At 5:17 PM -0500 12/6/07, Manfredi, Albert E wrote:
John Shutt wrote:I lament the fact that we didn't take advantage of the DTV transition to kill 29.97, 23.976, and 59.94.John, as far as I can tell, these frame rates should continue to be convenient in ATSC for as long as any box out there converts the DTV signal into NTSC with video and audio (RF, essentially). Right? For example, since these coupon-program STBs are supposed to convert to NTSC RF, you still need to worry about dropping that occasional frame. If all STBs could feed their monitor and sound system with separate video and audio baseband interfaces, then those odd franme rates could be eliminated. Yes?
NO!This is a classic case of the an OLD tail wagging the dog. We are compromising the quality of the new DTV system in order to protect legacy receivers.
If broadcasters were really serious about HDTV they would do everything possible to make the HDTV stuff look as good as possible and let the legacy receivers take the hit in terms of image quality.
For one thing, the transition would be accelerated if broadcasters moved all content production to 16:9 rather than 4:3. On legacy receivers the 16:9 SHOULD be presented in LETTERBOX with a little reminder in the throw away areas of the screen that this program would look much better on a new 16:9 display.
As Jeroen has stated, you can do all kinds of cheap things to handle frame rate conversions. So for set-top boxes for legacy receivers, you could do simple frame repetition to deliver 59.94 interlace. It might look like crap, but this would serve as a reminder to get a new TV, or to pay more for a STB that does motion compensated prediction to 59.94.
Unfortunately, the broadcasters are more concerned about their LEGACY than the future. This has been demonstrated in many ways. We talk frequently about the protection of re-transmission consent. But it is equally true for the temporal refresh rate issue. So 59.94 endures and will be with us until the last CRT dies.
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