Comcast HD Quality Reduction: Details, Screenshots - Page 25 - AVS Forum
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post #721 of 2079 Old 04-03-2008, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by davehancock View Post

But that is not a "retail" box. That was the initial question (impact of retail boxes) that DoubleDAZ raised.

However, you may have touched on something. I wonder if the cable companies are ordering the next generation boxes (the Moto box you refer to and the next generation SA/Cisco) box and there are issues with the new boxes.

Or, they might also be ordering fewer units in anticipation of retail units becoming available. The last thing cableco's need is to be stuck with a glut of units nobody wants in favor of retail units that may (should?) offer more options/features at a price people are willing to pay.

AFAIK, Cox is moving along with tru2way implementation, so I'm not sure where the negative tru2way comments are coming from. I don't know of anything that says TWC is not moving to tru2way for SARA-based systems. The fact that they haven't implemented it anywhere yet doesn't mean a whole lot. Cox hasn't either, but that's because there are other things going up first, like their EON upgrade to 1Ghz, etc.

Also, just because Sisco wasn't mentioned in the CES article is no reason to assume they are not workling on retail tru2way units. SA/Cox tried retail sales of units and it failed, but that was only because it simply wasn't ready for primetime and it wasn't marketed at all.

Cheers, Dave
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post #722 of 2079 Old 04-03-2008, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

Motorola is putting out a new line, the DCX-series. The point is that that could be reducing their capacity to product DCH-series boxes. I hope that is clearer.

That's what I was referring to earlier.
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post #723 of 2079 Old 04-03-2008, 06:38 PM
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I notice the forgotten HiDefHigh website still says "Comcast offers the best HD picture", "for the best HD picture, you pretty much have to get Comcast", "satellite's...a little blurrier", "satellite is HD Lite" and "picture quality is why you get High Def in the first place".

http://www.hidefhigh.com

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post #724 of 2079 Old 04-03-2008, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I just compared last week's recordings of Animal Oddities from NGCHD. VideoRedo reported the FiOS version at 13.93Mbps and the Comcast version at 11.59Mbps.

For the overwhelming majority of the program, the Comcast feed looked just as good as the FiOS feed. Static images were essentially identical and the differences during slow movement were very subtle. There was some blurring in fast movement, such as animals running across the screen, but it wasn't that significant.

Since NGCHD is a 720p channel, I've posted the full-resolution images below. Ignore the dotted vertical lines -- those are caused by MPC w/ Dscaler5 on 720p images.

NGCHD on FiOS


NGCHD on Comcast


NGCHD on FiOS


NGCHD on Comcast
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post #725 of 2079 Old 04-03-2008, 09:30 PM
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I dunno - looking at the left front leg of the last set of pics, the difference is more obvious than some of your previous captures. In the Comcast capture, the leg is nearly gone!

It's not clear if the 3-pack is occurring where I'm at, but tonight's ABC show (Miss Guided) was horrible. Static scenes were fine, but any movement showed lots of judder.

-Dave
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post #726 of 2079 Old 04-03-2008, 09:40 PM
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bfdtv, try 720p with the internal MPC mpeg2 decoder or ffdshow
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post #727 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 04:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dbower View Post

I dunno - looking at the left front leg of the last set of pics, the difference is more obvious than some of your previous captures. In the Comcast capture, the leg is nearly gone!

-Dave


There are some noticeable what I would call "Chroma Noise" as well as the leg disappearing...but again I would wonder if you were just watching the program would you even notice it at 60 fps. And for a 17% reduction in average bit rate (I am assuming that is what is being measured above.) that is actually a not bad result and I would assume the logarithms that the Imagine Communications encoders are using will improve over time along with any tweaking in the Video QoS that Comcast may do. In fact, if you factor in that this reencoding is happening in real-time...it is pretty incredible.

Also, seems to be more supporting evidence that 720p programming may be "more" compatible with the new VBR StatMuxes.

Also, found this paper on the StatMuxes that Comcast is probably using...

http://www.imaginecommunications.com...ite_papers.php

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post #728 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 04:29 AM
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You can install Haali for MPC:

http://haali.cs.msu.ru/mkv/

and use Haali's Video Renderer and Haali Media spitter for your 720p files w/out the horizontal lines.
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post #729 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 04:33 AM
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I think there is a NBA game on TNT this weekend I will try and record D* and E* for that.
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post #730 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 05:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

I just compared last week's recordings of Animal Oddities from NGCHD. VideoRedo reported the FiOS version at 13.93Mbps and the Comcast version at 11.59Mbps.

For the overwhelming majority of the program, the Comcast feed looked just as good as the FiOS feed. Static images were essentially identical and the differences during slow movement were very subtle. There was some blurring in fast movement, such as animals running across the screen, but it wasn't that significant.

Doesn't seem close from the shots you included. FiOS feed significantly better for these motion shots.
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post #731 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 05:49 AM
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These 'clearly' show how Comcast is mangling the image. Look near the shoulder of the the lion. In general, edges are distorted in the Comcast images.

--- CHAS

If it ain't broke, fix it till it is.
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post #732 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 06:40 AM
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I noticed a huge difference watching The Tudors last night on my DVR. The intro credit sequence had some heavy macroblocking that I do not recall from last season.
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post #733 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIPAR View Post

These 'clearly' show how Comcast is mangling the image. Look near the shoulder of the the lion.

Yes, that caught my eye, too. Seems to show a reduction of horizontal resolution: darker vertical skin folds in the last Verizon image become grayer in the Comcast image so the fold detail is less noticeable. Similar effect with static or moving converging-line resolution-wedge test patterns, which enable you measure the 'gray-out point' for maximum effective horizontal resolution. -- John
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post #734 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 07:44 AM
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Glad that Comcast is being called out, now they claim they will try to get it right. Whatever that means.

http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/C...D-Signal-93233

"Thank you for the feedback to Brian Roberts. As you are aware, we are constantly striving to provide improved services to our Customers, including a wide variety of HD content. In an effort to do this, we have recently started using a new system to deliver some HD channels. While this system works well with clean 1080i signals, we're making some adjustments to improve how it handles other types of HD signals so we can bring you the best HD picture. We apologize this has not created the HD experience that we intended, but we will work towards getting it right."


What Comcrap is doing is disgusting to a paying consumer, calling some of that garbage HIGH DEFINITION. Of course there will be those who say if you don't like it change subscribers, if only it was that simple as making a phone call for everyone.

CV needs to add H2 HD
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post #735 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dbower View Post

I dunno - looking at the left front leg of the last set of pics, the difference is more obvious than some of your previous captures. In the Comcast capture, the leg is nearly gone!

-Dave

Yea, and look at the steps on the house in the last pic.
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post #736 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dbower View Post

It's not clear if the 3-pack is occurring where I'm at, but tonight's ABC show (Miss Guided) was horrible. Static scenes were fine, but any movement showed lots of judder.

Probably not due to 3-pack as this would be from a local station and those have (so far) not been subject to this process.

Dave Hancock
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post #737 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by keenan View Post

I can't believe Comcast will leave the quality that way. In that second shot it looks like she has a skin condition via the Comcast feed.

Hahaha, thanks for the observation grandpa...
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post #738 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian1212 View Post

Doesn't seem close from the shots you included. FiOS feed significantly better for these motion shots.

When I looked at DSCHD, I could click 20 random frames throughout the program and 19 would show degradation on the Comcast feed, with the differences being greatest on images with motion. The opposite was true with NGC. Clicking 20 random frames on NGC, most looked just as good on Comcast. With NGC, I had to actually find scenes with fast motion -- such as animals running -- to see an obvious difference.
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post #739 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ktownhero View Post

Hahaha, thanks for the observation grandpa...

When that post was made bfdtv had 2 shots of a couple in a cave, he's since removed them, young'un...
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post #740 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jmallory View Post

...but again I would wonder if you were just watching the program would you even notice it at 60 fps.

Trust me, if you've ever seen good-quality HD pictures, you just couldn't miss how the new Comcast "HD Lite" doesn't come close to meeting that standard. Within the Comcast HD service itself, you can find proper-quality HD content within your local channels, and then switch to the "cable" HD channels, and see a very substantial difference.

The difference is clear. True HD has a "wow" factor to it -- an extra amount of clarity, not just in terms of higher-definition details, but also a greater amount of clarity in on-screen movement. But Comcast's HD Lite just "erases that 'wow' factor" -- the greater clarity is nearly completely gone, and the picture visibly starts falling apart whenever there is movement on screen.

Of course, this is worst when there is movement on the screen, so by the very nature of TV programming, the difference will vary. But, if anyone is doubtful that the average HDTV consumer couldn't easily notice the difference, well, "just spend one day with this HD Lite." It is easily, obviously substandard. The best words I can come up with to describe it would be "flat and mushy." Again, if you're familiar with Comcast's "digital cable" service, just apply that kind of damage to picture quality to HD content. It is absolutely similar.

The shots posted above are perfect examples of the quality difference -- the quality difference is just as clear on your TV screen as it is in those shots. I certainly expect that this now qualifies as "the worst HD provided by any service," and I sure wouldn't recommend Comcast HD to anyone looking for a new HD provider. For current Comcast HD subscribers, all I can say is that "the grass looks greener on the other side" -- and it's a whole lot clearer, too.
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post #741 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by thoots View Post

Trust me, if you've ever seen good-quality HD pictures, you just couldn't miss how the new Comcast "HD Lite" doesn't come close to meeting that standard. Within the Comcast HD service itself, you can find proper-quality HD content within your local channels, and then switch to the "cable" HD channels, and see a very substantial difference.

The difference is clear. True HD has a "wow" factor to it -- an extra amount of clarity, not just in terms of higher-definition details, but also a greater amount of clarity in on-screen movement. But Comcast's HD Lite just "erases that 'wow' factor" -- the greater clarity is nearly completely gone, and the picture visibly starts falling apart whenever there is movement on screen.

Of course, this is worst when there is movement on the screen, so by the very nature of TV programming, the difference will vary. But, if anyone is doubtful that the average HDTV consumer couldn't easily notice the difference, well, "just spend one day with this HD Lite." It is easily, obviously substandard. The best words I can come up with to describe it would be "flat and mushy." Again, if you're familiar with Comcast's "digital cable" service, just apply that kind of damage to picture quality to HD content. It is absolutely similar.

The shots posted above are perfect examples of the quality difference -- the quality difference is just as clear on your TV screen as it is in those shots. I certainly expect that this now qualifies as "the worst HD provided by any service," and I sure wouldn't recommend Comcast HD to anyone looking for a new HD provider. For current Comcast HD subscribers, all I can say is that "the grass looks greener on the other side" -- and it's a whole lot clearer, too.

Trust me, I have seen what "True HD" quality looks like, I have a Blu-Ray and HD-DVD player and no one's HD service approaches that. I have never considered Cable or DBS appropriate for "critical" viewing of HD or SD programming. We have Discovery HD Theatre here on a 2:1 QAM assignment and the difference between Planet Earth on Blu-Ray and Discovery Atlas on HD-DVD versus their broadcasted counterparts were significant. If the enclosed screen shots of A&E and NGC HD programming are representative of what I can expect from 3:1 stat muxing for "casual" viewing...I can live with it during this transitional period knowing that long-term the final solution for cable is the end of analog and MPEG-4 compression. Especially if we consider what the short term alternatives are:

1. Less HD choices, although I do wish Comcast was a put more selective with what they use their bandwidth for, I certainly want more HD when it is available. But did we really need TBS and CNN in HD right now?

2. SDV, that will break my Vista Media Center Cablecard setup. Three HD channels on one QAM that my Media Center can tune beats any HD channel that it can't tune.

That being said...as the person who posted the screenshots indicated that these were the worst examples that he could fine for that channel and that the majority of the time it was equal to the FIOS feed. And since this poster has both FIOS and Comcast, he can give the best feeling what it is actually like to watch the services rather than just analyzing worst-case scenarios frame by frame.

Detroit recently only started to get HD delivered 3:1 when Disney, ABC Family, and Discovery Science HD were added this week. Once my Vista Media Center gets these channels added to the guide and I convert what I am currently recording on Science (I am not going to subject myself to Disney garbage for this) to the HD channel...I am not going to be able to adequately judge subjective picture quality at this point.

-- Jim
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post #742 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 05:52 PM
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Verizon Defends 'Uncompressed HDTV' Ads:

http://www.multichannel.com/article/...dustryid=47199

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post #743 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxman View Post

Verizon Defends 'Uncompressed HDTV' Ads:

http://www.multichannel.com/article/...dustryid=47199

I think it will be interesting to see how far this goes. In a court of law, Verizon will probably lose, but only have to modify it's ads to explicitly state "no further" compression. In the court of public opinion though, I think we all know the point being made. It seems to me that Verizon's lawyers should have caught the faux pas and fixed the wording at the get-go. Where the ad does fail though is some cableco's (Cox for one) did not further compress their broadcasts either, so from that perspective the ads were false at that time. Cox does now recompress some new additions, but like Comcast, that may only be temporary until SDV is implemented and/or newer hardware is installed. Hopefully, Cox will be quicker to resolve the issue.

Cheers, Dave
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post #744 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ View Post

I think it will be interesting to see how far this goes. In a court of law, Verizon will probably lose, but only have to modify it's ads to explicitly state "no further" compression. In the court of public opinion though, I think we all know the point being made. It seems to me that Verizon's lawyers should have caught the faux pas and fixed the wording at the get-go. Where the ad does fail though is some cableco's (Cox for one) did not further compress their broadcasts either, so from that perspective the ads were false at that time. Cox does now recompress some new additions, but like Comcast, that may only be temporary until SDV is implemented and/or newer hardware is installed. Hopefully, Cox will be quicker to resolve the issue.

No, I don't think they would lose as there is no real regulatory/legal definition of what HD is. It's all marketing at this point. I think if they were sued it might bring about some sort of standards/definitions so that when a Comcast re-compresses the signal they can't call it the same thing as a Verizon who doesn't. That would be a good thing.

Frankly though, I doubt they'll ever get sued. This is different from the DirecTV lawsuit where they actually laid out in plain language screen ratios and resolution numbers for the 2 generally accepted "HD" formats.

I should rephrase that, they may get sued, as everybody wants to sue nowadays, but I doubt very seriously that Verizon would lose. Sometimes just the act of suing brings about enough publicity that the plaintiff has accomplished their goal simply by bringing into question what a Verizon is doing/saying. That may very well happen.
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post #745 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

No, I don't think they would lose as there is no real regulatory/legal definition of what HD is. It's all marketing at this point. I think if they were sued it might bring about some sort of standards/definitions so that when a Comcast re-compresses the signal they can't call it the same thing as a Verizon who doesn't. That would be a good thing.

Frankly though, I doubt they'll ever get sued. This is different from the DirecTV lawsuit where they actually laid out in plain language screen ratios and resolution numbers for the 2 generally accepted "HD" formats.

But, any such suit is not about the definition of HD. It would be about the accurate use of "uncompressed".

Don't forget, this is a national ad, and there are lots of cable systems out there that are not using any additional compression. So any statements indicating that cable compresses and they (Verizon) don't would be libelous.

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post #746 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

No, I don't think they would lose as there is no real regulatory/legal definition of what HD is.

Just a nit, but I didn't mention HD, I only mentioned the use of the term "uncompressed" and although I, too, doubt it will go that far, I don't see how they can defend the use of the word "uncompressed" as a matter of law, not what they intended to say.

I think it's all much to do about nothing and I just hope it spurs Comcast and other cableco's to deal with the 3:1 issue while making Verizon and others spell out what they mean in more accurate terms. If you go by the ad (which I haven't seen but assume ), I think you'd get the impression that all cable channels are inferior and all Verizon channels are pristine, including those that are already bit-stared at the source. Not all channels feed video at 18 mbps, so IMHO even trying to make any claim on PQ is tenuous at best and requires a lot of discussion, as this thread shows.

Cheers, Dave
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post #747 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jmallory View Post

Trust me, I have seen what "True HD" quality looks like, I have a Blu-Ray and HD-DVD player and no one's HD service approaches that. I have never considered Cable or DBS appropriate for "critical" viewing of HD or SD programming. We have Discovery HD Theatre here on a 2:1 QAM assignment and the difference between Planet Earth on Blu-Ray and Discovery Atlas on HD-DVD versus their broadcasted counterparts were significant. If the enclosed screen shots of A&E and NGC HD programming are representative of what I can expect from 3:1 stat muxing for "casual" viewing...I can live with it during this transitional period knowing that long-term the final solution for cable is the end of analog and MPEG-4 compression. Especially if we consider what the short term alternatives are:

1. Less HD choices, although I do wish Comcast was a put more selective with what they use their bandwidth for, I certainly want more HD when it is available. But did we really need TBS and CNN in HD right now?

2. SDV, that will break my Vista Media Center Cablecard setup. Three HD channels on one QAM that my Media Center can tune beats any HD channel that it can't tune.

That being said...as the person who posted the screenshots indicated that these were the worst examples that he could fine for that channel and that the majority of the time it was equal to the FIOS feed. And since this poster has both FIOS and Comcast, he can give the best feeling what it is actually like to watch the services rather than just analyzing worst-case scenarios frame by frame.

Well, I'm not really in disagreement with most of that -- indeed, I'm coming around to a personal attitude to "relax, this is a 'transitional' period," so that's an apt word for the situation now. And I might not take some knee-jerk action in the next few days or weeks. But....

On my system, there's just no doubt about it -- it is absolutely, 100% easily noticeable -- that the picture quality for the 3:1 channels is substantially reduced from what it was before. It doesn't matter if there's movement in the picture or not -- it's just lacking in the "definition" that it had before. It doesn't take expensive, exotic equipment to see it, either -- it just takes anyone who has paid attention to the picture quality they've been getting, and they should have been able to see it, easily.

So, I won't buy any "you can't notice it" statement -- it's far more significant than that. But, I could see "living with it" for some time, hoping that it'll get better. Of course, though, Comcast's record for "improving picture quality" is well known -- utterly, 100% nonexistent. "Adjust your dreams accordingly."
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post #748 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 07:50 PM
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I have been a Comcast customer since their inception when they bought Contentinal Cabelvision, over 22 years ago

I have canceled because of this exact problem, we dont have FIOS here we do have U-Verse but I know 3 people who have it and it sucks worse than comcast does

WOW cable wasnt that bad I had that for a month but I settled with DirectTV and am very happy with it

I think that Comcast or "Concast" as it should be is the devil, they suck so bad I wouldnt even let them suck.... well you know

I only have them for Internet because for some reason I canceled it along with the Cable but I still have internet and its been 2 months so far and no bill, so I will see how long this lasts and then probably go with WOW for internet they are pretty good in my area

I want the retro skin back please
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post #749 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thoots View Post

So, I won't buy any "you can't notice it" statement -- it's far more significant than that. But, I could see "living with it" for some..........

I think at least some of those comments were intended to mean those new to HD. Let's face it, those who get a new HDTV see a much better picture than they were used to with their old analog TVs. Where DirecTV and FIOS fail to take advantage of the situation is in the retail showroom. How many would opt for Comcast if they could compare HD programming side-by-side on identical TVs in Best Buy? When I bought my HDTV years ago, I had them show me the same HD and DVD signals on the TVs I was considering. And, yes, I did play with the settings (contrast, brightness, etc.) to make them as comparable as I could at the time.

Cheers, Dave
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post #750 of 2079 Old 04-04-2008, 08:25 PM
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We need a baseline bitrate standard for what is considered noncompressed. Perhaps Verizon might be asked to demonstrate they can deliver at least 19 megabits on all channels simultaneously.

Certainly Verizon has to format the incoming data feeds to their system interface requirements. Although that might require reducing the bitrate received on the a feed to 19 megabits with some alteration of the image, we will not consider that process to be compression in the context of our baseline definition.

It's all as clear as mud.

--- CHAS

If it ain't broke, fix it till it is.
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