ATTN JMS: Is B5 ready for HDTV?

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Mon Apr 7 06:09:18 EDT 1997

From: tom at (Tom Horsley)
Date: 5 Apr 1997 15:53:43 -0500
Lines: 18

>It appears the US government is about to announce the final standards
>for high-definition television (HDTV), which will at first broadcast
>in parallel to current signals, but then replace them as the old style
>stops being broadcast -- so older TV sets will be completely useless.

I'm not entirely sure this is actually what was announced. I get the
impression that what the FCC mandated was the transition to *digital* TV
broadcast signals, which doesn't necessarily mean those digital signals will
be in the highest possible HDTV resolution (part of the agreement last year
between broadcasters and computer folks was the dropping of any specific
format and resolution requirements for digital TVs and signals).

I think what it means is that if the broadcasters want to send HDTV, they
can do that, but if they want to send other lower quality (and lower
bandwidth) resolutions, they can do that too.

From: George Johnsen <ndeiprod at>
Date: 6 Apr 1997 17:36:02 -0400
Lines: 25

There are several schemes in proposal form for both the upconversion on
standard broadcast, to make new sets useful with those who prefer to
continue to broadcast using the equipment they have, and downconversion
for those whop wish to watch a new channel with an old teevee set.  This
will take the form of an inline box that decodes the signal and puts out
a standard NTSC compatible signal.

I am off to the National Assoc of Broadcasters meeting to see what the
latest lies, er I mean proposals concerning HDTV are.  Rest assured that
B5 is ready whatever dopey backwards compatible signal format they come
up with. We do a conformed film neg of every episode for archival that
is just for this purpose.  CG and composites can be rerendered to
whatever new rez that is required, and we welcome the opportunity. 

The biggest problem is that storytellers and hardware folks aren't the
only ones with input into the standard.  The computer folks want in, and
this will make the format even more confused.  Recent gov rules have
allowed the standard to be made more computer friendly.  This means that
MSNBC is just the start!

George Johnsen
CoProducer, B5

-*** B5JMS SUBSCRIBERS: Replies to messages go to the list maintainer,
-*** <b5jms-owner at>.  If you want to reply elsewhere, adjust
-*** the "To" field.  The best way to reach JMS is to post to rastb5m, which
-*** can be done by sending email to <b5mod at>.

More information about the B5JMS mailing list