Are your local OTA SD broadcasts with or w/o sidebars?

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txdude

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 2, 2004
232
0
Dallas/Ft.Worth
I've noticed this is occurring in my area and I know several others have noticed this as well. All of the major local affiliate networks here in DFW are broadcasting black sidebars on their SD signals for some reason. This concerns me because it effectively prevents me from stretching the picture for these stations to fit my screen, and therefore increases the likelihood of burn-in.

I've gone through my local OTA and these are the stations that are broadcasting sidebars on the SD signals here in Dallas/Ft. Worth: FOX KDFW, NBC KXAS, ABC WFAA*, CBS KTVT, PBS KERA, UPN KTXA, WB KDAF

* ABC's weather station is not broadcast with sidebars.

Local OTA stations not broadcasting sidebars: Univision KUVN, FOX (owned) KDFI, Telemundo KXTX, KSTR49, KFWD52, KDTX, KPXD

I'm curious to know if this is occurring everywhere or just in certain areas. Please take the poll and note your general area and results in the thread. Please also make note of any exceptions as well.
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Dallas/Ft.Worth - All major local affiliates broadcast sidebars, Spanish language stations and non-affiliate stations do not broadcast sidebars.
 
M

mike528

SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 30, 2004
78
0
DC area
I live in the Washington, DC metro area and have had high definition TV since the fall of 2001. All of our local network affiliates broadcast an up-converted 1080i picture, with black sidebars. Some of them put their station logo in the sidebar.

I was concerned about tube burn-in also, but in 2 1/2 years, I have not had a problem with it. This may be partly be due to the dramatic increase in the amount of prime-time programming done in 16x9 format over that time, so that I actually watch programs that fill the entire screen a high percentage of the time.

With Voom, I have found a solution to the stretching problem: In addition to the component video inputs, I have run a second line to the TV using the S-video jack, which is a 480i output. When I set the TV to that 480i feed from the Voom box, the TV can stretch and manipulate the picture to fill the entire screen. Of course, its is much less sharp than the unstretched image I get from the component video feeds, but that is unfortunately the tradeoff.

What I have never understood is why the stations don't move their sidebars around, to minimize the burn-in potential. In other words, start with the 4x3 picture all the way on the left of the screen, with a big side bar on the right, then every 15 minutes, move it a little to the right, until eventually the whole image is on the right and there is a big side bar on the left. Then move it back it again. That way, the screen would get used more evenly.
 
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lsh1885

SatelliteGuys Guru
Apr 6, 2004
133
0
Orlando, Florida
Does anyone know why on some channels the side bars are black, but are grey on some others?
 
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Sean Mota

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
19,039
1,738
New York City
lsh1885 said:
Does anyone know why on some channels the side bars are black, but are grey on some others?

Depends on how your local ota station does it. Here in NYC CBS started with black bars then changed to gray bars. We have NBC and ABC that still do black bars.
 
M

mike528

SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 30, 2004
78
0
DC area
Black vs. Grey

lsh1885 said:
Does anyone know why on some channels the side bars are black, but are grey on some others?

For OTA channels that broadcast all their SD programming in up-converted widescreen format, I think that is just the decision the local broadcaster makes. I dont know of any way to change it -- the bars are inserted before they send the signal out over the airwaves.

For channels that are broadcasting SD in conventional 4x3 format, then the sidebars are being inserted by the satellite box. If I set the Voom box for 1080i output, with sidebars, it will insert black sidebars on all the SD satellite stations. I don't know of an option to make the sidebars grey, but maybe someone else does. On the other hand, my old D* box inserted grey sidebars, and there was no way to change them to black.

I think black looks better. But the grey is theoretically supposed to have less risk of burn-in, because the pixels are getting used evenly, not left completely dark. Don't know whether there is any data to back that up or if its just theory.
 
T

txdude

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 2, 2004
232
0
Dallas/Ft.Worth
Does any one know why they are choosing to upconvert the signal to 1080i?

Some stations are obviously choosing not to do this. I'm curious as to the reason for this.
 

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