Question digital cable vs dish

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kyle P, Feb 6, 2003.

  1. Kyle P

    Kyle P Extra

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2002
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have digital cable installed at home (no hdtv offerings yet).
    Anyway I seem to get variable PQ on the same digital stations. To me it seems like decompression artifacts. I have a theroy that the PQ degrades during peek internet useage due to reduced bandwith available. The PQ varies from near DVD quality to just OK.
    Question 1, Is this typical of digital cable?
    Question 2, Will I get better results with a better set top box?
    Question 3, Will satelite tv be a major improvement in both standard and high def.?

    The TV is a Tosh 57HDX82 connected through Svideo.
     
  2. TimTurtino

    TimTurtino Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Your theory is almost certainly wrong (although it's a reasonable guess, given the data). In order for it to be right, the cable company would have to have the ability to, in real-time, monitor conditions and change their MPEG encoders on the fly. While not technically impossible, I've never heard of a cable company that was so on the ball. Plus, the most common standard for cable modems puts a strict upper limit on the bandwidth that any aggregate of users can "eat"-- basically, you and your neighbors (the number of neighbors being up to the cable company) share 1 or more channels, which are not used for anything else. However, your cable company may well be using worse encoding to save bandwidth, because they have crappy (and/or long) lines somewhere in their systems which they can't trust to pass extremely high frequencies (up above 500 MHz). The fact that the PQ appears variable to you has to do with three things--
    A) At the same level of compression, different scenes will look better than others (especially if there's less movement, what-have-you)
    B) Other factors that affect PQ are variable, especially if you've got questionable lines between you and the nearest head unit.
    C) They might actually change their compression from time to time for other reasons-- for instance, a particularly heavy PPV/sports schedule, etc. That would tend to be on a several hours to half-day long basis, not in the very bursty pattern you'd expect from Internet usage.

    To actually answer your questions:

    1. Yes.
    2. Perhaps, but it's a crap shoot. Most STBs have pretty reasonable MPEG decoders (there are some notable exceptions).
    3. Probably not, although YMMV. Sat TV is the same definition, and can be an improvement if your cable is bad enough, but the ads about "digital quality picture on every channel" are, IMHO, a huge disservice-- it's, at best, normal quality TV on every channel, sent digitally. That may be better than what you currently get, but only because your CC is falling down on the job.

    Me
     
  3. Kyle P

    Kyle P Extra

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2002
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks Tim;
    The information you have provided sounds correct. But I am still puzzled why the same movie on the same channel looks pixelized at 7:00 and much better late at night...say after midnight.
    I love the fact that I get cable modem Internet access so I am not as apt to change to the dish unless there are benefits. HDTV is the only benefit if there isn't a substantial PQ improvement.
     
  4. TimTurtino

    TimTurtino Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It's cosmic rays, man.

    Only possible explanation. [​IMG]

    Seriously, you should definitely complain to your CC every time you see that sort of thing. They won't do anything immediately, but if no one complains, they'll never fix it at all...

    Me
     
  5. JasonLC

    JasonLC Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2002
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have excellent cables service via Cox here in Oklahoma. They have redone all of our cable lines with new fiber optic lines and it shows via analog and digitable cable PQ. I switched from Dish Network to Digital Cable and the Digital Cable blows away the Dish Network PQ on my 57" HDTV. I was even getting up to 119% signal quality on the Dish Network, but the only channel watchable was HBO. All the rest were very pixelated and unwatchable in my terms. They kind of looked like an under-bitrated SVCD. Some of my digital channels look better then the analog channels especially Discovery and HBD and Cinemax. They are now offering HDTV for free, but you have to go buy the $499 SA3100HD box and not rent it. I will wait until they suppoer the SA4200HD for the scaling features and then I will gladly pay $499 for the box to get HDTV. Thumbs up for Digital Cable here!!! I know it will vary though by location and compression methods.
     
  6. JeremyFr

    JeremyFr Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    794
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    to me sounds like a signal issue I'd call them and have a tech come out and check your signal you may be dipping to low in db on the line which will make the image more pixelated than other times where the signal is higher. It may also very well be your STB. I've had a few duds in my day. May I ask who your CC is and what STB you have connected?
     
  7. Kyle P

    Kyle P Extra

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2002
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I had techs there twice redoing every conection from the pole to the set top box. (two half days off work.)
    Adelphia is the cable provider.....(could this mean anything). They also avoid any questions about HD signals.
    The set has been replaced both times. It's one of the newer smaller SA boxes
     
  8. JeremyFr

    JeremyFr Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    794
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Scientific Atlanta theres part of the problem adelphia somewhat being the other. Good news We'll probably own them soon enough if you ask me[​IMG] At anyrate alot of the smaller companys cant keep with the big boys anymore and they're starting to cut corners and are definately not able to offer as much as the big players in the game sorry man. It still sounds like a signal problem the SA's may not have as good a sensitivity as other boxe's like the Motorolas etc. I know that We used to use SA and General Instruments and now only deal with the Motorola's and its been a huge improvement.
     
  9. Michael St. Clair

    Joined:
    May 3, 1999
    Messages:
    6,001
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The problem is usually on the encoding end; i.e. at your cable company.
     
  10. MikeSh

    MikeSh Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2000
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Jeremy, you said; "Good news We'll probably own them soon enough if you ask me"

    Who is the "we" you are refering too? I too have Adelphia and am not real happy with them.

    MikeS.
     
  11. JeremyFr

    JeremyFr Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    794
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    sorry we is Comcast, I used to work for AT&T Broadband here in Washington and since November when the merger finalized lots of good things have happened. As big as "we" are theres always a chance of buying out other companys as well. I know Charter & Adelphia have been thrown around alot nothing obviously for sure but theres always those chances.
     
  12. MichaelMOS

    MichaelMOS Agent

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I hope so, i also have adelpia digital cable and have not been that pleased with it. The major problem i have is that when i am changing channels sometimes the digital channel will not show up. It will just turn black and then like 10-15 seconds later it will de-pixelate from black to the actual channel. I dont know if this is something that happens everywhere though.

    Anyone know what the newest box is that adelphia has? does it have any new features? Anyone know of a tivo like device in adelpia's future, i am guesing not.
     
  13. Kyle P

    Kyle P Extra

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2002
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have the newest SA box. It's a 3/4 size box (don't know the model#) It's only advantage is it's size. I have had both. The older style SA box wouldn't seem to hang up on the digital channels as described above.
     

Share This Page