Originally Posted by T Heller
What is this "notorious fast-motion macroblocking blur vision", Steve?
I'll let others comment on it.
"OTA in Orlando, FL with a weather plus sub channel. typical nbc crap. macroblocking as well as the video not being synced with sound during interviews."
"WNBC-DT via Cablevision. Looks slightly better than last year so far. Less macroblocking (had a few moments during the opening sequence)."
"Watching in a hotel in San Fran on KNTV-DT, not sure how they are getting the signal, be it DTV, E* or OTA, but lots of macroblocking here as well."
"not near the macro blocking as last year. Looks good except for that occassional blurring/smearing. But, way better than last year...OTA Montgomery AL."
"WRC-DT (Washington DC), OTA in Annapolis MD. About the same as last year. Picture ranges from mediocre to bad; sound is pretty good as usual. The game would look a lot better if the players and cameras would all stop moving around. ...err, that kinda defeats the point, doesn't it."
"Dish Network and OTA, Appleton WI, HD on 46" Sammy 1080P. As always, NBC HD sucks in any fast motion. Turf looks like its moving. Macro-blocking on fast plays."
"Clear QAM TWC, Forest Hills NY, WNBC-HD. It's also awful here as well. I've noticed the same effect on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien." Anytime the camera moves, it's a horrible, smeary, pixelated mess. Whenever a player moved, you could see streaks of red or blue on the turf."
"I was watching OTA switching back and forth from the South Bend (1 SD sub) and Fort Wayne (2 SD subs) affiliates. Both had horrible pixelation and macroblocking."
"Why does the picture always get blurry when they come back from replay?"
Above comments from 2008 here http://www.avsforum.com/t/1063337/2008-thursday-night-football-on-nbc-hd-opening-night-redskins-giants
Now let's advance to Feb. 2012, Super Bowl in Indy.
"OMG! The macro blocking as the teams entered the field was horrible. Reminded me of the Pro Bowl broadcast. WNYT via TWC in Troy, NY"
"WNBC-DT NYC OTA. Overall the PQ is average but better then WCBS-DT. Noticing motion artifacts on all cameras. The turf is full on motion artifacts."
"WNYT via TWC, Troy, NY. 1080i with artifacting on any type of zoomed shot or dissolve/fade."
"Watching WDIV via Comcast PQ is the same as always from WDIV good with blocking during movement."
"WDIV 4.1 OTA Detroit,MI Overall PQ good notice excessive macroblocking but overall PQ is better than last year!"
"Horrible pixelated macroblocking mess on Directv."
"WXIA in Atlanta via Comcast. Just echoing what everyone else is saying, excellent audio & macro blocking on all fast wipes/movement. Does anybody at the affiliates actually watch what they broadcast?"
"WNBC-DT NYC FiOS. The animated transition in and out of replays is heavily macroblocked."
"Macroblocking galore during halftime."
"WHBF TV OTA and DirecTV have both had blocking - Moline, IL"
Another way to describe it is compression artifacts http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compression_artifact
(includes video comparison)
During a preseason NFL football game on NBC two years ago I was able to compare four different NBC affiliate broadcasts OTA (thanks to some good tropo reception conditions in the area) : WTHR, Indy; WTWO, Terre Haute; WISE, Fort Wayne; WLWT, Cincinnati. I could tell virtually no difference in the picture quality among the four stations relating to fast-motion macroblocking, artifacts, motion blur, etc. Some think part of the problem is due to reduced bandwidth when shared with additional subchannels, but WTWO doesn't have any subchannels.
My experience has been that Notre Dame football broadcasts on NBC are even worse than NFL games on NBC.