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post #3301 of 3315 Old 04-28-2014, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by sgbroimp View Post

That makes sense. Tonight NBC News looked quite good, the peacock was not all fuzzy etc, so it seems to me this is a situation that varies up and down quality-wise, but as noted way short at its best, of what folks in Tampa, Chicago etc. are seeing.

It depends on their provider too, or are you talking about Comcast subs in those areas?
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post #3302 of 3315 Old 04-29-2014, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

It depends on their provider too, or are you talking about Comcast subs in those areas?

I always ask if it is Comcast since I am trying to compare apples to apples and i am stuck with them for my town.
I did talk to a Comcast line guy I saw coincidently in Madison this morning. He said I should call the tech in anyway and if they can't improve the line person could come. He seemed to think an 11 bitrate was not right.

But here is my question. Other than compression that is done by some human at the controls, can anything else cause a low bit rate on some stations? Malfunctioning amp, line ingress, weak signal (no, right?) or someting else? Second, does the tech that comes to the house first have a device that reads bit rates or only db of signal? How about the line tech?
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post #3303 of 3315 Old 04-29-2014, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by sgbroimp View Post

I always ask if it is Comcast since I am trying to compare apples to apples and i am stuck with them for my town.
I did talk to a Comcast line guy I saw coincidently in Madison this morning. He said I should call the tech in anyway and if they can't improve the line person could come. He seemed to think an 11 bitrate was not right.

But here is my question. Other than compression that is done by some human at the controls, can anything else cause a low bit rate on some stations? Malfunctioning amp, line ingress, weak signal (no, right?) or someting else? Second, does the tech that comes to the house first have a device that reads bit rates or only db of signal? How about the line tech?

As I have said before, the bitrate is determined by the encoding way far up the stream. It's not right, but it's a decision made by Comcast on a market or national basis, and it has nothing to do with Clinton's system or Branford's (Madison's) system, or your installation.

The encoders are set up by humans, the number of channels for a given amount of bandwidth is set up by humans, and they *might* have some sort of "bias" to give one channel a percentage advantage over the others sharing a QAM, but that's my speculation. Beyond setting something like a bias, or tweaking parameters, once they're going they just keep doing whatever they were programmed to.

If your local system is functioning properly, you will get the signal. If it is not, you will not get the signal. It is completely impossible for your local system to affect the compression on a signal unless it was re-compressing it, which, other than local access, they are not. This is digital. You can't lose part of the signal and somehow still have it display.

No tech would read a bitrate of a signal. It's irrelevant. The network engineers that compress the signal for the market or nationally would be watching bitrates, but they would be monitoring them at the point of compression (or remotely from that location) and that has exactly diddly squat to do with your local system. In fact, that bitrate is the same even after it's traveled through MoCA or ethernet, like with a TiVo whole-home DVR system with TiVo Minis, or through Media Center with XBOXes or other extenders.

The over-compression is a market and national policy of how Comcast manages their systems. It has nothing to do with Clinton, CT, and nothing to do with Groton, CT. The only differences you will see are on the Branford system, some of the channels that are not on the lower frequency systems like ESPNU HD look amazing, but that's because the 860mhz systems have a ton of room after they have most of the national channels smushed into the equivalent of a 650mhz, so they let the bitrates go way up on some of those channels. But again, that's a national decision, as it would affect any 750mhz or 860mhz system the same way.

EDIT: ESPNU HD, not ESPNU
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post #3304 of 3315 Old 04-30-2014, 08:59 AM
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Another factor to take into consideration when comparing PQ is the video processor. Unless your cable box has a ATSC tuner and that's how you're viewing your OTA channels, you're talking about two different video processors. The common scenario would be a video processor in your cable box for your cable channels and a video processor in your TV to handle your OTA channels. I seem to recall seeing an improvement in PQ just by changing box models at some point. So, while you're viewing the same channel from two different sources, you're also viewing them through two different processors which may be affecting your results (if even just slightly).

Unless things have changed in the past few years, most multi-channel providers take the signal from the broadcast side of the station's encoder. This may be by antenna reception or by a direct fiber connection (or other means), but I haven't heard of any cases where the multi-channel provider has a better source than the OTA viewers by having access to an uncompressed signal.

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post #3305 of 3315 Old 04-30-2014, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by terryfoster View Post

Another factor to take into consideration when comparing PQ is the video processor. Unless your cable box has a ATSC tuner and that's how you're viewing your OTA channels, you're talking about two different video processors. The common scenario would be a video processor in your cable box for your cable channels and a video processor in your TV to handle your OTA channels. I seem to recall seeing an improvement in PQ just by changing box models at some point. So, while you're viewing the same channel from two different sources, you're also viewing them through two different processors which may be affecting your results (if even just slightly).

Unless things have changed in the past few years, most multi-channel providers take the signal from the broadcast side of the station's encoder. This may be by antenna reception or by a direct fiber connection (or other means), but I haven't heard of any cases where the multi-channel provider has a better source than the OTA viewers by having access to an uncompressed signal.

Interesting, but I have no STB. I use a Ceton InfiniTV 4 Channel Tuner and even though that does a 4 way split I seem to have plenty of signal. Set is a Sony XBR6 which was decent enough in its day at least. I think in my case I think the compression story fits as to whom or where probably not helpful to even learn. It is ridiculous we get crap pioctures so Comcast can squeeze in a bunch of channels nobody wants so they can say they are offering more. Sh-- is always sh-- no matter how much of it you deliver and more is not better
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post #3306 of 3315 Old 04-30-2014, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by terryfoster View Post

Another factor to take into consideration when comparing PQ is the video processor. Unless your cable box has a ATSC tuner and that's how you're viewing your OTA channels, you're talking about two different video processors. The common scenario would be a video processor in your cable box for your cable channels and a video processor in your TV to handle your OTA channels. I seem to recall seeing an improvement in PQ just by changing box models at some point. So, while you're viewing the same channel from two different sources, you're also viewing them through two different processors which may be affecting your results (if even just slightly).

Unless things have changed in the past few years, most multi-channel providers take the signal from the broadcast side of the station's encoder. This may be by antenna reception or by a direct fiber connection (or other means), but I haven't heard of any cases where the multi-channel provider has a better source than the OTA viewers by having access to an uncompressed signal.

Interesting. I thought that they would get a higher bitrate (certainly not uncompressed) signal. Maybe not. That's a good point, I may get better qualtiy than a typical setup with a TiVo Premiere XL4 running through a DVDO EDGE and into my TV. I also have the DVDO EDGE handling de-interlacing, so I'm biased towards 1080i channels over 720p channels.
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Originally Posted by sgbroimp View Post

Interesting, but I have no STB. I use a Ceton InfiniTV 4 Channel Tuner and even though that does a 4 way split I seem to have plenty of signal. Set is a Sony XBR6 which was decent enough in its day at least. I think in my case I think the compression story fits as to whom or where probably not helpful to even learn. It is ridiculous we get crap pioctures so Comcast can squeeze in a bunch of channels nobody wants so they can say they are offering more. Sh-- is always sh-- no matter how much of it you deliver and more is not better

So? Your PC is your STB, and is doing the decoding and processing. Something has to do it, and in your case it's your PC, so you have that exact same problem. The fairest comparison of all would be an OTA card in the PC vs. CableCard, although even then, are there hardware MPEG decoders involved that could be different from card to card? And you can't use the same card, since there's no more Clear QAM...

And the bad part is, they aren't even offering a good HD lineup these days. Many other providers have way more HD.
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post #3307 of 3315 Old 05-01-2014, 12:39 PM
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Makes sense technically I guess. Also no doubt Comcast's offers especially in 650 Mhz towns like mine is poor HD-wise. In a competitive environment, they would be down the tubes in an instant.
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post #3308 of 3315 Old 05-01-2014, 03:05 PM
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Makes sense technically I guess. Also no doubt Comcast's offers especially in 650 Mhz towns like mine is poor HD-wise. In a competitive environment, they would be down the tubes in an instant.

Or they would have upgraded to 860mhz with MPEG-4 everywhere years ago.
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post #3309 of 3315 Old 05-02-2014, 10:16 AM
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Or they would have upgraded to 860mhz with MPEG-4 everywhere years ago.

That's what the Germans would have done......not sure about our super "cost conscious" companies.
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post #3310 of 3315 Old 05-02-2014, 04:59 PM
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That's what the Germans would have done......not sure about our super "cost conscious" companies.

I think the Germans would be offended by that idea! They would have run fiber to every house to replace coax!
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post #3311 of 3315 Old 05-05-2014, 08:50 AM
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I think the Germans would be offended by that idea! They would have run fiber to every house to replace coax!

Yep, you are right. Nothing half way.

By the way, on Saturday several of my HD channels just went blank, no signal. An auto signal refresh by Comcast brought nothing. Maybe they dumped or moved them. One was 1806 which in my area is AMC HD. The non-HD version is still it is place so they did not dump AMC itself. Some others went also in the same channel area. Maybe they moved them, but I have no cable box so cannot find unless and until the channel line up grabs them and that could be a couple of weeks in Windows Media Center.
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post #3312 of 3315 Old 05-05-2014, 02:52 PM
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Yep, you are right. Nothing half way.

By the way, on Saturday several of my HD channels just went blank, no signal. An auto signal refresh by Comcast brought nothing. Maybe they dumped or moved them. One was 1806 which in my area is AMC HD. The non-HD version is still it is place so they did not dump AMC itself. Some others went also in the same channel area. Maybe they moved them, but I have no cable box so cannot find unless and until the channel line up grabs them and that could be a couple of weeks in Windows Media Center.

That's really weird. I don't think they are moving channels now that they have the 1XXX HD lineup nationwide.
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post #3313 of 3315 Old 05-14-2014, 01:15 PM
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That's really weird. I don't think they are moving channels now that they have the 1XXX HD lineup nationwide.

Well I called in to the techs and the lady (very nice lady in MA I had spoke to a couple years back) said she would look into it. That night I was back in business. I have a feeling they had to replot some folks cable cards and if they don't do it thoroughly you can miss a channel or three.
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post #3314 of 3315 Old 05-14-2014, 02:16 PM
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Well I called in to the techs and the lady (very nice lady in MA I had spoke to a couple years back) said she would look into it. That night I was back in business. I have a feeling they had to replot some folks cable cards and if they don't do it thoroughly you can miss a channel or three.

Could be. Their CableCards are sort of unreliable...
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post #3315 of 3315 Old 05-15-2014, 05:47 AM
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Could be. Their CableCards are sort of unreliable...

Yes, I have heard that though I have been lucky for two years now with mine. Also, I have a sense they are upgrading or tinkering in Clinton and that probably they have to rejigger stuff occasionally....then there is an opportunity for a flub up of course
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