Originally Posted by davelanger
I too get macroblocking on fast moving scenes with Fios. I also got it with comcast as well. It does not happen on bluray movies, DVDS or video games though.
Has anyone been able to fix it that had it before?
This is what happens when you shoehorn in a 15-year-old codec that wasn't designed with high definition in mind into your HD broadcasting standards. (MPEG-2)
MPEG-2 is ancient and awful; it's half as efficient as AVC/H.264/MPEG-4.
Typical American HDTV broadcasts are MPEG-2 at bitrates lower than 18 Mbps. This standard is uniform across over-the-air broadcasts and all cable providers including Verizon. MPEG-2 requires bitrates of 30+ Mbps for no macroblocking to occur; most FiOS channels are 12-17 Mbps. So yeah. It's a shitfest. But if you think that's bad, Comcast packs 3 HD channels to a QAM so all their channels are ~12 Mbps or less. At least Verizon still retains some HD channels at bitrates higher than 12. This is why HDNet and EPIX look better than other FiOS channels; they have bitrates of 17 Mbps.
H.264 is a great codec to solve this problem, but so far, only AT&T, Dish Network and DirecTV have embraced it. All their implementations are flawed.
AT&T U-verse is terrible as they re-encode all the distribution feeds, whether they're MPEG-2 or H.264, to H.264 at very low bitrates (5.7 Mbps) with awful encoder settings. They are easily the worst looking provider.
Dish Network is pretty bad as they re-encode everything to bitrates far too low as well, and reduce resolution to 1440x1080.
DirecTV seems to be improving. They do H.264 @ 7 Mbps. They may also be distributing some networks distributed natively in H.264 without re-encoding them further. On some channels, DirecTV could look better than FiOS. On other networks which are native MPEG-2 distributed though, FiOS wins. DirecTV also suffers from a pitiful HD channel lineup which doesn't look like it will be improving any time soon. They are as bad as Verizon when it comes to new HD channel additions.
And of course Blu-ray will always look flawless, as the typical Blu-ray utilizes bitrates 4 to 6 times higher than any American HDTV channel and utilizes the greatly superior AVC codec over MPEG-2. Blu-ray is your only salvation if you want good looking HD.
Originally Posted by obxdiver
Well I am the one who has been complaining about it on Food Network.
I also see it on Discovery, Nat Geo, History, TLC....
The Discovery networks - definitely a macroblock fest. I've seen Discovery Channel as low as 9 Mbps before here on FiOS. History - I'm skeptical of your claim. I've watched quite a bit of programming on this channel. FiOS's History feed is 720p MPEG-2 @ 17 Mbps - one of their highest bitrate channels. This higher bitrate combined with half the resolution of most other HD channels which are 1080i has resulted in no macroblocking that I've ever seen. Less detail and clarity since it's only 720p instead of 1080i, sure. But macroblocking? Nope.
The Scripps networks have always looked bad to me. I blame poor MPEG-2 encoders for this. Apparently they're distributed as H.264 so they must be re-encoded to MPEG-2 for distribution on FiOS.