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Topic # 32085 11-Apr-2009 17:11
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Getting a bit annoyed why TVNZ doesn't do DD on its Freeview broadcasts and having received no replies from them from my inquiries, a friend of mine and I decided to make independent queries to the broadcasting Minister :)

We received the following responses - you can read what you like into them. I am sure they don't mind these being posted here - after all it's all discoverable information

1. From TVNZ via a forwarded query from the Minister (so I guess they had to answer!)



Dear Mr ????,




The difference between the hours of ‘pure’ HD programming broadcast on TVNZ channels and on TV3 reflects the fact that TV3, as a smaller and less complex organisation, has already converted to a (digital) server-based transmission system.


 


TVNZ has a major project underway to transform our business to a fully digital system, which will effectively ‘leapfrog’ the technology currently available -  but it requires a huge amount of work and money and will take some time yet to accomplish.  Until the project is complete, we have decided against surround sound because it would involve spending a considerable amount on an interim solution – and this is not possible at a time when the impact of the recession means we must extract cost out of the business, including jobs.


We were able to broadcast surround sound for the Olympics because the production was created in Beijing , on digital equipment, and our distribution involved a straight pass-through of the content.


We do intend to broadcast surround sound on our HD programmes once the digital changeover is complete, and of course the hours of full HD we broadcast will also increase. Local content that we have commissioned is increasingly being shot in HD, and we have HD cameras and edit suites available to the industry as a whole.


In the meantime, all of our content on TV ONE and TV2 on Freeview HD is ‘upconverted’, (as is  TV3’s) and is effectively HD for those who are equipped to display it.  Upconversion provides a visibly superior quality to the Standard Definition transmissions received via the Freeview satellite platform.


Your investment in the Freeview HD box is not wasted.


In the next few years, when the Government switches off the analogue network and New Zealand becomes digital, all of us will need to choose between Pay TV and Freeview as the two digital platforms.   Those who do not want to pay a continuing subscription will choose Freeview, and those who value technical quality will choose the HD version because ultimately the global distribution of programming will be in HD.  The satellite service will remain SD for the foreseeable future.


I should also point out that TV3 does receive public funding, as TVNZ does, in the form of programme-making subsidies from New Zealand on Air.  MediaWork’s commercially successful series Outrageous Fortune is a case in point – but the difference is that their profits go to the offshore owners, while TVNZ’s profits go back to the Crown.


In all, only 10% of TVNZ’s revenue comes from the public purse, and all of it is used on programme-making, not technological infrastructure.




Yours sincerely,






2. From a reply directly from the Minister. I have had to type this in since it came as a PDF file.  But I will extract the main points

"TVNZ's production facility uses tape. While surround sound  is available from tape, it cannot be fed into the distribution system. A project is underway to upgrade TVNZ's broadcast infrastructure and I understand that this will resolve the difficulties in using 5.1 audio. The scheduled completion date for this project is June 2010"

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

A couple of inconsistencies in those responses. TVNZ says they could do surround sound now but it's not worth the cost upgrading current infrastructure. The Minister says it can't be done at all.

If TVNZ could broadcast DD 5.1 audio and the DD 5.1 audio exists on the source (as was noted by the Minister) how hard is it to purchase a box like this

http://www.dolby.com/professional/pro_audio_engineering/dp569_01.html

which has a list price of about US$5K.

TV3 obviously gets it content in a number of formats, from tape to disk based. Yet they are able to encode it all in DD 2.0 or DD 5.1 and transmit it. How hard can it be?

Finally June 2010 is a long way off.  Bit of a blow for those who have invested in FreeviewHD boxes only to still get half the benefits for over a year to come.




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System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


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  Reply # 206487 11-Apr-2009 18:35
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"TVNZ's production facility uses tape. While surround sound is available from tape, it cannot be fed into the distribution system. A project is underway to upgrade TVNZ's broadcast infrastructure and I understand that this will resolve the difficulties in using 5.1 audio. The scheduled completion date for this project is June 2010"


 


Wasn't this supposed to be finished 1Q2009??  Sounds like they are running out of money for HD broadcasting.   Sounds like they need to make themselves lean and mean like Mediaworkrs..





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  Reply # 207094 15-Apr-2009 15:27
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Speaking from inside TVNZ. Everything the minister/TVNZ has said is true!!!
You are correct in saying the file based system is supposed to be finished, but there have been a few glitches, which put a hold on proceeding untill a solution was found, and I believe have been ironed out. We are producing programmes as we speak in 5.1 HD (Dolby E) in house. And large amounts of space have been made available in the building. So keep watching that space, I have been, things are bubbling under and will surface soon.
We are currently broadcasting in Dolby Digital (LCRS) and have been for a very long time. You only need a home theater system to decode it. Generally all programes are delivered in stereo format beit Dolby Digital or Dolby E.
The box you have linked too is one of the many needed in the chain.
Look at this link http://www.dolby.com/professional/pro_audio_engineering/network_ops.html it gives you a simplified idea of what is involved. It is not an overnight switch.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 207137 15-Apr-2009 18:14
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Thankyou very much for fronting up shouston. It is always good to get some perspective from those insideSmile

Hope the said changes take affect soon.. also hope someone is listening to to the bitrate thread as well. Wink







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  Reply # 207141 15-Apr-2009 18:29
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shouston: Speaking from inside TVNZ. Everything the minister/TVNZ has said is true!!!



I would hope so since I am sure he fowarded the query to TVNZ to compose the reply!



We are currently broadcasting in Dolby Digital (LCRS) and have been for a very long time. You only need a home theater system to decode it. Generally all programes are delivered in stereo format beit Dolby Digital or Dolby E.
The box you have linked too is one of the many needed in the chain.
Look at this link http://www.dolby.com/professional/pro_audio_engineering/network_ops.html it gives you a simplified idea of what is involved. It is not an overnight switch.


If you are broadcasting in DD (LCRS) I don't think anybody is receiving it. All the transmissions I see from TVNZ are in AAC-HE, not DD. There is no apparently secondary audio track and this is using a DVB-T tuner which could be able to see all audio tracks, not a TV or DVB-T box

Not denying the switch is not an overnight thing but the timeframe quoted by the Minister seems a very long time away and HD has been around for nearly a year now.




System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


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  Reply # 207234 16-Apr-2009 09:43
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I am not fronting up. I just work thier, I make no decisions, just letting you know what I see. And LCRS is an encoded signal carried on what everformat, memory stick, internet, broadcast over the air in AC3 ,HE AAC or just plain old stereo. The only way to destroy it is to mono out the signal. It will not show up as a secondary audio channel in the transport stream, its just there. I have terrestrial as well as satalitte at home.
And we reciever it quite happily on our out of the box $600 panasonic home theatre. Have you not heard applause from the rear speakers, atmospheres and room sfx all around you yet voices appear in front of you, music swelling around the room, The News opening theme is a classic example.
Granted, it is not a discrete signal as 5.1 is. It plays with phase correction. It is one of the earliest forms of multi channel audio.
I won't sign its praises to much cos its old technology, and it will change. Believe me we are making this stuff and are eagerly awaiting its debut as much as you are.

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  Reply # 207235 16-Apr-2009 09:56
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shouston:
I won't sign its praises to much cos its old technology, and it will change. Believe me we are making this stuff and are eagerly awaiting its debut as much as you are.


When you say we'll see AC3 5.1 from TVNZ soon, can you give just a rough estimate of when you think that may be.. Perhaps a month, or 6 months or a year etc?




Tivo upgrades to operate with the new OzTivo EPG, support and service. Over 300 performed here so far. See: www.hillcrest.net.nz




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  Reply # 207258 16-Apr-2009 11:27
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shouston: I am not fronting up. I just work thier, I make no decisions, just letting you know what I see. And LCRS is an encoded signal carried on what everformat, memory stick, internet, broadcast over the air in AC3 ,HE AAC or just plain old stereo. The only way to destroy it is to mono out the signal. It will not show up as a secondary audio channel in the transport stream, its just there. I have terrestrial as well as satalitte at home.
And we reciever it quite happily on our out of the box $600 panasonic home theatre. Have you not heard applause from the rear speakers, atmospheres and room sfx all around you yet voices appear in front of you, music swelling around the room, The News opening theme is a classic example.
Granted, it is not a discrete signal as 5.1 is. It plays with phase correction. It is one of the earliest forms of multi channel audio.
I won't sign its praises to much cos its old technology, and it will change. Believe me we are making this stuff and are eagerly awaiting its debut as much as you are.


OK - I get it. Sounds like it's a form of Dolby Surround where the other channels are mixed into the 2 stereo channels out of phase. With the right decoder in place (presumably a Dolby Pro Logic II or Pro Logic IIx if you want 7.1 audio) then it's possible to reconstruct the rear channels. Must try that out one day since I do record TVNZ occasionally but have to go through hoops to heard the audio on my HTPC because of the AAC encoding.




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System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


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  Reply # 207324 16-Apr-2009 15:36
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AC3. I scan at home daily. I know as much as you. I was all excited when I got back from Beijing, only for them to turn off AC3. I asked the guy who does the switching on  and off, and he said he was following orders from up on high. I don't mix in those dizzying heights, I still pay for my carpark.
The 7.1 thing, I don't Know, I guess it it would compensate some Psuedo surround thing. Bit like the old Nicam and Q sound days.

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Reply # 207797 18-Apr-2009 16:31
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i hate tv 1 and 2 there audio sux it only 64kbps vbr aac witch is crap but if it was he-aac wouldint be too bad but still it sux



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  Reply # 207814 18-Apr-2009 18:17
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System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


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  Reply # 207833 18-Apr-2009 20:29
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jamespoo: i hate tv 1 and 2 there audio sux it only 64kbps vbr aac witch is crap but if it was he-aac wouldint be too bad but still it sux


They are transmitting in HE-AAC V2




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat New Zealand as a Solution Architect for all things Linux, Virtual and of course Cloud. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.

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