Also, spotted a crawler on the weather channel from TWC saying they're finishing Manhattan's digital upgrade tonight (no PPV, VOD from 11-6).
Well, at about 11 pm Wednesday, while on the HBO Comedy channel (205) I noticed some rare macroblocking developing.
Not sure what TWC did to complete its digital upgrade in Manhattan that required stopping PPV/VOD in the wee hours. Does anyone? Images don't look different Thursday. But I've noticed a small change in my 3100HD diagnostics mode that may have cropped up recently: you can now view HDTV channel data. Earlier I got an 'out of range' message.
To enter diagnostics with NYC's TWC (3100HD), you hold down both +(SELECT) and EXIT until 'diag' is displayed on the converter. Then enter 1999 with the remote. The diagnostic page shows data on the last channel tuned. You can tune new channels while in diagnostics by using UP/DWN/LFT/RT buttons around SELECT. Scroll to the TUNING> page, then to four-digit channel numbers, tap in a new channel, and press SELECT. Scroll left to select various data pages.
I notice channels 702 and 713 (1080i) share 713 MHz. But the MPEG-data page's fluctuating 'PCR Lock Status' numbers don't seem to differentiate between HDTV and SDTV channels. Channels 702/713 displayed lock numbers of 37410_ _ _ _ _, for example, while TWC's channel 1 news at 783 MHz (SDTV) showed 38860_ _ _ _ _ (the blank digits are fluctuating).
Today, channel 4 at 753 MHz, with 64 QAM delivery like some other local channels instead of 256 QAM, showed 390510_ _ _ _ _ PCR Lock, not that different from channel 2. Yesterday, though, I noted channel 2's PCR Lock was only 15050_ _ _ _ _. Curious to see if CBS's weekend golf and other sports feeds on channel 2 still look like they're being fed from a VHS deck in extended-play mode.
What doesn't seem to be reflected in diagnostic data is all the massaging and manipulation of digital cable data before it's delivered. This includes rate shaping
of data to remove null bits as well as requantization, plus statistical multiplexing to maximize bandwidth use between numerous channels with action/static scenes. -- John