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post #91 of 214 Old 09-24-2006, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDetroit View Post

Here in Detroit:

On Starz -
Brothers Grimm
Chicken Little
Narnia
Die Hard -Vengeance
Guarding Tess
Little Black Book
Tank Girl
Incredibles

5 more than last week.

Encore still about the same -
Man of the House
Mr. 3000
Notebook
Village

Movies -
BloodRayne
Komodo
Larry the Cable Guy
She's the Man

Free Movies -
Men in Black
Terminator
Birdcage

Any idea if HBO, Cinemax, Showtime will come to On Demand HD?

I've got some hints that HBO will soon start offering HD movies and shows On Demand like Starz is doing. Also I've been told by a couple people that at some point Cinemax will work a deal with Comcast for both the HD On Demand content and their MaxOD150 service. The MaxOD150 service is simply an extra 100 or so movies available on the On Demand service and so far I believe only Cablevision carries these extra movies.

Either way I would expect within the next year or so to start seeing a pretty big expansion of HD movies On Demand from the premium channels. I've also been told that Comcast also will plan to little by little increase the HD movie selections from their free movies section. Things will only get better from now as HD has finally reached the masses now.
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post #92 of 214 Old 09-24-2006, 06:31 PM
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Unfortunately Comcast, Starz and HBO have little respect for OAR so those of us who are looking for that will not find answers there. So far even all of the free Comcast offerings have been cropped.

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post #93 of 214 Old 09-25-2006, 12:30 PM
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One question:
for the upcoming ALDS, will I be able to watch those games from Comcast VOD (HD/SD) after it's over? (I will be on vacation in that week)?

Thanks!
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post #94 of 214 Old 10-07-2006, 07:38 AM
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Comcast identified the problem for the HD VOD Starz / Encore 720p incompatibility:

"Thank you for your notes which have helped bring our attention to this issue. Starz has been encoding at 1080P not 1080i. We will resolve this. New content from Starz (and Encore which Starz also manages) should be fine. We are sorry for the glitches. We will fix this and we remain dedicated to expanding the HD vod offering to make the HD viewing experience better. Thanks again for bringing this to our attention."
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post #95 of 214 Old 10-07-2006, 07:56 AM
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Cool, now if they can fix it BEFORE next yr be really nice. Have to admit tho that lately I'm really starting to consider getting Dish just because am tired of Comcast doing things so halfA*sed.
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post #96 of 214 Old 10-07-2006, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bratboy View Post

Cool, now if they can fix it BEFORE next yr be really nice. Have to admit tho that lately I'm really starting to consider getting Dish just because am tired of Comcast doing things so halfA*sed.

You really think Dish does things better? Ha!

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post #97 of 214 Old 10-07-2006, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by bratboy View Post

Cool, now if they can fix it BEFORE next yr be really nice. Have to admit tho that lately I'm really starting to consider getting Dish just because am tired of Comcast doing things so halfA*sed.

Remember this is HDTV VOD and I would rather have it half Azzed as you would say for a period of time than not at all. Last I checked no other company is offering many free HDTV movie titles and such via VOD. We all keep complaining but I said we give a pat on the back to Comcast for being the first to give us a good selection of free HDTV VOD movies. Yes you may need a Starz subscription but when I say free I'm talking about unlimited use free without the PPV 5.00+ charge. PPV HD movies are a whole different story than the Starz HD and other free HD stuff because the demand will be just way way higher and that will result in the growing pains of something so new. Either way I feel at least in my area that the growing pains have been kept to a pretty darn good level because honestly its worked way more than its not and I've been using it like crazy the last two weeks.
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post #98 of 214 Old 10-07-2006, 08:10 PM
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Well Comcast finally realised that they left the Starz HD channel switched on from the free preview on 9/15-9/18 here in Detroit. 22 days of free Starz HD. I think they only found it because they had to switch on the Showtime free previw this weekend. It was great to have another HD channel for awhile especially since it was free!

HD ON THE BRAIN!!
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post #99 of 214 Old 10-12-2006, 11:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Ops Sharpen HD Content Plans

Cable Sees High-Def as a Way to Battle Telco, Satellite and DVD Competition

By Karen Brown 10/2/2006

With more subscribers buying high-definition TV sets and a new wave of HD DVD products set to hit the market, cable operators also are raising their resolution by adding HD video to their on-demand content lineups.

Despite the fact HD video streams soak up five times the bandwidth of a standard video stream and require that much more server disk space, those in the VOD food chain see it as a necessary step to stay ahead of their telco competitors and keep up with viewer demand for higher-quality video.

Comcast Corp. has taken the biggest step toward HD on-demand, announcing last month that it will offer 100 hours of high-definition video, including at least 20 movies provided by Starz Entertainment Group LLC. That content started literally with a roar with the Sept. 15 debut of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Early numbers are favorable, to say the least. In the first two days that the fantasy film ran on HD On Demand, it drew at least 10,000 views, Comcast senior vice president and general manager of video services Page Thompson said.


Comcast's decision to add HD programming to on-demand is part of its major high-def push for the second half of this year. That includes a series of new linear HD channels, and now the HD VOD content as well just in time for the start of the holiday retail season.

We had done some tests in Salt Lake City and Richmond, Va., with expanded HD offerings, and they went very well, Thompson said. So we decided the time was right to expand to 100 hours of HD.

With more television content going HD, it is not surprising on-demand programming is following suit. And Starz believes that content will be mostly movies, said Bill Hoagland, Starz vice president of on-demand service.

We are in a fortunate situation where we have the rights not only for standard def but high-def, he said, adding that Starz believes that movies will be a primary driver for HD on-demand. With our studios we have a good array of movies to provide our customers.

UPPING THE VIDEO ANTE
Why is HD on-demand surfacing now? For Comcast, the rollout comes at a time when more consumers are purchasing HDTV sets.

As people buy an HD set, it's an excellent opportunity for them to consider who their video supplier will be, Thompson said. We think through the combination of the features that we offer Comcast really is the easy choice for HD service.

More important, HD VOD content was a top item on customers' wish lists, according to a recent Comcast customer survey.

And specifically, what they said they wanted to watch most was movies, Thompson added.

Others see HD VOD as a strong weapon cable can use to stay competitive with telco and satellite competitors. On-demand video systems provider SeaChange International Inc. has been fielding queries from its cable customers, and it has upgraded its video processing and storage systems to be ready for an influx of HD content.

All their premium customers have HD, and you don't want to lose those people especially as Verizon [Communications Inc.] and others are starting to roll out services with fiber to the home, said SeaChange vice president of business development Tom Rosenstein.

At the same time, operators also must contend with the long-awaited arrival of Blu-ray DVD players and recently announced releases of movies using the high-resolution video format. Since on-demand content is often compared to DVDs, Blu-ray DVDs will likely up the ante for on-demand video quality.

More than anything else, for the Blu-Ray they are pushing for a lot of releases in time for the holiday season, said Dom Stasi, TVN Entertainment Corp. chief technology officer. With that it appears the DVD format is going to achieve a consumer critical mass, and it is probably going to be a big deal this holiday season. I think after the fact that will drive a lot more interest on the VOD side to move to HD.

TVN provides the core transport funneling content from programmers and movie studios to cable on-demand servers. And with momentum building behind higher-quality video, its clients have started exploring the possibility of HD on-demand.

We're getting lots of queries, but I think it's more informational to help them with their planning, he said. In predictions, I've been saying all along that 2007 is the year of HD on-demand, and the stars are aligning.

LOAD ISSUE
To support that, TVN has already tested HD on-demand delivery systems including encoders and encryption systems using the most common 1080i and 720p HD formats, and it has made sure its delivery network can accommodate the higher-resolution content. But it has been more or less waiting for its client programmers to ask for systems that can support on-demand HD content delivery, Stasi said.

From a processing point, adding HD VOD content is a heavy load. HD files require more of just about everything more time to process and encrypt the files, more storage space and longer stream delivery times.

That's because HD means hefty file sizes. A standard definition MPEG-2 (Moving Picture Experts Group) file takes up about 2.7 Gigabytes of disk space, but an HD file takes up anywhere from 8 GB to 10 GB.

That size means it will take longer to encode and add protective encryption. For an HD file, it's like saying 'OK, work on this thing really fast so that I can transmit it and get it out to my affiliates,' Stasi said. That affects all aspects of the process of translating video onto on-demand servers, so all of that has made any HD decision a cautious one.

For its part, TVN has tested the necessary encoders and encryption systems. All it needs now to flip the switch on HD on-demand video delivery are the machine controls the crucial systems that automatically translate video from tape or computer file to a VOD file in real time, allowing for content to be quickly added to servers.

If we got an immediate order right now, with somebody that said 'OK, I want you to start right now doing HD on my channel with 10 features in HD every month, we'd probably still be three or four months away from implementation end to end, Stasi said.

Comcast has been anticipating HD content as part of its On Demand service from the start, so it has already built its delivery systems to accommodate fatter HD video streams, Thompson said.

We continue to improve our VOD offering and we continue to add capacity as needed, but fortunately we started with a fairly large and robust system, so really the enhancements we have made have been minimal in terms of cost relative to all of the other costs we have here at Comcast, Thompson said.

While HD video does have its burdens, helping matters for now is the fact that is will be a relatively small segment of the overall VOD picture. Even for Comcast, the 20 or so movies it will add in HD will be dwarfed by its 7,500-title library of standard-definition video.

They are not talking about high levels of ingest for HD it's not thousands of hours being uploaded every week. It's 100 titles, and there is plenty of capacity to support the encryption there, Rosenberg noted. Given HD also is in the vast minority among linear TV channels, on-demand HD will probably mirror what you see on the broadcast side.

But that relatively small volume of HD content is itself another issue. While Starz has forged all of its distribution contracts with movie studios to allow on-demand releases in HD, how much content actually is offered in the higher-resolution format depends on how much space operators allow for it, Hoagland said.

For example, the new Comcast On Demand HD content represents only 3% of all of the video Starz provides.

Right now, we are only launching the service with Comcast, and they are at 100 hours right now, Hoagland said. But I can tell you that fourth quarter (2006) and the first quarter of '07, roughly 30% of all of the titles that we have in inventory in house we have HD versions of that. That is more than enough than what we are allocated in server time.

And while Starz has its HD distribution set, that isn't the case among all video distributors. Stasi said studios need to be pressured to release VOD content in high-definition format.

Part of that has to be pressuring the studios for earlier releases, he said. As Blu-Ray DVD products hit the market we have to, and we do push for earlier release dates for VOD. If DVD is going to be influencing VOD purchases, VOD should be in a position to compete on a level playing field. We've done all the right things in terms of encryption and copyright protection and all the rest, and all that remains now is the earlier release dates to put us in a very competitive environment. That's what I'm hoping to see.

With all of that in play, the big question now is how fast HD will grow within VOD. Comcast has already announced it will extend the HD On Demand content to 150 hours by the end of the year and then we'll see where it goes from there, Thompson said. But we do intend to continue to grow this, as well as the remainder of our standard-definition on-demand content.

Going forward, the HD focus will be on movies, but Thompson noted it does have a good store of content from TV programming and music.

We will probably do more with sports in the future we probably will do more premium content from various programmers, but movies I think initially will be the core of our offerings, Thompson said.

All in all, it looks like HD content is starting to arrive in the on-demand ecosystem. While its place may be small for the time being, it could nevertheless become important to cable's on-demand strategies.

From an on-demand standpoint, it's a huge differentiator from the competition, Hoagland said. To be able to have that choice based on a consumer's investment in their home entertainment is I think huge, because they are looking for good-quality product to play through that X-thousand-dollar investment that they have made, not only in their TV set but their surround-sound systems.

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post #100 of 214 Old 10-13-2006, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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"For INHD Jukebox, Comcast subscribers with digital boxes will get more than 20 performance clips each month from artists like Pink, Franz Ferdinand, Nelly Furtado, Norah Jones and the Who, all at no extra cost. It's the first free high-def music platform."

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post #101 of 214 Old 10-13-2006, 08:03 AM
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OK, I have not tried the OnDemand HD before, but since there are free HD movies now, I thought I'd give it a shot. I have the 6412 P3 box with the 16.2 firmware. All my current HD channels are working great. When I go to pull up an HD selection from OnDemand, I get a letterboxed image inside a 4:3 screen with gray bars on the left and right. I have tried a number of the free HD selections, and they are all the same. It seems like Comcast in Detroit isn't sending the movies in 1080I but in 480I. Anyone else seeing this?
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post #102 of 214 Old 10-14-2006, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey Jo Jo Jr. View Post

OK, I have not tried the OnDemand HD before, but since there are free HD movies now, I thought I'd give it a shot. I have the 6412 P3 box with the 16.2 firmware. All my current HD channels are working great. When I go to pull up an HD selection from OnDemand, I get a letterboxed image inside a 4:3 screen with gray bars on the left and right. I have tried a number of the free HD selections, and they are all the same. It seems like Comcast in Detroit isn't sending the movies in 1080I but in 480I. Anyone else seeing this?

I had this same problem and had Comcast come out - the solution, and it's something of a pain in the ass - is to start playing the HD On Demand movie, disconnect the cable going into the box and then reconnect it. This will then change the letterboxed 4:3 into 16:9. I have no idea why it works this way, but it does for me.
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post #103 of 214 Old 11-01-2006, 05:38 AM
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here in atlanta i noticed some more movies in the HD Ondemand section of my comcast service - and a cool fright fest section with a few HD horror movies (including the original CARRIE).

i am still having problems calling up several of the movies listed throughout the HD On Demand listings, and the layout is very weird (Free Movies, Movieplex, Movie Pass are all sections of free movies but there seems to be no reason for the different sections) and there are many duplicate listings.

The Terminator in HD was great BTW.
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post #104 of 214 Old 11-01-2006, 06:34 AM
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Yeah I saw the Fearnet section last night, under the Free Movies section. Carrie, Bram's Stoker's Dracula, and Flatliners were the ones available.

They also added Ghostbusters 2 and River Runs Through It under the Moviepass.
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post #105 of 214 Old 11-01-2006, 07:49 AM
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Dear Lord I wish we could get Comcast out here in Columbus, Ohio. Those of you ripping Comcast for some of the technical mistakes they made should be thankful that you don't have Time Warner and it's anemic HD lineup! BTW, Longhorn, is TW EVER going to add more HD channels?!
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post #106 of 214 Old 11-01-2006, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by JayPSU View Post

Dear Lord I wish we could get Comcast out here in Columbus, Ohio. Those of you ripping Comcast for some of the technical mistakes they made should be thankful that you don't have Time Warner and it's anemic HD lineup! BTW, Longhorn, is TW EVER going to add more HD channels?!

I still have hope for ESPN2 HD and NFL Network (SD, HD and VOD) to be added within the next few months but each day that goes by I feel less confident it will happen sadly. I know this isn't what you wanted to hear but right now this company is at a major disconnect with the customers.
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post #107 of 214 Old 11-01-2006, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by LonghornXP View Post

I still have hope for ESPN2 HD and NFL Network (SD, HD and VOD) to be added within the next few months but each day that goes by I feel less confident it will happen sadly. I know this isn't what you wanted to hear but right now this company is at a major disconnect with the customers.

I can't say it's surprising to hear that. I have hope of getting Starz HD and Starz OD in the next several months since their contract with them expires at year's end. But who knows. I remember Mr. Dresler saying that Cinemax HD was already done, but where is it?! Time Warner cares nothing about its customers.
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post #108 of 214 Old 11-01-2006, 11:05 AM
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Cinemax HDOndemand is supposed to come online today with all the Star Wars movies.

As for Comcast's free movies, they're mostly poor transfers, cropped and 2.0. I'd rather watch the DVDs.

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post #109 of 214 Old 11-01-2006, 11:12 AM
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Cinemax HDOndemand is supposed to come online today with all the Star Wars movies.

As for Comcast's free movies, they're mostly poor transfers, cropped and 2.0. I'd rather watch the DVDs.


Very true, the ghostbusters was absolutely pathetic, and Ghostbusters 2 isnt much better.

The only decent ones I've watched are Bad Boys and Terminator was decent.
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post #110 of 214 Old 11-02-2006, 07:26 AM
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I just looked and CinemaxHD OnDemand is up & running on Comcast Murfreesboro/ Rutheford Co. TN. (Nashville Suburb). The only movies it has are the Star Wars films 1-6. We also got FEARnet On Demand they have "Carrie" (1976), "Bram Stokers Dracula" (1992) and "Flatliners".
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post #111 of 214 Old 11-02-2006, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary*w* View Post

I just looked and CinemaxHD OnDemand is up & running on Comcast Murfreesboro/ Rutheford Co. TN. (Nashville Suburb). The only movies it has are the Star Wars films 1-6. We also got FEARnet On Demand they have "Carrie" (1976), "Bram Stokers Dracula" (1992) and "Flatliners".

having the 6 star wars movies in HD and OAR is huge!!!! DD 5.1 also!
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post #112 of 214 Old 11-02-2006, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
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having the 6 star wars movies in HD and OAR is huge!!!! DD 5.1 also!

Episode II is not OAR.

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post #113 of 214 Old 11-02-2006, 09:12 AM
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Well, been using Comcast for a while and may miss on demmand but have decided to go to Dish for a while. Actually for the 1st 10 months I'll get the HD Plat pkg with all the HD movie channels & locals for 84 bucks compared to paying Comcast 92 a month with only 2 hd movie channels.

I hope I don't regret making the change but so tired of comcraptic. To me it made no sense with all the HD channel options out there they rush to add another HD sports channel instead of something entertaining and then Waahoo! they add MHD, an HD music channel only broadcasted in stereo.
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post #114 of 214 Old 11-30-2006, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Pumpkinhead has been added to Fearnet HD.

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post #115 of 214 Old 11-30-2006, 03:26 PM
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I have some National Geographic-HD OnDemand programming even though the Boston area doesn't have the channel available yet.

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post #116 of 214 Old 11-30-2006, 04:06 PM
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I have some National Geographic-HD OnDemand programming even though the Boston area doesn't have the channel available yet.

I got excited last night and watched some of it. Not HD.
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post #117 of 214 Old 11-30-2006, 05:09 PM
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I got excited last night and watched some of it. Not HD.

same here. there're 2 program under hd on demand but both are actually sd they dont even have "HD" logo on the listing.
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post #118 of 214 Old 12-01-2006, 07:24 AM
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Lots of new movies added last night.

Including Rocky 1-5, Fargo, Boys in the Hood, Hitch, Pumpkinhead, and a few others.
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post #119 of 214 Old 12-01-2006, 07:46 AM
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Lots of new movies added last night.

Including Rocky 1-5, Fargo, Boys in the Hood, Hitch, Pumpkinhead, and a few others.

HD?

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post #120 of 214 Old 12-01-2006, 08:11 AM
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