Comcast HD Quality Reduction: Details, Screenshots - Page 31 - AVS Forum
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post #901 of 2079 Old 04-11-2008, 10:07 PM
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has there been a comparison done yet of Comcast vs DirecTv? I'm done with Comcrap.
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post #902 of 2079 Old 04-11-2008, 11:13 PM
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I've enjoyed Swanni's website.

But he's WAY off on the Comcast compression.
Obviously, he's not a sufferer, I mean customer.

By the way, who is he to criticize celebrities in HD?

Think before you "theorize" Swanni.

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post #903 of 2079 Old 04-12-2008, 02:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foojay View Post

has there been a comparison done yet of Comcast vs DirecTv? I'm done with Comcrap.

There's no way to capture DirecTV's MPEG4 streams to a PC. Any comparisons that take place would have to rely on recording the decompressed output from the box which could introduce additional artifacts and would rely on additional variables that could not be controlled.
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post #904 of 2079 Old 04-12-2008, 03:09 AM
 
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I think Swann is a yahoo as well. However, he got this one correct, perhaps just by accident.
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post #905 of 2079 Old 04-12-2008, 04:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davehancock View Post

Right from Para 76.56 of the rules:

I hate to resurrect something so old, but it has taken until now for me to find the support for my perspective on this.

The regulation does not say anything about a set-top box necessary for converting digital signals to analog, on an all-digital cable system, necessarily being "free". It says, "any costs incurred by a cable operator in down-converting or carrying alternative format versions of signals... shall be the responsibility of the cable operator." This is taken to mean that if the cable company decides to convert HD signals to analog at the head-end, after February 2009, then they must bare the cost of that themselves. However, that does not mean that they cannot charge for STBs necessary to convert digital signals on an all-digital system to analog. "Any costs related to [that] will be determined by the cable company." Unless and until someone sues a cable company and wins, this interpretation is effectively the law of the land, since it is the interpretation advocated by the NCTA (see the article I posted a link to in the Hot Off the Press thread), and therefore the interpretation that will drive what cable companies do.
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post #906 of 2079 Old 04-12-2008, 04:26 AM
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I received a return phone call from one of comcasts damage control people friday night. This was in response to me cancelling everything except internet and their basic package. I had complaints with their service, the new hd channels were not showing up on the tvguide of my cable cards , and I had concerns about the reduced quality of the hd channels. The representitive was straight forward with me. My understanding of the answers were that the picture quality will be what I have now. Switched video would not be released anytime soon where I live and neither would mpeg4 compression. Also, the next round of new hd channels were not coming soon. The info for the tvguide was sent on a subcarrier over pbs and comcast had not updated it yet.
I have two plasmas, a panasonic 42 inch 720p and a pioneer kuro 110 50 inch elite. The picture quality on the panasonic with their hd channels look good and the difference I would see if the bit rate was higher probably would be minimal. I do see a difference in quality with the kuro set when I compare them with the more compressed hd channels. To be fair, most people are going to be happy with the quality unless they have a large screen and/or view at a close distance. I have decided not to drop comcast and stay with them for now. The convienence of having a cable card and using my remote is more important to me. And before anyone posts that I am just not that critical about my picture, let me say that I am. I see exactly what everyone else is seeing. I just feel the compromise is worth it for now. I may change my mind when the new round of hd channels are released from directv.
I checked on saturday morning, and the info was now being sent to the tvguide service. Comcast does listen.
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post #907 of 2079 Old 04-12-2008, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

Swann is an idiot, he's made these blanket assumptions before, and frankly, I don't know why anyone pays him any attention.

If he's going to make these sort of statements, he needs to provide specifics on how he is viewing the signal, source, display, resolution, make/model, etc, otherwise...and to think people actually pay him to speak about HD...

How can he not see that the more information being presented, the more apparent the degradation. For those of us that can see and value HD when it pops (and Swann is not one of us), static pics, graphics, etc. are fine. But there is no pop with fast motion, crowd scenes, etc. Then also if you get a bad source to begin with, it only gets worse. BG on SciFi in HD? The source + comcast = wtf is up with that.
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post #908 of 2079 Old 04-12-2008, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikew7111 View Post

...video would not be released anytime soon where I live...

Which would be, uh, like, WHERE???

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post #909 of 2079 Old 04-12-2008, 11:14 AM
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I have also seen a degradation on my regular digital channels. The pictures are noticeably grainier. This started at the same time my HD quality went down (on or about March 30). Since all of the discussion in this thread concerns HD compression, do I have some other problem? I have tried all the calibrations suggested in another thread for my Samsung LN-T4061F, but nothing fixes the problem. My signal strength is fine (according to Comcast) and I've replaced the box. (And, as I noted earlier in this thread), Samsung has replaced the main board. I'm connected via HDMI cable. Anyone have any suggestions? I suspect that this is related to the same Comcast problem under discussion, but I've seen no one complain about the regular digital service.
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post #910 of 2079 Old 04-12-2008, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

Quote:


Originally Posted by davehancock
Right from Para 76.56 of the rules:

I hate to resurrect something so old, but it has taken until now for me to find the support for my perspective on this.

The regulation does not say anything about a set-top box necessary for converting digital signals to analog, on an all-digital cable system, necessarily being "free". It says, "any costs incurred by a cable operator in down-converting or carrying alternative format versions of signals... shall be the responsibility of the cable operator." This is taken to mean that if the cable company decides to convert HD signals to analog at the head-end, after February 2009, then they must bare the cost of that themselves.

From the FCC's 3rd Report & Order (relating to this matter):
Quote:


2. Section 76.56 is amended by adding new subsections (d)(3), (d)(4) and (d)(5) and revising
subsection (e) to read as follows:
§ 76.56 Signal carriage obligations.
* * * * *
(d) Availability of signals.
* * * * *
(3) The viewability and availability requirements of this section require that, after the broadcast
television transition from analog to digital service for full power television stations cable operators
must either:
(i) carry the signals of commercial and non-commercial must-carry stations in analog
format to all analog cable subscribers, or
(ii) for all-digital systems, carry those signals in digital format, provided that all
subscribers, including those with analog television sets, that are connected to a cable system
by a cable operator or for which the cable operator provides a connection have the
necessary equipment to view the broadcast content.
(4) Any costs incurred by a cable operator in downconverting or carrying alternative-format
versions of signals under §76.56(d)(3)(i) or (ii) shall be the responsibility of the cable operator.

This CLEARLY states that your interpretation is incorrect. Cable is given two choice's to comply:
(i) Covert at the head end to analog.
(ii) Carry the signal in digital format only.
The costs for EITHER approach shall be borne by the cable companies.

But I do agree that this could end up being decided in court, however the FCC lately has been swinging a big stick on lots of matters by placing significant fines on folks.

Dave Hancock
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post #911 of 2079 Old 04-12-2008, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davehancock View Post

Swanni has made the following comment about Comcast compression:

"Q. Is Comcast's HD picture really compressed like people are saying and does that hurt the picture? -- Vic E.
There have been various reports about Comcast using less system space to transmit HD signals -- a layman's way to describe compression. If true, this would enable Comcast to offer more HD channels without creating more system capacity. However, despite the red-hot rhetoric on some message boards, I personally don't believe you can see the difference in Comcast's HD picture compared to any other provider. HD picture quality is often in the eye of the beholder. People sometimes see things that may not really be there."

Or NOT see things that really should be there?

Frankly, many of the screen shots bfdtv has posted do not show all that much difference. The real question is will those differences actually be seen when looking at live action - not static screen captures. Part of the trick of compression is to take advantage of the eye's inability to discern certain details of MOTION images.

Didn't you know all HD providers' channels look the same?
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post #912 of 2079 Old 04-12-2008, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davehancock View Post

Swanni has made the following comment about Comcast compression:
Or NOT see things that really should be there?

Frankly, many of the screen shots bfdtv has posted do not show all that much difference. The real question is will those differences actually be seen when looking at live action - not static screen captures. Part of the trick of compression is to take advantage of the eye's inability to discern certain details of MOTION images.

Swann know this. Why he chooses not to mention it a good question.

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post #913 of 2079 Old 04-12-2008, 05:14 PM
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sorry, york pa
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post #914 of 2079 Old 04-12-2008, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by coyoteaz View Post

My friend in Philly on Comcast is only getting 11.6Mbit/s on KYW (CBS) HD. A look at the channel using TSReader shows a bunch of encrypted SD programs on there along with KYW HD, and about 4Mbit/s of nullpackets. Given that KYW is a CBS O&O, one would expect them to be following standard policy of providing a full-bitrate HD channel, which leads us to believe that Comcast might be extending their rape of HD quality to local broadcast channels, something that no one has seen yet. Can anyone else in Philly (preferably with both OTA and Comcast) post some numbers of what you saw on CSI and Without a Trace tonight?

I called my brother and asked him what he thought of the Masters on CBS. He agreed the graphics were soft, but I thought the overall image was soft. Softer than the crisp NFL games we're used to seeing, and what I thought the Masters should look like.
We're both in Montgomery County, PA just outside Philly on Comcast.

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post #915 of 2079 Old 04-13-2008, 05:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davehancock View Post

From the FCC's 3rd Report & Order (relating to this matter):This CLEARLY states that your interpretation is incorrect.

And I hate to repeat myself on each thread you've posted this on, but no it does not state that Dietz' interpretation is incorrect. Rather both your interpretation and his interpretation are both reasonable, and since his perspective is reflected in what the industry is doing, his interpretation shall prevail unless something changes. I know you feel very strongly that your interpretation is the only one that can be correct, Dave, but unfortunately for consumers, it is not.
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post #916 of 2079 Old 04-13-2008, 07:53 AM
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I got a question for you guys, did they also start compressing our local HD channels more also? I was watching the Boston and Yankee game last night on fox and the PQ didn't look as good as it looked before they added the 10 HD channels.
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post #917 of 2079 Old 04-13-2008, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Ryan48 View Post

I got a question for you guys, did they also start compressing our local HD channels more also? I was watching the Boston and Yankee game last night on fox and the PQ didn't look as good as it looked before they added the 10 HD channels.

FOX baseball broadcasts for some reason always look like HD Light. I complained about it last season too.

The colors are very flat during their broadcasts. It is a huge difference compared to NESN and ESPN broadcasts.
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post #918 of 2079 Old 04-13-2008, 09:03 AM
 
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I got a question for you guys, did they also start compressing our local HD channels more also?

Almost surely, no.

AFAIK, they're only doing the 3:1 muxing here with the channels delivered from the HITS, and local broadcast channels aren't delivered that way. Also, there may be regulations that prohibit that.

Regardless, I've noticed graininess and soft PQ at times, on OTA local broadcast channels. (I generally don't watch local broadcast channels via cable, any longer.) So these issues stem from the source in those cases.
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post #919 of 2079 Old 04-13-2008, 09:34 AM
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I would day FOX baseball has an isolated problem....cause NASCAR last night was gorgeous. (Samsung 720p PJ, 110" screen).

I still say the Masters looked soft compared to last year.

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post #920 of 2079 Old 04-13-2008, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

Almost surely, no.

AFAIK, they're only doing the 3:1 muxing here with the channels delivered from the HITS, and local broadcast channels aren't delivered that way. Also, there may be regulations that prohibit that.

Regardless, I've noticed graininess and soft PQ at times, on OTA local broadcast channels. (I generally don't watch local broadcast channels via cable, any longer.) So these issues stem from the source in those cases.


It could just be an artifact of lighting conditions, etc but the NCAA Basketball tourney definitely lost some pic. quality from the 1st week to the final four. I have them on my dvr, and have watched several times to be sure I'm not imagining it.

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post #921 of 2079 Old 04-13-2008, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

I hate to resurrect something so old, but it has taken until now for me to find the support for my perspective on this.

The regulation does not say anything about a set-top box necessary for converting digital signals to analog, on an all-digital cable system, necessarily being "free". It says, "any costs incurred by a cable operator in down-converting or carrying alternative format versions of signals... shall be the responsibility of the cable operator." This is taken to mean that if the cable company decides to convert HD signals to analog at the head-end, after February 2009, then they must bare the cost of that themselves. However, that does not mean that they cannot charge for STBs necessary to convert digital signals on an all-digital system to analog. "Any costs related to [that] will be determined by the cable company." Unless and until someone sues a cable company and wins, this interpretation is effectively the law of the land, since it is the interpretation advocated by the NCTA (see the article I posted a link to in the Hot Off the Press thread), and therefore the interpretation that will drive what cable companies do.

That's the way I read it as well. Since the regs are only discussing two options on who will bear the costs, the cable company or the broadcaster, the fact that cable companies will charge subs for the STBs doesn't even enter the equation. I full expect they will and I don't see anything in those regs that prohibits that. The "cable company" is in essence it's subs. How the cable companies "bear the cost" is not defined in those regs, only that they will, which means they can "bear the cost" however they see fit and if it means charging subs for STBs, then that's how they'll do it.
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post #922 of 2079 Old 04-13-2008, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by keenan View Post

That's the way I read it as well. Since the regs are only discussing two options on who will bear the costs, the cable company or the broadcaster, the fact that cable companies will charge subs for the STBs doesn't even enter the equation. I full expect they will and I don't see anything in those regs that prohibits that. The "cable company" is in essence it's subs. How the cable companies "bear the cost" is not defined in those regs, only that they will, which means they can "bear the cost" however they see fit and if it means charging subs for STBs, then that's how they'll do it.

I agree. I believe all this is intended solely to make sure broadcasters are not held responsible for any costs related to cable converting their signal to analog or to going all-digital and providing STBs to all subs. The broadcaster simply provides the signal and it's up to the cableco to decide what to do with it and pay any costs resulting from their decision. I've never read anything into these clauses that says cableco's have to provide "free" STBs if they decide to go all-digital. One guy told me he has something like 16 TVs, only 2 with STBs. I only have 4, 1 with an STB. IMHO, it's a bit silly to think cable is not going to charge for STBs if they go all-digital. And, they will eventually go all-digital anyway.

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post #923 of 2079 Old 04-13-2008, 08:54 PM
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More Comcast abuse of local HD channels: WPVI (ABC-Philadelphia) is being dropped from ~14Mbit/s OTA to 8.9 on Comcast. It's Craptastic!
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post #924 of 2079 Old 04-13-2008, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyoteaz View Post

More Comcast abuse of local HD channels: WPVI (ABC-Philadelphia) is being dropped from ~14Mbit/s OTA to 8.9 on Comcast. It's Craptastic!

Wow! I can't even imagine how bad that must look, unless they really figured something out. Yeah, right,

Cheers, Dave
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post #925 of 2079 Old 04-13-2008, 09:15 PM
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for what it's worth, the Desperate Housewives my girlfriend was watching tonight looked really sharp. but that's local.
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post #926 of 2079 Old 04-13-2008, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyoteaz View Post

More Comcast abuse of local HD channels: WPVI (ABC-Philadelphia) is being dropped from ~14Mbit/s OTA to 8.9 on Comcast. It's Craptastic!

Does anyone at WPVI know that? A nice lawsuit would get Comcast's attention.

BTW, for California based AVS'rs the FCC en banc is this week at stanford. We should all go there any make sure the FCC hears about this new case of video bit throttling!
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post #927 of 2079 Old 04-14-2008, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyoteaz View Post

More Comcast abuse of local HD channels: WPVI (ABC-Philadelphia) is being dropped from ~14Mbit/s OTA to 8.9 on Comcast. It's Craptastic!

Are you sure that the station is not doing that? Could be that they've added subchannels and Comcast picks them up OTA (instead of fiber).

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post #928 of 2079 Old 04-14-2008, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davehancock View Post

Are you sure that the station is not doing that? Could be that they've added subchannels and Comcast picks them up OTA (instead of fiber).

Their website shows they have 2 sub-channels (6.2/6.3) in addition to the main DTV channel (6.1). Not sure if they recently added 6.2 or 6.3.

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post #929 of 2079 Old 04-14-2008, 06:12 PM
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MHD (combo CMT, VH1, MTV service) going down tonight on Comcast every time they pan the camera during the live 2008 cmt music awards. Rapid pixelation during panning then 0.5 second audio drop, seems they are overflowing their buffer with the 3:1 HD mux config.

Edit:Seems to have improved now 8:15 pm Eastern, perhaps their mux has now allocated more toward this service.
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post #930 of 2079 Old 04-14-2008, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ View Post

Their website shows they have 2 sub-channels (6.2/6.3) in addition to the main DTV channel (6.1). Not sure if they recently added 6.2 or 6.3.

Neither of those are new. One is weather and the other is recycled news programming. Both have been around at least since I got HD in October of 2006.
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