sorry here's the main DVR's ID (accidentally included the photo of the secondary DVR). That one is the current 4K enabled box, right? Regardless, whether the picture is 720, 1080, UHD... the problem is the Arris brand box is scrubbing out detail and goes against against the whole point of having a good calibrated TV.
I have to watch HBO content and the like off the Apple TV to enjoy simple HD level detail. Maybe I need to contact somoene at Arris.
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1. There is no such term as 1K for video production or broadcast. I’ve worked in digital video production since 2000. I’ve worked at TV stations, for film productions, and do post production as a freelancer. There is 1080i/p and 2K, and they are analogous to UHD and 4K. Please read this to get your intelligence on resolution and terms: https://www.cnet.com/news/tv-resolution-confusion-1080p-2k-uhd-4k-and-what-they-all-mean/
the terms 2K and 4K come from the first number in the pixel dimensions of the frame. So the normal variations we get are:
1080HD: 1920 x 1080 this is what all contemporary HD TV’s are set to. It’s a 16:9 ratio, which fits consumer TV’s.
2K: 2048 x 1080 (none of your TV’s work at this fixed relation. It’s meant for digital cinema projectors.
UHD: 3830 x 2160 (this is what consumer TV’s labeled 4K are actually at and is also a 16:9 ratio)
4K: 4096 x 2160 (this is what size many filmmakers shoot video in when asked to shoot at 4K and is the most common standard for professional cinematic video production at this time)
2. I thought I clearly stated that I am talking about the 1080 video signal I’m getting through the 1080 setting on a 1080 TV. Bringing up “4K” is irrelevant.
3. I have clearly illustrated that the problem is not upscaling or downscaling or compression with the photographic evidence. Scaling results in the edges or contrasting sections of an image looking thicker or sometimes too thin. Compression destroys bothedges and surfaces in a very obvious patchy and blocky manner. If you look at the images carefully, you will see that edges are the same, the resolving of the image is the same in terms of the shapes. It’s the digital “airbrushing” in between edges that is the problem and ruining the detail of the HD 1080p signal.
4. All signs point to this problem with the X1 boxes as simply being an activated de-noisier filter. If you go into your menu you will find that many more expert controls are now missing including different settings for digital noise reduction (including just turning it off). What Comcast needs to do is to release a firmware update where they offer the ability to turn it off. All the detail will then come back.
Here is a link to how a digital de-noising works. This is a pro-sumer version I actually use from time to time, and have overused to give footage a weird airbrushed look on purpose: https://youtu.be/f9H8jnwHSvM
The older cable boxes (and every consumer TV I’ve used) used to have a menu setting to adjust the de-noise processing in the box or in the TV. If you were a videophile who wanted an accurate detailed picture, you turned it off. Turning it on helped with smoothing out weak compression and signal nose, that is not a problem these days.
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Ha, that is not true. What do you mean 1K box? It’s all 1080 (closer to 2K in digital cinema terms) There is no special handling activated on the TV, I’m a videophile and filmmaker that actually makes film content, so I’ve been always been calibrating my own TV’s in order to display color graded material and show clients work. I would never have something upscaling or have a consumer feature to artificially beautify content on. In fact, I’m pointing out that xfinity has built in a stupid image processing setting right into the the X1 that needs to be optional. But it’s stuck to “on”.
My television is retaining the exact calibration on that HDMI input regardless of the device being switched out. I can go into the menu and submenu and check everything. All the parameter down to the tiniest RGB channel adjustments in expert mode stays the same. Not only that, but I’ve assigned the same profile to all the HDMI inputs regardless for the Apple TV, the computer input, the blu-ray player (its all outputting REC709) and I can compare the same content from various devices and the new X1 box is the only one that exhibits this loss of details and texture. Also this texture smoothing was exhibited anywhere I see the X1 system going, including the Xfinity store a few miles away. Of course the sales people don’t have any clue to this kind of technical/aesthetic stuff. But after I complained, the visiting technician could see it too at my place. He happened to be someone that worked with photography and could recognize these kind of filters. He also confirmed that everything was set to what should have been optimal picture quality. I’ve gone through a whole cycle of returning the X1 boxes, going back to the old DVR for 6 months, then trying the X1 again hoping that it had changed it’s firmware two turn the filter off. To no avail.
You should be able to see it as well on your own TV. It’s an obvious digital filter. There is no upscaling going on, Both streams I took the stills from are 1080, and the TV setting is exactly the same and locked no matter which box was hooked up. The cable boxes were both set to 1080. And, it the same cable out of the wall. Have you looked at your own X1 output at people’s faces? Are you able to see the hairs and pores and detail across the whole face, or do the faces get an almost cosmetic blur (as illustrated in my stills above) in certain areas. The other give way is: can you see film grain on content shot on film? The X1 seems to really scrub it away.
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check out the images below for the model numbers and a photo of the problem. This is the same TV, same settings, same input... but switching to and away from the new x1 box.
The image is from the recent Westworld episode on HBO on Demand. The new X1 box is scrubbing away surface detail and applying skin smoothing. It looks horrible on a high end home theater system.
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Well, the same thing happened with the secondary box on a second different TV. The original old non DVR secondary box was fine, the new X1 secondary box displays loss of film grain and skin smoothing because of some kind of digital filter trying to clean up the image. Again all cable, signal, and monitor was the same. The only thing that changed was the secondary x1 box coming in. Also, I noticed the same problem at the Xfinity store on their own display of X1. So it’s not just at my place. I bet if I could visit you, I could easily point it out. It’s a similar look to how people filter their own selfies to be blemish or wrinkle free. It still retains high quality edges. It is not blocky compression artifacts, it’s an obvious digital filter that is similar to what some TV’s themselves have built in (but with the option to adjust or disengage). But it is not obvious to most regular people until pointed out. I realize Xfinity is catering to the normal consumer who probably things grain and wrinkles are better lost, and to them it might seem to be better picture quality... but to anyone who is into the idea of 1080 to 4K fidelity and calibration of their TV’s, and getting that detailed experience for this Xfinity monthly cost... it’s a loss despite the great voice menu.
I had a Comcast technician come in to check everything and he said it was all solid, inside and outside the house. When I pointed out the smooth faces on the various channels, and loss of texture, he did completely recognize what I was talking about, but said the current box had no controls he had access to with an option to turn it off. He confirmed that he could see what I was pointing out, but did say he knew of no expert control mode he could access. Let me try to get a screen shot to illustrate the problem. Bu,t I bet if you watched a premium movie channel on your own system right now and looked for skin smoothing on faces, and scrubbing of film grain you would see it. Or rather not see the detail. I realize that no one is normally in a situation to A/B test with an old box/new box. The most aproximate thing I can think of is to compare the same shot in a 1080 movie playing off another device like Roku, Apple TV, broadcast HD. But please remember I did have both boxes and was able to just change the HDMI from one to the other along with the cable from the wall.
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The explanation for the issue I'm seeing is not explained by the compression standard coming through the cable. The reason I write that? Because when I switch to the old box the problem is no longer there with the same cable attached to the same TV. The new X1 box has an obvious noise reduction going on that was not on the older DVR boxes. It's a noise reduction that most applied to smooth skin tones and also scrubs away film grain.
Again. I have done A/B switching with an old Xfinity box and the newest one. The newest one has poor detail in surfaces, erases pores, and blemishes on faces, and gets rid of film grain. Also the dialog getting out of sync has only happened with the X1 box as well. That problem is not consistent, but it NEVER happened with the older DVR. Again same cable intallation, same TV, samne inputs, the only variable was switching to the X1 box.
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I’m a videophile, filmmaker, but still waiting to pull the trigger on a 4K OLED HDR TV. In the meantime I have an old school but beautiful huge Panasonic Plasma Viera. I switched to X1 and momentarily had the old DVR box at the same time before I returned it. So, the same cable signal to the same TV was observed as I could switch between the old and new box. The old box looked like a sharp 1080i picture, and movies had details like film grain and dirt on surfaces. With the new x1 box, the picture looks slightly soft, and it seems like a noise reduction (for picture grain) is being applied. I think the problem is an automatic digital noise filter is engaged and actually ruining HD detail. The problem is... the new consumer friendly menu doesn’t offer an option to turn it off. Old cable boxes let you turn that kind of thing off. I wonder if there is an expert mode for the box that lets you turn it off? If not, I really hope they release new boxes that don’t automatically engage picture noise reduction/smoothing. It’s ruining the picture by getting rid of detail.
Lol, I also just noticed “Amistad” on Showtime on my new x1 box is running the 5.1 audio slightly out of sync with picture. The audio is actually a tiny bit ahead of picture. So you hear a word and then you see the lips move. I think the X1 has some problems that need to be worked out! I remember when Netflix had issues with audio sync in the past.
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Okay, I am now watching The Deuce on the legacy DVR, and the image quality is back to the previous standard of sharpness without the strange blurring of colors and faces. I can see the texture on people’s faces and even the filmic grain. The problem is the x1 box, not my TV, and not the signal. I’m happy to get the better image quality but sad to lose the voice operated remote control.
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Just an update: I got on the phone last night with comcast and the rep on the other side of the phone admitted that they didn't know any technicalities about HD specs or the processes, only how to plug and play and reset the box. So I got online to chat support, and the person I was chatting with did say they were aware of a problem, seemed to understand what I was talking about, and told me to go to the "standard" X1 Box, (meaning one iteration behind?), as there was no solution to the problem we're seeing on the new boxes. He said that even a tech couldn't get into the settings on the new boxes. I was assured he didn't mean "Standard Definition" by switch out to a "standard" X1 box and that it was still and HD DVR. He said I would have to go into a service center and trade in my newer boxes for the older ones. When I went to the service center, they told me all they had was the newer X1 boxes, that there was no such thing as a standard x1 box, only a non DVR X1 box. They said that the only thing standard could refer to is standard definition. They told me I would have to go to the older legacy box (non X1) if I wanted to change it out. I asked if it was still 1080 in resolution to make sure, and she said she didn't even know what 1080p or 1080i was! But another worker assured that it was still HD. He defended the X1, and said he used the X1 and it looked great. I told him it was a subtle thing that you wouldn't notice unless you had videophile standards or a large TV set to cinema standards. I told him that even their TV in the lobby was exhbitiing the "smooth" loss of details. I also mentioned that other customers were noticing this and that there were the screenshots like the one above in this official thread that perfectly illustrate the problem. He abruptly turned and left, as if he didn't want to get into it. Well I got the legacy box (and legacy 2nd box for an additional TV) andf hooked it up. They had told me it should all be fine once plugged in. But 20 minutes later it had not loaded anything. I called in to service, and the person I got told me that the boxes weren't registered in their inventory yet (as being assigned to my account?), and that it could take anywhere from 2 hours to 24 hours to activate them. she said she would call me back when it went through.
I'll keep posting if I make any progress.
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The old boxes used to let you turn off noise reduction, etc. the new box doesn’t give you any control! This is horrible if you have a huge calibrated tv and are used to that very detailed true to the material image. I guess they dumbed down the box for the average consumer who like the artificially digitally cleaned look. Maybe it’s time to cut the cable!
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I recently switched to the brand new box and X1 and I’m a videophile that works in post on films. I’ve also noticed the picture quality is worse. The best way I can describe it is it looks like a smoothing filter or denoiser is added to certain elements like skin tone. I cannot see and blemishes or pores on actor faces. And it looks bad! I can switch to Amazon, Netflix, or a Blu-ray and it looks like real 1080 resolution. Unfortunately the box menu does not offer any controls over the picture outside resolution. But I suspect a denoiser or digital smoother is set to on to make the picture less grainy and make faces look better. But it looks bad.
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