The opening NFL game last night was certainly watchable but disappointing. Static shots were stellar but during many moving sequences, especially camera pans, the image was broken up into what folks have refered to as tiling or pixelation. This was most notable when players were jogging back to the huddle.
I've been assuming this was macroblocking, caused by a poor signal (low bit rate of transmission). I assumed this might because these signals originate at local stations or perhaps my cable company (Comcast) doesn't allocate the same bandwidth to locals. However, football on ESPN looks substantially better and on FOX football is excellent. (I don't get ABC HD).
Let's see: looks good on ESPN & FOX, both 720p stations. Looks not as good on NBC & CBS, 1080i stations. I assumed the hype about sports on 720p meant, in the case of football, that you could track the ball better. That is, a ball should show more motion blur from the 1080i source but not necessarily be broken up into large "macro pixels".
So, am I seeing macroblocking due to a coincidentally poor signal on NBC and CBS or is this the result of the XBR deinterlacing a 1080i signal? It seems many programs on NBC have as much motion as a jog back to the huddle but I never see the problem appear as severe as during football. (Could this also be related to the camera?)
BTW, football on NBC/CBS seems to be the Achillies heal of this TV. I'm quite happy with most everything else on the screen.