Comcast HD Quality Reduction: Details, Screenshots - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 2079 Old 03-20-2008, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRM4 View Post

But with more HD channels being added to the digital lineup and more people going that direction, having no box will no longer be the case for many customers in a few years. That will force them to make some sort of change or lose a number of customers.

Many, I would say most, of Comcast's customers have digital cable but don't have it on every TV in the house.

A growing percentage of people have HDTVs, yes. But what is the percentage of people who have only HDTVs?
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post #92 of 2079 Old 03-20-2008, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QZ1 View Post

CableCards don't tune channels, they are removable security cards used to authorize channels, to be tuned by the TV's internal tuner.

CableCards have also been used in third-party DVRs, and now in all cableco. tuners.

i know what they are, i installed one - i'm saying the picture run through the box SUCKED compared to just the straight feed being decoded/authorized through the actual cable.

maybe it was just because i had one of the old boxes (not even S-Video out) but it was horrible.
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post #93 of 2079 Old 03-20-2008, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aindik View Post

Comcast currently charges $8.90 a month for every digital box. (The first $8.90 is included in the price of a digital package if you have one). Unless they drastically reduce the price, customers with five TVs and 1 box (these people, I think, are pretty common) will see their cable bills go up by $35.60 if Comcast switches to all digital and requires boxes in order to watch those other four TVs. A not-insiginificant number of them will switch to Dish, DirecTV or FIOS if that happens.

Not needing a box for every single TV is the only thing that keeps cable anywhere near price-competitive with satellite.

Comcast, in this region has:

Digital Classic/Preferred A/O (with box): $8.90
Digital Starter A/O (with box): $4.95
Digital Box for Locals, Premiums only: $3.95

In reality, Digital Classic and above services and Digital A/Os include $3.95 Digital Box cost within their fees.

Regardless of service on the main TV, to get access to Standard service on the rest of the TVs, which is what people usually get without a box, one just needs Digital Starter A/O: $4.95.

So, four extra Digital Boxes is $19.80 more per mo., much less, but still too much $.

Comcast, in areas where they have gone Digital-only for Expd. service, has given free and discounted boxes for a year.
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post #94 of 2079 Old 03-20-2008, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aindik View Post

Many, I would say most, of Comcast's customers have digital cable but don't have it on every TV in the house.

A growing percentage of people have HDTVs, yes. But what is the percentage of people who have only HDTVs?

within 5 years i'd say almost every TV in every house will be HDTV's. the price will drop so low and the necessity will be too high to keep around old CRT SD's.

that's probably an overestimate. but peer pressure and general consumer knowledge will push it in that direction i think. especially with the necessity of down-conversion boxes on every tv anyway.
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post #95 of 2079 Old 03-20-2008, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QZ1 View Post

Comcast, in areas where they have gone Digital-only for Expd. service, has given free and discounted boxes for a year.

in Chicago the first box is free and the second is $2.99. since you have to have them now. my M-card was free too. so in reality i have three boxes for $3.
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post #96 of 2079 Old 03-20-2008, 05:45 PM
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I had noticed this, but wondered if it was because I had switched to TiVo HD at about the same time as the "upgrade" to service. Good to know that it's not TiVo's fault, but I'm pissed off at Comcast which negates my relief.
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post #97 of 2079 Old 03-20-2008, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sansri88 View Post

If you have HDNet, say bye-bye to it.

patriot is working on that.

this last price increase they made all the HD channels free except HDNET, HDNET moveis, and wealth HD which are like 2 bucks more of an add on.

I assume those 3 will get jettisoned when comcast takes over. But maybe they made they their own package so they can keep them....
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post #98 of 2079 Old 03-20-2008, 06:19 PM
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The left and right keyboard arrows allow single frame advance in MPC. You can capture the same frame for the last comparison by doing this.
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post #99 of 2079 Old 03-20-2008, 06:20 PM
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Very interesting to see the comparison shots, and I Imagen very frustrating to the paying customer to receive HD resolution and format, but dramatically too lower of bandwidth.

In England the main HD option is "Sky HD" which is satellite. I obviously don't have the same shots, but I have some HD to SD shots from the broadcast, where you can see the HD quality.

I have never seen any compression / macro blocking on my HD signal from Sky HD.

The broadcast in H.264/MPEG-4 AVC at 1080i, no idea what the bandwidth is, but I think it's higher than Comcast, and maybe even Fios. I just thought I would throw it in for comparison sake.



Full size and more shots from this Sky HD Review
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post #100 of 2079 Old 03-20-2008, 06:22 PM
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What a shame, Comcast's network is starting to show it's age and they don't want to spend the capital dollars to get it upgraded. Coax will only take you so far!! Fios will here in 2 weeks and I'm ready for the change!!! The Comcast monopoly is over here in MA. Honestly, watching standard def on comcast is like watching youtube, it's that bad!!!
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post #101 of 2079 Old 03-20-2008, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briansemerick View Post

within 5 years i'd say almost every TV in every house will be HDTV's. the price will drop so low and the necessity will be too high to keep around old CRT SD's.

that's probably an overestimate. but peer pressure and general consumer knowledge will push it in that direction i think. especially with the necessity of down-conversion boxes on every tv anyway.

there was an article the other day that by year end there will be 45 or so million homes PAYING for HDTV. If I remember there are only 85 million pay tv households. So by year end the MAJORITY of people will have HD.

comcast (and cable as a whole) can't just let DBS run away with quantity and have better quality. They need to act soon with either sdv or dumping analog.
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post #102 of 2079 Old 03-20-2008, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ma2T View Post

The broadcast in H.264/MPEG-4 AVC at 1080i, no idea what the bandwidth is, but I think it's higher than Comcast, and maybe even Fios. I just thought I would throw it in for comparison sake.[/url]

The Sky movie channels are MPEG-4 1080p at 20Mbps. Yes, 20 Mbps. Twice the bitrate with twice as efficient codec. Yes, true 1080p with PAFF.

Simply put, US HDTV is a joke.
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post #103 of 2079 Old 03-20-2008, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelk View Post

there was an article the other day that by year end there will be 45 or so million homes PAYING for HDTV. If I remember there are only 85 million pay tv households. So by year end the MAJORITY of people will have HD.

comcast (and cable as a whole) can't just let DBS run away with quantity and have better quality. They need to act soon with either sdv or dumping analog.

The majority of housholds having HD is not the same as the majority of TVs being HD. What percentage of households have only 1 TV? I'd be willing to bet that a large majority of houses that have an HDTV also have at least one old-style CRT SDTV. If they're feeding those second, third and fourth TVs with standard cable without a box, the system eliminating analog requires a box, which raises the bill (and is considered a PITA for some people who like to use their TV remote).
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post #104 of 2079 Old 03-20-2008, 07:04 PM
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Comcast has FoodTV in high def? Anyone else in the bay area with comcast not getting this channel? I would love to stare at food and be hungry in high def...
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post #105 of 2079 Old 03-20-2008, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flashpass View Post

Comcast has FoodTV in high def? Anyone else in the bay area with comcast not getting this channel? I would love to stare at food and be hungry in high def...

There are also sometimes things to stare at on the Food Network besides food.

(BTW, Food HD is not a simulcast of the regular Food network. It's different programming at different times, but all of it is in HD).
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post #106 of 2079 Old 03-20-2008, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric.exe View Post

The Sky movie channels are MPEG-4 1080p at 20Mbps. Yes, 20 Mbps. Twice the bitrate with twice as efficient codec. Yes, true 1080p with PAFF.

Simply put, US HDTV is a joke.

I wouldn't say it's a joke. We've had HD for a few more years in the U.S. And from SkyHD's own website is says they broadcast in 1080i. When HD broadcasts started in the US, there was not a 1080p. As opposed to the U.K., in the U.S. HD started with the terrestrial broadcasters. In the U.K. they chose to go with multicasting instead of HD. If you want HD you have to have satellite or cable. They are just now contemplating re-allocating the terrestrial spectrum to be able to offer HD broadcasts.

Most people unless they have a huge screen or sit too close aren't going to be able to tell a whole lot of difference between 1080i and 1080p. If you must have 1080p, you can always just wait for the title to come out on Blue Ray.
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post #107 of 2079 Old 03-20-2008, 07:27 PM
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OP,
Thanks for the time & effort, as well as sharing all this important HD info.

Now waiting for V...

"I wonder if any of the releases had slipcovers though."
"Are these comfirmed to have slipcovers?"
"They look nice in those slips."
"This slipcover looks too good to pass up."
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post #108 of 2079 Old 03-20-2008, 09:11 PM
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AVS Forums makes it's mark

Hears an article about over-compressed HD channels on Comcast.

http://www.engadgethd.com/2008/03/20...y-up-to-snuff/

I have to say most satellite channels are not much better than good SD.
Especially since they started compression in January.

Moderator harassment is wrong and immoral.  
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post #109 of 2079 Old 03-21-2008, 01:55 AM
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I'm glad I found this thread... I've also noticed the decrease in picture quality starting this month and was wondering if I was just imagining something.

I'm now seeing MUCH more artifacts on HD channels - even slow moving things with no action (such as talk shows like Conan O'Brien) have lots of macroblocking. Should've figured Comcast was doing something like this. Makes me want to switch to Verizon FIOS.
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post #110 of 2079 Old 03-21-2008, 02:15 AM
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There has been no evidence of Comcast recompressing local channels (yet); everything discussed in this thread is geared towards national channels. Most PQ issues with NBC are due to low bitrate used for network distribution combined with the Weather+ subchannel most stations are multicasting.
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post #111 of 2079 Old 03-21-2008, 05:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

By request, I've replaced all the VideoRedo frame captures with those taken using Media Player Classic with Dscaler5-IVTC. I captured the full resolution frames and then resized them to half resolution with XnView (Lanczos).

The new half-resolution captures on the first page are clearly less detailed than the previous VideoRedo captures, but that may have something to do with differences between the algorithms VideoRedo and XnView use to resize.

I used ZIP instead of RAR for the 1920x1080 captures download.

That is not extra detail. What you see are more pronounced artifacts and blocking using VRD. Dscaler will reduce that signifantly to closely match what we see on our viewing set.

My workflow for my screenshots are:

Save image as BMP
Open in Photoshop
Save as PNG-24 lossless

and keeping the original image size unchaged.

In the end the HUGE PQ discerancey between FIOS and Cable (most COs that bitstarved and downrez) is so obvious that is no big deal. Nitpicking is not required
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post #112 of 2079 Old 03-21-2008, 05:10 AM
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WE need more people like bfdtv to capture and post screenshots from their FIOS, cable and dish so we can see the difference and to see proof that the PQ degradation came from the signal NOT on our viewing set (many instances where Cx service will blame your equipment for crappy PQ when you complain about it).
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post #113 of 2079 Old 03-21-2008, 05:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric.exe View Post

The Sky movie channels are MPEG-4 1080p at 20Mbps. Yes, 20 Mbps. Twice the bitrate with twice as efficient codec. Yes, true 1080p with PAFF.

Simply put, US HDTV is a joke.

You can't even watch a HD show, ANY show without artifacting and blocking everywhere. Try watching HDNET or HBO at 1280x1080 7 mbps from D*
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post #114 of 2079 Old 03-21-2008, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aindik View Post

BTW, Food HD is not a simulcast of the regular Food network.

It will be in ten days.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...highlight=food

YOU ARE READING AVS FORUM

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post #115 of 2079 Old 03-21-2008, 07:28 AM
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bfdtv, you should also run your captured .ts' through MPEG2Repair, to get more accurate average bitrates.
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post #116 of 2079 Old 03-21-2008, 08:02 AM
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Now I see the light. I have noticed that Comcast has gone down in quality and I am anxiously awaiting for FIOS to get within our area.

Chris
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post #117 of 2079 Old 03-21-2008, 08:15 AM
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I have a sharp46-64 and comcast looks really bad some nights in hd.
I just got a psp 3 and spiderman looks bad so it must be the tv.
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post #118 of 2079 Old 03-21-2008, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creemail View Post

Now I see the light. I have noticed that Comcast has gone down in quality and I am anxiously awaiting for FIOS to get within our area.

Chris

Same here... FiOS was supposed to be installed today, but somehow the order got messed up because of having the number ported... New install date is 4/3.
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post #119 of 2079 Old 03-21-2008, 09:02 AM
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Perhaps someone from AVSForum or Engadget should contact Imagine Communications. I would do it, but I have no weight nor do I have authority to represent AVSForum. Perhaps they would be interested in the negative publicity that their fledgling company is receiving from consumers of their product???

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post #120 of 2079 Old 03-21-2008, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Carr View Post

It will be in ten days.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...highlight=food

Interesting and good to know, thanks. As the posters in that thread said, it does look like they'll stretch out all the SD shows. Yuck. I at least hope they handle the "HD" flag correctly in the guide data.
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