As promised, I've spent some time comparing the video quality between Aliant FibreOP and Bell Satellite. First, I should point out that I do almost all of my viewing in HD. Overall, I am quite pleased with the picture quality of the FibreOP. Three small issues that I have noticed:
1. There seems to be quite a bit of edge enhancement going on with the FibreOP feed, which for some will be seen as adding "pop" to the image, but I find it a bit artificial at times. I suspect this is at least partially attributable to different compression codecs being used. I am gradually getting used to this and finding it less jarring.
2. There are noticeable motion artifacts with fast moving objects, for example, when the camera pans over the ice surface of a hockey game. I found the artifacts to be more prevalent in the FibreOP feed than the Bell Sat feed.
3. Several times, when viewing dark scenes, it was apparent that the black levels on the FibreOP feed were clipped (the darkest parts were simply blended together in a single black mass). Noticed this during several dark scenes when watching Game of Thrones on HBO.
The overall level of detail in both pictures was very similar in my opinion. I would give a slight edge to the FibreOP with regard to colour saturation, but this may be at the expense of dark image detail as mentioned in #3. Unfortunately, the SD video quality on FibreOP is Terrible, as expected; slightly worse than Bell Sat which is also borderline intolerable.
For the record, both sources were viewed on a single television, using separate HDMI inputs and identical picture settings. I consider this a work in progress, and I'm optimistic about the future potential of FibreOP, particularly given the capacity they will have to deliver on-demand programming at a very high quality.
I will have an active Bell Sat account for another few weeks or so. I will try to do some more viewing comparisons and keep you updated.