Comcast in the bay area recently changed all but a few 1080i cable networks to 720p while transitioning to an MPEG4 format. So roughly 70% or so of the cablenets have now been down-rezzed from their native resolution. Local broadcast stations have not been changed. Yet.
My personal opinion is that many channels that have been changed look awful. There are several shows that I watch on Syfy, of which there can be some very dark scenes, and they are often just a fuzzy, blocky mosquito noise mess. Plus, the bitrate and file size seems to be pegged at a limiter, a 3.94 Mbp/s bitrate with a file size of 1.65 GBs, nearly 20 episodes of two different shows, all the same rates. A bitrate of 3.94 Mb/s is just about 1/9th or 1/10th of a full QAM slot. I haven't checked each channel's frequency and slot but in other markets Comcast has been cramming 9 to 10 channels per 38 Mbps QAM slot. So I'm guessing many of these channels are running at their maximum bandwidth and it just isn't enough. Comcast needs to do some work on their stat-muxing settings.
P.S. I'm currently trying out AT&T's DirecTV Now streaming service for 3 mos at $35 per mo(free Apple TV for 3 mos tryout) and I have been comparing CNN between Comcast and the DirecTV Now version looks sharper and cleaner. That's just one channel though, I haven't had much time to really get into it. Also, for Giants/A's/Warriors fans the 2 local RSNs are included at that $35 price, I don't think Comcast does that at twice that amount.
Last edited by Keenan; 11-30-2016 at 03:25 PM.