OTA vs Comcast HD

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OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:08 pm

Holy crap! OTA blows comcast HD out of the water! I just hooked up a pair of bunny ears to my parent's TV (after hearing that it didn't look much different from a DVD) These tests are both on the same TV with the same (mildly calibrated) settings. I basically turned down the burning contrast , saturation and brightness when they got it to something that looked more natural.

First off, comcast only broadcasts in 1080i. This means channels like ABC are converted from 720p to 1080i, so it looks like garbage. I believe this is so you can change channels faster so your TV doesn't have to switch between picture modes. A more elegant solution would be to convert everything to 1080p in the box (the TV is a 1080p set, so it makes little difference whether the switch happens in the TV or in the cable box). It's just dumb that convert 720p feeds to 1080i.

Second, I noticed colors look off on comcast too. The added color saturation on comcast has an initial "wow" factor, but really when you flip back and fourth the OTA looks much more natural. I'm not sure if this is just more compression with the colors, or if it is intentionally messed with to be stunning. If a director wants saturated colors to stand out, he can get them on OTA.

The sound is also a little better.

Most importantly, though, is the compression. It just isn't noticeable on OTA like it is on comcast. When watching football, comcast will give you a glimpse of compression free video at each camera change, and the difference is stunning. Faces are so much clearer on OTA. Stuff isn't just garbled over.

If anybody has an HDTV and has HD comcast, it is worth hitting ant on your remote to watch channels you get OTA. I can't believe they're allowed to call this by the same marketing terms as OTA. No wonder so many people don't think blu ray looks much better if they're used to the junk comcast calls HD.
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:22 pm

I honestly do not see the huge deal with HD. Sure, it has better resolution that it defintely noticeable on a decent HD display. It is still the same darn content at heart thought.

A good BR is superior than either OTA or Commuistcast.

The real reason why BR isn't being adopting as well as DVD is because it is a niche product geared towards videophiles. The mainstream does not see the big deal especially when BR still costs a bit of cash to get the display, player and media. The recession does not make it any easier either.
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:30 pm

Krogoth wrote:I honestly do not see the huge deal with HD. Sure, it has better resolution that it defintely noticeable on a decent HD display. It is still the same darn content at heart thought.
Pfft. Aside from the dumb "hologram" crap, I really enjoyed having HD election coverage. So many more stats can be displayed!

Have you watched a hockey game, and to a lesser extent, a football game on HD and 480i? The difference in comprehension of what's going on is amazing. It makes you wonder how you ever put up with standard def stuff.

You do make a valid point though, a good picture can't compensate for crappy content.
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:02 pm

SpotTheCat wrote:
Krogoth wrote:I honestly do not see the huge deal with HD. Sure, it has better resolution that it defintely noticeable on a decent HD display. It is still the same darn content at heart thought.
Pfft. Aside from the dumb "hologram" crap, I really enjoyed having HD election coverage. So many more stats can be displayed!

Have you watched a hockey game, and to a lesser extent, a football game on HD and 480i? The difference in comprehension of what's going on is amazing. It makes you wonder how you ever put up with standard def stuff.

You do make a valid point though, a good picture can't compensate for crappy content.



I am angry I pay $100 a month for cable and internet, only to watch ONLY the 25 or 30 HD channels I have. If I put on SD tv it looks like trash and I can't watch it. Its like watching low res youtube videos compared to watching a good dvd rip. Theres just no comparison.
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:09 pm

Corrado wrote:
SpotTheCat wrote:
Krogoth wrote:I honestly do not see the huge deal with HD. Sure, it has better resolution that it defintely noticeable on a decent HD display. It is still the same darn content at heart thought.
Pfft. Aside from the dumb "hologram" crap, I really enjoyed having HD election coverage. So many more stats can be displayed!

Have you watched a hockey game, and to a lesser extent, a football game on HD and 480i? The difference in comprehension of what's going on is amazing. It makes you wonder how you ever put up with standard def stuff.

You do make a valid point though, a good picture can't compensate for crappy content.



I am angry I pay $100 a month for cable and internet, only to watch ONLY the 25 or 30 HD channels I have. If I put on SD tv it looks like trash and I can't watch it. Its like watching low res youtube videos compared to watching a good dvd rip. Theres just no comparison.
You have 25-30 channels with worthwhile content? Wow.
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:17 pm

Yup. I do actually :) I watch pretty much ALL the HD channels. Discovery, Fox, ESPN, NFL Network, HD Theater, HGTV, Science Channel HD, History Channel HD, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, ABC, NBC, CBS, TBS, TNT, CNN, Speed, TLC
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:28 pm

Corrado wrote:Yup. I do actually :) I watch pretty much ALL the HD channels. Discovery, Fox, ESPN, NFL Network, HD Theater, HGTV, Science Channel HD, History Channel HD, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, ABC, NBC, CBS, TBS, TNT, CNN, Speed, TLC

There's 18...
...
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:10 am

The people that say that HD ain't all that astound me.
Something ain't right with their setup if they really believe that.
I can barely tolerate SD stuff anymore. Seriously.

Everything I read says that OTA HD and BR are the best it gets.
WideOpenWest's (cable) HD is pretty good, I cannot really decipher any compression - but I could just be used to it as we don't watch OTA HD anymore, because it's a bit spotty where I live (too many obstructions).

I just want my MFing NFL-HD channel to let me watch the damn Thursday games. *THIS MAKES ME SO ANGRY!!!* Again, the same thing.
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:25 am

I've been pretty happy with my Verizon FiOS service...its a tad on the expensive side, but I've had no big issues with either their cable or internet. The only thing is that I used to get FX-HD, but I think they moved that to one of their packages - kind of unfortunate since FX shows some good stuff on occasion. Oh, and NESN-HD looks like crap...although watching NESN in general is always painful (as I am a yankees fan).
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:57 am

mattsteg wrote:
Corrado wrote:Yup. I do actually :) I watch pretty much ALL the HD channels. Discovery, Fox, ESPN, NFL Network, HD Theater, HGTV, Science Channel HD, History Channel HD, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, ABC, NBC, CBS, TBS, TNT, CNN, Speed, TLC

There's 18...

Thats all off the top of my head. I watch plenty more.
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:02 am

Turkina wrote:I've been pretty happy with my Verizon FiOS service...its a tad on the expensive side, but I've had no big issues with either their cable or internet. The only thing is that I used to get FX-HD, but I think they moved that to one of their packages - kind of unfortunate since FX shows some good stuff on occasion. Oh, and NESN-HD looks like crap...although watching NESN in general is always painful (as I am a yankees fan).


Unless your Fios there is light-years ahead of Fios here, I can't imagine. Fios here has noticable compression artifacts, even on SD channels. It's horribly compressed to Hell. Cocmast isn't a lot better, but it is better. That's faintly damning praise. Cocmast here is bad, Fios here is obscene.
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:35 am

Yeah if there is nothing on I tend to throw on a random HD channel just because the picture looks so nice.

Comcast HD looks pretty good to me (usually).

I'm so spoiled by watching football in HD. Then again my antique television only supports 1080i.
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:37 pm

PRIME1 wrote:Yeah if there is nothing on I tend to throw on a random HD channel just because the picture looks so nice.

Comcast HD looks pretty good to me (usually).

I'm so spoiled by watching football in HD. Then again my antique television only supports 1080i.

Try the OTA HD broadcasts for football. Miles ahead, especially if it is on ABC. (first they convert it from 720p to 1080i, and then they compress it to hell and back.)
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:38 pm

SpotTheCat wrote:
PRIME1 wrote:Yeah if there is nothing on I tend to throw on a random HD channel just because the picture looks so nice.

Comcast HD looks pretty good to me (usually).

I'm so spoiled by watching football in HD. Then again my antique television only supports 1080i.

Try the OTA HD broadcasts for football. Miles ahead, especially if it is on ABC. (first they convert it from 720p to 1080i, and then they compress it to hell and back.)

That would require me installing an antenna outside, which is on my project list, but very far down it.
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:40 pm

PRIME1 wrote:
SpotTheCat wrote:Try the OTA HD broadcasts for football. Miles ahead, especially if it is on ABC. (first they convert it from 720p to 1080i, and then they compress it to hell and back.)

That would require me installing an antenna outside

Are you sure?
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:54 pm

SpotTheCat wrote:
PRIME1 wrote:
SpotTheCat wrote:Try the OTA HD broadcasts for football. Miles ahead, especially if it is on ABC. (first they convert it from 720p to 1080i, and then they compress it to hell and back.)

That would require me installing an antenna outside

Are you sure?

Positive. I live in the woods. I tried on my top floor and I could pull in certain channels only if I held the antenna way up and pointed it in a certain direction.

Although I was able to pull in some far away channels.

I'm thinking of making my own.

http://www.engadgethd.com/2008/04/06/di ... reception/
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:48 pm

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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:01 pm





I made this one and it works great.

I used copper wire from romex though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWQhlmJT ... re=related
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:36 pm

DLHM wrote:


I made this one and it works great.

I used copper wire from romex though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWQhlmJT ... re=related

What if you are in a basement?
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:41 pm

I'm sure it works fine if the transmitter is in the basement as well.
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:45 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
DLHM wrote:


I made this one and it works great.

I used copper wire from romex though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWQhlmJT ... re=related

What if you are in a basement?

Then continue to pay $100 a month :evil:

The cable companies must be freaking out about this whole OTA business. Half of the people I know with cable only have it because it's the only way to get a good picture. Not anymore!
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:03 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
DLHM wrote:


I made this one and it works great.

I used copper wire from romex though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWQhlmJT ... re=related

What if you are in a basement?


Run a coax into your attic and place the attenna there.
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:34 pm

PRIME1 wrote:I'm thinking of making my own.

http://www.engadgethd.com/2008/04/06/di ... reception/

You best make sure that you don't have any VHF channels you care about now or post-changeover ("real" frequency, not the channel number), since that style is pretty crappy on VHF (unless you were figuring on a separate VHF antenna, like a set of rabbit ears). A decent size bowtie-style might be better if you do have VHF channels, since if it's large enough, it'll grab hi-VHF channels despite being a UHF antenna.

The vast majority of digital channels are UHF, so that may not be a problem - but you'd probably want to check TVFool/AntennaWeb first to be sure.
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:45 pm

Forge wrote:
Turkina wrote:I've been pretty happy with my Verizon FiOS service...its a tad on the expensive side, but I've had no big issues with either their cable or internet. The only thing is that I used to get FX-HD, but I think they moved that to one of their packages - kind of unfortunate since FX shows some good stuff on occasion. Oh, and NESN-HD looks like crap...although watching NESN in general is always painful (as I am a yankees fan).


Unless your Fios there is light-years ahead of Fios here, I can't imagine. Fios here has noticable compression artifacts, even on SD channels. It's horribly compressed to Hell. Cocmast isn't a lot better, but it is better. That's faintly damning praise. Cocmast here is bad, Fios here is obscene.


You have a link showing that FIOS compresses at all? That would be contrary to what I've read/understood. I notice not one problem with compression on my FIOS in OC area of socal. The few compliants I have are in regards to the locals who'd rather broadcast 2 weather channels in addition to the main channel rather than giving the main channel all the bandwidth it needs.
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:52 pm

FunkeeC wrote:
Forge wrote:
Turkina wrote:I've been pretty happy with my Verizon FiOS service...its a tad on the expensive side, but I've had no big issues with either their cable or internet. The only thing is that I used to get FX-HD, but I think they moved that to one of their packages - kind of unfortunate since FX shows some good stuff on occasion. Oh, and NESN-HD looks like crap...although watching NESN in general is always painful (as I am a yankees fan).


Unless your Fios there is light-years ahead of Fios here, I can't imagine. Fios here has noticable compression artifacts, even on SD channels. It's horribly compressed to Hell. Cocmast isn't a lot better, but it is better. That's faintly damning praise. Cocmast here is bad, Fios here is obscene.


You have a link showing that FIOS compresses at all? That would be contrary to what I've read/understood. I notice not one problem with compression on my FIOS in OC area of socal. The few compliants I have are in regards to the locals who'd rather broadcast 2 weather channels in addition to the main channel rather than giving the main channel all the bandwidth it needs.

A lot of the channels do that here OTA. The main channel still looks great, way ahead of cable.
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:56 pm

FunkeeC wrote:
Forge wrote:
Turkina wrote:I've been pretty happy with my Verizon FiOS service...its a tad on the expensive side, but I've had no big issues with either their cable or internet. The only thing is that I used to get FX-HD, but I think they moved that to one of their packages - kind of unfortunate since FX shows some good stuff on occasion. Oh, and NESN-HD looks like crap...although watching NESN in general is always painful (as I am a yankees fan).


Unless your Fios there is light-years ahead of Fios here, I can't imagine. Fios here has noticable compression artifacts, even on SD channels. It's horribly compressed to Hell. Cocmast isn't a lot better, but it is better. That's faintly damning praise. Cocmast here is bad, Fios here is obscene.


You have a link showing that FIOS compresses at all? That would be contrary to what I've read/understood. I notice not one problem with compression on my FIOS in OC area of socal. The few compliants I have are in regards to the locals who'd rather broadcast 2 weather channels in addition to the main channel rather than giving the main channel all the bandwidth it needs.


Link? What kind of link am I supposed to give you? All I can tell you is that when I go over to my buddy Stu's house, he's got a huge 62" DLP getting HDMI from the Verizon box. We play Xbox360 over a crappy VGA input and it looks godly. We watch movies over a DVI->HDMI converter and it's OMFG. We put on live TV and his HD looks a little smeary or blocky, and his SD looks like video off a cell phone.

As sad as it is, here Cocmast's HD is miles ahead of Fios', even though Cocmast does that brain damaged 1080i upconvert and heavy recompress.

Things are apparently much better for you in California than they are here in PA. No big surprise.
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Re: OTA vs Comcast HD

Postposted on Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:59 am

Forge wrote:Link? What kind of link am I supposed to give you? All I can tell you is that when I go over to my buddy Stu's house, he's got a huge 62" DLP getting HDMI from the Verizon box. We play Xbox360 over a crappy VGA input and it looks godly. We watch movies over a DVI->HDMI converter and it's OMFG. We put on live TV and his HD looks a little smeary or blocky, and his SD looks like video off a cell phone.

As sad as it is, here Cocmast's HD is miles ahead of Fios', even though Cocmast does that brain damaged 1080i upconvert and heavy recompress.

Things are apparently much better for you in California than they are here in PA. No big surprise.



lol, chill i just thought you may of had some actual information on some type of compression being used. 62 inch tv would be horrible to watch SD on, it starts looking bad on my 51 inch. is he stretching his 4:3 SD to full screen? which channels are these movies on? As i said earlier i'm pretty sure its not compression but perhaps something else that is causing your complaints.
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