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So I just spent the last hour trying to figure this out but I keep getting conflicting information so anybody in the know please help me out here:


Basically, I currently have comcast HD DVR as my TV service. I'm constantly disappointed(and always have been) with the poor ancient mpeg2 picture quality especially when it doesn't even compete with a seemingly over compressed internet HD mpeg4/avc download. I've ALWAYS hoped comcast would upgrade the system to mpeg4 to fix this problem(they get the broadcasts all in mpeg4 for the satelites so it would be fairly easy to pass it on) but they seem years off doing that only now slowly releasing boxes that support mpeg4.


Back to my question, are there any TV services out there that have superior mpeg4 picture quality? I hear DirecTV does and that U-Verse does but I also hear that U-Verse somehow has worse picture quality than comcast so I'm quite confused. Also how about Fios? Is comcast really the best I can get bitrate/codec wise or am I missing out on much better. I used to think I was stuck with comcast because it was the only to offer Comcast Sports Bay area and California but it looks like that's all resolved these days.


Any info would be appreciated. If I can simply switch to u-verse or something to get a big increase in PQ I will certainly do so.
 

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MPEG4 isn't magic. Excessive compression in any lossy format will degrade PQ. The prevailing opinion on these forums is that U-verse does compress excessively, noticeably degrading PQ compared to every other provider. DirecTV isn't quite so heavy-handed, and most feel that their PQ is about the same as or slightly better than cable. FiOS applies no recompression to channels distributed in MPEG2, and allows for sufficient bitrate when reencoding channels distributed in MPEG4, so their PQ is the best you're going to get, if you can actually get it where you live.
 

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I can't speak for uverse, but outside of OTA FIOS should have the best picture, Dish and Direct also compress a bit (they do use mpeg 4).


Don't forget with FIOS you will have to sign a contract for 2 years.

Dish or Direct you could purchase and install your own equipment or lease and sign a contract for 2 years.
 

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Both DirecTV & Dish use MPEG4, and look pretty good. On an A/B comparison vs OTA antenna, it's hard to tell the difference between satellite and local OTA channels here.


Whether these services will look better than what your local cableco provides, will depend on how bad your cableco's picture is.


Don't look for any improvement with U-Verse, unless your comcrap is really bad.
 

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You can get Dish without a commitment, too, if you forego the introductory deals and the $99.00 activation rebate.


FIOS and Direct should look better than what you're describing you have (or at least no worse, anyway).


As far as U-Verse, I'd recommend them to anyone for SD (it's very good), but for someone who's at all discriminating about HD, I'd stay clear.


Dish would probably be the "borderline" provider - really depends on how bad your Comcast is. If it's that bad, it should be better. It's generally only regarded a little less good than Direct, although there are many who say they can't really see a difference between the two. I've seen what I thought was "bad" Comcast (jaggies and blocking), and to me, Dish looked better.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski /forum/post/18184057


...Dish would probably be the "borderline" provider - really depends on how bad your Comcast is. If it's that bad, it should be better. It's generally only regarded a little less good than Direct, although there are many who say they can't really see a difference between the two.

Nothing wrong with Dish. I find theirs & DirecTV's HD picture quality hard to tell apart. However, that was not always the case, though.
 

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I used to have DirecTV in a multi-dwelling-unit building (a condo with 168 units). We migrated from an OTA HD signal to a new satellite and found no difference in quality.


About 2 weeks ago, I moved and purchased U-verse. I'm happy with the internet speeds, but the PQ is MUCH lower when fast motion (such as Olympics) as compared to the D*TV I used to have. The THX-certified Panny Plasma I have is the same.


I'm also thinking about going back to D*TV.
 

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murphy2112, just don't base your opinion solely on the olympics, which look horrible on many NBC affiliates OTA - even on NBC stations that aren't broadcasting any sub-channels.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by arxaw /forum/post/18229362


murphy2112, just don't base your opinion solely on the olympics, which look horrible on many NBC affiliates OTA - even on NBC stations that aren't broadcasting any sub-channels.

Yeah, I know, that's a good point. I have only 30 days to decide and haven't had much time to view multiple channels. I will make sure to test it this week and report back if quality is different on other broadcasts, stations, etc.
 
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