Thought I'd bring this thread back to life after watching Driven on CityTV last week. Picture was superb and there was VERY little visible macroblocking despite the nature of the film and it's editing style. This is the way it CAN and SHOULD be done on TMN.
Have you noticed the macroblocking issue on HD PPV channels too?
I watched Hero and it looked really bad. Lots of quick movement and bright saturated and contrasting colours in this movie really put the macroblocking on a silver platter to enjoy in its full delapitated glory. My wife and I aren't sure if we ever want to watch a movie on HD-PPV again.
I'm checking with other people who get HD movies in the US to see if they have the same issues and I'm asking what receivers they use. I assume its a limitation of the mpeg compression but I'll be pissed if others get to see HD movies without it.
I wish I'd never noticed. It's all padlock's fault - he started that Kill Bill thread...
Sorry about that, I didn't mean to ruin anyones experience.
On the plus side, the more people notice, the more people complain, the more likely they are to do something about it.
Speaking of which, I don't for a second buy the argument that 19.2 Mbps is not enough for high quality HDTV. Anyone who's seen an HD movie on CBS, (or even one of the regular shows like CSI) knows how spectacular HDTV can look, even with lots of motion on the screen.
There are also people in the U.S. experiencing these problems on their HD movie channels. A poster on AVS Forum asked about the D-Theatre tape of The Rundown to see if it had the picture problems during the opening nightclub scenes that were present on his copy taped from one of the movie services. He described exactly the same problems we are seeing here.
As was noted in another thread, TMN has increased their bandwidth on all cable systems.
All NEW movies/programmes will be encoded with the higher bitrates, so we should see improvements there.
Older movies/programmes will be re-encoded as time permits, but may take some time, so be aware of possible differences between new/old movies/programmes.
I have been travelling since July 13, so I won't be able to comment personnally for some time (after I've recorded some TMN stuff). (my HDD is almost full due to my absence, so I need to clear some room first)
The stuttering is a separate issue, that may have been created during the encoding process. Notify TMN and they may reencode the show, but it's likely too late for most people...
I watched "Sky Captain" the other night (I know, don't ask why). Although the movie had a bit of a "fuzzy, cartoonish" image, the explosions and "dog fights" had a lot less macroblocking than we have seen in previous movies. I'd say the higher bitrate is working, although I've only seen this one new movie.
If there are more reports of (new) stuttering, I'll report it to my contact. I'll try to record a few more programmes myself - I've got a few movies that I will watch, but I've still got catching up to do from my various trips.