Johnstown, PA - HDTV - Page 19 - AVS Forum
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post #541 of 3324 Old 08-09-2006, 06:46 AM
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How long do you think it will be until Directv starts carrying local channels in our area in hd? I saw they do for some parts of the conutry. Knowing this area, I would guess a long time.
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post #542 of 3324 Old 08-09-2006, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tarheels4025 View Post

How long do you think it will be until Directv starts carrying local channels in our area in hd? I saw they do for some parts of the conutry. Knowing this area, I would guess a long time.

If I had to make a WAG I'd say 4Q07 to 2Q08. It will depend on how quickly the Spaceway capacity comes online and how far down the list our market is for penetration. Keep in mind that's a WAG.
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post #543 of 3324 Old 08-09-2006, 12:39 PM
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So is comcast taking over adelphia in state college? any ETA?
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post #544 of 3324 Old 08-09-2006, 12:59 PM
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Thanks for all the info guys
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post #545 of 3324 Old 08-09-2006, 01:41 PM
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So is comcast taking over adelphia in state college? any ETA?

Not sure of the ETA but I paid my Adelphia monthly bill for this month with my credit card and it showed up as "Comcast Carroltown PA". Not sure if that is recent because it is the first time I ever paid the bill with my credit card...
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post #546 of 3324 Old 08-09-2006, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
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So is comcast taking over adelphia in state college? any ETA?

Looks like the sale closed but I haven't heard anything yet as to when it will be rebranded.
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post #547 of 3324 Old 08-10-2006, 12:15 PM
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Best I can find is this Report and Order: FCC R&O 01-22. It looks like it is required unless the cable company meets one of the four statutory definitions of being in a competitive market, which I think every single cable company in the country could as Dish and DirecTV are competitors. Search this document on "basic tier" for more information.

I think the proper way to frame it would be to suggest that as the local channels are carried in accordance with sections 614 and 615 of the Communications Act of 1934 and section 623(b)(7) requires any channel carried by way of those sections be carried on a basic tier.

Looks like I got fooled. It is an FCC reg but it doesn't appear to be hard and fast or clear cut. Sorry. :/

Has anybody been able to locate chapter and verse of the reg requiring the local digital stations to be offered unencrypted? I tried running Slykens advice above past the "customer service" rep at ABB and was told in effect, "no, you want HD from us, you're gonna pay." It appears ABB is my only viable option for receiving CBS and Fox in HD for the forseeable future; I suppose I should just pony up the extra $20 a month and be done with it, but that wouldn't be any fun, would it?

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post #548 of 3324 Old 08-10-2006, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by psincubus View Post

So is comcast taking over adelphia in state college? any ETA?

Officially Adelphia became Comcast on Aug 1, 2006. However, they will not roll out any of thier changes for another 60 - 90 days according to the local office. I also have good news. There are talks right now with Comcast and WTAJ to roll out HD service sooner than later. It appears Comcast is pushing the envelope to get CBS HD out in this area. This is also according to the local office.

By the way, anyone try to contact adelphia/comcast call center? It's unreal. It took me 2 and half hours to talk to the right rep after 8 transfers. YES 8! And after all that, they couldn't find my account. Also the appointment i made to have a tech come out here and fix a few missing channels went MIA. They couldn't figure out why no one showed up when thier computer said that the ticket was completed. Gotta love takeovers!
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post #549 of 3324 Old 08-15-2006, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
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There are talks right now with Comcast and WTAJ to roll out HD service sooner than later. It appears Comcast is pushing the envelope to get CBS HD out in this area. This is also according to the local office.

I asked Kathy Smith from WTAJ about this and she indicated that there's not any truth to it as far as WTAJ is concerned at this point. I'd be curious to get more information directly from an Adelphia (Well, ok, Comcast) employee with what they're trying to do.

My only assumption would be that they're thinking about putting KDKA or WHP on the wire here for a few months and may be working out the carriage details for it then will go to WTAJ to make sure there won't be a non-dup problem for a few months. WHP would be ok for CBS but really wouldn't help too much with Steelers football as WHP is a Baltimore NFL market station.

There's no definitive news on it, Nexstar takes over in November, so there's hope they might do it before the Superbowl but it is hard to know at this point.
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post #550 of 3324 Old 08-15-2006, 10:58 AM
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My only assumption would be that they're thinking about putting KDKA or WHP on the wire here for a few months and may be working out the carriage details for it then will go to WTAJ to make sure there won't be a non-dup problem for a few months. WHP would be ok for CBS but really wouldn't help too much with Steelers football as WHP is a Baltimore NFL market station.

I did receive KDKA coverage of the Steelers Preseason game on FSN (odd) in addition to WTAJ and NFL Network. I wonder if they will pass KDKA HD here for the season. IS this just wishful thinking or is this what Adelphia dba Comcast means by rolling out CBS HD. Hmmmm...
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post #551 of 3324 Old 08-15-2006, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by antman006 View Post

I did receive KDKA coverage of the Steelers Preseason game on FSN (odd) in addition to WTAJ and NFL Network. I wonder if they will pass KDKA HD here for the season. IS this just wishful thinking or is this what Adelphia dba Comcast means by rolling out CBS HD. Hmmmm...

You know, it amuses me to no end that adoption of HD seems to be driven solely by the Superbowl.

FOX 2 years ago, ABC last year and now CBS this year.. Go figure.
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post #552 of 3324 Old 08-17-2006, 03:19 AM
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I just upgraded to HDTV here in State College and got the Motorola DCT6412 III box and service from Adelphia. What few HD stations there are look great. I wish people could actually see how good HDTV looks; I've never seen a convincing demo in Best Buy or Circuit City here in town.

The only problem I'm having is with WATM ABC (channel 723 on Adelphia digital). The picture always looks stretched/squished, and even worse the audio all comes out the rear channels of my sound system (I have the DCT6412 hooked up to my receiver via the optical connection). I can't imagine it's a problem on my end, every other channel is fine. Is this a known problem?
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post #553 of 3324 Old 08-17-2006, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post

I just upgraded to HDTV here in State College and got the Motorola DCT6412 III box and service from Adelphia. What few HD stations there are look great. I wish people could actually see how good HDTV looks; I've never seen a convincing demo in Best Buy or Circuit City here in town.

The only problem I'm having is with WATM ABC (channel 723 on Adelphia digital). The picture always looks stretched/squished, and even worse the audio all comes out the rear channels of my sound system (I have the DCT6412 hooked up to my receiver via the optical connection). I can't imagine it's a problem on my end, every other channel is fine. Is this a known problem?

Welcome to the world of HD. WATM looks fine when they are passing ABC HD programming. However, whenever they have non-HD materials (local programming, commercials, and anything ABC is passing that is not in HD), they stretch it to fill the screen. {ick } By contrast, WJAC (NBC) uses curtain bars on either side of the SD image to maintain proper aspect which seems a much more reasonable way to do the transmission business.

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post #554 of 3324 Old 08-17-2006, 04:44 AM
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Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post

I just upgraded to HDTV here in State College and got the Motorola DCT6412 III box and service from Adelphia. What few HD stations there are look great. I wish people could actually see how good HDTV looks; I've never seen a convincing demo in Best Buy or Circuit City here in town.

The only problem I'm having is with WATM ABC (channel 723 on Adelphia digital). The picture always looks stretched/squished, and even worse the audio all comes out the rear channels of my sound system (I have the DCT6412 hooked up to my receiver via the optical connection). I can't imagine it's a problem on my end, every other channel is fine. Is this a known problem?


The previous post is correct regarding the stretched picture. As for the sound coming out of the rear speakers, I had that problem with WATM on Atlantic Broadband. I complained to the cable company and they did some sort of firmware upgrade to my cable box/DVR which fixed that problem and also activated the HDMI port. Now, the sound is better, except for a few commercials where the volume just about doubles and a LOT of it comes out of the surround speakers. The commercial for Wheel of Fortune with Vanna is one of those commercials that does that. The good thing is that they always run that commercial just before the program starts, so I know when to hit play when I'm FF through a recorded program.

Call your cable company and complain about the ABC audio.
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post #555 of 3324 Old 08-17-2006, 06:11 PM
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I see what you mean, WATM is showing Grey's Anatomy right now in HD, and it looks great. Oddly (or maybe not), the audio is fine now too.

I wonder if WATM is pushing out their non-HD audio out of phase.

Is there a local number to call Adelphia? I had to call their national number twice over the weekend, and it was 30+ minutes on hold each time just to get an answer. The only reason I had to call them twice was because the first guy had no clue what he was talking about.
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post #556 of 3324 Old 08-17-2006, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post

I wonder if WATM is pushing out their non-HD audio out of phase.

I asked the WATM engineer about the audio strangeness via email several months ago. He said at the time that they were not encoding their local content in 5.1 and it was on their roadmap, but it might be some time before they did.

My guess would be that the ABC network shows sound "normal" because they come through from the network already in 5.1 format. The other local content is probably encoded at WATM via whatever encoder they have.
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post #557 of 3324 Old 08-21-2006, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post

I just upgraded to HDTV here in State College and got the Motorola DCT6412 III box and service from Adelphia. What few HD stations there are look great. I wish people could actually see how good HDTV looks; I've never seen a convincing demo in Best Buy or Circuit City here in town.

The only problem I'm having is with WATM ABC (channel 723 on Adelphia digital). The picture always looks stretched/squished, and even worse the audio all comes out the rear channels of my sound system (I have the DCT6412 hooked up to my receiver via the optical connection). I can't imagine it's a problem on my end, every other channel is fine. Is this a known problem?

On the Moto 6412 there is a setup menu that may help alleviate the stretched picture for non-HD signals. With the power off, hit the menu and guide buttons simultaneously on the remote. This brings up the menu. Then turn OFF the override for non-HD and the picture should default to a 4:3....HD signal are still shown in 16:9.

As for the sound...I haven't found a fix yet. It's better in recent weeks but still has the occasional and incredibly loud commercials. I also have a problem of occassional sound drop out....but it may just be my particular stb.
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post #558 of 3324 Old 08-21-2006, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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On the Moto 6412 there is a setup menu that may help alleviate the stretched picture for non-HD signals. With the power off, hit the menu and guide buttons simultaneously on the remote. This brings up the menu. Then turn OFF the override for non-HD and the picture should default to a 4:3....HD signal are still shown in 16:9.

WATM stretches 4:3 SD to 16:9 during their 720p upconvert process. While your advice is great for regular SD channels it won't do a thing for WATM-HD.

There's not much one can do about it unless you have an option to rescale 16:9 to 4:3 on your TV or receiver.
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post #559 of 3324 Old 08-21-2006, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by slykens View Post

WATM stretches 4:3 SD to 16:9 during their 720p upconvert process. While your advice is great for regular SD channels it won't do a thing for WATM-HD.

There's not much one can do about it unless you have an option to rescale 16:9 to 4:3 on your TV or receiver.


Why not simply watch/record WATM SD programming on WATM 23-2? (the SD channel)

I'm torn over whether I prefer the stretched picture or the black pillars that WNBC uses. I have no personal experience, but many say that the pillars will cause burn-in on a plasma screen.
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post #560 of 3324 Old 08-22-2006, 06:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Why not simply watch/record WATM SD programming on WATM 23-2? (the SD channel)

I'm torn over whether I prefer the stretched picture or the black pillars that WNBC uses. I have no personal experience, but many say that the pillars will cause burn-in on a plasma screen.

Watching 23-2 or the analog channel on cable is the option if you prefer regular 4:3.

Pillar-boxes will cause image problems over time on CRT and Plasma devices as there isn't equal (or nearly equal) burn of the phosphors. What you'll end up with is the two sides being brighter than the middle section.

For fixed-pixel display technologies like LCD, DLP, LCoS, etc, this type of burn in is very unlikely and in most cases if it does occur it will clear itself up in a few hours. In three years with my LCD projection set I've never had a problem with image retention of any kind. I have friends who have a CRT projection set that ended up with a very faint TNT logo after a year.
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post #561 of 3324 Old 08-23-2006, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by slykens View Post

WATM stretches 4:3 SD to 16:9 during their 720p upconvert process. While your advice is great for regular SD channels it won't do a thing for WATM-HD.

There's not much one can do about it unless you have an option to rescale 16:9 to 4:3 on your TV or receiver.

That's partially true for watm-hd (723)....some of their boradcasts are forced 16:9, but with the 4:3 override turned off on the moto stb you can still watch some non-hd in 4:3 on that channel. For instance, I watched primtime in 4:3 last night, but the 11:00 news was then forced to 16:9.
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post #562 of 3324 Old 08-23-2006, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ornjblud View Post

That's partially true for watm-hd (723)....some of their boradcasts are forced 16:9, but with the 4:3 override turned off on the moto stb you can still watch some non-hd in 4:3 on that channel. For instance, I watched primtime in 4:3 last night, but the 11:00 news was then forced to 16:9.

That's because ABC network sends 4:3 pillarboxed and you were watching the ABC-HD feed from network, essentially unmolested by the station. I'm surprised that WATM didn't override and simply upconvert the SD feed. Their engineer told me that they are running stretched because people complained that their TV wasn't filled when 4:3 pillarbox was on.
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post #563 of 3324 Old 09-04-2006, 04:18 AM
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Quick Question?

I live in Hollidaysburg and my house sits up somewhat on a hill. What HD channels
might I be able to tune in OTA?

Any help is appreciated!
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post #564 of 3324 Old 09-04-2006, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by psu85 View Post

Quick Question?

I live in Hollidaysburg and my house sits up somewhat on a hill. What HD channels
might I be able to tune in OTA?

Any help is appreciated!


I'm in lakemont (so not too far from you) and I can get ABC in HD, Fox and CBS in SD (but a higher quality SD than what DirecTV provides for me so I use those). I can't get NBC at all but I wrote them a letter and they gave me a waiver for DirecTV's national HD NBC feed. The main reason I couldn't get NBC though is because my house sits down by lakemont park and the big hill beside the park (route 36) is directly between me and johnstown (where NBC is) so depending on your location you *may* be able to get NBC with a high quality antenna.

Hope this helps.
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post #565 of 3324 Old 09-07-2006, 05:12 AM
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I live in Hollidaysburg also. How long did it take for you to get a waiver and who did you send it to? Thanks.
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post #566 of 3324 Old 09-07-2006, 06:44 PM
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I recently moved into this area from North Carolina. I have been feeling like the quality of the HD picture I am getting here with Adelphia is not as good as the picture that I was getting there with Time Warner. The difference is usually a subtle graininess and does not seem to be as bad on certain channels (Discovery HD seems pretty good but HBO is not as good). I wasn't sure if I was imagining it or if it was a true difference in picture quality. However, in watching the football game on NBC tonight I was really noticing a tremendous amount of disruption of picture quality especially when there was alot of movement on the screen. This is definitely not something I had a problem with watching football in North Carolina. Is this a problem with Adelphia, with the signal strength coming to my cable box, or some other factor?

A second unrelated question: I have been having trouble with my cable box losing sound when it is turned on. It happens sporadically but the only way to correct the problem is to unplug it and then plug it back in so it can reboot. This is a real pain and you then have to wait forever for the channel guide to load back in. I have also had one episode where I turned it on and I got sound but no picture. Once again fixed only by unplugging the box. Has anyone else had this problem and what is the remedy (other than never turning the box off)?

Thanks in advance for any input.

ETA - I forgot to mention I am in State College, if that is relevant.
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post #567 of 3324 Old 09-08-2006, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Adman35 View Post

I recently moved into this area from North Carolina. I have been feeling like the quality of the HD picture I am getting here with Adelphia is not as good as the picture that I was getting there with Time Warner. The difference is usually a subtle graininess and does not seem to be as bad on certain channels (Discovery HD seems pretty good but HBO is not as good). I wasn't sure if I was imagining it or if it was a true difference in picture quality. However, in watching the football game on NBC tonight I was really noticing a tremendous amount of disruption of picture quality especially when there was alot of movement on the screen. This is definitely not something I had a problem with watching football in North Carolina. Is this a problem with Adelphia, with the signal strength coming to my cable box, or some other factor?

A second unrelated question: I have been having trouble with my cable box losing sound when it is turned on. It happens sporadically but the only way to correct the problem is to unplug it and then plug it back in so it can reboot. This is a real pain and you then have to wait forever for the channel guide to load back in. I have also had one episode where I turned it on and I got sound but no picture. Once again fixed only by unplugging the box. Has anyone else had this problem and what is the remedy (other than never turning the box off)?

Thanks in advance for any input.

ETA - I forgot to mention I am in State College, if that is relevant.


You don't want to use NBC HD as a reference because in most cases it is horrid. Here is the thread about last night's NFL game. As you can read, most people experience crappy PQ with NBC.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=720676

I too have Adelphia and I think the PQ is fine. I have compared it to OTA using channels WPSU and WATM as reference and I could not notice any difference. I will admit that when I added a 4 way splitter to my cable line I did notice some drop in PQ. Right now I only have my main line into my apartment split with a two way. One of the lines goes to my Motorola DCT6412 cable box and the other line goes to my broadband modem. You might want to check how many times your line is split.

I leave my Motorola DCT6412 on all the time but when I have turned it off to access the User Menu I have not noticed the problem you described when I turned it back on. The unit does seem to be finnicky though, so I just leave it on. Do you have the newest version of the box that has the HDMI port?
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post #568 of 3324 Old 09-08-2006, 10:33 AM
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Yeah, there was some different than normal artifacting in the Steeler's game last night. Seemed like every time they switched angles or significantly moved the camera, it'd get more blocky (which I'd assume is a compression setting issue, maybe combined with instant switches between angles). I haven't noticed anything similar or that bad watching games on either Adelphia's ESPN-HD or their NFL-HD channels, or even WATM-HD ABC. I just assumed it was something strange in NBC's setup/production.
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post #569 of 3324 Old 09-08-2006, 11:10 AM
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A second unrelated question: I have been having trouble with my cable box losing sound when it is turned on. It happens sporadically but the only way to correct the problem is to unplug it and then plug it back in so it can reboot. This is a real pain and you then have to wait forever for the channel guide to load back in. I have also had one episode where I turned it on and I got sound but no picture. Once again fixed only by unplugging the box. Has anyone else had this problem and what is the remedy (other than never turning the box off)?

There is definitely a drop off in PQ compared to the TW broadcasts I had in Austin. Don't know if its the stb, the lines (we had new fiber lines in Austin) or the cable company, but there is a difference.

As for the sound issues on the moto box, does it coincide with the DVR recording shows? The moto boxes have quite a few sound issues. I've had similar issues in the past but a firmware upgrade fixed it....sort of them. Instead of rebooting the stb, try playing a recorded show for a few seconds and then switching back to regualr TV to see if the sound returns. Also, sometimes the moto forces itself to "MUTE" while recording shows in standby. You can turn off the box by cancelling the recording and then turning the box back on and the sound returns....so you don't have to unplug/reboot the box but it's annoying none the less.
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post #570 of 3324 Old 09-08-2006, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Digital cable is different than analog in that received signal level doesn't directly impact picture quality, that is to say a signal many dB lower than another may appear identical to the viewer. Of course, there are limitations.

Our HD channels are delivered over a channel using QAM256 modulation. Included in this bit stream are Forward Error Correction bits, basically, parity bits to allow the receiver to rebuild corrupted data in the bit stream to provide the same picture you would see as though you captured 100% of the data perfectly right up front.

With no FEC the 6 Mhz QAM256 channel would provide around 41.6 Mbps, the FEC takes around 2-3 Mbps so payload ends up in the 38-39 Mbps range. Because the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) on cable can be managed better than OTA a more robust coding scheme can be utilized with fewer FEC bits.

If your signal drops below the required SNR for the channel type you're watching you'll either see outright breakups, corruption of the image, or dropouts, depending on how gracefully your receiver handles it. On analog you'd see this as fuzziness, static, loss of sync, etc, but with digital it really is nearly ALL or NOTHING.

For those looking at WJAC-DT as a comparo to others, keep in mind they likely are providing high motion 1080i in something on the order of 12-13 Mbps, perhaps less. This results in much macroblocking and poor image during movement. NBC, as a network, is also known to have some trouble with image quality. Games presented on the Mouse's family of networks are all 720p which is less bandwidth intensive and is delivered at an appropriate rate, as best as I can tell, by our local providers.

As to drop off on other channels, I can't really speak to that. My impression is that Adelphia passes through the stream as they receive it without any rate shaping or re-encoding. Certainly the picture from Adelphia is better than DirecTV.

As to the DCT6412, this box is brain dead. I don't know if it was rushed or Motorola expects us to believe this crap is the best they can do. It gets quite wonky when you expect it to do any normal. I hope the Comcast/Tivo software for the box isn't too far out.
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