Picture quality of cycling on Eurosport

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Gareth Jones, Apr 18, 2003.

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  1. Gareth Jones

    Gareth Jones Guest

    Hi Folks

    My word.... many years since I posted in this group... its great to be back ;-)

    My problem is this: (I'll try to be brief and not sound like toooo much like a sad techie)

    I may pop over to France this summer - going to try and see a couple of the TDF stages in fact.
    Which means I'm going to miss most of the eurosport coverage ...... or am I?? Because I've bought
    one of those Tivo hard disk recorder thingies. Fab piece of kit. I've got it now with 'cycling' as
    one of the keywords, and anytime something comes on with this in the title - off it goes and records
    it for me..... fantastic!

    Only snag is though, in the summer, there's a hell of a lot of cycling on! So I'm going to upgrade
    the hard disk in the machine, but the size of disk depends on how much coverage there is and .....
    the quality (compression ratio) I set the machine to record at.

    I've been watching a bit of the spanish cycling a week ago on eurosport sky digital, and the quality
    of the picture was absolutely sh*t!! So me setting the Tivo to a high quality mode (as I would
    normally want to do) would probably be a complete waste of time as the eurosport source material is
    so bad (heavily compressed) in the first place.

    So my (eventual!) question is - is the picture always this bad - or is it only with outside
    broadcasts and pictures being relayed from motorcycles etc..... and if so, what is the TDF going to
    be like? Is the fact that its _the_ premier cycling event going to mean that they have better
    quality equipment etc etc?????

    Anybody know???

    TIA

    Gareth.
    --
    __________________________________________
    <Gareth Jones> [email protected]_ns_swansea.demon.co.uk

    "Reality sucks - go watch a Star Trek"

    To email, remove the '_ns_' from [email protected]_ns_swansea.demon.co.uk
    __________________________________________
     
    Tags:


  2. Dreamlx10

    Dreamlx10 Guest

    "Gareth Jones" <[email protected]_ns_swansea.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hi Folks
    >
    > My word.... many years since I posted in this group... its great to be back ;-)
    >
    > My problem is this: (I'll try to be brief and not sound like toooo much like a sad techie)
    >
    > I may pop over to France this summer - going to try and see a couple of the TDF stages in fact.
    > Which means I'm going to miss most of the eurosport coverage ...... or am I?? Because I've bought
    > one of those Tivo hard disk recorder thingies. Fab piece of kit. I've got it now with 'cycling' as
    > one of the keywords, and anytime something comes on with this in the title - off it goes and
    > records it for me..... fantastic!
    >
    > Only snag is though, in the summer, there's a hell of a lot of cycling on! So I'm going to upgrade
    > the hard disk in the machine, but the size of disk depends on how much coverage there is and .....
    > the quality (compression ratio) I set the machine to record at.
    >
    > I've been watching a bit of the spanish cycling a week ago on eurosport sky digital, and the
    > quality of the picture was absolutely sh*t!! So me setting the Tivo to a high quality mode (as I
    > would normally want to do) would probably be a complete waste of time as the eurosport source
    > material is so bad (heavily compressed) in the first place.
    >
    > So my (eventual!) question is - is the picture always this bad - or is it only with outside
    > broadcasts and pictures being relayed from motorcycles etc..... and if so, what is the TDF going
    > to be like? Is the fact that its _the_ premier cycling event going to mean that they have better
    > quality equipment etc etc?????
    >
    > Anybody know???
    >
    > TIA
    >
    > Gareth.
    > --
    > __________________________________________
    > <Gareth Jones> [email protected]_ns_swansea.demon.co.uk
    >
    > "Reality sucks - go watch a Star Trek"
    >
    > To email, remove the '_ns_' from [email protected]_ns_swansea.demon.co.uk
    > __________________________________________
    >
    I think it depends a lot on the weather really. I've taped Eurosport a
    lot and it generally looks fine to me, but if there is a lot of rain or low
    cloud (on the race) then it could affect the quality of the broadcast. Are
    you using a digital set top box or analogue ? That could be a slight problem
    too. I would'nt set the recorder on too high a quality setting either as you
    know what the cycling is like with going over time and starting late etc.

    Graham
     
  3. Gareth Jones

    Gareth Jones Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, dreamlx10 <[email protected]> writes
    >> So my (eventual!) question is - is the picture always this bad - or is it only with outside
    >> broadcasts and pictures being relayed from motorcycles etc..... and if so, what is the TDF going
    >> to be like? Is the fact that its _the_ premier cycling event going to mean that they have better
    >> quality equipment etc etc?????
    >>
    >> Anybody know???
    >>
    > I think it depends a lot on the weather really. I've taped Eurosport a
    > lot and it generally looks fine to me, but if there is a lot of rain or low
    > cloud (on the race) then it could affect the quality of the broadcast. Are
    > you using a digital set top box or analogue ? That could be a slight problem
    > too. I would'nt set the recorder on too high a quality setting either as you
    > know what the cycling is like with going over time and starting late etc.

    Sky digital. I'm wondering if one of the problems is my changed perception of what is a
    'good/acceptable' picture. In the last 6 months I've bought a good quality widescreen TV and watch
    mainly DVD's. Digital TV can be ok, but frankly, I can hardly bring myself to watch video taped
    stuff any more - it really is that bad on a large(ish) screen, and I enjoy the TDF not just for the
    cycling, but also Duffields commentary and the French countryside, which when viewed from a
    hellicopter, needs to be pretty high quality if its not going to lose all detail.

    Mind you, I'm also intending dumping the footage down to some achievable medium (so I've got
    something interesting to watch in the winter while on the turbo trainer) so unless I buy a DVD
    writer (or stick a network card in the Tivo) then its going to be tape anyway - mind you, its then
    going to be played on a 14" portable so it might not matter. (hmmm.... Or I could get a S-VHS
    recorder....) BTW - I'm not being a quality snob or anything. Is just that if you've been used to
    listening to CD's on a reasonable hi-fi, try going back to an el-cheapo C90 non metal, non Dolby
    tape.... that's the analogy!

    For anyone interested - your point about late start/end times is valid. But the Tivo allows you to
    pad the start and end times to hopefully compensate for this (how much exactly I'm not sure -
    eurosport are really bad for this!! Might not be enough!!!!) If I go the whole hog and stick 2 *
    120GB drives in, I can record between about 72hrs (exceptionally good high q) to 240hrs (hideous
    unwatchable low q)

    How much cycling is there???? 20 odd days..... 6 hours a day????? Say 120 hrs?? Can that be right???

    --
    __________________________________________
    <Gareth Jones> [email protected]_ns_swansea.demon.co.uk

    "Reality sucks - go watch a Star Trek"

    To email, remove the '_ns_' from [email protected]_ns_swansea.demon.co.uk
    __________________________________________
     
  4. Orienteer

    Orienteer Guest

    "Gareth Jones" <[email protected]_ns_swansea.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Sky digital. I'm wondering if one of the problems is my changed perception of what is a
    > 'good/acceptable' picture. In the last 6 months I've bought a good quality widescreen TV and watch
    > mainly DVD's. Digital TV can be ok, but frankly, I can hardly bring myself to watch video taped
    > stuff any more - it really is that bad on a large(ish) screen, and I enjoy the TDF not just for
    > the cycling, but also Duffields commentary and the French countryside, which when viewed from a
    > hellicopter, needs to be pretty high quality if its not going to lose all detail.
    >
    > Mind you, I'm also intending dumping the footage down to some achievable medium (so I've got
    > something interesting to watch in the winter while on the turbo trainer) so unless I buy a DVD
    > writer (or stick a network card in the Tivo) then its going to be tape anyway - mind you, its then
    > going to be played on a 14" portable so it might not matter. (hmmm.... Or I could get a S-VHS
    > recorder....) BTW - I'm not being a quality snob or anything. Is just that if you've been used to
    > listening to CD's on a reasonable hi-fi, try going back to an el-cheapo C90 non metal, non Dolby
    > tape.... that's the analogy!
    >
    > For anyone interested - your point about late start/end times is valid. But the Tivo allows you to
    > pad the start and end times to hopefully compensate for this (how much exactly I'm not sure -
    > eurosport are really bad for this!! Might not be enough!!!!) If I go the whole hog and stick 2 *
    > 120GB drives in, I can record between about 72hrs (exceptionally good high q) to 240hrs (hideous
    > unwatchable low q)
    >
    > How much cycling is there???? 20 odd days..... 6 hours a day????? Say 120 hrs?? Can that be
    > right???
    >
    Digital TV pictures are often worse than analogue when there is a lot of movement, as in sports
    coverage. This is because the compression techniques used can't cope with rapid picture changes. The
    main motive for digiatl TV is not better pictures, but to save broadcasting bandwidth and squeeze
    more channels in.
     
  5. Lone Ranger

    Lone Ranger Guest

    "Orienteer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:m%[email protected]...
    >
    > "Gareth Jones" <[email protected]_ns_swansea.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Sky digital. I'm wondering if one of the problems is my changed perception of what is a
    > > 'good/acceptable' picture. In the last 6 months I've bought a good quality widescreen TV and
    > > watch mainly DVD's. Digital TV can be ok, but frankly, I can hardly bring myself to watch video
    > > taped stuff any more - it really is that bad on a large(ish) screen, and I enjoy the TDF not
    > > just for the cycling, but also Duffields commentary and the French countryside, which when
    > > viewed from a hellicopter, needs to be pretty high quality if its not going to lose all detail.
    > >
    > > Mind you, I'm also intending dumping the footage down to some achievable medium (so I've got
    > > something interesting to watch in the winter while on the turbo trainer) so unless I buy a DVD
    > > writer (or stick a network card in the Tivo) then its going to be tape anyway - mind you, its
    > > then going to be played on a 14" portable so it might not matter. (hmmm.... Or I could get a
    > > S-VHS recorder....) BTW - I'm not being a quality snob or anything. Is just that if you've been
    > > used to listening to CD's on a reasonable hi-fi, try going back to an el-cheapo C90 non metal,
    > > non Dolby tape.... that's the analogy!
    > >
    > > For anyone interested - your point about late start/end times is valid. But the Tivo allows you
    > > to pad the start and end times to hopefully compensate for this (how much exactly I'm not sure -
    > > eurosport are really bad for this!! Might not be enough!!!!) If I go the whole hog and stick 2 *
    > > 120GB drives in, I can record between about 72hrs (exceptionally good high q) to 240hrs (hideous
    > > unwatchable low q)
    > >
    > > How much cycling is there???? 20 odd days..... 6 hours a day????? Say 120 hrs?? Can that be
    > > right???
    > >
    > Digital TV pictures are often worse than analogue when there is a lot of movement, as in sports
    > coverage. This is because the compression
    techniques
    > used can't cope with rapid picture changes. The main motive for digiatl
    TV
    > is not better pictures, but to save broadcasting bandwidth and squeeze
    more
    > channels in.

    Also, high quality tv's tend to be less tolerant of a poor signal.
     
  6. In message <[email protected]>, Gareth Jones
    <[email protected]_ns_swansea.demon.co.uk> writes
    >In article <[email protected]>, dreamlx10 <[email protected]> writes
    >>> So my (eventual!) question is - is the picture always this bad - or is it only with outside
    >>> broadcasts and pictures being relayed from motorcycles etc..... and if so, what is the TDF going
    >>> to be like? Is the fact that its _the_ premier cycling event going to mean that they have better
    >>> quality equipment etc etc?????
    >>>
    >>> Anybody know???
    >>>
    >> I think it depends a lot on the weather really. I've taped Eurosport a
    >> lot and it generally looks fine to me, but if there is a lot of rain or low
    >> cloud (on the race) then it could affect the quality of the broadcast. Are
    >> you using a digital set top box or analogue ? That could be a slight problem
    >> too. I would'nt set the recorder on too high a quality setting either as you
    >> know what the cycling is like with going over time and starting late etc.
    >
    >Sky digital. I'm wondering if one of the problems is my changed perception of what is a
    >'good/acceptable' picture. In the last 6 months I've bought a good quality widescreen TV and watch
    >mainly DVD's. Digital TV can be ok, but frankly, I can hardly bring myself to watch video taped
    >stuff any more - it really is that bad on a large(ish) screen, and I enjoy the TDF not just for the
    >cycling, but also Duffields commentary and the French countryside, which when viewed from a
    >hellicopter, needs to be pretty high quality if its not going to lose all detail.
    >
    >Mind you, I'm also intending dumping the footage down to some achievable medium (so I've got
    >something interesting to watch in the winter while on the turbo trainer) so unless I buy a DVD
    >writer (or stick a network card in the Tivo) then its going to be tape anyway - mind you, its then
    >going to be played on a 14" portable so it might not matter. (hmmm.... Or I could get a S-VHS
    >recorder....) BTW - I'm not being a quality snob or anything. Is just that if you've been used to
    >listening to CD's on a reasonable hi-fi, try going back to an el-cheapo C90 non metal, non Dolby
    >tape.... that's the analogy!
    >
    >For anyone interested - your point about late start/end times is valid. But the Tivo allows you to
    >pad the start and end times to hopefully compensate for this (how much exactly I'm not sure -
    >eurosport are really bad for this!! Might not be enough!!!!) If I go the whole hog and stick 2 *
    >120GB drives in, I can record between about 72hrs (exceptionally good high q) to 240hrs (hideous
    >unwatchable low q)
    >
    >How much cycling is there???? 20 odd days..... 6 hours a day????? Say 120 hrs?? Can that
    >be right???
    >

    Generally I found the Eurosport pictures OK in terms of the digital artifacts, TBH I've not noticed
    any. There is however often a lot of break-up on the bike-helicopter-plane up-links. Particularly is
    the weather's crap.

    OTOH, _one_ program of the Tour of Langkawi on C4 was really diabolical, I recorded that off the
    dsat, riders in the bunch were popping in and out of focus all over the place as the compression
    struggled to keep up with the action.

    In terms of overall time, I reckon on 3-4 hours a day is more realistic. ISTR they don't cover the
    early part of the stages live, maybe only a couple of the key mountain stages get shown in full.

    --
    Steven Briggs
     
  7. Gareth Jones

    Gareth Jones Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Steven Briggs
    <[email protected]> writes
    >In terms of overall time, I reckon on 3-4 hours a day is more realistic. ISTR they don't cover the
    >early part of the stages live, maybe only a couple of the key mountain stages get shown in full.

    Hmmmm.... I know its only a few stages get shown in full - but isn't that from say 10am till 4pm ?
    ..... mind you, that is 'only' six hours - so your 3-4 might be right!

    I've been building a house for the last couple of years and the days of sitting in front of the
    telly for hours seem like decades away..... and my memory was never THAT good anyway :)

    --
    __________________________________________
    <Gareth Jones> [email protected]_ns_swansea.demon.co.uk

    "Reality sucks - go watch a Star Trek"

    To email, remove the '_ns_' from [email protected]_ns_swansea.demon.co.uk
    __________________________________________
     
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