AfterDawn: Tech news

Comcast HD quality suffers under compression

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 03 Apr 2008 1:26 User comments (22)

Comcast HD quality suffers under compression A very interesting article by bfdtv on the AVS Forum revealed the effects of a HDTV provider choosing to sacrifice quality for quantity. Comcast is degrading HD video on some of its systems to make room for more HD channels in response to increased competition from DirecTV and Verizon FiOS.
By early April, most Comcast systems will recompress and degrade their HD, much like DirecTV and Dish Network do on their MPEG-2 channels. Comcast has allocated a maximum of two HD channels per 38.8Mbps QAM and has now changed, attempting to squeeze three channels instead.

Bfdtv compared the quality of the same programs on Comcast and Verizon FiOS, recording the same program from the same channel, at the same time. A test the user ran last year had shown no difference between the two providers, but things are a lot different now.

The difference in average bitrate (determined by size of recording) ranges from 0.7% for HBO HD, right up to 38.8% for Discovery HD Theater.

How did other channels compare and what exactly does the difference "look like"? Check out the thread to see.

See: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1008271


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22 user comments

13.4.2008 2:07

All in the name of market share and money (profits)

23.4.2008 2:48

Why does anyone still use Comcast after all the shit they have pulled off?

33.4.2008 3:04

what a bunch of pompous A$$ h0lez! thats about all i have to say!

43.4.2008 6:30
SamNz
Inactive

ok i SD satilite tv and it looks better than that,

53.4.2008 7:16

As long as I can see what I'm watching, I'm fine. I still haven't gotten into this HD stuff. I mean, I have an HD tv, but I never find myself watching HD channels.

63.4.2008 10:41

The HD quality between Comcast & Directv sucks. I had Comcast HD boxes on both of my HD-Tv's and it was never as clear as my Directv HD. Especially after Directv launched their satellites producing more HD channels. It seems their quality has improved. I would never switch back to Comcast if they paid me.

73.4.2008 11:15
r0b0t3ch
Inactive

Originally posted by itago:
Why does anyone still use Comcast after all the shit they have pulled off?

AGREED!!!

I hate Comcast, hate their company, customer services, quality, selection and prices. I wish that money grubbing company would burn to the ground or get shut down.

What's worse............they claim "the most HD channels; more than DirecTV, more than Dish" That's BULLCRAP!!!!! Blatant lie. little fine print at bottom of page says "HD content on 'ON-Demand' at any given time".

Now............anyone that takes the time to visit their crap website and find out exactly what channels are in HD will find MAAAAAAYBE 15 channels NON ON-DEMAND. No Discover, No TBS, No Animal Planet, No NGC, etc. (I may be mistaken about a couple of those) but I counted DirecTV's HD channel lineup at OVER 70 and Comcast at about 15. WHO FRAKKIN' CARES ABOUT ON DEMAND?

Die Comcast CEO/Execs DIE!!!!!!!

83.4.2008 11:19
atomicxl
Inactive

Wow. I was expecting negligible differences. The comcast one looks like PS1 CGI with blocks galore.

93.4.2008 11:22
r0b0t3ch
Inactive

Originally posted by 21Q:
As long as I can see what I'm watching, I'm fine. I still haven't gotten into this HD stuff. I mean, I have an HD tv, but I never find myself watching HD channels.

I can respect that. You're obviously not much of a tv watcher or a HUGE tv fan. I have a couple of friends like that (that don't really care about the quality of tv). Reading is their thing. My only question would be ..............if ya' don't care about HD then WHY ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH DID YOU FORK OVER FOR AN HD TV SET? That's just pointless and senseless seeing that you "don't get into this HD stuff" That's like running for president and then purposefully leaking out negative information about yourself.


Oh...........and "SamNz"

Learn to spell and write buddy. Can't even tell what you were trying to say. You speaka Eng-lish??

103.4.2008 12:01

Quote:
Originally posted by 21Q:
As long as I can see what I'm watching, I'm fine. I still haven't gotten into this HD stuff. I mean, I have an HD tv, but I never find myself watching HD channels.

I can respect that. You're obviously not much of a tv watcher or a HUGE tv fan. I have a couple of friends like that (that don't really care about the quality of tv). Reading is their thing. My only question would be ..............if ya' don't care about HD then WHY ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH DID YOU FORK OVER FOR AN HD TV SET? That's just pointless and senseless seeing that you "don't get into this HD stuff" That's like running for president and then purposefully leaking out negative information about yourself.
lol, I agree it's pointless, if by "HD stuff" 21Q meant everything HD. But maybe he only meant HD Television signals. I have to disagree on the analogy. I think it's more like running for President and then not campaigning.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 03 Apr 2008 @ 12:38

113.4.2008 12:38

Comcast and Quality is an oxymoron of terms anyway. Unless you put the word bad, terrible, or unsatisfactory before quality that is.

123.4.2008 14:36

i do not have hd at my house... but a friend of mine has comcast hd at her house and they pay around $120 a month for their programming which is nearly identical to mine... i'm paying $60 a month on directv and for an extra $10 a month i could add hd... why are people paying so much for P.O.S. service???

133.4.2008 21:04

Originally posted by engage16:
i do not have hd at my house... but a friend of mine has comcast hd at her house and they pay around $120 a month for their programming which is nearly identical to mine... i'm paying $60 a month on directv and for an extra $10 a month i could add hd... why are people paying so much for P.O.S. service???

I dont know why mabey they got her in a corner with a Contract
Comcast has been known to do that.

I have Bright House And i see Good Quality From them.

If you plan to get Bright House. Do not get there three in one deal its Crap. they Have A Cable switch overload issue with there 3n1 witch will kill the phone and cable modem for about a day.

143.4.2008 22:16

thats the price off the little brochure they left when they had to come repair it... the cable companies got you by the balls... no other way to say... i'll be happy just to get dsl... never mind fios

153.4.2008 22:59

Originally posted by itago:
Why does anyone still use Comcast after all the shit they have pulled off?
because they have no other choice for the services they provide.
i know that's my reason, and i'm sure i'm far from the only one.
comcast is the only cable provider here and has the only worthwhile broadband.

164.4.2008 2:08

Originally posted by r0b0t3chOh:
...........and "SamNz"

Learn to spell and write buddy. Can't even tell what you were trying to say. You speaka Eng-lish??
Please observe rule 6.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 04 Apr 2008 @ 2:08


174.4.2008 12:50

because of municipal tv deals i cant get fios tv with my fios internet! BS! all this crap just drives me further and further to get a coolsat and "legally" watch the streams that happen to enter my property.

i have time warner and let me tell you they suck just as much as comcrap. some channels are pretty good but some look like hot garbage during an angle switch or an action scene. not entirely the compressions fault, they just need to learn to use the compression more efficiently, but still mostly the compressions fault :P

one of the other reasons they are compressing is because they got the internet going through the same line a lot of the times, and people are demanding more and more bandwidth every day too. they are writing checks they cant cash via totally misleading advertising (6mbps? "true" HD?, yeh right) and we will all see a day very soon when "hd" carries a bitrate minimum as well as a size standard and internet providers will be mandated to state exactly how much "on tap, all the time" bandwidth each subscriber is legally entitled to. and the sooner the better, most people are just to dumb to call them out right now.

184.4.2008 13:06

That depends on the Cable Switch. When i got HD they Came out and removed the the old switch and replaced it with a nice shiny silver box.

it has 32Mbps in and 16Mbps out thats not bad, but im not even using all of it. HD channels are about 12Mbps a stream so if i have 3 tv's using HD Channels then i would us all of it. while one tv would look worse than the other 2.

The out is mainly used for Internet and On demand Stream.

the IN is usally 6,8 or 12mbps depending on your contract for internet.

195.4.2008 21:35

Comcast isn't totally bad, they donated a bunch of hd cameras to some MLB teams, like Seattle, so that all the games are broadcast in HD. They aren't tottaly great either, there was an article in todays newspaper about advertising a MLB package for $170 to watch "all" MLB games when in reality it is only 100 games from each team. And that is some TERRIBLE HD quality, normal upscaling on an HDTV would give you a better picture than that. I guess if you want good HD you need Dish Network or Direct TV.

208.4.2008 1:03

Quote:
Originally posted by itago:
Why does anyone still use Comcast after all the shit they have pulled off?
because they have no other choice for the services they provide.
i know that's my reason, and i'm sure i'm far from the only one.
comcast is the only cable provider here and has the only worthwhile broadband.
Dood, come on... you can get DirecTV or Dish practically anywhere. I have had DirecTivo and now Dish HD, all the while with Comcast HS internet. I'm in Portland, OR where you either get Qwest DSL or Comcast cable for internet... and that's it, but you still have a choice for TV, even if we CAN'T get Verizon FIOS (yet). Seriously, my Dish channels are so much better than Comcast. I would have stayed with DirecTV (switching to HD) if they would have offered (it's always a crap shoot when your contract runs out), but I'll never go to Comcast for TV.

218.4.2008 10:30

Quote:
Quote:
Originally posted by itago:
Why does anyone still use Comcast after all the shit they have pulled off?
because they have no other choice for the services they provide.
i know that's my reason, and i'm sure i'm far from the only one.
comcast is the only cable provider here and has the only worthwhile broadband.
Dood, come on... you can get DirecTV or Dish practically anywhere. I have had DirecTivo and now Dish HD, all the while with Comcast HS internet. I'm in Portland, OR where you either get Qwest DSL or Comcast cable for internet... and that's it, but you still have a choice for TV, even if we CAN'T get Verizon FIOS (yet). Seriously, my Dish channels are so much better than Comcast. I would have stayed with DirecTV (switching to HD) if they would have offered (it's always a crap shoot when your contract runs out), but I'll never go to Comcast for TV.
i have no interest in hd cable/satellite service, to be honest;
besides that, i've had nothing to complain about comcast's tv service.
when my uncle had directv next door, he would always lose picture in a storm.
plus comcast takes care of that option by making it inherently more expensive;
their broadband costs more if you don't subscribe to their cable tv.

i don't like comcast, but satellite is simply not for me.

228.4.2008 14:15

If your uncle lost his picture during a storm he should have called up and gotten some one out to his house because something was wrong on his end, not the providers end. I live in the North and we get snow storms that will cover up my dish with a couple inches of snow and I still get a signal (though not very good, usually have to go out there and dust it off).

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