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Ridiculously bad picture quality

Regular Visitor

Ridiculously bad picture quality

I'm was watching the Patriots/Chiefs game and the picture quality is so bad I had to watch it on another service.  The picture is pixelated, washed out, not sharp at all.  It honestly looks like a picture from 15 years ago. Close up shots look better but nowhere near HD.  I have the X1 4k device, I foget what they call it.

 

I watched the other game on Fox earlier and it was reasonable, no where near what I expect but reasonable. This is the second week in a row that the picture quality on CBS has been completely unacceptable.

 

I'm coming from DirecTV and have found Xfinity to be very, very disappointing. The DVR is unreliable (records sometimes other times just doesn't), the streaming app is horrible and most importantly the overall picture quality is terrible. I know it's not the HDMI cables, or my TV as Amazon 4k and netflix 4k look amazing. BluRays look awesome as well using the same HDMI cable. I search the net and see all kinds of complaints about picture quality.

 

Any ideas on how to get comcast to fix this?

 

Expert

Re: Ridiculously bad picture quality

Comcast has been converting from MPEG2 to MPEG4. Currently the cable-boxes don't handle sports well that are transmitted in 1080i (mainly CBS, and NBC games). FOX is in 720p which is okay.

 

The problem could be fixed if at least those two channels were moved to 1080p (Blu-ray quality). That might mean some equipment improvements from the two networks too.

 

The best alternative for me is to watch games on CBS or NBC "over the air" using an antenna. UHD television's do a much better job converting an older 1080i (MPEG2) signal than the cable-boxes. I am fine for now.


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Contributor

Re: Ridiculously bad picture quality

I had the opposite experience. The FOX broadcast of the Rams/Saints game looked terrible. Pixalation everywhere. Mostly from the wide angle shots. 

 

The CBS broadcast of Cheifs/Patriots was much better quality but still below what I would expect. 

 

I have the XG1V4 4K box. 

 

Troubling for how much we pay for this "service"

Expert

Re: Ridiculously bad picture quality


@eeemoney wrote:

I had the opposite experience. The FOX broadcast of the Rams/Saints game looked terrible. Pixalation everywhere. Mostly from the wide angle shots. 

 

The CBS broadcast of Cheifs/Patriots was much better quality but still below what I would expect. 

 

I have the XG1V4 4K box. 

 

Troubling for how much we pay for this "service"


Your problem is due to a poor signal reaching your cable-box. Not what is being discussed in this thread.


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Re: Ridiculously bad picture quality



How did you come to this conclusion? I had a brand new line replaced from the tap to my house. 

 

"Your problem is due to a poor signal reaching your cable-box. Not what is being discussed in this thread."

 

 

Expert

Re: Ridiculously bad picture quality


@eeemoney wrote:


How did you come to this conclusion? I had a brand new line replaced from the tap to my house. 

 

"Your problem is due to a poor signal reaching your cable-box. Not what is being discussed in this thread."

 

 


Your pixalation is most likely caused by a poor connection, splitter, amp, coaxial cable, inside your home.


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Contributor

Re: Ridiculously bad picture quality

That is a compression issue. Local channels vary market by market depending on the broadcaster, how they are compressing, and how many channels they are cramming onto a transmitter. Usually, DirecTV, Comcast, and OTA are getting the same signals, and DirecTV compresses them again to distribute them via satellite, but it can vary by market, and in some markets for some stations, one provider or another may get a direct fiber feed and compress it separately from what the station is doing.

 

National channels on Comcast all look blurry and lack detail, especially during motion scenes in sports, or dark scenes in movies because Comcast over-compresses them with a bit-starved implementation of MPEG-4, and they look terrible nationwide. Local network channels, however, will vary by market and sometimes by provider as well.

 

It is possible that you could get a higher quality feed from DirecTV or via OTA depending on your market.

Contributor

Re: Ridiculously bad picture quality

Thanks for the explanation. Is this compression a short term solution? Will this quality improve over time as Comcast invests in more infrastructure?

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Contributor

Re: Ridiculously bad picture quality

All digital video is compressed, that's the only way you can practically transmit hundreds of channels around. The question is how much they are compressed, and how. ATSC 1.0 uses MPEG-2, as did cable up until Comcast and Verizon started to use MPEG-4 for some channels. MPEG-4 is about twice as efficient as MPEG-2, but either way, you have to have an adequate bitrate for the type of compression and resolution being used.

Due to the FCC auction of the 600mhz spectrum and the resulting digital repack, many OTA channels are channel sharing, leaving less bandwidth for each channel and subchannels. It could get better with ATSC 3.0, if it ever takes off, but for the forseeable future, a lot of channels are going to be heavily compressed. If Comcast moves to MPEG-4 for local channels, they will likely get direct fiber feeds of them, but then compress them too heavily, so the video quality could get slightly better or worse depending on how they are compressing and transmitting today.

EDIT: I should say all digital video *to the consumer* is compressed. Main network feeds are as well, just a lot less than cable, satellite, and OTA signals. There is uncompressed digital video within TV and movie studios.

Regular Visitor

Re: Ridiculously bad picture quality

This is all well and good but not what I'm paying $129/Month for. I'm irritated because they keep raising the rates but nothing has improved. I had free over the air HD in 2005 that looked better than what I'm paying $129/Month for now. If Comcast doesn't do something to improve the picture quality, improve the streaming app and or their prices I'm going back to DirecTV.

 

They've got until the end of my contract. 

 

Good luck everyone.