AT&T U-verse HDTV - Page 53 - AVS Forum
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post #1561 of 4220 Old 01-03-2009, 09:44 PM
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Thanks for the information!

ughhh, I hate hearing that though....that the picture quality is less than that of DirecTV. Currently watching Saturday night live while doing this research, and the picture quality is sensational! I would hate to see it degrade. I understand the degradation is dependent on the TVs being used, but I think I'll see it way to easily, as I have a 71" 1080p TV in the living room, and a 110" 720p projector in the media room.

Cost is the primary and only driving force behind this move (or potential move). This move will save us $100 -even- a month! thats considerable...no thats huge! This from ditching DirecTV, AT&T local/long distance, and Timewarner cable internet service...3 seperate bills that total up to $100 more a month than the Uverse package we were quoted.

The move certainly buys us the convenience of the multi-room DVR, that will be nice versus only having it in the living room right now. From what I understand, the internet service will be better too (the rep was giving numbers that indicate it will be twice as fast...we'll see).

However, I really value my HD quality, and if its substantially worse, I might need to look at other alternatives to save some change...including Vonage like you mentioned.
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post #1562 of 4220 Old 01-03-2009, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cip4465 View Post

Thanks for the information!

ughhh, I hate hearing that though....that the picture quality is less than that of DirecTV. Currently watching Saturday night live while doing this research, and the picture quality is sensational! I would hate to see it degrade. I understand the degradation is dependent on the TVs being used, but I think I'll see it way to easily, as I have a 71" 1080p TV in the living room, and a 110" 720p projector in the media room.

Cost is the primary and only driving force behind this move (or potential move). This move will save us $100 -even- a month! thats considerable...no thats huge! This from ditching DirecTV, AT&T local/long distance, and Timewarner cable internet service...3 seperate bills that total up to $100 more a month than the Uverse package we were quoted.

The move certainly buys us the convenience of the multi-room DVR, that will be nice versus only having it in the living room right now. From what I understand, the internet service will be better too (the rep was giving numbers that indicate it will be twice as fast...we'll see).

However, I really value my HD quality, and if its substantially worse, I might need to look at other alternatives to save some change...including Vonage like you mentioned.

Now, again, keep in mind that this is not an all or nothing type of situation. If you don't like the TV part, you CAN keep the other two and switch back to DirecTV. That will surely save you money still by switching phone and Internet.

The multi-room DVR is VERY nice. That is the ONE thing I actually like about U-Verse. I don't know what you are getting from TW as far as Internet goes, but, like I said, the speeds for the 3Mbps connection from U-Verse are right about the same as Comcrap was giving me. You will have to do your own speed tests to see. I just know that for ~$20 less a month, its perfect to me. Plus, it doesn't go down near as often as Comcrap was doing to me (read that as going down damn near every day between 9 and 11 for no reason and those idiots not knowing why).

Just remember, its not like you have to give up the savings the other two services give you if you don't like the TV. You just HAVE to get them all installed at the same time (or Internet and Phone later, just not TV at a later date, its required up front). So, it won't hurt anything to get it all put in, then 2 weeks or whatever later telling them to take off the TV. It will be an easy thing to do.
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post #1563 of 4220 Old 01-03-2009, 09:53 PM
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another question...

I have to HOPE and assume that I will get the 2 HD & 2 SD feed scenario. Anything less (1 HD & 3 SD) will be an absolute deal breaker...I'll cancel on the spot before the installers leave!

With that assumption, can I be recording 2 HD shows, and then watching something (anything...SD or HD) that was previously recorded on the hard drive? i.e. recording 2 HD shows, but playing a 3rd show off the hard drive (HD or not)?

We do that today on our DirecTV HD-DVR....I can think of many instances where we are recording two different shows, most of which are HD these days...yet we are playing a cartoon or something for our 3 year old from that same DVR that was recorded days / weeks earlier (which in some cases are in HD too).

Can Uverse do this too?
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post #1564 of 4220 Old 01-03-2009, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cip4465 View Post

another question...

I have to HOPE and assume that I will get the 2 HD & 2 SD feed scenario. Anything less (1 HD & 3 SD) will be an absolute deal breaker...I'll cancel on the spot before the installers leave!

With that assumption, can I be recording 2 HD shows, and then watching something (anything...SD or HD) that was previously recorded on the hard drive? i.e. recording 2 HD shows, but playing a 3rd show off the hard drive (HD or not)?

We do that today on our DirecTV HD-DVR....I can think of many instances where we are recording two different shows, most of which are HD these days...yet we are playing a cartoon or something for our 3 year old from that same DVR that was recorded days / weeks earlier (which in some cases are in HD too).

Can Uverse do this too?

2 HD/2 SD depends on how far from the VRAD you are. I am around 3000' myself. They only gave me 1/3 at first. I was pissed and damned near cancelled right then too. After looking at the specs on my speeds on the gateway itself later on, I determined myself that I could get 2/2, so I had AuroraProject kick me up to the normal profile. Since then, I have had maybe a handful of resets and getting the 2/2 just fine. Resets take about 30 to 50 seconds to complete, so its not a big deal and usually happen when I am not recording something.

Now, to answer your question, you can be recording 2 HD and 2 SD all at once while still watching pre-recorded content off the DVR. In that respect it works like one would assume it would. You could even go so far as be recording all 4 streams like that and watching a single HD recording on TWO different boxes at the same time as well as watching a second pre-recorded HD program on yet another box. I think thats right, I might be stretching it a bit, but I am absolutely certain on everything up until the 2nd HD recording streaming to a TV.

The only limitations you run in to are how many live streams you are recording. Everything else is just like a computer and only depends on the number of boxes you have hooked up and the speed of your network and its ability to handle all the HD traffic across it locally.
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post #1565 of 4220 Old 01-03-2009, 10:35 PM
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Great! Thanks Steve...good news!

I'm not sure how far I'm from the VRad, but if I recall, I believe I saw a bunch of AT&T trucks parked up on the grass working on something hidden by some bushes very very close to our house...I'll have to do a drive by and see if the "thing" looks like some of the pictures I have seen in this thread. But, hopefully I'm pretty close. The service just hit my area, so the presence of those trucks 3-4 weeks ago might go hand in hand with that.

Regarding internet speeds, I just went to DSLreports to do a speed test. 3 different tests yielded 3 different results via my current timewarner (tx.rr.com) cable internet service...

1) 1799 Kb/s down.....920 Kb/s up - believe that translates to 1.756 Mb down
2) 4308 Kb/s down.....947 Kb/s up - believe that translates to 4.207 Mb down
3) 6786 Kb/s down....1004 Kb/s up - believe that translates to 6.626 Mb down

Granted those 3 tests (to 3 different test servers) were done a little after midnight local time. The best results were to a server in Canada I believe...funny.

Anyhow, the internet plan they quoted me was called "max", which they claim is 10 down, and 1.5 up. This was some kind of special in my area where that was given at the price for a lower package. If that speed is truly realized, then my internet will be roughly twice is fast, that would be nice!
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post #1566 of 4220 Old 01-04-2009, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wco81 View Post

Thanks, but just in case it wasn't clear, my intent is to cancel the U-Verse TV service and keep the Internet and possibly the VOIP service.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AuroraProject View Post

Oh, yes you can do that.

Do the rates increase for voice and internet if you do this?
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post #1567 of 4220 Old 01-04-2009, 12:21 PM
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Unless you are receiving a three-pack discount, they shouldn't. In my case, when I canceled the TV portion, my Internet cost stayed the same. When I later added VOIP, the cost was the same as they were advertising - as far as I know, I'm not paying any more then people with all three.
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post #1568 of 4220 Old 01-04-2009, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahintz View Post

Unless you are receiving a three-pack discount, they shouldn't. In my case, when I canceled the TV portion, my Internet cost stayed the same. When I later added VOIP, the cost was the same as they were advertising - as far as I know, I'm not paying any more then people with all three.

Thanks!
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post #1569 of 4220 Old 01-06-2009, 08:53 AM
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I've been living with Uverse for just over a month now, coming from TWC. A few impressions:

HD picture quality for me is roughly the same as it was with TW. Not great, certainly not as good as OTA, but reasonable and about on par to what I had before. I can not do an A/B comparision but I am not disappointed in the difference.

I do miss the single wire connection, having to go from HDMI to component and optical cables is frustrating. I have also noticed a significant amount of audio synching issues. It only seems to be on a few channels. No amount of channel changing seems to resolve it. Any idea on how to fix/get around this issue? The Fiesta Bowl last night had the problem. During a commercial I'd switch to another channel and the audio was properly synched to the video. Then back to FOX and the audio was off again ( easily seen when a sideline reporter was being shown).

I've had a few other audio hiccups, just a quick fraction of a second loss of audio, but no major losses.

The GUI is much better than the TW offering, though it is taking some getting used to after having been with TW for many years.

The whole house DVR is a very nice feature and each box being able to be used as a wired network hub has been great for getting my PS3 a wired connection to the net.

PSN ID: Seldom_Seen
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post #1570 of 4220 Old 01-06-2009, 09:05 AM
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We had issues with the Fiesta Bowl OTA. I think FOX was just over taxed.
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post #1571 of 4220 Old 01-07-2009, 12:25 AM
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Mentioned elsewhere but just adding my experience with Uverse - which I am cancelling after a couple months or so.
The audio drop outs over optical just don't cut it. I have called ATT many times just to see if different techs/support have different responses. Pretty much no solution in sight.
Great SD picture but other providers have better HD.
I also miss how Dish remembers the picture format per channel.
Uverse GUI feels peppy but the remotes/boxes IR does not. Thats using their remotes and a couple of universals - it just doesn't pick up well (at least on the boxes I have).
Up to 18m internet speeds, thats cool!
Listening to vmail via computer and checking call logs (ATT VoIP) - easy.
No contract and over two hundred bucks cash back - nice!

I so wanted to like Uverse but have come to miss Dish and will likely switch back, I'll take a peek at what Directv has going too, previously had them as well.

A second opinion, my wife even likes it less.
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post #1572 of 4220 Old 01-07-2009, 04:23 AM
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Just had my install last week. I am in S. Fl and coming from a private cable company Advanced Cable. I have a 2/2 service with 6/1 internet, my max synch is about 60,286. I have the Cisco STBs. Overall my satisfaction with the system is very good.

Installation - good customer service showed up right on time was professional and finshed as expected

Channels - I am up a tier at the same price I was on cable so I have more channels and get the West Palm Beach locals as well as Miami which is a big plus.

HD Quality - In my view the HD quality is on par with my cable and I have a lot more channels. Really not seeing some of the problems others report as far as picture quality. It is not as perfect as OTA but neither was the cable.

PVR - I had the Motorola pvr with cable and find the Cisco 430 to be similar but I do like the total home feature but it needs more control from the remote boxes.

Internet - I have faster speeds but about double the latency I had with ADSL from AT&T. I think this is the norm, so far it has not really caused me any issues.

Voice - not offered yet in my area. I am thinking about dropping local landline completely and just going cell in any case.

The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large
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post #1573 of 4220 Old 01-07-2009, 07:57 AM
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stonecrd, can you report if there are any issues with your setup using the optical connection for 5.1 on HD stations?
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post #1574 of 4220 Old 01-07-2009, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
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stonecrd, can you report if there are any issues with your setup using the optical connection for 5.1 on HD stations?

In my case, HDMI to my TV, Optical to the AVR, I have not experienced any audio dropouts on any HD channels. I also have not seen any synching problems between the STB and my TV using HDMI. All working as before except with my old Motorola box I ran HDMI for both the audio and video. Using all mid price Monoproce cables.

The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large
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post #1575 of 4220 Old 01-07-2009, 09:25 AM
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Is it possible for the HD to look better in the morning than in the evening? At night I seem to notice the background shifting a lot more than I do in the mornings. When I'm watching in the evenings I can't stand the background shifting so i start to think I want to switch to DirecTV and then in the morning I say to myself. The HD looks pretty darn good. No shifting.
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post #1576 of 4220 Old 01-07-2009, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by stonecrd View Post

In my case, HDMI to my TV, Optical to the AVR, I have not experienced any audio dropouts on any HD channels. I also have not seen any synching problems between the STB and my TV using HDMI. All working as before except with my old Motorola box I ran HDMI for both the audio and video. Using all mid price Monoproce cables.

Thank you. So there is a glimmer of hope for my upcoming install next week.

Wish me luck!
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post #1577 of 4220 Old 01-07-2009, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by BiGGieStuFF View Post

Is it possible for the HD to look better in the morning than in the evening? At night I seem to notice the background shifting a lot more than I do in the mornings. When I'm watching in the evenings I can't stand the background shifting so i start to think I want to switch to DirecTV and then in the morning I say to myself. The HD looks pretty darn good. No shifting.

Are you watching live HD in the morning but recorded HD at night?

If so, then its because the DVR makes the recorded HD look worse than if you watched live HD.

If not, I don't know.
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post #1578 of 4220 Old 01-07-2009, 12:38 PM
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Are you watching live HD in the morning but recorded HD at night?

If so, then its because the DVR makes the recorded HD look worse than if you watched live HD.

If not, I don't know.

I've compared live with live. Also when I noticed the "POSSIBLE" improvement in PQ, i've tried watching recorded shows and i see the shifting. I'm guessing it's bandwidth issues but that shouldn't be the case right? U-verse should have plenty of bandwidth to my unit.
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post #1579 of 4220 Old 01-08-2009, 06:57 AM
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Its weird but I see the same shifting on Comcast. Like the background moves. I think the encoding algorithms focus on the moving characters and only update the background every 1-2 seconds, resulting in the shifting... Its easily and reliably apparent in NBC primetime shows such as Heroes. I can reliably see it and show it to anyone during that show for some reason. Its apparent on both recorded and live HD. I never tried OTA to see if its an NBC issue though, I guess I will have to.
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post #1580 of 4220 Old 01-08-2009, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by andydumi View Post

Its weird but I see the same shifting on Comcast. Like the background moves. I think the encoding algorithms focus on the moving characters and only update the background every 1-2 seconds, resulting in the shifting... Its easily and reliably apparent in NBC primetime shows such as Heroes. I can reliably see it and show it to anyone during that show for some reason. Its apparent on both recorded and live HD. I never tried OTA to see if its an NBC issue though, I guess I will have to.

Now, when you guys say shifting, you mean where, for instance, you are watching a scene that is a little bit dark and every couple of seconds you see the blacker parts look like they get updated all the sudden? Where they kinda refresh all the sudden every couple of seconds? If that is what it is, then ALL services have that. DirecTV most certainly did, especially on SD channels. My wife would notice it on her soaps whether it was on local affiliates or on SoapNet. It is entirely on the uplink side.
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post #1581 of 4220 Old 01-08-2009, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by steveken View Post

Now, when you guys say shifting, you mean where, for instance, you are watching a scene that is a little bit dark and every couple of seconds you see the blacker parts look like they get updated all the sudden? Where they kinda refresh all the sudden every couple of seconds? If that is what it is, then ALL services have that. DirecTV most certainly did, especially on SD channels. My wife would notice it on her soaps whether it was on local affiliates or on SoapNet. It is entirely on the uplink side.

It's most apparent in dark scenes but you can also see it with colored and bright backgrounds. I've watched DirecTV on a friends TV and I haven't seen it or noticed it on the HD streams compared to U-verse. I figured it was because my TV is so big that I see the flaws but I watched DirecTV on a 61" Samsung and it's not there or even nearly as evident.

When I first got U-verse it was all over the place but the last couple of days so far the HD has been really pristine relative to what it has been.
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post #1582 of 4220 Old 01-08-2009, 07:28 AM
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Well, yeah, it might not be on the HD feeds from DirecTV from what I remember. I came from there to U-Verse (and about to go back I think), so I am pretty familiar with what is up on their stuff. It definitely was there on the SD feeds like I said. I have seen it way too many times for there to be any doubt. I think I do remember it on the HD DirecTV channels every now and then. Really depended on the channel I think. I seem to remember it happening on the movie channels I think. Might have been just before they switched them over to MPEG-4 too. MPEG-2 could really have that problem if their encoders aren't set right.
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post #1583 of 4220 Old 01-08-2009, 07:33 AM
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Well, yeah, it might not be on the HD feeds from DirecTV from what I remember. I came from there to U-Verse (and about to go back I think), so I am pretty familiar with what is up on their stuff. It definitely was there on the SD feeds like I said. I have seen it way too many times for there to be any doubt. I think I do remember it on the HD DirecTV channels every now and then. Really depended on the channel I think. I seem to remember it happening on the movie channels I think. Might have been just before they switched them over to MPEG-4 too. MPEG-2 could really have that problem if their encoders aren't set right.

I definitely can't speak for the SD channels since I don't didn't compare them but i was ready to make the switch from U-verse to DirecTV just for the PQ on the HD streams and then these events happened. I must say the difference in PQ for u-verse lately is enough to keep me a customer. I like all the features of the STB for u-verse from the channel preview browsing to the ability to watch DVR on all the TV boxes in the house. I was just wondering if it was just me getting used to the quality of U-verse's HD or has there been some improvement in my area. I'm from Houston by the way. I just want to make sure I'm not taking crazy pills. I enjoyed it so much I sat through a whole movie last night on showtime w/o griping to my g/f about the shifting.
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post #1584 of 4220 Old 01-08-2009, 01:51 PM
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Reading about the optical toslink drop out issue is news to me.

I have STB connected via component/optical due to the HDMI issue and am not experiencing any drop out issues on HD channels.
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post #1585 of 4220 Old 01-08-2009, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BiGGieStuFF View Post

I've compared live with live. Also when I noticed the "POSSIBLE" improvement in PQ, i've tried watching recorded shows and i see the shifting. I'm guessing it's bandwidth issues but that shouldn't be the case right? U-verse should have plenty of bandwidth to my unit.

The shifting your seeing is due to compression. The higher the level of compression the worse it is/gets.

As far as I know the amount of compression used in Uverse HD signals does not change dynamically, either for the number of viewers or programming material. If there is some sort of dynamic compression (specifically one that is dependent on the number of users per Vrad) then there's your answer.

I don't know enough about the Uverse systems to say one or the other though.

Its possible you might be getting some errors on your line either at night or during the day and that could be affecting your HD PQ. You can call Tech Support and tell them what your seeing. I believe they can look at your line and see when most of the errors (if your getting any) occur.

Let us know what you find out.
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post #1586 of 4220 Old 01-08-2009, 01:55 PM
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The shifting your seeing is due to compression. The higher the level of compression the worse it is/gets.

As far as I know the amount of compression used in Uverse HD signals does not change dynamically, either for the number of viewers or programming material. If there is some sort of dynamic compression (specifically one that is dependent on the number of users per Vrad) then there's your answer.

I don't know enough about the Uverse systems to say one or the other though.

Its possible you might be getting some errors on your line either at night or during the day and that could be affecting your HD PQ. You can call Tech Support and tell them what your seeing. I believe they can look at your line and see when most of the errors (if your getting any) occur.

Let us know what you find out.

IF and when it goes back to the horrible shifting I noticed when I first got U-verse then I'll call tech support. right now the PQ is great. I don't want to jinx it
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post #1587 of 4220 Old 01-13-2009, 07:33 AM
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The shifting was really visible when watching 24 on Fox the past 2 nights. I was watching the dvr recording to avoid the commercials so I could not compare to the OTA version but with all the dimly lit interiors with plain dark backgrounds the shifting was very apparent. I seem to recall a similar look with my previous Time Warner service so I am not exactly concerned about it, I just think they could do better.

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post #1588 of 4220 Old 01-13-2009, 12:50 PM
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Not exactly an HDTV/U-verse issue but hopefully the right forum to see if someone here can answer the question....

I heard from someone that traditional fax machines do not work properly for inbound faxes when connected to a U-verse digital phone line.

True or false? If true, is there any workaround?
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post #1589 of 4220 Old 01-14-2009, 07:25 AM
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Anyone here watch Bulls games on WGN America HD (Ch. 1180)? If so, have you noticed that the game constantly goes in and out of focus. I've noticed it only when the main camera is showing the game. I'm not sure if the sideline cameras exhibit the same issue as they are usually used sparingly compared to the main game camera.

I'm assuming that it's the feed so it should be present in all shots. It happens roughly every 3-5 seconds and lasts about a .5 a second. It's annoying as hell. I don't know if this happens on any of 1180's regular programming as I don't watch the channel other than when there is a game.

Also, I know its only on WGN America because I watched the Nets vs. Bulls game a few weeks back and the game was on both 1180 & 1702 (YES HD). YES HD did NOT have this issue.

This has been happening since the first time I watched a Bulls game on 1180 back in Nov 08. I was hoping it would go away (i.e. others would complain and it would get fixed) but it's not happening so I might as well stop waiting and complain myself.

I'll start by complaining to AT&T but I'm really not sure to whom I should be complaining. Any suggestions?!
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post #1590 of 4220 Old 01-15-2009, 07:40 AM
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This past fall AT&T changed out all of the switches in my neighborhood to bring U-Verse in for the spring as the VRAD is already inplace down the street. Here in Southern CT the market is dominated by COMCAST. My HD channel selection is terrible (10-12 channels two of which are local weather and traffic). My combined monthly (w/ internet access (medium speeds) and w/digital silver pkg (including 1 HD DVR, 1 non-HD STB, HBO and HD package) is now over $180 per month. ouch !!!!

I am thinking of switching to U-Verse for the following
1. More Live HD channels (I do not wnat HD on Demand)
2. Cost savings on a value basis, I just want more for my money.
3. Whole house DVR as I will be replacing the non-HD set with a new one this year.

I must admit the Comcat HD picture is nice on my pioneer plasma but I am willing to sacrafice some quality for better quantity and greater value.

Are all of the lesser picture quality arguements minor? Would switching be more like like trading a BMW for Lexus or trading it for a ford Focus?

Pioneer PDP-5060

Panasonic TC-P55GT50

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