COUNTDOWN TO NAB 2011 — Issue 2

Local TV Stations shooting HD News and delivering for the 3 Television Screens

It’s 3-Screens, 720p & 16:9; Not 3D

Local success requires HD … primarily cost effective HD News

If your TV station is not into newscasts, there is little need for local shooting of any kind, except perhaps for local HD commercial production as a service to the advertisers. Local news, weather and traffic are the staples of a successful TV station, in addition to sports results reporting. Local newscasts require HD in the studio, HD ENG and HD weather and traffic in order to be competitive and to be a contender for local ratings leadership. But let’s see how the local HD shooting and production relate to the best possible delivery to all of the 3 Television Screens: Home Television, Desktop PC Television, and Mobile/Wireless Television.

Four TV Platforms or Screens?

It is difficult to get agreements among media executives if there are 3 or 4 TV screens (or platforms) in the future. There is little discussion on the subject of Screen #1 being home televisions sets and Screen #2 being PC/Mac (computer) displays, although the PC/Mac displays may be either Desktop PC/Mac or Laptop PC/Mac. The Author herein has decided to classify Screen #2 as home-based PC/Mac desktop PC display (AND laptop PC/Mac used as desktops at home). Screen #3 by some media executives are split into two: (a) Mobile “internet-based” wireless video-capable devices (Screen #3) and (b) the emerging Mobile DTV (Mobile DTV) by ATSC broadcasters (Screen #4). Again, the Author has decided for purposes herein that Screen #3 comprises television watching on all types of “on-the-road” screens attached to mobile wireless devices whether a laptop, netbook, tablet or smartphone, or on any Mobile DTV receiver/display.

The following Table illustrates the Author’s analysis of “The 3 Television Screens”:

All Displays are now Progressive
All Newer Video Formats are Progressive

The last bastion of interlaced TV format is 1080i, standardized in A/53 document by ATSC in 1995 and adopted by the FCC in 1996, together with the progressive 720p. All newer video-capable displays are progressive, including all of the above tabled types of screens. All newer video formats are progressive including the ATSC M/H (Mobile DTV) standardized in 2009 with a basic “small screen” resolution of 416x240p and with a maximum resolution of 832x480p, which is substantially the wide 16:9 SD 480p. 1080i is in use by the TV broadcasters and channel providers primarily affiliated with CBS, NBC and PBS and by the cable systems (and satellite and IPTV systems) distributing those TV signals in their native 1080i format. ABC and FOX are 720p. The most successful cable channel package (ESPN) is 720p, and all OTT streaming TV delivery services are progressive and most offer 720p as the highest streaming resolution.

To convert broadcast quality 1080i to broadcast quality 720p is not difficult these days, however it is still easier to convert from 720p to 1080i (from progressive to interlaced). Does the average “Joe the viewer” see any difference between OTA broadcast in 1080i or 720p even on a larger HDTV? Not really.Whether the local HD acquisition format is 1080i or 720p (or even SD), the engineers and the editors will make sure that the multiple delivery formats are converted and scaled with professional results to best suit the various progressive Screen #3 display targets.

Timely planning for Mobile DTV Delivery:
Lower resolution today … Future 720p60

Qualcomm is discontinuing FLO TV, the mobile multi-channel TV service offered through Verizon, AT&T (limited to a few smartphone models with built-in FLO TV UHF Ch.55 tuner/receiver) and direct from FLO (through dedicated portable/hand-held wireless Ch.55 receiver/display units). Up to 20 TV channels were offered for $10 to $15 per month, resulting in limited public interest over several years of trying. Part of the problem may have been the small screen and poor resolution (320x240p30). Another problem with FLO, in the opinion of the Author, was the lack of local TV news, traffic and weather, as we said before: HD News and live HD ENG make the local TV stations highly competitive.

Accordingly, the Author believes it to be essential for any TV station with a mobile television business model component to transition to full HD news including live HD-ENG at the earliest time, and to accomplish such in the most cost effective way while maintaining local news leadership with options open for the future. The ProHD family of camera/recorders is one source of highly cost effective HD news acquisition tools. With nearly everything now coming up progressive, shooting and producing in 720p60 for HD newscasts will make your TV station ready to easily scale to any mobile television streaming format.

Mobile DTV (Mobile DTV or originally named ATSC M/H) is NOT bandwidth efficient. Because M/H was (obviously) required to receive and reliably decode ATSC M/H (add-on) signal in a fast and continuously moving situation (speeds to 100 MPH), a very robust forward error correction of up to 3 times the net payload is required.

As mentioned earlier in here, Mobile DTV offers the opportunity to deliver a basic 416x240p TV signal to dedicated Mobile DTV receiver/displays, an enhanced 624×360 and a maximum resolution 832×480, interleaved into the 19.4 Mbps 8-VSB ATSC over-the-air transmissions from local TV stations with a reduced bitrate available for the main HD channel and/or SD multicast service.

Learning from the FLO TV experience, assuming one market problem with FLO TV was the small screen and the low resolution, it may be reasonable to conclude that a successful Mobile DTV operation may require at a minimum the 624×360 raster if not the 832×480 to obtain the broadest possible audience in the longer term.

In any top-100 DMA, there are generally anywhere from 4 or 5 TV stations up to as many as 20+ licensed full power stations, meaning that several TV stations may be on the air with Mobile DTV programs in a competitive environment of local news, weather and traffic. Although content and talent are very important, the presented program resolution plays an important competitive role, thus the basic 416×240 is not likely to be competitive. This points to a requirement to shoot and produce local content in 720p, from which scaled down versions to 624×360 and 832×480 can be easily made. The ProHD camcorders, whether the feature-rich GY-HM100 handheld or the brand new GY-HM750 shoulder mount, acquires professionally in 720p and in 1080i (both 59.94) for those TV stations which are 1080i.

Home Screens vs. Mobile Screens:
Required HDTV Screen Resolution

There are two primary conditions required for maximum enjoyment of real HDTV programming:(1) a relatively wide viewing angle (meaning sitting relatively close to the screen), and (2) the screen displaying true HDTV video quality. Every larger consumer HDTV set sold today have a progressive display resolution of 1920×1080 pixels coupled with the ability to display interlaced 1080 processed to progressive presentation with 120 or 240 Hz image refresh rate. The smaller home HDTVs (32” and less) with native 720p displays may or may not offer (or need) similar refresh capabilities. The “Mobile Screens” refer to laptop and netbook screens, and to i-Pad and Smartphone screens.

The Chart above looks at a viewer 8 feet away from a 52” HDTV set with 1920×1080 screen resolution, which produces a normal (horizontal) angle of viewing of about 26 degrees in a home environment. SMPTE recommends minimum 30 degrees for a movie theater, while THX recommends 36 degrees. However, the movie theater “screen resolution” is generally on the order of 4kx2k (4x times 1920×1080) supporting a much (wider angle) closer viewing scenario without “seeing each pixel”. A fully resolved viewing distance is about 7 feet with 52” HDTV with 1920×1080, producing a viewing angle of 30 degrees. But the 8 feet and 26 degrees are more “real life” home HDTV viewing conditions for a 52” HDTV. The Chart shows the approximate screen sizes with equal perceived resolution (1920×1080) as the viewing distance is decreased foot-by-foot down to 1 foot, subject of course to the viewer having good eye sight.

So, viewing a 52” HDTV screen at a distance of 8 feet yields about 26 degrees viewing angle. For the viewer to have a substantially equal viewing experience with a 37” HDTV screen (also with 1920×1080 pixel matrix, and identical HD program material), the viewing distance must be reduced to a bit less than 6 feet. It so happens that the best selling HDTV size of the past two years is the 32” HDTV size (10 million units sold in the U.S. in 2009), but that size is often offered in 1280×720 pixel resolution as well as in 1920×1080. The viewing distance must be reduced to about 5 feet for the 32” 1080 HDTV to match the 52” HDTV experience at 8 feet.

1080 Pixel Size vs. 720 Pixel Size

In the horizontal plane (width), the ratio is simply 1920 divided by 1280 = 1.5. These HDTV formats were designed with square pixels, thus the vertical ratio (1080/720) is also 1.5. Thus, theoretically, the viewing distance for the 32” 720 HDTV must be increased to over 7 feet for the 720 pixel size to visually match the size of the 1080 pixel at 5 feet. However, in practice, the perceived resolution of the viewer of a specific transmitted HDTV program is generally more dependent on the origination and transmission format (1080i or 720p) rather than whether the HDTV display is native 1080 or 720, unless the supplied HDTV material is at the extremes, where near static 1080i images would favor 1080p displays and where very fast moving 720p images with great detail would display equally well on both 720p and 1080p displays. This indicates that there is a viewing advantage in buying a 1080p home HDTV over a 720p, particularly for 32” sizes and larger. But remember that fast sports in 720p HD may display better on the 1080p home HDTV than 1080i coverage of the same fast sports event. (Also remember that there are only two basic broadcast HD OTA formats (ATSC) in use: 720p60 and 1080i60, and that progressive is more efficient to compress than interlaced, causing OTA broadcasters to only use 12 Mbps compressed for 720p60 while often needing 16 Mbps compressed for 1080i60. Note: 60 is actually 59.94).

Viewing TV on Home PC Monitor

There are several delivery methods for watching TV or videos on the home PC monitor: (1) DTV (ATSC OTA) USB Stick receives streaming and displays HDTV programs (no monthly fee), (2) Wireless Broadband USB Stick receives and displays any TV and video program available over wireless broadband subscription (Internet OTT, PPV, VOD or monthly subscription), and (3) Wired Broadband connection through your cable or FTTH internet provider receives and displays any TV and video programs available on the internet (Internet OTT, PPV, VOD or monthly subscription).

According to DELL, a major PC monitor supplier, most wide displays offer at least 1920×1080 resolution, with some up to 2560×1600 to serve CAD and similar extremely high resolution applications. PC monitor sizes in 2011 are generally from 19” to 24”, with some models up to 30”.

Desktop PC Viewing Distance

A common viewing distance in front of a new, larger and wide PC monitor is about 2 feet minimum, perhaps extending past 2.5 feet in cases viewing very large monitors (> 24”). Going back to the “Near Fully Resolved Viewing Distance Chart” above, a 24” PC monitor with 1920×1080 pixel resolution is nearly fully resolved by a human 20/20 visual acuity system at about 3.5 feet. That means that, at only 2.5 feet viewing distance, the viewer may concentrate and focus, and be able to “see” each pixel point. We can therefore conclude that any new, larger and wide PC monitor should provide a display resolution of at least 1920×1080. It seems impossible to find and buy any larg and wide PC monitor with less than 1080 resolution in 2011.

“Window Watching” TV/Video on Desktop PC Monitors

Watching video or television on your large, wide desktop PC monitor is not likely to be a substitute for watching prime time first run television or immersive movies on the larger home HDTV, for most people. The majority of home viewers is NOT likely to sit down for hours in front of their large and wide desktop PC monitor, only 2.5 feet away, and watch full screen television. The desktop PC monitor TV viewing (or video viewing) will be “window watching” where the live video is likely to occupy about one quarter of the screen area, in order to keep sufficient screen area for working on PC productivity apps or surfing/searching while watching. On a 1920×1080 resolution PC monitor, one quarter resolution is 960×540, thus the viewers maximum perceived resolution for the (one quarter) video window cannot exceed what is slightly higher resolution than the wide SD (U.S. 853×480).

On a very large PC monitor (i.e. 27”) with full screen resolution at let’s say 2560×1440, the one quarter window provides a pixel matrix of 1280×720, exactly matching the 720p HD standard. We conclude that the majority of desktop PC monitor TV/video “window watching” is largely served by HD streaming in 1280x720p60/30/24 format, but often viewed in less-than-720p as pre-selected by the OTT TV streaming service presuming a PC monitor destination. The starting streaming resolution is often 360p with options for the viewer to increase streaming resolution up to 720p.

Full screen watching of TV/video on your large desktop PC monitor is really just like watching smaller screen HDTVs, with the big difference being the viewing distance. Too close in the PC environment, and probably to far away in a TV room environment. The “Near Fully Resolved Viewing Distance” chart above indicates that a 27” HDTV with 1920×1080 native resolution should ideally be viewed at a distance of about 4.5 feet. You sit a lot closer to a 27” PC monitor than 4.5 feet.

Remember that the PC/Mac desktop monitor is nearly always displaying broadband internet supplied TV/video material, and generally not TV channels via cable, satellite or FIOS/U-verse.

Viewing Mobile/Wireless Television:
On-the-road means stationary and moving

On-the-road Stationary may mean watching prime time TV or a movie while sitting with your laptop, netbook or i-Pad at a fixed location like in the Admirals Club at DFW airport . On-the road Moving may mean watching a streaming HD movie while on the Metro North train from Grand Central to New Haven. Although “wireless” may be well served by Wi-Fi hot spots in the airport lounge or on the train, in here we’re primarily talking 4G broadband wireless now becoming reality across the U.S. with downlink speeds from 5 to 12 Mbps, sufficient to view relatively good HD quality television in a moving environment. But you need to subscribe to the 4G wireless broadband service and usually plug in a 4G USB “wireless antenna stick” to your “larger” mobile display device, UNLESS you’re watching on a smartphone, mini netbook or tablet with built-in 4G transceiver.Note that both the ACER Netbook and the APPLE i-Pad offer about 10” diagonal screens with 1024 pixel resolution across. Horizontal resolution made up of 1024 square pixels requires 576 pixels of vertical resolution in a 16:9 aspect ratio HD screen. 576 “lines of vertical resolution” is PAL, however, PAL is 4:3 aspect ratio, thus 1024 x 576 is a “16:9 Wide PAL” raster. Internet delivered OTT (Over-The-Top) HDTV programming is largely delivered as 1280x720p60 (or p30, or p24 with 3:2 pulldown), which, when scaled to the 1024×768 i-Pad screen will provide for a relatively large (bottom) black bar of 1024×192 suited for control icons, but, again presuming square pixels, only 75% of the i-Pad display is utilized for the 16:9 720p HD presentation, reducing the “effective diagonal HDTV screen size” to about 8.5” (down from the full screen 9.7”). Scaling the 1280×720 to the ACER is accomplishing nearly full screen viewing at 10” diagonal, and the DELL laptop’s 1366×768 square pixel 16:9 display is a perfect “full screen” 720HD conversion.

Viewing distances of 1280×720 portable displays

The near fully resolved viewing distances for 1280×720 are about 3.5 feet for the 14” diagonal, about 2.5 feet for the 10” diagonal, and about 2 feet for the 8.5” diagonal (effective 16:9 viewing area) i-Pad. All three examples are of the portable kind, but, when viewing long form HDTV material, the displays are nearly always stationary within a building or a moving vehicle, and not “pedestrian mobile” as a cell phone may often be. Comfortable viewing distances may be in the range of 2 to 3 feet, with the laptop, netbook or i-Pad positioned on a table or desk in front of the lone viewer. We conclude that a 1280x720p program offers sufficient resolution to give viewer a near true HDTV experience, particularly on the 14” laptop. There is no need for 1920×1080 program/delivery resolution for these wireless applications.

ATSC M/H is now Mobile DTV (Mobile DTV):
The future of OTA TV broadcasting?

A possible bright spot in 2011 within the TV broadcasting industry is Mobile DTV (Mobile DTV), as the FCC pushes forward with the “TV Spectrum Grab” in support of the wireless broadband providers and to the likely detriment of TV stations. Mobile DTV is believed by some to be a very important part of the long term financial health of local TV stations and their owners, the Group TV Station Owners. Others are skeptical about the Mobile DTV business model, including the Author . This Report will not detail the technical workings of ATSC M/H developed over many years as an add-on to ATSC OTA DTV, as finally adopted as a mobile/handheld TV delivery format in October 2009 (ATSC standard A/153).

A Simple Question:

Why not just receive the ATSC main (H)DTV channels over-the-air (OTA) on a portable TV with a built-in ATSC (H)DTV tuner/receiver? (Like we did back in the olden days with NTSC?) Technically, why do we need ATSC M/H (or Mobile DTV)?

The Simple Answer:

You don’t UNLESS you’re watching local TV while moving. The original ATSC standard (A/53—FCC adopted in 1996) was designed to deliver reliable digital television OTA to stationary antennas/receivers. A/53 is NOT capable of delivering reliable digital television to moving targets, such as to receivers on moving cars, buses and trains, or to receivers carried by walking pedestrians. (Just like NTSC was NOT.)

As the cell phone market and handheld devices developed into video display cell phones a number of years ago, the TV station industry recognized the opportunity to serve their local markets with mobile television service, as an add-on sub-channel to the main DTV channel with a technical requirement that it must provide reliable TV delivery to (dedicated Mobile DTV) receivers moving within vehicles at any reasonable land speed including interstate highway speeds. To make a long story short, ATSC standard A/153 did just that, but at a very low payload efficiency requiring from 3 to 6 times the payload bitrate to be added for error correction. The low (net) available compressed bitrate restricted the maximum resolution of the video payload to SD or less, depending on other factors including the bitrate consumed by the main DTV channel. The current A/153 Mobile DTV standard thus provides for a maximum resolution of 832×480 (up to p60 refresh rate), with a base resolution of 416×240 (max p30 refresh rate) and a third mid-point resolution of 624×360 (up to p60 refresh rate).

First buy a Smartphone …
Then buy a Mobile DTV Receiver/Display?

YES and MAYBE, provided you really want to watch local TV in your car, to keep up with local traffic in rush hour, as well as news and weather, or on the bus or train to watch other TV programs. AND provided there are Mobile DTV products available. That is the current shortcoming, that some of the consumer electronics manufacturers are not releasing prototypes into full production until there is reasonable certainty that the mass Mobile DTV market will develop. BUT this Report Issue is not intended to detail the CE product supply issues related to Mobile DTV. We’ll do that in the next Report (Countdown to NAB-2011 Issue 3) and explore why 4G wireless providers may agree to streaming local TV stations’ newscasts to local 4G subscribers.

Nearly every person in the U.S. between the ages of 15 and 65 owns a cell phone or a smartphone, adding up to nearly 300 million wireless subscriptions, counting a fair amount of duplication of personal and business cell phones. The consumer’s choice is not likely to be whether to buy a cell/smartphone or a Mobile DTV receiver/display. You’ll most likely buy the cell or the smartphone first, then you determine if you want a Mobile DTV receiver/display. Obviously, not every cell/smartphone owner will decide to purchase a Mobile DTV receiver/display unit. Many smartphone owners would rather want to receive Mobile DTV channels on their smartphones, but such requires the smartphone to have a built-in ATSC M/H (Mobile DTV) tuner/decoder. More about that in the next Report.

The illustration immediately above shows the availability of just one dedicated self-contained Mobile DTV product, the LG Mobile DTV receiver/display unit, with a native screen resolution of only 480×234. Mobile DTV channels delivered to In-Car ceiling and headrest displays really require at least “Wide SD” resolution, with the current highest Mobile DTV delivered resolution in 2011 being 832×480 (substantially equivalent to wide SD 480p). It is interesting to note that Apple fit the i-Phone 4 with a 960×640 native resolution 3.5” display, assuring a “Near HD” experience when watching 720p HD program scaled to 960×540 (16:9) on the i-Phone 960×640 display. The In-Car displays shown above with 800×480 resolution will give a high quality wide SD viewing experience when supplied with a 720p streaming wireless program or a hi-res 832x480p Mobile DTV signal.

Local TV Stations shooting to protect the old NTSC 4:3 analog TV set?

All of “The 3 Television Screens” discussed above are wide aspect ratio able to display 16:9 with minimum correction. All TV stations are now required (after the 2009 final DTV transition date) to transmit a DTV signal which, if 1080i or 720p, must be 16:9, although a 4:3 pillar box picture (with static side bars) may fill the 16:9 screen. However, any DTV signal which is SD480i may be either 4:3 or 16:9. But any such 4:3 picture when received by a HDTV set may be presented as stretched to 16:9 or as 4:3 pillar box with the static side bars (which bars used to be black but now may include darkish graphics to indicate to the viewer that the transmission is HD but the 4:3 pillar box picture is not).

The QUESTION is: How many old NTSC-only analog TV sets are still out there in TV households being watched every day, and NOT able to view a letterbox of a live 16:9 image?

Nielsen (The Nielsen Company, New York) says we have about 116 million U.S. TV households in 2011. If we agree that there are an average of 2 TVs per household watched every day, that adds up to 232 million potentially “daily active” TV sets.

There now are about 90 million HDTV households, leaving 26 million TV households watching on either wide screen (non-HD) DTV tube sets (remember those 480p DTV sets?) or old analog 4:3 NTSC TV sets. DTV tube sets (non-HD) had significant sales from 1998 through 2004, selling about 12 million units, leaving let’s say 14 million TV households with only old NTSC analog sets. “Analog-only NTSC TV set households” are generally lower income and perhaps retired people, and may have less that 2 TVs per household watched daily. Assuming 1.5 TVs as an average, there are a total of about 20 million old NTSC-only TVs watched daily. Looking at the above illustration, there are only three sources from which an old NTSC TV displays TV programs:

  • Analog cable TV service (NO Converter/Set Top Box needed)
  • DTV stations over-the-air with DTV Converter Box and antenna
  • Digital Cable/Satellite/IPTV through Set Top Box

In 2008 and 2009, over 33 million of DTV Converter Box (DTVCB) $40 coupons were issued to the public by NTIA and redeemed by the public to buy DTVCBs which converted OTA DTV transmissions to analog output to feed the old NTSC analog TV sets to enable viewing of the new DTV signals.The specs required were that DTVCBs must convert all ATSC formats to NTSC, and support a 4:3 center crop of a 16:9 transmitted image and a letterbox view of a 16:9 transmitted image.

Millions of older NTSC analog sets are in use through STB D-to-A conversions with the STBs supplied by cable TV, satellite TV and FIOS/U-verse subscriptions. Millions more are supplied by “hybrid analog/digital” cable TV systems where no STB is required for the old NTSC TV set to display the cable analog channels. However, this analog channel service may end by 2012, as cable TV systems may wish to convert the highly inefficient bandwidth use for analog channels to carry additional digital TV channels and perhaps use the bandwidth for other VOD/OTT-like services.

Back to the QUESTION: How many old NTSC-only analog TV sets are still out there in TV households being watched every day, and NOT able to control the screen view being letterbox OR 4:3?

The Author estimates that only about 6 to 10 million NTSC-only TV sets are being watched every day without being able to control the screen view being letterbox or 4:3. These are all basic cable subscribers only using the direct coax connection without any STB.

At the most, this is about 5% of all regularly/daily watched home TV sets.

Many major local TV station with extensive newscasts are always transmitting the primary DTV channel in HD, thus all material locally originated is (or should be) 16:9. However, the “hybrid analog/digital” cable companies are still required by the FCC (for some time after the 2009 final DTV transition) to provide “dual carriage” of most local TV stations, meaning that they carry the DTV channel of course in digital but also carry an analog version of the DTV channel in their “old analog cable spectrum” to serve those subscribers viewing on old analog 4:3 NTSC TVs so that they can continue to watch the local DTV channels in the old analog mode without having to subscribe to a STB (Set Top Box) and without the need to purchase a new HDTV set. The other reason is that many TV households own multiple TV sets, and, although 90 million TV households in 2011 have at least one HDTV, they may indeed have one or more old analog TVs which are well served by cable systems continuing the dual analog/digital carriage into the future. Such dual carriage is a competitive advantage over digital-only systems (DirecTV, DISH, Verizon FIOS and AT&T U-verse). But it comes at a price: to carry 50+ old analog channels on cable coax consumes 300+ MHz of bandwidth which in digital mode could potentially carry hundreds of additional digital channels. (But do we really need hundreds of additional digital cable channels? Not really in the opinion of the Author.)

The local TV station with dual carriage on the local cable system may request that the analog conversion of the wide DTV signal is distributed as a permanent letterbox within the 4:3 screen, but this may not be competitive as the overall picture size experience to the viewer is compromised.

So, according to the illustration above, the most competitive presentation to the NTSC 4:3 screen watcher seems to be to always fill the screen, requiring a 4:3 centercut of the wide picture. However, one could make it dynamic according to program material which would require more planning and efforts on the part of TV station’s management. Is it worth the extra efforts? Probably not.

For that most competitive reason, local TV stations may want to always supply a 4:3 center-cut of the 16:9 program, and to definitely “protect” any insertion of logos and bugs to be within that center-cut. A reasonable 4:3 protection of 16:9 HD studio and HD ENG shots, to provide news, weather and traffic programs to a “less commercially important” minority of audience watching on old analog TV sets, which minority is expected to get rather insignificant by the end of 2012, is not “bottom-line” essential but is readily achievable without strict guidance and control.

A Local TV Broadcast HD Format for all seasons: 720p60

We have analyzed “the 3 Television Screens” as to viewing distance and resolution required to satisfy the large majority of the TV audience for the next several years. We conclude that local acquisition and production, including HD studio news, HD ENG, commercial production and HD POV, are best served both economically and operationally by the only progressive HD broadcast format of 1280x720p60:

  • 720p ProHD provides broadcast quality 19 Mbps for HD-ENG
  • 720p ProHD provides local broadcast quality HD-SDI in studio configuration
  • 720p easily cross converts in high quality to 1080i (and 1080p)
  • 720p offers best-of-class compression efficiency (MPEG-2 and H.264)
  • 720p scales very well to SD and Mobile DTV rasters (they are all progressive!)
  • 720p is the dominant OTT TV streaming format
  • 720p is tailor-made for full HD resolution TV station simulcast streaming
  • 720p60 is recommended (over 1080i) for fast action HD programs and sports

Additionally, utilizing 720p60 as the main DTV OTA transmission delivery format will also make available the maximum bitrate for the emerging Mobile DTV, providing the possibility to deliver Mobile DTV multi-casting and/or Mobile DTV simulcasting to maximize local audience ratings across all 3 Television Screens.

Current DTV stations with 1080i studio infrastructure can simply remain 1080i within the studio complex, converting to 720p HD ENG/EFP and convert the ATSC OTA transmission to 720p to provide for maximum Mobile DTV service.

The local HD acquisition process starts with the HD studio cameras and the HD camcorders, and some of the most cost effective and professional 720p60 (and 1080i60) cameras and camcorders are in the JVC ProHD product line. Discussing your TV station’s HD acquisition needs with JVC Broadcast is highly recommended by the Author.

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