farss wrote on 2/12/2006, 10:45 PM
With snow / ice HUGE. Add the fact that they're at high altitude and it gets worse as there's less diffraction in the atmosphere.
ND filters reduce everything, the range is still the same, just darker.
Chienworks wrote on 2/13/2006, 3:33 AM
I was also wondering if those of us on this side of the Pond are seeing the effects of PAL being converted to NTSC. Then again, if they're shooting it all in HD it seems like we should be getting HD downsampled directly to NTSC without going through PAL first. Or would that be too much effort for the network to deal with?

But i do agree, it's awful! My first VHS camcorder produced much better video than this stuff. :(
farss wrote on 2/13/2006, 3:58 AM
Not that I've watched much of it but what I've seen looks very good.
I'm watching 16:9 SD from digital broadcast, RGB component from the STB to the TV. Then again even on this very cheap TV everything looks stunning. It's very high contrast and that can cause lots of degradation in a composite feed, is that perhaps the problem?

farss wrote on 2/13/2006, 5:27 AM
As I understand it all coverage of such events is done to the host countries standard, the various recipients have responsibility for their own conversion so for certain you are seeing PAL converted to NTSC. I'd doubt there's a problem with that though and if there is then it'll be in the USA's networks.
Looking at it another way, Italy feeds PAL to the world, if the event was in the USA then the USA feeds NTSC to the world. When the feed arrives here each network does it's own conversion if needed, I think the boxes switch automatically too.
JJKizak wrote on 2/13/2006, 5:57 AM
I did notice that the close-ups were ok but all of the backgrounds were VHS inspired. The slo-mo was terrible. The studio feeds were fine.

Spot|DSE wrote on 2/13/2006, 6:25 AM
As farss mentioned, it's all being transmitted as PAL, which accounts for bad slo-mo etc. I've got a gear list of what Grass Valley took over, and of what AT took over. Sony has a lot there too, but I don't have a gear list from them. All of the Grass Valley stuff is shooting 1080i, at 25p. Who knows what's being downconverted from 25fps HD to 60i or 30p SD...
fldave wrote on 2/13/2006, 6:35 AM
Yesterday they had a slow motion clip on the skiing, they said it was 500fps. Probably the camera discussed a couple of weeks ago on this forum.

And it looked sweet in HD.
beerandchips wrote on 2/13/2006, 8:06 AM
plasmavideo wrote on 2/13/2006, 8:17 AM

Is it just me or does the Olympic Snowboard coverage look terrible?

Granted it's a very sunny day and there's white snow everywhere, but it doesn't look good at all.

Is the dynamic range too much for them to shoot the shadows, if they put on a few ND filters?

How wide can the range be?


Help me determine the problem. Were you watching in HD or on standard analog?

I see the same thing here on analog and I'm trying to figure out what the network is doing. It looks like the video is overpeaked and ringing and I don't know if they are trying to downconvert HD to SD and are having problems or what. They might also have had a proc amp out of whack somewhere last night. It was so bad I almost came over to the station to see what was wrong in our processing before the transmitter, or if the transmitter bandwidth was skewed. However, NBC went to commercial break and all was well, so I realized it was something in their feed.

We've also noticed problems with the 5.1 audio on HD, and it appears to be on the network end as well.

I'm glad it was noticed elsewhere, so we can try to shake things up a bit with them.

The HD video looked spectacular.
busterkeaton wrote on 2/13/2006, 9:51 AM
I am watching on old SD TV over a digital cable box.

Onscreen they showed they are using Sony Cameras with Canon HD lens.

I was wondering if shooting at altitude was causing the problem, but I have definitely seen snowboarding/skiing events before on my TV and I didn't notice anything like this which looked like superwhites. Perhaps because it the Olympics, I was looking closer. I thought my TV may be going but speedskating and a lot of other events looked fine.
busterkeaton wrote on 2/13/2006, 9:53 AM
One special effect I thought was pretty cool was when they showed the Gold medal skier and overlaid the Silver medal winner as both went down the hill. So you could see they on the hill at the same time and see that the Gold Medal winner was several feet ahead of him.
rextilleon wrote on 2/13/2006, 11:14 AM
I was going to say how good it looks--then again I am watching it on my brand new Samsung in HD. Spectacular.
busterkeaton wrote on 2/13/2006, 11:57 AM

What Samsung do you have? How are you getting your HD content? TWCNYC?

daryl wrote on 2/13/2006, 2:13 PM
I too have a Samsung, don't recall the model offf hand, getting the feed through my local cable company, looks SUPER great, including the snow boarding.

GaryKleiner wrote on 2/13/2006, 4:35 PM
I have been watching HD content at home for over a year, and I have to say that the Olympic coverage is the worst I've ever seen HD look. Many moments of blocky artifacting in just about all the coverage on NBC. The opening ceremony was absolutly awful.

However, the hockey coverage on Universal HD looked very good.

Coursedesign wrote on 2/13/2006, 4:46 PM
At least the audio isn't 8 minutes out of sync every now and then, like NBC last time.

busterkeaton wrote on 2/13/2006, 5:58 PM
I don't know if there is less sun today, but it looks better. It still looks like a bright sunny day though.

Perhaps they made some adjustments.

plasmavideo wrote on 2/13/2006, 6:38 PM
I just fired up the computer to see what you guys were seeing.

i think they must have really taken a look at what they were feeding today. What I'm seeing tonight is far better than last night. The snowboarding looks much better. There is still a bit of overpeaking (over enhancement of detail, or skewed frequency response towards the high end of the video envelope) but MUCH better than last night. There are still some halos around objects - one of the overpeaking artifacts - but in general it looks much, much better. Interestingly, when they just went to the indoor shots, that all went away, so I'm wondering how they are doing the production. Perhaps they have different production facilities and techniques, depending on the event location. I wish I could be a fly on the wall at the production site. We, as affiliates, are not privy to those details as yet. I bet they are still experimenting to find compromises in what looks extremely good on HD vs the same downconverted shot in SD.

I did field some viewer complaints (SD) today, so I know it is not just "us" who are noticing.

busterkeaton wrote on 2/14/2006, 7:58 PM
The night skiing under the lights looks fantastic.
JJKizak wrote on 2/15/2006, 5:43 AM
I agree with Gary Kleiner

plasmavideo wrote on 2/15/2006, 7:03 AM

That's an interesting observation. To the best of my knowledge we haven't seen that here. I'll check with some of the other guys to see if they've had any reports of that. On HD, the most we've noticed is some problems with their 5.1 audio, especially level differences between the coverage and commercials and also crosstalk in the dialogue and right front and rear channels that they seemed to have fixed as of last night. The video has looked really good.

How are you getting your NBC feed? Local over the air, local via cable, local satellite and what part of the country are you in?

On SD, as we've mentioned, there were a lot of problems with overpeaked, over detailed white clipped video.
JJKizak wrote on 2/15/2006, 7:12 AM
Mine is OTA. Backgrounds on the snowboard were terrible, close ups great. Scenic mountain shots ok but not as good as last olympics. The sharpness is not there. Slo-mos were not good and jumpy. When they went back to home netork everything wonderfull. The ice skating was fine except the backgrounds were not as sharp as usual. There is a small occurrance of pixelation when they change scenes for about a tenth of a second. I think they are using standard 16 x 9 digital cameras and not HD cameras. That's what it looks like. All other channels are HD wonderfull. The quality is basically a suck.

Cheno wrote on 2/15/2006, 7:52 AM
Okay, broadcast quality aside, what does everyone think about the graphics. Personally I think they're some of the best NBC has ever done. Really nice work.

plasmavideo wrote on 2/15/2006, 9:22 AM
Thanks for the comments, guys. I will pass these on to the HD specialists here who will in turn forward comments to NBC in all probablity.

HD is still a work in progress, and it's all just one big computer (or in reality a bunch of little ones trying to get along with each other!) - that's my take on it!