Monday, June 25, 2007

the monkey's got a hockey stick

Fox is burning off the remaining episodes of a funny show called "The Loop" this summer. The show has not been renewed for next season, which is a shame because it provides several good laughs per episode. The network has scheduled it at odd times. Last night they ran three episodes, one each at 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30. I gave the show a Season Pass on TiVo so that I wouldn't have to worry about the weird scheduling. As it turned out, I was able to watch the 8:30 episode in real time on the plasma screen in glorious over-the-air HD. Before going to bed, I made some room on the upstairs TiVo by deleting the episode I had already watched downstairs. First, I skimmed through it to make sure it was the same show I had watched earlier. The episode on my TiVo had been recorded in SD via cable. As usual, the picture quality from my cable company wasn't very good. I noticed that our local Fox affiliate plastered huge weather warnings over the bottom third of the screen. But when I had watched the same episode in HD, the warnings were not there. On the one had, I'm glad that my HD viewing experience wasn't interrupted by a larger-than-necessary storm warning that didn't affect me directly. But on the other hand, what if the storms were headed my way? Does my local affiliate not care about HD viewers? Or are there so few of us that it doesn't matter?

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Blogger SeisMoe said...

I hear ya Frank. I'm always wondering about these weather warnings. I think a scroll along the bottom is usually enough. They feel some need to show us the radar loop too... sigh.

But here's another thing along your HD lines. If there is a bad storm coming and it's so important for us to know (it is), then why do they stop showing us the warning during commercials? Again, I think the scroll would help out here.

In Raleigh, NC, the broadcasters will continue to run the scroll during commercials - including school closings in the winter.... hello!

Blogger Brian said...

I would imagine that Fox 43 has not yet invested in the technology to generate graphics in HD, as none of the other stations in town have, as of yet.

That's why, during the Saturday night movie on WATE, for example, they drop out of HD when showing the station ID at the top of the hour, then go back when the ID is over. It's only noticable on ABC during movies because ABC always sets up commercials so that there is never a break at the top of the hour. In regular programming, there is an open slot at that time for a station ID, just like in radio.

Long story short, without the super-expensive HD graphics generator, the station has to drop the HD audience back to SD to put any sort of scrolling graphics on the screen. You might notice on WBIR and WVLT, weather scrolls and election results will always drop the HD audience back to SD, and returning when the crawls are over.


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