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Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

Regular Contributor

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.


@RickGr4 wrote:

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.

 





Well, I don't have a Roku Ultra - but, from what I know it is perhaps one of the best streaming devices you can purchase.  Like I said in part of my original comments: when I streamed GOT S8E3 from HBOGO to a Windows 10 PC it was much better - so much better I went ahead and watched the entire episode on my Windows PC.  But, let me be clear... I found the HBOGO streaming version to be just barely acceptable.  I don't think we will have actually seen the actual GOT S8E3 until it is displayed from an Ultra HD 4k Blu-ray disc to a HDR-10 4k video monitor.  I say this because HDR-10's biggest strength is dealing with complex lighting.  Again, I'm guessing the GOT editors created S8E3 with HDR-10 equipment - based on examining the HBOGO video.

 

Look, I'm watching a recorded baseball game on Xfinity DVR right now.  Its perfectly OK.  But it is a non-complicated daylight situation that is favorable to ultra-high-compression that apparently Xfinity uses.  Dark, night scenes are not favorable to ultra-high-compression using non-HDR technology.  Nevertheless, I guess I'm looking at 720p video at 24fps.  Anytime something moves it is blurry and the image has a flat, undetailed look to it.  It would be so great to watch MLB in 4k 120fps.

 

And, so... there are conspiracy theorists who think HBO did the HDR-10 thing on purpose to make CATV look bad and get everyone to go to HBOGO where they can get a little bit more bandwidth.

Gold Problem Solver

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

I was watching ABC Overnight News this morning and the issue of GOT S8 E3 picture quality was discussed. Many comments (complaints) about how dark it was. Apparently GOT producers chimed in and said what I would have expected them to say. They said that GOT intentionally has very dark scenes and they consider the problem to be poorly adjusted TV sets (I 75% agree with this) and they expect that people will be watching GOT in a dark room which I 100% totally agree with. 

But they did not address the ENORMOUS picture quality differences I noticed between my XG1V4 on Comcast linear cable and my streaming Roku Ultra. 

I wonder what DirecTV and Dish Network customers have to say about the differences in PQ. 

Regular Contributor

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.


@RickGr4 wrote:

I was watching ABC Overnight News this morning and the issue of GOT S8 E3 picture quality was discussed. Many comments (complaints) about how dark it was. Apparently GOT producers chimed in and said what I would have expected them to say. They said that GOT intentionally has very dark scenes and they consider the problem to be poorly adjusted TV sets (I 75% agree with this) and they expect that people will be watching GOT in a dark room which I 100% totally agree with. 

But they did not address the ENORMOUS picture quality differences I noticed between my XG1V4 on Comcast linear cable and my streaming Roku Ultra. 

I wonder what DirecTV and Dish Network customers have to say about the differences in PQ. 


Yes, you are absolutely correct.

The HBO GOT reps were either lying, misinformed or incompetent (perhaps some of each).

I have watched Xfinity versions on 2 Samsung TVs and my Windows 10 PC.  The "crushed blacks" are identical on all versions of Xfinity regardless of the device I play them on.  I can make the "crushed blacks" stand out better if I tun on "edge sharpening", 240hz "Tru Motion" and other up-scaling technologies - but, the shape an existence of the "crushed blacks" are the same.  Go to an HBOGO version of GOT S8E3 and the "crushed blacks" are smoothed out and less prevalent.

 

As I've said before, I have watched the HBOGO version of GOT S8E3 beside a simultaneously running Xfinity version from HBO2, my DVR recording, Xfinity "On Demand", etc.

Each were running on Firefox on my Windows 10 PC.

There is an obvious difference between the HBOGO version and the various Xfinity versions.

I've been all over the internet learning what people think about this.

 

A new thing I ran across was a forum on Ultra HD 4k Blu-ray users who were discussing Blu-ray versions of GOT.  They have always been somewhat bemused at the "crushed blacks" that are so prevalent in all versions of GOT videos - regardless of whether you get them from iTunes, Blu-ray, Xfinity, HBOGO, etc.  Obviously the Ultra HD 4k Blu-ray versions are of far superior quality to anything you see streamed or on Xfinity - but even those super high quality versions have these "crushed blacks" in them.  Google "crushed blacks" if you do not no what they are.

 

No one knows why GOT videos have such low quality Blu-rays.  And, the people associated with creating GOT are obviously just lying about the situation.  They couldn't possibly be as stupid as they make themselves out to be.

 

On various Reddit forums people who are familiar with video production hypoyhesize that it's just a budget constraint with the CGI.  Noticeably the "crushed blacks" are most noticeable and prevalent in the less important CGI and there are less "crushed blacks" in important CGI scenes.  They often suggest it isn't just a GOT issue.  It is an issue that all video production deal with and they all may use, rain, snow, "crushed blacks", etc to hide the CGI.  In fact, some say that the super high quality Ultra HD 4k Blu-ray GOT discs do not hide the CGI enough.  It's a budget thing.  You can't get the awe-inspiring CGI of The Lord of the Rings on an HBO GOT budget.

 

Regardless, none of this explains why the "crushed blacks" are much worse on Xfinity than they are on HBOGO.

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

Anyway, here are the bandwidth reading I'm getting with HBOGO vs Xfinity Stream:

 

HBOGO
16 mbit/sec for 1 second
then 0 mbit/sec for 1 second
repeat

 

Xfinity Stream:
12 mbit/sec for 1 secound
0 mbit/sec for 2 secounds
repeat

 

 

New Poster

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

Comcast picture quality is terrible. The compression they use is disastrous for low light and and motion. It is sad that HBO is taking so much heat for a problem Comcast created. I watch GoT with the Amazon app built into my TV, it looks great and I didn't miss anything on s8 e3.
Regular Contributor

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.


@Galder wrote:
Comcast picture quality is terrible. The compression they use is disastrous for low light and and motion. It is sad that HBO is taking so much heat for a problem Comcast created. I watch GoT with the Amazon app built into my TV, it looks great and I didn't miss anything on s8 e3.

Yes, you are correct.  GOT S8E3 looked better on streaming services than it did on Xfinity HBO, Xfinity On-Demand, Xfinity DVR copies, etc.

 

Just to clarify, you do not watch HBO on Amazon, Hulu, etc.  You can purchase a HBO-NOW subscription from Amazon, Hulu, etc or you can purchase an HBO-NOW subscription from HBO.  Its all the same thing.  Xfinity customers can watch the equivalent of HBO-NOW on HBO-GO.  All Xfinity customers who hava a HBO subscription also have a HBO-GO subscription at no additional cost. 

 

Regardless, HBO-NOW and HBO-GO -regardless of how you watch it/them - looks better than the Xfinity Cable TV versions from an Xfinity cable TV box.

 

Just to be clear, HBO-NOW and HBO-GO video is of extremely poor quality.  It is nowhere near the quality of ULTRA HD 4K Blu-ray.  It is not even as good as 1990's DVD.  It is better than 1980s VHS tape and 1970's broadcast TV.

 

No one knows why HBO-NOW and HBO-GO are provided at a higher bandwidth than Xfinity cable TV HBO.  It might be HBO's fault - or, it might be Xfinity's fault or it might be both.  We do not know.

Official Employee

Re: High Definition Channels

Hi jtrow. Since I didn't get a response from you, this thread has been locked. Please don't hesitate to send a private message if you continue to need help with this, or create a new post if you need assistance with anything else. Thank you.


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New Poster

Why is HBO highly compressed on X1 compared to HBO GO?

I was watching S8E3 of GoT last week and it was a very dimly lit episode, which made all the heavy compression Comcast puts in stick out to the point where it was distracting, specially when you pause the show it looks like a heavily pixelated upconversion with colors washed out.  I am using the latest 4k box and have all the proper 4k settings in place. I can see 4k HDR Youtube videos and they look spectacular, so it's not my TV or bandwidth. Comcast is doing something on their that is reducing the quality of content. I know this because when I chromecast the same GoT show from my phone to the same TV using HBO GO, the compression "grittiness" goes away and the colors brighten up, same TV settings (Cinema Pro mode in my Sony Bravia 900).

 

Am I missing something or is this a known issue?

New Poster

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

It looks fine when using HBO GO. Was really bad when watching live.
Gold Problem Solver

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

I think we all know the answer. Comcast has implemented extreme compression and lower bit rates.

But as a consumer I have a right to choose. My choice is to watch GOT on HBO GO using my Roku Ultra. The picture quality is THAT MUCH better.
Gold Problem Solver

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

Not that I am trying to drag out negative information but I just watched GOT S8 E3 again on HBO GO using my Roku Ultra and and the picture quality was light years beyond anything I have seen on Comcast.

But I think this brings up important choices that we all need to think about. We are all consumers and we can take our business where we choose. I choose to use additional services beyond Comcast and I am willing to pay for it.

Tonight I will be watching GOT S8 E4 on HBO GO using my Roku Ultra and I have no doubt that it will be a better experience.
New Poster

Re: High Definition Channels

I have the 4k DVR Xfinity box and it still looked like dump. (LG C7 OLED) Don't waste your time guys.<br><br>Gonna talk it over with the wife, and probably dump Comcast TV. (no HD feed for TNT either)<br><br>Literally the only two things I watch right now, GoT and NBA Playoffs, are unwatchable IMO.
Gold Problem Solver

Re: High Definition Channels

Going further into this while trying not to bad mouth Comcast, I just watched GOT S8 E4 over HBO GO and I also watched Hawaii 5-0 S9 E23 using CBS All Access on my Roku Ultra.

The picture quality is light years better than anything I have seen on Comcast linear cable. Much better. Sound is better as well.

I sure hope Comcast has a plan to catch up. 

 

Official Employee

Re: Why is HBO highly compressed on X1 compared to HBO GO?

JoeG934, thank you for reaching out here on the forums! I understand your concern regarding the GoT episode, the same thing was happening to me. 

 

This isn't necessarily a known issue, but it is working as intended. You can change your brightness and contrast through your TV settings. 


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Gold Problem Solver

Re: Why is HBO highly compressed on X1 compared to HBO GO?

The solution is to watch HBOGO over a streaming device like Roku or Apple. When you watch HBO on X1 you are watching it over linear cable. When you watch it on a streaming device you are watching it over IP.


If Comcast added HBO to their APPS I hae a feeling that would greatly improve the problem.

Yesterday I finally watched GOT S8 E4 on my Roku Ultra and it was very acceptable to rather good.

Last time I check the Roku Ultra was only $79 and it remains one of the highest rated streaming devices.

Regular Contributor

Re: Why is HBO highly compressed on X1 compared to HBO GO?

ComcastAlly,

 

Thank you for efforts to be helpful.

 

There have been many industry professionals telling viewers of Game of Thrones S08E03 that the problem is that their televisions are incorrectly adjusted.  This absolutely is untrue information and apparently borne of some intellectual problem of those industry representatives.  Why they repeatedly provide this incorrect information is unknown.

 

I have analyzed GOT s8e03 on various televisions, Xfinity boxes and Windows 10 PC streaming apps.  The problems with GOT s8e03 is not with your television adjustment.  To spread that dis-information is helping no one and it is not helping Comcast or HBO - it just makes their customers more frustrated.

 

Again, I will repeat myself...  streaming applications apparently are using roughly twice the bandwidth of CATV.  streaming apps are using about 12 megabits per second and CATV is using about 6 megabits per second.  As a comparison, old DVDs from the 1990s use around 12 to 16 megabits per second.  Ultra HD 4k Blu-ray uses around 82 megabits per second.

 

12 megabits per second is fine for watching the evening news or a reality TV show.  You wouldn't want to watch Bladerunner or professional sports at 12 Mbps - and you definitely wouldn't want to watch Game of Thrones s8e03 at 12 Mbps and definitely not at 6 Mbps CATV. 

 

But, in the bigger picture, video entertainment technology is so far beyond what we had a few years ago... I guess we are very spoiled.  So, when I become annoyed because an NFL football game on CATV isn't as clear as I wish and as clear as it could be... I remind myself what we had back in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.  The real disconnect is that everyone needs to adjust their expectations to the medium.  There is absolutely no way that any streaming technology will be anywhere close to Ultra HD 4k Blu-ray - and, to expect otherwise is completely unrealistic.

 

Now there is another major issue - and, that has to do with the "world class cinematographer" who has been defensively defending his GOT s8e3 work.  In my opinion, there is no way that a professional cinematographer pulled off such bad work accidentally.  He obviously did it on purpose.  We will not know why he did what he did in GOT s8e3.  Perhaps on his deathbed he will provide the truth.  Currently he is telling the millions of people who are complaining about this that it is their fault and they need to adjust their televisions.  Thank goodness we have ineptly adjusted our televisions for just one episode of one series in the history of television and we will never need to adjust our televisions again for any other episode of any other video series.

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

Oh... I need to add one last comment.  I'm reasonably certain that for at least around 95% of the time Comcast customers are not very concerned about the quality of the video.  This is my opinion... but, I really think that 6 Mbps is more than good enough 95% of the time - for whatever reality TV show, evening news, The Big Bang - who cares what the video quality is and 6 Mbps is good enough.   Now HBO is probably in a different situation.  GOT, Westworld and other HBO shows where cinematography is a large part of the product... sure, higher quality video is an issue to perhaps 30% of HBO watchers - maybe only 20%?  So, maybe that is why HBOGO streams at 12Mbps.  Who knows.  I certainly will probably know why Comcast and HBO makes the decisions they make.  All you get out of them is you don't know how to adjust your television.

 

Gold Problem Solver

Re: Why is HBO highly compressed on X1 compared to HBO GO?

I read that it absolutely was done on purpose. The producers of GOT said they expected people to watch GOT on a properly adjusted TV in a nearly dark room.

My concern here is this. My three best TVs are calibrated for best picture and GOT looks good on all three when streamed using a Roku.

The idea of readjusting my TVs calibrated picture settings to compensate for Comcast's issues in an effort make GOT look better on linear cable in not going to happen. I would rather just change inputs and watch my Roku.

Comcast's suggestion to start messing with pictures settings to compensate could easily backfire and make the picture worse...
Regular Contributor

Re: Why is HBO highly compressed on X1 compared to HBO GO?


@RickGr4 wrote:
I read that it absolutely was done purposes. The producers of GOT said they expected people to watch GOT on a properly adjusted TV in a nearly dark room.

My concern here is this. My three best TVs are calibrated for best picture and GOT looks good on all three when streamed using a Roku.

The idea of readjusting my TVs calibrated picture settings to compensate for Comcast's in an effort make GOT look better on linear cable in not going to happen. I would rather just change inputs and watch my Roku.

Comcast's suggest to start messing with pictures settings to compensate could easily backfire and make the picture worse...

I agree with you 100%

I would never recommend that anyone mess around with their TV settings unless they know how to reset it back to factory after they get it messed up.

My Samsung TVs all have some pre-configured options like: Normal, Movie, Sports, Dynamic, etc.

I accidently left one of our TVs set to "Dynamic" and my wife almost lost it when she tried to watch a baseball game.  I tried the presets and she liked "Normal" the best.

Anyway, I tried "adjusting" video for HBOGO and CATV on various screens and I saw no real improvement.

Now I will agree that watching it in a completely dark, blacked-out room helps.

 

 

Contributor

Re: Why is HBO highly compressed on X1 compared to HBO GO?

The problem I have as an Xfinity customer and HBO subscriber, that I only see HBO Now on my PS4 or my Roku. Xfinity seems to be blocking me from streaming on HBO now from those devices.

Expert

Re: Why is HBO highly compressed on X1 compared to HBO GO?


@CougarTrace wrote:

The problem I have as an Xfinity customer and HBO subscriber, that I only see HBO Now on my PS4 or my Roku. Xfinity seems to be blocking me from streaming on HBO now from those devices.


If you're a Comcast HBO subscriber, you shouold be using HBO Go (for bundled cable HBO subscriptions)  instead of HBO Now (standalone HBO subscription). 

 


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Gold Problem Solver

Re: Why is HBO highly compressed on X1 compared to HBO GO?

I added HBO GO to my Roku account.
Regular Contributor

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.


@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.

 


About Samsung "Dynamic Mode": it highlighted the "crushed blacks" and made it easier to tell what was going on in regard to "why can't I see anything".  Samsung "Movie Mode" (I think) turns off 240 frames-per-second upscalling and other enhancements (which are great for watching sports) that give movies a "soap opera" feel that many people object to.  If clarity and color accuracy are your goal, you do not want to use Samsung "Movie Mode".  Movie Mode gives that soft, low-frame-rate effect a lot of people prefer so that the video they are watching does not seem too realistic.  In affect, it provides that 1960s movie feel of 24 frames per second and grainy celluloid film.

Gold Problem Solver

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

I need to correct you on something. Motion rates and refresh rates are two different things. Motion rates are artificial processing and really just advertising jargon by the manufacturers. For the most part motion rates don't matter.

 

Refresh rates are what really matter and there is only two rates available: 60 hz or 120 hz. Refresh rate is how often the actually screen refreshes the image. 120 hz TVs are well know to be better with fast motion.

 

Any Samsung TV that says "Motion Rate 240" is a actually 120 hz panel. All LCD/LED manufacturers have been playing this game for years.

Regular Contributor

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.


@RickGr4 wrote:

I need to correct you on something. Motion rates and refresh rates are two different things. Motion rates are artificial processing and really just advertising jargon by the manufacturers. For the most part motion rates don't matter.

 

Refresh rates are what really matter and there is only two rates available: 60 hz or 120 hz. Refresh rate is how often the actually screen refreshes the image. 120 hz TVs are well know to be better with fast motion.

 

Any Samsung TV that says "Motion Rate 240" is a actually 120 hz panel. All LCD/LED manufacturers have been playing this game for years.


Yes, you are absolutely correct.  I am well aware of this issue.

My Samsung TV is supposedly "4k and HD" compatible - which as far as I can tell means it supports HDMI 2.0b and 14.4 giga-bits-per-second.  As you point out TV manufacturers purposely obscure the technical capabilities of their products - so, it is never possible to know for sure.  So, for video input, that probably means it supports 4k at 60 FPS with some kind of HD video input which is probably not HDR-10. 

As you point out, high-end video monitors support 120Hz and Samsung TVs with "MR 240" have CPUs capable to up-vert 24/30fps to 240fps (for processing) and then down-vert it to 120fps. But, my family wants that capability turned off - so, we rarely use it.

Blu-ray video is normally 24 frames-per-second.  I don't think anyone knows what Xfinity, HBO Go, Netflix, etc frame-rates are.  I would guess they are 24fps or perhaps 30 fps.  My Samsung TVs run at 120fps or 60fps.

Netflix UHD 4k requires a 20-mega-bits-per-second of internet bandwidth (higher than HBOGO 12Mbps and Xfinity Stream 6Mbps) - but, I'm guessing that it provides a 24fps data stream.

 

As far as I can tell, we may have HDMI 2.1 products in 2020 that support some form of HDR-10 - but, nobody knows for sure.  I assume Samsung, Intel and various manufacturers are trying to figure out what is the least amount of product that they can get away with in 2020 and they recognize someone may break the competitive barrier and make them release HDR-10 products.

 

When I first purchased a Samsung TV with what Samsung calls "MR 240" I watched various things with "MR 240" enabled.  Sometimes it is not too noticible and sometimes it borders on mind-bending.  I played a Blu-ray disc of Andy of Mayberry (The Andy Griffith Show) - a 1960s TV series shot in 4:3, black-and-white - and it was mind-bending...  It was like they were real people acting on the other side of a picture frame.  Most people (my family included) find the effect disconcerting because the ultra-realism is just too strange.  They have been conditioned to expect the soft, blurred effect of 1950s, 24fps, celluloid film.

 

In regard to various cinematographers - including the cinematographer for Game of Thrones - there is a disconnect between the world of RED digital cameras capable of 4k, HDR-10, 120FPS and the real world of people still most comfortable with 1960s, low res, low-definition, low frame rate video.

 

In my opinion, Comcast is serving the 90% to 98% of the population who prefer the 1960s version of video.  These individuals still can't wrap their brain around aspect-ratios different than their TV and want the image stretched and distorted so that there are no "black bars" on the screen.  These are individuals completely detached from understanding the technology they are using and actually want less quality in their video - not more.

 

Comcast is providing a service to these individuals and 6 mega-bits-per-second is absolutely all they need.  They don't need 12 mega-bits-per-second that is provided by HBO-GO and they certainly do not need 80 mega-bits-per-second provided by Ulta HD 4k Blu-ray.

 

But there are individuals (like the cinematographer for Game of Thrones) who are enamoured by video technologies far, far beyond the capabilities of any streaming or CATV service that will ever exist.  So there is that disconnect and it shows itself within the context of HBO and CATV.  HBO wants to move a tiny bit further down the technology path and show something almost as good as a 1990s DVD and Comcast knows that 90% to 95% of its customers just do not care and are perfectly happy with less than that - until HBO distributes something that requires a slightly better quality video that CATV does not currently have.

 

I would guess that the executives at Comcast are more than well aware of this issue and they are trying to figure out how to exist in this new world where - maybe - broadcast technology is to be replaced by streaming.  Broadcasting 200 channels at 6Mbps really makes no technological sense if all of the CATV boxes attached to it are watching zero to one channel at a time.

 

In my opinion - and I realize that this is straying beyond the subject of this thread, but it is the ultimate resolution of that issue - there is absolutely a place in the future of entertainment for Comcast where Netflix, HBOGO and Disney+, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc, etc, etc exist. 

People are already complaining about the pletora of streaming services.  Apple understands the issue and has a business model for it.  Samsung essentially has a product solution in every TV it sells (it's just of poor quality compared to Apple's solution).  Xfinity Stream is a pretty good product - but, it is 6Mbps and HBOGO is 12Mbps.  That would be irrelevant until GOT s8e3 happened.

Official Employee

Re: Game of Thrones Picture Quality Disaster.

truerock2, thanks for your feedback on this subject. I have come across a few posts on the forums regarding this issue with the picture quality on the X1 platform. That is why we are working on new technologies to improve the viewing experience at home, like All IP video. That is still in a limited release but I believe this is the new era of cable. 


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