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Rain Frustrates Super Bowl Fans

Feb 8, 2007  •  Post A Comment

There was only one thing HD Super Bowl fans could seem to agree on: The rain sucked.
With CBS Sports’ camera lenses fogging due to the Miami downpour on Sunday, fans watched helplessly as their expensive HD sets—many purchased specifically for the occasion—showed images of the field that were partially obscured by rain and sometimes were downright blurry.
“As each minute passes more cameras become infected,” groused one viewer on AVS Forum. “My HDTV looks like the first color TV ever made.”
The game marked the first time the Super Bowl has ever been played in the rain. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, about 50 percent of sports fans who purchase an HD set do so to watch a specific event, with the Super Bowl at the top of the list. Fans bought an estimated 2.5 million HDTV sets for this year’s event.
Aside from the rain, fan reaction to the HD quality was divided. Some complained of audio dropouts, macroblocking (pixel patterns in the signal) and image noise, while others were superlative in their praise.
“Wow, the HD quality is insanely good,” gushed one fan on AVS Forum. “I’m guessing it’s 100 percent HD from broadcast to cable provider to me. Man, it looks awesome.”
But another fan had this to say: “Super Bowl looks terrible on CBS … I don’t know if it’s just because of the rain, but this looks horrible.”
The comments serve to illustrate how a network can send out a perfectly clean signal but a viewer’s experience mainly depends on the connections in between—local stations and cable and satellite operators.

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