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Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

Gold Problem Solver

Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

Just watched Game of Thrones. I am used to picture quality issues with this program but I recently moved and made some significant improvements to my audio/video installation. I did not expect what I just saw.

I found that 90% of Game of Thrones was very watchable and at times quite good. But Game of Thrones contains some very dark scenes and as I have mentioned previously X1 falls flat on it's face in really dark scenes. There is so much banding, pixeling and gradient noise that it is almost unwatchable. Even my highly significant other said "what's wrong with the picture"?

Over compression? Low bitstream rates? I don't know. But what I do know is we were looking forward to watching the season premiere of GOT and X1's extremely questionable picture quality totally ruined the experience for us.

Expert

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

Just one question Rick.

 

Did you get a chance to check the video using one of your older 1080p televisions?

 

There is a lot of synthesizing of pixels to fill a 2160p screen when only 8% of the pixels were real starting at 720p. Even changing black gradient under advanced settings may not have helped.

 

It's possible there was a bad signal feed from the show's channel provider to Comcast's system.

 

I noticed the show is from HBO (I haven't carried HBO for decades). Comcast has one 720p channel for HBO. The others are only 420p. Did you end up watching a 420p version?

 

Mark


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Gold Problem Solver

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

Mark,

 

I have seen (and recorded) the same issue on many programs especially The Blacklist. What caught us off guard was scenes that had any sort of light in them actually looked pretty good. Brighter scenes looked very good at times. But scenes that were nearly dark were appallingly bad. GOT has plenty of scenes that are very dark.

I am 98% sure the problem has nothing to do with scaling. This is a high compression, bit rate starving issue.

Yes I considered the problem could start with HBO.  Next Sunday I plan to watch GOT on my Roku Ultra. I am curious what we might learn...


@MNtundraRET wrote:

Just one question Rick.

 

Did you get a chance to check the video using one of your older 1080p televisions?

 

There is a lot of synthesizing of pixels to fill a 2160p screen when only 8% of the pixels were real starting at 720p. Even changing black gradient under advanced settings may not have helped.

 

It's possible there was a bad signal feed from the show's channel provider to Comcast's system.

 

I noticed the show is from HBO (I haven't carried HBO for decades). Comcast has one 720p channel for HBO. The others are only 420p. Did you end up watching a 420p version?

 

Mark


 

 

Gold Problem Solver

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

Gonna chime back in here on this topic.

This morning I decided to see how my Roku Ultra handled the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere. I wish I had good news for Comcast but I don't. The GOT picture from my Roku Ultra was better in all aspects.

I tried 1080p.
I tried 4K.
I tried 4K with HDR.
I tried automatic resolution which defaulted to 4K with HDR.

The Roku had much less (not entirely gone) of the dark scene distortions I saw using the XG1V4.

In every setting the Roku looked better. I though it was interesting that the Roku looked better in 4K over 1080p which is the opposite of the XG1V4. For some unknown reason the XG1V4 looks better when set to 1080p and that is really sad.

Contributor

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

I’m having the exact same issue. Tonight’s picture quality was garbage.
Gold Problem Solver

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.


@CougarTrace wrote:
I’m having the exact same issue. Tonight’s picture quality was garbage.

 

Yes season 8 episode 2 if anything looked worse than episode 1.

 

Just as I did with eposide 1, I am going to rewatch the episode using my Roku Ultra.

Contributor

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

Contacted Xfinity about the issue and they, of course, acted like this was the first time anyone has ever mentioned it and all they did was refresh my equipment eventhough I told them that this was a wider issue than my equipment.

Gold Problem Solver

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

CougarTrace,

 

None of this is new. X1 cable TV service has been around since early 2013. I have had X1 since September 2013 and been posting in this forum since October 2013.

If you search the X1 forum you will find volumes of information about concerns in regards to picture quality.

As I write this, I am watching my recording of GOT from last night on my 2nd best TV (2012 55" Panasonic Plasma).  I am sitting further away from a smaller TV and the room certainly has more ambient light but I am certainly seeing what I saw last night, just to a leeser degree.  I plan to peek at this again tonight when it is dark.

I think we all know the answer. Low bit rates and high compression. I guess Comcast just didn't picture customers watching a program like Game of Thrones on high quality audio/video gear in a darkened theater style environment.

 

I am about to watch it again using my Roku Ultra in my main TV room.

 


@CougarTrace wrote:

Contacted Xfinity about the issue and they, of course, acted like this was the first time anyone has ever mentioned it and all they did was refresh my equipment eventhough I told them that this was a wider issue than my equipment.


 

Contributor

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

The xfinity "Advanced Engineer" called me and stated that since I'm not seeing the issue right now and because it was last night he had to close my service ticket as complete wiht no current issues.

 

Ugh...


@RickGr4 wrote:

CougarTrace,

 

None of this is new. X1 cable TV service has been around since early 2013. I have had X1 since September 2013 and been posting in this forum since October 2013.

If you search the X1 forum you will find volumes of information about concerns in regards to picture quality.

As I write this, I am watching my recording of GOT from last night on my 2nd best TV (2012 55" Panasonic Plasma).  I am sitting further away from a smaller TV and the room certainly has more ambient light but I am certainly seeing what I saw last night, just to a leeser degree.  I plan to peek at this again tonight when it is dark.

I think we all know the answer. Low bit rates and high compression. I guess Comcast just didn't picture customers watching a program like Game of Thrones on high quality audio/video gear in a darkened theater style environment.

 

I am about to watch it again using my Roku Ultra in my main TV room.

 


@CougarTrace wrote:

Contacted Xfinity about the issue and they, of course, acted like this was the first time anyone has ever mentioned it and all they did was refresh my equipment eventhough I told them that this was a wider issue than my equipment.


 


 

New Poster

High Definition Channels

My High Definition channels are virtually unwatchable, I have my settings to the highest level - and when I stream anything via Netflix or Apple TV, the shows look AMAZING.  I have a 4-K TV, xfinty site says I have the lastest television box, isn't there a 4-K box? Maybe my HD is activated for my account.  Sad when I really can't even see "Game of Thrones" - here is serial # of my TV BOX: Serial #: M11506TE3421

Gold Problem Solver

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

Just watched GOT S8 E2 on my Roku Ultra and I also watched Star Trek Discovery S2 E14 on my Roku Ultra.

PQ is a whole new ball game. So much less video noise, banding and gradient noise.

I suspect we will need to endure Comcast's inferior picture quality until they are 100% IP based.

But CougarTrace, why do you fight this with Comcast? Find the better solution. As I have said many times, I have found ways to work around this. Use your TV's internal streaming apps. Use your Blu-ray player to stream. Buy a Roku or an Apple TV. I care more about the experience than I do waiting for Comcast to catch up.

 


@CougarTrace wrote:

The xfinity "Advanced Engineer" called me and stated that since I'm not seeing the issue right now and because it was last night he had to close my service ticket as complete wiht no current issues.

 




Frequent Visitor

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

You mean pay extra? I'm already paying for HBO in my Xfinity (4K) bundle, I shouldn't have to pay more to see it goid quality.

It is unwatchable!! Game of Throne S8e2 looks like low def and 16 colors or something. A banded, blurry mess. What gives?
Frequent Visitor

Re: High Definition Channels

The 4K box from Comcast isn't worth it. There's no 4K TV, so you are just using it for streaming Netflix or Amazon. Those will look better streamed direct to your HDTV.
Gold Problem Solver

Re: High Definition Channels

True but as I have stated many times before the XG1V4 is easily the fastest responding X1 box I have tried and the 1080p picture quality is probably the best I have seen from an X1 box.

So the XG1V4 certainly has value.
Official Employee

Re: High Definition Channels

Hello All. We appreciate you visiting and posting on the Xfinity Forums.  We sincerely apologize that you had difficulty viewing episodes of Game of Thrones. Unfortunately, the "brightness" of those episodes are dictated by HBO. You can modify your televisions "brightness" settings directly in your television menu settings.

 

Now, I can assist with troubleshooting your HD picture quality issue. I can also assist with getting you swapped for our new 4K DVR box if you would rather. To get started, please send me a private message and include your full name so I can assist you. To send me a private, message click my name (ComcastJoeTru) to view my profile. Then click "Send a message" and private message me. 
 


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Was your question answered? Mark the post as Best Answer!
New Poster

Poor picture quality

The picture quality was extremely low on tonight’s game of thrones season 8 episode 3, I have recently read forums about issues like this from 2016 so clearly x1 has not addressed the issue, people are saying that the picture quality is much better on HBO go and other streaming apps, this is just one more reason to cancel my cable, I would be interested in receiving some sort of compensation for the inconvenience
New Poster

Re: High Definition Channels

How do I know if/ how to get a 4d dvr box?!? Watching GOT tonight was a nightmare. Super blurry and I couldnt see anything. I loaded HBO go and ot was perfect....
New Poster

Re: High Definition Channels

Same. I have the “4K DVR box” from Xfinity, and watching GoT S8e3 was impossible. We actually stopped mid episode to switch to HBO Go. Comcast really needs to get up to date as I am not far off from dropping them and switching to AT&T Internet with no need to have a bundled land line that I never use with my premier pro.
Frequent Visitor

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

GOT was totally unwatchable. The EP was dark and edited fast, combine this with blooming, pixelation, compression and a washed out image and you’ve truly failed. Comcast simply refuses to innovate beyond anything that doesn’t include a button that allows you to pay them more. Yet again another media merger, with Comcast promising to benifit the consumer. 

Gold Problem Solver

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

Yes S8 E3 seemed even worse if that is possible. It was really bad. GF and I were just discussing. Really sad to spend $$$ on a theater room setup only to have such poor picture quality. 

As I have done with the previous two episodes I plan to watch E3 on my Roku Ultra to see if I can confirm my previous observations.

New Poster

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

@RickGr4  thanks for your dediction to this. I am looking forward to your results..

 

I typically watch through the HBO Go app via my xbox1 or xbox1x. I have not had noticable issues until last night's (4.28) episode. It was really garbage. I thought it was just my one TV/lesser xbox so we switched to another locatoin/tv that is the better set up - still had a lot of issues. 

 

Could it be the quality of the HBO feed? Could it be the quality of the internet coming in? The timing of it last night during the episode (does that matter)? Not sure.

Like you, I will plan to watch via a different method today (HULU or AMZN Prime) and will try via the TV itselff to see if it improves.  

Gold Problem Solver

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

As I am responding to your post I am watching S8 E3 on my Roku Ultra.

It is light years better. Much better than XG1V4. There is really no comparison. So much less noise. So much more contrast and definition in the dark scenes.

I understand that GOT has many complex dark scenes. But the difference in picture quality is HUGE.

PLEASE Comcast catch up on this issue. PLEASE.
New Poster

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

Hey, everyone.  Same experience here (with S8 Episode 3 on 4/28/19).  Watched on Comcast X1 "HD" channel 215 (through my Tivo BOLT VOX [1080P capable - normally does BluRay and Comcast shows just fine) on a 96'' wide theater screen, and it was like I was watching 480i content (if that) from 1980.  I swear an Atari 800 could have rendered the picture better.  Massive "blobbiness" on the dark scenes - like the pixels were all blending together into a great big, dark blob.  Even saw some heavy compression artifacts on people's faces, clothing and elsewhere on dark scenes.

 

Totally unwatchable and it absolutely ruined the entire experience.  The audio wasn't great, either (very quiet by comparison with center channel on a 7.1 setup seeming muted by comparison to the other channels).

 

We gave up and tried HBO GO on an Amazon Fire box instead (projected onto the same 96'' screen).  It was a little better, but we were still seeing SOME blobbiness.  (In that case, I did wonder if we weren't getting enough bandwidth to stream effectively - maybe overload on our Comcast network segment at the time?)  I also actually wondered at one point if the episode was intentionally filmed using lower res cameras to make the battle scenes look more grainy.  Very weird but first time we saw it happen..not that we've watched GOT that often previously on the theatre screen, tho.

 

Anyway..this isn't isolated and definitely not the fault of anyone's equipment.  It's most likely bandwidth, bitrate and over-compression issues IMHO.

 

New Poster

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

One more quick thing - like others noticed, any reasonably "bright" scene looked significantly better.  Even the otherwise dark scene with the Dothraki before they head out to battle the White Walkers - when their swords start flaming and there was more light in the scene, the overall picture quality looked better. 

 

The dragon fight scene where Daenerys and John were up in the clouds looked absolutely unwatchable when it was dark - but when they were high up in the clouds resting after battling the Night King, the PQ looked amazing - beautifully rendered sky, almost looked 4K.

 

So, net net - dark scenes look unwatchable.  Anything reasonably bright looks (for the most part) normal. 

 

Interested in any theories or speculation on why that would be.  But the net is that the episode last night was unwatchable on X1 and somewhat better on HBO Go.

Gold Problem Solver

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

I am still watching S8 E3 on my Roku Ultra in 4K and it is actually very watchable.

FYI, mentioned earlier in this thread that brighter scenes looked acceptable on Comcast. Dark scenes is where Comcast totally falls apart.

If Comcast truly values "customer experience" they need to catch up on this.
New Poster

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

I was having the same issue, on the dark scenes there were these huge bands that covered the entire screen. I couldn't even see what was happening. It looked like the entire screen only had about a 50 pixels that were about 1"x1". I kept double checking to make sure I was in HD. Miserable picture quality, can't believe I pay extra for HBO.

Regular Visitor

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

Episode 3 was unwatchable for me, the amount of compression, crushed blacks and blurriness in darker scenes was excessive.
Gold Problem Solver

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

Sorry but I think you folks are missing my point here.


GOT looks light years better when I watch it using my Roku Ultra. Affordable and better options exist.

IMHO we need to push Comcast to step up.

New Poster

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.


@RickGr4 wrote:

Sorry but I think you folks are missing my point here.


GOT looks light years better when I watch it using my Roku Ultra. Affordable and better options exist.

IMHO we need to push Comcast to step up.

I think it's helpful to keep hearing from others who have had the same or similar experiences.  The more people that have issues, the less Comcast can claim it's "our equipment" or suggest some other reason..err..excuse.  And the fact it looks better on Roku, Amazon Fire, etc is further evidence it's a Comcast issue.

New Poster

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

I have both a 4K HDR TV, and the Xfinity 4K box and episode 3 was garbage in terms of quality. Most of the episode was in the dark so it ruined it completely. We tried the DVR recording (since we watched it later), and the on-demand version. Both were a pixelated blobby mess. We will re-watch tonight on the Roku TV and see if that helps.

New Poster

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

S8E3 was pretty much unwatchable via my X1 box last night. I agree with OP; other episode's dark scenes were also unwatchable. I think this is the last straw for me, I'll be dropping Comcast's TV service and subscribing directly to HBO Go.

Frequent Visitor

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

Thanks for the thread, Rick. I watched via an old (like 15 years old) Panasonic plasma, which normally does quite well. This E3 picture, though, was miserable. I was blaming my old screen, but if others with newer-techology TVs are experiencing the same black-level banding that I was horrified with, then either the source or the transmission method seem to be the likely culprits.

Gold Problem Solver

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

I have a 2006 Panny plasma and a 2012 Panny plasma.

I would not trade either of them for anything. Both of them have survived and provided wonderful service.

That being said my LG OLED is absolutely on another level and we will be buying another OLED fairly soon.
Frequent Visitor

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

I concur with OP!  S8E3 was completely unwatchable because it was so overcompressed.  The night scenes were a jumbled mess of large black and grey squares, even the audio was terrible!!!  I know it had something to do with the feed because as soon as the preview for next episode came on, it was back to full glory and the audio almost blasted us out of our chairs becuase i had my receiver turned up so high to hear the show..  This BS COMCAST!!!

Gold Problem Solver

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

I try not to post complaints unless I can offer up a solution.

Roku is currently selling the Ultra for $79. I strongly recommend that if you care about picture quality, 4K and HDR that you run (not walk) and go out and buy one of these things.
New Poster

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

okay and I thought it was me with the issues, I have a new 4K TV, but of course have all the 4k options turned off because I thought that was the issue. BUT to be fair, I also went to my Apple TV 1080 model not 4K, signed into the HBO App via my Xfinity account, same horrible artifacts and banding in the dark areas. I suspect that the feed from "HBO" is via the Comcast/Xfinity feed and not a separate feed. Weird thing is most other shows look great! It absolutely is horrible to watch with the picture quality being so bad.

Gold Problem Solver

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

Sorry but I simply can't agree that the problem is "HBO's feed"

What I saw earlier this morning when watching GOT on my Roku Ultra tells me the problem is CLEARLY Comcast's delivery method. The difference in picture quality was that obvious.

Some people know what to look for. Some people have been through training to know what to look for. Some people simply have better TV sets. I am fortunate that I have a calibrated LG OLED (best TV ever made) in a theater setting were I can control the ambient lighting.

I like X1. I want to support Comcast. But when it comes to top of the line picture quality Comcast has serious issues and they are clearly cutting corners.
Gold Problem Solver

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

If you are a Comcast subscriber it does not cost anything additional to access HBO GO on a streaming device such as a Roku. 

 

FYI threatening to leave Comcast will fall on deaf ears. Like all other big telecommunications companies they budget to lose hundreds if not thousands of customers every day. It is called "churn". One more customer leaving means nothing to them. 

All I care about is achieving the best experience. Comcast is part of that but they are far from the only and final solution.

 

I have over the air antennas, Roku boxes and Blu-ray players connected to all four of our TV sets... not because I am trying to replace Comcast but I want to make sure I have access to the best possible experience. 

 


@axlerod wrote:

S8E3 was pretty much unwatchable via my X1 box last night. I agree with OP; other episode's dark scenes were also unwatchable. I think this is the last straw for me, I'll be dropping Comcast's TV service and subscribing directly to HBO Go.


 

New Poster

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

I think we all agree on this. Quality was terrible. I still watched it but it kind of upset me too. Too much compression, it looked like an upscaled 720p signal on a 4K HDR TV. 

 

The question now is, what is Comcast going to do? 

 

It's a complete diservice to the customer base, we pay tons of money a year and we should not have to be complaining about something that is so 90's. The industry is jumping on 5G... but here we are unable to properly watch a show like the director intended.

 

Remember, the night is dark and full of terrors.

Gold Problem Solver

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

I was half asleep but apparently CBS news just ran a blurb about how "dark" GOT S8 E3 was. Many complaints.

But they did not go into any detail about delivery method.

I stand by what I said earlier. GOT S8 E3 was unwatchable on my XG1V4. Horrible experience. It was light years better (not perfect) when I watched it again using my Roku Ultra.
New Poster

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.


@TimG1 wrote:

okay and I thought it was me with the issues, I have a new 4K TV, but of course have all the 4k options turned off because I thought that was the issue. BUT to be fair, I also went to my Apple TV 1080 model not 4K, signed into the HBO App via my Xfinity account, same horrible artifacts and banding in the dark areas. I suspect that the feed from "HBO" is via the Comcast/Xfinity feed and not a separate feed. Weird thing is most other shows look great! It absolutely is horrible to watch with the picture quality being so bad.


Does anyone know if the HBO Go feed when authenticating through Comcast is coming FROM HBO (ie: their servers) directly, or from Comcast?

 

I tried watching again yesterday on HBO Go (Amazon Fire TV - second gen) and the picture quality was not much better - still lots of banding, blobbiness and artifacting on dark scenes.  So, I'm wondering like the poster quoted above if the feed is coming from Comcast or from HBO?

 

FWIW I did order a Roku Ultra that arrives today, so will post later on experiences with that newer box over the 2016'ish Fire TV..

 

All I know is that there are only 3 episodes left..and I want to watch those in our theater on the 96'' screen w/7.1 surround sound in the best possible way..and last Sunday's episode was absolutely horrific to the extent it ruined the whole experience for us and really took away from us enjoying what seemed like it could have been a pretty strong episode..

New Poster

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.


@RickGr4 wrote:
I was half asleep but apparently CBS news just ran a blurb about how "dark" GOT S8 E3 was. Many complaints.

But they did not go into any detail about delivery method.

I stand by what I said earlier. GOT S8 E3 was unwatchable on my XG1V4. Horrible experience. It was light years better (not perfect) when I watched it again using my Roku Ultra.

Did you use the HBO Go APP on the Ultra, or did you add HBO Go via Roku Channels?  It sounds like the first way (app) requires authentication through your cable provider (XFinity in this case), and the second is direct via HBO - which could mean different source material depending on who's serving up the content..

 

Since I had similar banding and artifacting on my Fire TV box via the HBO Go App, it seems likely that the content is still coming from Comcast vs coming from HBO directly..cuz it was the same horribly compressed mess coming through - only slightly better..

Regular Visitor

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

At the very least Comcast shouldn’t charge a HD Texhnology fee.
Gold Problem Solver

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

With all due respect, please read the entire thread before you post.

Answers are contained in the thread,

Thank you...........?

 

 


@Jstolzen wrote:

@RickGr4 wrote:
I was half asleep but apparently CBS news just ran a blurb about how "dark" GOT S8 E3 was. Many complaints.

But they did not go into any detail about delivery method.

I stand by what I said earlier. GOT S8 E3 was unwatchable on my XG1V4. Horrible experience. It was light years better (not perfect) when I watched it again using my Roku Ultra.

Did you use the HBO Go APP on the Ultra, or did you add HBO Go via Roku Channels?  It sounds like the first way (app) requires authentication through your cable provider (XFinity in this case), and the second is direct via HBO - which could mean different source material depending on who's serving up the content..

 

Since I had similar banding and artifacting on my Fire TV box via the HBO Go App, it seems likely that the content is still coming from Comcast vs coming from HBO directly..cuz it was the same horribly compressed mess coming through - only slightly better..




New Poster

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.


@RickGr4 wrote:

With all due respect, please read the entire thread before you post.

Answers are contained in the thread,

Thank you...........?

 

 


@Jstolzen wrote:

@RickGr4 wrote:
I was half asleep but apparently CBS news just ran a blurb about how "dark" GOT S8 E3 was. Many complaints.

But they did not go into any detail about delivery method.

I stand by what I said earlier. GOT S8 E3 was unwatchable on my XG1V4. Horrible experience. It was light years better (not perfect) when I watched it again using my Roku Ultra.

Did you use the HBO Go APP on the Ultra, or did you add HBO Go via Roku Channels?  It sounds like the first way (app) requires authentication through your cable provider (XFinity in this case), and the second is direct via HBO - which could mean different source material depending on who's serving up the content..

 

Since I had similar banding and artifacting on my Fire TV box via the HBO Go App, it seems likely that the content is still coming from Comcast vs coming from HBO directly..cuz it was the same horribly compressed mess coming through - only slightly better..


Gee, THAT's friendly.

 

I did read the entire thread.  If I knew the answer, I would not have asked.


 

Highlighted
Gold Problem Solver

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

Sorry. 

Sometimes I get snarky when it comes to picture quality and the overall experience. We all pay Comcast a small fortune so we want (hope) for the best experience. 

I agree that we need to continue this conversation and work together to improve the overall experience for everyone. 

 

Adding to this, Game of Thrones is not the only example. I have noted the same terrible picture quality on The Blacklist as well. 

 

Let's be positive and figure out a way to make this better for everyone, not just the video and audio "purists" that hang out here.


@Jstolzen wrote:

@RickGr4 wrote:

With all due respect, please read the entire thread before you post.

Answers are contained in the thread,

Thank you...........?

 

 


@Jstolzen wrote:

@RickGr4 wrote:
I was half asleep but apparently CBS news just ran a blurb about how "dark" GOT S8 E3 was. Many complaints.

But they did not go into any detail about delivery method.

I stand by what I said earlier. GOT S8 E3 was unwatchable on my XG1V4. Horrible experience. It was light years better (not perfect) when I watched it again using my Roku Ultra.

Did you use the HBO Go APP on the Ultra, or did you add HBO Go via Roku Channels?  It sounds like the first way (app) requires authentication through your cable provider (XFinity in this case), and the second is direct via HBO - which could mean different source material depending on who's serving up the content..

 

Since I had similar banding and artifacting on my Fire TV box via the HBO Go App, it seems likely that the content is still coming from Comcast vs coming from HBO directly..cuz it was the same horribly compressed mess coming through - only slightly better..


Gee, THAT's friendly.

 

I did read the entire thread.  If I knew the answer, I would not have asked.


 




 

Regular Contributor

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

I have a Samsung UN49KS8000FXZA 4k TV downstairs and a Samsung UN40H5201A 1080p TV upstairs. The downstairs TV is connected to a Xfinity X1 X1G4v-A 4k DVR. The upstairs 1080p TV is connected to an Xfinity XG2v2-S DVR. These are newest DVRs that are supported by Comcast as far as I know.

The quality of Game of Thrones S8E3 on my Comcast DVR was horrible. So I stopped watching it. I had tried various settings on the Samsung TVs... Dynamic Mode seemed the best and Movie Mode seemed the worse - but, they were all very bad.

So, I went in another room to do some work on a desk top Windows 10 PC with a 27" 1080p monitor. I had a thought - so I tried HBOGO (which everyone gets with their Xfinity HBO subscription) and it was acceptable - not good - but, not horrible. I could just make out what was going on.

So, good news... if Xfinity HBO on the DVR is bad... maybe you can use HBOGO to get a little bit better (barely acceptable) quality.

But here is the deal... I have received (as a Christmas, birthday, etc presents) 4k Ultra HD Blu-ray discs of Game of Thrones. It is like seeing GOT for the very first time. It is a completely different viewing experience. So, I have just about decided that I will always watch the most important videos and movies on Ultra HD 4k Blu-ray and use cable TV for the evening news and things like that where the visual is not 90% of the experience.

***************************************

So, I decided to do some experimentation... I ripped a GOT Blu-ray disc (regular - not Ultra HD 4k) and compressed it from 18GB down to 400MB just to see what Comcast might be dealing with.  So, I'm playing my super-compressed GOT video and the input bit-stream is like 2mbits/sec down to 1/mbit/sec and even less and the video is GORGEOUS - absolutely stunning compared to what I saw a few nights ago on my DVR. 

So, I have no idea what Comcast is doing - but, they must be using something like 100kbit/sec streaming to show GOT on my DVR.  Why is that?  It is not logical from technical standpoint.  My Comcast internet service is 130mbit/sec.

 

*******************************
So, I googled "Xfinity video quality" and it is absolutely certain that nobody knows why Xfinity video quality is so horrible.

There are goofy ideas out there like there is some problem with up-scaling or down-scaling between 480p, 720p, 1080p and 4k - and, of course... anyone with a clue knows that has nothing to do with it. Any old 480p DVD from the last 20 years displayed on a 1080p TV is far superior to Xfinity cable TV. You really have to go back to 1990s VHS video tape to see anything worse than Comcast video.

So this is a mystery that no one in this forum is going to solve. This is a mystery that people have been discussing for decades and the answer will never be known.

On Reddit I saw some technical types who had been discussing this a few years ago. There was a theory that Comcast thinks cable TV is a dead end and Xfinity plans to put no significant effort into cable TV and it should be dead and non-existent within 10 years or so.

Another well supported theory over at Reddit is that Comcast feels that a large majority of its customers don't care if the video quality is bad. I must admit the argument is compelling.

Another good Reddit theory... Apple's iTunes showed that you could sell lower quality video at the same price as Blu-ray. Of course this iTunes video (which was significantly lower in quality than Blu-ray) was at least 8 times  better than Xfinity video. But Apple had initiated the theory that convenience was far more important than quality for the vast majority of entertainment consumers.

So, this is not a transient problem. Xfinity cable TV will provide inferior quality until the service goes away in 10 years or so.

************************************

Oh... one other point on the intenet I keep seeing.  Any video compression codec is going to have a problem with a dark (at night) video such as GOT S8E3.  This is where Ultra HD 4k Blu-ray (especially the HDR-10 part) is really important.  This issue is so relevant to this specific thread that there will probably be a noticeable difference in the Blu-ray video of GOT S8E3 and the Ultra HD 4k Blu-ray version shown on a HDR-10 video monitor.  In fact, over at Reddit, it is theorized that part or most of the problem was probably that the editors working on GOT S08E3 were doing their work on HDR-10 equipment - either knowing purposely that the result would be horible in CATV and streaming environments or maybe accidently.

***********************************

So... back from another tour around the internet.  I think I'm up to speed on this.

 

It's pretty universally accepted that the Xfinity version over the DVR was very bad and that streaming it from just about any quality streaming service was better - but, not great.

 

I have HBOGO running in one Windows 10 Firefox window and I have Xfinity HBO On-demand running in another Windows 10 Firefox window.

The Xfinity On-Demand HBO is very bad.  The HBOGO is bad - but, not as bad as Xfinity.

Parts of the Xfinity On-Dmand HBO version are just about unwatchable.

The HBOGO is good enough to get through the episode.

I'll be purchasing the Ultra HD 4k Blu-ray discs for GOT at some point in the future (or somebody will probably give them to me for Christmas or fathers day or something).

The vast majority of individuals have no clue of what is going on.  They think it is a TV settings thing or an Xfinity problem, etc.

To me it is clear that HBO is using a bad version of GOT S8E3 for HBOGO and a very bad version for Xfinity On-Demand and Xfinity HBO2 and my DVR recording, etc.

Perhaps HBO did that on purpose to get people to try its streaming service.

It absolutely is not an Xfinity compression problem - because each viewing of the various Xfinity versions have the exact same defects exactly the same way no matter how you watch it on Xfinity.

So, yes - Xfinity video quality is poor - but, all video streaming services have poor quality.  Personally, I can't see any reason to get too worked up about which one is the more bad quality.

Accept in this one situation with GOT S8E3 - you just about had to ditch Xfinity and go to some other streaming service.  And that was not because of anything that Xfinity was doing or did - IMHO.

 

Gold Problem Solver

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

If dynamic mode was the best and movie mode was the worst that somewhat defies conventional wisdom. One would expect the opposite to be true.

My three main TVs are calibrated so I tend to leave them at the same picture setting.

Please report back any further observations.


@truerock2 wrote:

I have a Samsung UN49KS8000FXZA 4k TV downstairs and a Samsung UN40H5201A 1080p TV upstairs. The downstairs TV is connected to a Xfinity X1 X1G4v-A 4k DVR. The upstairs 1080p TV is connected to an Xfinity XG2v2-S DVR. These are newest DVRs that are supported by Comcast as far as I know.

The quality of Game of Thrones S8E3 on my Comcast DVR was horrible. So I stopped watching it. I had tried various settings on the Samsung TVs... Dynamic Mode seemed the best and Movie Mode seemed the worse - but, they were all very bad.

So, I went in another room to do some work on a desk top Windows 10 PC with a 27" 1080p monitor. I had a thought - so I tried HBOGO (which everyone gets with their Xfinity HBO subscription) and it was acceptable - not good - but, not horrible. I could just make out what was going on.

So, good news... if Xfinity HBO on the DVR is bad... maybe you can use HBOGO to get a little bit better (barely acceptable) quality.

But here is the deal... I have received (as a Christmas, birthday, etc presents) 4k Ultra HD Blu-ray discs of Game of Thrones. It is like seeing GOT for the very first time. It is a completely different viewing experience. So, I have just about decided that I will always watch the most important videos and movies on Ultra HD 4k Blu-ray and use cable TV for the evening news and things like that where the visual is not 90% of the experience.

***************************************

So, I decided to do some experimentation... I ripped a GOT Blu-ray disc (regular - not Ultra HD 4k) and compressed it from 18GB down to 400MB just to see what Comcast might be dealing with.  So, I'm playing my super-compressed GOT video and the input bit-stream is like 2mbits/sec down to 1/mbit/sec and even less and the video is GORGEOUS - absolutely stunning compared to what I saw a few nights ago on my DVR. 

So, I have no idea what Comcast is doing - but, they must be using something like 100kbit/sec streaming to show GOT on my DVR.  Why is that?  It is not logical from technical standpoint.  My Comcast internet service is 130mbit/sec.


 

Regular Contributor

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.


@RickGr4 wrote:

If dynamic mode was the best and movie mode was the worst that somewhat defies conventional wisdom. One would expect the opposite to be true.

My three main TVs are calibrated so I tend to leave them at the same picture setting.

Please report back any further observations.


@truerock2 wrote:

I have a Samsung UN49KS8000FXZA 4k TV downstairs and a Samsung UN40H5201A 1080p TV upstairs. The downstairs TV is connected to a Xfinity X1 X1G4v-A 4k DVR. The upstairs 1080p TV is connected to an Xfinity XG2v2-S DVR. These are newest DVRs that are supported by Comcast as far as I know.

The quality of Game of Thrones S8E3 on my Comcast DVR was horrible. So I stopped watching it. I had tried various settings on the Samsung TVs... Dynamic Mode seemed the best and Movie Mode seemed the worse - but, they were all very bad.

So, I went in another room to do some work on a desk top Windows 10 PC with a 27" 1080p monitor. I had a thought - so I tried HBOGO (which everyone gets with their Xfinity HBO subscription) and it was acceptable - not good - but, not horrible. I could just make out what was going on.

So, good news... if Xfinity HBO on the DVR is bad... maybe you can use HBOGO to get a little bit better (barely acceptable) quality.

But here is the deal... I have received (as a Christmas, birthday, etc presents) 4k Ultra HD Blu-ray discs of Game of Thrones. It is like seeing GOT for the very first time. It is a completely different viewing experience. So, I have just about decided that I will always watch the most important videos and movies on Ultra HD 4k Blu-ray and use cable TV for the evening news and things like that where the visual is not 90% of the experience.

***************************************

So, I decided to do some experimentation... I ripped a GOT Blu-ray disc (regular - not Ultra HD 4k) and compressed it from 18GB down to 400MB just to see what Comcast might be dealing with.  So, I'm playing my super-compressed GOT video and the input bit-stream is like 2mbits/sec down to 1/mbit/sec and even less and the video is GORGEOUS - absolutely stunning compared to what I saw a few nights ago on my DVR. 

So, I have no idea what Comcast is doing - but, they must be using something like 100kbit/sec streaming to show GOT on my DVR.  Why is that?  It is not logical from technical standpoint.  My Comcast internet service is 130mbit/sec.


 


So, yes... the best theory I'm seeing - and this is just a theory - but, it is compelling...  GOT S8E3 was probably done with HDR-10 technology and it just looks really, really bad on non-HDR-10 technology.  So, it might NOT be an Xfinity problem.  It might be that HDR-10 is rolling out in the super-high-end entertainment industry and CATV, HBOGO and just about  99.9 percent of the entertainment industry infrastructure is not ready for it.

 

Gold Problem Solver

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

Then why does GOT look soooooooooo much better on my Roku Ultra???


@truerock2 wrote:

@RickGr4 wrote:

If dynamic mode was the best and movie mode was the worst that somewhat defies conventional wisdom. One would expect the opposite to be true.

My three main TVs are calibrated so I tend to leave them at the same picture setting.

Please report back any further observations.


@truerock2 wrote:

I have a Samsung UN49KS8000FXZA 4k TV downstairs and a Samsung UN40H5201A 1080p TV upstairs. The downstairs TV is connected to a Xfinity X1 X1G4v-A 4k DVR. The upstairs 1080p TV is connected to an Xfinity XG2v2-S DVR. These are newest DVRs that are supported by Comcast as far as I know.

The quality of Game of Thrones S8E3 on my Comcast DVR was horrible. So I stopped watching it. I had tried various settings on the Samsung TVs... Dynamic Mode seemed the best and Movie Mode seemed the worse - but, they were all very bad.

So, I went in another room to do some work on a desk top Windows 10 PC with a 27" 1080p monitor. I had a thought - so I tried HBOGO (which everyone gets with their Xfinity HBO subscription) and it was acceptable - not good - but, not horrible. I could just make out what was going on.

So, good news... if Xfinity HBO on the DVR is bad... maybe you can use HBOGO to get a little bit better (barely acceptable) quality.

But here is the deal... I have received (as a Christmas, birthday, etc presents) 4k Ultra HD Blu-ray discs of Game of Thrones. It is like seeing GOT for the very first time. It is a completely different viewing experience. So, I have just about decided that I will always watch the most important videos and movies on Ultra HD 4k Blu-ray and use cable TV for the evening news and things like that where the visual is not 90% of the experience.

***************************************

So, I decided to do some experimentation... I ripped a GOT Blu-ray disc (regular - not Ultra HD 4k) and compressed it from 18GB down to 400MB just to see what Comcast might be dealing with.  So, I'm playing my super-compressed GOT video and the input bit-stream is like 2mbits/sec down to 1/mbit/sec and even less and the video is GORGEOUS - absolutely stunning compared to what I saw a few nights ago on my DVR. 

So, I have no idea what Comcast is doing - but, they must be using something like 100kbit/sec streaming to show GOT on my DVR.  Why is that?  It is not logical from technical standpoint.  My Comcast internet service is 130mbit/sec.


 


So, yes... the best theory I'm seeing - and this is just a theory - but, it is compelling...  GOT S8E3 was probably done with HDR-10 technology and it just looks really, really bad on non-HDR-10 technology.  So, it might NOT be an Xfinity problem.  It might be that HDR-10 is rolling out in the super-high-end entertainment industry and CATV, HBOGO and just about  99.9 percent of the entertainment industry infrastructure is not ready for it.