen is impossible, so you stretching 4:3letterboxed material to fit your 16:9 screen will result in some picture loss or spatial distortion.

So once broadcasters actively transmit 16:9 they will transmit anamorphic frames, these will correctly appear on a 16:9 screen and at full resolution, and by use of 4:3Letterbox conversion in the STB can be corrrectly seen on a 4:3 screen.

Cyril


Interestingly the current digital test transmissions on D1 have a TV1 widescreen channel. When I first watched it, it was letterboxed on my widescreen TV which looked a bit strange. I then went into the satellite box settings and chose 16:9 as the primary AR. The widescreen presentation filled the screen and has excellent quality (I find the fixing up houses show quite interesting!) while the normal SD stuff stayed the same.

Let's hope this augurs well for Freeview




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  Reply # 63535 13-Mar-2007 08:57
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I was speaking to a mate at TV3 last night. All their stuff will be cut over on the 30th April so everything will be in true WS that is transmitted from D1.

One other question that somebody may be able to answer - what will happen with Sky's FTA channels? I wonder whether they will transmit 1,2 and 3 in true WS using the D1 feed or their existing 4:3 feed?




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  Reply # 63538 13-Mar-2007 09:12
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Hmmm, $64,000 question. I had heard rumours that Sky's TV3 was staying as is. As for the TV1/2 feeds, well I suspect that as the contract between Sky and TVNZ is coming up that Sky will dump the current feeds (and the MTN one) and epg link them to the FreeView (12483) mux. The reason I say this is that there was a media release a few weeks back where Sky were looking for some costs to carry MTN. Historically MTN has only been carried on the TVNZ (12483) mux and Sky linked to it. When the Avalon uplink had a hickup a few months back Sky out of goodwill carried MTN to cover the loss, and still do. The media release said that they were looking to MTN/Govt to cover costs if the carriage should continue in light of the fact that the 12483 mux is now on Hpol. The media release did go on to indicate that Sky would most likely move to Hpol in early may thus MTN would return to its normall 12483 carriage. Skys only agreement with regards to MTN is to offer an EPG spot.

So the above info leads me to think that once TVNZs current agreement with Sky expires then Sky customers will be watching TV1/2 will be linked to the FreeView mux, time will tell.

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  Reply # 63670 14-Mar-2007 08:31
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cyril7: Hmmm, $64,000 question. I had heard rumours that Sky's TV3 was staying as is. As for the TV1/2 feeds, well I suspect that as the contract between Sky and TVNZ is coming up that Sky will dump the current feeds (and the MTN one) and epg link them to the FreeView (12483) mux. The reason I say this is that there was a media release a few weeks back where Sky were looking for some costs to carry MTN. Historically MTN has only been carried on the TVNZ (12483) mux and Sky linked to it. When the Avalon uplink had a hickup a few months back Sky out of goodwill carried MTN to cover the loss, and still do. The media release said that they were looking to MTN/Govt to cover costs if the carriage should continue in light of the fact that the 12483 mux is now on Hpol. The media release did go on to indicate that Sky would most likely move to Hpol in early may thus MTN would return to its normall 12483 carriage. Skys only agreement with regards to MTN is to offer an EPG spot.

So the above info leads me to think that once TVNZs current agreement with Sky expires then Sky customers will be watching TV1/2 will be linked to the FreeView mux, time will tell.

Cyril


Hi Cyril, I am curious to know what will happen on Sky too but I guess I don't really understand your post. What is MTN? When does Sky's current agreement with TVNZ end? What is Hpol?

Can we please (in the nicest possible wayWink) have a translation of your post above?



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  Reply # 63675 14-Mar-2007 09:01
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MTN, is Maori Television Network.

Dunno exactly when TVNZ's current arrangement with Sky ends, but I thought it was about now or later this year.

Hpol, is Horizontal Polarity.  Radio waves can be emitted with either linear polarity (Horizontal or Vertical) or Circular Polarity (Lefthand or Right hand). Each of the two related polarities (ie H or Vpol) are orthoginal, thus a Transmitted Hpol signal if recieved with a Vpol antenna would be around 25dB less than if the recieved antenna was the same as the transmitted antenna.

This is why TV antennas are sometimes up and down (Vpol) and some are flat (Hpol). The polar rejection of one pol to the other (orthogonality) increases the frequency reuse options.

As with normal terrestial TV antennas, the transmissions from satellites are of one pol or the other. The little LNB on the end of the dish arm actually has two little antenna dipoles up inside the waveguide. Each of those dipoles (or pickup antennas) are oriented at 90deg to one another. Depending on what DC supplly voltage the STB sends up the cable determines which polarity the LNB operates on. Currently Sky's transmissions are on Vpol, TVNZ/FreeViews are on Hpol. Unless you had an LNB with two outputs (and possibly a mulitswitch if you had more than two STBs) then you can only force the LNB to one pol at any time. Thus two STB's cannot look at Sky and TVNZ independantly.

This issue will hopefully be resolved in May when Sky change to Hpol, thus all transmissions will be on the same pol as they were on B1 albeit Vpol. This whole problem/issue was not meant to happen, but somehow the guys at Orbital Sciences who built Optus D1 did not understand Australian.

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  Reply # 63679 14-Mar-2007 09:56
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cyril7: ...

As with normal terrestial TV antennas, the transmissions from satellites are of one pol or the other. The little LNB on the end of the dish arm actually has two little antenna dipoles up inside the waveguide. Each of those dipoles (or pickup antennas) are oriented at 90deg to one another. Depending on what DC supplly voltage the STB sends up the cable determines which polarity the LNB operates on. Currently Sky's transmissions are on Vpol, TVNZ/FreeViews are on Hpol. Unless you had an LNB with two outputs (and possibly a mulitswitch if you had more than two STBs) then you can only force the LNB to one pol at any time. Thus two STB's cannot look at Sky and TVNZ independantly.
..

Cyril


Interesting.  I bought a DVB-S box and connected it up to an existing Sky dish which wasn't being used. It works fine off D1. So I am guessing that the LNB on my dish is being set to Hpol based on how I configured the STB but must have been Vpol when the previous owners had their Sky STB connected?  I don't understand exactly what I did to configure it - just followed some instructions the vendor had enclosed in the box about selecting satellites, etc.




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  Reply # 63680 14-Mar-2007 10:14
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One of the parameters you would have set when setting the transponder at 12483GHz up would have been Polarity, either Horizontal or Hpol, some set in by a menu option for the voltage. The DC supply to the LNB is set to either 13V or 18V by the STB to force the LNB to one pol or the other.

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  Reply # 63705 14-Mar-2007 15:26
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Thanks for your excellent explanation above Cyril, that really helped my understanding. Now I am concerend that I won't be able to get TV1, TV2 and TV3 at all on Sky until May!Frown



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  Reply # 63707 14-Mar-2007 15:43
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No do not worry, Sky will continue to broadcast TV1/2/3. Currently Sky transmits them from within its own transponder space seperate to the FreeView service. The rebroadcasting of TV1/2/3 is important to Sky, I think there would be a rather large uproar if Sky dropped them.

There are around 650,000 Sky subscribers, I would suggest that a good number of them no longer use the FTA antennas/tuners for anything, they would be pretty peeved if they lost TV1/2/3.

What I suspect will happen is that once Sky move to Hpol (ie at that point both Sky and FreeView will be Hpol) then sky will drop both MaoriTV and TV1/2 out of there own transponder (Bouquet) streams and instead direct sky viewers to the FreeView mux whenever you select those channels. For all intense and purposes nothing changes.

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  Reply # 63748 14-Mar-2007 21:38
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Except picture quality which should increaseSmile







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