Comcast HD Quality Reduction: Details, Screenshots - Page 21 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #601 of 2079 Old 04-01-2008, 07:53 PM
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Comcast support profess to know nothing about the drop in quality. I asked for a discount on my HD programming since I am receiving less quality than 3 months ago. Their answer was to send out a repairman... I just laughed at the silliness of his response. I can imagine the technician walking in and "eye-balling" the picture...yep it looks good to me. Nothing is wrong. The support person had no idea it is being talked about all around the web.
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post #602 of 2079 Old 04-01-2008, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim HTPC View Post

Comcast support profess to know nothing about the drop in quality. I asked for a discount on my HD programming since I am receiving less quality than 3 months ago. Their answer was nothing was wrong with their HD signals. They had no idea it is being talked about all around the web.

They wouldn't, they all have DirecTV.
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post #603 of 2079 Old 04-01-2008, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

They wouldn't, they all have DirecTV.

By the way, has DirecTV bumped their HD resolution back up to 1920x1080? I know they lowered it...which left Dish with the premier HD resolution. Then I heard Dish lowered theirs too.

Now the DirecTV launched a new SAT... has the resolution been increased?
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post #604 of 2079 Old 04-01-2008, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim HTPC View Post

By the way, has DirecTV bumped their HD resolution back up to 1920x1080? I know they lowered it...which left Dish with the premier HD resolution. Then I heard Dish lowered theirs too.

Now the DirecTV launched a new SAT... has the resolution been increased?

To the best of my knowledge, but not having anyway to verify it, the new MPEG4 channels are full resolution. The old MPEG2 HD channels are still down-rezzed, although there's not very many of them, 5 or 6 maybe?

As with any provider, the best thing to do is try and see for yourself. IMO, I think you'll be happy with what you see.
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post #605 of 2079 Old 04-01-2008, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post

They can't cherry pick here. With the agreement with our county they are supposed to have the entire county wired for FIOS in the next 4 or 5 years.

Could be it only looks like they are cherry-picking because they are rolling out over a number of years and will eventually cover everyone in a given city. Either that or your county is doing their due diligence for their citizens. I'd be upset though to find out they laid fiber through my neighborhood only to get from one to another and bypass me for the time being.

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post #606 of 2079 Old 04-01-2008, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post

wow, this is amazing. I've seen a noticable drop in pic quality on my comcast digital HD channels in the past week or so. I assumed it was my light engine going bad or my bulb going bad in my tv. I had noticed it only seemed to look bad when watching comcast hd channels so I searched around this forum and- wow I'm shocked, my wife and I are already discussing changing to Fios.

So is Fios the best current option for highest quality, least compressed HD programming?

Yes, FIOS is the best choice. I've had comcast and DirecTv and can honestly say that I am getting great PQ on both SD and HD broadcasts. Never mind the best internet around and telephone service that hasn't required any attention. I also save about $100 per month on all services as compared to my previous D* TV service and Comcast internet.

The coming transition to GPON (4 times faster infrastructure) and eventually IPTV implementations promise faster service in all fronts in the future.
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post #607 of 2079 Old 04-01-2008, 08:53 PM
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Let me jump on this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

I think it is important to be clear: There is a difference. All we're disagreeing about is the extent to which the difference is significant.

Oh, I WISH that things looked as good as that Matrix grab.

The difference is really very simple. Do you think the average viewer can tell the difference between true HD and Comcast's Digital Cable SD service?

I think they can. And that's very close to the difference I'm seeing. There's just no way that any customer could have missed the "now you see HD -- now you don't" difference in the quality on the day that it went down the toilet. I thought they were having huge technical difficulties. Unfortunately, they were just being Comcast.
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post #608 of 2079 Old 04-01-2008, 09:47 PM
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post #609 of 2079 Old 04-01-2008, 09:52 PM
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I'd say that for the majority of people any PQ imperfections remain unnoticed; they don't see it unless they know it's there. Therefore they remain happy with the status quo. Once these imperfections are brought to their attention, however, their eyes become trained. I recently worked with a colleague whose laptop had a bunch of dead pixels. Guy owned it for a year and never noticed them. It wasn't a big deal, but once it was pointed out to him it bothered him to no end. His mind could no longer extinguish the presence of those dots.

CoNcast is now close to that that fine line where the average viewer may very well become conscious of image degradation. In my case, compression artifact REALLY stood out during a chase scene in "Apocalypto" where the camera pans on the character running though thick forest. This was a couple of months ago and since then I notice this all the time. Sometimes it ruins my enjoyment of watching the show.

It's distracting, annoying and interferes with the viewing experience. The more obvious this becomes I think the more it will penetrate to the larger audience.
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post #610 of 2079 Old 04-01-2008, 11:37 PM
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Just an FYI, the AEHD feed is really only around ~14mbps. Fios is for whatever bizzarre reason re-encoding it to a higher bitrate. That's why, in your Matrix shots, the AE screenie of Keanu, his face looks pasty and "flat" looking, like Windows Media Videos....and in the Cable feed, it looks clear with what you say "grain" which is how it's SUPPOSED to look. In the Fios capture it's just getting 'flattened'..... I know it seems bizzarre as a re-encode to a higher bitrate should look transparent...but in this case it is not..........

I would check some other AEHD stuff.....since it seems Fios is re-processing that channel.

You do have valid claims on the other stations though!
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post #611 of 2079 Old 04-01-2008, 11:46 PM
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All this is why it's so important to keep the pressure on Comcast.

I don't pick on Comcast just because it's a spoiled, lazy, selfish goliath from monopolistic days, that only reacts to the marketplace in order to keep up with the competition and up to a year ago had difficulty putting the left & right audio channels on the correct side and whose DVR's are possibly the worst electronic devices ever created.

Well, OK, that is why.

I want great HD. With Comcast you have to put a lot of pressure on them to maintain quality. Cable/Comcast is not used to performing at high-quality levels. But if we, the press, DirecTV, Fios, Uverse, etc. keep up the pressure it'll be better for everyone!!!

Thank God for the internet!
And thanks to DirecTV for giving me so many more HD and "slightly better than SD - HD" channels from Comcast!!

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post #612 of 2079 Old 04-02-2008, 12:04 AM
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bfdtv, what was your method for the Matrix screencaps? Something looks seriously wrong, 720p channels shouldn't have combing artifacts, and the aliasing on the logo looks weird too.
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post #613 of 2079 Old 04-02-2008, 04:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ View Post

Don't mean to butt in, but correct me if I'm wrong, I don't believe cable can do that. IMHO, just another unfair advantage to a competitor. Cherry-picking maximizes profit and not having to support analog customers allows use of full bandwidth. Place the same restrictions on FIOS/sat and see where they'd be.

Satellite provider Dish Network has already alluded to their impression that having to comply with the must-carry and dual-must-carry regulations would bury them. I bet FiOS would raise prices to match (or perhaps even exceed) Comcast's if they had to comply with the requirement to provide service to every home, and every school, in the town. So yes, FiOS and satellite benefit from being the newer, more favored kids on the regulatory block.
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post #614 of 2079 Old 04-02-2008, 04:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ View Post

Could be it only looks like they are cherry-picking because they are rolling out over a number of years and will eventually cover everyone in a given city. Either that or your county is doing their due diligence for their citizens. I'd be upset though to find out they laid fiber through my neighborhood only to get from one to another and bypass me for the time being.

We saw the fiber installed past our home two years ago. They're simply cherry-picking: High revenue potential and low cost for the last 100 yards of installation are their apparent metrics. The won't provide time-frames or any level of assurance that they'll eventually offer service in every neighborhood, despite a half dozen inquiries I've made.

Upset? I suppose -- disappointed more like. Surprised? No. Outraged? Not at all. They're doing what's best for them.
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post #615 of 2079 Old 04-02-2008, 04:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thoots View Post

The difference is really very simple. Do you think the average viewer can tell the difference between true HD and Comcast's Digital Cable SD service?

Rule of thumb: Nothing is ever simple. What matters is whether the average viewer cares about the difference. That is what determines significance. And the best way of measuring that is in dollars, dollars that customers redirect from one supplier to another because of the difference.
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post #616 of 2079 Old 04-02-2008, 04:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanisrox69 View Post

Just an FYI, the AEHD feed is really only around ~14mbps. Fios is for whatever bizzarre reason re-encoding it to a higher bitrate. That's why, in your Matrix shots, the AE screenie of Keanu, his face looks pasty and "flat" looking, like Windows Media Videos....and in the Cable feed, it looks clear with what you say "grain" which is how it's SUPPOSED to look. In the Fios capture it's just getting 'flattened'..... I know it seems bizzarre as a re-encode to a higher bitrate should look transparent...but in this case it is not..........

I would check some other AEHD stuff.....since it seems Fios is re-processing that channel.

You do have valid claims on the other stations though!

Agreed. I actually like the film grain effect on your A&E HD Comcast shot.
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post #617 of 2079 Old 04-02-2008, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

We saw the fiber installed past our home two years ago. They're simply cherry-picking: High revenue potential and low cost for the last 100 yards of installation are their apparent metrics. The won't provide time-frames or any level of assurance that they'll eventually offer service in every neighborhood, despite a half dozen inquiries I've made.

I made my comment vague because I don't know if FIOS is requred to eventually serve every home like cable is. Like I said, it could be that they are cherry-picking right now to get the most revenue, but the rule to serve all homes might be the same for them as it is for cable.

And, I don't mind so much that they are being given breaks by the FCC to get them in the ballgame, I just wish the FCC (i.e., Martin) would admit that what he is doing is blatantly unfair to cable and is forcing cable to compete on a playing field that is not level. I don't know about Comcast, sounds like a very lousy company, but I don't know that any cableco could have foreseen what the FCC is doing re FIOS while still bogging cable down with archaic analog rules that don't apply to FIOS or sat.

I also think cable expected DirecTV to have more capacity, but I think they missed the boat on how quickly cablenets would convert to HD broadcasts. It doesn't matter muchg to subs where or not the contect is actually HD, all they see if DirecTV offering a boatload of HD channels whereas cable is temporarily limited by bandwidth.

I also understand putting pressure on cable to move as quickly as possible to catch up, but as someone else mentioned, some of the needed hardware/software has not been readily available until relatively recently and is pretty expensive. And, it does take time, time that cable may have misjudged. But, the fact that DirecTV has jumped out in front for the time being is just business as usual in what I believe is a leapfrog technology. When cable gets the bandwidth and channels in place, they will again go into the lead as the overall communications service (TV, internet, and phone) provider for many people. When that happens later this year (at least for some of us with other cablecos), some of those HD channels DirecTV subs boast about may actually offer HD content.

Cheers, Dave
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post #618 of 2079 Old 04-02-2008, 06:45 AM
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I'm in Boston, and NESN-HD has the macroblocking happening. Very irritating trying to watch the Sox game last night. I am strongly considering switching the DirecTV until FIOS comes on in my town...
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post #619 of 2079 Old 04-02-2008, 07:23 AM
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Just watched a FIOS commercial. They're touting in big capital letters "PURE UNCOMPRESSED HIGH DEFINITION". Of course, it's not available in my area...

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post #620 of 2079 Old 04-02-2008, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxman View Post

Just watched a FIOS commercial. They're touting in big capital letters "PURE UNCOMPRESSED HIGH DEFINITION". Of course, it's not available in my area...

Wow I didn't realize FIOS was putting out 3800Mbps streams (thats roughly what uncompressed 1080p60 is).
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post #621 of 2079 Old 04-02-2008, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxman View Post

Just watched a FIOS commercial. They're touting in big capital letters "PURE UNCOMPRESSED HIGH DEFINITION". Of course, it's not available in my area...

Does anyone know how many uncompressed channels FiOS can support?

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post #622 of 2079 Old 04-02-2008, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxman View Post

Just watched a FIOS commercial. They're touting in big capital letters "PURE UNCOMPRESSED HIGH DEFINITION". Of course, it's not available in my area...

They can't be actually saying that... All this stuff is compressed, it's just if it's been transrated to fit...
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post #623 of 2079 Old 04-02-2008, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxman View Post

Just watched a FIOS commercial. They're touting in big capital letters "PURE UNCOMPRESSED HIGH DEFINITION". Of course, it's not available in my area...

I've seen that commercial too - It is a BLATANT LIE!

ALL DIGITAL TV IS COMPRESSED. The native bit-rate for uncompressed HD (1080i)is around 1.6Gbps. Even FiOS brings that down to around 17Mbps (per bfdtv's data) and 2:1 cable is about the same too (according to my measurements).

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post #624 of 2079 Old 04-02-2008, 08:06 AM
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Verizon probably meant they don't add any additional compression and pass through the full 17Mps that is the limitation for a broadcast channel.
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post #625 of 2079 Old 04-02-2008, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post

They can't be actually saying that... All this stuff is compressed, it's just if it's been transrated to fit...


I think most of us here understand that digital HD TV requires some sort of compression for its distribution. For the sake of placing bounds on the definition of bit rate compression what is FIOS actually providing?

ATSC over the air is 19 Megabits
Blu-ray Disk is 30-40 Megabits

What rate does the head end plant receive? How is it compressed .. MPEG2, MEPEG4 or other?

The word 'lie' is used much too loosely anymore.

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post #626 of 2079 Old 04-02-2008, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post

They can't be actually saying that... All this stuff is compressed, it's just if it's been transrated to fit...

By uncompressed, they are almost certainly referring to the source signal. All high-definition sources are compressed for distribution via satellite or fiber. But then providers have the choice to compress (recompress) that signal further, potentially sacrificing quality in the process. That's what this thread is about.
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post #627 of 2079 Old 04-02-2008, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulGo View Post

Verizon probably meant they don't add any additional compression and pass through the full 17Mps that is the limitation for a broadcast channel.

Sure, but they didn't say that. They said that it was UNCOMPRESSED, no qualifiers ("additional compression"), no nothing! THAT was a lie!

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post #628 of 2079 Old 04-02-2008, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIPAR View Post

I think most of us here understand that digital HD TV requires some sort of compression for its distribution.

BUT, that ad was not intended for "most of us here"!

It is untruthful.

It IS a LIE!

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post #629 of 2079 Old 04-02-2008, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

To the best of my knowledge, but not having anyway to verify it, the new MPEG4 channels are full resolution. The old MPEG2 HD channels are still down-rezzed, although there's not very many of them, 5 or 6 maybe?

As with any provider, the best thing to do is try and see for yourself. IMO, I think you'll be happy with what you see.

I would love to try Direct TV although they make you sign a 2 year contract just to try their service. If it was that great they wouldn't need any insurance(contract) would they?

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post #630 of 2079 Old 04-02-2008, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric.exe View Post

bfdtv, what was your method for the Matrix screencaps? Something looks seriously wrong, 720p channels shouldn't have combing artifacts, and the aliasing on the logo looks weird too.

The Matrix shots were taken in VideoRedo because I am having an issue with 720p captures in MPC w/ Dscaler5. I've updated the Matrix post to reflect that.

I assumed that VideoRedo could correctly capture 720p because no deinterlace was necessary. Is that not the case?

Below are some Matrix captures from A&E taken with MPC w/ Dscaler5. Ignore the dotted lines on each shot.

A&E on FiOS


A&E on Comcast


A&E on FiOS


A&E on Comcast


A&E on FiOS


A&E on Comcast


A&E on FiOS


A&E on Comcast


As you can see, the difference in grain is more subtle on some shots than others.

A&E is clearly not a problematic channel on Comcast, unless you have a problem with the grain.
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