Originally Posted by sgbroimp
That is very enlightening and it makes good sense when one thinks about it. Well, last night I watched the Bruins game on ESPN and I was thinking "geez the picture is fairly good actually" and getting up close less "smeary" so I used your "system" and recorded an hour of it and measured. No wonder it looked better, as here are the numbers 60.38 minutes with a file of 7.10 Gb. My math shows that to yield 15.68 mbps, or about 37% better than what I was showing on the other channels the other night. I wonder if your ESPN and PBS rates as similar to mine as you note you are also on a 70 HD setup. As noted, I am going to get info from the other towns and ask Comcast why I should be paying the same as them for fewer channels and poorer PQ (You are right the channel count is the one that cannot be argued.) Other than ESPN-U and Al Jeerzeera whay else is on the list of 30 we don't get anyway? (Thanks again for your enlightenment by the way!)
ESPN would be the same nationwide, as it is compressed nationally and satellite linked to individual states/systems.
*I think* PBS would be the same throughout the market.
I'm pretty sure ESPN is so powerful as a content provider that they mandate a certain bitrate of the provider. I guess all that power that they use to charge absurd rates does have it's upsides...
The PQ is the same on all systems, as least for national channels, and probably for local channels within a market. The only place you'd see a difference is like comparing Danbury to here, because they are NYC DMA and we are Hartford-New Haven, so they have different local channels with different amounts of compression. The channel number argument is the one to use. I think Branford is now serviced out of the Clinton office, so grab channel lineup rate cards to see. Their website is now almost impossible to use, I can't figure out how to get much of anything useful off of it. TVGuide is way more useful. It even says (non-rebuild) for Clinton and Groton, and (Digital rebuild) for Branford... interesting.
Based on TVGuide, 06443 (Madison, CT) get the following HD channels that 06355 (Mystic, CT) does not. Those are the Branford and Groton systems, respectively. There are also SDs, like Al Jazeera, I didn't look at them or at locals, as Madison gets NYC and Mystic gets Providence and WGBH Boston:
BBC, IDHD, NGWILD, SMITH, H2, WE HD, OXYHD, OVTNHD, GALAH, FUSED, UPHD, SPROUT, HUBHD, MLBHD, FXXHD, ESPNUHD, ENCHD, HBO2HDe, HBOLD, SHO2HD, TMCHD
That's actually only 21 channels, not 30, so we're not in as bad of shape as I thought, but still, there are a few good ones on there, like ESPNUHD, NGWILD, SMITH (apparently my dad's new favorite channel). There are some other sports channels that go each way, due to regionalization between different markets... Their premium channel lineups are poor even on the Branford system, and they are still missing a lot of national HD channels that they don't carry anywhere. Sundance and Al Jazeera America come to mind.