#1 Posted by JasonR86 (9657 posts) -

I've recently upgraded my Comcast service to HD and am really, really disappointed by it. Well, I'm disappointed by like half the channels I watch. The compression on some stations, like CBS, is fucking insane. The noise in the image, the fuzziness on the text, it all looks rough as hell. But some stations, like NBC and Fox, look fine (though not as good as I was hoping as I think Netflix looks better). Is there anything at all I can do to help with the severe compression on the really bad stations? I'm using a fairly new monoprice HDMI cable so I don't think that's the issue. I have a noise filter on my TV but even with that turned all the way up it still looks fucked.

#2 Edited by BillyMethers (149 posts) -

You are probably watching the same standard definition channels, which arent meant for HDTVs. the HDTV channels are in a separate range of channels, all the way high up in the channel listings. Try those. Also, fuck Comcast. They're a ripoff and have no sympathy for their customers. If they can bill you for something you didnt get and then not refund you, they'll do it if they can get away with it.

Also, monoprice cables are good cables and lots of professionals use their store. HDMI cables, higher quality and all that gold plating jazz isn't relevant because the signal is digital and either the 1 & 0 get there or not. There's no distortion cause it's not analog. All you need is a decent cable that will carry the data to the TV.

#3 Posted by JasonR86 (9657 posts) -

@BillyMethers said:

You are probably watching the same standard definition channels, which arent meant for HDTVs. the HDTV channels are in a separate range of channels, all the way high up in the channel listings. Try those. Also, fuck Comcast. They're a ripoff and have no sympathy for their customers. If they can bill you for something you didnt get and then not refund you, they'll do it if they can get away with it.

Also, monoprice cables are good cables and lots of professionals use their store. HDMI cables, higher quality and all that gold plating jazz isn't relevant because the signal is digital and either the 1 & 0 get there or not. There's no distortion cause it's not analog. All you need is a decent cable that will carry the data to the TV.

No, I'm watching the HD channel. I mean when everything is still it looks like low quality HD. It's just when shit's moving it artifacts are all over the image. And really it's just on certain channels like CBS. Other channels like Fox and NBC are fine.

#4 Posted by jsnyder82 (730 posts) -

Yeah, I dunno. They suck. I have Comcast now, and I agree it looks pretty bad, especially in comparison to the HD broadcasts of DirecTV, which I used to have. I think I should probably switch back.

The noise is horrendous, and I've tried it on an LCD, an LED, and a plasma, and it doesn't seem to make a difference.

#5 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4338 posts) -

The one thing I liked over in Ireland was that the free HD local channels you get are all great quality then the shit HD you have to pay extra for here in the US is well...shit. Cable is not worth it for me yet alone an HD upgrade. I rather have my own collection of high bit rate no compression HD content.

#6 Posted by MikkaQ (10283 posts) -

HDTV isn't really all that great, a lot of it is really heavily compressed compared to streaming internet video or a blu-ray. That's just how it is, really.

#7 Posted by BillyMethers (149 posts) -

@JasonR86:

Well have you set the resolution of your cable box or TV? The cable box has several resolutions it can output, up to 1080i. (I recommend 1080i) Check your box settings for the resolution and aspect ratio options. (not that you need to change the aspect ratio or anything but you just want to be sure it's set to Normal)

If that's that's not the issue, then I'll address what you've said so far. You said there's noise in the image? Noise in the image can be a sign of "air bubbles" in the cable line. (running through the house) If it's digital then theoretically distortion shouldnt be much of an issue. Either way, "air bubbles" is an issue that requires a technician to come out and fix the line so that there is no more distortion. That may be just what you need to do. If it isn't that then still, it is probably an issues that requires a technician to come out and fix.

That's pretty much all I can come up with. Hopefully that helps.

#8 Posted by murisan (1119 posts) -

Do you really like having cable television that much? I'd recommend axing it altogether. I'm not trying to be elitist, but I've gone without for two years and saved almost $1k because of it. Plus I fucking hate Comcast and encourage everyone to give them the least amount of business possible. Sadly, I currently have no choice for internet except LTE or dish, and those aren't true options for what I need.

#9 Posted by jdh5153 (1034 posts) -

Hulu + Netflix for 1 year = $130 ($8/mo each). Cable for one month = $100. I'll stick with Netflix and Hulu. I can buy episodes of shows like The Walking Dead on iTunes a day or two after they air anyway.. $3 for HD (or whatever, not even sure). So much cheaper than cable. The only downside is missing out on sports. MLB.tv is nice, but there's no NFL equivalent without a Direct TV subscription which is stupid. There should really be an NFL streaming package, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. MLB.tv is terrific though.

For now I just watch NFL games in our common rooms in the dorms which have Direct TV.

#10 Posted by murisan (1119 posts) -

@jdh5153 said:

Hulu + Netflix for 1 year = $130 ($8/mo each). Cable for one month = $100. I'll stick with Netflix and Hulu. I can buy episodes of shows like The Walking Dead on iTunes a day or two after they air anyway.. $3 for HD (or whatever, not even sure). So much cheaper than cable. The only downside is missing out on sports. MLB.tv is nice, but there's no NFL equivalent without a Direct TV subscription which is stupid. There should really be an NFL streaming package, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. MLB.tv is terrific though.

For now I just watch NFL games in our common rooms in the dorms which have Direct TV.

Yes. Totally. 100%. The NFL really needs to get on the ball with a la carte service like the MLB.

#11 Posted by TyCobb (1966 posts) -

@JasonR86: When you upgraded, did they actually give you an HD box? When I had Comcast a few years ago for TV, they hooked up an SD box. It still had all of the hookups in the back, but it was not able to actually output HD correctly.

Another thing too, is it could just be the lines unfortunately. When I had HD at another house, the coax cables we were using were causing issues with HD. Sometimes we could get the picture to look fine, but other times it would come in looking like a low bitrate movie.

#12 Posted by JasonR86 (9657 posts) -

@TyCobb said:

@JasonR86: When you upgraded, did they actually give you an HD box? When I had Comcast a few years ago for TV, they hooked up an SD box. It still had all of the hookups in the back, but it was not able to actually output HD correctly.

Another thing too, is it could just be the lines unfortunately. When I had HD at another house, the coax cables we were using were causing issues with HD. Sometimes we could get the picture to look fine, but other times it would come in looking like a low bitrate movie.

It is an HD box as I have plugged into my TV through HDMI. It could be the coaxial cable though. I'll put in a newer one and see what happens.

#13 Posted by TyCobb (1966 posts) -

@JasonR86 said:

@TyCobb said:

@JasonR86: When you upgraded, did they actually give you an HD box? When I had Comcast a few years ago for TV, they hooked up an SD box. It still had all of the hookups in the back, but it was not able to actually output HD correctly.

Another thing too, is it could just be the lines unfortunately. When I had HD at another house, the coax cables we were using were causing issues with HD. Sometimes we could get the picture to look fine, but other times it would come in looking like a low bitrate movie.

It is an HD box as I have plugged into my TV through HDMI. It could be the coaxial cable though. I'll put in a newer one and see what happens.

That was my point though. Just because it has an HDMI port, doesn't mean it is an HD box. The SD box we used to have had an HDMI port and Component plugs. DVD players sold in stores now have HDMI ports, but that doesn't make them HD. You could try swapping the coax from the wall to the box, but I was referring to cables in the walls that feed into the Comcast hub on the street. It would be awesome if it is just a bad mono cable or coax to the wall.

#14 Posted by Silver-Streak (1346 posts) -

So, having previously worked at a cable provider, I can provide a little insight into how feed progression works, although I can't state whether these are all true from Comcast as well:

  • You should have 2 instances of each channel that is available in HD, one for SD and one for HD, it's not automatic. If the channel# is lower than 100, you're likely viewing the SD version of that channel.
  • If you are not subscribed to the HD box fee(which is usually more than the standard digital box fee) (or service, if Comcast charges for it), even if you have an HD box, the HD portion will not be enabled, even when you're using Component/HDMI
  • Some Cable Providers have lower compression on their channels than netflix's HD streams. My ex-employer did, at least here in Kansas (Cox Communications).
  • If you're seeing full blown "artifacting" rather then smudging/color blur, that is not normally feed compression. That's usually ingress/interference, or damaged/degraded lines. Especially if the artifacting is totally different colors then the surrounding source colors.
  • If you want a better feed of your local HD channels, it is currently illegal for cable providers to encrypt the rebroadcast(pre-reencoding at the headend) local stations HD feeds that they rebroadcast. You could run a splitter on the cable line, hook it up to your TV in addition to your box, and then scan for channels. The numbers will be all over the place, but you're going to get as pure an HD signal as you can get from those channels, the equivalent of using an OTA antenna and being right next to the station. Unfortunately this may not be an option for much longer