Originally posted by AtogMuncher
Picture quality has never been a concern for cable companies except maybe a the very beginning when they used better reception as a way to get people to subscribe. All you have to do is look at the problems with their analogue tier and its rolling line to know that picture quality doesn't matter.
I know, hell I can even agree with them up to a point. But the whole purpose of HDTV is jaw dropping picture quality and they're going to ruin it. And it's not a case of them softening it to the point of DVD quality, they are in fact rendering it totally unwatchable in some cases due to the ridiculous macroblocking and compression artifacts.
The HD channels may not be the best for HD but when you compare it to the analogue and regular digital channels its like night and day.
That's the attitude that I'm afraid Charter is banking on. Most people won't know any better so they'll just accept it. And after next week people like me won't be able to monitor the streams anymore so we won't have any hard evidence of what they're doing. But my eyes know better and what they're selling people isn't worth the price.
I am willing to bet that the engineer doesn't want to restore HDNET and HDNET Movies to what it was before because then when they have to add channels people will be used to the way it is. If he changes it then the next group of subscribers will notice when it changes.
I kind of got the feeling he was just stringing me along to try and get me to admit it looked good even though he hadn't done anything. But I can't be sure. He may have just forgot and he did finally own up to what he was doing. He said he agrees with me anyway and would rather keep the compression to a minimum but he's kind of stuck. For now though they should be able to do what I ask and give us the streams essentially unchanged.
On another note, I remember when KTTC used to have a higher quality picture when they first went HDTV and only Jay Leno was in HDTV. I think that show doesn't have the same wow factor it once had because either the station (KTTC), the network (NBC) or the show has cut down the resolution.
I first saw KTTC in HD in March of '02 during the winter olypics and they were only 15Mbps even back then. The Olympics macroblocked, and Leno macroblocked. At the time I was worried that that was an necessary evil with HDTV, probably much like newbies are now with all the macroblocking on cable HD. Now I know better.
FWIW, I have been pretty happy with the picture quality on HBOHD, hard to say with SHOWTIMEHD since they hardly have any HD programming that I watch. I also think ESPNHD has improved a little since we first got it but that probably is the case of ESPNHD and the venues where the events are shot from and not anything Charter has done.
SHO-HD and HBO-HD should be the least effected since they're relatively low bandwidth to begin with. ESPN should be taking a big hit but there's so little HD on it's probably hard to tell. The HD I recorded weeks ago looked terrible. I don't know what they're showing in HD these days, baseball I presume. That probably looks halfway decent since nothing happens 99% of the time. 13Mbps is plenty for a static shot of a guy scratching himself.