RT is now high definition. Not looking right on my set

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Hi,

I watch The Big Picture on DirecTV with a HD DVR on a HD tv set. All of my other channels look fine. No black bars on top or bottom, no black bars on the sides. RT is now broadcasting in high def as of 12/16. Since Monday The Big Picture which RT broadcasts but is seen on DirecTV through Free Speech TV, has appeared with black bars on top and bottom. The DVR is not saying this is an HD program when I look at the mini guide (the blue line at the bottom of the scren that has info about the channel you're watching) or when I get the program info full-screen. So, while RT may be broadcasting the show in HD, it appears that what we're seeing on Free Speech TV is not HD.

Not only is this presentation not looking like any other HD program, it does appear to be at least a non-SD aspect ratio. I don't know what aspect ratio it is. It looks like it supposed to HD, it's longer than it is tall, filling the screen from left to right. Smaller text in the lower thirds. (I wish they were larger so I could read them... I can read other lower thirds on other channels.)

When RT goes off and Free Speech resumes their programming, the black bars go away.

So, what's going on. Is RT implementing some weird HD arrangement? Is Free Speech TV just not able to handle it? (I do notice that when Free Speech TV switches over to RT for The Big Picture we see color bars for a fraction of a second. No other network on tv handles those kinds of transitions so poorly, which I attribute to Free Speech TV not having better equipment. Understanable since they are on much lower a budget than most networks.)

Thanks for any help on this.

Cheers,

John L

lipwak's picture
lipwak
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Feb. 24, 2011 7:25 pm

Comments

The problem is that RT is now sending an HD signal, but free speech TV is only sending an SD signal.

So free-speech TV is taking the HD signal and squishing it into an SD box.

I don't know what could be done about this.

SueN's picture
SueN
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Thanks.

I'm also hearing lots of audio dropouts. They're real bad tonight. (So far, 7:13 pm Eastern time) I watch via DirecTV. No other channel has this problem...

lipwak's picture
lipwak
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Feb. 24, 2011 7:25 pm

Audio dropouts are bad tonight, 12/27/12, at least for the first segment. Why are these happening? (Why air a a show if you aren't going to do it properly?) I'll write to FreeSpeech.org and RT too.

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lipwak
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Feb. 24, 2011 7:25 pm

The RT channel on Comcast is also SD so the HD image is pillar-boxed. Comcast may be going IPTV in the future which might mean it could carry RT in HD. What happens with IPTV is that your cable box when you change channels or record to the DVR requests that channel from a server. IOW, not all channels are sent out over the cable. Currently in my area ATT's U-Verse does this. Unfortunately IPTV renders your computer TV tuners worthless.

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captbebops
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Whoa. I am noticing tonight (1/2/13) that the picture is not letterboxed anymore. It's full-screen but not quite right... (Some, not all*) content is going on beyond the left and right-hand sides of the screen. I'm not missing much but it is noticeable. (Before RT switched over to HD no content didn't fit.) It is not HD now, or at least my DirecTV DVR doesn't think it is with any indication that it is in the mini-guide or the info window.

*Most of Thoms on-camera segments are fine. The segment on Django Unchained though has him partially off the left-hand side of the screen. I think all the RT spots are ok...

I'd say it's an improvement though. Also no audio dropouts so far tonight. Yay!

One minor quiblle. Now we are seeing the studio lights reflected in Thom's glasses (in several segments). That NEVER happened before. Were the lights adjsusted? Adjust them back! It's bizarre/distracting/and unprofessional to see the lights reflected in his glasses.

Cheers and Happy New Year.

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lipwak
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Feb. 24, 2011 7:25 pm

Serious audio dropouts in the first 5 minutes of the 1/3/13 show. The rest of the show was ok. What IS going on... It makes the show uninteligeable. Unwatchable.

lipwak's picture
lipwak
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Feb. 24, 2011 7:25 pm

Thanks for your feedback, we've passed it along.

SueN's picture
SueN
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

The feeds on Comcast just looked like they just use the Internet stream. It might take a while to get it in HD. You do know that John Malone (Domino's Pizza) used to be CEO of DirecTV? Not sure how much "conservative" influence he has on the service anymore. Charlie Ergen of Dish Network has been know for his progressive politics.

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captbebops
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Tonight, 3/10, somebody missed the intro. The first anyone on DirecTV saw of the show was as Thom was showing a chart about something. I couldn't tell what it was cuz the audio had dropped out. (Social Security and pensions was talked about later.) Then, later on during the Sheriff Mack segment the audio went out for a long time. (And dropouts continue as I send this in at about 7:30 Eastern time.)

RT or somebody* is really having problems. *(FreeSpeech TV? DirecTV? The originating studio or a link to it and the rest of the world?)

I'm faithful though and interested in what Thom has to say so I'll keep watching and hoping that things will return to normal.

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lipwak
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Feb. 24, 2011 7:25 pm

There were dropouts the other night on Comcast on a segment I caught about NoBillionaires.com on The Big Picture. Maybe the show is being jammed. ;-)

Of course as I have been saying for months: THE PODCAST STREAM IS 50% THE VOLUME OF EVERY OTHER PODCAST ON THE INTERNET. FIX IT!

Or maybe they don't want anyone to hear it.

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captbebops
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

The show has been fine today (1/11), up to the Conversations with Great Minds. Just had two major long dropouts... (~7:36 pm Eastern time)

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lipwak
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Feb. 24, 2011 7:25 pm

I'm having a difficult time getting my Dish 722 Dvr to record the show at any time on RT or FSTV. All my other recordings are working fine. I have deleted and reinstall timers many times and this seems to have left garbage on the hard drive so Dish is sending out a new dvr.

J Balk
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Video quality was really poor today, 5/9. Splotchy/blurry, pixelation, lower thirds hard to read... Correct, I suppose, aspect ratio, or at least it looks good the way I have things set up on my tv (DirecTV DVR set to output Native resolution, HD TV set to show things in "wide" mode so SD doesn't have any black bars). A week or so ago I was seeing horizontal black bars so I am assuming that FreeSpeechTV or RT changed how they were delivering it to DirecTV. Now we're back to full screen,

So, back to my original question: what's up with the lousy looking video? The show looks beautiful, and HD, when looked at on YouTube...

Cheers,

John L

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lipwak
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Feb. 24, 2011 7:25 pm

Unless FreeSpeechTV on DirecTV is HD you won't be getting an HD signal. You'll be upscaling an SD signal. Check your channel guide to see if FreeSpeechTV is HD which I doubt if it is. I recall watching in on Dish Network over 10 years ago and it was as if someone was uploading stuff from a PC. RT here on Comcast is only SD.

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captbebops
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

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