Originally Posted by GregLee
As anyone knows who has compared HD on cable or satellite with HD over-the-air or HD blu-ray, the picture on cable or satellite has less resolution, poorer color, and various artifacts. It's because cable and satellite operators reduce mpeg encoding bit rates so that they can carry more channels.
That hasn't been the case here with NYC's TWC for ~10 years of HD viewing. While I often complain about potential rate shaping with bit rate reductions, blocking artifacts are very rare here and HD resolution is often impressive, depending on the source. By contrast, often read about OTA viewers, plagued by multicasting, undergoing bad blocking artifacts and poor overall PQ.
So there is a way available to improve resolution that is entirely compatible with current set top boxes and other equipment: just increase bit rates (at the cost of carrying fewer channels). Introducing full resolution 3D without increasing bit rates would be pointless anyway (if even possible).
Right on, Greg. Believe Ken H suggested using more QAM space (cable's digital delivery format) earlier above to boost overall bit rates.
In suggesting the need for MPEG-4-based 3D full-rez delivery, I was also thinking of 1080p60 possibilities. As mentioned earlier, chip-maker Ambarella writes that only requires ~20% more bandwidth using MPEG-4. That, too, is possible with current MPEG-2-based paths, but seems less feasible because it would eat up (without MPEG-4) so much bandwidth employed for the junk-channel avalanche. -- John