Comcast Quality - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 04-15-2008, 08:17 PM
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Default Comcast Quality

Anyone else noticed a significant turn for the worse in Comcast's HD channel picture quality? I usually don't see compression artifacts all too well (I never seem to notice them on DVDs), but it's really obvious to me on some of Comcast's HD channels as of late--tons and tons of motion blocking too. Some channels (like FSN HD) are close to unwatchable at times.

Someone did a comparison: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1008271 and found that Comcast has been overcompressing some channels.

Anyone else noticed what I have been?

I guess my next question is: how's DirectTV look? I'll be moving soon anyway, so maybe it's time to switch. Does anyone have problems with the dish due to weather? Posting your location (i.e., if you live in sunny Arizona, it won't help me much up here in the Great White North) would be helpful if you comment on the dish.
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:19 PM
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If your looking at changing to DirectTV maybe you should try a different title then "Comcast Quality." I don't think these forums get viewed that much anyways, so it's even more unlikely someone might put their two cents in about DirectTv.

But yes, it does seem the HD channels are suffering from lack of something. Whether it be bandwidth, to many channels sharing the same pipe, or something else who knows. FSN HD out here looks great. But we don't have a real "FSN HD" channel it's shared with Mojo or something like that.

But ScfiHD is horrible. I like the fact it's on East Coast Time rather then West Coast, as I get BSG three hours earlier . But every once in a while the pictures goes funny and the audio seems to skip/drop out.

From the link you provided it appears that DirectTV and DishTV have been doing the same things that Comcast just started. So it may not be any better. Your only hope might be Verizon Fios.
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Old 04-16-2008, 09:48 AM
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Yeah I've been noticing this for a few weeks now. I live in Chicago and some channels are MUCH worse than others. I've found that the movie channels haven't changed much, but channels like TNT-HD, TBS-HD, SCIFI-HD, and ABC-HD are much much worse than what they were a few months ago. Sometimes these channels can be down right unwatchable. Studder and artifacts can be pretty bad, sometimes the picture will just fade out with those "resolution squares" that look scrambled. I know it's not my TV. Also, my parents live in Fort Wayne, Indiana and they have noticed the same thing.

There is some light at the end of the tunnel though. I called comcast about it and they sent out a tech guy. He was extremely friendly and checked my hook up and box to make sure there wasn't some kind of signal loss on that end. While he was telling me this he did say that the signal degradation is likely to get "somewhat" worse. (I think that was the word he said)

The good news: After he explained that with all the new channels they are adding and are going to add, the signals are going to have to be compressed even more. After the digital switchover, the quality should substantially improve even over what their HD quality looked like a few months ago. The analog is taking up a lot of bandwidth. So I decided to give comcast another year until after the switchover. I really hope what this guy told me is true. If that's the case, it pisses me off, but is understandable.
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Old 04-16-2008, 10:47 AM
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it is somewhat true, the channels will have to be re-compressed into different/more "pods" that hold 12 channels currently but will be upped to 15+ in the next year or so. what this means for you is that there will be more room for channels to grow. the quality issue may be on your end, i haven't noticed a quality drop in any channels and i live by chicago and work for comcast. service technician CT-3
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by battlechaser View Post
it is somewhat true, the channels will have to be re-compressed into different/more "pods" that hold 12 channels currently but will be upped to 15+ in the next year or so. what this means for you is that there will be more room for channels to grow. the quality issue may be on your end, i haven't noticed a quality drop in any channels and i live by chicago and work for comcast. service technician CT-3
Perfect, do you know if any of what the service tech that came to my apt said was true? Specifically that the HD quality will continue to get worse until switch over? It's not a huge deal because I have the new samsung and the picture looks great, but I can tell that the quality is diminishing on some channels. But what is your professional opinion on this? You certainly know more than I do about this stuff.
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Old 04-16-2008, 04:36 PM
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I thought the digital switchover wasn't going to occur until Feb 2012?
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Old 04-16-2008, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z22_Z33 View Post
I thought the digital switchover wasn't going to occur until Feb 2012?
No, Feb. 2009
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Old 04-16-2008, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Praetorian View Post
No, Feb. 2009
That's only for Over the Air Broadcasts.
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Old 04-16-2008, 05:07 PM
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I know that the UK is terminating over the air analog broadcasts in 2009 (I think they call it Freeview or something, and full power digital switchover doesn't fully go into effect until 2012. But as far as I know, in the USA, all Full Power analog signals will cease on February 17th, 2009. I think that's the exact date. Don't get me wrong, I could be incorrect, that's just the impression I was under.
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Old 04-16-2008, 05:30 PM
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You are right. But when you say full power analog signals you are in fact referring to OTA broadcasts. So only those that use rabbit ears will be affected, and those of us on cable will be stuck with "analog" for sometime.
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