Does FIOS have better HD picture quality than Comcast? - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Is FIOS picture quality better than Comcast?
Yes, FIOS is noticeably better than Comcast. 2 50.00%
Yes, but you can barely tell the difference. 0 0%
No, they are pretty much the same quality. 2 50.00%
Voters: 4. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-24-2011, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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I've had Comcast for years. Does FIOS have better picture quality (i.e less compression, etc)?
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:45 AM
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Unless I was able to see screenshots or view both at the same time on the same TV I would not be able to vote. In theory FiOS has less compression on some HD channels so it should be better.
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Old 10-24-2011, 03:34 PM
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This bkdtv thread is a little bit old but has great screen shots of various sources including FIOS.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1008271
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Old 10-24-2011, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ed3120 View Post

I've had Comcast for years. Does FIOS have better picture quality (i.e less compression, etc)?

No poll is needed for this question.

It's well known that Verizon FiOS passes all HD without any additional compression, so if your system and hardware are working correctly, yes, FiOS should always look at least as good and in most cases better than Comcast.

In many areas, Comcast passes local HD and a very few other HD channels, like ESPN or TNT, without additional compression. For those channels Comcast & Verizon should look the same.

'Better Living Through Modern, Expensive, Electronic Devices'

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Old 10-24-2011, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

This bkdtv thread is a little bit old but has great screen shots of various sources including FIOS.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1008271


To be fair Comcast made a lot of adjustments to their equipment since the original screenshots and their picture quality should be a lot better. Many times people complain about picture quality and it is the result of poor signal due to bad wiring or splitters.
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Old 10-24-2011, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulGo View Post

To be fair Comcast made a lot of adjustments to their equipment since the original screenshots and their picture quality should be a lot better.

Yes, that topic was created just as Comcast changed to 3 packing a QAM, and had not worked out the kinks. If you read the entire 70 page topic you'll find their HD looks much better at this time, due to a number of improvements.

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Old 10-24-2011, 07:55 PM
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Since I can't get FIOS at my abode, I vote Comcast to be better.

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Old 10-25-2011, 08:34 AM
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If/when the HDNet test pattern is available, and is carried by both sources, you could compare the maximum effective ( visual ) resolutions using the test pattern resolution wedges and this technique . Some years back here someone on the NYC-area FIOS measured ~1400 lines max horiz. res., about what I'm getting with a DVRed HDNet test pattern (TWC 8300HD STB, 1080p plasma), captured before TWC dropped HDNet. -- John
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Old 10-25-2011, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

No poll is needed for this question.

It's well known that Verizon FiOS passes all HD without any additional compression, so if your system and hardware are working correctly, yes, FiOS should always look at least as good and in most cases better than Comcast.

In many areas, Comcast passes local HD and a very few other HD channels, like ESPN or TNT, without additional compression. For those channels Comcast & Verizon should look the same.

In case of many channels now like TNT, ESPN, HBO, Disney and many others, Comcast and FIOS PQ is passed with additional compression as these are now delivered in MPEG 4. FIOS and Comcast are MPEG 2. They use receivers that transcode MPEG 4 to MPEG 2 but there is loss of quality. D*, E* or even Uverse may look better on those channels, as they use MPEG 4.
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Old 10-25-2011, 04:35 PM
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They're also transcoding, and at least in the cases of E* and U-verse, at much lower bitrates than the equivalent level from FiOS. E* and U-verse are using bitrates around 6Mb/s for H.264, which is roughly equivalent to 10-12Mb/s MPEG2. Verizon's MPEG2 is usually in the 15-18Mb/s range, except for the secondary HBO/Cinemax HD channels which are now 3-packed. D* was closer to 8Mb/s last I heard (back when it was actually possible to see such things), which puts them well ahead of E* and U-verse, and pretty close to what Verizon is putting out. H.264's tendency to blur before blocking makes any loss of quality less apparent than what one would see on MPEG2.
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CKNA View Post

....or even Uverse may look better on those channels, as they use MPEG 4.

Not even a little.

They could use MPEG704, but the way they allocate bandwidth negates any possible chance at high fidelity HD.

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Old 12-19-2011, 03:43 PM
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Great topic! I am surprised the other mega thread was locked...?

I have been with Comcast for over 10 years and would like to switch to Verizon. A few questions please:

1) Is it safe to assume that the HD quality with FIOS will be at LEAST just as good as Comcast? If its even better, that's great. But I am a big time videophile like most folks here and just want to make sure it won't be a step back in any way.

2) I need the ability to pause live TV and need the biggest storage space possible so the shared room DVR doesn't work for me. What is the latest and great HD box that I should make sure to get with my service, and what is its GB storage capacity? Do they support external hard drives for increasing capacity?

3) Is it hard to get the latest and greatest box (crapshoot and lots of complaining if not) or with new installs do they typically give you the latest?

Thanks!
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovingdvd View Post

Great topic! I am surprised the other mega thread was locked...?

I have been with Comcast for over 10 years and would like to switch to Verizon. A few questions please:

1) Is it safe to assume that the HD quality with FIOS will be at LEAST just as good as Comcast? If its even better, that's great. But I am a big time videophile like most folks here and just want to make sure it won't be a step back in any way.

2) I need the ability to pause live TV and need the biggest storage space possible so the shared room DVR doesn't work for me. What is the latest and great HD box that I should make sure to get with my service, and what is its GB storage capacity? Do they support external hard drives for increasing capacity?

3) Is it hard to get the latest and greatest box (crapshoot and lots of complaining if not) or with new installs do they typically give you the latest?

Thanks!

if u just watch local channels then absolutely nothing looks better than standard OTA TV. Raw signal straight from the source to ur TV with no middleman involved at all (eg Comcast,VZ,AT&T ,TWC,COX etc) provided that u can find a really good antenna, u can also get a TiVo or channelmaster DVR as well. As for VZ vs Comcast I'm not sure but if they transmit via fiber then the signal will most certainly be better than coax cable.
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric12341 View Post

if u just watch local channels then absolutely nothing looks better than standard OTA TV. Raw signal straight from the source to ur TV with no middleman involved at all (eg Comcast,VZ,AT&T ,TWC,COX etc) provided that u can find a really good antenna, u can also get a TiVo or channelmaster DVR as well. As for VZ vs Comcast I'm not sure but if they transmit via fiber then the signal will most certainly be better than coax cable.

I mainly watch ESPN, Disney, Discovery, HBO, Showtime, other HD channels, ABC/NBC/CBS/FOX and so forth.

Also a follow up question to my others above - do the latest STBs for FIOS support a native HD output setting, so that 720p channels will output at 720p and 1080i channels will output as 1080i?
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovingdvd View Post

I mainly watch ESPN, Disney, Discovery, HBO, Showtime, other HD channels, ABC/NBC/CBS/FOX and so forth.

Also a follow up question to my others above - do the latest STBs for FIOS support a native HD output setting, so that 720p channels will output at 720p and 1080i channels will output as 1080i?

I know that with Comcast u have to hit a button to toggle between 1080i/720p.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric12341 View Post


I know that with Comcast u have to hit a button to toggle between 1080i/720p.

Actually with the Comcast STB I have there is a native setting and it switched back and forth automatically. No need to push a button. Would like to know I'd the FIOS boxes with the same way.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:15 PM
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As a general rule, both FiOS and Comcast pass local channels without additional compression. Comcast 3 packs most or all national channels (depending on the region), while FiOS only 3 packs secondary premium channels, giving FiOS the edge on most channels. Many Comcast areas carry a handful of channels that aren't on FiOS, like Cartoon Network HD, BBC America HD, H2 HD, and CBSSN HD, but that depends entirely on where your local Comcast system is in their upgrade process. FiOS will probably get everything sometime next year, but we heard the same promises for this year, so who knows. The FiOS 7000 series DVRs with the IMG version 1.9 support a true 16:9 program guide, eSATA, and native resolution output. You should get one with a new install, but it wouldn't hurt to have the rep note it on your order. The older 6000 series don't do eSATA or 16:9 guides, but do have native resolution output. A few areas haven't had 1.9 deployed yet, check the FiOS thread in the programming forum or the Verizon forum on BBR for more info.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyoteaz View Post

As a general rule, both FiOS and Comcast pass local channels without additional compression. Comcast 3 packs most or all national channels (depending on the region), while FiOS only 3 packs secondary premium channels, giving FiOS the edge on most channels. Many Comcast areas carry a handful of channels that aren't on FiOS, like Cartoon Network HD, BBC America HD, H2 HD, and CBSSN HD, but that depends entirely on where your local Comcast system is in their upgrade process. FiOS will probably get everything sometime next year, but we heard the same promises for this year, so who knows. The FiOS 7000 series DVRs with the IMG version 1.9 support a true 16:9 program guide, eSATA, and native resolution output. You should get one with a new install, but it wouldn't hurt to have the rep note it on your order. The older 6000 series don't do eSATA or 16:9 guides, but do have native resolution output. A few areas haven't had 1.9 deployed yet, check the FiOS thread in the programming forum or the Verizon forum on BBR for more info.

Thanks so much for the great feedback! Regarding the 7000 series DVRs - can you tell me what is the best/latest one (what is the specific model # I should request)? Also are these 500GB units? How do I know whet IMG version I would be getting?

Can the eSata port be used for external storage and if so is it enabled?

Can you post a few links to the threads you think would be great reads for me? Its a big deal for me to change cable providers and if I am going to do it I want to make sure I dot all my i's and cross my t's for sure before diving in.

Also is there a good place to go to find out about the best special rates/offers out there for getting FIOS? It seems that if you call in or chat online they may not be making the best offer...

Thanks again!!
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Old 12-20-2011, 11:22 AM
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The 7232 is the latest and has a 500GB drive. eSATA is present and enabled in IMG 1.9, which I think has been deployed everywhere except NYC. I mostly stopped paying attention once we got it in Dallas. There are plenty of complaints from people who haven't gotten it yet in the various other threads, so

Useful links are the FiOS programming thread here on AVS, and the FiOS TV forum on DSLReports.
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric12341 View Post

if u just watch local channels then absolutely nothing looks better than standard OTA TV. Raw signal straight from the source to ur TV with no middleman involved at all (eg Comcast,VZ,AT&T ,TWC,COX etc) provided that u can find a really good antenna, u can also get a TiVo or channelmaster DVR as well. As for VZ vs Comcast I'm not sure but if they transmit via fiber then the signal will most certainly be better than coax cable.

Identical digital signals will look the same whether transmitted over coaxial cable or fiber. That is not fiber's advantage.

This isn't cell-phone text messaging. Please lose the "u" and "ur", etc. Thanks.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:06 AM
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Figured I'd check in, just switched from Comcast to FIOS in the northeast Philly area. Sampled a bunch of HD channels in the past 24 hours that I've had it and I must say... Comcast had better PQ.

With FIOS I see noticeable motion artifacts and MPEG-like smearing during camera pans that were not there with Comcast, particularly with sports and fast action movies. Needless to say this upsets me as I'm a stickler for PQ, but everything else about FIOS over Comcast seems to be worth keeping the package past my 30-day trial (did the 2-year contract deal for free multi-room DVR for life). Does anyone else who has switched to FIOS notice what I'm talking about? The HD also seems... fuzzier, when not in motion, but it's not as obvious as the motion artifacts. Plus the colors are more subdued and don't "pop" off the screen like with Comcast. I just don't understand it, the FIOS installer even replaced our old wiring with much thicker cables that he said would make a great difference, and he was right except the difference is negative!

I already tried the In-home Agent to auto-correct the DVR and it didn't fix these problems. Anyone have suggestions to try before I call Verizon about sending someone here to diagnose this?
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenVisage View Post

Figured I'd check in, just switched from Comcast to FIOS in the northeast Philly area. Sampled a bunch of HD channels in the past 24 hours that I've had it and I must say... Comcast had better PQ.

With FIOS I see noticeable motion artifacts and MPEG-like smearing during camera pans that were not there with Comcast, particularly with sports and fast action movies. Needless to say this upsets me as I'm a stickler for PQ, but everything else about FIOS over Comcast seems to be worth keeping the package past my 30-day trial (did the 2-year contract deal for free multi-room DVR for life). Does anyone else who has switched to FIOS notice what I'm talking about? The HD also seems... fuzzier, when not in motion, but it's not as obvious as the motion artifacts. Plus the colors are more subdued and don't "pop" off the screen like with Comcast. I just don't understand it, the FIOS installer even replaced our old wiring with much thicker cables that he said would make a great difference, and he was right except the difference is negative!

I already tried the In-home Agent to auto-correct the DVR and it didn't fix these problems. Anyone have suggestions to try before I call Verizon about sending someone here to diagnose this?

Thanks for the post. Interested since I'm awaiting a TWC => FIOS changeover this month (similar 2-yr deal to yours) with a few weeks of overlapping dual service. Lots of posts about this in the FIOS thread in the HD programming section, mostly from AVSers saying FIOS is better than their previous service. Sure reads like there's a glitch somewhere in the hookup...maybe it's just a bad DVR; seems bad MPEG decoding might cause the motion blur. Assume it's running cool in the open to avoid overheating. Years back here, with one of the first HD STBs, overheating--from an over-burdened inadequate power supply--caused some motion blurring.

Nice to have a static test pattern to actually measure non-motion visual resolution, but HDNet, which once periodically transmitted a resolution-wedge test pattern (see sublink), has stopped. Just started a thread in the calibration section urging e-mail requests to start it again. (Mentioned HDNet earlier above ). -- John
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenVisage View Post

. . . .Plus the colors are more subdued and don't "pop" off the screen like with Comcast. I just don't understand it, the FIOS installer even replaced our old wiring with much thicker cables that he said would make a great difference, and he was right except the difference is negative!

Whatever the cable installer did has likely made the most difference. Do you know if he switched the TV from composite(RGB) to HDMI? Each input of the TV requires it's own indivdual adjustments (color, contrast, etc . . ) which would certainly explain what you are seeing.

Fios here in the DC area is simply amazing & every bit as good as OTA reception with the set properly adjusted for each source. On good feeds of other cable only networks, the picture is damn close to Blu Ray quality in many cases.
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:27 AM
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I just got FiOs installed 2 days ago at my new house after 10+ years of Comcast (I was with Comcast when they were Garden State Cable, then @home, then Comcast) and it is honestly a fresh breath of air. A REAL guide and not one that looks like it's from the early 90's. IMHO the HD picture quality is better however not as noticable as the the jump in SD channels, FiO's SD channels look leaps and bounds better than Comcast's.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:13 AM
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... IMHO the HD picture quality is better however not as noticeable as the the jump in SD channels, FiO's SD channels look leaps and bounds better than Comcast's.
Noticed the same about SD when I switched from NYC's TWC to FIOS a few years back. AIUI back then, FIOS delivers SD at its full format resolution whereas most cable firms trim SD format resolution back (in addition to effective or visual resolution loss that comes with too much compression).

Doesn't look like we'll see widely available resolution-wedge test patterns like the former-HDNET patterns I mentioned (both posts above). But still suspect using this optical reticle technique , measuring maximum motion-video scene resolutions on screens, matched to test-pattern wedges or resolution bursts, would permit comparisons between FIOS and various cable systems. You'd obviously have to check that screens used by different AVSers could deliver full HD format resolutions, using various test pattern sources, and that other broadcast/cablecast programs originated equally.

In other words, does a distant vertical wire or human hair in a DVRed sports match show different measured horizontal resolutions between, say, Comcast and FIOS viewers? -- John
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:13 PM
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What is SD? smile.gif

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Old 05-23-2013, 06:01 PM
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Standard definition. The ol' 4:3 480i


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Old 07-19-2013, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason View Post

Noticed the same about SD when I switched from NYC's TWC to FIOS a few years back. AIUI back then, FIOS delivers SD at its full format resolution whereas most cable firms trim SD format resolution back (in addition to effective or visual resolution loss that comes with too much compression).

Doesn't look like we'll see widely available resolution-wedge test patterns like the former-HDNET patterns I mentioned (both posts above). But still suspect using this optical reticle technique , measuring maximum motion-video scene resolutions on screens, matched to test-pattern wedges or resolution bursts, would permit comparisons between FIOS and various cable systems. You'd obviously have to check that screens used by different AVSers could deliver full HD format resolutions, using various test pattern sources, and that other broadcast/cablecast programs originated equally.

In other words, does a distant vertical wire or human hair in a DVRed sports match show different measured horizontal resolutions between, say, Comcast and FIOS viewers? -- John

I just had FIOS installed and can't seem to find a master FIOS PQ thread, but this topic seems right, so wanted to post here.

To level set, I've had cable for years now, and just this afternoon had FIOS installed to replace it. So far the HD PQ isn't as crisp and clean as the cable HD PQ. Everything looks grainy, with lots of noise in the background which is proving distracting. I went into the guide changed the STB video settings, but that didn't seem to have an effect. While he was here, the installer repeatedly stated it was a "clean" picture - which it isn't.

This level of PQ will make me return to cable before the 30 day trail is over. Is there any way to up this PQ?

Thanks,

-JR
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Old 07-19-2013, 06:21 PM
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Is it the same provider? If the pq is grainy that sounds like interference or noise, of which only the provider can fix. Maybe it's as simple as a bad ground or connection.
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:31 AM
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FWIW, I used an OTA antenna 8 years for HD programs (and have it as a backup). I kicked Comcast to the curb (analog only) and installed FiOS around 2010. Personally, I can't see any difference in PQ between the two (OTA vs. FiOS).
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