Wednesday, March 12, 2008

HD Feed Overrides Drive Me Nuts!

I've noticed something really annoying about my TV service over the past few weeks. I subscribe to all of the high-def channels, so naturally, 99% of my TV viewing time is in HD. I often notice that, if a show is running on a Canadian HD network and an American HD one, the sound quality is world's better on the U.S. channel. So, I hate to say it, but I select that one. But minutes into a primetime TV program, the broadcast will be over-ridden by the Canadian network's version. Why?

I understand that we need to air the Canadian commercials in Canada, and that's fine. And I get the Canadian content rules imposed by the CRTC. But why should I be forced to watch a worse-quality feed when I pay for these extra channels? Instead of enjoying the full surround sound experience, I'm stuck with hollow sound and an annoying echo or, as my partner described it, "processed...almost to the point of being over-compressed". It has gotten to the point where we've opted for the standard-def feed just because the audio quality is unbearable (especially when we know what it should be like!)

And then we wonder why Canadians have been slow to adopt the high-def experience! If Canadian broadcasters can't keep up with the U.S. ones, then let us watch the better quality programming, and insert the home-grown Canadian ads where they need to go. For Canadians to actually adopt HD as a mainsteam trend, we need to be able to enjoy it in its full glory. If there's a viable reason why I need to be forced to watch a feed from another network, I'd really like to know what it is.

7 comments:

fung0 said...

I've railed against this practice in the past myself, for example, when US channels offered stereo and the Canadian ones were still in mono. My suggestion: the Canadian broadcaster should be allowed to hijack the programming ONLY if they provide truly equivalent service. Pass that on to the CRTC, will you?

Lee_D said...

Mark Cuban, owner of HD Net foams at the mouth about this subject on a regular basis.

I agree with both of you. You make an excellent point about overcompressed audio. My personal pet peeve is non-HD content on the HD station, or worse yet, over compressed video that looks like hell, full of artifacts and dropouts.

When you watch great HD on PBS or Discovery, it's hard to look at skeevy content on the networks.

Anonymous said...

Finally someone understands the anguish i have felt over Canadian Channels, Canada better step up or they are going to be left behind very soon, if we needed a little incentive to turn American here it is

Howyk said...

It isn't just compressed audio..it is also compressed hd sugnals..Rogers et all..push as much contnet through the pipeline and in order to do that they compress the signal..you will notice on the specialty pay hd channels the signal is a lot more pristine than on the network hd channels like ctv etc..I am sick and tired of being ripped off by big telecom companies.

Howyk said...

It isn't just compressed audio..it is also compressed hd signals..Rogers et all..push as much content through the pipeline and in order to do that they compress the signal..you will notice on the specialty pay hd channels the signal is a lot more pristine than on the network hd channels like ctv etc..I am sick and tired of being ripped off by big telecom companies.

Anonymous said...

There is a simple solution that millions of Canadians use... two words, Gray Market!

For those with a view of the southern sky... tv viewing is crystal clear. :)

Anonymous said...

If you live close to any big US city, toss an Antenna up. It may be old school, but if you really want to see and hear what HDTV looks and sounds like, you will be more than plesantly suprised.