Different resolutions on HBO East/West HD channels?

JCarais

SatelliteGuys Family
May 19, 2009
36
0
Earth
Hi,

I just noticed that the resolutions are different on the HBO East and West HD feeds and was wondering if anyone can explain why.

I watched a program on HBO (chan. 300) and then realized a few hours later that the same program on HBO West (chan. 303) had a few less lines of resolution. You can see for yourself by recording something on 300, then waiting a few hours and watching the same program on 303, then doing a side-by-side picture-in-picture and at the top of the two pictures you'll see the difference.

Is this from HBO or Dish Network? And which is the "better" picture? I would guess the one with more picture on top, but I'm not sure. Sometimes if you do picture-in-picture on certain channels or programs, you see a tiny strip of white flickering lines across the very top of the picture that I assume you usually don't see because of the TV's overscan, so in those cases I guess the one with less picture where that white stuff is being cropped out would be "better." I don't know. Can the experts here please advise. Thank you.

BTW, I'm seeing this on 722k's in single mode. And I haven't checked the other East/West HD channels yet ( MAX, SHO, STARZ) but I will later tonight or tomorrow. Thanks.
 

whatchel1

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 30, 2006
9,099
48
Great High Plains
Hi,

I just noticed that the resolutions are different on the HBO East and West HD feeds and was wondering if anyone can explain why.

I watched a program on HBO (chan. 300) and then realized a few hours later that the same program on HBO West (chan. 303) had a few less lines of resolution. You can see for yourself by recording something on 300, then waiting a few hours and watching the same program on 303, then doing a side-by-side picture-in-picture and at the top of the two pictures you'll see the difference.

Is this from HBO or Dish Network? And which is the "better" picture? I would guess the one with more picture on top, but I'm not sure. Sometimes if you do picture-in-picture on certain channels or programs, you see a tiny strip of white flickering lines across the very top of the picture that I assume you usually don't see because of the TV's overscan, so in those cases I guess the one with less picture where that white stuff is being cropped out would be "better." I don't know. Can the experts here please advise. Thank you.

BTW, I'm seeing this on 722k's in single mode. And I haven't checked the other East/West HD channels yet ( MAX, SHO, STARZ) but I will later tonight or tomorrow. Thanks.

That is an aspect ratio problem not a resolution problem. What you are seeing is the closed captioning in the interval between the two frames. Someone at HBO has thrown the wrong switch and has the aspect ratio set incorrectly. The screen resolution is most likely the same just the aspect ratio is set incorrectly.
 

JCarais

SatelliteGuys Family
May 19, 2009
36
0
Earth
What you are seeing is the closed captioning in the interval between the two frames.

Can you please clarify this? Are you talking about when I mentioned the "white flickering"? Because I'm not seeing that here with the HBO channels, I just mentioned that as kind of an aside.

Someone at HBO has thrown the wrong switch and has the aspect ratio set incorrectly. The screen resolution is most likely the same just the aspect ratio is set incorrectly.

You mean like 16:9 vs. 4:3? The picture on both channels looks the same to the naked eye (16:9), it's only when you do a side-by-side comparison that you can see one picture looks like it's missing lines from the top. I just tried to go frame by frame and find a scene where there's enough detail in the top few lines to do a good comparison and see if anything's actually missing, but the two samples I have are not very good for what I'm trying to do so I'll try again later with a different program. If it is an aspect ratio problem as you describe, do you know which channel is using the correct ratio? Maybe the smaller picture is being squished. Or maybe the bigger one is being stretched. Or maybe both could be happening at the same time! :shocked Thanks.

Wouldn't you think HBO of all people would know what the heck they were doing? :haha
 

TheKrell

A mighty and noble race originating on Altair IV.
Pub Member / Supporter
Jan 4, 2007
31,942
26,763
Fairfax, VA
What you are seeing is the closed captioning in the interval between the two frames. Someone at HBO has thrown the wrong switch and has the aspect ratio set incorrectly.
Agree that HBO is probably to blame for this, but I don't see this as an aspect ratio problem. It's more like a brain-dead analog conversion problem. Note that there is no vertical blanking interval on DTV as there is for NTSC analog. Similarly for digital TVs such as LCD flat panels, there is no need for overscan to hide data riding on the picture. An SD digital picture is already trimmed to exactly 480 vertical lines, and the extra 45 lines of the blanking interval should not be present in the video stream. There is nowhere to put them.

I'll say it again to belabor this point. There is literally no place to "hide" a picture of the closed caption information on a properly-functioning digital TV. Nevertheless, content providers frequently digitize all 525 lines, including the picture of the CC data, and scale that down to 480 lines, and broadcast the whole thing. This should show up as flashing white lines across the top of the screen. Since the CC data is part of the picture, it's difficult for a DTV to detect it and figure out that it should be cropping this errant mess. Some TV set manufacturers, knowing that it's annoying as hell looking at a flashing white line across the top, and knowing that many content providers don't know what they're doing, automatically crop your picture again.

If you have a DTV that never shows the flashing white line across the top fairly frequently on OTA broadcasts, then you probably have a set that never shows you all 480 lines of your picture! This is sub-SD resolution. :p
 

whatchel1

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 30, 2006
9,099
48
Great High Plains
Agree that HBO is probably to blame for this, but I don't see this as an aspect ratio problem. It's more like a brain-dead analog conversion problem. Note that there is no vertical blanking interval on DTV as there is for NTSC analog. Similarly for digital TVs such as LCD flat panels, there is no need for overscan to hide data riding on the picture. An SD digital picture is already trimmed to exactly 480 vertical lines, and the extra 45 lines of the blanking interval should not be present in the video stream. There is nowhere to put them.

I'll say it again to belabor this point. There is literally no place to "hide" a picture of the closed caption information on a properly-functioning digital TV. Nevertheless, content providers frequently digitize all 525 lines, including the picture of the CC data, and scale that down to 480 lines, and broadcast the whole thing. This should show up as flashing white lines across the top of the screen. Since the CC data is part of the picture, it's difficult for a DTV to detect it and figure out that it should be cropping this errant mess. Some TV set manufacturers, knowing that it's annoying as hell looking at a flashing white line across the top, and knowing that many content providers don't know what they're doing, automatically crop your picture again.

If you have a DTV that never shows the flashing white line across the top fairly frequently on OTA broadcasts, then you probably have a set that never shows you all 480 lines of your picture! This is sub-SD resolution. :p

That is all related to SD and I think he was talking about to different problems in HD. What it sounds like is the aspect ratio was a bit off cause a drop of the frame. Meaning that it is set for no oversacn at all and showing the digital CC white data marks. I see this constantly in local programs (news) for local stations that do a bad job of the upconversion of their show hence on good sets that are not set for overscan it shows up. The monitors at their stations are most likely set for overscan & so it isn't seen there. The sync of the show he was seeing could have been just a tiny bit off and so the shift down ward. I just checked and there is no problem at present so as I said it may have been just that one show. But back to the original point it is not a resolution change. It is another problem and will it be caught at HBO maybe, maybe not as they are not starring at one feed but numerous ones. So at their master control an alarm isn't going off so they miss it. The alarm only sounds if there is signal loss or black shows up too long. The master control is sending out at least 10 HD FEEDS at all times (just the movie channels going out) don't know what else is being sent from them at the same time. So it would be very easy to not notice one slightly out of sync feed.
 
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